Scouting Report: Ade Aruna, Edge

Aruna burst onto the scene with his combine performance, but what does the tape tell us about his game?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Going into the NFL Combine, you would have been hard pressed to find anyone who brought up Aruna as a prospect. My guess is most people not involved with NFL teams or the Tulane football program knew much about him at all, including me. That all changed after his performance last week and now drafniks are rushing to find tape to see if those amazing athletic traits translate to the field. A quick note, if you plan on watching Aruna yourself, be careful, he wore both #87 and #1 during his time at Tulane.

Background: Given name is Adetarami. Born and raised mainly in Nigeria but settled in Indiana. Three-star recruit according to 247Sports. Earned his degree in Homeland Security Studies and pursuing another degree in Public Health. Academic standout. Aruna redshirted in 2013 and played in eight games the following year, making seven tackles with one sack. He gained enough experience in those seasons to start 11 of 12 games as a sophomore, totaling 32 stops, five for loss, three sacks, and two pass breakups. Aruna had his best year in 2016, starting all 12 games, posting 43 tackles, 10 for loss and five sacks. He could only manage 25 tackles and three sacks in 11 starts (12 games played) in 2017.

Positives:

Aruna is a well built athlete that has a frame that can continue to fill out. In the past, we have heard that the Patriots like guys who are 6’4″, 260 Lbs and run a 4.6″ 40 or better and Aruna checks all those boxes. Aruna has a strong lower half. This shows up on tape as he shows good explosion out of his stance at the snap. He has long arms and big hands and uses them well to create separation. Aruna was asked to set the edge and showed good ability to do so. He uses his initial quickness and arm length well to get after the QB and he has potential as a pass rusher. Aruna plays with a high motor and will chase the ball until the whistle. He is a smooth mover with light feet and shows glimpses of converting speed to power.

In this first clip, Aruna does a nice job of extending his arms to keep the Olineman off him. He then uses his upper body strength to toss him aside and make the play on the ball carrier.

In this next clip, you get a glimpse of Aruna’s ability to convert speed to power

Negatives:

Aruna is a raw prospect that played against lower level competition, so the jump to the NFL will require some developmental time. He plays too high and will lose leverage, negating any advantage he won at the snap. When setting the edge he needs to widen his base to improve his balance, although he showed improvement and better consistency as the year went on. He lacks a true plan as a pass rusher and does not have any counter moves if his initial speed does not get him to the QB. Aruna does not have ideal bend and change of direction to be a consistent outside edge rusher and if he does continue to add bulk, this could compound the issue. His has to be more aware of his surroundings and show the ability to read and react quicker to more advanced blocking schemes. He lacked production as a Senior, but was asked to play out of position and seemed to be asked to defend the run more than rush the passer.

In this clip, Aruna gets high out of his stance, allowing the Olineman to get his hands into his chest and lock on. Aruna loses contain and the RB gets a huge gain.

In this next clip, Aruna has tunnel vision on the ball carrier and does not recognize the pulling guard until its too late and is wiped out of the play.

 

 

 

Overall Impressions:

Aruna is a very intriguing developmental prospect. If he is given the time and the coaching, he has a chance to be a very good all around prospect. He shows the raw traits to win as a pass rusher and be a good run defender, which is what the Patriots look for. To tap his potential, he is going to have to learn to play with better leverage and he has to improve his pass rush arsenal. He will never be a bend the edge type of pass rusher, but with his long arms and strong hands, he can still be a very effective pass rusher. I don’t really get into player comparisons, but I see some Owa Odigizuwa in him, which is a player I loved when he came out. Owa was further along from a developmental standpoint, but had injury issues that Aruna does not have. I think his athletic traits could get him drafted somewhere late on Day 2, but more likely will hear his name called early on Day 3 of the draft, which could be a steal a few years down the road.

 

 

115 Responses to “Scouting Report: Ade Aruna, Edge”

  1. kevin z says:

    with trade others have used

    2nd : Dorance Armstrong DE-OLB can rush contain the edge played out of position
    2nd : Oneil OL quick feet big next LT
    2nd : Oren Burks LB-S hope slips here rising along with Warner both impressed at combine with movement skills dropping back. Burks smart coming from Vandy which helps
    3rd : Fatukasi DT NT DE big boy well built can slide inside on 3rd downs
    4th : Dj Reed Slot Nickel FS smooth athlete tough just short great tackler with ball skills smart Snyder a good coach from Kansas st
    4th Ian Thomas TE
    5th : Woodside QB
    6th : Harding S tough as nails abuse TE

    Sign a FA RB add a UDFA RB should find a good one with draft being so deep

  2. brandonmaxham says:

    We need to sign Solder to a 2-3 deal and sign a LB (Preston Brown or Avery Williamson)
    then a DE and maybe a TE. Maybe a RB depending what happens with Lewis and Burkhead. Then let the draft take care of the rest.

  3. nick says:

    first 4 rounds:

    1. tavon bryan
    2. justin reid
    2. lorenzo carter
    3. kyle lauletta
    4. fred warner

    we need athleticism all over the defense. qb will be picked every year until brady is gone. wondering if we cant sneak an interior lineman into this draft. i think thuney has been low key average, he seems to lack strength and appropriate size at times

  4. kevin z says:

    Round 1 Hurst TE hoping falls here since TE usually start getting picked around 40 or so.
    I know have Gronk but love to get best TE in this class while addressing needs as well.

    Round 2 Dorance Armstrong lb rush set edge drop back was seen as a 1st rd pick until scheme and position change this past season

    Round 2 Oneil OL another hope falls here has chance to play LT

    Round 3 Fred Warner Will play him next to HT and let him ball can cover good in space

    Round 4 DJ Reed cb-Fs smooth athlete good tackler just short play d-mac role learn year from him.

