Scouting Report: T.J. Watt, DE/OLB

Is Watt the versatile chess piece that the Patriots are looking for?

Is Watt the versatile chess piece that the Patriots are looking for?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

The other day, I gave you my thoughts on one of the Combine’s biggest winners, Jordan Willis. Today, I thought it might be fun to give my report on another standout from the Combine and a guy who would play a similar role in the NFL. By doing these back to back, we can get begin to compare and contrast their games and maybe get a feel for who might be a better fit for the Patriots come draft day. So with that in mind, lets take a look at T.J. Watt out of Wisconsin.


As you can see from the graph above, Watt is another athletic freak on the football field. What is even more impressive is that for a guy who has only been playing defense for two years and a starter for one, he shows great intelligence and awareness for the position. Watt also showed excellent versatility on the field, playing both end positions as well as OLB and MLB. Much like Willis, Watt showed excellent hand use. He was able to manipulate Tackles with his active hands and their placement when rushing the QB and he showed he could stack and shed when playing the run. On tape, Watt shows much more flexibility as a pass rusher than Willis. He has an ability to get skinny and fight through trash to make plays. He has a relentless motor and is always active, making it near impossible for his opponent to get their hands on him. He sets up his pass rush moves and has a more varied arsenal of secondary pass rush moves than Willis.


Watt lacks and needs to develop power across the board. He is not a traditional hand in the dirt Defensive End because he just does not have the functional strength to hold up against bigger Offensive Lineman. The big concern there is that his frame looks to be maxed out. Watt also struggles converting speed to power. There are times when he tries to win with power and there is just not enough strength in his bull rush or his punch to really make an impact. Watt plays like his hair is on fire, and while that is great, he can get out of control. This leads to balance issues and him not finishing plays. He needs to refine his technique, especially in running situations and setting the edge. He will take chances and they don’t always pay off.


I am an intrigued by Watt, and I think the Patriots should be to. While he may lack some refinement in his game, it is easy to see the traits are there. I love his versatility and I love his work ethic. Any player who can develop hand use and subtle movement skills in such a short amount of time shows me that this kid loves the game and will only continue to get better. Watt is a bit of a tweener, but in a good way I think. I think if he is put into the right situation, he will have immediate success and I am confident in his long term production.  To me, he just looks like one of those guys you can ask to do different things from game to game and will have success doing it. I think if the Patriots want him, they will have to take him at the end of round 1.




228 Responses to “Scouting Report: T.J. Watt, DE/OLB”

  1. Stephen J says:

    If we keep Butler would he be our slot CB with Gilmore and Rowe as our outside CB’s or would you have Butler and Gilmore as our outside CB’s and say sign Nickell Robey who had a passer rating of 74.86 in the slot; 2nd best for slot CBs just behind Chris Harris Jr.

  2. Stephen J says:

    One player if he is still available in the 5th-7th round I’d be interested in is TE Jonnu Smith. Here is why. If it wasn’t for his girl friend dumping boiling water on him and causing him to miss the rest of his senior season we maybe talking a lot more about him. The guy is an athletic freak. His testing is similar to Njoku’s
    Njoku……….Jonnu Smith
    40 4.64……..4.62
    Vert 37 1/2…38
    Broad 133….127
    20 shuttle 4.34…. 4.18
    Bench 21……22
    Two TE’s he compares favorably with is Dallas Clark and Daniel Graham according to Now due to his incident with his girl friend it makes it difficult to assess his on field development which is one reason why he is not being talked about as much. Now with those athletic traits and the comparison of Daniel Graham which BB drafted in 2002 I think he would be a worthwhile/value pick in that 5th-7th round range and see how he develops

    • esther says:

      George Kittle has comparable numbers, and he can block.

      • Stephen J says:

        That’s the other TE I’ve been looking at and been going back and forth between the two. One is more of a blocking TE while the other is more of a catching TE so it’s a matter of which one you prefer more. Some days I prefer Kittle some days I prefer Smith and not just for those two reasons I think at this point and I could be wrong that Smith has more upside but Kittle is the better player right now.

  3. Stephen J says:

    For those that are wondering how JoJo(Joe) Mathis did yesterday at UW’s Pro Day. He was there but didn’t participate in any of the drills. He will hold his own Pro Day before the draft.

  4. Russell says:

    One of my prospects; Jimmie Gilbert (snubbed at the Combine) ran a 4.62 40yd at his pro-day. At 6’4″ 235 lbs. 34″ arms, 37.5 vertical.
    Patriots met with Gilbert at East/West Shrine Game.
    Patriots also have taken an interest in DT Josh Tupou 6’2″ 353 lbs.

    • Stephen J says:

      I like Josh Tupou as a player but wasn’t sure how the Pats would feel about his off the field issue. I guess we will find out.

      • Russell says:

        Yes off the field issue , but I’m not a big fan, he interviews poorly. Powerful 3 tech. player, however, his off the snap is poor, hand placement avg. , tackling and vision avg. The Jets are interested also, 6th-7th round project.

        • Stephen J says:

          I said I liked him didn’t love him. That is where I would grab him in the 7th or as a possible UDFA if the Pats were looking at him. This class doesn’t really have anyone that stands out in the DT position. This is why I was happy when they brought in Guy he is way better than anyone in this class everyone seems to have some sort of issue(s) that need work or if they have a good overall package they have off the field issues/personality issues. Personality issues being they play only when they feel like it or anger/attitude issues that results in excessive penalties. Then along with or grouped in with personality issues is football smarts. So with this class it’s pick your poison with this position this year.

        • Stephen J says:

          If I could get the athleticism of say a Jarron Jones/ELIJAH QUALLS the heart sure will determination of a Solomon Thomas and the smarts of JALEEL JOHNSON in one player that would be who I would go with

        • Stephen J says:

          Personally even if he was around in the 7th I would probably pass because I think there will be other players that are better but may not be positions of need.

  5. Russell says:

    Look for Hightower to resign with the Patriots today. I’ hearing, $11.5 mil. per yr. for 4 yrs. with injury wording.

    • macspak says:

      Good money for an ILB but easily fits into available cap space and he is an integral part of the Pats D. He actually has rather unique overall skills and has progressed beyond what anyone could have hoped as a pass defender from his rookie year. Must pay good money for good players especially one who is a Captain.

    • steve earle says:

      Looking forward to that, now get Butler signed and I’ll be a happy man.

  6. Russell says:

    Next free agent to watch for the Patriots (IF) Blount goes to Detroit , is: RB Rex Burkhead 26, 5’10” 212 lbs. from Cincinnati .
    Patriots have met with SS Obi Melifonwu TWICE, 1st at the senior bowl, then at the Combine with BB.
    Jared Odrick has an offer on the table (I’m told), not sure how long it will last with the signing of DL Lawrence Guy.
    Patriots also have interest in OL D.J. Fluker, But I’m not sure he’s a good fit??

    • Ryan says:

      I’m no longer sure that the Pats will bring in Odrick. Guy’s contract is apparently 4 years for $20 million, and with Alan Branch under contract I’m not sure the Pats will want to pay Odrick as well.

  7. macspak says:

    4th round draft picks.

    We were unethically stripped of our 4th, which would be 32. To add injury to insult if we traded for another 4th we would lose the higher of the picks. We traded for Seattle’s 4th thus losing that but gaining the 32. We now have traded for NO’s 4th. Thus losing that as the earliest. Have we traded a 4th this year? (I’m thinking we did) But, if not don’t we own 3 4th rd picks? If yes, can’t we trade the earlier two and move into the 3rd leaving our original 32 to be sacrificed? What am I missing?

    • Russell says:

      Patriots currently have 2 4th round picks, New Orleans (going to the League) and Seattle’s .
      The Patriots 4th was traded to the Colts for TE Allen.
      Moving forward the Patriots can trade Seattle’s 4th, if they choose, BUT not New Orleans.

      • macspak says:

        I forgot the details of the Allen trade. Something was nagging me but I couldn’t pinpoint it. No wonder with so much happening. Thx.

