Building The Big Board: Quarterbacks

Will the Patriots draft a Quarterback? If so, how high?

Will the Patriots draft a Quarterback? If so, how high?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We are exactly one month from the start of the 2016 NFL draft. That means it is time to start putting together my Patriots big board. This exercise helps me get a feel for where the Patriots might be able to find value and what positions they may have to target early if they want to get a player to fill an immediate need. I like to break this process down position by position, creating the horizontal board first and then going back and creating the vertical board from there. Today, we start with the most important position on the football field, the Quarterback position.

We all know that Bill Belichick and the Patriots do things differently than the rest of the NFL. They are one of the few teams who do not subscribe to one of the two national scouting services and by looking at some of their picks over the years they have a different criteria for what they look for in players. Several years ago, someone wrote an article (I apologize for not remembering who it was exactly) that the Patriots typically have only about 75 players on their big board. If you have ever done a big board, you know that narrowing it down to just 75 players is extremely difficult. Typically, teams will have at least double or even triple that amount. Last year, I narrowed my board down to 118 draftable players. On that board, I had 7 of the Patriots picks (Malcom Brown, Tre Jackson, Geneo Grissom, Trey Flower, and Shaq Mason.Xzavier Dixon and Joe Cardona I gave UDFA grades). Once again this year I will try to create my board adhering to the 75 player premise. I most likely will go over, but if I can replicate last years success, I will be happy.

Position: QB

Priority: Low to Medium Low

Current Roster:

Tom Brady (age 38, signed through 2019)

Jimmy Garappolo (age 24, signed through 2018)

Position Overview:

Quarterback is an interesting position to prioritize. On one hand, the team has arguably the greatest Quarterback to ever play the game locked up through the 2019 season. On the other hand, Brady will be 39 when this season starts and may have to sit the first four games of the season because of the sham that is “Deflategate. ” That leaves the team with former 2nd round pick and unproven backup Jimmy Garappolo. With Brady being here for the foreseeable future, Garappolo could become interesting trade bait this year or more likely next year, meaning the team will need to think about bringing in someone to groom for the long term. I don’t see the Patriots using another high pick on a QB like they did a few years ago when they selected Jimmy G in the 2nd round, but with all those 6th round picks, I could see the team bringing in a guy to develop.

Quarterbacks with a draftable grade:

Brandon Allen-Arkansas (6’1″, 217 Lbs): I am a big fan of Brandon Allen. I know he does not have prototypical size, but I like how he had command of Arkansas pro style offense. He showed improvement as a player year to year and even within this past season. He throws with anticipation and accuracy. He has above average arm strength and showed that he can make all the throws necessary to make it in the NFL. He was a team captain and his leadership showed up on the field. He may never be a full season starter, but could be a successful back up who could win a team some games if need be. (6th round grade)

Kevin Hogan-Stanford (6’3″, 218 Lbs): Coming from another school that runs a pro style offense, Hogan has the size and intelligence to come in and be a back up right away. Hogan is a fiery competitor with a good combination of accuracy and arm strength. He has a funky delivery. That has improved but he will need to continue to develop a better throwing motion. Hogan is sneaky athletic and can make plays with his feet. He needs to work on reading defenses and working through his progressions. (6th/7th round grade)

Interesting UDFA options:

Nate Sudfield-Indiana (6’6″, 234 Lbs): Has size and arm strength, needs to develop footwork and accuracy.

Josh Woodrum-Liberty (6’3″, 231 Lbs): Decent size, throws with anticipation and accuracy. Small school product that needs time to develop but very intriguing.

Kyle Washington-Angelo St. (6’5″, 216 Lbs): Good pocket awareness and accuracy in the short/intermediate game. Must develop arm strength and overall strength. Long term developmental project.

Blake Fronhapel-Umass (6’5″, 230 Lbs): Good combination of size, accuracy, and anticipation. Needs to develop arm strength.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

94 Responses to “Building The Big Board: Quarterbacks”

  1. John says:

    A name to remember is Jaylon Smith. Fourth best player in the whole draft may slip out of the first round because of a knee injury. If he slips into the middle of the second we should trade up to grab him. Because of the strength of our roster, we can take a chance on this guy.

