College Football: Week Two Musings

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Were on to New Orleans.

Look, it was a tough weekend all around from a sports perspective for me. After the Cyclones lost a year breaker to the evil Iowa Hawkeyes on Saturday, I had a Chiefs fan (remember, I am in the KC area) text me and tell me he wanted to buy me a beer. I texted him back and told him although it was not how I had hoped the weekend would have gone, there are people in Texas and Florida who are dealing with a lot worse than their favorite sports teams losing. He quickly responded that he now wanted to buy me two beers, and I happily obliged. As a Cyclone fan, I am used to heartache and pain, but the weekend usually ends on a high note with the Patriots. I have to tell myself that hopefully this weekend will be the exception and not the norm.

I won’t get into an actual scouting report until after next week as I like to have three games of film to dive into on a player before making in real declarations on a player. Even then, it is probably too early, but at least I will be able to set a baseline and see if players improve throughout the season. Instead, I will give you some of my instant reactions to games I got to watch live.

Iowa at Iowa State, (44-41 ot)

Iowa came in as the favorite, but Iowa State came to play and should have one the game. They are a program that just has not learned how to finish games off. Eventually, the bigger, faster Iowa team wore out the Cyclones defense and pulled out the victory. On offense, Akrum Wadley is Iowa’s most talented player. He is a no nonsense runner with good size. He does not have great elusiveness to make people miss, but he will run through defenders. He has soft hands as a pass catcher and is reliable, but is not dynamic in that role. Noah Fant, the Sophomore Tight End for the Hawkeyes is a guy to keep an eye on for the future. He got open quite a bit in this game, but the Iowa QB missed on several deep balls. Iowa also has some talented Offensive Lineman that fill well into the Patriots scheme. Ike Boettiger(RT) and Sean Welsh(RG) are the Seniors to watch, but they have two underclassman that have NFL talent at Center and Left Guard. On defense, the Hawkeyes are led by Senior LB Josey Jewell. He is an undersized guy who plays fast, likes to hit and knows the game. I am not sure what his NFL future holds, if any, but he is the heart and soul of that defense.

As for Iowa State, the name that comes up most is Allen Lazard, as it should be. He has NFL size and hands as well as the ability to make difficult catches in traffic. I question his speed, but he shows good route running and is a big target for the QB. Today though, I want to focus more on the Cyclones Runningback David Montgomery. He is only a Sophomore, so he will not be eligible this year, but he is fun to watch. He is a little on the smaller size from a height perspective, but I was told he put on close to 20 Lbs. of muscle since last year and it shows. In week one against UNI things were looking about the same as usual for the Cyclones offense, and by that, I mean not good. Early in the 2nd quarter, Montgomery had a run where he just refused to go down and it lit a spark for the entire team. Its almost like a light went off in him and he realized he can run with power as well as speed. Since then, he has run with more purpose and determination, and the results speak for themselves. Another guy on the Cyclones squad who had NFL size and has shown glimpses of NFL talent is Left Tackle Jake Campos. Injuries have slowed his development, but he has looked good so far this year and might be a guy who rises up draft boards as the season wears on. I am not sure there is anyone on the Cyclones defense that will be drafted, but Kamari Cotton-Moya does have good size and speed at the Safety position. He needs to tackle better and can be overaggressive, but he might have the traits to get into a camp.

 

Oklahoma at Ohio State, (31-16)

To be honest, I had watched Ohio State in week 1, so I mainly focused on Oklahoma, and in particular two players, Baker Mayfield on offense and Ogbonnia Okornkwo. I came away impressed by both players. I don’t want to like Baker Mayfield, but after that game I find it hard not too. People will talk about his size and that is a legitimate concern, but he uses the skill set he has perfectly. He is elusive in the pocket while keeping his eyes downfield, yet he is a dangerous runner as well. He throws well on the move and shows the ability to make plays from different arm platforms, much like Patrick Mahomes last year. He plays with a lot of confidence, bordering on cockiness. While this has bothered me in the past with him and other QB’s with similar styles, I saw a more mature player last night than I have in the past. He played with toughness last night and you could see his teammates around him respond to it. I still question his physical skill set for the NFL, but I am more inclined to think he can succeed than I have been willing to admit in the past.

