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

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 and 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.


New England’s war room has selected two quarterbacks since 2010 – Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett in the third round of 2011 and Oklahoma State’s Zac Robinson in the seventh round of 2010. Though the prototype of a Patriots QB is usually perceived as a tall, strong-armed, strictly pocket-passer, there was a five-inch, 39-pound difference between Mallett and Robinson. By and large, physical characteristics appear to be only a small piece of the puzzle when it comes to the Patriots and signal-callers. The 40-yard dash times, while a plus, aren’t a deciding barometer, either. Mallett ran a 5.37 40-time at the Razorbacks pro day.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: San Jose State’s David Fales, Georgia’s Aaron Murray, Pittsburgh’s Tom Savage

Running Back

The Patriots have drafted two running backs over the last four years – California’s Shane Vereen and LSU’s Stevan Ridley. Back to back in 2011, Belichick and Co. had different molds in mind for the elusive Vereen and the slashing Ridley. Both measured in at over 5’10” and 210 pounds. Both ran under a 4.67-second 40-yard dash, sub-7.00 a three-cone, sub-4.3 20-yard shuttle and demonstrated thick lower-body power in broad and vertical jumps.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: UNLV’s Tim Cornett, Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney, Coastal Carolina’s Lorenzo Taliaferro

Tight End

Three tight ends have been drafted by New England since 2010. With the split between inline and offline tight ends, the traits the Patriots have looked for have varied. Neither Arizona’s Rob Gronkowski nor Florida’s Aaron Hernandez were fully healthy for drills at the 2010 combine – running in the 4.6 40-yard dash range, sub-4.5 short shuttles and sub-7.2 three-cone times at their pro days. While at the 2011 combine, Marshall’s Lee Smith was a blocking type, running the 40 in 5.01 seconds, 7.13 three-cone and 4.28 short shuttle. Vertical is also key in determining ability to compete for the ball over defenders.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz, Utah’s Jake Murphy, Oregon’s Colt Lyerla

Wide Receiver

Four wide receivers have become Patriots draft choices over the last four years. And while their frame has different based on offensive role, all four stood in at 5’11” or taller. But by and large, 20-yard short-shuttle times for agility and three-cone times for lateral quickness have been integral measurements. When including the pro day numbers of Marshall’s Aaron Dobson and Northwestern’s Jeremy Ebert, the group ran the short shuttle in under 4.35 and the three-cone in under 6.83 seconds – Dobson’s size making him an exception. The Patriots have also found agility and change-of-direction performers like Missouri’s T.J. Moe and Rutgers’ Mark Harrison in undrafted free agency.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Wisconsin’s Jared Abbrederis, Notre Dame’s T.J. Jones, Alabama’s Kevin Norwood

Offensive Tackle

Three offensive tackles have heard the names called by New England since 2010. Aside from Colorado’s Nate Solder in Round 1 of 2011, Texas Christian’s Marcus Cannon and Vanderbilt’s Thomas Welch were third-day picks. All three stood in at over 6’4” and 306 pounds. All three posted arm lengths of at least 33 inches. And all three were experienced college starters.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Tennessee’s Ja’Wuan James, North Carolina’s James Hurst, Boston College’s Matt Patchan

Guard & Center

The Patriots have turned to priority free agency for signing interior offensive linemen, drafting only North Carolina State center Ted Larsen since 2010. Longtime offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia was known for developing unheralded but experienced guards and centers into serviceable players. Most of whom stand in around 6’2” and just over 300 pounds; they boast good arm length and heavy hands. Three-cone and short-shuttle times are also noted, as mobility in short space is vital in the trenches. But one of the underlying prerequisites is the ability to play anywhere; it’s something a talent like Notre Dame offensive tackle Zack Martin has going for him, as do the three possible fits listed below.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo, Nevada’s Joel Bitonio*, Colorado State’s Weston Richburg