    • steve earle says:

      With all due respect John but maybe you didn’t read the whole story regarding Smith’s knee. There is nerve damage there that may prevent him from ever playing football again. Trading both 2nds to move up for him would be irresponsable and reckless imo. If you had said take a risk on him further down in the draft I could understand that thought.

  2. Mike Gerken says:

    UPDATE:
    I had every intention of getting a couple of other big board positions out last week but had some computer issues leaving it out of commission until this morning. I will be putting out a few positions in the next couple of days and one coming in the next couple of hours.

  3. Russell says:

    My article last month at footballnation.com projecting the Chandler jones trade, just went over 10,000 readers!! WaHoo…

  4. Ugo says:

    Mike, what do you think about UCLA OLB Aaron Wallace. Looks like a draft steal to me. 6’3″ 240 lbs. Ran a 4.57 40 yds, benched 225 25 reps, 36 in vertical, 7.35 3 cone, and a 10’10” broad jump. Looks like he got lost or forgotten about in the crowded and very talented LB corps at UCLA with Eric Hendricks and most recently Myles Jack. Stepped in very well for Jack this year when he went down with injury. Exactly want you want a possible depth option be able to do, be ready to step and seize their opportunity whenever it presents itself. Also, have the athleticism to play special teams until that opportunity arises.

    • Russell says:

      I like Wallace and had him in my mock draft late, very underrated!! Scouts think he goes undrafted ??? What’s wrong with these scouts?? Wallace looks 6th round to me.

      • steve earle says:

        Agree with you on this easly Russel. Also you hit the nail on the head when you ask “what’s wrong with these scouts?” So often we have seen prospects touted as “the best, can’t miss, solid” or what not then they can’t brake the starting lineups. The other side of that coin is we see guys like Aaron Wallace that get zero for ratings and actually look to be boarder line starters and likely really good backup/sp.teams guys. Are these scouts playing follow the leader or what?

        • Russell says:

          Well it’s my experience that a scout can only be really good evaluating one or two positions. And it’s easy to follow the “leader” when “he” says I see talent/skills. Watching tape is key, but so is work-out habits, off the field actions, leadership, personnel development, and motivation.
          In Wallace’s case he is over looked because of other players at UCLA . He is a quality player with the skills to be successful. A real value prospect with a high up-side.
          Miles Jack is a quality prospect as well for sure, BUT the “up-side ” is already in play and IMO limited…….

      • steve earle says:

        Your reply makes sense and I’d like to see Bill take this kid somewhere on day 3 my problem is there are just so many day three guys I’d like to have brought in we just don’t have nearly enough picks to do it. Just greedy I guess.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Lots of good responses on Wallace. He makes my big board as a late round guy, so I will have a better write up on him coming soon.

  5. EdgeX says:

    Just thought I’d share:

    Posted on Twitter by Alissa Chandler (Scott Chandler’s wife) that Scott Chandler just went through knee surgery and will be out for the rest of the year to recover – also posting that his football career is most likely over.

    Ouch…Well, that, explains a lot.

    • steve earle says:

      Really, has that been confirmed? If true that stinks, but if true Mike Gerken is dancing his dream of us drafting Tyler Higbee is alive and well.

  6. Matt says:

    2(60) William Jackson III CB
    2(61) Chris Jones DT
    3(91) Joe Haeg OT
    3(96) Davonte Booker RB
    6(196) DJ White CB
    6(204) Nick Kwiatkowski LB
    6(208) Devon Cajuste WR/TE
    6(214) Kevin Hogan QB
    6(221) Mike Thomas WR
    7(243) Willie Beavers OT
    7(250) Keenan Reynolds RB/WR

  7. Kevan says:

    Belicheck has been surgical this off season, if knighton is motivated and in shape, its been reported he is, he will be worth every penny. Pats have really cleaned some things up. If the draft goes good I think 2016 will be BBs masterpiece.

  8. steve earle says:

    Chung extended one year says report. Hey Russell any cap space created by this move?

  9. GM-in-Training says:

    Pats Sign Peyton Manning to 1-year contract at veteran minimum! Cut All-pro Slater to create cap space. Peyton seeking 1 more chance at a rodeo. BB says veteran presence is good for the younger plays and it will, “create competition on the 90-man roster…we’ll see how it turns out.” Who would’ve believed it?!?

  10. Russell says:

    Patriots Salary cap now in the red ($-36,883) Amendola and Cannon likely restructure, could be traded in the future.

