Archive for the ‘Patriots’ Category

2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Texas Tech Tight End Jace Amaro

Sunday, February 2nd, 2014

Texas Tech head coach Kliff Kingsbury, a 2003 Patriots draft pick, optimized the versatility of Jace Amaro this fall. And since then, No. 22 has emerged as one of the premier tight ends in the 2014 NFL draft. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

In the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014 NFL draft, NEPatriotsDraft.com will profile college prospects that potentially fit the needs and draft seating of the New England Patriots. In this second installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro.

Jace Amaro isn’t fused to one position on the football field. But if there was a title suited for Texas Tech’s 21-year-old junior, it would be called “new-age” tight end.

An evolving position across the NFL landscape, coaching staffs are finding ways to mismatch defensive personnel with tight ends that can catch first and block second. In turn, general managers and scouting departments are searching for prospects with the size, the fluidity and the skill to be used interchangeably within an offense.

The 6’5”, 260-pound Amaro fits the prototype. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Notre Dame Nose Tackle Louis Nix III

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Notre Dame’s Louis Nix III plays with force rarely seen in a nose tackle prospect, and NFL scouting departments have taken note. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

In the coming weeks and months leading up to the 2014 NFL draft, NEPatriotsDraft.com will profile college prospects that potentially fit the needs and draft seating of the New England Patriots. In this first installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III.

Louis Nix III won’t win a track meet. He won’t run a 40-yard dash in under 5.2 seconds, either. But his 6’2”, 342-pound mass, multiplied by his downhill quickness off the snap, has equaled force for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense.

And largely due to his fulfillment of Isaac Newton’s second law, the 22-year-old redshirt junior finds himself ranked as the top nose tackle prospect in the 2014 NFL draft. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: Post-Senior Bowl Patriots Mock Draft

Saturday, January 25th, 2014

Upgrading the run defense should be the Patriots priority early in the draft. 

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With the Patriots season coming to a screeching halt last weekend, it seems NFL Draft fever has hit New England fans in full force. My inbox fills up daily with questions asking who the Patriots will pick or which prospects are “Patriot” type players. This year the Patriots hold their full allotment of selection (slight alteration) and I anticipate them to add at least two compensatory selections. With the team so close and the window on the Tom Brady era inching closed, there’s no denying the importance of adding impact players through this draft. Between now and May (ugh), plenty of speculation, rumors, and inuendo will occur, but as of January 25, this is how I project the Patriots draft to unfold.

(more…)


2014 Patriots Mock Draft: Senior Bowl Edition

Thursday, January 23rd, 2014
Zack Martin Patriots NFL Draft

Zack Martin gives the Patriots options along their offensive line. Can the Patriots still add some offensive weapons?

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

As the sun sets on the 2014 Senior Bowl — make sure you check out all of Mike Loyko’s notes on Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3 — it is time for another New England Patriots Mock Draft.

Here is one version of what Bill Belichick and company might do this May in the 2014 NFL Draft.

(more…)


Inside Zone: How the Patriots Run Defense Has Shifted Since the Last Broncos Encounter

Friday, January 17th, 2014

New England’s defensive front has undergone subtle renovations since allowing 280 rushing yards to the Denver Broncos in Week 12. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Rush yards were at a surplus when the New England Patriots defense faced the Denver Broncos ground game in Week 12.

Quarterback Peyton Manning handed the football off to his running backs 47 times, and 280 yards were the byproduct. Fifth-year back Knowshon Moreno had a career day, compiling 224 rushing yards and a touchdown on 37 attempts, while rookies Montee Ball and C.J. Anderson combined for 56 yards on 10 attempts.

Whether it was by design or by accident, the Patriots front didn’t give the record-breaking Manning much of a reason to pass to his assortment of receivers – he totaled 150 pass yards. And while the absence of defensive tackles Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly certainly played a part in the Patriots’ failures there, the woes delved deeper than attrition for the then-31st run D.

Much of it came down to how the scheme approached the inside zone.

That approach has since been altered. It may, however, be fine-tuned once again for Sunday’s AFC Championship Game at Mile High.

(more…)


Three Phases of Impact: Revisiting Patriots Linebacker Jamie Collins’ Complete Game vs. Colts

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

The upside of rookie Jamie Collins was clear in New England’s playoff victory over the Indianapolis Colts. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Jamie Collins’ finest NFL performance arrived 17 contests into the New England Patriots season.

It arrived in the divisional round versus quarterback Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts.

For the rookie second-round linebacker out of Southern Mississippi, Saturday’s 43-22 victory marked his most complete showing in a Patriots uniform. He played a complete game in quantity – logging all 66 defensive snaps for the first time in his career. And he played a complete game in quality – totaling six tackles, two QB hits, his first career sack and his first career interception.

But it came down to more than reps or statistics for the 6’3”, 250-pound McCall Creek, Miss., native.

It came down to changing the game. (more…)


Without Brandon Spikes: Charting the Response of the Patriots Linebackers

Thursday, January 9th, 2014

Brandon Spikes’ season-ending knee injury has thrust the Patriots linebackers into the spotlight as the Indianapolis Colts await. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

On a 1st-and-10 with 5:03 remaining in Week 17, Brandon Spikes’ season came to an end.

It transpired as Buffalo Bills halfback C.J. Spiller pierced through the sodden Gillette Stadium hashes and crossed outward to the flat, where he created separation beyond the New England Patriots linebacker.

Buffalo quarterback Thaddeus Lewis found his target in stride. And from there, the ball-carrier veered past the 50-yard line, shedding the arcing arms of nickelback Kyle Arrington as Spikes closed in.

Yet at the New England 48, Spiller redirected.

Spikes did not, nor could he. (more…)




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