Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 9/12

Wes Welker Patriots

Will Wes Welker’s play a diminished role this year? (Photo: US Presswire)

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.

Bill Belichick had great things to say about Jermaine Cunningham. (ESPN Boston)

Though an end by trade, Cunningham was also used as a pass rusher from the interior of the defensive line on a situational basis. When asked about the advantages to employing such a strategy, head coach Bill Belichick referenced creating a different match-up for offenses to handle in having the quicker, faster Cunningham work from the interior, an area usually contained by big-bodies such as Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love.

An in-depth look at two of the best offensive tackles eligible for the 2013 NFL Draft plus prospects from Florida. (BBD)

In the first of two big SEC battles the Gators traveled down to College Station to take on the Aggies and the 12th Man. In what was a hard fought and exciting game the Gators rudely welcomed the Aggies to the SEC by stealing a victory from them. Among the players that impressed were TE Jordan Reed, OT Xavier Nixon, DE Damontre Moore, and LB Jonathan Stewart. Read about these four and 21 others just below the fold.

Josh McDaniels on Wes Welker’s reduced number of snaps against the Titans. (Boston Herald)

Wes Welker was only targeted five times during Sunday’s win over the Titans, catching three of those passes. In terms of production, it was one of his lowest outputs as a Patriot. Examining his day further, he wasn’t on the field nearly as much as is his custom, as his snaps were reduced.

A really interesting look at Alabama CB Dee Milliner’s technique. (Smart Football)

Former Alabama and current Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick caused something of a stir when he told the media that he “never backpedaled at Alabama.” Apparently, this is something Bengals coaches value, as Kirkpatrick had to learn to backpedal. Some fairly questioned whether this was hyperbole — How do you not teach defensive backs to backpedal? — but this is something Saban very specifically has chosen not to do.

Sylvester Williams could be the next North Carolina prospect to get a lot of hype. (Sporting News)

For those who knew North Carolina’s star defensive tackle as a high school sophomore in Jefferson City, Mo., that’s almost impossible to believe. It’s not that Williams was a “bad kid,” but his priorities didn’t exactly include early mornings or self-discipline. He didn’t play football until his senior year—and even then, he wasn’t very good—and his high school academic transcript was dreadful.

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