    • Kevan says:

      Before knighton and Chung it was around 8.9 right, 4.4 after knighton. Did chungs extension cost that much?

      • Russell says:

        Chung’s deal was 5.4 mil.

        • Kevan says:

          Some of that will be bonus money and prorated too right? I could be wrong but I didn’t think the 5.4 in new money was tacked on to just this years cap hit.

    • steve earle says:

      It looks to me as though the pressure is now on to do something about the Amendola and Cannon contracts. Amendola is grossly over paid as a backup slot receiver but we must have one. Just not sure it has to be a small quick Edelman type it could be Clay Harbor BB has in mind as a matchup possesion guy, I don’t know. It will be interesting to see what happens now and how Bill works around this.

    • Jeff says:

      Hard to be very excited about Knighton – I wish the Pats would have instead used that money to extend their young defenders. There was a common belief that the top offseason priority was to extend the young stars on the team. At this point, even if you cut Cannon and Amendola, the Pats didn’t save a lot of cap space to lessen the cap hits in future years of extensions. We’ll see how it works out, but the Pats have a lot of key pieces scheduled to hit free agency next year.

      • steve earle says:

        Very true Jeff still we did need a DT once Hicks moved on and that is only for one year. I’ll be surprised if Bill doesn’t draft another DT too probably later down who needs work but can move up when Knighington leaves. Cutting Amendola only saves about 1 mil according to Russell and Cannon even less. It stands to reason more space will need to be made to pay the draft prospects he drafts. Can not even guess how that will go?

        • Jeff says:

          According to Sportrac, cutting Amendola would save ~$4 million, and Cannon would be over $3 million in savings.

      • steve earle says:

        I like 7 mil in savings. Bill should try to trade them 1st but 7 mil isn’t to bad plus I expect help in the draft in those areas. That kid, Jakeem Grant, with a 6th could be a good backup for Edelman and someone like Jerard Hawkins could take the swing OT place of Cannon.

    • acm says:

      That’s not even close to being true. April fools joke?

  11. Ryan says:

    Trevon Coley flew a little bit under the radar at FAU’s pro day because of Moritz Böhringer (I propose he be nicknamed “The Red Baron”), but supposedly he had a very good day. He’s over 300 pounds and he’s agile from the DT spot. I hope the Pats give him a look in the sixth round.

  12. Russell says:

    Patriots to sign DT Knighton 1 yr. deal……

    • Russell says:

      Knighton’s deal seems kind of high at 4.5 mil. for one year?????

      • Ryan says:

        I doubt that very much of it is in guaranteed money.

        • GM-in-Training says:

          We’ll probably find out tomorrow what the terms are. My hope is that the Pats gave him a way to make slightly more than last year, but it’s full of workout, roster, game day active and performance incentives, with only token guaranteed money. It’s a one-year contract, so that should keep him hungry as well. Guys like him need a lot of emotion to do what they do.

    • steve earle says:

      Another position of need filled. Bill is really going after it this year. Think maybe Goodall has “motovated” him? What ever has I like much of what I’m seeing.

  13. Russell says:

    Moritz Boehringer 6’4″+ 227 lbs. 4.41 40yd, 6.64 3-cone, 17 on the bench……….

    • GM-in-Training says:

      I watched Boehringer’s highlight reel. He’s a man amongst boys in that league. Wide open. Not a lot of contested catches. No press coverage. Nobody can keep up with him let alone catch him. He’s got a great second gear.

      However, he catches with his body a lot. Routes are…fuzzy. It’s hard to tell how well he’d do against stronger, faster, smarter DBs.

      It would be fun to find out, though.

      • steve earle says:

        It would be fun but maybe I’m skeptial about a German football league but just can’t think it would match up against even most Div 2 collage teams here in the states. This kid doesn’t have just an uphill climb he has a mountain.

  14. Kevan says:

    Have y’all seen the pro day of this German WR? I hope when the pats make their annual reach they have this guys name on the card.

    • steve earle says:

      German WR ? Vas is los? Okay Kevan you have my attention, who are we talking about?
      Please note, my spell check doesn’t work on German, lol.

      • Todti says:

        Moritz Böhringer playing for the Schwäbisch Hall Unicorns.
        http://tinyurl.com/zk5zcrp

        • Todti says:

          http://tinyurl.com/juzgehb
          He’s so pale, he’s got to be German.

