2015 NFL Draft: Reactions and Predictions

Did the Patriots get a steal with Malcom Brown with the last pick of the 1st round?

Did the Patriots get a steal with Malcom Brown with the last pick of the 1st round?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Well, the first round of the 2015 NFL draft has come and gone.  The round actually went really quick with a lot less fanfare than most of us were expecting.  Leading up to last night, we had heard all the rumors about teams wanting to trade up or down and we were so sure the draft was going to hinge on who traded up for Marcus Mariota.  As expected, there was a big run on offensive lineman, wide receivers and cornerbacks.  We saw not one, but two runningbacks drafted after a two year hiatus from the first round.  The biggest intrigue may have happened at the very end of the round when the Patriots opted out of a trade with the Texans because a big time player fell into their laps. Here are my thoughts on Malcom Brown and what we might see happen tonight.

By now, most of you have read several articles on the newest Patriot and to no one’s surprise they are all very positive, and for good reason.  The mainstream draft experts had Brown ranked as high as 12th and I did not see him any lower than 20th.  Rumors are leaking out that the Bear’s were considering taking Brown with the 7th pick and there are other reports that he was considered at several other spots throughout the teens and twenties.  I for one did not think the Patriots would have a chance at getting him.  I thought the lowest he would go was 23 to the Lions and when they traded down and passed on him again, I was shocked.  The next logical spot was Indianapolis as he would have filled a huge need and fit their scheme well.  When they passed, reality started to set in that Brown was a real possibility.

At this time, there were rumors flying that the Patriots had already traded out or had agreed to trade out with the Texans.  Things have cleared up a little this morning and it sounds like a deal was in place but when Brown fell into the Patriots lap, they decided to take the player instead of the picks.

Now onto Brown. If you read my report from earlier this week, I had Brown ranked as my #8 overall player for the Patriots and had given him a first round grade.  What I like about him is his combination of size and athleticism.  He has a wide base that can anchor and hold up against the run, but he has the athleticism and burst to be disruptive from the interior line.  He gives the Patriots the best of both worlds in that respect. Guys like Goldman, Garrett, and Hardison excel at one aspect but struggle with the other.  Brown needs some work with his hand use and can play high at times, but he played a ton of snaps and he was productive as a pass rusher and a run defender.  Brown should be able to come in and contribute right away and he has the work ethic to continue to improve his game.  It is very similar to when the Patriots got Vince Wilfork all those years back and hopefully the Patriots have the same type of success with Brown as they did with Wilfork.

Now, as we move on to rounds 2 and 3 today, what could/should the Patriots do?  I think the Patriots could be active today.  I could see them trading up to target a specific player that they might have been considering last night when they were thinking of trading down.  The positions that I think they should focus on are Guard, Corner, Running Back, or go best player available again.  After looking over my big board here is what is left and who might be good options for the Patriots.

Round 2 Targets (number in parenthesis is my overall rank):

(4) Owamagbe Odighizuwa, DE: I think I have made it clear my love fest for Diggy and how I think he could be a great fit on this team. Need is not huge here so he may not be on the Patriots radar, but he is certainly on mine.

(6) T.J. Clemmings, OL: Another player I am bullish on. I think he could come in and be a great guard for the Patriots with the potential to move out to tackle if or when the need arises.

(9) Danielle Hunter, DE: A guy I am higher on than most and another player who is not a huge need, but he is a physical freak that may have his best years ahead of him. I see Chandler Jones with higher upside

(10) A.J. Cann, OG: Cann could come in right away and start at LG and be an upgrade from last year.  Sneaky athletic with a good base and power.

(13) Landon Collins, SS:  In the box safety with higher upside than Chung.

(15) Eric Rowe, CB/S: Rowe is an aggressive corner with good size. May not be a true #1 corner, but could be a similar player to Brandon Browner with better speed.

(21) Jake Fisher, OL: Another athletic offensive line who can play both guard and tackle.

(22) Jalen Collins, CB: Big, fast, and athletic corner. Lacks experience but size and potential are intriguing

(23) Quinten Rollins, CB: Another player with little experience but showed good fundamentals and instincts and like his potential.

