Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

2014 Patriots Secondary: Revamped and Remarkable

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Devin McCourty has had a great start to his career with the New England Patriots.
(Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Earthwind Moreland, Troy Brown, Artrell Hawkins, Hank Poteat, Antwaun Molden. These are names fans are used to seeing as they glanced over the Patriots depth chart during the last decade. That’s about to change in 2014.

Over the course of 48 hours in March the Patriots secondary went from a complete liability to strength of the team with the additions of two physical man to man corners in Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner. On paper, the Patriots have an “embarassment of riches” in the secondary, but how will Bill Belichick use them? Here is what I think we’ll see and why it will make them tough to beat.

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2015 NFL Draft: Top Big 12 Defensive End Prospects

Saturday, July 19th, 2014

Cedric Reed would top a lot of people’s lists but I have two high potential prospects ranked higher at this time (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

The Big 12′s talent pool is definitely shifted towards the offensive side of the ball with wide open offensive schemes succeeding in Baylor, Oklahoma and OK St. If we do take a look at the defenses there is a position that doesn’t lack for NFL caliber talent. The defensive end position has some legitimate talent. With the rankings here I definitely went with talent and upside putting Oakman over Reed.

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New England Patriots Mailbag: Pre-Training Camp Edition

Friday, July 18th, 2014

Second-year defensive tackle Chris Jones is entering his first training camp as a member of the New England Patriots. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The rookies report on July 20. The veterans arrive on July 23. And at 9:15 a.m. on July 24, the two sides of the New England Patriots spectrum will meet on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium for training camp.

NEPatriotsDraft.com will be there to provide coverage of the first week as it unfolds. Yet until then, as the final days of the Patriots’ 2014 summer unfold, there are some things left to cover in this July 18 mailbag. (more…)


2015 NFL Draft: ACC Top Prospect and Conference Preview

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Winston 2015 NFL Draft

Jameis Winston is a decent football player.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

After a few slow months it’s about time to start ramping back up the football and NFL Draft machine. We now can flip the page to 2014 and begin to search for the top prospects to watch during the season. The Atlantic Coast Conference is our first preview where I predict the All-Conference Teams and project the top five prospects at each position within the conference.

As was the case in 2013-14, the ACC is loaded with NFL caliber talent once again in 2014-15.

Let’s take a look.

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Year of Growth: Revisiting the Rookie Seasons of Patriots Wideouts Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins made key contributions as Patriots rookies. And, in a sense, those contributions linked the wideouts together. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

One was a 21-year-old second-round pick out of Marshall, the other was a 24-year-old undrafted journeyman by way of Cincinnati and El Camino College. But while Aaron Dobson and Kenbrell Thompkins traveled far different roads to Foxborough in April of 2013, their impact as New England Patriots rookies eventually merged them to the same one.

Early on, though, they appeared to be at different stages of development.

Dobson was on the field in the fourth quarter of preseason games, acclimating to the offense with players on the fringe of the 90-man roster. Thompkins, on the other hand, was on the sidelines after building chemistry with the first unit and quarterback Tom Brady.

Those initial glimpses weren’t solely rooted in talent, however. It was clear that Dobson’s ceiling was a high one, only the Conference USA product required a higher volume of in-game reps to reach it. His route tree with the Thundering Herd wasn’t the most assorted one. And Thompkins already had experience running an array of patterns versus future NFL cornerbacks in a basic yet rapid Bearcats hurry-up offense.

Still, both Dobson and Thompkins flashed promise during the summer’s four exhibition contests. The two wideouts had similar production by the end of August; Dobson netted 11 catches for 150 yards over his four games and two starts, while Thompkins netted 15 catches for 166 yards over his four games and three starts.

Even so, it was apparent that they were different players. It was apparent that they won in different ways. (more…)


Nine Glimpses: Josh Boyce’s Rookie Season in Patriots Offense

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Josh Boyce’s rookie season with the Patriots was one of glimpses. And in the offensive huddle, there were nine. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Nine.

It’s the number of games Josh Boyce played in during his rookie season. It’s the number of kickoffs he returned on special teams. And it’s the number of passes he caught in the New England Patriots offense.

It’s a number the former fourth-round pick is looking to multiply in 2014.

For Boyce, 2013 was a year that came to an end just as it got started. The Texas Christian standout landed on injured reserve in Week 17, after having tallied eight of his receptions over a three-game span in the final months of the campaign.

There were moments where he flashed, where he was able to make use of his 4.38-second 40-yard dash speed in the open field, where his 2,535 receiving yards and 22 touchdown grabs during his Horned Frogs career came to light.

Those moments were only that, however. No. 82 was an inactive for seven contests. He logged just 182 offensive snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. He was targeted 19 times. But, those moments, they were there. (more…)


2015 NFL Draft: Top Big 12 WR Prospects

Sunday, June 29th, 2014

Antwan Goodley of Baylor has the speed and bulk to post tremendous receiving numbers catching passes from fellow NFL prospect Bryce Petty (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

The Big 12 has taken its hits, most notably losing Nebraska to the Big 10, and Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, and it shows when breaking down their NFL prospects. One position they do offer some talent in is at the wide receiver spot. This is no surprise given the wide open, defense optional style most of the conference plays. Let’s take a look at the top WR prospects for the 2015 draft class.

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