    • td says:

      Yes, we lose the highest of any 4th rounder. I would think BB will turn extra 4th rounder’s into earlier rounds if possible. I wonder if he could get rid of all 4th rounder’s as a middle finger to Goddell? Turning them into earlier rounds leaving none to be taken would be priceless.

      • steve earle says:

        Don’t think that would work because which ever 4th was the last one left would be untradeable as it would go to the league. Just my thoughts. Still your idea of sticking it to Goodell somehow has my approval.

        • td says:

          They keep sticking it to Goddell and the other jealous owners by continually winning. Winning SB LI must have gone right up the a$$ of a lot of owners and league empty suits.

        • steve earle says:

          Your the man td!

  8. Stephen J says:

    Here is a good break down of Brandin Cooks and how the Pats can utilize him

    Brandin Cooks: What type of receiver are the New England Patriots getting?

  9. D. Martin says:

    Here is a concern I have. The drop off from Garoppolo to Brisset as a, hopefully unneeded, backup is hardly as great as the drop off from a Tom Brady to a Tom Savage. I can’t see one more cheap year of a descent (if possibly injury prone) Garoppolo is nearly as valuable as a first and some later draft picks, or even a couple of second rounders at this point.

    My fear is Brady has signaled privately that 2017 or 2018 will be his last season, or Belichick plans on moving on at the position to Garoppolo. This is crazy to me because Brady has led the team to an unprecedented 7 consecutive AFC title games and has won 2 of the past 3 Superbowls. He is still the greatest QB in the league.

    But they probably can’t pay both of them big money contracts, and big money is precisely what Garoppolo will demand. Although he is still a second round draft pick from a small time, non-FBS school, who only lasted about 6 quarters of play before succumbing to an injury, people seem convinced he will be great and they will pay him handsomely for it. So, if Belichick can’t keep him past next year without giving him a monster contract, I can’t see why he wouldn’t trade him for a few descent picks this year. Especially since he now has no 1st or 2nd round selections in the draft. Unless, of course, he has a longer term contract for Garoppolo in mind.

    This concerns me because Brady is my absolute, bar-none favorite player. He and Belichick are the primary reasons why this Georgian cheered for the Pats against the home team in the last Superbowl. I really don’t want to see Brady retire anytime soon or playing for another team anytime ever.

    • macspak says:

      I have no reason to doubt TB’s repeated strong statements that he wants and plans to play into his mid 40’s. Age and physical decline may prevent that but I just can’t imagine he has whispered anything to the contrary to anybody.

      With that in mind it comes down to value and money. There is too much value in not trading JG and there is not enough money to keep him after next year. Its more risky to keep him than trade him. Risk and roster mngt dictate he is traded.

      • EdgeX says:

        100% agree

      • D. Martin says:

        I agree. I think. I want Garoppolo traded. Period. If all goes according to plan he wouldn’t see the field next season even if he were kept on the roster. If he has to play some snaps, hopefully in mop-up duty only, I don’t think he is that much better than Brisset. If the plan is to let him walk after next season, keeping him only hurts the development of Brisset anyway.

        And it is because I see tremendous value in trading him, I see little value in keeping him, and am hearing constant reports that the Pats have refused to trade him even for a kings ransom of draft picks, I am now worried about what all of that portends collectively.

      • td says:

        Yes, that and Brady is playing at his best still and at a price Jimmy G would probably fetch on the open market now. I would expect Brady to perform at this level for another 2-4 years.

  10. D. Martin says:

    I doubt it, but have to ask, is there any chance this Achilles injury drops Sydney Jones from bottom of first to middle of 3rd (where the Pats will have their first pick?)

    I just realized the draft won’t be all that exciting this year, lol. I was really hoping for trades of Garoppolo and perhaps even Butler, as well.

    • EdgeX says:

      lol chill man – this will be an exciting draft – watch what they get in the Jimmy G trade. It’s going to be a ton.

      If Jared Goff (of all people) can get 2 x 1st, 2 x 2nds, 2 x 3rds I’m thinking Pat’s can get at least 2 x 1sts and 2 x 2nds, possibly more (or maybe Bill prefers all the 2nd round picks the Browns have in the next 2 years and takes all of those who knows!).

      To answer your main question – yeah I think Sidney Jones drops but how far? Probably somewhere in the 2nd round is most likely, maybe 3rd round but long shot I think. Too much talent to pass up.

      • D. Martin says:

        I’m surprised you still think Garoppolo gets traded Edge. Every report coming out is that the Pats have forsworn all prospective bidders. I see how that could all be a bargaining tactic, but every day that passes and JG is still on the roster means other teams who would love to trade for him will continue pursuing other avenues.

        • td says:

          Reports coming out of where? Websites and Pat’s shill Sheffter. When or if you ever hear come from Pat’s it’s official, until then I assume this game will go on right up to the draft.

        • EdgeX says:

          @ td: Right on man 100% agree. Nothing “official” from the Patriots. Only media reporting things. It’s all part of the game. They don’t call this the “Lying Season” for nothing.

  11. Stephen J says:

    Funny Tweet by Eric Edholm in reference to BB statement and current Free Agency

  12. Stephen J says:

    Sidney Jones carted off the field during pro day with a leg injury

  13. Stephen J says:

    Well Done Russell

    Patriots are signing Lawrence Guy

    This From Matt Harmon of on Guy

    A five-year veteran, Guy had stints with the Colts and Chargers before coming to Baltimore. He has 5.5 of his 6.5 career sacks since signing with the Ravens. Despite only registering a single sack, Guy brought consistent pressure with a 4.24 average yards to the quarterback on pass rush attempts. He only played 47 percent of the defensive snaps, so he’s a rotational player, but his value to the team appears clear.

    • Stephen J says:

      This from Doug Kyed on Guy

      Guy has 128 combined tackles in five NFL seasons with 6.5 sacks and one forced fumble. He joins Alan Branch, Malcom Brown, Vincent Valentine, Woodrow Hamilton and Darius Kilgo on the Patriots’ interior defensive line.
      Guy ran a 4.98-second 40-yard dash coming out of college in 2011 with a 7.34-second 3-cone, 4.43-second short shuttle, 29-inch vertical leap and 8-feet, 8-inch broad jump.

    • Stephen J says:

      Guy also played 460 snaps on special teams(26.74%) in 2016 according to Ben Volin

    • Russell says:

      When I first checked -out Lawrence Guy, I said this “Guy” is a Patriot!! He has a great story as a player with a learning disability in College (Arizona State).

      • Russell says:

        4 year deal , $20 mil. BB strikes again!!

        • macspak says:

          I’m interested in what the bonus and guaranteed money is as that will indicate if he is viewed as a “sure” thing or competition and potential depth.

  14. Stephen J says:

    Well the Pats have sent a scout/representative to Washington Huskies Pro Day

  15. Russell says:

    A Patriots MOCK draft just got more interesting;

    3d -#72; OT Will Holden
    3d -#96; S Eddie Jackson
    4th- #131; Edge/LB Jimmie Gilbert
    5th- #163; TE Scott Orndoff
    5th- # 183; OT/G Erick Magnuson
    6th- #200; DT Collins Bevins
    7th- #239; DE Marquavius Lewis

    • macspak says:

      I like the picks, players and positions, especially double dipping at OT. OT depth is a prime short term need and a replacement for Solder a slightly longer term need.

    • steve earle says:

      Gosh already a new mock Russell? Well okay yours looks reasonable, I’ll give it a try:

      3#72) Adam Shaheen TE Ashland 6-7 277
      3#96) Connor Harris LB Lindenwood 5-11 242
      4#131) Jon Toth OC Kty. 6-4 308
      5#163) Damonta Kazee CB SDS 5-10 183
      5#183) DeVeon Smith RB Mich 5-11 220
      6#200) Jaravius Lemon OT S.C.St., 6-6 305
      7#239) Ahmad Thomas Saf/ ST Okla 6-0 215

      Now if BB goes and messes up our mocks again we should send a strongly worded note home with him.

  16. EdgeX says:

    This is the way I see it with Butler:

    They offered him a long term deal last year and he said no. Obviously, I don’t believe everything said in the media recently, but bottom line is those talks haven’t gone well enough that’s why made the move for Gilmore as insurance. Instead of having Butler’s agents dictating terms to the Patriots for a long term contract now the Pat’s are in control. So I’m betting in the next month the Pat’s offer a long term contract to Butler – which he better say yes to – otherwise he could be traded.

