Scouting Report: Brian Hill, RB

If the Patriots decide to wait on RB, Hill might be a prospect they target.

If the Patriots decide to wait on RB, Hill might be a prospect they target.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Going into the 2016 season, I was uneasy with the Patriots situation at Running Back, and nothing happened throughout the season to change my mind. I am not talking about James White and Dion Lewis here. While technically they are Running Backs, their role is defined much differently than that of LeGarrette Blount’s role. I have gone on record several times about my displeasure with Blount’s running style and productivity. The one Achilles heal for the Patriots offense is the ability to run the ball on a consistent basis. My hope is that the team drafts a back who can come in and take some of the burden off of Tom Brady’s right arm (*cough Kareem Hunt cough.*) Since I probably have jinxed any hope of my binkie becoming a Patriot, I thought I better keep an eye out for some other between the tackle runners who might be able to replace Blount.

Name: Brian Hill (#5)

School: Wyoming (Jr.)

Height: 6’0″ (unofficial)

Weight: 219 Lbs. (unofficial)


Hill has the physical makeup I look for in a between the Tackles runner. He was a very productive runner over the past two seasons despite defenses focusing on him. Hill plays with good balance and shows a knack for getting yards after contact. He is a downhill runner with an aggressive nature. Hill keeps his legs moving and fights for every last yard on every single carry. He has some build up speed and makes defenders pay when he gets into the open field. Hill shows some above average lateral agility for someone his size. He is a willing pass protector and shows decent form when blocking. Hill had 5 career fumbles on 816 offensive touches, so he shows good ball security.


Hill was a frustrating watch for me at times. On one carry he may sit in the backfield and dance a little too much waiting for something to open, and then on the next carry he will be too aggressive and run into his lineman before they can set up their blocks. While he has decent speed, he lacks explosion. It takes him some time to get up to top speed and he loses his momentum when changes direction. He had some success running outside the Tackles in college, but that will not be the case in the NFL. Hill was not used much at all in the passing game from a receiving perspective and probably won’t have a 3 down role in the NFL. Hill was asked to handle a large chunk of Wyoming’s offense and there may be some wear and tear.


While I do not see Hill as a special back at the next level, I do see a player who could have some production. My big concern is his lack of explosion and his need for his O-line to create some space for him to get started. In New England and the NFL for that matter, that is rarely the case. I do like how he fights through contact and his ability to break tackles for additional yards. Hill also deserves a lot of credit for his productivity in college. Most teams planned around stopping Hill, and he was still able to have success on a regular basis. I see Hill as a mid Day 3 guy, probably the 5th or 6th round.






145 Responses to “Scouting Report: Brian Hill, RB”

  1. Blue Thunder says:

    With around $62 Mil in cap space plus restructuring Dola’s contract to add even more space, it boggles my mind that the key players that people say should be resigned can’t be…….and that is taking into account draft contracts…..

    If it is a matter of value, and not overpaying, sometimes you have to spend a little more to get a prime rib instead of some hamburger….

    This years SB winning Patriot team has the nucleus of a very good team that can be returning to another SB next year with some luck on the injury front. Re sign key players, Upgrade a few backup spots and add some youth and speed to keep the dynasty intact…

  2. Jeff says:

    Any chance the Pats move a 4th or 5th rounder to get Jonathan Stewart from Carolina (and maybe a late-round pick)? He’s on the final year of his deal and would count less than $5 million against the cap for the Pats, while saving space for the Panthers. He could slot into Blount’s role while bringing a bit more of a dynamic presence. The Pats could hope to recoup a draft pick in a couple of years through the compensatory process if he has a good year and lands one more contract. This running back draft class is currently looking heavy at the top and bottom of the draft, without a lot of second and third round talent to go around, so I could see the Pats looking to trade or free agency for their top big back while adding a layer of depth later in the draft.

    • D. Martin says:

      Blount just completed a career season where he led the league with 18 Touchdowns and 1200 yards. I don’t know why everyone is clamoring to pay more money to at best an equal back, and can’t see Stewart with his 9 TDs and 800 yards as an upgrade. But maybe there’s something I’m just not seeing.

    • macspak says:

      copied from my entry way below

      RB’s and Blount:

      Coming off 1,100 yards and 18 TD’s yet most see him as deficient. He certainly is not the big RB we want him to be. He doesn’t move the pile. He gets tackled for loss way too often. His avg yds per carry, especially if he doesn’t have the periodic long gainer or two, is paltry. We are fooled by his size. We expect him to be what he is not. He uses his size and speed well once beyond the line of scrimmage. I think he lacks quickness to evade while still in the backfield and that same lack of quickness and low pad level and hitting the line hard precludes him from picking up the yard on 3 and 1. But accepting him for what he is and not what we think or want him to be does he have value? Can he so easily be replaced? Yes. No.

      • Jeff says:

        Fair enough, but Blount is also a free agent, so the Pats would need to hand out a contract to keep him, which will cost some money as well. Blount is one option for this role, but especially with some uncertainty in the free agent market, I would think that the Pats would be considering other options as well. The proposal isn’t meant to be an indictment on Blount, just another option to fill the role. Personally, I do like Stewart over Blount, but I can see why the stats from the past season would lead folks to prefer Blount.

    • steve earle says:

      We could but I don’t see this as much of an upgrade. If you really feel we need to move Blount then it should be for someone significantly better not just to trade one set of weaknesses for another. I’d much prefer to draft a RB and let them compete. The other thing is we have Tyler Gaffney on the P-sqd and last pre-season was looking good. Not sure why he didn’t make the 53 unless the coaches wanted to see what Foster could do which wasn’t much after all.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Why? He is old, often injured and would require trading assets for a short term band aid. The team might as well just resign Blount at the minimum if they don’t want to address the position in the draft.

  3. John says:

    This is what I would like, realistically.