    Round 5 PJ Hall Int rusher dt play on 3rd down for Shelton

    Round 6 Harding S chung role physical with TE’s

    • steve earle says:

      You might be right about the TE but I have to say I’m not very impressed with the TE class this year. That all seem to be one way or the other, receiving TE or blocking TE. An early rd TE needs to be both or he’s not that early pick imo. I’d have no objection taking a TE later somewhere but not a 1st.

      • kevin z says:

        IMO Hurst can do both block and catch the rest are one way or the other.
        Also grabbed Armstrong a 1st rd talent who was misused so don’t feel reached for a TE in this case. I highly respect your opinion though.

        • steve earle says:

          If Hurst can do both that’s fine and Armstrong with a 2nd is fine as well. Truth is I don’t expect Hurst to be exceptional merely functional and I certainly could be wrong about that. I like to give feed back to guys here because I like to get some from my posts too. It’s how I learn things and hope you take my comments in that spirit.

        • kevin z says:

          yea steve I sure do take comments from others to learn and understand certain players better.
          No worries here wont get offended we all have differences in opinions. You could def be right about Hurst I rather honestly wait later for a TE just hoped for some feed back .

  5. Stephen J says:

    Wow the Browns are considering putting Jabrill Peppers on the trading block. Jeesh they just drafted him in the 1st round LAST Year. Whose next?

    https://twitter.com/nfldraftnik/status/972636234467201024

  6. Russell says:

    Wonder about trading FS- Devin McCourty who is 30, with a cap hit 2018 of $11.9 mill.
    Move Harmon to FS who is 28, with a cap hit 2018, $3.5 mill.
    Washington maybe interested in McCourty for draft picks. (2nd & 7th?)
    Then make a run for Trumaine Johnson, age 28.

    • steve earle says:

      Why would Wash want to take on 11 mil hit, are they that much in need?

    • macspak says:

      I would not advocate taking one of the few close to elite defenders we have who also is a team leader off of a defense that was suspect, or worse, throughout the year and needs vast improvement by quality addition, not quality subtraction. It’s okay to pay your top talent top money.

      • steve earle says:

        That makes more sense to me Mac, plus I don’t care about his being 30 that’s not that big a deal. Has anyone noticed his ability’s slipping?

      • EdgeX says:

        Hear, hear Mac!

        I don’t get where Russell is coming from. I understand the money owed to McCourty is high but the Pat’s knew the terms when they signed him to that deal and it’s not like he’s dropped off the cliff in performance. In fact, he’s the best safety on the team – and in the league.

        • kevin z says:

          May get bashed for this but Dmac def did slip this past year. Love dmac but his tackling slipped was on ground from falling more often this past year. Saw had more issues with 1 on 1 tackles as well the film will show u that. like said love dmac but def did slip whether from the eye test or all the rankings.

  7. Stephen J says:

    Here is an outside CB that has been talked about here and I commented on how I didn’t care for his injury history. Now while I don’t love that aspect of him, his game is another issue and that’s Jaire Alexander. If you are looking for a potential lock down corner he is one of the few possibilites that I would say could do the job. Here is a short few clip breakdown of him

    https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/971077820553289728

    Also take a look at his MockDraftable table and see 2 familiar names that he compares to

    https://www.mockdraftable.com/player/jaire-alexander

    • Stephen J says:

      As far as his injury history goes he has played through most of them and has only missed 6 games in 3 years.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Jaire is very much on my short list for the Patriots first pick. My worry is that he doesn’t make it to them. He is my 2nd rated CB just behind Ward but in the same tier. Getting him at 31 would be a steal. His 2016 tape, when he was healthy is so good. I like that he is scheme diverse as well.

  8. Stephen J says:

    Is Eric Rowe an outside CB or is he a slot CB?

    Once we answer that question we will have a good idea of what the Pats may do to address the departure of Malcolm Butler.

    Let’s start with these stat’s. Per PFF, Rowe has played outside CB on 67 of his 357 snaps this season (18.8%) and only did it on 16 of his 96 snaps in the playoff games (16.7%). When combined together he played on the outside 18.32% of the time. The rest of the time he played in the slot which would be 81.68%. That in and of itself says the Pats like him in the slot.

    Now during the Super Bowl he played on the outside and early on he was picked on often and beaten by Alshon Jeffrey. When they switched him to cover Torrey Smith he did a better job.

    What does this say? At an initial glance to me Rowe’s natural position is slot but can play on the outside as long as its not against the opposing teams #1 WR or even possibly #2 WR where he would struggle.

    Another possibility is the reason why his slot coverage was so high was because Malcolm Butler was playing on the outside so Rowe covered the slot. Now with Malcolm Butler likely moving on in a few days will Rowe be that outside CB or remain in the slot. If he remains in the slot the Patriots would need an outside CB most likely using an early pick for a good one. If Rowe is their outside CB then you would have Jonathan Jones manning the slot. The wild card here would be Cyrus Jones. What does he compete as a slot or outside? What about drafting someone to compete with Cyrus Jones? The only thing that Cyrus Jones has shown me is that he can be useful in the return game. He hasn’t shown me anything good in regards to the CB position. What will the Pats do I have no idea right now but as it stands right now I would be looking for a solid outside CB in the draft and leave Rowe as a slot in what appears to be his natural position along with Jonathan Jones. This way you have Rowe to rotate with the outside CB when needed and Jonathan Jones can rotate with Rowe. That would be my 1st choice but if they do put Rowe as an outside CB than I’d still take a CB to compete for that slot position since this draft is loaded with good slot CB’s.

