2014 NFL Combine Preview: Potential Patriots at Each Position

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.

For the sake of this preview, I’m not going to rely solely on draft history and track record to project players. They’ve broken the mold enough times over the last few years to show up they are as unpredictable as ever when it comes to the players they like. I mean, did anyone have any indication that Jamie Collins was on their radar last year. I think not.

While some tendencies are valuable to rule players out, the prospects I list are players I feel could fit the needs of the team, the system, and the ever evolving philosophy of Bill Belichick. He’s always a step ahead, so it’s best to look forward to the future and not what he did in the past (even though it has some relevancy).

* Players are not listed in any specific order*


It is unlikely the Patriots spend an early pick on a Quarterback, especially if Ryan Mallett is still on the roster during the draft. There’s always the chance a player drops into their laps or they decided to use one of their late picks to take a flyer. It’s more likely they bring in a priority free agent and allow them to compete for a roster spot, much like they did with Brian Hoyer. Here’s the Quarterbacks that could interest them.

1. Zach Mettenberger, LSU – This falls under the value category. Mettenberger could fall into the middle rounds for any number of reasons; a torn ACL, erratic plays, or questions about his make up. Mettenberger’s physicals and on the board interview with the Patriots will tell the story. Even with the torn ACL, it’s likely he goes higher than the Patriots value. If Ryan Mallett is traded and he’s available in the 3rd or 4th round, then he becomes a legitimate possibility.

2. A.J. McCarron, Alabama – A similar case to Mettenberger. McCarron fits many of the qualities the Patriots look for in a developmental Quarterback. The fact that he’s such a high profile name and has a set of “solid across the board”, but unspectacular skill-set means a QB needy team uses a pick on him before the Patriots. None the less, he’s someone they will inevitably watch closes.

3. Jeff Matthews, Cornell – Matthews is an intelligent, strong-armed, big bodied QB prospect. His stock is all over the map with some teams much higher on him than others. If the Patriot decided they want another developmental QB,  Matthews becomes a legitimate candidate for one of their late round picks. The Patriots will want to how accurate Matthews can be at the combine. At the very least they will get a smart kid that can handle rigors of learning a complicated NFL playbook.

4. Tom Savage, Pittsburgh – Savage makes a lot of sense as a Priority Free Agent target. A big, strong armed passer, that’s been inconsistent throughout his college career. Savage’s development was hinder by his bouncing around from college to college. There is no doubt he has an NFL arm and became a team captain quickly after transferring to Pitt, but the Patriots will be looking for improved timing, accuracy, and ball placement in the throwing drills. I’m not sure I’d spend a pick on Savage, but he’s intriguing developmental flyer.

Running Backs

I’m going to assume there will be changes at Running Back this off-season. We know Bill Belichick loves to draft for a year in advanced and after 2014 both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are free agents. LeGarrette Blount is currently a free agent and Brandon Bolden is a JAG. Even if all those guys return next year, I believe it’s likely a Running Back is selected. It’s an incredibly deep and talented running back class. There isn’t a consensus top back, but there is a ton over value in the mid-late rounds. The Patriots typically like to draft bigger runners, as Bill Belichick has not selected a RB less than 205 pounds in his time with the team.

1. Charles Sims, West Virginia – The Patriots struggled to find a consistent pass catcher out of the backfield once Shane Vereen went down, and Vereen goes down often. Sims was the best runner at the Senior Bowl showed nice short area burst through the hole and an effective all-around game. Despite his small hands, Sims is one of the best receivers at the position. Sims has average speed and agility, so it will be interesting to see how he tests. As a mid-round option Sims is a player that offers value and a player that could make an impact as a rookie.

2. Jeremy Hill, LSU – If the Patriots are looking for a bigger back Hill is sure to garner interest. He possesses an impressive, thick build and plays a bit like LeGarrette Blount because he is so big, but plays with some finesse and wiggle. He’s not a one dimensional back and actually fits the Patriots system pretty well because he has experience in LSU’s pro-style offense. He carries some off the field baggage with him, but he could follow in Stevan Ridley’s footsteps, by replacing Stevan Ridley. To get Hill that Patriots will have to use a day two selection. Don’t pay much attention to his 40 time, his game is more than that, but he moves well for a big back.