        • steve earle says:

          The swach—— Hall Unicorns? I’m really getting old. Someone please enlighten me. Is this a collage, CFL, semi pro or what? And hey, where the heck did you find this guy?

        • steve earle says:

          Probably from down in Barvaria, short rainy summers then lots of snow as I recall. Pretty girls though.

        • Todti says:

          Not Bavaria but it’s in th south of Germany, yes. They’ve won the southern German championships the last couple of years but always lost in the German Bowl, if I remember correctly. It’s probably low college level, maybe not even that. Maybe high school level with grown men.

    • Kevan says:

      Haha I didnt even try with the name. I eventually got hoomans down so this will be a new challenge, IF the pats sign him.

  15. GM-in-Training says:

    Looking at the Pat’s draft contacts list, I’m reminded that a lot of their pre-draft meetings are more about getting data for opposition research on players they expect to play against in the regular season. Also, they may track those players for years and grab them when they hit the open market down the road.

  16. Todti says:

    With the addition of Clay Harbor and Jeff Cumberland also working out for the Patriots, could they consider moving Michael Williams to OT? Maybe Develin is the one whose roster spot is in danger, but I just cannot imagine them cutting Williams or keeping more than 4 FB/TEs. I thought they really like him. He’s listed at 6’6” and 304 lbs, 25 lbs more than in College. On the other hand, his contract ends after this season.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I think my dream of Tyler Higbee being drafted by the Patriots is dying a slow death with these new additions at Tight End.

      • Todti says:

        I didn’t dare to mention it, but yeah. After last year’s draft I got the feeling that the Patriots just don’t seem keen on drafting TEs and I’m not sure whether that’s due to their roster-building strategy or the supply of talent. Derby, at the end of the 6th round, is their only drafted TE since Hernandez tore apart the other-worldy duo. They tried to solve the problem via FA and looking at the recent drafts, I’m not sure that’s the wrong idea. Apart from the 2013 super class – Good Lord. Eifert, Ertz, Kelce, Reed. – there’s not much production to show off, and even those 4 were gone midway through the 3rd round. It’s debatable whether the Patriots got any production out of the TEs not named Gronk – Hooman was a good blocker and they won a SB with him – but apart from Chandler they also didn’t invest a lot (He made $3.25m over two years which I think was worth the gamble.)

        • steve earle says:

          Your sure right about the lack of production from recent TE draft classes. Has to make me wonder what all those professional scouts touting these guys were seeing? Perhaps it’s the systems they are in but that begs the question why did teams draft these guys so high if their systems were not going to exploit their abilitys? I can only think there was far more hype there then talent.

      • Tim D says:

        I wanted Higbee too, but once Bennett doesn’t get re-signed and Harbor is released next offseason the Pats will have plenty of TE’s to choose from in the 2017 draft. If all expected prospects come out, next years TE class will be stacked compared to the last couple years. Especially this one.

        • carlo strada says:

          Yet wouldnt be bad at all start rising a TE up this year so you ll have serious competition next year.

          Gronk´s numbers werent world beaters also. If a serious name slips down considerably could be an option

        • carlo strada says:

          * Gronks number as a rook i meant

      • Gerry says:

        With all of these FA signings, the draft needs are changed. Edge/OLB/DE and CB tops my list at this point. One of the interesting features of this draft is the skill levels in day-1 and day-2 seem lower than recent drafts, but the early day-3 players are better and deeper than those drafts. This may be best seen in the 4th and 5th round OL options. Is it worth using a day-2 pick on an OL option, or trade that pick for selection options in the 4th and 5th rounds?

        Contract wise this is where NE drafted Garoppolo: two years left for Mallett. Nate Sudfield will get drafted in the 6th or 7th and he is a good project with great physical traits. Kevin Hogan is the better choice as far as what he needs to do to be an NFL starter. He already has better skills reading the D, and he has very good athletic skills to escape pressure. He will be drafted late 4th or in the 5th.

    • steve earle says:

      Intresting thought about moving Williams to OT he has the size, might take some adjustment but if anyone can do it scar is the one. He is used as a blocking TE now, against OLB’s usually, he would have to be abkle to take on bigger DE’s. Still a good thought.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      They like Williams as a jumbo TE, but I don’t know if anybody likes him as a Tackle. Detroit didn’t. Converted TE often make the most athletic OT, but the Pats like their OT to be 320# too.