    Jimmy G. to SF for their 2nd and 4th overall picks.

    Kyle Shanahan apparently has been linked to Jimmy G. He runs a similar style offense to the Patriot’s offense. I can see Jimmy G. going to either the Browns or SF, on similar deals.

    Guys I like with their first pick: Malik McDowell, Haason Reddick, Taco Charlton, Takkarist McKinley, and Tim Williams. I liked Williams more, until I learned about gun charge. So, he’s probably off the table.

    1. Haason Reddick LB
    2. Budda Baker SAF (SF)
    2. Nate Peterman QB
    3. Dalvin Tomlinson DL
    3. Daeshon Hall EDGE

    Let me know what you think.

    • John says:

      I meant to put Tomlinson at their 2nd, then Peterman at their 3rd.

    • macspak says:

      unfortunately, as Russell points out below on another suggestion, we then would have to give that 4th to the NFL was a deflategate penalty.

      • John says:

        I’m just speaking from a value perspective, and I’m pretty sure a 4th is going to be taken away at some point?.. I could be wrong, but I’m unsure.

        I think all these people proposing Jimmy G. for the 3rd, 2nd, or whatever, overall pick are just being unrealistic. If anything, I could see him being moved to Cleveland for the 12th. Straight up. The Patriots might even have to throw something in.

        I wouldn’t mind that. I think I’ve said before, I think that’s where Bill finds value. The middle of the first.

        As for Reddick, he’s a first round talent. He’d be a great 4-3 WILL, or even a really nice roaming, indside 3-4 LB. You can’t dismiss him. Plus, I think Bill’s proven to adjust for height/weight requirements at the LB spot recently.

        • steve earle says:

          Disagree about Reddick being a 1st rd talent. He’s on the light side for a LB, good rusher but not so much a run stopper so not a 3 down guy. I’d go late 2nd early 3rd at best.

    • steve earle says:

      Reddick is on the smallish side for a LB so I think your reaching there.

  4. steve earle says:

    Have to say there are tons of great thoughts being presented and plenty of terrific prospects this year or is it just me. Plus the idea of getting a 1st for JG is becoming pervasive so all and all I can’t make up my mind on a mock. There are just so many options and I like them all. I have six guys on top of my board and you guys keep me looking at more options. Guess I’ll wait until after the Combine to get serious on a mock, but hey, keep them coming everybody your all doing a great job.

  5. D. Martin says:

    I recognize DT, LB, CB and S positions are a much greater need than any offensive position except perhaps TE. However, I’m intrigued about what a player like Christian McCaffrey could offer the team were he still on the board at No. 32. Does he have the skillet of a player like Leveon Bell? Because he and a modest upgrade over Bennett would make the offense the most potent in the league.

    • steve earle says:

      Maybe but RB is only half of the equation, the O-line has to open the holes so maybe an upgrade at OC and RG could do the same allowing our current backs more opportunity’s to get into the 2nd level more often. I believe there may be a couple FA linemen available.

      • Matt says:

        I think the Pats could use a OT in Sea Bass decides to hang up his cleats. I also think the Pats could use a good DT if Branch moves on. I would really like to see Flowers move to DE. He did well getting to the QB from the middle part of the line but I bet he would do better at the edge.

        • steve earle says:

          I think we will see a developmental OT sometime on day 3 regardless. Expect both DT and DE to be addressed early if my guess is right. Can’t say which will be first but sure both will be added.

  6. Turbo says:

    How come the Saints never in the mix about Garoppolo? Brees has 1 year left on his contract and he’s 39 next year. I know if a team spend a 1st round pick on someone, you would expect him to play instantly, but Jimmy still has 1 cheap year in left his contract and he could learn the system behind Brees and work out an extension. They have similat playstyle too i think.

    So it’s totally a what if scenario:

    Saints trade 2017 1st + 2017 6th + Stephen Anthony for Jimmy Garoppolo

    1a) Solomon Thomas DL
    1b) Forrest Lamp OL
    2) Tre’Davious White CB
    3a) Montravius Adams DT
    3b) Eddie Jackson S
    4) Kareem Hunt RB
    5a) Keionta Davis DE
    5b) Michael Roberts TE
    6) Javarius Leamon OL
    7a) Xavier Woods SS
    7b) Corey Smith WR

    • carlo strada says:

      Does the pick of Solomon doesnt makes redundant picking up Montravius later? wouldnt it be better to get an exterior pass rusher, like Devoantae Fields (for illustrative purpose)?maybe he can move on to the ILB role

      • Turbo says:

        With so much DL players heading to free agency, i want as much help as possible in that postition. And about Thomas, i think he can play both DT and DE in a 4-3 system, so BB could use him creativly.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree Thomas looks to have the flexibility to play inside or out as dose Flowers. Bill likes those kind of players.

    • steve earle says:

      I Suppose it could happen like that just no buzz from the NO media to indicate any interest. It could be they are keeping everything under wraps but that’s really hard to do in these times.

    • Ryan says:

      That might be the most improbable trade I’ve seen on here in regards to Garoppolo. Stephone Anthony AND a 1st-rounder is absolutely ridiculous and I doubt that Garoppolo’s value ever approaches what is almost two first-rounders.

      • Turbo says:

        I would agree with you normally, but i read some tweets and stuff about how the Saints would trade Anthony (of course these are just rumours), but they wouldn’t get more, than a 5 rounder for him. So i based this trade on these rumours only, and if it’s true, than for Jimmy a 1st a 4th and a 6th seems okay.

        • Ryan says:

          The Saints picked Anthony in the first round two years ago, and he had a great rookie season. I doubt that they’d equate him to a fourth-rounder after a single mediocre year caused by injuries and a forced position change. If I were the Saints, I’d value him close to a second-rounder, and I doubt that we’ll be able to acquire him as a bonus in a trade.