Defensive End

The Patriots have drafted three 4-3 defensive ends in the last four years, all coming since 2012. When it comes to these seven-techniques like Illinois’ Michael Buchanan, Syracuse’s Chandler Jones and Arkansas’ Jake Bequette, length is critical for bending the arc and batting down the arms of offensive tackles. All three measured in at 6’4″ or taller and at least 255 pounds, but all three also displayed rangy arms of at least 34 inches. A three-cone below 7.10 seconds, a short shuttle below 4.45 seconds and a 40-time below 4.8 seconds have proven ideal. Those tests go a long way towards generating explosion. That said, the three-cone times in this year’s class are slightly slower than New England’s average. Most qualifying prospects are below the Patriots’ defensive end benchmark in terms of height.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Missouri’s Kony Ealy, North Carolina’s Kareem Martin, West Virginia’s Will Clarke

Defensive Tackle

Much has changed schematically since the Patriots nabbed Alabama’s Brandon Deaderick and Georgia’s Kade Weston in Round 7 of the 2010 draft. Both fell under the 3-4 defensive end category, rather than the archetypal nose tackle or three-technique. Both measured at 6’4” and around 315 pounds; Deaderick was nursing injury and did not participate in on-field drills, while Weston did not attend the combine. Now moving forward, a run-stuffing or pass-rushing defensive tackle could both be roles of emphasis. And because of that, the size, strength and agility drills are ones that often draw attention. Furthermore, it’s worth noting that New England has preferred the taller, heavier defensive tackle over the undersized one in year’s past.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Notre Dame’s Louis Nix III, Minnesota’s Ra’Shede Hageman, Penn State’s DaQuan Jones

Outside & Inside Linebacker

Between the 3-4 outside, 3-4 inside, 4-3 outside and 4-3 middle, the Patriots have drafted six linebackers since 2010. The list includes outside types in Florida’s Jermaine Cunningham, Central Arkansas’ Markell Carter and Southern Mississippi’s Jamie Collins. All three measured in at a minimum of 6’3” and 250 pounds. Carter was not a combine invite, Cunningham did not participate in drills due to injury, and Collins blew up the tests in 2013 with an 11’7” broad jump, 41.5-inch vertical jump and a 4.64 40-yard dash. The list also includes more inside types in Florida’s Brandon Spikes, Alabama’s Dont’a Hightower and Rutgers’ Steve Beauharnais – all of whom were at least 6’1”, close to 240 pounds and showcased good broad jumps and three-cone times at the combine or at their pro days.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Ohio State’s Ryan Shazier, Montana’s Jordan Tripp, Louisville’s Preston Brown


Five cornerbacks have been drafted by New England since April of 2010: Rutgers’ Devin McCourty, Texas Christian’s Malcolm Williams, Virginia’s Ras-I Dowling, Nebraska’s Alfonzo Dennard and Rutgers’ Logan Ryan. Three of whom were taken in the first three rounds; two of whom seventh-rounders. And with the exception of the 6’1” Dowling, the norm was under 5’11” and 190 to 200 pounds. For what it’s worth, New England has drafted only one corner over 6’0″ since 2005. But above all, broad jumps, three-cone time and 40-yard dashes have been the primary measurements for the Patriots. Those who were full participants at the combine posted at least a 116-inch broad, a three-cone in the 6.70 range and a 40-time between 4.46 and 4.56 seconds. Finding a prospect who hits all three categories isn’t easy.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Virginia Tech’s Kyle Fuller, Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir, Notre Dame’s Bennett Jackson


The Patriots have drafted three safeties in the last two drafts. None of whom were invited to the combine. The group carries enigmas in Illinois’ 2012 second-rounder, Tavon Wilson, Ohio State’s 2012 sixth-rounder Nate Ebner and Rutgers’ 2013 third-rounder Duron Harmon. And considering all three were off the radar, it’s clear New England looks deep for center fielders. Their pro day measurements were 6’0” and 205 pounds or under. Each ran under a 4.56 40-time, under a 7.05 three-cone time, broad jumped over 10’3” and vertical jumped over 31 inches.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: Washington State’s Deone Buccanon, Florida State’s Terrence Brooks, Minnesota’s Brock Vereen 


Last but not least, the Patriots have drafted one punter in the last four years, none other than Michigan’s own Zoltan Mesko. The fifth-round pick measured in at 6’4”, 240 pounds and benched 16 reps at the 2010 combine. Current Patriots punter Ryan Allen – who went undrafted out of Louisiana Tech last April – was measured at 6’1”, 219 pounds at the 2013 combine. Long arms help; both stretched 32.5 inches or longer. This is, however, a position where strong legs win out.