3. Carlos Hyde, Ohio State – I’m not suggesting the Patriots will use this high of a pick on a RB, but Hyde is definitely a player that will be on their radar. One of the most physical runners in the draft, he possesses the size and physical running style the Patriots value. Hyde is still developing as a pass catcher, but has shown he can do it. The Patriots will have to investigate Hyde’s maturity and character concerns during interviews. If the Patriots trade out of the first round and accumulate day two selections, a pick like this becomes more realistic.

4. Terrance West, Towson – A powerful, compact runner that is best suited to run between the tackles. He put on an impressive performance in the FCS playoffs, gaining the attention of NFL scouts. West won’t run very fast, but the Patriots aren’t turned off by a slow 40. Things like running style, ability to take contact, and physical build have always been more important. His draft stock is a little unpredictable, but he’d provide good bang for their buck on day three of the draft.

5. James White, Wisconsin – While White is on the lighter side for a Patriots Running Back, he showed up at the Senior Bowl with a bulked up frame and impressed with his all-around game. He’s got a huge lower body and takes contact well. I like his ability to consistently produce positive yards with great vision and quick cuts. White is developing his all-around game and is someone to watch in the mid-late rounds.

6. Andre Williams, Boston College – Williams combination of size, power, and deceptive speed is likely to pique the interest of the Patriots. He’s a high-character, well-spoken kid that  probably won’t go until early on day three. Look out for Willimas in the 40 he’s expected to run much faster than many project. He offers nothing as a pass catcher, but if LeGarrette Blount is lost in free agency, Williams could fill that role.

7. Antonio Andrews, Western Kentucky – Andrews represnts an upgrade over the likes of Brandon Bolden. While I don’t think he is a lead back, I think will be a great rotational and developmental back. He’s been the nations best all-around back over the last three years; catching passes, returning kicks, and carrying a heavy workload. He’s prone to fumbles and isn’t very fast. In the late rounds of the draft, Andrews would be perfect value for the Patriots.

8. De’Anthony Thomas, Oregon – I’m tempted to include the Black Momba on this list because the Patriots sorely missed Danny Woodhead’s ability to catch passes and challenge defense with sudden burst in two minute situations. Thomas’s versatility as a pass catcher, kick returner, and wid receiver should be of interest to the Patriots. They still haven’t fixed their kick return issues and could use more speed in that area. Thomas is tiny, but he’s a fierce, and tough runner. If the Patriots are looking for another Danny Woodhead of even Jeff Demps, this could be a fit.

Wide Receivers

The Patriots went heavy at WR last year and it’s tough to see them using more than one selection in the draft at the position. The upgrades at WR are likely to come via Free Agency. The types of receivers the Patriots will have interest in are versatile, reliable pass catchers, that offers something currently lacking on the roster. Don’t sleep on the Patriots adding a slot receiver, especially if Julian Edelman walk in UFA.

1. Jarvis Landry, LSU – Impressive WR that is best suited to play in the slot. Very good hands and a savvy route runner. Landry offers a projectable receiver that has experience in a pro style system. To get their hands on Landry the Patriots will have to commit a day two pick. He’s someone I know they will be watching closely in Indianapolis.

2. Odell Beckham Jr., LSU – Landry’s teammate, Beckham has a higher ceiling than Landry because of his better speed and more dynamic playmaking ability. It’s likely Beckham is selected in the first 40 picks, but if the Patriots opt to go WR early, Beckham is sure to be one of the targets. Keep an eye on his 40 time, if he runs fast, I don’t envision him getting out of the first round.

3. Allen Robinson, Penn State  – Robinson is a big, productive receiver that excellled under former Patriots OC Bill O’Brien at Penn State. Robinson is similar to Dobson in that he can impact the passing game in all areas of the field, but isn’t the most explosive in terms of speed and separation. I might be a little lower on Robinson than most, I think he’s a late 2nd-3rd round pick. His 40 time and agility testing will tell the story of how high he can go in May.

4. Robert Herron, Wyoming – Herron is one of the best slot receivers in the draft. He’d add speed and quickness to the slot position. Herron is one of the draft’s best values. With so many underclassmen declaring Herron is likely to be pushed into the middle rounds.