        • steve earle says:

          That 4th would be wasted, it would go to deflategate.

        • Turbo says:

          Steve, i meant if we somehow get Stephen Anthony in this tade scenario he’s value would be like a 4th round pick.

          Ryan: As i said before this is based on rumours, the reality is closer to what you say probably. For me right now he has a 3rd round value and with a possible “bidding war” it could happen. And like you said ,he played out of postion last year, and he was benched a lot. There is a chance the Saints might think he’s not gonna bounce back and it’s better to get some value out of him right now.

          But really, this is a what if dream case scenario, so let me dream a bit 😀

  7. EdgeX says:

    Just cause Russell has me thinking:

    Jimmy G traded to Bears for straight up #3 pick overall.

    1st – RB Leonard Fournette
    1st – S Jabrill Peppers
    2nd – CB Tre’Davious White
    3rd – DE Jordan Willis
    3rd – DT Montravius Adams
    4th – OT Adam Bisnowaty
    5th – DE Josh Carraway
    5th – WR Ryan Switzer
    7th – TE Adam Shaheen

    • Russell says:

      good points on Cook. I’m not a fan of Fournette, or Peppers. Trade the #3 pick with Carolina who wants RB Fournette, for 1st (#8) & 3d (#72). Then with #8 take LB Reuben Foster, IF Hightower walks.

      • td says:

        I’m sure the know Fournette and Peppers are elite players but doubt they would be willing to pay the price for the #3 pick. The cost gets really high in the last year and way high if they go with the 5th year. Peppers would probably be a really good fit at #32, but he would also be a good fit with the other 31.

  8. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriot Predictions and mock draft. 4.0
    Jimmy G gets traded to Chicago Bears for the Bears 2nd and 4th round picks this year.
    Patriot players signed as Free Agents.
    Malcom Butler
    LaGarrett Blount
    Logan Ryan
    Chris Long
    James Devlin
    Duron Harmon

    NFL Free Agents Patriots sign
    Abry Jones DT Jaquars
    Ryan Nassib QB Giants
    Kevin Minter ILB Cardinals
    Luke Wilson TE Seahawks
    Alex Okafor DE/OLB Cardinals

    1 Bucky Hodges TE Virginia Tech
    2 From Bears Taylor Moton OT Western Michigan
    2 Devontae Fields DE Louisville
    3 Anthony Walker ILB Northwestern
    4 Pat Elfein G/C Ohio State
    4 Corey Clement RB Wisconsin
    4 DeAngelo Brown DT Louisville
    5 Brendan Langley CB Lamar
    7 Zane Gonzalez K Arizona St.
    7 Weston Steelhamer S Air Force

    Thank You Patriots as you all made the Winter much better.
    Dan Sullivan

    • Russell says:

      I think the Bears get Garoppolo for
      The bears first pick #3 over-all ( Patriots draft Dalvin Cook)
      The Bears 2nd #36, & 3d #67 and 2nd in 2018
      They will not trade for a 4th pick this year as they would have to give it to the NFL, as part of deflatgate.

      • EdgeX says:

        #3 overall for Leonard Fournette I can see – even though the Patriots don’t usually take RB’s that high in the draft.

        Not for Cook though! Who has off the field issues relating to animal cruelty, domestic violence charges, and history of medical issues – two surgeries alone on his shoulder.

        The Combine is going to be HUGE for Cook for how his medicals check out and how he interviews.

        But, all that being said, I can’t believe the Pat’s would touch him with a 10 foot pole.

      • Dan Sullivan says:

        Well if thats the case I would take Kyle Long from the Bears who can play either Guard or
        Tackle. Now real important you van always get guys bigger and faster But I don’t think there
        can be anymore clutch catches than Edelman and Amendola have made on a constant basis.
        These guys should get a big raise.

      • td says:

        We need multiple picks in order to help replenish the pipeline at DL, LB and DB’s along with OLine and RB.

        You never know what direction and whom they have in mind in free agency though. If they trade Jimmy G that will tell you how they feel about Brisset.

    • carlo strada says:

      nice moves, though id feel more comfortable with taking Reddick instead of Bucky, i think Bucky could last a bit longer on boards, and be taken later on. You know i really love the move on Willson, as the guy is really fast

  9. Ryan says:

    I really want to maintain our status quo of Gronk and Bennett at TE, but I don’t think that Bennett returns next year. He came here to win a super bowl and now I think he wants to get paid. I doubt we’ll be the highest bidder so I think we’ll see him walk.

    • macspak says:

      No doubt Bennett wants to get paid and likely his, like most’s, loyalty is to the money, but, are we so sure there are teams willing to pay him big money on a three or multi-year contract? He is on the wrong side of 30 and has rubbed prior teams the wrong way. I like his personality but obviously he is a bit different that the NFL conservative norm. What teams with TE need are willing to risk the kind of guaranteed money he will demand and thinks he is worth? He may test the market and find it not what he thinks and return to the Pats.

      Would you franchise him for $10 M or Hightower for $15 M?

      I lean towards MB for that money for one year at his age, usually old for a TE.

      • Russell says:

        If BB can not get players signed, I doubt he wants to tag anybody. I now think Hightower walks, but Bennett signs for $21 mil. for 3 years.

      • Ryan says:

        That’s tough, but unless we could sign a comparable free agent I’d take Hightower for $15 million. We can’t just lose both leaders of our defense and expect the unit to recover easily, so with Jamie Collins gone I can’t imagine letting Hightower walk as well.

  10. D. Martin says:

    I know it was crazy last year seeing Tampa Bay spend a 2nd round pick on a kicker, but a guy named Zane Gonzalez out of Arizona State is buy many accounts the most accomplished kicker in college football history. With Gostkowski banging em off the uprights left and right for a season plus, made a 5th rounder on him would be a smart investment.

