Open Thread: Should the Patriots Make Another Risky Pick?

DJ Hayden NFL Draft

Is DJ Hayden worth the risk for the Patriots? (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Patriots have a history of making risky picks in the NFL Draft. Are they primed to make some more “questionable decisions” during the 2013 NFL Draft?

Some of the risks have certainly paid off for the Patriots.

Rob Gronkowski and Vince Wilfork had injury issues that led to them falling in the draft. Aaron Hernandez and Alfonzo Dennard both had off the field issues that haven’t prevented them from excelling on the field. Marcus Cannon has been a good depth pick after recovering from cancer.

If those five players never play another down for New England, the Patriots will have certainly received a good return on investment.

Unfortunately, many other risky picks haven’t panned out. Brandon Tate, Terrence Wheatley and Bethel Johnson – among others – all had injury histories that made teams wary. The Patriots invested top 100 picks and received little to show for their use of draft capital.

The jury is still out on Ras-I Dowling – who has shown glimpses of being a solid starter when he is able to stay on the field.

In this draft, the Patriots have their eyes set on two prospects that have had recent injuries.

D.J. Hayden (CB, Houston) nearly died after rupturing his vena cava during practice. He has been medically cleared to return to play, but that certainly has to be a concern. Hayden projects as a first round pick on tape, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable investing in him until the second round.

Tank Carradine (DE, Florida State) must be superhuman like Adrian Peterson and Wes Welker. Just a few months after tearing his ACL, Carradine ran a 4.7 forty at his workout yesterday – which the Patriots attended. They’ve also had Carradine in for an official visit. He is a top ten pick based on his play this year. If he is available at pick 29 – not likely at this point – I’d accept the risk and make the pick.

Your turn: Should the Patriots take a risky prospect or play it safe?

Tags: 2013 NFL Mock Draft, Bethel Johnson, DJ Hayden, Ras-I Dowling, Tank Carradine

19 Responses to “Open Thread: Should the Patriots Make Another Risky Pick?”

  1. CoachLarry says:

    Hayden might beat Talib for the job, i think he is that good. I like carridine but i think is a bit ovverrated, solid guy but in the first round is pushing it..Iv’ve seen Lerentee Mccray play Luke Joeckel and gave him a hard time yet nobody talks about him..Plent of De in the draft, that UCONN kid can play ilb and DE, great value why trade up for Carridine? Dont forget Brandon JEnkins the original starter b4 carridine replace him w/ a acl.

  2. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like Carradine , but doubt he will be on the Board at #29. I’m hearing Atlanta wants to move-up to take him.

  3. Aaron says:

    Carradine if he’s there at 29. With Jones, I think we’d have a nice edge rush. I’d be ok if he’s PUP’d in the regular season.

  4. Michael says:

    Yeah Carradine is a great prospect as well. The thought of pairing him with Jones is intriguing and would hopeful give the Pats stud bookend pass-rushers going forward.
    As much as both are pegged as risky picks though it would not surprise me if both are off the board by the time the Pats come on the clock. Their upside is tremendous.

  5. AM says:

    I think it’s important to note that not all risks are created equal. Not all injury histories are the same, nor are all character flaws, so those really can’t be evaluated in a yes/no scenario. Specific examinations (medical and interview) will determine whether the player can be rehabilitated, physically or otherwise, from those particular flaws. Outside of the really obvious cases, where there are multiple counts of similar injuries or glaring character red flags such as suspensions or arrests, it’s really impossible to get inside that process. (Although for the record, I would say “no” to drafting the glaringly obvious problems.)

    In my mind, the real fear is the third kind of risky player: the production risk, who has immense athleticism and measurables, but shaky or inconsistent production to match those attributes. I think that where the Patriots fall down on the job more often than not, Chad Jackson being the classic example. On defense, size/speed/”length” measurables have kept them from drafting any number of effective pass rushers in lieu of players like Jermaine Cunningham, who was a reach who fit their physical mold. At some point, especially at WR, the three-cone drill and triangle numbers should take a backseat to polish and production.