    Pat’s can be ruthless in contract negotiations.

    • Russell says:

      Sounds logical. A team (like the Saints, Cleveland or ???) could being willing to offer a big contract and give a 1st pick. (Saints using #32) Patriots would have to match, or take the 1st pick.

      • Joel says:

        If Saints, Browns or anyone signed Butler to offer sheet and Patriotss don’t match, Patriots would the the team’s highest pick – so #1 overall if the Browns (not happening) and #11, not #32, for the Saints (unlikely).

    • td says:

      My guess with Butler is that he wanted to get paid immediately, but Pat’s wanted to suck that last bit of value out of him this year; $3.9 mil for a $10+ mil player= great value not to mention his $600k salary the past two years.

      Pat’s now have 4 such values on roster; Flowers, Thuney, Cooks and Mitchell.

      Much like Welker, I’m sure pat’s told Butler the clock was ticking on whatever team friendly contract he was offered, then signed Gilmore just like they did Amendola.

  17. Dan Sullivan says:

    Jimmy G. is too good of a talent to sit for several years behind Tom Brady let
    him get his chance to play.

  18. Stephen J says:

    The only 3-4 OLB with a higher pass rushing productivity than Alabama’s Tim Williams this year? UW’s Joe Mathis per Gordon McGuinness at PFF

    His Pro Day is today at 1 PM EST

  19. Dan Sullivan says:

    Quite pleased at what Patriots have done. Cooks is the home run threat the team will
    add to a group of very clutch receivers. Ealy was a great pick up young and getting better.
    Signing Branch was key to such a strong run defense. Gilmore is as good a cornerback as anyone.

    Jimmy G. eventually will eventually get traded to Browns.
    Butler will get Traded.
    Pats will take time but should sign Hightower.
    I look for a couple more of Buffalo Bills to get signed but Patriots as free agents.

    So far A for Patriots.

    • Yohy says:

      Why trade Butler? I know it’s a business and you can’t argue with the results but c’mon Butler came out of nowhere to a SuperBowl hero and a quality DB.

      Why pay Gilmore big money and not Butler? Didn’t see too many Buffalo games is Gilmore a true shutdown corner?

      I just feel these guys like Butler, Ryan and especially Hightower were good enough to win the SuperBowl why break up the team?

      • GM-In-Training says:

        Butler wasn’t awesome in 2016. He was exposed from time to time. He’s got all the character you want, but a little less fairy dust than we supposed after Superbowl 49 and the 2015 season.

    • Todti says:

      The great thing about Cooks is that he’s not just a deep threat. He’s shifty and balanced as well and has 9 5/8″ hands. The Patritos can basically use him in every concept they want to employ. That’s why he was so valuable to them (and less so to other teams). The more I think about it, I could actually see him getting an extension. [Far-fetched theory: He’ll be under contract in 2017 and 2018 if they choose to use the first-round option at $8-9m. Gronk’s contract ends in 2019 and if he’s not going to be a fully-reliable player in the future I can see the Patriots allocating some of the money to Cooks that Gronk would earn if he were healthy.]

      I’d be careful calling Gilmore on of the best CBs. He has the potential for that but I’m still not completely trusting him.

  20. EdgeX says:

    I just gotta say I feel bad for Mike Gerken…all those high profile scouting reports, so much tape watched….so much time wasted LOL! He must be ready to throw in the towel.

    Just remember Mike…..


    • Yohy says:

      The research will payoff three years from now when the Pats trade again for a player on the tail end of their rookie deal.

      BTW that’s the downside to both of these trades, there will be an expiration date on both contracts of 1 or 2 years. As opposed to a rookie that you can control for 4-5 years.

      Maybe Bill is all in for this year. Dare I say undefeated season TD record for Brady, Ring #8 and then ride off into the sunset.

      Or perhaps Bill knows Brady is near the end and wants to give Jimmy or Jacoby weapons.

      • td says:

        For most draft picks it takes a few years to actually get on the game day roster or starting team, which makes their last few years of the rookie deal the part with the most value.

        Once in a while Pat’s hit a home run with guys like Butler, Edelman and Ninkovich as free agents.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      LOL EdgeX,
      Thank goodness I do this because I love it, because after two days of insanity on the FA market, my head is spinning. It should help to narrow the field as to what the team is looking for, right? Nah, they will probably draft another WR, DT, and QB for all I know.

  21. GM-In-Training says:

    Well, sorry, your mock drafts need some revision. After getting Cooks, the Pat’s draft picks are:

    3rd round, #72 from Carolina

    3rd round, #96

    4th round, #131 from Seattle (#118 should be forfeit as DeflateGate penalty)

    5th round, #163 from Denver

    5th round, #183 compensatory

    6th round, #200 from Indianapolis

    7th round, #239 from Detroit

    Of course, things may change…so, use that information how you will 😉

  22. Russell says:

    I hear; the Browns are interested in Butler 1st #12 and $12.5 mil. a yr.3-5 yrs. ….OOR a trade for Butler and Garoppolo;
    1st #1 & 1st #12 , and a 2nd in 2018.

    • matt says:

      1 St and 12th in the first round and a 2 nd in 18. For Butler and Jimmy G. I say no way to that. # 1 first round this year + 25 mill for Jimmy G and then give the 12 mill to Butler. I know its just wishful thinking but who knows what will happen.

      • steve earle says:

        $25 mill for JG then give it to Butler? Can they do that without somehow violating the cap?

        • matt says:

          Well I think the Pats prob could. I’m sure they have a few lawyers and Accounts that could find a loop hole that could make it work. The browns do have a lot of money and I do think Butler has earned a pay raise.

  23. Stephen J says:

    And there it is The Patriots send their 32nd 1st round pick and their 103rd pick in the 3rd round and receive Brandon Cooks and the Saints 4th round pick 118

    • Stephen J says:

      Looks like Malcolm Butler is still in the fold for at least now anyways.

      • Bumbabeef says:

        So glad butler wasn’t part of the trade.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree but as Stephen says “for now”. Really hope Butler resigned, he and Gilmore will be a great combo at CB for years if resigned.

    • Russell says:

      VERY good deal! New Orleans 4th #118 If I’m not mistaken this pick goes to the NFL, and Patriots keep Seattle’s 4th #130, having traded their own 3d, #136 to the Colts.

      • steve earle says:

        Correct me if I’m wrong but it looks like we now have, 2x 3rd, 2x 4th, 2x 5th, 1x 6 and 1x 7th. Did I mess up anywhere?

        • Stephen J says:

          This is what we have now after the trades

          3rd #72 CAR
          3rd #96
          4th #131 SEA (#118NO forfeit DeflateGate penalty)
          5th #163 DEN
          5th #183 compensatory
          6th #200 IND
          7th #239 DET

        • steve earle says:

          @ Stephen: I thought we had a comp 4th as well or am I counting a pick twice?

        • Stephen J says:

          The Pats were award 2 comp picks this year a 3rd(103) from Cleveland in the Jamie Collins deal and a fifth-round pick (185th overall) because they lost defensive tackle Akiem Hicks and safety Tavon Wilson, but signed linebacker Shea McClellin.

          That 103 pick was essentially swapped with New Orleans 4th round pick number 118

        • steve earle says:

          Mea Coupa, Got my comp picks mixed up, thanks Stephen.

    • Ryan says:

      This seems to increase the probability of a Jimmy G trade this year. Things really look good for next year, and I’m amazed that the team has so many splashy moves AFTER winning the super bowl. Just shows the Belicheck is always focused on winning.

      • steve earle says:

        Could be right Ryan but if it gets much crazier not sure I can keep up with it all, lol. And if a block buster trade for JG come out better put a suicide watch on Goodell.

    • steve earle says:

      I’d say Floyd is packing his bags as we speak.After he get’s out of jail next summer he probably be a vet min for any team to sign. Amendola will now have to restructure his contract or move on. I look for the former.
      Wow! Bill is really going full boar this year.