5. TJ Jones, Notre Dame – Notre Dame may become the new Rutgers this season. There are a number of prospects at Notre Dame that will interest the Patriots. Jones isn’t the biggest name, but he’s a very good player. Quick, separates from coverage, and has exceptional intangibles. Jones is well worth a late round pick.

Tight End

It’s no secret the Patriots are going to be studying the Tight Ends closely at the combine. Just about all of the top guys will be under the microscope. Most of the attention will be paid to Jace Amaro and Austin Seferian-Jenkins, as those constitute top picks in the draft. If the Patriots chose to wait until later in the draft Rob Blanchflower, Arthur Lynch, and Richard Rodgers will all garner interest. The three players have a common bound, they all played their High School football in Massachusetts. N

o need to break these players down individually, they’ve been discussed at length. For Blanchflower and Amaro the medicals are important. For Seferian-Jenkins the interview process will determine if he goes in the first or second round. For Colt Lyerla, the entire thing is critical. He needs to interview great and put on a show to make people forget about some of his off-field issues.

1. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech

2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington

3. CJ Fiederowicz, TE, Iowa

4. Richard Rodgers, Cal

5. Arthur Lynch, Georgia

6. Rob Blanchflower, UMass

7. Colt Lyerla, Oregon

Offensive Tackles

Offensive Tackle isn’t the biggest need, but all three of the players included are versatile players that might be best served to kick inside. Zack Martin will be a hot commodity in Indianapolis after his dominate Senior Bowl effort. Joel Bitonio and Michael Schofield are both intelligent and versatle OL that the Patriots will want to spend time with in Indy.

1. Zach Martin, Notre Dame

2. Joel Bitonio, Nevada

3. Michael Schofield, Michigan

Offensive Guards

It’s no secret that Right Guard was one of the weak-links on the Patriots offense last year. Dan Connolly should be out the door and luckily for the Patriots there is a talented group of players available at Guard in this year’s draft. I can’t see the Patriots using a first round pick on one, so guys like Anthony Steen, Chris Watt, and John Urschel are names to watch in the middle rounds of the draft.

1. Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA

2. Anthony Steen, Alabama

3. Chris Watt, Notre Dame

4. John Urschel, Penn State

Offensive Centers

As of right now the Patriots don’t have a starting Center on the roster. Ryan Wendell is an UFA and there is no guarantee the team wants him back. Marcus Martin and Weston Richburg are two of the best centers that fit the profile for the Patriots. They traditionally like their Centers on the shorter size to win leverage battles. Martin has only played the position for one season, but on film he shows easily the most potential of the lot. Matt Armstrong is a small school player that not many people know about. I’ve heard some good things about his movement skills and quickness as a blocker. This is a position that will be addressed either in Free Agency of in this draft. Keep an eye on these three and the others as they workout this weekend.

1. Marcus Martin, USC

2. Weston Richburg, Colorado State

3. Matt Armstrong, Grand Valley State

For defensive prospects, check out page two.

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55 Responses to “2014 NFL Combine Preview: Potential Patriots at Each Position”

  1. Justin says:

    As far as aggressive, down-hill strong safeties go, some other guys that are intriguing: Ahmad Dixon, Dion Bailey, Tre Boston, and Isaiah Lewis.

  2. MaineMan says:

    FWIW – in the category of “I know a guy who knows a guy”…… who went to school with Richard Rogers (TE).

    Apparently, baseball is Roger’s best sport and he’d rather be doing that, but he’s going for the NFL because it seems to him like the shortest path to $$. IOW, he’s not really committed to football. That seems to show up in some scouting reports I’ve read about his inconsistent effort receiving and lack of willingness to block.

    Probably wouldn’t be on my draft board, under the circumstances. There are other guys about the same size out there who may not be quite as obviously athletic but who really, really want it.

  3. TD says:

    Want to see an OLinemen put others to shame? Watch Larry Allen on youtube hoist 700 on the bench.

  4. J H TARBORO says:

    There is no way that TE Amaro would be a pick at #29!

  5. bob says:

    Ive been strong about a defense tackle as first pick and d-end as 2nd.Then t- end. Its been at east 4-yrs. But too many yrs. wasted on positions that didn’t. We need to start building from the front, for a change.

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    Bold prediction: Chris Johnson’s combine record in the 40yd. will fall. Dri Archer!!! just sayin!

