Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

Post Draft Scouting Report: Isaiah Wynn, OT

Monday, April 30th, 2018

Maybe by thinking outside the box, the Patriots got the best Tackle in the draft.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

“With the 23rd pick in the 2018 NFL draft, the New England Patriots select….Isaiah Wynn, Tackle, University of Georgia.” When Roger Goodell said those words last Thursday night, I bet there were a lot of people who had a very shocked look on their face. I know from reading the comments on this very website that fans seemed less than pleased with the pick. Let me see if I can bring some clarity to why this was a good pick.

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Post Draft Potpourri

Monday, April 30th, 2018

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I am home! If you follow me on twitter you may have read I had an epic journey to get home from the draft yesterday. What should have been a two hour flight turned into a twenty two hour day that included flight cancellations and multiple plane transfers, topped off with mechanical issues that led to me getting home fourteen hours after I was originally supposed to. The only saving grace was that it game me an opportunity to watch some tape of the newest Patriots players, even if it was only on my phone. Needless to say, my eyes are a little sore from the lack of sleep over the past few days and staring at a tiny little screen for ten hours yesterday. Even through all the chaos yesterday, it didn’t dampen my excitement to get back to my real computer where I could finally talk Patriots and Draft will my favorite people, you.

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Patriots Draft Thoughts

Sunday, April 29th, 2018
  1. Some say you have to wait a few years before judging a player/pick or a draft class. Most of the time I agree but I always believe you can identify some players that will translate to the next level. And I think we drafted a few of them. I believe we’ll have at least 3 starters from this draft & it could get better. Wynn, Michel, Dawson are all plug & play players. They will absolutely have their “rookie” moments but these are 3 very solid picks with traits that immediately translate to the NFL. Not only did we walk away with certain starters with upside, not an easy feat in any draft. We also stockpiled picks for 2019, giving us 6 Top 100 picks next year. Our 1st, 2nd, 2nd from Chicago, a 3rd from the Lions as well as two 3rd round comp picks.

New England made moves to win now. The Wynn & Michel picks have to put a smile on Brady’s face. Wynn will be his & Michel’s enforcer helping the QB stay upright & clean. Michel is a swiss army knife that gives Tom another weapon in the run & rec game. Not to mention another way to diagnose defenses pre snap. These were two very calculated picks that know each other very well. Literally worked & complemented each other too. Safe to say the chemistry on offense just got better despite adding new players. I thought this was a great draft that brought in NFL ready players to make a difference day one. And again we added to the future as well. Here’s a little breakdown & some thoughts on each player.

Wynn will start & play either T or G & I believe, with all due respect to Mason & Thuney. I really believe Wynn is a little better than both right now. He’s a throwback that can roll his hips generate big boy power. Obviously Isaiah will have a lot to learn & some adjustments to make but this guy is a tremendous player. If you ask Bill what he wants in an OL’m he’ll say Big, Athletic, Tough & Smart. Now some might be put off by Wynn’s size for Tackle but he handled every pass rusher thrown at him & showed + mental processing, handling stunts & delayed blitz. When he gets his paws on you the play is dead. Very strong mitts. Wynn is mini mammoth multi-tasker that brings so much across the line. He has the body control to escort defenders away from the play & strength to kick fools out da club. Wynn would walk miles each day to play & practice football after high school. He’s a reliable, tough, durable football player to his core. He was my favorite pick of the draft & has a chance to be one of the 5-10 best players in the 2018 class.

 

Michel is another player that will make an immediate impact. Again some may complain (I have a feeling they do this about everything) about he previous knee injury but we didn’t draft Sony thinking about a 2nd contact. He’s a win now pick that is a little bull in the run game. Very decisive runner that will lower his shoulder. Great job at following & setting up his blocks. Very nice vision & patience at the line. He’ll change up his pace & tempo to work with his blocks. Has that burst to explode for a big gain & the moves to shake defenders in the open field. He definitely has that Kamara feel & was graded higher by me fwiw (Kamara-7.90 – Michel-8.20) Michel, Burkhead, White & Hill/Gillislee is one hell of a backfield. I said this last night but good luck defender our 21 package with Michel, Rex, Gronk & co. Teams will have to commit their best S/LB’s to these player & really open things up for our WR’s.

