NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken
As we all wait to see what is going to happen with Malcolm Butler, the path to the Draft continues to get shorter and shorter. I have begun work on my top 100 player list as well as my Patriots specific vertical and horizontal big board, but there is still a lot to get done. I think I have all the big name players done, but there are still some small school guys and Day 3 gems I am still wanting to watch. This process seems so long, but always goes way too fast. A few weeks ago, I gave you my report on T.J. Watt, but his teammate on the other side of that Wisconsin defensive line caught my attention, so I decided since the Patriots do not have a pick is round 1 or 2, maybe a guy like Biegel would be an option later. Here is what I saw on the tape.
Biegel has good size and athleticism for the position. He is a very smart and instinctual player. He has great play recognition and reacts quickly. Biegel is fundamentally sound and is rarely caught out of position. You can see from the film that he works hard at doing the little things right and loves the game. He plays the game the right way, with a lot of intensity and passion. He was a team captain and considered a leader on and off the field. He has very active hands and a quick punch at the snap. He shows good bend and change of direction to be an option as a pass rusher. He also has the movement and recognition skills to drop into space and cover the flats.
A broken foot cost him a couple games as a Senior and did not look as explosive after coming back, so teams will need to feel comfortable that he can get back to his old self. The one thing I noticed throughout Biegel’s tape is that he ends up on the ground A LOT! I think this is due to a combination of lack of strength and lack of balance. He has to get stronger and add more bulk to his frame to hold up in the NFL. Biegel does not possess any secondary pass rush moves and is rendered ineffective if he doesn’t win with his quickness and hand use at the snap. He does a nice job of setting the edge, but struggles to disengage from his opponent, again, probably from a lack of strength.
Biegel has a lot of components the Patriots look for in a football player. He has great football smarts, he works hard and plays the game with passion. He is a team leader and a strong locker room presence. He is not great at any one thing, but he is good at everything he was asked to do. Biegel should be able to come in and contribute on special teams and be a situational contributor entering the NFL. If he wants a more prominent role on any team, he is going to have to bulk up and get stronger. He is a Day 3 guy, but with his work ethic and passion for the game, I think he could develop into a solid contributor in a couple of years.