Archive for the ‘NFL Draft’ Category

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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2015 NFL Draft: An Early Look at the WR, OT and DE Class

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

USC WR Nelson Agholor could earn a first round grade and ultimately move past the consensus #1 WR Amari Cooper (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

The 2014 Draft was particularly strong at offensive tackle and wide receiver with those two positions making up 6 out of the first 12 selections. We also saw two blue chip defensive prospects in Jadaveon Clowney and Khalil Mack go in the top 5. Then of course was the notorious Johnny Football going to the dormant Browns late in the first. Most of the headlines were stolen by the magnetic but volatile former Aggie QB.

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Patriots Wide Receiver Breakdown: Volume in Numbers at OTAs

Wednesday, May 28th, 2014

The Patriots’ wide receiving corps was highlighted during the summer of 2013, and it is once again in 2014. (Photo: Oliver Thomas)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

As organized team activities opened up on Tuesday, May 27, the New England Patriots filled the 90-man roster to maximum capacity by signing two wide receivers. In doing so, one of the positions which grew scarce with attrition and inexperience last season now stands among the squad’s deepest in volume.

It stands at 13.

In a numbers game, though, less than half of that baker’s dozen will ultimately make the 53-man roster. And if the past serves as an indicator of the future, the process will remain a fluid one until then.

That was illustrated last June, as the Patriots stocked OTAs with 10 wideouts. The pool included three incumbents – who combined 21 receptions for the year prior – along with four veteran signings, two rookie draft picks and two undrafted rookies.

The average age of the nucleus was 25 years old.

But by the time OTAs turned into training camp and the preseason, the landscape shifted. Rookie Mark Harrison was never activated from the non-football injury list, incumbent Kamar Aiken and veterans Michael Jenkins, Donald Jones and Lavelle Hawkins were let go. Several more joined only to meet the same fate.

The fate of New England’s 2014 collection is not yet known. Even so, there are some elements that are. (more…)


Patriots Found Upside in Georgia Tech Do-It-All Jemea Thomas

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Jemea Thomas was selected in the sixth round of May’s NFL Draft, but the do-it-all defensive back proved to be more than a flier over his five seasons with the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

It was the summer of 2009, and Georgia Tech head coach Paul Johnson had his share of decisions to make.

One of which regarded three-star recruit Jemea Thomas, an incoming freshman A-back who had rushed for 8.8 yards per carry and seven touchdowns during his senior season at nearby Fitzgerald High School.

Johnson could have kept the Queensland, Ga., native on the offensive side of the Yellow Jackets’ triple-option attack. Or, the ACC Coach of the Year could have moved Thomas to defense full-time, where he amassed 140 tackles, three blocked field goals and four interceptions for the Purple Hurricanes in 2008.

The latter was elected. (more…)


Marc’s Final Thoughts on the 2014 NFL Draft: Big Board, A+ Picks & Best UDFAs

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

 

The Patriots 6th round pick was Jemea Thomas from Georgia Tech and his versatility and hard hitting will be on display on defense and special teams (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

It was a wild ride and before we transition to 2015 let’s take a look back at the 2014 NFL Draft. All rankings and opinions are mine not necessarily of NEPD.

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Patriots’ Rookie Running Backs Carry Some Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

The vision and balance of Patriots fourth-round pick James White headlines a rookie running back trio. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots’ offseason roster delves eight deep at the running back position. But even after Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, fullback James Develin and first-year player Jonas Gray, viable competition remains.

It comes in the form of rookies Stephen Houston, James White and Roy Finch.

Only one of whom was selected in May’s draft, yet each of whom carries the serviceability to warrant a 53-man roster selection.

The reality, though, is that not all of whom will. There are only 11 offensive players on the field at a time, and there’s only one football to go around. And given the sheer volume of candidates in New England’s wide-open rushing committee, taking part in both will be a tall order this summer.

Each will have to carve a role.

Based on the ways in which the trio was utilized in college, however, doing so won’t be far outside the realm of possibility. (more…)







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