(24) Benardrick McKinney, ILB: Intriguing size and speed for the position

(25) Nate Orchard, Edge: A pass rusher with good size and athleticism.  He has some scheme versatility.

(26) Jalen Strong, WR: Could be the bigger WR to play on the outside. Good hands and body control with good timed speed.

Round 3 Targets:

(27) Justin Hardy, WR

(35) Jaquiski Tartt, SS
(36) Duke Johnson, RB
(37) Tevin Coleman, RB
(38) Ameer Abdullah, RB
(39) Ali Marpet, OG
(40) Preston Smith, DE
(41) Ronald Darby, CB
(42) P.J. Williams, CB
(43) Paul Dawson, LB
(44) Tre McBride, WR
(45) Kwon Alexander, LB

(48) Donovan Smith, OT


Needless to say, there is some good talent still on the board.



49 Responses to “2015 NFL Draft: Reactions and Predictions”

  1. hdpaulie says:

    Richards and Grissom ? Somebody please help me make sense of this. Clemmings, Cann, and Jackson all there at 64 and Jackson and Clemmings there at 96. No protection for TB in a year when needs meet draft position, and all 3 AFCE rivals have loaded up to come after TB. If BB doesn’t pull something out of his ass we’ll be seeing JG a lot sooner than expected.

  2. MM-II says:


  3. Ryan says:

    Some good-looking options available ahead of our 2nd-rounder. 7 of my original 12 (including Darby) for the round are still there with 3 picks ahead of us. Looks like round 1 won’t be the only round with some value for us.

    T.J. Clemmings
    Owamagbe Odighizuwa
    A.J. Cann
    Eli Harold
    Quinten Rollins
    Danielle Hunter
    D’Joun Smith

  4. Kevan says:

    As far as RB I really like David Johnson.

    • MM-II says:

      Me, too.

      Same size as Gurley, more athletic than all the other backs at this level except Coleman and Abdullah (Johnson is bigger than both), decent enough fumble rate (once/78 touches), best reception/game rate (2.8).

  5. Billy O says:

    Patriots will snag Ameer Abullah, guaranteed.

    Lol I don’t know what I’m talking about but he is my ideal choice at 64. Trading up in the third for a falling developmental corner like Quinten Rollins would be icing on the cake, as would grabbing an interior offensive lineman like Mitch Morse with the 97.

    I am so happy with the Malcom Brown pick. He was #1 on my patriots big board in the ENTIRE DRAFT. Wootwoot!

  6. Russell says:

    I think you will see the Patriots grab, one of these prospects in the second round: Eli Harold, Loranzo Mauldin, Eric Rowe, or Ali Marpet.

    • acm says:

      Outside of Mauldin (3-4 rnd grade imo), I can see that happen. Harold at 64 would be very good value pick but I have tough time seeing him fall that far and don’t think Pats trade up for him.
      Jake Fisher, as much as I like him for the Pats, I also don’t see falling deep enough for them to even be able to trade up either.

      • MM-II says:

        Yeah, I think that Pats practical limit for a trade up is probably around #51/#52, which would require the #64 + #96. Any higher would require three picks. Adding in the #101 could get them up to #42, but that feels pretty extreme, even for the best guys still available, and it wouldn’t leave the Pats with much – assuming that the idea is to come out of the draft with at least two more solid players/potential starters.

        Lotta folks’ binkys could come off the board in the 18 picks from #33 through #50. Might not be enough left to even trade up to #51 for.

        • acm says:

          yup. The thing, top two picks today – Titans and Bucs – just picked themselves new shiny QBs and both teams sport two of the worst OL-ines in football. I wouldn’t bet a cent even against Fisher and Clemmings/Cann being off the board by pick 35.
          I know BPA this and that but the OL class seems to be thinning down pretty quickly, so it would make sense if they made an exception to help ease the pressure off their rookie QBs.
          Time will tell but I don’t have a good feeling about Cann or even Clemmings falling far enough (already written off Fisher).

        • Ryan says:

          Looks like you missed a good betting opportunity.

  7. Ryan says:

    I saw Brown falling to us as about a 10% chance. I knew experts had marked him higher but when I looked at how team needs would shape picks I thought it possible for him to fall to us. Still, it was amazing to wake up this morning and see that Brown had joined the Pats.