    • Russell says:

      Gostkowski’s contract has $10.1 mil. guaranteed ….2019. If the Patriots carry just two QB’s I guess you could carry two kickers, but other positions may need an extra player.

      • D. Martin says:

        That definitely adds a wrinkle. I hadn’t considered that. I’m surprised a kicker would be paid 3+M per year. Is there anything the team could do to mitigate the cap hit if he were cut or traded. He’s been very unreliable in big moments for the past two post seasons.

        • Russell says:

          If you cut gostkowski the 10.1 mil. goes into dead money paid out over the next two years. You could trade him, but you need a trade partner?
          I think he’s the Kicker until the end of 2018, or you carry two kickers.

    • EdgeX says:

      Nah, based on Gostkowski’s resume I’m betting the Patriots will chalk this up to a bad year for him and hope he rebounds next year.

      We already have an example of that in Marcus Cannon – and look at the rebound he’s had in 2016 compared to his 2015 season.

      There definitely will be changes though if he has another bad year in 2017.

  11. Russell says:

    NO trades Mock;

    1st- DT Dalvin Tomlinson 6’3″ 310 lbs 33″ arms
    2nd- CB Fabin Moreau 6′ 195 lbs. 32″ arms, 4.42 40 yd.
    3d – OT Will Holden, 6’7″ 315 lbs. 34 3/4″ arms
    3d – WR/PR Rayn Switzer, 5′ 8 1/2″ 176 lbs. 4.48 40 yd.
    4th- OLB Jimmie Gilbert, 6’4″ 230 lbs, 34 1/8 arms, 4.74 40 yd.
    5th- S Eddie Jackson (broken leg) 6′ 194 lbs. 4.54 40 yd.
    6th – CB Treston Decoud, 6’1 3/4″ 203 lbs. 33 1/8 ‘ arms, 4.54 40 yd.
    7th – DE Marquavius Lewis, 6’ 4″ 270 lbs. 4.80 40 yd.

  12. macspak says:

    BB may not resign all their FA’s BUT we have the money to do so if we want. That is different from any other past year. In looking at the FA’s available there are very few I consider more of a priority than our own. Ingram would be great. Other lesser tier ones – Hankins – could be nice short or long term fixes. But for talent and need using our ample cap space to resign our own would be the best team building solution. That includes DH, M. Bennett, L. Ryan, L Blount, Floyd, Harmon and Butler. What is missing is a DE/OLB and OT depth.

    • Russell says:

      Yes,…. OT to groom for the future. DE/OLB I like Jimmie Gilbert 6’4″+ 230 lbs, 34 1/8 arms, 4.74 40 time. I would think he needs to add weight.
      Hunter Dimick is a DE not looking like OLB, 6’2″+ 270 lbs. 32 arms.

      • steve earle says:

        From everything I read this looks like a very good draft for DE’s. Something for everyone. three down and speed rush types. I would prefer the three down player who is as efficient at setting the edge against the run and a strong pass rusher too. The guy I like is Charles Harris. I know he would need a high pick but think he would be worth it.

  13. Russell says:

    I watched a couple of Utah’s games this year and DE Hunter Dimick stands out. On Tape, he very rarely lose’s containment, solid in the run game with gap control. Uses a number of Pass rush moves, gets off blocks, keeps one hand free, and second only to DT Dalvin Tomlinson for knocked down Passes. Considered 4-5 round pick. Has graduated with two degrees, and works hard in the off season weight room.
    He moves up my draft board, and looks like a Ninkovich replacement type.

  14. macspak says:

    DT Jonathan Hankins NYG 25 coming off mediocre year after recovering from injury but prior to injury was playing outstanding football. Could be a value signing of a young player at position of need. Thoughts?

    • Ryan says:

      I really like him, and he could easily be forgotten by the Giants due to their depth on the defensive line. Add an undersized, pass-rushing DT in the later rounds and we could have a strong rotation.

      • steve earle says:

        Sounds like a good idea count me as a supporter now we just have to get NY to under value him and Bill not to. What are the chances any one hear any rumors from big blue land?

  15. Turbo says:

    Is there any OLB or DE in the draft (aside from Reddick) who has the tools to play and should convert to ILB?

  16. Cameron says:

    What do you guys think of Samaje Perine?

    • steve earle says:

      Probably a day 3 pick, good size downhill runner but not elusive or over powering, poor pass blocker or receiver. ? if he can make a 53.

  17. Russell says:

    Top four Patriots needs;
    1st; DT with Branch(32) not getting any younger, the Patriots need a run stuffer/gap disciplined prospect who can play meaningful mins. day one……DT Dalvin Tomlinson Alabama, 6’3″ 315 lbs.

    2nd; with Amendola (31) and Edelman (30) the Patriots need a slot receiver to groom for the future. A quick guy off the ball, smart, good hands, disciplined. Time in the system, playing if starters have injury only. Punt returner day one. Punt returner a +, speed a + ….Ryan Switzer…Slot receiver/Punt returner, North Carolina, 5’9″ 180 lbs.

    3d; With Patrick Chung (30) the Patriots need to groom a S. Richards does not seem to have a future. Cover abilities, good tackler, smart, disciplined. Ball skills a+, speed/size a +………….Eddie Jackson Alabama, 6′ 194 lbs. …Desmond King Iowa 5’11’ 206 lbs.

    4th; With it likely Ninkovich (33) retires in 2018, there is a need for DE. Smart, gap disciplined, good tackler, quickness, size over 265 a +, size over 6’2″ a +……. There are a number of possibilities in the draft……Hunter Dimick Utah, 6’3″ 270 lbs…….Keionta Davis Chattanooga, 6’3″ 265 lbs……Lewis Neal LSU, 6’2″ 262 lbs.