As for OO, (I am not writing out that name more than once) he was once again disruptive throughout the game. He too does not have ideal size for the Defensive End position, but he shows great burst at the snap and has good bend around the edge. He seemed to play with a little more power than I have seen from him in the past. He will need to develop that part of his game to prove he can be more than just a pass rush specialist in the NFL.

 

 

 

 

82 Responses to “College Football: Week Two Musings”

  1. Russell says:

    Patriots add another CB to P-Squad, Robert Nelson 5’10’ 185 was with Cleveland in 2014, and on Houston’s roster/P-Squad 2016. Patriots now have 3 CB & 2 S on P-Squad.

    • Russell says:

      Dallas is right now, in the biggest need of CB help. Don’t know about a player maybe WR/KR Ryan Switzer and 5th -6th draft pick for Butler? More likely a higher draft pick, 2nd ?

    • Jeff says:

      I don’t think it would be worth it to get rid of Butler for anything less than a 2nd round pick. Lewis for a 5th is the floor as well.

      • steve earle says:

        I agree Jeff at least as far as draft pick trade is concerned. If a “valid” DE/Rusher or OLB of equal value was one for one swap then that should work too.

  2. Turbo says:

    I would trade Butler for Carl Nassib and a 5th. We had history trading with the Browns, they need a CB and also have the money to extend Butler. We need more pass rush and after seeing how Butler is playing (and what he did together with his agent in the offseason) he could be expendable just like how Collins was.

    Also it feels good that i called the Stephen Anthony trade, tho sad he’s not coming to the Patriots.

    • Russell says:

      I liked Anthony was high on my Patriots draft board .

    • steve earle says:

      Thinking about Nassib and a 5th for Butler, it could work if Cleve was interested. I don’t know if Nassib is can quantified as the same value exactly but based on needs, maybe? Still like to give Butler a couple more weeks to see if he comes around.

  3. macspak says:

    Certainly a nice victory over the Saints but this team has a long ways to go in all areas. Key game this Sunday. Hate to see them fall to 1 and 2 with two home losses. Expect a low scoring game as Houston’s D is the kind that gives our OL and Brady fits. Good thing Texans still don’t have a QB. Getting our injured back for this week would be very timely.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree Mac, Houston is a dangerous team even without a decent QB. Hoping we get one or two of our injured back but can’t count on it. Worried that Solder seems to be having a less then stellar year so far. Brady was pressured pretty well by the Saints so looking for more from Houston def front. Amendola coming back would give TB that short sure quick target. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  4. GM-in-Training says:

    Doug Kyed tweeted this morning that it’s pretty clear the Patriots are not happy with Malcom Butler. Through two games he’s not playing as well as he did for most of the last couple seasons.

    I’m not surprised if he’s less than his previous hyper-motivated self and it’s showing. He hoped he’d played himself into a giant contract and all he got was a few million measly dollars. The tender process last year was definitely a bit of a mind mess…not good for a player like Butler who has succeeded because he did every optional thing right.

    It’s also likely that other teams have learned how to go after Butler. He doesn’t do as well against taller WR, and the very fastest WR. He may have some legit confidence issues he didn’t used to have.

    Gilmore and Rowe are longer. Jonathan Jones is faster (and hungrier now).

    What I’m trying to figure out is what the Patriots are doing to positively control the situation? If they knew playing hardball could mess with Butler’s game, then they should’ve dealt him. If they assumed Butler would show up and look great out there no matter what, then what are they going to do now that that he’s looking off?

    Maybe this is all just part of the plan, and they’re happy to deemphasize Butler while they work in Gilmore and J. Jones, so they’ve got more elite depth for the season. They’ll take what they get from Butler this year, make him look as good as they can later in the season, and hope for a 3rd-round compensatory pick when he move along next year.