Three Potential Measurable Fits in 2014 Draft Class: None Likely

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38 Responses to “NFL Scouting Combine vs. Patriots Draft Picks: A Four-Year Study”

  1. Trevor says:

    “Oregon’s Colt Lyerla”

    if he is a Patriot I will be be so happy. May 10th selection?

  2. rmc says:

    All this shows is that it’s all a crapshoot. Although the drafts have been good lately (thanks Nick Cesario), it looks like the 2nd round is where they have some trouble, Dowling, was injured in college and is out of football now, so don’t know what they were looking at, Wilson can’t get on the field and I believe Cunningham is out also. Don’t think the 2nd round is a place to take chances, they could have drafted some very good impact players at these spots, especially taking Wilson, don’t know where that came from. BB always says they take the best player available, apparently not.

    • Pete H. says:

      I think this reflects that you should be able to hit on most of your 1st round picks and get a reasonable to very good starter – you don’t want to miss more than 1 out of every 4 or 5, but even misses can end up as quality 2nd option players. I think the Patriots bat about .500 in the second round in terms of getting starting-caliber players with again, some of the misses filling in as backups or at least special teams. Rounds 3-5 are mostly places to grab backup players, with a few starters emerging and more complete misses. Most of the guys who stick from rounds 6 and 7 are primarily special teams contributors, with a guy every once in awhile that fell for some reason and really emerges (Dennard is the only recent example that comes to mind of guys in rounds 6-7 who actually became a good starter – I know Deaderick started, but I think that was more from a lack of quality options – he was better suited for a backup role). So after round 2, a crapshoot might be an appropriate description, but rounds 1 and 2 generally offer you a good chance to get a starter.

  3. Russell says:

    A sleeper CB after the Combine; CB Phillip Gaines 6′ 193 lbs, 4.38 40yd, 36 1/2″ vertical, 6.62 3 cone drill. Logan Ryan ran a 4.56 40yd and had a 3 cone time 6.69
    Gaines played for Rice where he was a lock down CB, with QB;s throwing away from him. He has some solid tape.

  4. Pete H. says:

    What would folks say are the Patriots top 3 free agency needs?
    I’ll go with:
    1) Aqib Talib
    2) Start-able tight end (maybe Scott Chandler)
    3) 3rd defensive end (pass-rushing specialist)

    • Bill says:

      Definitely Talib, but I would put Edelman on. That list next. Brady deserves a little consistency, and the jury is still out on the rookies. A quality pass rushing DE is too expensive. Live with Buchanan and Carter, and draft a young DE high.

      • Pete H. says:

        I think the Abraham deal last year was reasonable. People have been throwing around Jared Allen and Will Smith as options too, although they could get pricey. A guy like Anthony Spencer could probably be brought in on the cheap – he’s got injury risk, but you could always keep Carter on standby and sign him if an injury occurs. Doesn’t seem to be a rich draft for defensive ends, so I’d rather plug the hole in free agency to prevent needing to reach. That said, you plan works too!

        • Philip says:

          I think Michael Sam would be available in round 4 … he might be undersized, he might have a bad 40 time, his combine was not the best, BUT you don’t become CO-MVP for no reason … he is an undersized pass-rusher who you don’t need to “overdraft” … size isn’t everything, just think about Freeney, Mathis and even Ninko.