    • D. Martin says:

      I don’t want to be unduly negative, as I am glad to have Brandin Cooks on the team, but I can’t help but to feel as though Dave Njoku at 32 would have helped the offense more. I mean they could’ve gotten the same or greater value from Floyd for far less. They could’ve traded picks in the first, as was initially reported to be the deal, and drafted a top 2 or 3 corner in the draft to replace the UDFA Butler who will command a whole lot of money in just one season.

      Lastly, if Cooks has such promise, to why did the Saints immediately invest another first round pick in the following draft?

      • Stephen J says:

        This also from Rich Hill

        Brandin Cooks has 3 years exp, 2,982 yards from scrimmage, 21 TDs.

        Malcolm Mitchell has 1 year, 401 YFS, 4 TDs.

        Cooks is 3 months younger.

      • steve earle says:

        One thing to consider, Floyd is going to jail until sometime this summer indicating immaturity at best and personality disorder at worst. Over all I like the deal.

        • D. Martin says:

          I hear you Steve. But forgetting Floyd, again I suggest without this Deal Dave Njoku is likely a more dynamic weapon, and in the scenario initially suggested (32 and Butler for 12 and Cooks) could’ve been invested in a better CB for Floyd at a very reasonable 4-5 year contract. A great and cheap CB would be very helpful in mitigating the cap damage incurred by paying 13 mil per to the 62 ish rated CB in the league last year.

        • D. Martin says:

          Better CB than Butler, I meant.

        • steve earle says:

          D. Martin, Something to be said for a proven player. Bird in the hand, and all.

      • Stephen J says:

        This from PFF(ProFootballFocus)

        On deep balls in 2016, Cooks had 11 catches and no drops, best ratio of any NFC receiver

      • Stephen J says:

        Then there is this from

        Cook’s had a 39.12% receiving yardage market share while seeing fewer than 29% of the team’s targets. And he ended up on the receiving end of 45.71% of the team’s passing touchdowns while at Oregon St.

        The dude is a TD machine

        • D. Martin says:

          I’m not unhappy having him on the team Stephen. I’m just bristling at the cost. Plus he will also be looking for big money in a year, right? I think the pats need at least one WR over 5’11”

        • Stephen J says:

          Cooks has averaged 81 catches, 1,155.5 yards, and 8.5 touchdowns per season during his second and third seasons in the league

        • Stephen J says:

          This from Mark Daniels

          Cooks is on the books for one more season at around $1.885 million. Patriots could exercise his 5th year option for 2018 to keep him around

        • Stephen J says:

          We have a WR over 6’0″ in Chris Hogan at 6’1″. He’s worked out well so far

          We also had a 6’3″ in Aaron Dobson now BB is going for fast (the kind of fast that commands respect) and productive over tall unproductive

        • td says:

          Pat’s offense is based on TB12 getting rid of the ball quickly and WR/TE traits boil down to catch rate vs distance. For instance Edelman, Amendola, Gronk have catch rates of near 80% within the 10-15 yard distance. Not sure of Hogan, Mitchell and Cooks, but for comparison a guy like Evans of Tampa has a catch rate of 55% from 20+ yards from scrimmage. BB takes an 80% rate of moving the chains (like SB LI) over 55% chance of a long gainer all day long.

          They will never find a freak like Moss again, where TB could just throw it up for grabs and he comes down with it; one of a kind.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        What if Njoku is gone by 32? I think there is a real possibility he goes somewhere between 17 and 25, so there is a risk in focusing on one player.

    • Stephen J says:

      Here is an interesting stat from Rich Hall

      Best WR/TE red zone catch% past 5 yrs:
      Welker: 74.1%
      Brandin Cooks: 72.0%
      Dwayne Allen: 71.9%
      Amendola: 71.7%

      We now two of those players on the books for this year and the 3rd ???
      Pats focusing in on red zone

  24. Russell says:

    By moving back in the draft 8 spots the Patriots get Kony Ealy? Ealy is 25, 6’4″ 275 lbs. 34 1/2″ arms, ran a 4.69 40 yd. and had a 6.83 3-cone drill .
    He looks bigger to me, so I wonder if he has weight issues, and maybe conditioning issues. He’s in the last year of his contract and will get $800K in 2017.
    Where is the down side to this deal????

    • Ryan says:

      His full combine performance:

      40 YARD DASH: 4.92 SEC
      BROAD JUMP: 114.0 INCH
      3 CONE DRILL: 6.83 SEC
      20 YARD SHUTTLE: 4.45 SEC

      I’m surprised the Panthers didn’t want him considering his amazing potential as a pass-rusher. Maybe they think that Julius Peppers will start aging backwards?

      • steve earle says:

        Right! There loss our gain and well worth our #64. GO PAT’S!

      • Stephen J says:

        One thing I read from a Carolina scout was that they got tired of (get this) his free lancing. Hmm where have we heard that before. Maybe it wasn’t so much Jamie Collins and his free lancing instead it was BB unloading a big contract ahead of time and looking for value later down the road.

        • td says:

          Absolutely, Collins’s value was only going to go down if Pat’s held him to end of season and they had/have too many areas to address to spend over $10 mil on him. I was just amazed Patricia could patch together a LB corps to win a super bowl, although Falcons RB’s had a field day until they decided to keep throwing the ball.

  25. Stephen J says:

    Marty Bennett to the Packers. Should be an interesting game when/if the Packers and Seahawks play

  26. steve earle says:

    I’ve been away all day catch me up please guys. What happened with the Cooks trade rumor? Did we sign Gilmore away from Buff? I see we traded for Ealy, good move I think. Have I missed anything else?

    • Ryan says:

      We got Gilmore ($13 mil a year) and lost Ryan (Titans, $10 mil a year), Sheard (Colts, $8.5 mil a year) and Bennett (Packers, terms undisclosed). The offer for Cooks seems to have been tabled by the Saints, as there has been no movement on that front since yesterday. I don’t think they hate it, but I think that they’ll try for something better before accepting it.

    • steve earle says:

      Thanks guys I was fretting all day at VA Hosp. Glad we got Gilmore, must kill Buff! Ealy a good pick up too. Glad I didn’t miss anything on Butler, what’s the thinking on him? Does Bill sign or trade him?

  27. GM-In-Training says:

    Free Agency, Trades and Compensatory Picks:

    It’s way too early to hazard a guess about how many compensatory picks this off season will bring, but several factors suggest it could be a pretty good Haul.

    Sheard got a $25M 3-year contract.
    Ryan got a $20M 4-year contract.
    Who knows what Chris Long or L. Blount will get.
    Marty B. looks like he’ll get a few years at $9M/year.

    To replace two of those, the Pats traded for Dwayne Allen and Kony Ealy…so, affordable and not counting against the compensatory pick formula.

    So far, the one big subtraction from Pat’s 2018 comp picks is Stephon Gilmore’s $13M/year thing.

    Yes, Hightower and Butler still have to be sorted out, and it doesn’t look like there’s a way to make both of them happy, although there’s a chance somebody like Tennessee makes Butler an offer that activates the round 1 Tender…but the math would be pretty funky on that for Tennessee.

    Anyway, right now it’s looking like at least a couple 4th or 5th round comp picks. We will see.

    • Ryan says:

      I’ve heard Logan Ryan’s deal is $30 million for 3 years, but I don’t know if that’s true or not.

      I love the Kony Ealy move. We only moved back 8 slots to grab him, and his potential is amazing. I can’t wait to see what he does for the Pats.

  28. D. Martin says:

    Jabaal Sheard gone to the Colts. Gonna miss those 7 sacks per year average.

  29. D. Martin says:

    Pats just sent their 2nd round pick to the Panthers for Kony Ealy and a 3rd.

  30. GM-In-Training says:

    Jimmy G Value…some thoughts.