    • Russell says:

      Dallas needs help at CB , good place to trade Butler for a 2nd round pick. Limited playing time means a trade may be forthcoming, as an injured player has little value.

      • macspak says:

        Wouldn’t be surprised if he is traded but I would prefer a proven player who could help now. Don’t know enough about Dallas’ roster to determine who that might be.

        In a way I am not surprised Butler is in a funk, and has been since preseason, on the other hand this really is his contract year. If he plays at a high level he almost certainly gets a 4 to 5 year deal at $12 to $15 Mill a year. Now, not so much.

  5. kevin z says:

    Have a ? if anyone would like to answer. What can we do about stopping rb’s catching ball vs our D? It seems like a big issue mayb just over thinking it

    • Ryan says:

      Find out if Jamie Collins has a brother

      • macspak says:

        Good one except Jamie had his problems covering RB’s and TE’s.

        • carlo strada says:

          Aside Panthers Thomas and Telvin Smith, most of the LB are no matchup for TE…nowadays, a new breed of catching RB, pioneered by Pats backs is getting the whole league, this guys are usually faster than most LB too…i know Collins had his issues (particularly in AFC game 2015) against TE, but what no one can deny is that the guy overall wasnt that bad…he also had his brigth moment in coverage divisional game against Ravens in 2014 or that game in 2013 against Andrew Luck… miss the guy

        • kevin z says:

          yea pats sure did make whole league get passing backs. now need to stop it. have to get another rangy safety, for when have 3 on the field. I think travis like chung from ps box safety type. like to get a dmac like safety to learn from dmac.

  6. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Datone Jones (DL) and Kenny Lawler (WR) from University of California brought into Pats for tryout.
    Both would be excellent additions in much needed positions.

    • steve earle says:

      I’m always kind of leary of FA that would “make excellent editions to”. They are free agents for a reason after all so can you tell me why you believe these two guys would? Not into trading Butler for “best we can get” at least not at this point (after 2 games). Much rather let whole def develop a little after all we have a lot of new and young guys. To soon to panic Dan, hold tight for a couple more games at least.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        Hello Steve,

        A few points.
        1 Lawler I believe was a depth issue at Seattle. I think he could definetly help Pats.

        2 Jones has very good veteran experience that could be used with a young defensive line.

        3 Butler hasn’t played well in a long time that needs to be addressed.

        Go Pats!
        Dan S

        • Philip says:

          as far as I remember had DB Butler only his second bad game .. not for a long time (steve and i talked about that earlier). He might be not anymore that stud we saw the last two seasons, but the whole secondary doesn’t play up to their potential.

          The D is young, but D.Jones is more of a run-stopping DE than a pass-rusher. He is indeed scheme flexible (3-4 DE in GB and 4-3 in college and MIN) and there is a chance that BB and Patricia can bring out the best of him, but I’d rather go for a guy like J.Jones (former PIT, who underpreformed to his draft-status) as IMO they need a guy who is more EDGE/OLB.

          Instead of Lawler I’d look at guys who spend already time at the roster, because there is no long term need, just stop-gap solutions. Players like Keshawn Martin, Devin Street, DeAndrew White or promote Ayers or WR Hollister from the P-Squat … or even call Hawkins out of retirement

        • steve earle says:

          Dan I hear what your saying but as I recall we went through something like this a few seasons ago with our def early on then by late November it seemed to jell. Given BB’s track record and the uncanny ability this staff has as talent evaluation I’d be willing to give them the benefit of a doubt that we may just have the makings of that preseason expected def on hand already. Now after a couple or three more games we can’t see improvement then I’ll agree we should look to bring in some outside help. Still the problem is to bring in guys who can actually help not just add bodies to the roster.

        • kevin z says:

          hoping get WR for now and the future. Edelman older ,dola along with MM always hurt.
          love each one of them but need some more even if PS.