  5. Joe Blake says:

    Like seeing all the help around Belichick at the combine. Hope we don’t lose a draft pick because Lombardi did not turn in his Cleveland Brown’s draft book! Wonder when it was common knowledge that this year’s draft was deep. If its due to the high number of underclassmen declaring, I guess we cannot blame Belichick for having so few picks. He normally goes in with more. I agree that Mallett should go, but I doubt we will get more than a 4th for him. He is brittle up top and comes out after direct hits (pre-season games), has zero regular season game experience. I would still take a 4th rounder for him and take an O-lineman. Do not agree with some mock draft boards having the Pats take Amaro at 29. I would go D-line for sure, add a corner in the second, and a TE in the third. Free agency will dictate the actual draft picks, but the Pats don’t have a ton of cap room.

  6. Bill Vermont says:

    Interesting analysis, but I can’t tell what it says about the Pats drafting.
    A thought I had was that Trent Murphy physically is a lot like Jermaine Cunningham. And it looks like in 2012 Belichek got his 2 guys ( Chandler & Hightower) and took the rest of the weekend off
    On this years draft:

    Calvin Pryor turns out to be 5-11 with 31″ arms instead of 6-2. It makes him look a lot less sexy. His 40 speed was average at best. I’d just take a chance on a guy like Deone Buchanon who showed well at Combine and could be had in rd 2-3. Telvin Smith might also be a good prospect but he only has 1 year as a starting OLB and none as a safety.

    John Urschel OG (Penn State) had a very nice combine and should move up the list pretty high. He seems like a bargain in RD 2-4, as well as Joel Bitonio. I still like Su’A Filo

    The TE class is murky and we know nothing about Saferin-Jenkins or Niklas, except they might not be any better than Fiedorawicz. Trey Burton of Florida might be a nice late round do-all type of player.

    I think this will be a surprise draft and I now expect a RB to be drafted who can do the same type of things as Vereen. When he went down , there was quite a gap in the offense. That converted QB Jerrick McKinney could be the next Edelman

    • acm says:

      Good points. Pryor looked a lot more like a “can’t afford to miss” player at his supposed pre-combine 6’2″, 210lbs and low 4.50s than he does now, after his relatively underwhelming showing on Tuesday. He is still a very good prospect but I no longer feel as willing to spend the 29th pick, let alone an even higher one, for a TJ Ward.
      Buccanon and Brooks looked like much better values at S somewhere in the 2nd and even 3rd round. And I am not implying settling for inferior talent here.

      Urschel also looked good. Still not a 2nd round or a 3rd round player imo but with BB, one never knows. I think he’s now worked himself into the mid rounds, more 5th than a 4th.

      The TE group created more new Qs than it gave answers to, imo. I think the only player who didn’t hurt his stock to one extent or another was CJF. If anything, he may have surprised with his good 3-cone and Short shuttle times. Disappointed by Amaro, I must say, while ASJ did little to dissipate questions about his motivation to compete and such. Guess a lot would depend on the pro-day performances of these guys but doesn’t look too good right now.

      • Russell says:

        Whats your thoughts on Logan Thomas Not as a QB, but as a TE project. 6’6″ 248 lbs ran a 4.61 40yd, 35 1/2″ vertical jump. Ebron 6’4″ 245 lbs ran a 4.6 40yd at the Combine.

        • Russell says:

          Logan Thomas player TE in high school.

        • acm says:

          yeah, I am aware of Thomas’ history at the TE position and have thought about it. As Mayock would probably put it “he checks off all the boxes” at the position.
          Problem is that he would be a developmental TE for at least his rookie year and not an immediate contributor. Also, if he would be used as a TE, that would mean that someone else is the back up QB – if Mallett stays, that’s fine but if Mallett is traded, that would suggest one more pick would have to be spent on a back-up QB … and Logan Thomas, along with Mettenberger and Mathews are, for me, best suited to the Pats system in this class (in terms of height, arm length, hand size, etc.)

