NFL Scouting Combine vs. Patriots Draft Picks: A Four-Year Study

February 26th, 2014

Illinois’ Michael Buchanan hit New England’s criteria at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine. And he fit the draft board as a seventh-round flier that April. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The NFL Scouting Combine is what it is.

It is a way to meet prospects off the field and evaluate how their game film translates on the field. It is not a be-all, end-all in determining a draft hopeful’s future, but it is a way to compare and contrast physical and athletic measurements in a neutral environment.

And when teams apply their respective criteria to the subjects at hand, trends are the byproduct, as Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots have evidenced over the last several years.

The Patriots personnel department has drafted 36 players since 2010. The collection consists of two quarterbacks, two running backs, three tight ends, four wide receivers, three offensive tackles, one center, three defensive ends, two defensive tackles, six linebackers, five cornerbacks, three safeties and a punter.

Six of whom had to wait until their pro days, while 30 of whom were invited to Indianapolis.

But courtesy of the NFL.com and NFLDraftScout.com archives, here’s a closer look into their vital numbers by position. Because while we do not know what the future will bring this May, history is often a trajectory of the future. Read the rest of this entry »


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Minnesota Defensive Tackle Ra’Shede Hageman

February 24th, 2014

Ra’Shede Hageman’s story has ventured far beyond football. But on the field, the Minnesota defensive tackle has emerged as one of the top prospects in the 2014 NFL draft class. (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 fifth installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Minnesota defensive tackle Ra’Shede Hageman.

What Ra’Shede Hageman has overcome in his 23 years far exceeds any cut or trap block.

The battles he’s overcome far exceed the game of football, as author and SBNation.com contributor John Rosengren illustrated in a moving piece this November.

Born Ra’Shede Knox on Aug. 8, 1990, his biological mother was an addict; his biological father passed on before he got to know him. He and his younger brother were placed in foster care four years later, while his older brother followed a different path. And after living in handfuls of homes, it wasn’t until 1998 that Ra’Shede finally found a permanent one with attorneys Eric Hageman and Jill Coyle.

Adoption wasn’t the end of his adversity, though. It wasn’t the end of his struggle to fit in. It was, however, a new starting point. Many hurdles have tested Hageman since then, but the past has failed to define him; it has only defined his strength.

And for the 6’6”, 311-pound defensive tackle, that strength has turned into force on the football field. Read the rest of this entry »


2014 NFL Combine: Results Tracker

February 22nd, 2014

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Follow along with the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine as I update our list with all the latest measurements and times from the top 2014 NFL Draft prospects.

Read the rest of this entry »


2014 NFL Draft: Combine Preview

February 22nd, 2014

For all the chatter Jadeveon Clowney is a physical marvel and will likely be smiling after showcasing his unreal athleticism in Indy (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

There are two broad aspects to scouting a prospect in any sport, which are their mental and physical makeup. Those two factors intersect to create what really matters: How well they play the game. This week in Indianapolis prospective players will be tested and evaluated until their potential employers are satisfied. And trust me those guys are beyond demanding.

Here is a look into who will come out of the fray looking like a million bucks, and who might lose millions with a poor showing.

Read the rest of this entry »


2014 NFL Combine Preview: Potential Patriots at Each Position

February 19th, 2014

LSU RB Jeremy Hill will be one of the players the Patriots watch closely in Indy.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

It’s always difficult to identify which prospects the Patriots will target in the draft. Most of the time it’s hard enough trying to figure out which needs they might try to fill. For that reason the combine brings excitement, anticipation, and over-analysis as fans and media try to determine which players their team will be focused on.

This week in Indianapolis there will be players on the field that will play for and make an impact on the Patriots next season, it’s inevitable. It is our job to try and figure out which ones that will be. Here is a position by position breakdown of prospects the Patriots could be watching closely at the combine.

Read the rest of this entry »


2014 Patriots Seven-Round Mock Draft – February Edition

February 19th, 2014

A long, physical and fluid cornerback prospect, Utah’s Keith McGill should garner New England’s interest leading up to draft day. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The NFL draft is a fluid process.

Between now and May, the NFL Scouting Combine, college pro days, interviews, private workouts and unrestricted free agency will alter the landscape. Within that landscape, a prospect’s perceived value will swing, as will the perceived needs and interests of their suitors.

Now there are no absolutes in the midst of February, March or April. There are no guarantees that a player will be a top-15 selection. There are no guarantees that an organization will address the draft board by roster priority, either.

All we can do is form an educated projection as to how the picture will be painted.

Projecting, however, is especially difficult when it comes to the New England Patriots war room.

Head coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio, and the rest of the Patriots front office have their own interpretation of value. At its very essence, though, it is about waging the worth of a player in contrast with where that player could be selected. It’s about reading the previous picks and gauging what type of player will be available when.

And that is what we’ll attempt to accomplish in this Patriots seven-round mock draft exercise. Read the rest of this entry »


2014 NFL Draft Close-Up: Notre Dame Offensive Tackle Zack Martin

February 17th, 2014

Zack Martin was a mainstay on the Notre Dame offensive line. And while his future position is uncertain, there’s reason to believe the 52-game starter will fulfill similar purpose in the NFL. (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 fourth installment, we will take a closer look at the film behind Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin.

A mainstay.

That’s what Zack Martin became for the Notre Dame football program, shortly after enrolling as a 6’4”, 280-pound Under Armour All-American in 2009. The Indianapolis native did not play a down as a freshman that fall, but he played nearly every down over the next four.

Martin was one of 11 Notre Dame players to start all 13 contests in 2010, notching 11 at left tackle and two at right tackle to tally 831 snaps. In culmination of his efforts, Martin was named Guardian of the Year, bestowed upon the Fighting Irish’s top offensive lineman.

He picked up where he left off in 2011. Martin started all 13 games while Notre Dame’s front conceded just 17 sacks and amassed 4.8 yards per carry. He garnered top-lineman recognition for the second-straight season in result.

Martin made it three-straight as a redshirt junior in 2012. The developed, 6’4”, 305-pound blocker earned second-team All-American acknowledgement from the Walter Camp Football Association, as Notre Dame finished the regular season 12-0 that December. And he earned his 13th start of the season a month later.

No. 70 was there when Alabama conquered Notre Dame, 42-14, in the BCS title game that January.

No. 70 was there after.

Read the rest of this entry »




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