    • EdgeX says:

      Yeah, the more and more I look at the roster the more I think the Patriots will be in full on re-build mode for the next couple of years.

      Also think that, while the Pat’s could use the franchise tag on players like Hightower or Bennett I’m not sure the Patriots WANT to do that based on their evaluations.

      For instance if they see Hightower as only a 2 down LB – they have a cheaper version of that in Elandon Roberts and while they COULD use the tag on him….maybe they will move on. And for Bennett if he wants to chase the money I have a hard time seeing the Pat’s paying more than $7 mill a season and reportedly they already offered him that so he might be gone too.

      Hopefully I’m wrong though!

      • D. Martin says:

        I’m not so sure about the team entering into a phase of rebuilding. Of the 44 players who saw the field during the 2015 Super Bowl, only 23 players were on the team last Sunday. Only seven starters in SB XLIX started the AFCCG a month ago. The idea of a team fresh off their second SB victory in three years and seven consecutive AFC Championship Games needing two years to rebuild seems incongruous.

        It seems to me they can sign Michael Floyd for a real bargain price due to his off field issues. He, Edelman, Amendola, Mitchell and Hogan make a varied, tough and talented group of receivers. I believe Blount resigns at a reasonable price for another year or two, and he Lewis and White make a powerful running back corps. If they were to trade Garoppolo for an early to mid-first round draft pick they can select TE O. J. Howard from Alabama and rebuild the powerful 2 TE set strategies they used so effectively with Hernandez. Then the offense will be ready to roll once again.

        Defense will be a little tougher to keep strong, but the healthiest draft class in years at the cornerback position should provide an opportunity to strengthen our secondary. Although I think he has been professional enough to be quiet about it, I don’t think Hightower really cares about playing for the Patriots any more than he would another team. I think he was the unsung hero of both recent SB victories, but I don’t think the Pats should overpay for him, especially if Tim Hightower, another Alabama linebacker, falls to them.

        • EdgeX says:

          I think Russell is spot on with this insight.

          Besides the huge amount of free agents the Pat’s currently have this year. If you look at the roster 2 to 3 years out, the Pat’s have a lot of players at key positions that probably won’t be on the team any longer – with no clear cut answers for replacements.

          The next couple of off seasons are going to be crucial that the Pat’s hit their mark with every move they make.

        • D. Martin says:

          You both may well be right. Especially looking a couple of years out. But with Brady entering into what will most assuredly be one of his final years, I think they should focus on winning another ring now. With that goal in mind, I don’t think they have far to go. If Belichick feels differently, he likely won’t trade Garoppolo. Again, only 7 starters from SB 49 started in this years AFCCG. Rebuilding is something Belichick seemingly does a little every year.

        • macspak says:

          Brady has minimum 3 years left. JG’s contract expires after next year. Can’t keep both beyond. If trade value is right he will be gone this off season. Patriots always rebuilding on the fly around their core. Look at their yearly turnover of the roster. BB tries to win every year. He will not sacrifice the future for this year. That is a given regardless of what others want or think.

          Teams who don’t have Brady at QB do win the SB. The Patriots will try to do the same after TB is gone.

        • D. Martin says:

          You’re echoing many of the points I’ve made twice already. The point of contention here, as I understand it, is that Edge believes the team might soon be in dire straits as free agents leave. I’m far more bullish on a team setting records left and right for years precisely because I realize how great Belichick has consistently been at rebuilding his team seasonally.

          And I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if the year Brady hangs up his spurs, Coach Belichick rides off into the sunset with him.

        • steve earle says:

          This is one assessment where I fully agree with you D. Resigning our key FA’s is possible and desirable. The Def can be reinforced best through the draft where depth at our positions of need are abundant at least in most cases. I’m really on board with using any 1st rd pick we get for JG to select TE Howard then use our #32 on the best def player available, should be lots of options there. Second day can be a minor gold mine if BB doesn’t draft a “WHO!” guy. Getting kind of excited waiting for the combine.

        • D. Martin says:

          Right on Steve. The inevitable head scratcher is always looming. Please Coach, no more Dominic Easley’s. LOL

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with DT and DE but likely Ryan goes so makes CB a priority then the question is DH. If he goes too that pushes LB up near the top needs. As for slot WR Switzer if an early day 3 pick sounds good to me.

      • EdgeX says:

        As much as I like Switzer I think I like Cooper Kupp more. Although getting both would be very nice!

        • steve earle says:

          Well yea but Kupp is being slotted as a 2nd rd’er by Draft Scout meaning we have to pass on a position of need while we already have a solid WR group. Ask, is Kupp going to be so good he makes up for missing a good DT or DE or LB? I don’t really think so. Plus who’s place would he take at WR? I believe Switzer with a mid/late 4th would be a better value and allow a stronger over all draft.

      • td says:

        I highly doubt WR is much of a need at all; they have the option of signing Floyd and/or restructuring Amendola. I don’t think they just release Amendola as he is as clutch as clutch can be in playoffs and superbowl even if he does little during the season, but then again no other team has our system and Brady.

        They really need to get bigger and faster at LB, especially if Hightower goes.

        They probably should find a big back with more quickness than Blount, but he has been a great bargain at $1mil.

        I don’t see them keeping Garappolo, especially if multiple teams are clamouring for him. I would think BB would like to maximize the return and just a #1 doesn’t seem to do it for me; I would think a couple of 2’s would do nicely, especially since this draft is loaded with defense. That could have been part of the strategy with all the FA’s of defense this year.

    • Tim D says:

      Chung’s roll is mostly to cover TE and play in the box in sub packages. IMO the two safties you listed would be more of a Harmon or McCourty backup or in Harmon’s case a replacement if he leaves, but you think he will stay. I think Jackson and King would be good additions in coverage, but I don’t think either would hold up in the box.