    • Stephen J says:

      UPDATE

      I Think I just found my answer to the above questions!

      The answer may come in the name of Ryan Lewis. Who? Ryan Lewis. Well who is Ryan Lewis?

      During last years draft Lance Zierlein had this to say about Ryan Lewis

      Comfortable from press coverage. Uses pesky jab to disrupt receivers releasing into their routes. Presents himself as an annoyance in mirror-and-match coverage underneath. Better as a blanket than playing off. Stays low in his retreat and opens with smooth hips. Possesses twitch in his feet that showed up at his pro day and on tape when triggering on throws in front of him. Plays with toughness in his run support. Attacks blockers and rarely waits on ball carriers to bring it to him. Effective special teams cover talent. Posted A-plus test numbers at his pro day including two sub-4.40 40-yard dash times.

      Lewis has decent size and his explosive leaping and blazing 40 time at his pro day is likely to get the attention of teams looking for athletic traits late in the draft or as a priority free agent. Lewis’ lack of experience showed up on tape, but he does have short area quickness to work with and he’s willing as a corner and on special teams. Lewis has work to do, but he’s got a shot for a team willing to groom him.

      Well apparently the Cardinals picked him up as an undrafted free agent. After the Cardinals released him the Patriots picked him up on Sept 13th and he has been on the Practice squad. The Bills tried to sign him off the practice squad but the Patriots raised his salary (from $7200 a week the minimum as a practice squad player to a rookie salary of $27,353 a week according to PatsCap) to keep him.

      As far as his pro day numbers are concerned here they are
      …………………..Ryan Lewis
      Height…………..5’11” Listed as 6’0″ on Patriots roster
      Weight…………..192 Listed as 200 on Patriots roster
      40………………..4.37
      10 Split………… 1.59
      Bench…………..16
      Vert……………..35″
      Broad…………..10’08″(128″)
      20 Shuttle……..4.34
      3 Cone………….6.87

      According to Doug Kyed he also won something called The Patriot of the Year.
      So apparently they are impressed with Ryan Lewis and have been planning on Butler’s departure all year. This would also indicate that Eric Rowe is seen as a slot CB who can play fill in as an outside CB.

      Now does that prevent the Patriots drafting an outside corner maybe maybe not but we do know that they will be looking more at outside corners with this recent revelation.

      • kevan says:

        I wouldn’t even mind seeing Rowe getting some reps at FS. Harmon is good but I think Rowe would be a better FS, similar to McCourtey. Then pats would only have to worry about Chungs eventual replacement and Harmon can keep the hybrid role.

      • steve earle says:

        Well if this Lewis does work out as you suspect we could have a nice DB field in Sept. and Kevan’s point about keeping Harmon as the hybrid Saf would be valid also. Now what this all means is, I’M GONNA HAFT’A CHANGE MY MOCK AGAIN? Then again maybe not, better wait and see how CB Lewis does after all. We often get reports that one player or another on the PS has “impressed coaches” then never hear of them again so I guess I’ll hold my opinion for the time being. None of my rambling conflicts with your initial subject and conclusion which you are right about. Seems to me it will be an outside corner BB will be looking for. Lucky me, I have one of those on my current mock.

        • Stephen J says:

          Reports are just talk. As the saying goes Follow the Money. In this case it’s not just the report(talk) but a significant bump in pay to keep him around(proof of interest not just talk). With that said the amount that he is getting doesn’t scream top tier talent but talented enough to keep around compete and see how he develops up through training camp and preseason. He maybe good but is it something you want to solely rely on definitely not. The question then becomes do you want to use a high draft pick on a CB to be your starter or go for a mid/later round CB that is solid and have the two compete for that outside position. That decision probably wont be made until the draft happens and they see how things unfold when they pick.

      • steve earle says:

        Another thought occurred to me. DT Shelton will be an UFA after this season so might we still want to draft a DT early this year, just in case? If yes where and does that change our CB search?

        • Stephen J says:

          DT Shelton is in their long term plans. They will likely pick up both Brown’s and Shelton’s options for next year.

        • steve earle says:

          He is? I haven’t heard that, not saying your wrong but just I haven’t heard them say so? I hope it’s so and he does fit well and all but thought I’d put out the question. We all thought Ealy was going to be a great fit last year this time. But I’ll just put you down as you don’t think we need to dip into the draft pool for a DT, I can live with that.

        • Todti says:

          I don’t understand why everyone assumes the Pats are going to pick up both Brown’s and Shelton’s option. That’d be somewhere around $15m for them, plus $4m for Guy, and they are certainly going to extend Flower’s contract. Sure, it helps that the rest of the DL plays for peanuts in 2019 (and 2020 in parts), but that’s still something like $28m invested in 4 guys. I’m not saying it won’t happen, just that it’s not automatic. The Pats also didn’t invest a lot to get Shelton, so I could easily see them just having a quality DT for one season at $2m.

  9. tristan says:

    Patriots Mock Draft
    Round 1 Lorenzo Carter OLB Georgia
    Round 2 Dallas Goedert TE South Dakota State
    Round 2 DaShawn Hand DT Alabama
    Round 3 Chase Litton QB Marshall
    Round 4 comp Quenton Meeks CB Stanford
    Round 5 Chase Edmonds RB Fordham
    Round 6 Trey Quinn WR SMU

    • Stephen J says:

      Nice mock tristan one of the better one’s I’ve seen here in my opinion.