    As for the 2nd Round, here’s who I like in order:

    T.J. Clemmings
    Owamagbe Odighizuwa
    Eric Rowe
    A.J. Cann
    Jake Fisher
    Eli Harold
    Quinten Rollins
    Nate Orchard
    Danielle Hunter
    D’Joun Smith
    Ha’uoli Kikaha

    Unless we are able to grab Clemmings, Cann, or Fisher I think that it would be wise to opt for a pass-rusher or cornerback in round 2 based on depth in those positions in round 2 and depth in interior lineman in round 3. At any rate, I am hoping for an interior lineman, pass rusher, and cornerback by the end of the day, unless we trade a third away to move up for someone.

    Because Jaelen Strong will almost certainly be out of our reach and Nelson Agholor is long gone, I have no enthusiasm for drafting receivers in round 2. Round 3 should be much more conducive to drafting a receiver, however.

    • acm says:

      OL Clemmings seems to be falling due to injury concerns – stress fracture in his foot. Those can lasting injuries and especially concerning for a 300+ lbs guy. Not sure Pats would be willing to there needing an immediate contributor on OL, hence why I’ve dropped him off my Pats board altogether.

      • Ryan says:

        Clemmings said it has caused him no pain and he has never had to rehab it. It might be a problem, but it might not. I understand why teams passed on him in round 1, but I think he’s very worth it at 64 because of his tremendous upside.

      • Russell says:

        I heard this about Clemmings foot as well, geat prospect but, ahealthy prospect like Marpet looks better IMO.

        • Ryan says:

          All things considered, Marpet is a D-III prospect and will likely face a steeper learning curve than most D-I prospects. He showed very well at cross-division events but I would still prefer Fisher, Clemmings, or Cann any day because of their valuable experience. I would place him directly after those three, but I’m not sure that I would opt for Marpet over certain pass-rushers or cornerbacks named above.

    • Ryan says:

      Forgot CB Darby, who belongs between Orchard and Hunter, IMO. Also, Landon Collins is definitely worth something but it’s hard to gauge what. A true wildcard.

  8. Mark M says:

    I think OG is the top priority here and both Cann and Marpet are going before #60. That means a trade up of #64 + 101 to get to #54. Cann is plug and play, Marpet has more upside. With 96 & 97 I’d take RB Buck Allen and CB Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. Redshirt Ekpre-Olomu. Love Allen’s pass catching ability. At 129 Take the versatile Tony Lippett WR/CB, trade up and grab Shaq Mason for OL depth (177 & 219) leaving 253 for either Deon Simon DT or Parry DT

  9. KNOWLEDGE says:

    I like D’Joud Smith or PJ Williams at #64, I also think you will see both a WR and RB get drafted tonight. I like Devin Funchess or Rashad Greene in the 3rd. I feel there is a big need at RB. I don’t like any on the roster as legit starting RB’s, they are all just journeyman backups. We need a thoroughbred! I love Tevin Coleman, Duke Johnson and TJ Yeldon. As far as offensive line goes, I think Mitch Morse, Tre Jackson and Kouandjio are all solid and I think at least one of them will be there in the 3rd or at #101

    • MM-II says:

      Man, I do NOT like Funchess. He just seems like a low-effort guy to me, especially about blocking.

  10. Dan Sullivan says:

    Mock Draft for the remaining rounds of Patriots Draft.
    2 Trade for 3rd and 4th round selections.
    3 Arie Kouandjio G Alabama
    3 Denzyl Perryman ILB Miami
    3 Doran Grant CB Ohio State
    4 David Cobb RB Minnesota
    4 Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame
    4 Zach Hodges OLB Harvard
    6 Traded for 4th round pick in 2016
    7 Martin Ifedi DE Memphis
    7 J.R. Tavai OLB USC

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    I believe the Pats should stay put at pick#64, the reason i would stay is based on past draft history, teams are going for players off their boards, not Mike Mayocks,Todd McShays or Mel Kipers board, also the players seen at pro days that weren’t at the Combine or scouting bowls that we haven’t seen. The 2nd round gets loopy sometimes based on how the GM and player personel mgr. views a particular or targeted player. I didn’t expect to see Clemson’s Stephone Anthony that soon off the board in the 1st and neither did some other teams. If we’re targeting a player, then go for it, if not stay put.

