Saturday Slate Week 11: College Prospects to Watch

November 7th, 2014
Jaelen Strong burned the Irish for 8 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last year.  Can the electric Junior do it again?

Jaelen Strong burned the Irish for 8 catches for 136 yards and a touchdown last year. Can the electric Junior do it again?

NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

Week 11 could prove to be the most significant weekend of the college football season. So many crucial games this weekend will impact the college football playoff race, as well as conference races nationwide. Without further to due, let’s dive into the top matchups to be watching as well as a quick top 10 mock draft to see where we stand after 10 weeks.

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Brandon Browner’s Value to the Patriots Illustrated vs. Broncos

November 7th, 2014
Brandon Browner's game remains unchanged, and both sides of it were illustrated against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

The physical game of Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner remains unchanged. And both sides of it were seen against the Broncos in Week 9. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon Browner’s brand of football may be going extinct. But despite the NFL’s points of emphasis on illegal contact, holding and pass interference, and despite the seven flags he has drawn through three games this season, his brand has remained the same.

The 30-year-old cornerback is not letting it go without a fight, a tug, or at least a shove.

“I’m not going to change my game. I’m not going to let it bother me,” Browner said as training camp opened in July. “I’m going to force them to make the call. I’m going to try to stay aggressive. That’s what got me here.”

Those words have rung true. The brand that got the 6’4”, 221-pound journeyman to the New England Patriots is not unlike what got him to Oregon State, the Denver Broncos, the Calgary Stampeders and the Seattle Seahawks. It’s physical, glaring, and in a sense, ugly.

It’s supposed to be. And the reason why was explained against the Broncos in Week 9. Read the rest of this entry »


Scouting Report: Jay Ajayi, RB

November 5th, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Coming off an impressive win over the Broncos, it is hard not to argue that the Patriots are the best team in the NFL. Of course, right now that really means nothing and by no means are the Patriots perfect.  The running game production has really fallen off after the loss of Stevan Ridley to injury and while Shane Vereen is a very good pass catching change of pace back, he does not seem like an every down back.  Those two will also be free agents at the end of the year leaving the Patriots with unknown commodities left at the position with Jonas Gray, James White, and Tyler Gafney.  This week, I thought I would take a look at a potential target for the Patriots in the running game, Jay Ajayi. Read the rest of this entry »


How Patriots ‘X’ Receiver Brandon LaFell Has Marked His Spot

November 4th, 2014
Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

Brandon LaFell’s rise has provided the Patriots’ passing game with the element of unknown. (NFL Game Rewind)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Brandon LaFell was targeted six times in his first two regular-season games as a member of the New England Patriots. And, heading into his third game of September, the former Carolina Panthers third-round pick had zero catches to his name.

He’s had 36 over the seven games since.

It’s been both a gradual and sudden rise for the 6’3”, 210-pound wide receiver; one that arrived along with the surveillance of his three-year, $9 million contact last March. Organized team activities proved to be about familiarization for him, and that continued through the summer as he looked to find a home on the practice fields behind Gillette Stadium.

Route miscommunications and concentration drops were the unintended consequences of a journey that sent him from the NFC South to the AFC East. The 28-year-old had to acclimate to the ball placement of quarterback Tom Brady instead of Cam Newton, and he had to acclimate to his own placement in the offense of coordinator Josh McDaniels instead of Mike Shula.

It required repetition. Read the rest of this entry »


Patriots Ready For Denver This Time Around

November 1st, 2014

NEPD Staff Writer: Jason Cappell 

The last time the Patriots faced off against the Denver Broncos it ended in heartbreak for New England.  Not only did the Patriots have to travel across the country but they were also decimated by injuries at the time and really didn’t have the weapons needed to beat Peyton Manning.  However; this time the result could be very different.

Though New England suffered key injuries to defensive stalwarts Chandler Jones and Jerod Mayo, their secondary is now as good as ever and are physical enough to slow down Denver’s weapons.

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Saturday Slate: College Prospects to Watch in Week 10

October 31st, 2014

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NEPD Staff Writer CJ Sousa

All hail Amari Cooper. Granted the Tennessee pass defense isn’t exactly the 2001 Patriots, but nonetheless the star junior receiver caught 9 passes for 224 yards and 2 touchdowns. He ran crisp routes, snatched the ball out of the air, and boy can he run after the catch. A night to remember for Cooper.

SEC Spotlight: I’ve been a fan of Mississippi State RB Josh Robinson for some time now, and I think he’s finally getting some of the recognition he deserves. Against a good Kentucky front 7 Robinson ran for 198 yards and 2 touchdowns, including two of the most impressive runs I’ve seen all year. He shows great balance, vision, and eye discipline consistently. He averaged over 8.5 yards per carry; that should say it all.

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Without Chandler Jones, Three Patriots Tasked with Role of One

October 31st, 2014
New England called upon Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore to encompass Chandler Jones’ responsibilities in Week 8 against the Bears. (Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports Images)

New England called upon Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore to encompass Chandler Jones’ role against the Bears. (Winslow Townson – USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots have been without Chandler Jones for only one game thus far into the 2014 campaign.

That one game saw the front seven send three different players out to succeed the role of one.

Dominique Easley, Akeem Ayers and Zach Moore – each of whom brought their own traits to the defensive rotation. Each of whom brought forth their own third to replace the snaps of a player who had logged 417 through seven contests, per Pro Football Focus.

Only it hinged on more than volume for them in Week 8 against the Chicago Bears; it hinged on how they encountered their alignments, and how they left their impact within them. Read the rest of this entry »







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