      Although I’m not sold on Lorenzo Carter I do like him just don’t see him as a 1st rounder more like late 2nd to early 3rd. Dallas Goedert I can see why and its a good area for him. DaShawn Hand well after getting Danny Shelton yesterday I don’t see the need for him as a DT now a big DE on the other hand would be an option but with his size and testing he doesn’t fit that profile.
      Chase Litton while we may all disagree on the QB’s I can understand and see the selection here just a little early maybe swap with Meeks. Speaking of Meeks I’m personally not a fan but can see the connection and the reasoning behind it. Even though Chase Edmunds is not my top RB I do like Edmunds and its a good area for him. Lastly Trey Quinn he is definitely on my list of WR just don’t think he will make it that far I see him in the 4th-5th round range but who knows with him just being a slot he may make it to the 6th. Good job over all.

  10. Stephen J says:

    For those that mentioned Preston Brown as a potential Free Agent candidate here is a thread breakdown of him as well.

    https://twitter.com/PatriotsPOV/status/969657929019338752

  11. Stephen J says:

    Mike Reiss in his Sunday column he mentions a couple of things worth noting.

    1 He has the 5th round pick as number 159 overall. Yesterday I posted as an update that the 1st pick in the 5th was traded the day before with the Green Bay trade and that left the 150th overall trade which came from Kansas City in the Cam Erving trade and pick 159. Reiss believes it to be 159 while Patscap believes it to be 150.

    2 TE Allen has been one of the few players showing up at Gillette Stadium on a regular basis in recent weeks and was told nothing is imminent in regards to Allen one way or the other.

    3 An under the radar QB that the Pats scouted at his pro day is Princeton’s Chad Kanoff. He is 6’4″ 219 lbs with 10 1/4″ hands. In his Senior year he had 284 completions on 388 attempts for 3474 yards 29 TD’s and 9 Int’s. Comp% of 73.2% with a 8.95 yards per attempt ratio.
    He is being represented by Don Yee who is Brady’s and Jimmy G’s representative as well.

    4 One Free Agent Sleeper he brought up was LB Avery Williamson 6’1″ 246 lbs who is an off the ball LB from Tenn.

    For a better breakdown of him I came across this thread of plays

    https://twitter.com/PatriotsPOV/status/968165174829027329

    • steve earle says:

      I found that pick is confusing to figure too. Doesn’t the NFL have a site that lists these things?

  12. Russell says:

    A possible free agent to watch, ( now Dl Urban has signed) is DL- Kareem Martin, Arizona 6’6″ 272, age 26, 35″ arms, 1.63 10 yd slit. I watched Martin who played DE at North Carolina.
    I also like CB/S Keith McGill, Raiders, 6″3″ 210 lbs, age 28, 33 1/2″ arms, 6.90 3-cone,, 4.51 40 yd.
    &
    Jeff Janis WR/SP Team, age 26, 6’3″ 219 lbs. , 4.42 40 yd.

    • Stephen J says:

      This from https://www.revengeofthebirds.com/2017/4/17/15322482/kareem-martin-the-third-round-selection-who-failed

      On Kareem Martin

      Kareem Martin was a converted defensive end in college who was going to play linebacker for the Cardinals. So far, Kareem has been a very disappointing selection. He is still on his rookie contract, but he has been a career backup with no indication of development.

      27 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles. That’s what I would want in one year, not in a three-year career, and seems to be poised for possible training camp casualty. I thought his 6’6” 272-pound frame would be perfect for the Cardinals, but he hasn’t proved to be reliable. More of a down lineman.

  13. brandonmaxham says:

    The Patriots need to extend Brady( only to spread out the cap hit ) ,Brown , Flowers and Mason between this offseason and next offseason. In reality they could just go the 1 year route with Brady like the Redsox did with David Ortiz .

  14. kevan says:

    I think Jerick Mckinnon would be a really good fit for this offense. Would it be smart to trade cooks? I like the player he can only get better but the move would save 8 plus mil and yield a couple picks atleast. Pats need to rework/extend bradys contract. 22 mil cap hit has to go down. I’m officially worried of Solder pricing himself out of NE. Free agency will really clear things up for the draft.

    • brandonmaxham says:

      I think McKinnon would be a good fit too and I think they could restructure Cooks contract maybe . They talked about a contract extension with Brady not long after the super bowl I believe but I don’t know what happened to it. I hope they can get Solder back but I feel like it wont happen because of what teams might offer him as a FA.

    • steve earle says:

      Yea kevan I’m worried about both Solder and Cooks. Both are big parts of the Offense but increasingly expensive. Letting either go would save millions on the cap but replacing either is the problem. Classic rock and a hard place.

      • kevan says:

        Hey Steve, I’m leaning toward a cooks trade. Good player but pats would be ok at wr without him. There’s even some low risk low money options in John brown or Jordan Matthews. Slim pickings if you need a tackle. Pats should just ask cooks what he wants in a long term deal, if he wants a mega deal just trade him now. Solder id go as much as 12 mil a year but a team will probably give him more.

        • macspak says:

          at some point you have to pay near market value if you want to retain your top talent. Will that be Lewis, Cooks, Mason, Solder? Or even Brady????

    • Stephen J says:

      As far as Jerick McKinnon this is what I picked up on an initial view. I like that he is a dual threat fits nicely in that regard but when I looked at his stats from last year on a 150 attempts he managed 570 yards which is a measly 3.8 yards per carry. Not only that but he fumbled the ball 3 times. That is a fumble for every 50 touches this past year. Not good at all. Dion Lewis who didn’t fumble the ball once in the regular season on 180 attempts was replaced by James White in the Super Bowl when he fumbled for the 1st time.

      • kevan says:

        Fumbles are a concern, that could scare bill away. I’m ok with the other stats because he would do alot better in this offense.