    • kevin z says:

      would like either Braverman, Lawler or spruce the WR’s tried out last few days
      jones on D could be a nice pick up, think fit our D better then GB’s D

      • steve earle says:

        Of that group Braverman interested me most. When his name first came up I went back to his predraft scouting reports which described him of having the quickness or sudden change of direction necessary for slot receivers in spread offenses. Thing is Amendola should be back sooner rather then later and then you have to decide who you release to fit a new guy even if it’s only for the PS.

        • kevin z says:

          yea I agree with you. thought braveman what I call him was a pat last year in the draft.

          like the skill you mentioned along with his vision. I feel like have more success with the type of

          WR he is. The speedy straight line burners not as much.. give me the tough route runner over

          the speed burner every time. Quickness more important than speed in our system

  7. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Geramy Davis and Jalen Strong both receivers recently waived that Pats should take a look at.
    Patriots should look to trade Butler for best Defensive Lineman or Linebacker they can get.
    Very impressed with Defensive End Wise for Patriots very good speed and quickness for a
    280 pond player.

  8. Philip says:

    does it only seem to me or had his second “down” game? I don’t understand why he is pissed on the way the patriots handle his situation. He is now in his 4th year (3 years RFA and now the tender year) and is making more money than he would have made if he got drafted in round 3?

    • steve earle says:

      I think you are talking about CB Butler? If so yea, but was better then vs KC but not what we’ve seen in past 3 seasons. Confidence been shaken, sulking, just a slump? Entire D backfield has not been what we expected in many instances. Brightest play has been J Jones. Go figure, another UDFA.

      • Philip says:

        yeah, sorry … forgot that there are two Butlers on the team.

        But CB Butler is still making more than most rookies that would have been drafted in his year … and they are not as frustruated has he is atm.

        • steve earle says:

          LOL, I don’t know about the atm or not but that’s just the way the NFL is, rookies get paid less the vets. They all know that going in so doubt it’s much on any minds.

    • Daniel Sullivan says:

      Good point I like J.Jones also but still think Lawler could help. As far as Butler goes I know I was hard but just feel with the contract Gilmore received he is always going to not feel right as a
      Patriot. I think he needs a fresh start somewhere new.

  9. GM-in-Training says:

    So, the Pats had Daniel Braverman in for a workout.

    I’ve seen many try to compare him to Julian Edelman, but I don’t think it’s a fitting comparison.

    When drafted, Edelman was 18 pounds heavier (able to take more of a pounding), yet faster in the 10-yard split (1.52 vs 1.59), and faster in the 3-cone (6.62 vs 6.88), and stronger to block and break his own falls as measured by bench press (14 vs 10). All that, plus studying under Wes Welker and learning how to disguise routes, get open, and get hit without being vulnerable are why Edelman could move the chains 10 time per game. Edelman’s agility numbers are way better than the average DB. Braverman’s…are not.

    I keep hoping the Pats will find a suitable slot receiver v3.0, but not so far.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I really liked Braverman coming out of college, so I am biased here, but I do think he shows the traits to be a slot receiver in this offense.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        I agree Braverman would be a nice addition and he can only get better being around our
        receivers.

        • kevin z says:

          I hope sign Braverson release Richards. seem to have more success with gritty type, than the speed demon type. hope get rid of slater or ebner bring up ayers or Travis from PS

        • macspak says:

          why would you want to get rid of an actual perennial Pro Bowl ST and another almost Pro Bowl ST?

        • kevin z says:

          prefer just one or the other not both. with the trades pats made for ST players, can afford drop one for a position of need

        • macspak says:

          I hear ya but Bolden would be my choice as a cut to make room for depth elsewhere and likely when Slater and Ebner are good to go he will be as good as gone.

        • kevin z says:

          good point. forgot about Boldin thinking you are right, with your insight.. Hope to see Hollister today. hope he is legit could be a matchup nightmare that we need

    • steve earle says:

      Took a few min. to check out his pre-draft scouting reports and they do read like he has many of the quick/sudden two way moves to get open, at least in collage, and they project him as being able to translate that to “spread offenses” in the NFL. Bringing him in for a look I think was justified on that basis. Whether or not that results in his being signed we’ll have to see. At the least it’s a case of due diligence.