      Are there any LB prospects you think could cover TE’s as Chung does and maybe hold up better in the box? Early in his career I thought Jordan Evans, LB, OK, could be that guy, but he doesn’t seem to have the speed he did when he first arrived at OK.

    • Ryan says:

      I’m a big fan of slot receivers, but I don’t see why we should draft one so early. My favorite might be Keevan Lucas, as he plays fast and doesn’t shy away from contact over the middle. I’m actually hoping he doesn’t get a combine invite so that he stays under wraps. Linebacker and tackle are big needs that won’t be filled so easily in later rounds, and even Desmond King might require that second-rounder. I like Switzer but I think that that would be overdrafting him.

      • steve earle says:

        Question Ryan, where are you seeing Switzer being projected? Draft scout has him currently as a 5th rd’er meaning we could use a late 4th or even an early 5th possibly.

        • Ryan says:

          He could be worth a 3rd, but I wouldn’t pick him until the 4th considering our other needs and Edelman’s ability to play the slot with Hogan and Mitchell on the outside. I’d be about as happy with him in the 4th as I would be with Keevan Lucas in the 7th (both would be steals). I’d even be willing to trade up in the 4th to grab him given the relatively low price to do so.

          My problem is mostly with taking him in the second, not taking him in general.

        • Ryan says:

          To clarify, he’s a third-round talent but we already have someone who can play his role at a high level for 2-3 more years.

        • steve earle says:

          @ Ryan,, That’s my thinking too. I like the fact that Switzer is also a return man that would put C. Jones on a bubble. Either he really improves in camp or is gone. Nothing like a little comp.

      • D. Martin says:

        Resigning Floyd at a bargain price to help Hogan stretch the field, while Edelman and Amendola play underneath, with Malcolm Mitchell to play all over the field seems like a great combination of WR’s to me. If we get Gronk some real help at TE, combined with resigning Blount, shouldn’t the team be set on Offense? Maybe some depth on the O-Line would be better than WR backups.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      What did Chandler Jones and Trey Flowers have in common? Really long arms.

      It’s crazy how useful long arms are for rushing to passer; shedding blocks, wrapping up the QBs.

      If there is such a prospect that can be had for a reasonable draft pick…that’d make sense.

  18. Marc says:

    Have at it guys…

    1.Dont’a Hightower-5/yrs
    2.Malcom Butler-5/yrs
    3.Martellus Bennett-3/yrs
    4.James Devlin-3/yrs
    5.Brandon King-3/yrs
    6.Chris Long-1/yr

    1.Cam Flemming-4th

    RETIRE:1.Sebastian Vollmer-OL

    1.Jonathan Freeny
    2.Danny Amendola
    3.LaAdrian Waddell
    4.Jordan Richards
    5.Geneo Grissom
    6.David Andrews

    1.Duron Harmon-(6th,comp,2018)
    2.Logan Ryan-(4th,comp,2018)
    3.LeGarrett Blount-(5th,comp,2018)

    1.Johnathan Hankins-DT-4/yrs
    2.Pierre Garçon-WR-3/yrs
    3.Marcus Cooper-DB-3/yrs

    1.Jimmy Garrapolo
    2.Shea McClellin
    3.Cyrus Jones

    1.Eric Reid
    2.Aaron Lynch
    3.Arik Armstead

    2017 DRAFT
    1ST(NE):-DaWuane Smoot-DE-ILLINOIS
    2ND(SF):-Hassan Reddick-LB-TEMPLE
    2ND(NE):-Kareem Hunt-RB-TOLEDO
    3RD(NE):-Jon Toth-OL-KENTUCKY
    3RD(CLE)comp:-Orion Stewart-SAF-BAYLOR
    4TH(SF)-Damonte Kazee-DB-SAN DIEGO STATE
    4TH(SEA):-J’ulien Davenport-OL-BUCKNELL
    5TH(DEN):-Keonta Davis-DL-UT CHATANOOGA
    7TH(DET):-Josh Dobbs-QB-TENNESSEE

    1.DT-Tyrique Jarrett-PITTSBURGH
    2.RB-Trey Edmunds-MARYLAND
    3.TE-Michael Roberts-TOLEDO
    4.WR-Greg Ward Jr.-HOUSTON

    • JC says:

      Great stuff. Can’t get enough draft talk. Thinking the franchise number on Hightower would be about 15 million. Probably can’t keep him.

    • macspak says:

      what are the values of the FA contracts we are resigning?

      Why release Andrews and Amendola?

      How confident are you in your projected comp picks in return?

    • Russell says:

      Interesting! I feel sure S Harmon resigns. Hightower is looking like a free agent lost, (3d Comp. pick in 2018 for sure), OC Andrews is very cost friendly to keep, even as back-up if you upgrade. LB, Freeny is more important if Hightower leaves, and is cheap to keep.

    • Russell says:

      Garoppolo and Patriots 4th pick 2017 (#136) (their other 4th goes to league) to S.F. for Eric Reid and their 3d in 2017 (#66) and 3d in 2018.

    • steve earle says:

      Nice mock but really think Russell has good points on Harmon, Andrews and Freeny. Even as back ups they possess value and fit well within the cap plus your relying on rookies in two cases to fill their spots and no one at all to replace Andrews at OC. May want to rethink this a little.

  19. macspak says:

    RB’s and Blount:

    Coming off 1,100 yards and 18 TD’s yet most see him as deficient. He certainly is not the big RB we want him to be. He doesn’t move the pile. He gets tackled for loss way too often. His avg yds per carry, especially if he doesn’t have the periodic long gainer or two, is paltry. We are fooled by his size. We expect him to be what he is not. He uses his size and speed well once beyond the line of scrimmage. I think he lacks quickness to evade while still in the backfield and that same lack of quickness and low pad level and hitting the line hard precludes him from picking up the yard on 3 and 1. But accepting him for what he is and not what we think or want him to be does he have value? Can he so easily be replaced? Yes. No.