    • MM-II says:

      Agree wholeheartedly about not taking the TV analysts’ projections too seriously. I actually had both Randall and Anthony on my own board as guys the Pats might have to take at #32 if they wanted them. But, then, I also had Brown going as high as #7 and not lasting past #29. So, there ya go.

  12. otisorgans says:

    Do you roll the dice on La’el Collins? Could they find out what involvement if any he had in the situation. I realize we just went through this with the “player whose name we do not mention”, but if they can find out he had no involvement this guy is a top half of the first round pick.


    • acm says:

      IMO, no, you don’t. Until he is explicitly cleared, which will take some time, I think OL Collins is virtually undraftable, in any round.

    • MM-II says:

      Not sure how one team could find out that Collins is completely in the clear (with a written statement to that effect from the relevant LEO and Prosecutor) without another team finding out at pretty much the same time. His innocence (IF he’s innocent) would more likely be revealed in a public statement.

      If that happens during the draft, I’d pretty much expect whatever team is on the clock to take him. If it happens after the draft, Collins’ agent’s phone(s) will start ringing off the hook instantly.

      Until that statement is made, though, I very much doubt that any team would take the gamble. If it turns out that Collins actually is complicit in some way (even if he didn’t pull the trigger personally), the PR/endorsement/sponsorship hit to a franchise that spent even a 7th-rounder on him could cost tens of millions of $$.

      • Michael says:

        At this point, his FA has already been accelerated for one year and if he goes UDFA the Patriots would be a logical destination. Could play either guard or tackle spot.

  13. Russell says:

    I’m not sure the “cost” of trading up in the second is worth it. IMO trading up in the 3d looks more likely.

    • acm says:

      I think they’d trade up in the 2nd only if someone starts falling that is, I don’t to see them moving up into the top 45 or even 50 players. My guess is, they tarde up in the 2nd only to target a specific OL or CB, no other position.
      Cost of trading up in the 1st didn’t seem too prohibitive, so moving up in the 2nd might turn out to be cheaper than we think.

      • MM-II says:

        I ran the numbers on the two 1st-round trades using the average value for a 5th rounder to represent the 2016 picks that were forked over and both deals came out to within about 4% of equal value based on the SVC (the SDG-SFO deal was about 1.5% from being dead equal).

        Excluding the “crazy-town” trades involving the Top 5 spots, over 90% of all pick-for-pick trades over the past 20 drafts have balanced out within about 5% of SVC. I know some folks believe it’s outdated, but the SVC really does accurately reflect how teams have valued picks for trades since well before Jimmie Johnson’s geeks developed “The Chart” and it continues to be a very good guide.

        • acm says:

          I think you may be taking the SVC a bit too religiously. I like to see it as more of a guideline than a rule of thumb as it doesn’t account for circumstances specific to one, or even both, partners involved in a given trade. Furthermore, it doesn’t reflect the circumstances of a specific draft (class) as a whole – some years it’s worth more to stay put, move up, move down than others, etc.

        • MM-II says:

          Not sure what you mean by ME “taking it too religiously.”

          All I’m saying here is that I’ve run the numbers on pretty much every draft day trade since 1995 (credit adamJT for his historical research of the first 10 years or so of that period). Outside of the often redunkulous deals made involving pick #1 – #5, literally >90% of all pick-for-picks trades come out within 5% of being equal points. Over half come within 2%.

          That’s over the course of 20 drafts, each of which has presented different conditions, quality of classes, casts of shot-callers, etc.

          That’s fact, not my belief.

          So, I guess I’m merely reporting that the teams take the SVC pretty religiously.

        • MM-II says:

          Case in point: the Giants just traded #40 + #108 + #245 (579) for #33 (580).

    • MM-II says:

      Seems to me like there’s only a couple-three truly potential “instant starters” among DBs left, all of whom seem likely to be gone by #51. OTOH, Campbell or Tartt or PJ Williams might be relatively decent value toward the END of the 2nd and could also be in play there. The #64 + #131 would probably get the Pats up to #60 (Dallas) with a 7th coming back as “change”.

      Instant starters at OG may well still be available in the 3rd.