    • acm says:

      ah, yeah, the youtube legend of Dri Archer. Hope he finds a niche for himself in the NFL, otherwise potentially breaking CJ2K’s record may well turn out to be the biggest achievement of his post-collegiate career.
      Anything could happen but if I were to guess, I would say he has to pack on 10-15 lbs to have a legitimate shot of being more than a special teamer.

      Jeff Demps would have blown that record out of the water, imo.

      • Bill Vermont says:

        people are still speaking about Demps, but he’s never been seen on a field. So much for speed!!!

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Oh yeah! by the way Demps is an Olympian that played football and the other is a football player!!!

    • J H TARBORO says:

      I’m impressed with Dri Archer at the combine, he ran an official 4.26 40yd, 38″vert jump and hoisted 20 reps at 225 in which was better than most of the RB group and WR group and if you remember last year Tavon Austin put up 15 reps at 225 and ran a 4.31 officially. This kid is a lot tougher than most and would thrive in the Patriots system, he’s a playmaker and would be an absolute nightmare in space, off bubble screens, in the slot, and as a RB, he could run between the tackles. I can’t stand it when we start speaking about size, he’s a football player and a good one! The Patriots has a future contract for KR/WR Reggie Dunn, Dri is a much better option.

  7. The Take-Over says:

    I think the Pats needs are big fast WR, TE, DE, OG, OC….Not a DT..Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly & the young DT’s Armard Armstead (IR last season) , Chris Jones, Seliga.

    • Pete H. says:

      You could be right! If they draft a DT there may be a corresponding cut, most likely Wilfork or Kelley to shed salary. The argument for that would be to make sure you get a quality body so you’re not trying to replace both of them next year. Armstead, Siliga, and Jones form a good 3rd, 4th, and 5th option at DT at low costs, so there’s not much reason to move on from those guys unless there is a surprise injury or regression. If they do pick a DT, I’d expect it to be in the top rounds of the draft.

  8. J H TARBORO says:

    UNC OC/OG Russell Bodine threw up 42 reps at 225lbs is the leader so far in the bench press!

    • Ryan says:

      Nice. He seems like a really solid Day 3 player if he lasts that long.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      TE Joe Don Duncan Dixie St. hoisted 35 reps in the bench press, most among the TEs today.
      K Pat O’donnell Miami hoisted 24 reps as a kicker. a kicker???

    • steve earle says:

      I see where David Yankee only had 22 and he’s been touted as a great OG prospect. What are we to make of this? Strength can be developed to a point yet both these guys had very productive collage careers. Both had decent times in the 40’s and 10’s. Guess I’ll not base all on the lifting alone must be the lesson here.

      • Bill Vermont says:

        watching a lot of these guys on NFL network, the OL guys are pretty doughy around the arms. But The vision test really works for some of them The Penn State guy Urschel looks great, as does su’a filo. Taylor Lewan really helped himself.

  9. Pete H. says:

    I’m in the group of people that think wide receiver will be a low priority in the draft, considering the youth the Pats already have at the position. However, I’m wondering if the Pats might consider extending themselves for a receiver early given Brady’s closing window – in a couple of years, the window may not allow you develop a guy for a season. In other words, now may be your last chance to draft a receiver high to play with Brady. Any thoughts on this? I’m curious to hear what folks think.

    • Pete H. says:

      Consider 2011 when many of us thought that the Pats needed an outside veteran receiver. The Pats traded for Ocho. Imagine if they had prioritized wide receiver in the draft instead. They could have, for example, taken Torrey Smith in the second round instead of Vereen. Now I love Vereen, but having Smith on the outside right now after a couple of years with Brady and the Pats would be looking for a new vet every season or two to start at wide receiver.

    • TD says:

      This Offensive system is not rookie friendly, you’re looking at 2-3 yrs for one to develop. In the Ravens system it seems Smith is asked mostly to run deep routes only, when he came in they had Boldin and the 2 TE’s to open up defenses along with Rice.

      Not sure what kind of WR Pat’s could find in this draft that would be better than last years rooks with one year experience.

      They need to find a TE or two to pair with Gronk when he’s healthy and it would open things up for the other WR’s and RB’s.