          All in all, if Mallett stays, drafting Thomas somewhere in the 6th round as a developmental type player at both TE and 3rd QB may actually be a very smart move for the Pats, especially if they aren’t too high on Mettenberger (would likely require at least an earlish 4th round pick).
          Otherwise, they may need to spend a 2nd pick on a rookie QB as taking on a free agent vet may be too expensive (usually a half decent back up commands 2-3 mil and more, iirc)

        • Bill says:

          I think I would draft as my developmental QB, and see what he can do as a TE or QB. The other option is the small school guy Webster who’ dad played NFL for years as a DE. He is one of the basketball guys trying to make a living in football

        • Mark M. says:

          All over converting Logan Thomas to TE. He would have been #2 behind Ebron in the rankings if he was tested as a TE.

  7. Pete H. says:

    Would a healthy Marqise Lee fit with Brady and the Patriots offense? Dobson as the X, Lee as the Z, and Amendola in the slot with Thompkins, Boyce, and Harrison or Moe as backups could be a nice (although potentially injury-prone) WR corps. But with the difficulty that rookies and veterans have integrating in, I’d love to hear what people think about his ability to get on the same page as Brady and do enough things well to bring the ball his direction.

    • acm says:

      I personally think that Lee, Cooks and Landry are the most NFL-ready WRs in this class. Evans could also be included as a must-look at player, considering his size and unique options he would bring to an NFL offense. M. Lee has often drawn comparisons with Reggie Wayne, and I personally agree with those. Expect him to have a long and productive NFl career with any half decent QB throwing to him.
      Not too high on prospects like Watson and Beckham, tbh – just see them as a players, who would be great at the college level but fail to replicate that productivity with the pros. Can see them as better P/K returners than WRs.

  8. Nate says:

    I think Markus Zusevics will play OL for the Pats this year at least by becoming top guard/tackle backup and have Cannon start at guard. I also don’t think we would trade mallet for anything less than a 2nd or a 3rd and some late round pics. He’s too valuable to us, as a rookie would have a hard time stepping in as a backup right away and I’m not sure we can afford a Kyle Ortins (or similar) backup salary.

  9. YodasLlama says:

    Patriots Post Combine Seven Round Mock Draft (Mallet Traded for a 3rd to Texans and two compensatory picks. One in the 6th for Chung and one in the 7th for Woodhead) The reasoning behind the Mallet trade is that none of the QBs in this draft scream Franchise to me. They are all good but O’Brien may want to take a chance on a 1 year deal with a QB he knows in Mallet, still draft another QB this year or wait until next season to draft a franchise QB if Mallet does not work out.

    I put a lot of thought into this mock as I believe it fills needs while also bringing value. I would like to draft a stud DT but with Wilfork returning and we still haven’t seen what Armstead is capable of (heard he was a stud in training camp) I do not think DT will be the number one priority for New England however it will be addressed.

    Round 1. Calvin Pryor FS/SS Louisville.

    Pryor is an enforcer safety who is capable of dropping back into coverage. The Patriots have a Pro Bowl player in McCourty at FS but he may not be back next season, and he may also need to play more CB this season depending on if Talib is resigned. Finding someone who can play both safety spots well and bring valuable depth in the secondary is never a bad thing.

    Round 2. Gabe Jackson G Mississippi State

    The Patriots may have to slightly overhaul the Offensive Line this season. I do not expect Wendell to return unless he signs a minimum contract, Connolly will be cut because he is being paid too much, however he could return if no one picks him up. Cutting two starters would open up two spots on the Offensive Line. Jackson is a mauler who has enormous potential. Worst case scenario he is a talented backup on a very talented offensive line.

    Round 3. (TEX) Ego Ferguson DT LSU

    Every year players fall further then they should based on team needs and other value picks. Ferguson falling would give New England a 2nd round talent in the 3rd round which screams value and need to New England. He is not a NT but a well rounded 3 down DT who could start for New England. He could also play DE in a 3-4 if necessary.

    Round 3. Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame

    I love Gronk. However he is injured every season because they play him on almost every snap. Niklas is no where near as talented as Gronk is however he would be a better upgrade to back him up then they will find in free agency this season. Bill formed a close relationship with Brian Kelly so I expect a few Notre Dame players to be on New Englands radar.