      Not sure that DE/OLB is big enough need or offers enough talent to trade up for rather than wait and catch an additional developmental prospect later.

      At ILB, I’m not sure that McKinney offers all that much more than the Pats might get out of guys like Tull, Taiwan Jones, etc.

      Instant rookie starter at WR? For the Pats? Mythical creature, I’d think.

      Instant rookie starter at RB? Heck, for all we know, Zach Zenner or MalCOLM Brown could do that as well as anyone available in the 2nd. (and Fears isn’t taking my calls, sooo…).

      OTOH, a big, tough, capable LT who could start at LG for 2015 might be worth a trade up.

      Long way of saying tha I pretty much agree.

      • Michael says:

        If the Patriots take Malcolm Brown, that would make this draft one of the best in terms of trolling the fan base.

  14. J H TARBORO says:

    Patriots monster building 101, my 2nd round choice would be FSU’s Mario Edwards jr. Pair him up with Dom Easley and Malcolm Brown and they would reek havoc in the AFC and the division, just sayin!

    • Dylan says:

      If the kid ever got his act together he would be an absolute beast. Prototypical size.

  15. Michael says:

    So many good prospects left. They might not ever be anywhere close to elite, but there are a lot of serviceable starters left in the draft. If a player falls into the late 40s/early 50s, I could see BB packaging 96 and a 4th to get his guy. From my math, 64+96+101=41 (Trade Calc + 2013 Trade with Vikings) and 64+96+131=51

    • MM-II says:

      Your second trade calculation may be a bit off. Total SVC for your three-pick offer would be 427 = #48 (roughly). The #64 + #96 by themselves could be enough to get to #51.

      “Limited roster spots” notwithstanding, I think the Pats would have to really, REALLY like the guy to make a three-for-one trade to go up for him. I’m talking “instant starter” at a position of need who’d not only be a significant upgrade over anyone else they have on the roster at that position, but also significantly better (long term as well as short-term) than anyone left on the board at almost any position – AND likely to surpass any prospect at the position who they think might be available to them in the 2016 draft.

      • Michael says:

        I realized my calculations were off when I thought about it. Those three picks probably get the Patriots to around 46, not 51.

  16. Jeff says:

    I think the Pats are in good shape here in the 2nd. They have the ammo to trade up for a guy they see as a cut above the rest, but they should be able to fill their biggest hole right now (guard) with a good player if they stay put as well. Though guard and corner are the big needs, and the Pats would be fine without selecting a single defensive end in this draft, the depth of the draft at the position with guys like Gregory, Odighizuwa, Hunter, and Orchard available in the second, I could see the Pats viewing grabbing one of those guys as essentially the same value as trading a second for a first next season. Take a look at some of the pass-rushers and edge players that have gone at the end of the first in recent years… I think some of these guys compare favorably. If you end up with a weak edge class next draft, then you’re looking at having to re-sign Nink or Sheard to avoid starting a rookie instead of being able to transition smoothly at an important position. As for a buzz-worthy surprise… how about Bill trading up for Jaelen Strong?

  17. Brian says:

    Why so down on the FSU corners? I figured they would be of the board by 64, but I am hoping for one of them.. maybe even trade up for either, or Jalen Collins

  18. Russell says:

    I would like to see Eli Harold fall to the Patriots, but think Loranzo Mauldin is more likely at #64. Also watching B.J.Finney, Josh Shaw , Davis Tull, and Kenny Bell in the 3d early 4th.

  19. Brian says:

    Good list mike. Still lots of talent available in day two. I agree with owa and hunter. Really like them both as players but they may be too much of a luxury pick this year. If we could snag Fischer, Clemmings or Cann this round I’d be quite pleased.

    I like Jalen Collins as a prospect but don’t see him as a target for the pats. The reportedly failed drug tests might scare off some GM’s including BB. I think we are more likely to grab Ifo Ekpre in the 3rd or 4th and slowly work him in.

  20. AM says:

    I love Cann–might take a little bit of a trade-up, but worth it.

    Not a fan of Eli Harold?

  21. Dylan says:

    I’m really bullish on Kwon Alexander, would make for excellent LB depth and eventual mayo replacement.

    • acm says:

      Personally, I’d be a bit surprised if he were ranked high on Pats board at LB position.

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