      • Pete H. says:

        Thanks for commenting. I agree that you wouldn’t be looking for major impact this season. The idea is that if you think “the window” is, for example, 3 years, you’d be getting impact in year 2 and 3. If the Patriots were to draft a WR in the top couple of rounds, I’d expect them to find a FA looking for a one year prove-it deal, perhaps Sidney Rice from the Seahawks or something to help fill in for a season at a low cost. If you don’t draft WR this year, I think you’re basically committing to the guys currently on the roster plus free agents for the rest of Brady’s career. The Patriots have had issues integrating veterans almost as much as they have rookies, and to get a really good WR in free agency costs big dollars that the Pats may not want to or be able to spend. Might be easier to sign a free agent at another position (DT, TE, G) rather than devoting the high pick there. Might be worth the risk if this draft is as stacked at WR as some people are saying.

        • td says:

          We, as fans are thinking window, window, window but you can bet the big kahuna is always thinking long term Brady or no Brady. And he may be right, after Brady goes they will probably still be successful only it will look a lot different. Just look at the beginning of last season; the defense carried the day for most of the games, Gronk came back and we starting scoring mucho points, he got hurt and we turned on the power run game.

          I’ve been telling people that what we learned since 2007 is that the team has to find different ways to win games other than scoring a zillion points on Brady’s arm. Just look at what happened to Denver in the SB. Shut down Denver’s pass game and they are ordinary or worse.

    • Ryan says:

      Now that the Jets have all but officially released Santonio Holmes, I think that he should be heavily considered by the Patriots as a top target for Brady for the next three years. The largest concern would be his injury history, as he will only be 30 when the season starts and should have plenty left in the tank. Another option is 27-year-old Sidney Rice, who the Seahawks plan to release. He’s been dormant recently, but he had a great year with Brett Favre and I think Brady could find a way to use the experience and talent he provides.

      Either way, with Anquan Boldin most likely resigning with the 49ers due to mutual interest, the Patriots could use a veteran receiver and with Hakeem Nicks fishing for a large contract these two could be well worth a look at a discount price after they are released.

      • TD says:

        I’m not sold on Holmes, if he couldn’t make it with the Jets and their lack of WR’s, what is he going to bring to the table…besides an attitude and a bong?

        Rice has had problems getting on the field for Seattle and his knee and salary may retire him permanently.

        • Ryan says:

          I am more sold on Holmes than Rice. Holmes struggled in New York, but that could have been because of a lack of a good quarterback, to get him the ball and a lack of other weapons on the offense. Those two issues could be remedied in New England and it might be possible for him to see a return to form.

  10. TD says:

    If the Pat’s want to let Connolly go, they could kick Cannon inside, but then would need another good, versatile T-G via free agency or draft.

    I would expect BB to add FA’s at all the “need” positions so that he is not forced to pick for need; that is add an OLineman or two, a DT, a WR and a LB.

    If this draft is indeed loaded more than normal, I would think he would trade that 1st rounder ala Vikings last year in order to pick up more picks: Patterson for Collins, Ryan and Boyce was super last year.

    I’m also hoping he can finally find a kick returner this year, the kickoff return position has been pitiful since he let Tate go and this year we may see Edelman go.

  11. YESSIR77 says:

    Hey Mike…How come no Niklas on your TE list? He is clearly top 5, and I think he could be top 3 by the time the draft comes around. If NE is going to grab a TE, then need to do it Rd 2. My thinking; there are 4 teams that need TE and pick before NE. Atl, Buff, NYJ and GB. I see Ebron landing in Buff or NYJ, so that leaves Amaro, AS-J, Niklas, CJF for the rest. IF NE does not make a move for a TE in FA, then we have to take one. If it was me, I would like to see them grab Chandler(Buff), he has good size. Then take Niklas in Rd 2, or wait for CJF in the 3rd. I would be happy with both of these guys. Top 3 picks for me today..