  10. GM-in-Training says:

    I haven’t seen any word of a new PS pickup since Foster was poached away.

    RB is one of our deepest positions right now.

    Any guesses what position it will be?

  11. Russell says:

    Those that follow me here, know I have projected the DE Jones trade, & LB Collins trade.
    I’m projecting BB trades CB Malcolm Butler, to the Bears, for DE Jonathan Bullard (6’3″ 290 lbs.) & the Bears 5th round pick 2018.
    I look for CB Damarius Travis (P-Squad) to moved up to the Roster. (cut S Richards and sign to P-Squad if he clears waivers)

    • Russell says:

      Please check-out my article about a possible Butler trade at footballnation.net Thanks thumbs up at the end helpful.

    • steve earle says:

      Very interesting projection Russell. Bullard has been battling a glute injury but he has a high upside though not sure how Bears are set at DE or CB for that matter. How do you see these issues particularly the glute injury?

      • Russell says:

        DE Jonathan Bullard has a great upside, his injury is minor. Check-out my article at footballnation.net to see why the Patriots need to trade Butler to get value for him.

        • steve earle says:

          Okay sounds about right but how did you come to the conclusion that the Bears will part with Bullard?

        • Russell says:

          The Bears have a need at CB they were trying to move Fuller. Bullard was playing special teams a lot, and have depth at D-line. The Bears have cap space to sign Butler….

        • steve earle says:

          Sounds reasonable, any indication BB is looking at it?

        • Russell says:

          Well, there is little doubt BB had Bullard on his daft board, he played college ball at Florida. Patriots signed another CB to the P-Squad.

        • steve earle says:

          Thank you for your info and responses to my questions Russell. We have to see if Bill makes this move I guess?

    • Trev says:

      No offense, but that would be a terrible trade for the Pats.

      • steve earle says:

        Not so sure Trev, given the performance so far from our def front and how easily KC got around our edges and the poor pass rush we failed to generate it’s an idea that can at least be considered. Can you give us your reasons for thinking it’s not a good idea so we can evaluate pro’s and con’s?
        I suppose what we think matters a lot less then what BB thinks.

        • Trev says:

          Sure. Bullard is injury prone and not very good. We would be weakening our secondary severely if we got rid of Butler. That isn’t the answer to helping the pass rush. A 5th is basically worthless to Belichick. I’d rather keep Butler, let him walk, receive a 3rd Rnd Comp, and possibly trade Dion Lewis for a DE.

        • steve earle says:

          Your argument sounds reasonable too Trev. Have you any DE in mind to trade Lewis for?

      • Trev says:

        A guy like Eli Harold from SF would be a target that wouldn’t surprise me.

        • steve earle says:

          If not mistaken Harold OLB is a starter for SF, if so could we realistically expect them to trade him for any reasonable price? Russell was thinking of Bullard a classic DE type who is currently being mostly used as ST due to a glute injury which is not a debilitating injury. Describing him as injury prone for a couple strains or sprains I’m not sure applies as he was healthy all through collage as far as I could tell so far. It will be interesting however to see if another trade prediction by Russell happens?

    • carlo strada says:

      would this move spell patriots leading more towards a 4 man front? i mean, he´s a 4-3 DE/3-4DE/3 techDT guy, by any means he´s an OLB

      • carlo strada says:

        *edit: not by any means he´s an OLB

      • steve earle says:

        His scouting report I believe says he can play 3-4 or 4-3. Has the size to play 3-4 DE it appears. Not a speed rush guy like an OLB might be but can get pressure on passers. One of those, we won’t know what we have until we have him and try him out. And yes he is not a LB so it would still be good to get another one of those too I should think, at least for depth.

    • Philip says:

      cant imagine that … they dont care about interior rushers because they have butler … if they trade CB butler, than for a backer or a speedy edge rusher … or a first round pick

      • steve earle says:

        I’m getting a little lost so help me out here please Philip. Which of the two trade proposals is it you can’t imagine? The one by Russell for Bullard or the other for Eli Harold? Me I’m not holding my breath for either but Russell does have an uncanny knack for predicting these things. I sure would like to see Bill add some decent depth at both OLB and DE however he manages it though I wouldn’t give the farm away to do it.