    Round 4. Weston Richburg C Colorado State

    Everyone expects New England to double down on DTs this year but I think they will instead double down on two interior OL. Richburg is talented and would be an upgrade over Wendell at C. I honestly could see him starting from day one.

    Round 6 (PHI). Aaron Colvin CB Oklahoma

    Aaron Colvin is going to fall because of the injuries he sustained last season. I expect him to have a redshirt year and if he plays it would be towards the end of the regular season if New England keeps him on the PUP. Colvin however is more talented than the 6th round and I compare him to Dennard. A player who should have been drafted four rounds earlier.

    Round 6. TJ Jones WR Notre Dame

    Another Notre Dame player and it will be a trend this draft. TJ Jones is a serviceable WR who is better suited for the slot than outside which is fine since New England may not keep Edelman or Amendola they might want to find some talented players for the slot opposite of Thompkins and Dobson.

    Round 6 (COMP). AC Leonard TE Tennessee St

    Leonard is a headcase who wowed at the Combine but his past will still have him fall during the draft. He reminds me of Hernandez as a player and is a second round talent but it remains to be seen if he will get his act together once he is in the NFL. As a compensatory six round pick I believe New England should take that chance.

    Round 7 Connor Shaw QB South Carolina

    Shaw is a QB that deserves significantly more attention then he is receiving. He plays through pain, is a tremendous leader and reminds me of Russell Wilson in his playing style. He may never be more than a career backup but the way the NFL is trending towards faster dual threat QBs. Having him on the team brings more benefits than just a backup for Brady.

    Round 7 (COMP). Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame

    Jackson is a value pick for New England here. He is not projected to be drafted before the 6th round but he is another Notre Dame player that Bill will give an opportunity too because of his relationship with Kelly. He could surprise some people.

    Draft Totals:


    • Brian Benzio says:

      IF this draft happened. I would probably give it an A or a B+. I love the last five picks as they all scream value. I do not know a whole lot about Shaw but some mock sites are high on him as a later round QB who could be a steal.

    • Pete H. says:

      Not sure if all those guys are available when the Patriots pick, but I like a lot of them. I especially like the idea of getting 2 offensive linemen in the draft. I don’t want to count on Kline, Barker, or Cave to develop into starters (though it is possible) – I’d rather have a couple of guys with high upside that project into starting roles by next season. Connolly and Wendell are capable starters, but I don’t view them as impact players on offense. I wouldn’t mind targeting a center and one of the tackle/guard hybrids like Joel Bitonio or Billy Turner to fill the right guard role while also adding a 4th layer of depth in case disaster strikes at the tackle position, but I wouldn’t complain if they land Gabe Jackson.

    • ugo says:

      I don’t agree with all your picks, but I like your draft. The one thing I would change is replace the QB for a LB or DE. I really do like Shaw but depth at LB is needed and an additional pass rusher is a bigger priority over a backup QB

      • YodasLlama says:

        If the Patriots keep Mallet then I think they will abstain from drafting a QB but I only mocked Shaw because of the hole left by the projected trade. I could see New England picking up a decent backup QB in free agency though to offset Mallets departure but I figured they would want a guy they can groom for the long run rather than a quick fix at backup QB. Shaw played WR in highschool and has the desire to play in the NFL. While he lacks the speed to play WR, dont rule out New England finding creative ways to use him beyond a clipboard holder.

        He fits the mold of QB teams are looking for now. Dual Threat guys who pass first and run second. Worst case scenario he is a serviceable backup who they can practice against when they face Manziel, Wilson, and other dual threat QBS.

    • Trev says:

      Good job. Nice thoughts. I think Pryor will rise up boards as the draft nears, and ultimately be gone well before #29, and I don’t think there is any way Niklas is there in the late 3rd. He will probably be gone mid 2nd or sooner. Never know, though.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Based on how the TEs performed at the combine and how well the the other positional groups performed the TEs could be pushed further down the draft boards, I could now see Troy Niklas in the 3rd round. Amaro is not that great, Ebron could fall into our lap at #29 and I would still like Colt Lyerla later in the draft, we need that type of toughness at the position.