    • steve earle says:

      Good question but we also must wait and see if he gets an offer from someone that is to high for his real value. Then if he does go BB will have a hole to fill which begs the question of who?

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Blount is not a classic heavy hitter, and that’s mostly ok. He is great at tiring out defenses. Because he occasionally breaks a long one, defenses have to respect that and contain. He has moved the yard on a few touch downs this year. He has also broken through 5 or 6 guys consecutively and stayed upright.

      And…with his TD productivity, somebody might offer him more money.

      I dunno who replaces him. There’s nobody else quite like him.

      There are 225 pound backs with the potential to learn the playbook and be pile drivers.

  20. Jeff says:

    I wonder if the Pats can ensure a good haul for Jimmy by throwing Vollmer into a potential trade. Cleveland, for example, could use a starter opposite Thomas while they develop Coleman or a newly drafted tackle. A team acquiring a new QB will be interested in protecting him, and Vollmer comes with a great resume and salary number. Just a thought. San Fran and Chicago could both use tackle help as well.

    • steve earle says:

      Well the past two seasons of injuries kind of puts a damper on his value. If he were younger it might not be such a problem but as is I can’t see how that would work.

    • JC says:

      Like Browns 12th pick for Garapolo. Helps that bears also interested. Use pick for Hightower replacement.

  21. Russell says:

    He is a thought, what about a player swap for Garoppolo? Would the Bears send, OG/OT Kyle Long (6’6″ 320lbs. age 28) for Garoppolo?
    Long could upgrade right G, has a heavy Contract, but 3-4 yrs. on the O-line, could help Brady and the run game.
    What you guys think?

  22. Ned Ryerson says:

    It’s nice reading analysis of guys projected to be 6 round picks but I’d be much more interested in reading your opinion on guys that the Pats might take in rounds 1-5.

  23. Jeff says:

    Taco Charleton and Tarell Basham seem to be the best physical fits to replace Chandler Jones at right defensive end. I’d love to see the Pats target one of these 2 players to eventually take over that role. Any other DEs that could fill the void?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I had the same thought regarding Charlton. I think it will require a trade up to get him however. Need to do some additional work on Basham

    • EdgeX says:

      Two other DE prospects who the Pat’s are likely to be interested in:

      1. Jordan Willis
      2. Josh Carraway

      • EdgeX says:

        Oh and forgot to mention…currently holding my “binkie” label – IF, and that’s a big IF, the Patriots are able to move up in the draft:

        DE/DT Solomon Thomas

        I’m sure the Patriot’s would be thrilled to draft him but they would probably have to be in the top 10 to get him.

        *crosses fingers for high draft pick in Jimmy G trade*

    • Tim D says:

      Deatrich Wise Jr, Arkansas

      • Jeff says:

        Thanks Edge and Tim – I’ll be surprised if they come out of the draft without a 6’4″ or taller athletic DE.

        • steve earle says:

          Why not Charles Harris from Mizu, he has all the athletic qualities even if he’s only 6-3 ?

  24. macspak says:

    It is too bad when we jump from player to player when their draft analysis gets posted that we lose sight of the prior posts because we lose the history of some really good and thoughtful posts. A few years ago, more than a few, ESPN had a section on their site that allowed continuous dialogue while retaining the past. I wonder if the authors of this site could do something similar allowing us to post about specific players they post while at the same time have a separate section for ongoing talk??

    So, do we franchise DH, Bennett, somebody else or nobody? DH seems spendy. Bennett for 1 year at $10 M may be better than letting him walk for a multi year contract BB will not match. Then we hammer out a lucrative longer term deal with DH at the deadline.

  25. Jeff says:

    I think Hightower is hoping for a McCourty-type free agency. My guess is that he wants to stay in NE, but he also wants a higher salary than the Pats have offered to date. Of course, if another team really goes crazy and way overpays, the Pats may not be willing to match, so it’s a risky situation for the Pats. Likely a franchise tag situation.

  26. GM-in-Training says:

    Tyler Gaffney, again signed to futures contract. On paper, he’s an every-down back. He’s done Practice Squad for 3 years. He had some health problems. Does he have any more PS eligibility? Has he picked up enough special teams to take the Bolden role?

    • EdgeX says:

      Dunno…but have a hard time seeing them wanting to pay much to resign Bolden considering how much they paid Blount this year. They really don’t pay their RB’s much.

    • Jeff says:

      My guess is that he’s an insurance policy in case they strike out in free agency and can’t snag the guy(s) they want in the draft or in case of injury. I have a hard time believing that the Pats plan A is to have Gaffney as one of the guys on the 53 man roster, though his experience does make him a valuable guy to push and serve an a plan B or C.

      • steve earle says:

        Yea, that could be but you have to admit that Gaffney looked pretty good last preseason and as you say looks good on paper as well. I for one was surprised he didn’t make the 53. But who knows what BB has planned? As for P-sqd I’m not aware of any restrictions on signing any FA (clears wavers) that can’t be signed by any team. Could be wrong I’m no expert.

  27. Tim D says:

    John Conner is an underrated RB who appears to be available Rd 3 or later. I was expecting to see a plodder when I watched him, but he is surprisingly quick for a guy his size and I have seen him make some nice plays in the passing game. A little inconsistent in pass pro, but much further along than most prospects. I see more Arian Foster in his game than say Lendale White.

  28. Jeff says:

    Any free agent running backs that catch people’s attention? A free agent plus a late rounder to complement our passing backs would be a nice 4-player grouping.