    As much as I think the Browns totally understand that they need a real QB, I think so more time has to pass before they and the Pats get serious about a trade.
    1. The Browns are pruning their QB stable. Today they waived RGB3 and are supposedly already shopping Brock Osweiler to see if they can get another draft pick for their $16M.
    2. The Browns are still trying to add picks for their war chest. They want to build through the draft, are very likely to trade down in the first round if they can get good offers. Unfortunately, besides Myles Garret, there aren’t too many can’t-miss first-overall players that provide the missing piece to overtrade for. This is not the best year to auction off the #1 overall pick. Conversely, this is a great year to have lots of picks #20-#60. Those are conflicting pressures.
    3. I think the Pats would much rather cash out Jimmy G. before the 2017 draft so they can reload on quality and affordable youth, given all their free agency and cap engineering right now. If you look at how many former-1st-round-draft-picks are or might be walking out the door this off season (Chris Long, Hightower, even Mingo), and last off season (Chandler Jones, D. Easley) there’s a lot of talent to replace.
    4. So, the Pats are letting the market dry up, to increase the desperation of the teams still in need. The Browns are accumulating picks and spending their cap. Put it all together and I think the Pats get…

    A 1st and 2nd rounder this year, and a 2nd round next year. That would be pretty awesome.

    • Todti says:

      That’s all true, however, you cannot win a Super Bowl with Brissett (yet) but you can with Garoppolo. That’s likely worth a lot more to Belichick than a 1st round pick.

      • Todti says:

        As hard as it is, I think the Patriots keep Garoppolo, use the franchise tag and trade him after the 2017 season. His value will be lower, but it’s the safer option for the Patriots.

        • Russell says:

          No-way they use the F.tag on Garoppolo that would cost aprox. $23 mil. for one year, and if trade for him you pick-up the $23 mil. contact tag.

  31. Stephen J says:

    Does anyone know about the Safety Johnathan Ford from Auburn.
    At his pro day today he was clocked at 4.25 but officially it was 4.32
    He is 6’0″ 204 lbs lead the team in tackles in both 2014(93) and 2015(118) but this year he seemed to disappear with only 59 but did have 5.5 TFL’s.
    Could he be an under the radar prospect who could play ST’s and be groomed as Chung’s replacement or is he along the lines of Tavon Wilson / Jordan Richards ST’s player who plays safety

  32. EdgeX says:

    Thanks to Miguel @ Patscap on twitter he’s got a couple proposed long term deals Pat’s could work out with Malcolm Butler:

    4 years x 11.5M = $46M total


    5 years x 11M = $55M total

    In these scenarios guess the Pat’s see Gilmore as the #1 paid CB and Bulter as #2 – just based on money – or you could look at it as him taking a team friendly deal. Hopefully they get it done!

    • Russell says:

      The 4 yr. deal looks good, so as not to over lap Gilmores 5 yr. Logan Ryan got $10 mil. per year.

      • Jeff says:

        Would 4 years at $48 million get it done? It’s hard to judge what the Pats are willing to offer vs. what Butler is willing to accept. I wonder if the Pats are willing to do 4 years at $48 but Butler wants a 5th year added on and a total value of $63 million.

        • Russell says:

          Butler could be looking for 5 yrs. BUT it is unlikely BB wants both his CB contracts ending in the same yr. looking to the future.
          The Patriots are a better team, with Butler & Gilmore to get Super Bowls while Brady is at QB next 3 years?
          If it was me, I’d trade DT Malcom Brown & #32 (1st) for Cooks, not butler.

        • EdgeX says:

          I would hope all the options mentioned by you and Russell COULD work – question is if Malcolm wants to make it work.

          Having Gilmore + Butler for next 4 years = pretty much a lock Pat’s walk away with at least 1 more Superbowl win in next 4 years.

    • Todti says:

      I assume he’s talking about next year, right? Because if I’m not mistaken the Patriots do not have enough cap space left to resign Hightower, extend Butler and sing their draft class, let alone any emergency money or other FAs.

      • Jeff says:

        Patscap says they have $54.7M in cap space before gilmore, so there should still have quite a bit of space…

        • Todti says:

          Patscap is currently at roughly $49m without Gilmore, Branch and Williams. Including them will bring it down to just under $30m. If they resign Hightower it’s going to be for over $10m, so they will have, say, about $17m left. That’s not going to be enough for rookies, emergency money and Butler, let alone any other FA.

      • EdgeX says:

        Yes Pat’s have enough cap space to sign Hightower, extend Butler, sign their draft class, and make even more moves….plenty of cap space.

        Remember they also have the ability to cut or restructure Amendola’s deal which they haven’t done yet – and don’t expect them to until necessary. Restructuring DA’s contract I’m thinking would save them at least another $5M on the cap.

      • steve earle says:

        If it comes down to Hightower or Butler I’d go with Butler because likely we could draft a really decent LB with our #32 (T.J. Watts, Jordan Willis) for example. The idea of trading Butler, as expressed yesterday, and getting NO. #11 isn’t to crazy, we could then draft one of the better CB’s. Like you say “can’t do both”. Be fun following all this.

  33. Russell says:

    A name to watch is RB Rex Burkhead 26, 5’10” 210 lbs. from Cinny. Burkhead is very good in the passing game as well as a hard runner. Should be able to get for say; 3 yrs. $5 mil.

    • Russell says:

      Patriots are meeting with DL Lawrence Guy 26, 6’4″ 305 lbs. (Baltimore) Guy has a learning disability but is a great looking prospect, who should be a great value. Look for the Patriots to sign him!

  34. EdgeX says:

    Looks like it could be a hoax or Jimmy G just messing with people. Post is gone.

  35. td says:

    The only scenario I see BB hanging onto Jimmy G is if he has info that 2017 is Brady’s last year.

    After 2017 he might have to franchise tag him at close to $23mil/yr. while coming up with a long term contract. He would probably garner $15-18 mil/yr. and that would be as a starting QB. It would be unfathomable to think BB would keep that salary and Brady’s $20+ per year until end of 2018.

    • Russell says:

      It’s hard to believe BB would hang on to Garoppolo, with his market value. If the Patriots don’t sign Garoppolo to another contract, before the end of 2017, they will lose him to free agency next year, and only get a Compensatory pick for him, a HUGE loss in value.
      However there is TEAM value (BB what’s best for the team) having a solid back-up QB if Brady gets hurt.
      Brissett needs more time to develop , however drafting a late round prospect this year, adds a developmental guy with a possible future. But why would you carry 4 QB’s on the roster?
      IF Garoppolo is gone, Brissett greats more quality reps., and a rookie prospect takes the limited 3d reps.
      IF you keep Garoppolo he gets the quality reps, and Brissett gets the limited 3d reps. IF you DON”T sign Garoppolo to a contract extension, and you lose him to free agency, Brissett moves to your #2 guy having limited reps the past two years. Then you look to add (Draft) a 3d QB behind Brissett.
      The value of Garoppolo, in the market, would seem to out weigh the future of the team, but is closer in case of a Brady injury.

      • EdgeX says:


        I think the Browns are gearing up to really make a push for Jimmy G, meaning:

        2017: 12th overall pick(1st), 52nd overall pick(2nd)
        2018: 1st round pick, and 2 x 2nd round picks

        How could the Pat’s say no to something like that? Pat’s don’t have the cap room for a franchised Jimmy G and new contract for Solder in the same year do they?? I doubt Jimmy wants to sign an extension and ride the bench. Most interviews/reports I’ve read he wants to play. If they don’t make the deal he basically walks for nothing.

        • Russell says:

          I was thinking;
          1st (#1) 2017
          Earliest second rounder in 2018.
          BB has stated the 5 first picks have value to the Patriots, the #12th not so much. Then maybe trade back, or take DE Garrett.

    • EdgeX says:

      Yeah, not only that, but how are you going to pay for Solder’s new contract? I’m not sure Pat’s will have enough cap room for a franchised Garoppolo AND a new LT contract in the same year.

  36. D. Martin says:

    Garoppolo just said his goodbyes via social media. I would not be a fan of doing this, but I’m curious if Coach might flip what is hopefully an early first received in trade for JG for another QB. Specifically, I’m asking if the top 1 or 2 quarterbacks in this draft would likely be as good or even better than Garoppolo with three or four “cheap” rookie contract years to develop? The obvious advantage afforded by this strategy is the team keeps a quality backup under contract for a few years at an affordable rate. But, could someone like Trubisky ever take the reigns from Brady at his retirement?