    • jim redgate says:

      if the pats traded thier 1st rd pick to say san fran for thier 61,74, 93, thus giving them picks 59,61,74,91,93,226,235 the points are exact 640.

      pass defense starts up front if a qb has 3 seconds your not off of the field and that is only the fault of the lack of sack pressure.

      Sack pressure in this instance is when you force the qb to make a mistake in what he is doing not neccesarily sacking him thus getting off the field with no points scored against you The coaching staff as far as adding defensive players( through free agency both @ home and free agency itself shows you atleast that much. They will be faster and harder hitters in all phases of the secondary which i think takes alot of the bs that is happening. That is when individual people step up and make the play that needs to be made.they are doing their
      job that is when and how the opportunity to make a big play happens by doing your job.in bill we trust to put them their. that and only that is the reason why wes is
      no longer here. its what you did for me today not over the last 6 years and cost them two superbowls wes you gave me many a thrill over your career here best of luck
      with payton see ya soon look forward to it.
      Thats how they won their championships ,because they made championship plays on both sides of the ball.

      mock draft
      THE PATRIOT WAY

      c/b olb
      d.j. hayden jamie collins

      d gratz corey lemonier

      d slay w/r

      b.w wilson terrance williams

      j poyner quinton patton

      d/l marcus weaton
      john jenkins d/t marquise goodwin

      brandon williams d/t da rick rodgers

      lavar edwards d/e kenny stills

      o/l q/b

      mike glennon
      tyler bray
      brian schwenke c

      brian winters o/g

      david bakhtiari o/t

      the back four will be ok its giving q/bs to much time to
      find some body open and is very much misalinged and they have enough bodies and yes talent to go to the nickel. This is a very bill like draft if we had known at the
      begining of the year that we would have the 59,61,74,91.93rd pick plus our two seventh rds the talk would have been very
      different around here and would have focused,on the above mentioned. NOT TOO MENTION WHAT IT DOES OR SAN FRAN PICK 29,31,34TH PICK OF THE DRAFT so with out further ado: if the patriots were too trade their 1st rd pick to say san fran we could get the following picks from san fran 61,74,and 93rd That would give us the 59th 61st 74th 91st and 93 rd pick plus our two seventh rounders. the points work out exactly right on 640 points

      with a little bit of luck for boston we could wind up with the following picks

      59th terrance williams w/r
      good straight line speed, along with slater on the other side in a five wide every body knows how to run a go route just their presences on the field will keep c/bs
      honest allowing gronk hern amodela to work the middle of the field where they have the advantage and maybe you have lighting in a bottle: needs to get stronger and smarter in a hurry,and have a very good camp to make the 53 man starting roster.

      61st jamie collins olb
      good hands good rusher good speed
      but needs work. will atleast push everybody else at l/b
      special teams pass rush,(AND ” ” SPIKES REPLACEMENT IF HE HITS FREE AGENCY NEXT YEAR)

      74th john jenkins (hopefully) some help for vince to be able to pressure up the middle .if not brandon williams d/t play around
      and get a fifth rd pick

      91st david bakhtiari o/t camp fodder to begin with but
      maybe some body with some real potenial dante school
      one way or the other

      93rd lavar edwards d/e i like this kids height and weight
      kinda like reminds me of ty warren bequette better work his butt off and make a 2nd year leap

      kwame geathers d/t 6’6 342 that would give the patriots 1000 lbs of a 3/4 front to collapse the pocket on 3rd
      downs and still allow them to go to a 4/3 their is alot
      of talent and bloodlines,GEATHERS and if memory serves me right
      bill coached his dad in cleveland. glad to see bill redoing the d/l

      sam brenner o/g another one too push the starters and the
      dante school

      please find a way to get kenny stills one of the bigger
      w/r and is 7th fastest w/r in the draft for mallet or a 3rd rd hopefully 4th rd next yr.

      for me this would be a very good draft for the patriots

      • Nuf Ced says:

        That’s fine and all but what player will be available at 29 that the 49ers feel so motivated to make that move?

