Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

My Patriots Horizontal And Vertical Big Board Plus Deflategate Thoughts

Monday, April 25th, 2016

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

This week is supposed to be fun. Every team and every fan of those teams is getting amped up for the NFL Draft and what new players are going to make their teams better. For Patriots fans, Thursday might as well just be another day because the Patriots are missing one of the most precious pieces of capital an NFL team has, their first round pick. Today, Patriot’s fans took another punch to the stomach when the courts happened to make their ruling on the NFL’s appeal of Tom Brady’s 4 game suspension for possibly knowing about footballs that may have been tampered with. Sadly, the courts got it right.

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Building The Draft Board: Cornerbacks and Safeties

Friday, April 22nd, 2016
Corner may be the Patriots biggest need, but will there be any talent left at the position by the time the Patriots pick?

Corner may be the Patriots biggest need, but will there be any talent left at the position by the time the Patriots pick?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We did it! We made it to the final installment of the Big Board series. I have put too many hours to count into this exercise, but it has been a labor of love. For you loyal readers, I hope that you have enjoyed these articles. They are meant to be fun and informative and hopefully after reading them you can go into the draft next week with a little more knowledge about these prospects than you did before. The final two positions to look at are interesting from a Patriots perspective. One I feel is maybe the Patriots biggest need and the other is a position that the Patriots have made some, shall we say, interesting selections at in recent years. It is not out of the realm of possibility that the Patriots draft both Corner and Safety high again this year. While drafting Corner would likely make most fans happy, another Safety could send some fans over the edge. Either way, we need to look at who the Patriots might target and who are good fits. Corner was by far the toughest position for me to narrow down and the list is still probably longer than it should be. Here is the final big board section for the 2016 draft.

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Building The Big Board: Linebackers/Edge Players

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Would the Patriots consider taking an undersized LB early in the draft?

Would the Patriots consider taking an undersized LB early in the draft?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We are getting down to crunch time here. Luckily for me, and maybe you, the Big Board series is getting close to the end. In today’s article, I will be covering both Inside and Outside Linebackers as well as a few Edge rush specialists. I have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of prospects to go over, so let’s not waste any time and get into the prospects.

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Building The Big Board: Defensive End

Monday, April 18th, 2016
With the recent moves the Patriots have made, we could be seeing a shift in scheme, so who are the players that might fit what the Patriots are looking for?

With the recent moves the Patriots have made, we could be seeing a shift in scheme, so who are the players that might fit what the Patriots are looking for?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Yikes! We are not less than two weeks away from the NFL Draft. There is so much to get done in such a little amount of time. The Patriots continue to make moves, making my life much more difficult. Typically, as we get closer to the draft, we can start to get an idea of the positions we think the team will target. This year however, I find myself more confused than ever. The team has made some interesting cuts and rumors are flying that the team might be looking to shift back to a 3-4 base defense. If that is the case, a position like Defensive End will have a different type of prospect to target than if the team decides to stick with the 4-3 they have played in recent years. Who the Patriots draft at both Defensive End and Defensive Tackle should give us a peak behind the curtain as to what the team wants to do defensively this year. So let’s take a look at some of the prospects the Patriots might target at Defensive End.

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Building The Big Board: Defensive Tackles

Friday, April 15th, 2016
While not a huge need for the Patriots, there might be too much talent in this draft to pass up on.

While not a huge need for the Patriots, there might be too much talent at Defensive Tackle  in this draft to pass up on.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Over the past several weeks, I have laid out my big board for the offensive side of the ball. Today, we move to the defense and start to look at the defensive line, specifically Defensive Tackle. This is probably the most talented group in the entire draft. In fact, I feel as many as 10 could be off the board before the Patriots even make a pick. Even with that staggering number of players gone, it does not mean there won’t be talent still left on the board. The Patriots are always looking to get value, and with this much talent at one position, a player or two is bound to slip. Now the Patriots have invested top end resources on the position in recent years and the depth chart seems set, but if a player they have rated highly falls to them, they may have to pass on a need to take the value.

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Building The Big Board: Offensive Lineman

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016
The Patriots have invested heavily in the interior of the offensive line, but it might be time to use some resources on the Tackle position.

The Patriots have invested heavily in the interior of the offensive line, but it might be time to use some resources on the Tackle position.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We finish up the offensive side of the Big Board today with a focus on the Offensive Line.  To say that the play of the Patriots O-line has been a disappointment over the last couple of seasons would be an understatement. Injuries and sub par play from veterans led to Tom Brady taking a record number of hits last year. Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down, but if he has to endure another year of that kind of punishment, we may lose our franchise QB earlier than anyone wants. In my preparation for this draft, I focused mainly on potential Offensive Tackles. There were some Guards and Centers that caught my attention, but those were two positions that did not get the same type of attention as other positions. Right now, the Patriots Tackle situation is unsettled. Nate Solder has not played as well in recent years and is coming off an injury. Sebastian Vollmer is getting up in age and he to has an injury history that is a cause for concern. Marcus Cannon is a backup, and in my opinion, not a very good one and Cameron Flemming was cut last year only to be forced into playing time after the injury bug hit. As far as I am concerned, both of those guys could, and probably should, be replaced. I am not ready to give up on the young guys the team has at Guard and Center, and with recently acquired Jonathan Cooper, it seems like they have enough pieces to work with on the inside. Plus, with Dante Scarnecchia back as Offensive Line coach, there is some optimism that the group will show improvement. So lets take a look at the current roster and what prospects the Patriots might be targeting in the draft.

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Building The Big Board: Wide Receivers

Saturday, April 9th, 2016
If the Patriots decide to draft a Wide Receiver this year, what exactly will they be looking for.?

If the Patriots decide to draft a Wide Receiver this year, what exactly will they be looking for?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

With the fourth installment in my Big Board series, I take a look at the final skill position on offense. It is an interesting position, both from a prospect and a team specific point of view. In my opinion, the draft will answer a lot of questions regarding how the team feels about the guys on the current roster. I could see the team pass on the position all together and I could see them take a guy early and maybe even double dip at the position. If they do not draft anyone, it shows the team still has some confidence left in Aaron Dobson and are comfortable keeping Danny Amendola even with his bloated salary. On the other hand, it will speak volumes if the team does draft a Receiver early. It could mark the end of one or both of the guys mentioned above. This made it hard to determine how many prospects to keep on the Big Board. I had to make some tough decisions and leave some guys off this list that I really liked. Here are the guys who I think are good fits for the Patriots and could represent value.

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