    • steve earle says:

      Whoa! Martin that’s an interesting thought, flipping QB’s. Don’t think anyone else has come up with that idea. It would be a BB classic if it happened, nice idea.

  37. Stephen J says:

    Logan Ryan now a Titan

  38. EdgeX says:

    Just some food for thought:

    1. Be careful what you read on twitter contracts – especially guaranteed money – wouldn’t be shocked if Gilmore’s guaranteed amount is lower than stated.
    2. Pat’s can’t trade Butler until he signs tender which he hasn’t done.
    3. Wouldn’t be surprised if Gilmore signing is leverage on Butler to lower asking price and sign long term deal.

    Thinking long term and seeing cap go from $143M to $167M in 2 years (!!!) paying APY of $13M to $14M now and locking up two stud guys at the CB position would make sense….every year prices getting steeper…imagine what it will cost to sign a stud CB in another 2 years with these cap increases. If going to make another run at a Superbowl while Brady’s here going to need a talented secondary.

  39. Mike Gerken says:

    Of course the day I have to be out of my office all day all this stuff goes down. It has been a heck of a start to free agency that is for sure. I think this might only be the beginning too. Jimmy G, Hightower, Butler are all still question marks.

    • EdgeX says:

      Mike you should have known to take a vacation day today.

      The best part was watching the ESPN square table with like 12 talking heads. Talk about a frenzy!

  40. GM-In-Training says:

    If Butler and #32 go to New Orleans for Cooks and #11…that’s a net gain of 660 points on the draft trade chart, the equivalent of the #28 pick (or #57 and #58)…so in essence, they’d be getting 2 years of Cooks for cheap and 2 1st rounders for their #32.

  41. td says:

    If there were any doubts why BB traded Jones and Collins: Collins 4yrs-$50 million, Jones 5 yrs-$83 million. Jones’s best value was pre-draft last year and Collins’s best value was middle last year.

    Butler’s best value was greatest last year, getting smaller this year and will be almost zero after next year. If they could bring in someone with a lot of value for the next 2 years for Butler they do it all day long-that would be Cooks.

    I think Hightower’s best value is probably $10-11 million per year and he may well find that out in free agency unless a crazy team goes off the edge like Jax has been doing. The franchise tag for LB’s of $14-15 million was never a consideration for a oft injured ILB even with making game critical plays in SB’s.

    • Todti says:

      True. I think the Patriots are ready to pay Hightower decently but it will include incentives based on his health/availability.

    • steve earle says:

      Seems right, might also observe if they get Cooks it signals Floyd is not any priority and only way he stays is a team friendly contract if one is offered.

      • D. Martin says:

        In my opinion, they really should keep Floyd. He is 6′-3″ 220 and was drafted No. 13 overall. He runs a 4.47 40 and can be signed very cheaply. The dude is talented. He just hasn’t been utilized properly.

        Cooks is 5 inches shorter, 35+/- pounds lighter, runs faster 40, but was drafted 7 spots lower, for whatever that is worth.

        I’m not saying don’t get Cooks, I’m just saying that Floyd presents a unique opportunity to get a very talented player with high, untapped potential for a very cheap price tag.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          They’re going to have to wait and see if the league suspends Floyd, and what that does to his market and their roster management.

        • D. Martin says:

          Good point GM. But even if he can’t play this year, sign him to a multiyear deal at a bargain price, no? If he does well with the GOAT QB when he does return then the team can trade him for draft picks later, if nothing else. If he doesn’t perform they can cut him with little to nothing invested/lost.

        • Tim D says:

          I want them to sign a WR that can win on physical traits. Houston and Atl really gave the WR’s a hard time with the tight man coverage. The WR’s couldn’t separate. Pats needed perfect throws and check downs in the second half to complete the comeback. Whether it is a small speedster like cooks or a big outside WR like floyd, I’m in. Pats can’t always rely on scheming guys open (i’m looking at you chris hogan) vs zone def.

  42. Todti says:

    From Ian Rapoport:
    “The #Patriots are signing DT Alan Branch back on a 2-year deal worth up to $12M, source says. They are finalizing it now.”

    I was secretely hoping for Bennie Logan, but assume he is going to be too expensive. Branch for 2 years on maybe $4m base plus incentives is very good news in my mind.

  43. Russell says:

    “IF” the Patriots trade Butler, look for them to resign CB Logan Ryan. They will resign Harmon today..

    • Todti says:

      I can’t see them paying Gilmore and Ryan, unless Ryan takes a dicount or does not get the expected interest. Don’t get me wrong, Gilmore and Ryan plus maybe an improved Cyrus Jones sounds like a great starting CB trio, especially with those safeties behind them if they really resign Harmon.

      • Russell says:

        Ryan is not getting much interest yet, so any deal he will get, be less than Butler would get.
        DT branch is resigning 2 yrs. $12 mil., Harmon 3 yrs. $14 mil. No word on Gilmore’s deal, but if it is 5 yrs. then expect, $62 mil.

        • Todti says:

          The word is $14m per year, so that would be 5 years & $70m.

        • Todti says:

          Oh sure, I think noone expected Ryan to get close to what Butler will command. But it’s still too much for the patriots to invest in CBs if they resign Harmon, Branch and Hightower. They have about $50m left after the Allen trade, if I’m not mistaken. That leaves $24m for Hightower, Ryan, the draft class, their buffer for emergencies and any FA they want to sign (e.g. Blount). No way they keep two high priced CBs. Maybe Butler on his first-round tender if he would be ok with that.

        • steve earle says:

          Earlier you said Pat’s were looking to acquire Stephon Gilmore, anything new there? Can they get him cheaper then they could resign Butler?

        • steve earle says:

          Opps, coming up from lower on the page and didn’t read your line on Gilmore. Any idea on the structure of that proposal, would it be cheeper then extending Butler?

    • EdgeX says:

      I think that depends on some things…

      If the Pat’s get the 11th overall pick from the Saints as you are saying…I could see them using that on one of the REALLY good cornerbacks coming out in this years draft.

      So…say Gilmore + Marshon Lattimore + Eric Rowe + Cyrus Jones etc for a secondary.

      Not a guarantee Logan Ryan comes back.

  44. EdgeX says:

    From Chris Mortensen Kirk Cousins reportedly personally appealed to Dan Snyder for trade to 49ers.

    In other related news Cousins reportedly hasn’t signed his franchise tag to put pressure on front office to trade him.

    This is a team to keep an eye on for involvement in a Jimmy G trade in the future.

  45. Todti says:

    If the Patriots really sign Gilmore and let Ryan and Butler leave, I’m kinda ok with that although the long-term commitment scares me a bit. The only question I have is: who will cover the quick, shifty WR next season?
    To recapitulate, the Patriots used to cover the opponents’ smaller, quicker (outside) WR with Butler (1-on-1) and cover the opponents’ big WR with either Rowe or Ryan & safety help over the top (due to Ryan’s lack of deep speed). With the signing of Gilmore they basically upgrade Ryan/Rowe and will likely leave Gilmore 1-on-1 with the opponents’ big WR. The question now is whether they will shift the same approach to the smaller outside CB or whether they will change the scheme in general.
    Without Ryan, Coleman is probably their best slot CB. I don’t see them putting Cyrus Jones in the Butler role, even with help over the top. Same for Jonathan Jones. Right now, the CB corps is Gilmore, Rowe and Coleman with both Joneses as backups. That’s just not going to cut it. Either they will draft another CB or, and that’s my favourite move:
    sign Brandon Flowers. He’s tiny and old but he played a solid role on the outside opposite Verrett for the Chargers. Furthermore, he was cut so he doesn’t count for the compensatory pick formula. I could see him being a nice pickup, especially if he can have safety help against speedy receivers. Additionally, the Patriots could draft a CB and let him or the other young CBs on the roster develop behind Flowers. That way the Patriots would pay less long-term than with Gilmore/Ryan and Butler while still maintaining a solid secondary.

  46. Dan Sullivan says:

    Very good trade for Patriots Dwayne Allen will have a strong year.

    Patriot Projections and Mock Draft.