      • steve earle says:

        Right, it’s the unknown part because it sure seems they like him. I’m wondering if the Harbor signing is really going to effect William’s role much as Clay is 40+lbs lighter. Todti may have been closer suggesting it could be Devlin and Harber that will be competing for that same roster spot?

  17. GM-in-Training says:

    What if the Pats did it like this?

    Trade picks 60, 61 & 243 to Jacksonville for 38 & 103
    38: Le’Raven Clark OT, Texas Tech
    91: Carl Nassib, DE, Penn State
    96: Cyrus Jones, CB, Alabama
    103: Leonte Caroo, WR, Rutgers
    196: Keith Marshall, RB, Georgia
    204: Trade for a veteran DT who just lost his spot to a draftee
    208: Dominique Robertson – OT, West Georgia
    214: Justin Simmons, FS, Boston College
    221: William Stanback, RB, UCF
    250: Trade for 2017 6th rounder

    What’s attractive to me about this scenario is that the Pats get a high-upside/high-floor OT early in the 2nd round, and high-ceiling/low-floor OT in the 6th. In Nassib they get a very productive DE (I don’t know if Grissom and Flowers are going to pan out). They get another CB who fits their profile. Later on they get a couple high-ceiling RB over 220# to take flyers on (one had injuries, the other was dismissed from the team). Justin Simmons could be another gunner. They use a couple picks for trades for a veteran and a future pick. Oh, and a guy from Rutgers because, it’s like a law or something.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      …and if they draft an OT high in the second, I think they try to trade away Cannon for another 5th rounder this year or a conditional pick next year.

      • Ryan says:

        I’m not a fan of Clark (especially not that early) and I don’t think Simmons will fall that far. Besides those two things, I really like this mock- I’m a big fan of Carroo, Nassib, Jones, and Marshall.

        • Mike Gerken says:

          I agree with Ryan on this one. Clark is way to big of a project for me to take on Day 2, let alone trade up for. I know he has rare physical traits, but his technique is a mess. If a team drafts him that early, they are going to expect him to contribute and I think he needs at least one year of just learning maybe more.

    • steve earle says:

      I would much rather Jerald Hawkins then Clark. Clark looked terrable at the Sr.Bowl, slow and stiff, was getting beat every snap. Besides I think we can get Hawkins without any big trade ups.

  18. Russell says:

    Mock with NO trades;

    2nd- DE Jonathan Bullard
    2nd- CB Cyrus Jones
    3d – S/CB Sean Davis
    3d – DT Maliek Collins

    6th- OT Ryker Mathews
    6th- LB Antwione Williams
    6th- OT Nick Richter
    6th- WR Tevaun Smith
    6th- QB Jason Vander laan
    7th- CB Vernon Harris -(Darthmouth)
    7th-LB Aaron Wallace – (UCLA)

    • steve earle says:

      This looks pretty good Russell. Personally I’m having a hard time with a mock without trades. I’m either reaching for guys or trying to make them slide out of where they should go. My problem is I’m also trying to fill needs at the same time not just best available player. Think I’ll give up on a no trade scenario and stick with my last mock.

  19. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots Mock draft you won’t see any wide receivers or tight ends as I feel the Patriots
    have very good quality and depth at those positions. I would definetly like to see pats
    sign Terrance Knighton he is not just a big guy he can really play.

    2 Joshua Perry OLB Ohio State
    2 Jeremy Cash SS Duke
    3 Nick Martin C/G Notre Dame
    3 Kelvin Taylor RB Florida
    6 Brandon Shell OT South Carolina
    6 Tyler Marz OT Wisconsin
    6 Reggie Northrup ILB FSU
    6 Adam Gotsis DT Georgia Tech
    7 Storm Barrs Woods RB Oregon St.
    7 Mike Matthews C Texas A&M

    Clay Harbor makes the Patriots have three strong Tight Ends Gronk stay focused and in shape
    these new guys are good.

  20. GM-in-Training says:

    Pats sign Move TE/FB/H-back Clay Harbor.

    Interesting addition. 6 foot 2.5″, 252#, 4.62 40 dash, 30 BP, 40″ vertical and a 3-cone time of 7.12 coming out of college. He’s pretty athletic, and you can line him up all over.