  15. brandonmaxham says:

    2 different mock drafts

    1st:Rashaan Evans ILB Alabama

    2nd:Quenton Meeks CB Stanford

    2nd:Terrell Edmunds S/LB VA Tech

    3rd:Kentavius Street DE NCST

    4th:Brandon Parker OT NC A&T

    5th:Andrew Vollert TE Weber ST

    6th:Ade Aruna OLB Tulane
    ______________________________________

    1st:Tyquan Lewis DE Ohio ST

    2nd:Lamar Jackson QB Louisville

    2nd:Carlton Davis CB Auburn

    3rd:Dalton Schultz TE Stanford

    4th:Frank Warner OLB/ILB BYU

    5th:Oren Burks ILB Vandy

    6th:Tre Flowers S OKST

  16. Stephen J says:

    For those that are interested Evan Lazar has a thread on new Pats player Danny Shelton here

    https://twitter.com/ezlazar/status/972595933140709378

    • steve earle says:

      Good clips, thanks Stephen. I was feeling pretty good about this trade earlier and even better now.

  17. John says:

    Like the Shelton move, but don’t think it precludes them from drafting a interior pass-rusher. Brown, Shelton, Guy, are all pretty close in nature to being the same-style player, although I do think this increases their chances of drafting a long-term EDGE guy.

    Also, I think it’s a case where they could buy low on a talented DLineman.

    My Mock:

    1. Justin Reid SAF
    2. Sony Michel RB
    2. Lorenzo Carter EDGE/LB
    3. Richie James WR

    Wrap.

    • John says:

      *Apologies!

      3. Dashawn Hand DL
      4. Richie James WR

    • steve earle says:

      Question John, Why the Saf so high? We have 3 pretty good ones now so are you just going by your best player or thinking one of our vets is sliding?

      • John says:

        Chung is getting old, contract will be up. Groom replacement/eventual replacement for McCourty. Reid, in addition, is a true match.

  18. Stephen J says:

    In other news last year’s DE Joe Mathis is participating at UW’s pro day today after spending some time in the CFL with the BC Lions.

    • Stephen J says:

      Joe Mathis running the 40 at Washington’s Pro Day

      https://twitter.com/LarsHanson/status/972555812278231040

    • Stephen J says:

      Joe Mathis when he was practicing with the BC Lions in Canada

      https://twitter.com/DLineVids/status/916118720245751809

    • steve earle says:

      I remember Mathis was getting some interest here last year. If I recall he was a tweener not quite big enough for DE or fast enough for OLB. Had lots of hustle, high motor? Could he transition to ILB? Probably not enough speed?

      • Stephen J says:

        6’2″ 266 lbs

        • Stephen J says:

          This from the Seattle Times earlier today on Joe Mathis

          Mathis tore a ligament in his toe, and during surgery had two screws installed to squeeze a bone back together. Initially, Mathis had hoped the injury would only require a six-week recovery. Instead, he wound up needing a second surgery, seven more screws and a full year to completely heal.

          “I had to get a second surgery last year, and I had to teach myself how to walk, jog and run again,” he said. “I kept going, kept fighting. I’m not letting people tell me I can’t do it. I want to prove them wrong.”

        • Stephen J says:

          Cont’d

          All he wanted was one more opportunity to show scouts what he could do, to show them the foot injury that derailed his career has made him stronger.

          “I’m 100 percent now — 110 percent,” the former UW defensive end said after his workout. “Mentally, I know I can go. I’m just hungry. I can’t wait to just get into a camp and show them who JoJo Mathis is and what I can do.”

        • steve earle says:

          Oh I remember now, that’s right, the foot injury. Did you get a break down of his times at the pro day?

  19. Turbo says:

    RIP my dreams for us getting Taven Bryan, unless we trade Malcom Brown, which is possible.

    • steve earle says:

      Bryan is pretty inconsistent from what I read. Very good athletically but doesn’t finish it says. Where would you think would be an acceptable spot to draft him?

      • Turbo says:

        1/31. All he has to do is work on his techinque and get stronger so he can win on the 2nd level and be more disciplined and not overcommit as much, but these are all coachable things. He has rare athletic abilities, good motor, explosive first step…he’s extremely distruptive against the pass and run. He has every trait to be a premium interior pass rusher, all he needs is good coaching coaching.

        • Stephen J says:

          Anyone who needs to develop(work on technique) is not a 1st rounder. They are 3rd-4th rounders. He solely relies on Physical attributes brute strength or quickness with no plan/technique for either. Once his initial move is stopped he is done for because he doesn’t have a backup plan. Even when he wins he has issues finishing plays. He may have been occasionally successful in college doing it that way but he will not be in the NFL until he learns and develops techniques to go along with his physical traits.

        • Turbo says:

          He’s a 4th rounder cause he has to work on his pass rush moves? By that logic Davenport is the same, all about atheltic abilities and bull rush move. Vita Vea is inconsistent and can’t rush the QB. is he a 4th rounder? Roquan Smith as a LB can’t shed off blockers, which is a huge problem and has to work on it? Is he a 4th rounder? Treamaine Edmunds has terrible insitncts, you can’t even teach that kind of stuff. Lmar Jackson and Josh Allen are inaccurate af, has to work on that a lot. You don’t take them till the 4th?

          You’re going to find a handful of guy who can do almost everything at their poistion (Barkley, Nelson, Joey Bosa, Andrew Luck, Luke Keuchly, etc.), they’re always going to go high, but a bunch of teams not going to find those kind of prospects at the later half of the 1st round. You have to roll the dice on potential at some point.