    Patriot Free Agents
    Alan Branch
    Michael Floyd

    Nfl Free Agents
    Stephon Gilmore CB Bills
    Conor Barwin DE Eagles
    Quintin Demps S Texans
    Lawrence Timmins ILB Pittsburgh

    Patriots Mock Draft.
    1 Carl Lawson DE Auburn
    2 Dede Westbrook WR Oklahoma
    3 Dion Dawkins G Temple
    3 Duke Riley LB LSU
    5 Donnell Pumphrey RB San Diego State
    5 Dan Skipper OT Arkansas
    6 Matthew Dayes RB NCS
    7 Andreas Knappe OT Connecticut
    7 Tanzel Smart DT Tulane

    • steve earle says:

      I thought I read a couple days ago that talks with Branch were going well? Maybe I’m wrong but—-?

    • steve earle says:

      Seems I missed the Branch deal. Was out a lot today. Anyway A run at Conor Barwin would be a decent idea if the cost was acceptable. A couple more def players and this could become a Off draft. What price range do you see Barwin looking for?

  47. EdgeX says:

    WOWOWOW WTF?! Pat’s are considering trading Malcolm Butler to the Saints for Brandin Cooks.

    Hang on to your seat fellas we’re in for a ride today!

    • EdgeX says:

      So much for the Patriot’s having a quiet off season where they would primarily focus on re-signing their own players. When you think they are going to zig – they zag!!

    • Russell says:

      Yes talks are going on for CB Malcolm Butler & #32 pick , to New Orleans for WR Brandon Cook & #11 pick.

      • carlo strada says:

        that d be just insane

        • matt says:

          So tell me Carlo how good is this guy Cooks? Is he fantastic or do Pats hope he will become a better WR here? If the hope he will become better here then I say screw that trade rather have Butler.

        • Todti says:

          Andy Benoit was talking about Cooks on the MMQB podcast yesterday. He said something like this: There are fast guys and there are quick guys, but Cooks is one of the few guys who has both speed and quickness … he doesn’t fit into every scheme, but the Patriots certainly present a good fit.

          I have only problem with Cooks and that is his contract. He’ll be on a decent contract for two more years but afterwards – if he’s really going to be great in the Patriots’ scheme – he’ll command too much money. So it’s probably a two-year rental of a great fit with a compensatory pick at the end. You still have to pay him later than Butler, but I can’t see him being a long-term Patriot. However, the idea of having Edelman, Hogan, Cooks, Mitchell, Gronk, Allen, White, Lewis and potentially a drafted TE and/or RB with both Brady and Garoppolo makes me salivating a bit.

      • steve earle says:

        Geeze!!!! I don’t know about Cooks? I know about Butler. Hope this isn’t a grass looks greener kind of deal.

        • Matt says:

          I agree with you. Todti said hes fast. Know one says well hes a one of the top 5 WR in the NFL or even in the top 10 they just say hes fast. I don’t like the idea of the Pats trading Butler and there 1st round pick at 32 for this guy. It’s one rumor that I read about but if they do that then its a real stupid move. No one is worth that I don’t care how fast the guy is.

        • matt says:

          That was a typo should say no.

        • steve earle says:

          @ Matt: That’s my gut too but have to see how it all shakes out. Bill usually has a plan but I can’t figure what that is right now. I called on Russell to give us some ideas just waiting for him to respond.

      • Stephen J says:

        For those that are wondering about Brandin Cooks here is some info on him

        Last year he had 78 receptions for 1173 yards and 8 TD’s

        He ran a 4.33 Forty
        6.76 3 cone
        3.81 20 yard shuttle

        So not only does he have straight line speed but also change of direction speed

      • steve earle says:

        Russell you must have some idea what’s the thinking. Is Bill targeting someone he wants and can get with that #11 pick or is he looking to save on a big contract for Butler? Both? Neither?

        • Russell says:

          They made Butler a long term offer , he said no. I’m sure it was a fair offer, but greed is the fastest path out of New England. Hightower was offered $10 mil. yr. by the Patriots he said no. Harmon will resign with the Patriots, maybe today.
          Cooks would be under contract, with an opition by the Patriots for 2018. Cooks will replace Amendola .
          A trade for Butler maybe strait up, for Cooks , no draft picks.
          The move to trade for a TE tells me, BB WILL trade back, #32 for an early 2nd & 4th.

        • Russell says:

          IF they trade Butler, look for Logan Ryan to RESIGN with the Patriots, cheaper than their offer to Butler.

  48. Russell says:

    It looks like the Patriots are going to sign CB Stephon Gilmore 6’1″ 192 lbs. 26 runs a 4.45 40 yd. The contract could be; $12 mil. a year, for 3-4 years.

    • Ryan says:

      I heard it could be as high as $14 million a year. Either way, Logan Ryan is probably going to walk.

      • steve earle says:

        That could be too but then there is the plan to trade Butler for Cooks and the #11. Lots of ?????????????

  49. td says:

    Just saw Pat’s signing Stephon Gilmore from Bills, better start updating the Mocks after today and tomorrow boys

    • td says:

      I think BB is pressuring Browns to convince themselves to 2 #1’s for Jimmy G, both of them garnered from Philly for their #1 last year. This may go right up to draft day. Brown’s QB options are quickly narrowing.

    • steve earle says:

      Right td and just posted a mock bottom of the page too. Have to wait for awhile to see what else BB has up his sleeve. Could become really, really interesting going along now.

  50. Yohy says:

    A little late to the draft party, still basking in the glow of a fantastic SuperBowl. I see Mike and company have done their usual outstanding job informing us fans of the current college players.

    This time of year is a little bittersweet because of the inevitable loss of players we cheered and rooted for. I hope the Pats resign Hightower, Butler, Ryan and Sheard. Bennet can move on to greener pastures.

    This draft seems to be deep in Defensive players. If the pats lose 2, 3, or all four guys I mentioned I think this is the year to replenish the Dee.

    I would hate to trade # 32 for Cooks when most of the Offense is set. Could use the first 3 picks on defense without a doubt.

    Whatever happens I hope Bill chooses wisely. No more Easley or Grissom picks. Winners like Flowers and Mitchell .

    I hated the Valentine pick last year but then there he was in the AFCCG with the TFL at the goal line. So ya never know.

    Keep up the good work guys!

  51. Stephen J says:

    Look how close TJ Watts measurements are and Tyus Bowser’s are.

    Here is Tyus’

    compare them with TJ’s above

    • steve earle says:

      Measurable s are only a part of it these two also have the films backing them up but so do some guys a couple inches shorter or what not who can also be in play for us. Should make for a good draft, I’m excited.

  52. Jeff says:

    Okay, I’ve updated a mock here. I used cbssports rankings as a general guide for who might be available at what point in the draft.

    Jimmy G and Jordan Richards for Clevelands 12th pick, 33rd pick, and 6th round pick
    12th overall & CLE 6th for Denver’s 20th, 52nd, and 7th round picks.

    In free agency, I’m assuming Hightower is re-signed as well as Alan Branch or another starting caliber DT.

    1 (20) DE-Taco Charleton
    1 (32) LB-Zach Cunningham
    2 (33) S-Obi Melifonwu
    2 (52) CB-Chidobe Awuzie
    2 (64) TE-Gerald Everett
    3 (96) DE-Daeshon Hall
    3 (103) RB-Kareem Hunt
    5 (163) DT-Jarron Jones
    5 (183) RB-Elijah McGuire
    6 (200) SS-Xavier Woods
    7 (239) QB-Joshua Dobbs
    7 (253) OT-Javarius Leamon

    • steve earle says:

      That would be nice Jeff. How do you see a mock with just the picks we currently have? Be interesting to see how you think that would go.

      • Jeff says:

        Steve, if there are no trades, I’d go with Melifonwu as the first pick and Basham as the second rounder.

    • Glenn says:

      IMO, Charleton, Peppers, and Cunningham are the most overrated players in the draft. Both Charleton and Cunningham proved how slow they are at the combine. Cunningham is too thin and weak to take on offensive lineman as a middle linebacker. Charleton makes plays only when he is unblocked. Hunt as a 3rd rounder is way too early for a “slower” RB.