    He had 3 years in a row where he pulled down 25 or so catches for 200-300 yards, but last year he only started 3 games and his production halved. He’s listed as having 12 tackles in his career, so probably not much special teams.

    I don’t know if he can be a mismatch for linebackers or not. His height, weight and 3-cone are pretty close to the linebacker average.

    If anybody can make good use of him, it’s the Pats. It’s good to have another pass catching TE.

  21. Russell says:

    I would add Jason Vandler Laan QB, and he looks like a good prospect from a smaller program, much like Carson Wentz.
    Vandler Laan, runs a lot more then I like, but he does have a TE type style about him at 6’3″ 240 lbs.
    Watch some of his tape interesting prospect for 6th round.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Two names I didn’t put on this list were Jason vander Laan and Morgan Roberts. I think Vanderlaan could see a move to TE because of that athleticism that you talked about. That is why he is on my TE list. Roberts has a quick release, but is a spot thrower and very streaky. More of an invite to rookie camp guy.

  22. Stephen J says:

    Anybody interested in this guy

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WxZoXz8FYsg

    • Kevan says:

      New age Dave meggett

    • steve earle says:

      Just checked out who the guy was you were asking about. Yea jakeem Grant! He’s on my board in late rounds though in my mocks I have other guys ahead of him but I would be fine with him being drafted by Bill late. He and Lewis would drive opposing DC’s crazy.

    • EdgeX says:

      If things worked out like that would be a very good draft.

      Only change I would really make is change the late 3rd round DT to either one of: Austin Johson, Chris Jones, or Hassan Ridgeway – and that draft would be a dream.

    • acm says:

      Not a big fan – spending two picks on WR and RB? That would be a waste considering many players on D would be hitting FA in 2017. Also, this is quite possibly Vollmer’s last year with the Pats and they don’t even have a good 3rd OT.
      I think they (should) double-dip at CB/S, OL, DL and LB. Maybe, just a maybe, a late pick on WR and RB, each.

  23. Jim R says:

    11 Draft picks 6 will make the team 2 will contribute. 1 UDFA will make the team. Areas of need IMO OT, OLB and WR also need depth for CB and Dline. I would draft 2-OT 2-Dline 2-LB’s 2 WR’s 2 CB 1 QB or RB. Running back is stuffed in next years draft. You can get by with what they got. If Jaylon Smith drops past 45 I would jump up and get him.

  24. Ryan says:

    I’m not too interested in QBs before the 7th round, or maybe the 6th if other talent isn’t on the board. Hogan probably won’t be available there because the Bills love him so much. Buffalo will probably take him in round 4 or 5. Unless we can swap Garoppolo for a second-rounder or higher, I think that we’re better off mostly ignoring QB in this year’s draft.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I think we are in the same boat Ryan. That is why I only have 2 qb’s with draftable grades and where I have them ranked would probably mean the “fell” in the draft, creating the value needed to use a draft pick on a QB.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree, we’re on the same page again.

  25. GM-in-Training says:

    It’s an appealing piece of horse trading, but I think some of those are the wrong horses. Foremost, Shon Coleman, while long-armed, is a little short and not quite athletic enough to be an upgrade over Cannon at swing Tackle.

    I suspect the Pats trade whichever picks it takes to move up in the 2nd and get a future-starter at Tackle who can run and pass block.

    They really need a guy who, come November, could step in as Left Tackle.

    • Todti says:

      I see why most people think OT is the highest priority but in my opinion that’s part recency bias and part overestimation of the position. Sure, the Patriots need quality depth at OT because Cannon obviously doesn’t deliver adequate output relative to his salary. However, if it weren’t for a shortage of healthy receiving options the OTs wouldn’t be a problem because of the quick passing game. The OTs don’t need to be great in pass protection because it’s enough to slow the pass rush down instead of completely stopping it. When everyone was healthy Brady got the ball out in 2.09s and even with all the injury problems the Broncos needed 2.16s to get to Brady. That’s incredibly fast but still above the pace of a healthy Patriots offense. I really think a deeper (and/or more healthy) receiving corps is more important and, above all, cheaper due to the construction of the Patriots’ offense than great pass protection. Now, that’s still without a consistent running game against above average defenses to make the offense multi-dimensional and slow the pass rush down this way. So far, the interior OL got stacked with talent on cheap contracts to give Brady space to step into his throws and improve the (potential) running game, and the addition of Hogan and Bennett provided more options and depth for Brady. I think that’s a clear signal how the Patriots approach that whole issue. Furthermore, Solder is on an okay-ish contract and his injury could actually improve the leverage for the Patriots if they want to get in extension talks. Solder is solid in pass protection and could be on a reasonable contract during his prime years, so I think only the ROT position needs to be sorted out and even that doesn’t have to happen immediately.
      Looking at the last couple of years, I think it becomes clear that the Patriots need to have a good defense (they are always a better scoring defense than considering yards) so going defense early in this draft seems more sensible to me. That way they help Brady greater and sooner than drafting a developmental OT early. Afterwards, add a ROT prospect and a RB and I think they’re fine. Of course, it’s still depending on who’s available when you’re on the clock…