(What’s funny is you can see both of their traits that translate in each of their highlights)

 

Duke Dawson seems to be under rated by some but I love the pick. Dawson is a gritty DB that is plug & play in the slot/Nickel but always has some experience at S. He’s played everywhere in that UF secondary & learned from some pretty good DB’s in Wilson, Maye, Teez & others. Dawson has great route recognition & won’t hesitate to break off & make a play when the opportunity presents itself. Very aggressive in run support. Very physical player but especially at the line. Duke has a very effective jam & is able to reroute WR’s at the L.O.S. He has the feet to quicks to stay with receivers in a short area & take away the underneath. He’ll erase the slant, screen & reverse. Very smart, tough player. Hasn’t allowed over 40% cmp in over 2 years. Typical P-TP

 

Bentley I didn’t grade because of lack of tape but am familiar with the player. Maryland native that is a heavy hitter & enjoys the contact part of playing defense. There were more than a few times I saw him diagnose a play, work through the much & make a play at or behind the line. He’s not a speed demon but he plays faster than he looks. He suffered a season ending injury in 2015 but bounced nicely the following year. He’s a force in the middle & isn’t someone RB’s will want to meet in the hole. He’s a hip sinking hitter that will knock the snot out of you.

Christian Sam is another player that plays a lot faster than he timed. Loose player with good c.o.d. , he can hang with bigger TE’s underneath & up the seem. Quick twitch player that when he just trust what he see’s is a force. At times he just reacts off what he see’s & is able to slip through the bigger bodies to make a play around or behind the line. He’ll touch a few passes. Pressure the QB. Pops through his hips when he hits. He’ll really benefit from the film room with NFL coaches as his play recognition & ability to diagnose needs to improve.

 

If you’ve followed the draft & potential patriot targets Braxton Berrios might be the most Patriot-Type Player in the class. From his ACL injury, to the tough slot receiver cliché, he just fits like a glove (Ace Ventura voice while snapping an imaginary glove) Berrios is a great route runner that makes everything look the same. At the line, in route/before he breaks, it all looks alike. He was very underutilized until recentlu but made a big impact when given the chance. He has + hands & has no problem catching through contact & taking a big hit. He has that big catch on 3rd down feel & knows what his role is. He always bring special teams value. If he’s healthy he’s a contributor at worst & at best our new slot wr,

 

I love the Keion Crossen pick. He was definitely on my radar & obviously the Patriots as well. Undersized but very aggressive CB. Very easy, fluid mover that might be able to follow some of the smaller, quicker receivers around if they move on motion. He’s fearless & doesn’t hesitate in run support. Won’t just stayed blocked. Very smart, high character guy that will intergrade himself into the team & community if given the chance. He’s a very high energy player that doesn’t quit.  I really this player & where we got him. He checks all the boxes we like from an athletic standpoint too.

 

Danny Etling was a bit of a surprise but you can understand the thought process here. Etling might not have mental processing capabilities to digest quick info on the fly but has some physical gifts you see right away on film. He has a very quick release, the ball shoots out at times. He doesn’t have a “cannon” but when his head & body are friends & working together he can sling it down the field. At times he really pushed the ball the field. He can make just about any NFL throw if he gets polished up.

 

Ryan Izzo is Y-type tight end that can be brought in on goal line, short yardage. Work in play action of some misdirection & eat up unaccounted yards. Overall shows good promise a blocker but has to commit to getting & maintaining inside hands as well as leverage. Right now he doesn’t have the play strength to just out muscle guys.


Draft Day Thoughts – Day 2: Grade B+

Saturday, April 28th, 2018

 

NEPD Staff Contributor: Jeff Fidler

In typical Bill Belichick fashion he turned 2 picks into Duke Dawson & future picks going forward. Day two really spoke to how good the Patriots are & why they are always ahead of the curve with this football stuff. They walked away with a Patriot-Type Player in Duke Dawson (more on him later) & added picks for this year (105) & next year (Bears 2nd). I always love trading with “bad” teams & while Chicago has plenty to be happy about I could easily see them picking in the lottery next year as well. That’s a def a pick to watch considering next years draft is loaded from top to bottom. Going forward in this years draft we’re set up pretty well with picks in every round. We pick early to start the 4th (105), right in the range we landed Flowers & Rivers. We have the 143rd in the 5th. 198 & 210 in the 6th. And 219 in the 7th round.

As for our 2nd round pick Dawson, he’ll fit in just dandy in our secondary & our team. He grew up an FSU fan in Cross City, Florida but decided on U.F. after being swayed by the Gator tradition & atmosphere there. He’s a very tough player that plays with no fear & will absolutely look to thump you run support. He’s one of the better CB’s in terms of actually succeeding after getting his paws on his opponent. He does a great job at impeding receivers at the line. He’s an eraser in the slot. Just eliminating slants, screens & anything close to the line. Dawson plays with plus route recognition & is very quick to break off his man to make a play somewhere else. And when he does get his hands on the ball, he turns into a running back. Dawson also is very comfortable & very good in man, off & zone. He won’t come off the field ever & might even play some special teams. He reminds of Logan Ryan. Very physical, smart dependable player that will probably always have trouble with certain types that have long speed. He was a 2nd round player by my grades (https://1drv.ms/x/s!Arhgisx89Ip6gQqZ0kVkO-Eys1vs) & definitely worth a top 64 pick.