  53. Stephen J says:

    Patriots were at Oklahoma’s Pro Day today. The main draw was Joe Mixon who ran a 4.43 40 but WR Dede Westbrook blazed a 4.34. Samaje Perine also participated. Here is the link to the full Pro Day Results

    Mike if Joe Mixon didn’t have off the field issues would Kareem Hunt still be your Binky or would Joe beat him out

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Hunt would still be my binkie because of value. If Mixon didn’t have the off field issues, I think he would be a top 15 pick. I try not to fall too much in love with guys I don’t think the Patriots have a chance at. Mixon’s talent is unquestioned.

  54. Stephen J says:

    Well I possibly found another comparison. I have to wait for the Pro Day to get the times distances etc but it looks like I found a comparison for Rob Ninkovich. When I checking Bench Press Reps I noticed that my Binky JoJo Mathis of Washington had similar measurements as Rob Ninkovich. Then I looked at his other measurements and this is what I came up with

    Rob Ninkovich………JoJo Mathis
    Bench Press 23…….24
    Arms 31.5″………….33″
    Hands 9″…………….9″
    40 Yard 4.91………..TBD
    Vert 34.5″…………..TBD
    Broad 116″(9’8″)….TBD
    Shuttle(20) 4.18…..TBD

    Another Player that was in range but not as close was Alabama LB Ryan Anderson
    Arms 31.5
    Hands 9 3/8
    Bench TBD
    40 4.78
    Vert TBD
    Broad TBD
    Shuttle(20) TBD

    • Stephen J says:

      Here is a superb video breakdown of JoJo Mathis. It’s 27 min 33 seconds long but well worth watching when you have the time.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        Not sure if you saw my report on Mathis, but I am a big fan of his as well.

        • Stephen J says:

          Yes Mike a few times I saw he is your 2nd Binky lol. Just the scouting report I referenced above used film breaking down plays and outlined things he is great at as well as things he needs work on. l am waiting for his Pro Day on Sat more so just as confirmation from what I’ve seen on tape. The only concern I have is did he have enough time to prepare for the Pro Day events since being cleared medically. It seems to me he has everything the Pats look for in their starting players. He has the measurements the football smarts and athleticism(speed, power and flexibility) and it shows up on the field. He just needs more experience and refining as you and I have stated. I’d take him over all the Edge guys I’ve looked at so far and that’s just about everybody that’s not in the top half of the 1st round. Where ever he goes someone will be getting a great player.

  55. EdgeX says:

    I like Watt but is he a DE or a LB or can he play both??

    I thought he was better as a LB prospect? Am I wrong?

    Anywho, good job by Pat’s picking up Dwayne Allen. I think that means the Pat’s won’t use a high pick on a TE.

    Could see them target TE Bucky Hodges in the 3rd round if available.

    • Jeff says:

      The Pats get a good deal on Allen – looks like they’ll pay him 5 million the next 2 seasons, which is a good deal for a decent TE in this market, before his salary bumps up in year 3, at which point they can cut him or keep him if he’s working out. The Pats like to go into the draft not “needing” to take a guy just to fill a spot, so this lessens the pressure to grab a tight end with one of their top picks, but I still wouldn’t be surprised to see one taken in the second or third round. With some injury history for both their top 2 tight ends, they can project that there will be some playing time available for a 3rd TE, and after 2 seasons the guy could easily take a full-time role if the team moves on from Allen or Gronk.

    • steve earle says:

      As to Watt it my depend on the def a 4-3 or a 3-4 but it likely would be a minimal difference because his already highly developed instincts will make him successful either way, imo.
      The trade for Allen makes sense buy we have to wait for the season to find out how good it is.

  56. GM-In-Training says:

    Dwayne Allen! They traded a 4th rounder for Colts TE Dwayne Allen and a 6th rounder! Allen is due a guaranteed $4.5 million on March 14th, so this is not an extended tryout.

    Allen weighs #255 and is a better receiver than blocker, and not as long or as fast as many of the combine participants.

    I’m sure he’ll be an ok #2 TE, but I really, really, really think they need a 6’6″ Gronk Understudy with the potential to block well and create mismatches against LB and SS. Matt Lengel has the traits but we haven’t seen him do much downfield. Rob Housler is a move TE with great traits and some history of production if they could coax his best out of him.

    I’m guessing this means 2 things:

    1) Bennet is commanding too much, and bless him, he’s going to do well for himself making more than $7 million/year somewhere else.

    2) The Pats are starting to shore up needs before the draft so they can have a free hand to draft players they will need in 2018.

    With their cap space this makes sense. Allen is half the cost of Marty B, and 60% the cost of Gronk. By doing a trade, they don’t mess up their compensatory picks.

    What else could they do via trade right now?

  57. Russell says:

    Bill Belichick at Alabama pro day today, Nick Caserio at Temple pro day.

  58. Russell says:

    Patriots send 4th round pick, to Colts for, 6th round pick, & TE Dwayne Allen 27, 6’3″ 265 lbs, who will cost about 2.5 mi. 2017.

    • Ryan says:

      That’s a bargain, but it comes with a caveat: Allen is injury prone. We now have two very talented tight ends who will struggle to stay on the field.

      • Stephen J says:

        Amendola was way more injury prone than Allen and look how that turned out. Outside of the season ending injury he has missed 0,3,3, and 2 games. That is also way less than Gronk. I’d be more concered about Gronk than Allen. Consider me unconcerned.

    • Todti says:

      This trade makes sense for all sides. The Colts get to keep their favourite of the two similar TEs and can add a different type in a deep draft class. The Patriots probably felt like they wouldn’t be able to pay Bennett and still got a solid (if healthy), versatile TE before the draft, while using the increased supply this season to buy low. The Patriots will still be able to play the concepts they wanted to play with Gronk and Bennett and can add a TE prospect late in the draft to develop, if they choose to do so. Personally, I’m still hoping they can get their fingers on Shaheen so that they have a potentially good-to-great all-around TE once Allen becomes too expensive.

  59. Stephen J says:

    Well Mike it looks like BB saved you from having to watch Iowa tape on TE George Kittle since he just traded for Dwayne Allen

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Of course they did. I just finished up watching 2 more games of his. I need a shower. Good trade though. I think Allen can do similar things that Bennett did for much less.

  60. John says:

    It’s just me, but I think that they are looking for a traditional EDGE rusher (hand in the dirt, first) that can do SOME dropping back. Obviously they will interview and workout a bunch of guys but I feel like based on the guys they pressed at the Combine/Senior Bowl, they will go with a Charlton, Lawson type IMO.

    If they do decide to go with a guy that doesn’t put his hand in the dirt, I’d assume they’d go with someone like Reddick. Just because he’s actually is more a LB, than an EDGE even if he did play the EDGE in college.

    By the way, check his tape. Sideline to Sideline from the EDGE, containing the run, rushing the passer, etc. SO GOOD.

  61. Stephen J says:

    I see Watt, Tyus Bowser, or Derek Rivers in that Jamie Collins role/position. Right now I see DE/Edge, CB/S, and that Jamie Collins position as the 1st three positions we address with our 1st three picks. It’s just a matter of how the board plays out to determine which order they will be selected.

  62. steve earle says:

    Love Watt and if he were still on the board at #32 GRAB HIM !!!!!!!!!!

    • steve earle says:

      Well the combine is done and I have had to adjust my pre-combine mock. It’s different and I have not included any trades.

      1#32) Charles Harris DE Mizu 6-3 260 (Good rush and sets the edge)
      2#64) Ethan Pocic OC/G/ LSU 6-6 307 ( Tall for center but can play all line positions)
      3a) Montavious Adams DT Aub 6-4 306 (solid DT with good skill set)
      3b) Howard Wilson CB Hou. 6-1 186 (Soph with room to grow and high upside)
      4.) Jon Toth OC Kty. 6-4 308 (solid OC, not great ath. but gets job done)
      5a) DeVeon Smith RB Mich 5-10 220 ( DNP in runs at Combine, dropped 1 rd)
      5b) Damonta Kazee CB 5-10 183 ( perfect slot corner, quick, fearless tackler)
      7.) Ahmad Thomas Saf. Okla 6-0 215 (Excellent tackler for SP Teams)

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