        • Stephen J says:

          There is a difference between guys who have technique with athleticism and need refinement vs guys who are athletic and have no technique that needs to be taught from scratch. There are players who fill certain roles where they are extremely good but have weaknesses where you can scheme around and still be consistently productive from the start. Just look at our roster which is filled with players drafted in the 1st and 2nd round by other teams that we picked up because 1 Scheme didn’t fit they were trying to use a persons athleticism with that little to no technique and they needed that development or were being played in their not ideal place/role/scheme. The NFL isn’t into developing a persons technique they don’t have the time for it you need tons of reps in practice. The NFL is more into refining one’s technique and teaching their scheme and if you have little to no technique you will quickly find yourself out of a job or in another location. How many athletes have been drafted in the 1st or 2nd that had success in college didn’t go on to produce. Too many to count. That is why you don’t draft athlete’s with no to little technique in the 1st or 2nd round where your expected to contribute consistently right out of the gate with little or at least not enough time to develop your technique skill to use it properly with the gifts abilities you have.

        • steve earle says:

          I have to agree with Stephen here Turbo. If it was all about athletic ability there are a hundred guys who could go in every 1st rd but they don’t. Now if BB took him with our #95 I’d say fine even great because he could learn behind the starters. !st rd you want an instant starter or at least an early contributor not a developmental ST guy.

  20. Stephen J says:

    Patriots acquire Danny Shelton and a 2018 fifth-round pick from the Browns for 2019 third-round pick. There is your Run Stuffing DT. One need taken care of. 6’2″ 339 lbs

    This from Brandon Thorn Veteran Scout

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DX8X0C9VAAAe0b4.jpg:large

    Per Evan Lazar: Shelton did receive an 81.5 @PFF grade last season and a 85.2 grade in 2016, which means they think he’s above average to good starter. Was tied for tenth among DTs in run stop percentage in 2017 (9.5) In 2016 he had the 2nd most run stops in the NFL for interior DL’s with 39.

    • Stephen J says:

      Browns have 2 fifth round draft picks this year 138 overall(Pick 1) and 159 overall(Pick 22) not sure which one it is at the moment.

      • Stephen J says:

        Pick 138 was traded yesterday to the Packers so it’s either pick 150 which the Browns received from the Packers where they swapped picks and players(QB Kiser and CB Randall) or pick 159 which they received from Kansas City for Cam Irvilng.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      This is an excellent and smart trade! The Patriots are also shopping Brandon Cooks around, there have been talks between the Bears and Redskins.

    • Russell says:

      Looks like a good trade for DT- Shelton. If the Patriots lose CB Butler & OT Solder, they could be looking at 2 Compensatory 3 round picks.

      • kevan says:

        Losing Solder is scary right now. He isn’t the best but he’

      • kevan says:

        Losing Solder is scary right now. He isn’t the best but he’s pretty dam good. There aren’t many options, starting a rookie isn’t a wise move and cannon Fleming waddle are all RT’s. Pats need to start getting players that are more adept to playing both sides.

        • Stephen J says:

          Fleming and Waddle are swing Tackles meaning they can play both and have played both.

        • macspak says:

          I’ve said all along keep 2 of our 3 tackles and I don’t care which two. The Cleveland pick is the first in the 5th round. We give up a late 3rd next year for Shelton and the first pick in the 5th round this year. On paper an excellent trade filling the DT need and a void in the draft. On the other hand we thought every trade we/they made last year was a gem………

        • steve earle says:

          @ Mac, Your right about trade looking good right now but it made sense. And Shelton is the same type DT as Branch, run stuffing push the pocket. I’m optimistic.

        • kevan says:

          I’m sorry just terrified of Fleming or waddle playing LT. Pats clearly target a long athletic body types on the left side and stouter stronger guys for RT. They’ve played LT because of injuries but there just not athletic enough to be protecting our 41 year old qbs blindside. There fill ins at RT, possible starter that’s it.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree with you about LT. I believe that best solution is to resign Solder for two, draft one more OT with eye starting after Solder retires. I have Parker in my mock but he’s not the only possible fit. We can then afford to allow Waddle or Fleming (one) to leave. Cannon has injury problems so keeping Garcia a vet would be wise I believe.

        • Stephen J says:

          Both Fleming and Waddle are starters. They both started last year yes at RT. Last year especially Fleming improved and was a quality starter who also happens to be able to play LT just as well as he did RT. Now while he is more in the mold of that RT and not like Nate Solder being that tall long armed and athletic he will provide quality snaps at LT until Andrew Jelks Antonio Garcia or someone else we may draft develops. While it may not be optimum it wont be a disaster either.

      • steve earle says:

        Hey Russell does this count as a trade prediction for me? It’s kind of close to my invention, we do get that 5th? LOL

    • steve earle says:

      This looks good. How come Browns did such a deal? Looks like we got all the good parts, a player and a pick this year. Can’t beat that.

      • macspak says:

        and at a very affordable $2 Mill this year with the 5th year option at a yet tbd amount

      • kevin z says:

        I heard was scheme related didn’t fit them but fits us where stop the run at DT key. They want rushing DT type. Also was leaving after this coming year so Browns got something instead of nothing

        • steve earle says:

          Well glad sachem didn’t fit them, our gain. Now I think I’ll slide a CB into my 2#51 mock slot. Liked Settle but can’t have everything. I’m thinking Isaiah Oliver CB Colo off the top of my head. Any feed back guys?

        • steve earle says:

          That should be scheme not sachem. Brain cramp?

