Musket Blasts: Patriots and NFL Draft Links, 8/22

Jonathan Fanene released

Jonathan Fanene was an expensive experiment in New England. (Photo:

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

Come back every Monday, Wednesday and Friday as I choose my five favorite New England Patriots and NFL Draft links to share. Feel free to submit your own links in the comments.

Some interesting thoughts on Jonathan Fanene being released by the Patriots. (

Obviously it’s a huge shock that the Patriots just decided to throw away $3.85 million in a signing bonus and another $100,00 workout bonus by terminating Jonathan Fanene’s contract. I mean, that’s just stunning. When is the last time the Patriots just ate a mistake that large before even seeing the guy on the field? Even Albert Haynesworth didn’t wash out that quickly (although the expense was in a draft pick, not contract). And we all know how much rope the Patriots gave Chad Johnson.

The SEC is loaded with draft prospects. Even the sleeper draft prospects have first round possibilities. (

Well its finally here, after spending the last 11 weeks previewing every other conference in America its finally time to break down the granddaddy of them all in the SEC. The SEC is so deep with talent we had to go deeper with our sleepers preview. The article below goes beyond just who some of the starters on and focuses on some of the rotational guys you don’t know yet who should have big years.

The Jets need help at right tackle now, but here are some 2013 tackle prospects. (

Williams, at 6’6/315 pounds, has played on the right side for most of his career. He is a large but athletic tackle who is a terrific pass blocker while still doing well in the run game. With a massive wingspan, Williams is able to keep his arms extended and with good leverage, wards off defensive ends. After arthroscopic knee surgery, Williams missed most of the spring season but has spent all summer rehabbing the knee and getting ready for the upcoming season. Williams is healthy and already back in the starting line.

The Patriots really like versatile players. (NEPD)

If there’s one thing Bill Belichick has proven over the years, it’s that if you aren’t going to be a star on the New England Patriots, you better damn be versatile. Last year, Belichick may have gone over the edge with his love for versatility lining Julian Edelman up at cornerback, Matthew Slater at safety, Logan Mankins at left tackle, Nate Solder at tight end and more.

I disagree heavily with this list of the ten best safeties. Kenny Vaccaro and Eric Reid are elite prospects in my book (Sporting News)

A star on special teams in 2010, Vaccaro (6-1, 218, 4.60) played so well in 2011—his first year as a full time starter—that he was named All Conference by the coaches. While he no doubt has to be athletic to play safety for Texas, his football smarts and instincts are what separate him from many similarly talented safeties. He has consistently done an excellent job of getting the secondary aligned correctly, reads the quarterback well so that he can break and close on passes in time to make a play on the ball.

BONUS LINK: Check out some humorous “Wildcat” plays from editor Doug Kyed.

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