    1- Tuitt DE/DT ND. It was Nix, but he wont be here now.
    2- CJF- It is a reach for him, but BB is know for reaches to make sure he lands his guy. I see Amaro, AS-J and Niklas all gone by the time NE picks.
    3- McGill. It may seem like a reach for him here, but it wont be. We get that big, hard hitting S we need.
    4- Caraun Reid- DT. He is from Princeton, and BB loves smart players.
    5- Bryan Stork. We move back into the 5th, not sure how…
    6-Richard Rodgers. Another big TE.
    6-Dri Archer. Need some speed to return kicks and punts, I do not see Edelman back.
    7- BPA

  12. GM-In-Training says:

    It seems like every 3-4 years the Pats have to reload on above-average value players at running back. They usually need a year on the bench to to learn the ropes, so this would be the year for it again, but with fewer picks than usual, and substantial need at TE, DE, and G…dunno. I guess it depend a lot on free agency.

    • steve earle says:

      I like your observation about the RB’s and while needs may force taking a RB on day 3 it looks like there may be some real values to be had down there so don’t write off the possability of one or two.

  13. Ryan says:

    Some more players I want to see perform at the combine:
    WR- Donte Moncrief, Devin Street, Brandon Coleman, L’Damian Washington, Quincy Enunwa, and Shaquelle Evans
    TE- Troy Niklas and Jacob Pedersen
    OT- Jawuan James, Wesley Johnson, and Justin Britt
    OG- Brandon Thomas, Brandon Linder, Jon Halapio, and Andrew Norwell
    C- Bryan Stork, Tyler Larsen, and Russell Bodine
    DE- Demarcus Lawrence, Josh Mauro, and James Gayle
    DT- Kelcy Quarles, Will Sutton, and George Uko
    OLB- Trevor Reilly, Morgan Breslin, Adrian Hubbard, and Ronald Powell
    MLB- Lamin Barrow, Jeremiah George, and Avery Williamson
    CB- Jaylen Watkins, Russ Cockrell, Chris Davis, Antone Exum, Aaron Colvin, Andre Hal, and Dontae Johnson(might be an FS but is a good fit at CB)
    S- Ed Reynolds, Dion Bailey, Ahmad Dixon, Terrence Brooks, Hakeem Smith, Dezmen Southward, Brock Vereen, and Ty Zimmerman

  14. Jim R says:

    IMO a Cornerback is something that should be addressed within the first 3 rounds. Even if Talib re-signs. he has proven that he cant play a full year. We need another long corner

    • steve earle says:

      I agree but somehow I think BB will be looking at other positions in the top 3 rds. Well unless we get some additional picks up there. I’d be looking at a 4th rounder. That’s just my gut not what I would do but you never can tell with Bill.

      • Bill Vermont says:

        With TE, OL, and DE probably dominating top 3 picks, its more and more necessary to keep Talib. Having him move on is one step forward 2 steps back. Add in the mythical SS and 1st 4 rounds are booked

        • steve earle says:

          Right you are Bill and there are 3 maybe 4 SS that could be around in late 4th plus a couple undersized ( by BB’s standards) Lb’s that might be converted to SS. Keeping my fingers crossed because what we got isn’t very good.

        • Matt says:

          If Wilfork doesn’t rework his contract and get cut not saying it could happen or will happen.
          They would need to draft a DT in the first round.

        • Matt says:

          Let me rephrase that. Not saying Wilfork will get cut but it could happen. We have seen top Pats players get cut in the past. Then first pick should be a DT.

        • acm says:

          possibly, but that would also depend on which DTs are available at 29. If say Nix and Jernigan are gone, then taking a 2nd round grade DT there would be a waste. It’s a decent draft class for Dts so good players would likely be available all the way into the 4th round.

          Also, there are quite a few young but experienced DTs in free agency – would give the vet presence the Pats would lose in Wilfork and you can’t get that by drafting a rookie. Linval Joseph, Arthur Jones, Lamarr Houston, Henry melton come to mind – all very good players and shouldn’t be prohibitively expensive (as in Greg Hardy expensive) either.

      • Russell says:

        I feel very sure BB takes a CB in the first 3 rounds. I like Kyle Fuller with the 1st pick, where ever that is after trading back.

        • steve earle says:

          Very reasonable Russell and Fuller would be a great addition. I’m also wondering if Joyner might not slip down into the 4th rd due to his height which you have mentioned before. Would you consider him a value pick at there? He could compete with Arrington for the slot coverage.

  15. J H TARBORO says:

    With the shear depth of this draft, the UDFA list is going to be good also, after the combine I will have a big list in play!