        That’s the problem with these scenarios, the dance partner must have some reason to dance with other than you’re available. If the 49ers don’t see something at 29 they covet or have a bunch of prospects clustered together with similar grade still on the board there is no incentive for them to do anything

  6. cc says:

    PLENTY of holes 2 fill WITHOUT “pre” injury ridden/prone prospects, Period.
    I’ll give you Big-Vince, but even A-Hern & Gronk & the rest are always unavailable and sub-par due 2 durability issues-Hence NO NEW SB WIN FOR MULTIPLE YEARS.

    • Michael says:

      It;s a bit unfair to simplify it to that extent. They do win 12+ games every year and there are about 28 other fan-bases that would kill for that. Even with injuries, are you saying you wish they had not drafted Gronk and Hernandez? Come on man!

      • cc says:

        No, not what I’m saying. I’m a huge A-Hern fan & as long as Rob Gronk gets reeled in, I’m sure they’ll go down in Boston/ New England as 1 of the 2 best set’s of twins so2speak the region has ever seen.
        The Wonder Twins….(Gronk & A-Hern),
        The Toxic Twins….( S. Tyler and J.Perry), its all good. I say we just don’t continue to fill the roster with pre-injury having waste-O-times.
        Ras-I Dowling…….
        Taylor Price. ……..& Far many, many more to list.
        The ratio of works & doesn’t work out is rather staggering if you were HONEST and looked at it. Never mind the the veteran Re-Tread list of injury hopefull whooh’s.

        ………….Would you add up for me the time missed between just A-Hern & Gronk alone as specific & special they are & Oh by the way, one’s currently ready for Shoulder Surgery……. hows that gonna go in regards to getting him involved in the Wide Out game? & the other “Meat-Head”……lord only knows How much more????

        THIS TEAM NEEDS NO MORE INJURY CASES!

  7. Michael says:

    I’d be over the moon if we got D.J. Hayden. Talib will be hard to resign next year and Hayden is a future Pro-Bowler. The man is a stud.

    • cc says:

      Sorry bud, but historicaly it just doesn’t work here. Drafting injury riddled prospects like Dowling, only 2 bring in a troubled issue & injury prone AqibTalib, only 2 draft an injury riddled prospect……again? & this is just 1 (CB) spot- WTF!

      ***Some people need help with addictions…….
      Crack& alcoholism are 2 quick examples. Will someone please get Bill Belichick some help with his addiction 2 unimpressive, trouble ridden & injury prone D-Backs!!!!? PLEASE!

      • Nuf Ced says:

        Haden’s injury was a freak collision injury most people due from… It’s not like he spent some part of every season in the training room.

    • mjp says:

      I agree, some guys just look natural on tape and Hayden fits the bill. Fluid with great instincts, breaks on the ball well, good recovery speed and top-end speed, ball hawk potential, absolutely worth the risk.

      Ironically enough Carradine is my ideal choice at DE, I’d take him over Ansah and Mingo in a heartbeat, the previous has no pass-rush (not even half the prospect JPP was) and he has issues when he can’t man handle blockers. Mingo is an athlete who put it on cruise control and didn’t produce on a stacked team….he’s 230lbs at best and could just as easily be a finesse situational pass-rusher as an impact OLB.

      Carradine is arguably the most complete DE in this draft, underrated athlete in space, good anchor but could benefit from shedding more blocks but he has good functional strength. His pass-rush is developed enough that his one patented move isn’t the only thing he can win with, at 6’4” 275lbs with long arms and strong hands, and a 4.7 with a motor, sign me up, even for a trade up scenario.

      • McTash says:

        Carradine has been my man for at least the past 6 weeks though in this draft I would not move up in this draft but let him come to us as BB is wont to do. Too much depth and we lack the ammunition to move up as a1 and 7 would not do it and a 1 and 3 would be too much.

        • Trevor M. says:

          I would take Hayden over Tank at 29 those are the two to choose from.

          The FA market next year will be similar to this years: prices will be down. However, the Jets are projected to have $50M and Raiders $60M+ to spend so I’m sure they’ll overspend (GM’s wanna keep their jobs.) Talib could walk with a overpaid offer and Hayden would secure his spot.

          If Hayden is gone, maybe take a WR.






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