      • CC333 says:

        OT is a big need. Vollmer is oft injured, old and is a free agent after this year. Solder is hurt pretty often as well. Cannon sucks and is a free agent after this year. We need a depth option this year and a future starting option for the year after.

    • EdgeX says:

      “They really need a guy who, come November, could step in as Left Tackle.”

      If you mean by November 2016? And I’m assuming you mean as good as or better than Nate Solder? This talent does not exist in this draft unless the Pats are picking Laremy Tunsil or Ronnie Stanley. True “Plug-and-play” Left Tackles are sparse this year – especially to be ready by that time frame.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        EdgeX,

        I agree they don’t exist right now. By November when one of our older Tackles needs some recovery time…maybe. Maybe in the 6 months between OTAs and late season drive for the playoffs, Scar can build a FrankenTackle out of large, fresh parts. Good balance, a quick kick slide, a huge frame and long arms can’t be added…but strength, technique, and comfort in the role can be added.

  26. Todti says:

    Mock Draft

    The Patriots go full Belichick and trade down to aquire more mid-round picks in a deep draft on defense.
    The 49er’s have the most picks, need quality players, and maybe Chip has something to say on draft day, so they trade their 4-105, 5-142, 6-178 for the Patriots’ 2-61 and 6-196. The Patriots then use 5-142 and 6-178 to get the Falcons’ 4-115 due to the Falcons’ lack of 5th and 6th round picks and the connection to Dimitroff.

    2-60 LB Deion Jones
    Immediate contributor on ST, depth considering Collins’ contract situation. Very athletic and versatile puzzle piece for BB.
    3-91 DT Sheldon Day
    The Pats utilise the deep DT class to get a starter-caliber one-gapping 3-technique at the end of the 3rd round. High effort guy with quick hands and movement. Can drop into zone.
    3-96 RB Alex Collins
    Nothing flashy, but a solid RB for the big back role in a committee.
    4-105 OT Shon Coleman
    Starting RT down the road. Big, strong hands and extremely long arms. First and foremost a run blocker but should be good enough in pass protection for the quick passing game since the Pats rarely feature deep drops by Brady.
    4-115 CB D.J. White
    Solid athleticism and about the height of Butler, but great cover skills and instincts. Should be a capable second CB in case they decide to let Ryan go.
    6-204 QB Kevin Hogan
    Developmental backup QB. Smart and played in pro-style offense, Mike said it above. [I totally forgot about Allen until I read his name here again. So I think there are two options at this spot.]
    6-208 WR Daniel Braverman
    The depth option for the slot Foxborough needs and deserves. Future #3 or #4 receiver depending on Martin’s and/or Amendola’s future after 2016.
    6-214 FB/TE Dan Vitale
    Versatile TE out of the backfield, but limited athleticism. Develin’s on 1-year contract.
    6-221 RB Peyton Barber
    Can’t have enough depth at the RB position. Smart inside RB with vision and potential in pass protection. Interesting background story.
    7-243 WR/RB Keenan Reynolds
    WR project.
    7-250 priority FA

    I devised a couple of mock drafts including trades to come up with players and/or positions I like to see them address. When I found this trade opportunity it just felt Patriots-esque. I’ve got to say I like it more and more every time I look at it.
    The first 5 players would naturally be supposed to be on the roster and, considering contracts from the 2015 draft, Jones would get slightly less than $1m per year and each of the 4 following picks would make between $700k and $750k on average for the next 4 years. That would be incredibly cheap quality roster depth.

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