    • Philip says:

      i like the idea of trading Mallett for a 3rd and the two compensatory picks.

      Pryor won’t be available when we pick and I don’t see the them drafting an O-Liner in the 1st 3 rounds.

      1. ASJ or Amaro
      2. McGill (I think his stock will rise, so I’m “overdrafting” him)
      3.(Hou) Jeffcoat
      3. Bucannon
      4. Quarles or Caraun Reid
      6. (Phi) Chris Watt
      6. Jonotthan Harrison
      6. (Comp) Lyerla
      7. Jeff Matthews
      7. (Com) Best MLB available

      why not trying?? 😉

      • YodasLlama says:

        Not a huge fan of Amaro or ASJ thats why I didnt draft them. I think Ebron is legit but he will be picked up before New England drafts. Beyond that I like your mock.

        • Philip says:

          I’d prefer Ebron aswell, but he is a top 15 pick imo.
          And I’m not sold on both .. ASJ and Amaro, but we need a TE and I think that only they could be impact contributors immediately.

          Other possiblity would be to trade out of the first for a 2nd, 3rd and 5th rounder.
          So … Niklas with the 2nd, Ka’Deem Carey with the 3rd and De’Anthony Thomas with the 5th

          better?? 😉

  10. J H TARBORO says:

    Oliver, good article. We have some major decisions to make this in this years draft class, it starts with looking at our division, some of the AFC east teams are a player or 2 away from being really good and in the mix with us as we seen this happen this year. I’m pleased that Nick Casario will have some consulting help this year, because some of his picks have been really suspect at best and when you look at last years draft with all the Rutgers players, we really have to evaluate where we are going and what our football philosophy will be going forward. My only problem with this article is with some of the athletes and their fits, are these the players that you personally want to fit our system? I watched the games,bowls,and combines and would personally disagree with most of your picks,although there’s a lot to like also.

    • Oliver Thomas says:

      The three picks per position are more so based on the measurable criteria than schematic fit or need. They’re a byproduct of the last four year’s trends. But thanks for reading.

      • J h TARBORO says:

        Oliver, thanks for the clarification and ilove what you do.

      • MaineMan says:

        Great work, but I have one nit to pick wrt QBs measureables. You appear to have omitted hand size as a potential qualifying factor. Larger hands, of course, mean a more secure grip, especially in bad weather or when attempting a pump-fake. Some analysts maintain that larger hands contribute to accuracy, and also help to produce a consistently tight, wind-beating spiral.

        I haven’t been able to track down Brady’s hand size, but it’s reported to be “enormous”, most recently by Pioli. Mallett’s hand size is 10-3/4″, the largest of any QB at his Combine. Hoyer measured 9-1/2″ at the Shrine Game. Zac Robinson’s hands are 9-1/4″ which seems fairly small for a QB. My own hand measures 9-3/8″ and seems fairly average among the guys I work with who are about my height (5112).

        So, the measurements on the three QB’s you suggested are:

        Fales – 6015/212, 9-1/4″ hand
        Murray – 6004/207, 9/18″
        Savage – 6037/228, 9-5/8″

        Meanwhile, the Combine QB prospects with larger hands include:

        Logan Thomas – 6061/248, 10-7/8″ hand (34-1/2″arms)
        Stephen Morris – 6017/213, 10-1/4″
        Jeff Matthews – 6036/223, 10-1/8″
        AJ McCarron – 6032/220, 10″
        Keith Wenning – 6025/218, 10″
        Zach Mettenberger – 6051/224, 9-3/4″
        Johnny Manziel – 5116/207, 9-3/4″

        BTW – Thomas posted a 4.61/40, 35.5″ vertical, 9’10” broad jump, 4.18 short shuttle and 7.05 3-cone. With his size and length and those numbers, probably the biggest unanswered question about him is, “Can he rush the passer?”


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