        • Philip says:

          Sorry, I was talking about Bullard. Never saw a game of Herold to be honest.

          I’d prefer to get some speed on the outside.

        • steve earle says:

          Okay now were on the same page. I agree a speed rusher who can also set the edge whether LB or DE would be the first choice of mine too. If we can’t find one of those I’d settle for either a rush specialist or someone who can defend against the run and at least press the pocket. I’d also prefer sending a draft pick rather then Lewis but that may not be possible the way Russell lays it out. We’ll see.

  12. Russell says:

    Patriots lose P-Squad RB Foster, to Arizona. BB could sign a QB to fill the spot, QB David Fales or QB Alex Torgerson.
    I still like, LB Antwione Williams to be a good Patriots “Fit”.
    LB Joshua Perry looks good as a Patriots “Fit” as well, but injury settlement.

    • Ryan says:

      We need to grab a DE with some promise and stash him on the practice squad, pronto.

      • steve earle says:

        Therein lies the problem. How many “good” DE’s are out there to be signed? Russell names a couple but as he notes, Injury question on one, the other?

    • Philip says:

      wohooo .. .finally, now BB can trade D.Lewis without having an option on the P-Squat … let’s do it *sarcasm*

      now trading D.Lewis is not an option anymore and we need another linebacker or EDGE-player who is able to pressure by speed

      • steve earle says:

        Had me going there Philip! I was wondering if Foster was long to be with us once he was waved, understood it, but wondered. Now bill will have to look for a PS RB as insurance and I’m going to have to scour the FA availability’s. Any suggestions guys?

        • Russell says:

          YES sir; RB LeShun Daniels , a guy that showed promise for the Patriots in preseason. He is already in the system.

        • Philip says:

          To be honest … Trade D.Lewis, stick with the 3RB they have … Hogan, Cook and Dorsett have the ability to take handoffs out of the backfield.
          Sign Lucien, we need a receiver who knows the system more than a RB right now. Daniels would be a nice option on p-squat

        • Jeff says:

          Daniels makes sense, but they’d still have Gillislee, Burkhead, White, and Bolden if they traded Lewis, which would be an acceptable depth chart for the active roster.

  13. steve earle says:

    Watched Okla. St. this past weekend. QB Mason Rudolph was sharp, no news there of course but some QB needy teams will be beating each other with clubs to get a chance to draft this guy next draft.

  14. Mike Gerken says:

    As an aside. My wife surprised me with a trip to Boston for my birthday and we are hoping to go to the Patriots vs Panthers game. Do any of you have suggestions on where/how to get the best tickets is. Also, we are staying in Boston without a rental car and was wondering what the best way to get down to the stadium is. We were thinking train or UBER I guess.
    I would love any suggestions on places to eat as well.

    • steve earle says:

      Just north of the stadium on the southbound lane of rt 1, the Red Wing has really fine seafood. Fried scallops are great. It’s been there for years, still is. Not fancy, or pretentious but good, good. Both my wife’s family and mine went there often when we lived in Wrentham. Ate there last on July 29th this year. If you don’t like seafood plenty of other good places all along Rt 1. Good luck. Oh, I have no connections to the Red Wing, just years of experience.

    • EdgeX says:

      Best mode of transportation would be bus or train.

      In particular http://www.mbta.com/riding_the_t/trains_to_gillette/

      This train will go directly to Gillette Stadium and bypass all of the traffic which would be best. You have 30 minutes after the game ends to get back on the train though.

      I’m not sure what traffic is like around KC but when the Patriots play a home game basically the entire area outside the stadium and routes on the roads a few miles out turn into one giant tailgate party. Traffic is BAD – meaning it’s not uncommon to take 2+ hours to get out after a game depending on where you are parked.

Leave a Reply

*/ ?>





  • Categories

  • Search NEPD Archives

  • Archives