        • macspak says:

          @ Steve E

          its all that snow-blowing , and maybe a bit of age :>)

  21. Stephen J says:

    A CB Comparison

    …………….Denzel Ward……………Parry Nickerson
    Height…….5’10 7/8″……………….5’10 3/8″
    Weight…….183 lbs…………………182 lbs
    Arm Len…..31 1/4″…………………30 1/4″
    40………….4.32…………………….4.32
    10 split……1.47…………………….1.50

    Parry pulled hamstring on 40 was unable to finish drills

    Stats 2017
    ……………Denzel Ward…………Parry Nickerson
    INT……….2……………………….6
    Solo Tack.30……………………..48
    Total Tack.37…………………….55
    TFL……….2.0……………………2.0
    PBU………15.0…………………..8.0

    What I don’t understand is why Parry Nickerson isn’t getting much attention. He may not have consistently faced top tier competition but he faced the likes of Anthony Miller and SMU’s two headed beast of Trey Quinn and Cortland Sutton where PFF had having a 21.7 passer rating when targeted. He was targeted 5 times with 2 receptions for 11 yards and had 1 Int and 1 PBU. PFF also had him as having a 43.2 passer rating for the year which was 6th among all draft eligible CB’s, while also posting a 0.49 yards per snap in coverage. Coming into the 2017 season PFF also had him as the lowest passer rating when targeted at 32.5 for all returning FBS CB’s the next closest player at 37.8 was Minkah Fitzpatrick. Plus he has had more than one year of production to back it up. They say he is a slot CB that maybe true but he can also play the perimeter just like Ward can.

    Take a look at this play

    https://twitter.com/PFF_Sam/status/968236469264502784

    He is someone that is definitely on my radar.

  22. Stephen J says:

    Here is a ;otential Undrafted Free Agent prospect in this years class

    OT Sandley Jean-Felix from Marshall’s Pro day:
    Height: 6-5
    Weight: 331
    Hand: 10 6/8
    Arm: 36
    Wingspan: 87 1/8 – 7 feet 3.125 inches
    28 Reps Bench Press .

    https://twitter.com/DraftDiamonds/status/971599767523549184

    He didn’t start playing until he was a sophmore and had medical issues. If his medicals check out he could be someone that can be groomed on the practice squad for 2 years for when Marcus Cannon’s contract would be needing an extension or could be moving on.

    Without having a broad jump to see if he qualifies for what the pats look for its hard to say if he would be on the pats radar or not but they were at Marshall’s pro day scouting QB Chase Litton so in the very least they are aware of him.

  23. Stephen J says:

    Jon Ledyard last night said this

    Man, Nate Solder is literally the only tackle even worth bringing in to compete for a starting job in free agency. It’s Solder and then backups at best. Awful FA class.

    Eric Edholm said this

    There has been some chatter about the #Texans and OT Nate Solder being a match.

    I could see it. LT is a need, they have the cap space, it’s closer to his home state of Colorado, and if the family needs it for Hudson, Texas Children’s Hospital is an elite pediatric cancer hospital.

    Then Albert Breer on a call this morning said that Nate Solder is going to be one of the top 5 paid Offensive Lineman getting 13-14 Million a year.

    Are the Pats are putting together an offer for Solder in the 12-14 million per year range. If that’s the case that would eat up a large portion of their cap space not only this year but in following years as well, but it would take care of that LT spot. Will that be even be enough or will they end up moving on from Solder.

    The backup plan as of right now would be to resign either OT Fleming or OT LaAdrian Waddle and have one of them play LT until Garcia is ready. Fleming improved last year and has played LT in a pinch before. LaAdrian Waddle has been solid(not great) and also has played LT in a pinch. While it may not be ideal it would give the Pats more breathing room as far as cap space goes in order to extend players whose contracts are coming up next year such as Shaq Mason Trey Flowers Malcolm Brown.

  24. Philip says:

    I was wondering if they would take SAF R. Harrison and play him as athletic LB.

    • Stephen J says:

      Not at 207 lbs that’s on the light side for even a SS plus with what he participated in at the combine he showed he isn’t really all that athletic with a 120″ Broad 34″ Vert both are below ave for DB’s

      • Philip says:

        better combine results than Telvin Smith … at the combine i think he was 214lbs. … Smith 218

        • Stephen J says:

          Telvin Smith is their version of Patrick Chung which is what Ronnie Harrison would be in our Defensive Scheme. Harrison had a near identical combine/pro day #’s as Chung in the category’s that he chose to perform in. Due to his lack of complete athletic results it’s hard to say based on two events that he is athletically similar to Chung overall.

          …………Patrick Chung……………Ronnie Harrison
          Height..5’11 2/8″………………….6′ 2″
          Weight..212………………………..207
          Broad….119″………………………120″
          Vert…….34″……………………….34″
          40………4.49………………………DNP
          Bench….25…………………………DNP
          3 Cone…7.11………………………DNP
          20 Shut..4.24………………………DNP

  25. kevin z says:

    mayb sign Preston Brown or Demario Davis .. honey badger or Kenny Kenny Vaccarro
    DE Kareem Martin has ST experience plus has upside as well

    • kevin z says:

      DL DaQuen jones from Tenn and Denico Autry from Oak could be nice pick ups in FA. Anthony Hitchens cowboys lb could fit to. Think LB Bradham gonna cost to much for Pats to sign

  26. kevin z says:

    I Meant to post this here . finally last Mock until April when most of the smoke clears from FA. If Burks gone since moving up like his teammate Cunningham last year hope Fred Warner there in the least. Like both Players about equal fit what Pats need badly.

    2nd : Dorance Armstrong DE-OLB can rush contain the edge played out of position
    2nd : Oren Burks Hybrid can cover blitz Cover TE RB Slot smart kid leader on and off the field
    2nd : Brandon Parker OL
    3rd : Fatukasi DT NT DE Big boy plays hard asked to just slant for RPO’s
    4th : Dj Reed Slot Nickel FS smooth athlete tough just short
    4th : PJ Hall NT DT smaller type can collapse pocket as well as chase down the line for the tackle
    5th : Woodside QB
    6th : Ito Smith RB quick cuts type plus can catch pass protect. hope drops here since RB class deep.
    Thinking Bills drafting Laurette they have crazy amount of picks too.
    Sign Ej gains or Richard Sherman in FA for CB help

    • Stephen J says:

      Richard Sherman has a bunch of teams he has already lined up to see who have shown interest and the Pats aren’t one of them. The favorite right now is the 49ers who 1 have the cap space to take on the contract he has and is looking for and two the 49ers are up and coming contenders who could use his leadership.

