Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 8/3

Aaron Mellete 2013 NFL Draft

If you don’t know who Aaron Mellette is, you’re going to want to find out. (Photo: Wesley Beason)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I choose my five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.

Wes Welker isn’t too concerned about Tom Brady’s bad day yesterday throwing the ball. (ESPN Boston)

Patriots quarterback Tom Brady endured his most difficult practice of training camp on Thursday, looking sluggish on a handful of throws and committing un-Brady-like mistakes. It’s a rare sight for Patriots fans, having grown accustomed to laser precision and accuracy from the 34-year-old. Tom Brady had a tough practice on Thursday, but his teammates weren’t sweating it. Wide receiver Wes Welker, however, expressed that days like today only serve to motivate Brady to be better the next time out.

An incredible draft resource – Over 500 NFL Draft prospects to watch from the FCS, including Elon’s Aaron Mellette. (BuffaloBillsDraft.com)

Over the years following these players, talking about them, and scouting them has become a passion of mine and its one that many of you out there seem to enjoy. So this year I didn’t want to just release a ranking set or tell you a few players in one random game to watch. I wanted to create a database of sorts for you to reference and utilize throughout the entire college football season and into the 2013 NFL Draft. Not every player listed below will be a NFL prospect, not every prospect will make it.

Gregg Rosenthal likes where this young Patriots defense is heading. (NFL.com)

Jones was high-ceiling, high-risk pick out of Syracuse who NFL Network’s Mike Mayock liked more than any defensive player in the draft. He was viewed as a raw, Jason Pierre-Paul-like player who would take some time before getting on the field. His development has arrived more game-ready than expected, according to the Boston Globe. The Patriots want Jones to take on Andre Carter’s old “elephant” role that relies on intelligence, strength, and versatility. It’s early, but Jones looks like he can hold up against the run. The Boston Herald notes Jones consistently earns starter snaps.

Five future draft picks that all fit what the Patriots are looking for. (CBS Sports)

When discussing the top programs in the Big Ten, Iowa is rarely mentioned as one of the heavyweights in the conference, but the Hawkeyes have almost always exceeded expectations over the past dozen years. And that overachieving attitude can also be found in many of the Hawkeye players as they jump to the NFL. Since 1999 when Kirk Ferentz took over as head coach, Iowa has produced 53 draft picks, including six first round picks. However, the Hawkeyes have long been known as an underrated football factory, turning out at least one NFL draft pick every season since 1978.

This is getting ridiculous. Barack Obama commented on Tim Tebow. (NYJetsDraft.com)

Usually, if a radio show wants to get a live interview with the President of the United States, they will have to join a rather large waiting list. Obama, a known sports fan, takes matters into his own hands and called 97.1 the Fan while campaigning in Ohio to give his take on the Tebow situation, as Jenny Ventras of NJ.com reports:

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Aaron Mellette, Musket Blasts, Tim Tebow, Tom Brady, Wes Welker

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