  16. Ray Foley says:

    Re: Antonio Andrews
    After Ridley’s fumbling issues, I’ll take a pass thanks.

  17. acm says:

    Nice list, Mr. Loyko.

    Some other players I think may attract interest:

    OC/OG Russell Bodine (UNC) – projected across the board by people; very athletic, strong player and a very good technician; has experience at both OG and OC in college.

    WR – Martavis Bryant (Clemson) – Marc Sluis has been high on him – reminds me a lot of Randy Moss; very similar built and style of running/play; still a bit raw but quite the physical specimen. Possibly a 3rd rounder but one of those players who could light up the combine and move up a round.

    SS/FS – Terrence Brooks (FSU) – a physical player with great instincts both in coverage and run support. Has stayed in the shadow of Joyner and lacks the 6’2″ frame of the most saught after SS these days but he can hit – has a bit of Byrd and Ward in him, a hybrid safety BB usually goes for.

    DE/OLB/WLB Jeremiah Attaochu (Georgia Tech) – at 6’3″ 250 lbs he is a little less athletic version of Jamie Collins but not by much. Has the size, athleticism and instincts to play a speed-rusher of a DE (like the Seahawks use), a 3-4 OLB and a 4-3 OLB (like Collins this last season). Can drop in TE coverage too. Isn’t as athletic as say Christian Jones (FSU) but has higher football IQ and is a better football player overall. At the same time wouldn’t require a draft pick as high as someone like say Kyle Van Noy.
    He would bring in positional versatility, make the LB core more athletic and could factor in improving the pass rush too. Can easily see BB being very interested.

    DE/OLB Demarcus Lawrence (Boise St.) – very similar in characteristics to Jeremiah Attaochu; will likely go a round and more later, probably somewhere in the 4th.

    DT Kelcy Quarles (South Carolina) – similar athleticism to that of other interior rushers like Aaron Donald and Dom Easley; unlike them, however, Quarles does have the size 6’3″/6’4″, 300 lbs of a NFL DT, which may attrcat BB’s attention if he is looking for that sort of DT in the draft.

    • acm says:


      OG – Dakota Dozier (Furman) – similar to Martin and Bitonio he has played also at OT in college but likely will stick at OG int he NFL. Small school player, who’s been going up boards lately. First time I saw him, he projected in the 6th/7th round, now he is seen as a 3rd rounder. Fits the BB type of OG better than someone like C. Richardson or Gabe Jackson, imo, and can see the Pats look at him in late 2nd or early 3rd (with a trade) should Su’a Filo and Yankey be gone by then, as is likely the case.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      Good list ACM! Some of the players that I’m looking at are off the radar, but I will be looking at OLs, DTs,DEs,CBs,etc. and Micheal Sam, can he move in space? And his agility drills.

    • Ryan says:

      Love Quarles and I think he will be available in the 2nd. Brooks is intriguing because he seems very solid but not very dynamic. Bodine seems like a great pick at the center position, especially since he could be grabbed in the fifth or sixth.

  18. J H TARBORO says:

    Players to watched at the combine.
    QB Dustin Vaughan W. Texas A&M
    RB Andre Williams BC
    RB Lache Seastrunk Baylor
    RB James Wilder Jr. FSU
    RB Kapri Bibbs Colorado St.
    RB Trey Mason Auburn
    FB JC Copeland LSU
    WR Beckham & Landry LSU
    WR Kelvin Benjamin FSU
    WR Dri Archer Kent St.
    WR Martavis Bryant Clemson
    WR L’damian Washington Mizzou
    WR Marcus Lucas Mizzou
    WR Jeremy Gallon Michigan
    WR Quincy Enunwa Nebraska ( possible draft sleeper late round, a former RB that plays the WR position with toughness, reminds me of an Anquan Boldin type reciever! must see more with on field drills, and catching.
    TE Troy Niklas Notre Dame
    TE Jordan Najvar Baylor
    TE Trey Burton Florida ( An RB that plays QB/RB/WR and CB and is working out a TE at the combine, a pure “Joker” or H-Back. 6’2″ 230-245LBS.
    OC Gabe Jackson Mississippi St.
    OC/OG Weston Richburg Colorado St.

  19. Robert says:

    Let’s make a small bet. I bet the Patriots will not draft any of those players you mentioned. Guaranteed!

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