  27. brandonmaxham says:

    the 2 CBs I like are Meeks ( Stanford ) and Hughes ( UCF) I wouldn’t mind either being taken by the Pats. But Hughes would help in the return game more then Meeks. anyone know what Jaire Alexander is about ?

    • Stephen J says:

      I love Hughes but he will never be picked by the Pats due to when he was in NC with MJ Stewart. Both were suspended from the program after being arrested and formerly charged with assault. Hughes then transfered to UCF while MJ stayed at NC.

      Personally I’m not a Meeks fan. I can see why people are drawn to him but he was the weakness in that backfield. He can be out muscled was out of position in several games I saw and was flat out beat on numerous occasions. To me there are better players that can be had.

    • Stephen J says:

      The thing that scares me about Jaire Alexander is his injury history. He reminds me of Ras-I Dowling in that he was always getting hurt and could never stay healthy. Alexander is a great player when healthy but he hasn’t been able to remain healthy.

  28. brandonmaxham says:

    he would be a late draft pick and I saw a scouting report on him saying he is better fit at OLB then DE. So him and Dorance Armstrong played out of position. If the Patriots got him he would be a project and ST player for now.

  29. Stephen J says:

    Here is a comparison for you

    …………Devin McCourty……………Troy Apke……..Eric Rowe
    Height..5’10 5/8″……………………6′ 01 1/4″……..6′ 0 3/4″
    Weight..193 lbs……………………..200 lbs…………205 lbs
    Arm L…32″…………………………..32 3/8″………..31 1/2″
    40……..4.38…………………………4.34……………4.45
    Vert……36″…………………………..41″…………….39″
    Broad….126″………………………..131″……………125″
    20 Shut.4.07…………………………4.03……………3.97
    3 Cone..6.70…………………………6.56……………6.70
    Bench…16……………………………16………………19

    Troy could play special teams while developing at FS to replace McCourty after next year or compete and take Duron Harmon’s spot. He is a player that matches the Pats profile and exceeds it on an athletic level.

    • Stephen J says:

      Better yet replace Jordan Richards

    • brandonmaxham says:

      I like Troy too and I also like Justin Reid so either S would not be a bad pick . BB likes his special teams and both are good special teams players . Maybe we could get both if Troy went undrafted and we got Reid already in the draft.

      • Stephen J says:

        To me Dane Cruikshank of Az is right on par with Reid and can be had later than Reid.
        He has played both CB and S.
        During Shrine Week everyday he impressed . Here is what Toni Pauline said that week. Cruikshank was mentioned in our notes section yesterday, and he took it to another level this afternoon. He stood out in drills, displaying the quickest backpedal and hip turn of any defensive back and the most explosive plant and drive to the ball. I’m told his schedule has been full of interviews over the past few days.

        Here is a comparison of the 2 starting with the combine

        …………….Dane Cruikshank…………..Justin Reid
        Height…….6′ 1 1/4″…………………….6′ 0 1/2″
        Weight……209…………………………..207
        Arm L…….31″……………………………31 5/8″
        40…………4.41………………………….4.40
        Vert……….38.5″…………………………36.5″
        Broad……..121″………………………….128″
        3 Cone……6.65…………………………..6.89
        20 Shut…..4.24………………………….4.15
        Bench……..25……………………………16

        Stats 2017
        Int’s………3.0…………………………….5.0
        Solo Tkl’s..55……………………………..52
        Total Tkl’s..75…………………………….99
        TFL’s……..5.5…………………………….6.5
        Sacks…….1.5…………………………….1.0
        PBU’s…….5.0…………………………….6.0

        He had interceptions against both Josh Rosen and Sam Darnold.

        Now I am not saying that he is better than Reid but that he is fairly matched and has similar production who can be just as attractive at a cheaper price.

  30. Stephen J says:

    As I started looking closer at Aruna there is one thing that sticks out like a sore thumb to me so much so that I’ve pumped my breaks on him and that’s his atrocious 3 cone and slow 20 shuttle. Now here is the glaring concern. When I was watching Davenport I noticed and mentioned that his lateral and change of direction appeared to be bad/slow and was toasted by RB’s several times due to it while out on the edge. Davenport’s 3 cone(change of direction and lateral) was 7.20 and his 20 shuttle (short area lateral) was 4.41 while Aruna’s 3 cone was a full .33 seconds slower at 7.53 and his 20 shuttle was 4.48 both of which were slower than Davenports. When I reflected on that it made me wonder if that was the reason he was moved inside along with the defensive scheme change to mask/hide that area of weakness. It certainly gives me pause especially when I started checking other big DE like Trey Flowers who ran a 7.32 3 cone at 266 lbs and a 4.40 20 shuttle. Deatrich Wise ran a 7.07 at 274 lbs with a 4.36 and lastly Chandler Jones did a 7.07 3 cone as well at 266 lbs with a 4.38. While doing this it makes me wonder is that why Trey Flowers lines up on the inside a good portion of the time due to those slower times as well.

  31. kevin z says:

    Really intrigued by this player thanks for this report Mike. If he drops late 3rd or 4th rd for sure take him

  32. steve earle says:

    I like him as a developmental prospect and would take him with our #95 with expectations of ST play this year and better things in 2019 and beyond.

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