Going forward we have the 105th pick in the 4th round, 143rd in the 5th, 198/210 in the 6th & 219 in the 7th. There are plenty of very good players on the board that could make an impact day 1 for us. Here’s a few names I would definitely keep an eye on. Duke Ejiofor (RUSH), Josh Sweat (RUSH), Ogbonnia Okoronkwo (RUSH/LB), Kylie Fitts (RUSH), Cruikshank (S), Meeks (CB), Avery (LB/RUSH), Thomas (TE), James (WR), EQ ST Brown (WR), Tate (WR) & Elliot (S).


Patriots Draft – Day One/Grade A

Friday, April 27th, 2018

NEPD Staff Contributor: Jeff Fidler

 

There might not be a happier QB in the NFL right now than Tom Brady. Not only did the Patriots not take a QB round. Much to the fans joy they took players that will directly help Brady staying on the field longer. They might not have the needs you thought we should go but they are blue chip players being added to a SB, win now team. This offense is absolutely loaded. We helped the OL ny adding the most versatile player in the draft & now have one of the best RB groups in the league by far. These were very calculated picks that know each other very well. Wynn has been wiping out fools & throwing suckas out da club for Sony who would make anyone miss that was left before gashing the defense.

I hope people understand that Michel is a beast that absolutely will have a Kamara-type impact. He’s a bull in the run game, huge match problem in the rec game, very elusive & has very good speed. He can score from almost anywhere on the field. Very decisive & tough, perfect back for Bill in those areas. Sony is a very confident man that has come back from injury ( ACL in h.s & ankle injuries) and excelled at UG. One of the most under rated aspects to his game is his awareness. Whether its in pass pro and stepping up at the right time or in the field looking waiting for a rec, understanding whats around him. He’ll change up his tempo to adjust to his blockers & switch gaps to explode from depending on what the LB is doing. Very smart player

Isaiah Wynn was one of the best the OL’m in the country last year. He displayed his talents in numerous ways each week against some of the best competition out there. I remember watching Forrest Lamp destroy ‘Bama defenders one by one . Allen, Williams, it didn’t matter. He just handled all of them & so did 77. They threw the kitchen sink & the old toilet in the backyard at Wynn & he didn’t flinch. He fires out of his stance like a throwback OL’m. Rolling his hips & generating power from his lower half, through his upper & into a poor defender. Wynn also has some of the quickest feet out there, he’s always in position. Whether its him beating a defender to the edge with his kick slide or getting to flat to set up a screen. Wynn also has +mental processing. Whether its the blitz and pealing off his main defender to chip on an extra rusher. Executing and dropping proper deuce block, handling his first man before heading to the backer he just performs at a high level. His vision is great, he sees the big picture but can handle on the fly adjustments.

 

These were two great picks from the Patriots. I know some wanted defense early & often but you can’t argue these picks. Wynn was a top 8 overall player on my board & Sony is perfect for our offense.  I can’t imagine what D.C. are thinking when we go 21 this fall. As for the defense we still have 3 picks left in the top 100 & have quietly made some very nice signings to bolster the DL in Shelton & secondary with Jason McCourty. There are plenty of Rush prospects available in Landry, Sweat, Ejiofor, Hubbard, Turay & others. Plenty LB’s that can play in space like Warner, Cichy, Moore, Scales & others. We still have plenty of Patriot-type Players at DB. Lets not forget Reid, Oliver, Bates, Meeks & again many others.

We landed 2 blue chip prospects, still have all our picks & the board is loaded with talent. I really would like to see 2 of the following selected. Sweat, Ejiofor, Hubbard, Oliver, Meeks, Jackson, Reid or Bates with our next 2-3 picks if we hold onto to them.


Draft Conversation Thread: Rounds 4-7

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Please use this thread to comment on all things draft related to Day 3 or the picks the Patriots made on Day 2. I imagine lots of draft gems will still be on everyone’s board. These are the rounds that can change the fortune of a team and might be my favorite day of the draft.

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Draft Conversation Thread: Rounds 2 and 3

Thursday, April 26th, 2018

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

 

Please use this thread for night 2 of the draft or to continue the conversation on the pick(s) the Patriots made on night one.

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