    • D. Martin says:

      I think Blount is going to once again be a free agent. I am happy with what Blount, Lewis and White has done for the team. I wonder why people see RB as a need. Those three together seem strong to me. Besides, I think Blount is cheaper than any other free agent or trade target who is capable of a 4 TD game and can carry half a defense for 10 yards after contact. Lewis can return a kick or punt to the house, and James White has the 3rd largest receiving yards per catch of all running backs during the regular season.

      • steve earle says:

        Not a great need but who could not want to look for an up grade at any position in the mid rounds, even early 3rd day? Besides with 18 TD’s Blount could get a couple offers and I don’t think BB would get into a bidding contest for him so talking about it here is very reasonable.

  29. EdgeX says:

    Wait, who’s your binkie running back this year?

    As much as I’ve stated that I like Christian McCaffrey – right now he seems a bit redundant with Lewis and White still on the roster. So I have a hard time seeing the Pat’s picking him.

    As a matter of fact, more I look at this years running back crop, I’m not sure the Pat’s pick one until late in the draft…and even then I’m not sure I’d be thrilled about it. Reason I say this is because Fournette and Cook are pretty much out of the Pat’s draft range. And the closer I look at the rest of the RB crop I’m seeing skill sets similar to Lewis and White again…or I’m seeing a 1 dimensional down hill runner…which sadly we already have in Blount.

    So cheer me up guys is there anyone I should be thrilled about this year at the RB position?

    • Mike Gerken says:

      My Binkie is and has been for 2 years Kareem Hunt. I was really hoping he would come out last year. This maybe a better year for him to come out because this is a talented group and he may fall a bit, although, the more I watch some of these other guys, the more I want to push him up even further.
      To me, he is the perfect Patriot. Good runner between the tackles, great balance, plays with power, above average pass protector, good hands, and never fumbles.

      • EdgeX says:

        Yeah I was looking at Hunt today and I was thinking “Yep, I can see the Patriot’s drafting this guy.” But to me, he just doesn’t ring my bell – for lack of a better expression. I mean on paper he looks like a good player but for some reason I just feel so lukewarm about drafting him. Maybe it’s just me.

        • steve earle says:

          Your not alone Edge I have the same problem but with me it’s because evaluating RBs and QBs too, is my weekest area. Sure I can spot the big blue chip kids but it’s those mid rounders.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        Toledo was a place I had some contacts within the organization (crazy, they have moved on to my alma mater, Iowa State) so I Hunt was put onto my radar as a Sophomore.
        What I like about him is that he has the ability to run big and small, if that makes sense. When he was at Toledo, he played between 220 and 225 and he slimmed down after the season to show more explosion (went a little to slim TBH, but was told he will be back around 215-217 for the combine. I was also told he has been timed in the low 4.4’s recently and could push for high 4.3’s.
        He is big enough to run through defenders and arm tackles, but he can also get skinny to slip through small cracks.
        Can you tell I really like this guy? I could pound the table for him all day.

        • steve earle says:

          Okay Mike you’ve convinced me so where are you projecting him to be drafted?

        • EdgeX says:

          May have to spend a 2nd round pick to get Hunt. Lucky if he’s still there in the 3rd. Would be ecstatic if the Pat’s are able to get him in the 4th.

  30. Russell says:

    I’m having a hard time finding room on the Patriots roster for a RB in the draft.

    I’m also getting a bad feeling about Hightower returning, as it seems $10 mil. a year was not enough for him. Failure to be in the parade , now no interest in going to the White House (which he did not attend last SB), does not seem to fan friendly.
    Reports have, Pittsburgh is ready to offer, $15 mil. a year, for 3-5 years! The Raiders are interested as well.

    Martellus Bennett sounds like a lock, from what I’m hearing. Not much news about Butler however. That maybe a good sign.

    • EdgeX says:

      But they can franchise Hightower. Put a RFA tag on Butler. And then in the short term work out a deal for Bennett (if they even really want him).

      It’s not that complicated.

    • Russell says:

      The franchise tag for Hightower would be Aprox. $14.15 mil. for next year.
      The RFA tag on Butler would most likely be a 1st round draft pick. ANY mid-late drafting team would be happy to give that for Butler.
      Bennett likely gets $7.5 mil. year for 3 years.

      • Russell says:

        The Patriots need about $12.5 mil. a year, to keep Butler for 3-5 years.
        T.J Watt could be a possible draft pick, Reddick is good but smaller, Davis is good but smaller.
        Given Hightowers injury history, and the need for Butler, Butler sounds more likely to keep.

        • steve earle says:

          I agree Butler is the priority there, not sure I’d tag Hightower given the numbers of FA’s we have this year just not a clear picture at this point. I do like T.J.Watt and Reddick alot so if DH does leave we might get lucky and be able to grab Watt. (best of the two IMO). Hoping we resign DH though.

      • EdgeX says:

        Why spend a 1st round draft pick on Butler when there are about 10(!) 1st round talents at cornerback in this years draft – which would also be cheaper than paying Bulter?

        Out of all the positions cornerback is the deepest in this years draft. I don’t think the impulse to grab Bulter by other teams is really going to be that strong considering the options.

        • D. Martin says:

          I agree precisely with your sentiments concerning the strength of the DB position in this draft. I also don’t know if I would want the team to pay much to keep Bennett. I would rather they draft O J Howard. I’m surprised by how little many players, such as Hightower, Collins, Bennett and perhaps Butler, have bought-in to the team. I know it is a business, but such little loyalty is disappointing.

    • Turbo says:

      If Hightower is gone, i wonder how BB plan to replace him. It’s a pretty weak ILB class. Reddick would be a pretty good choice, but right now he seems like a bit of reach at 32, so maybe with a trade down Pats could pick him. Jarrad Davis is another interesting prospect, but after Easley, Spikes, etc. Patriots should stay away from Florida players.

      Zach Brown and Lawrence Timmons are free agents, but they’re probably going to extend, so i would try to trade for Stephen Anthony.

  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives