2015 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Edition 1.0

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The Patriots are right in the middle of the Super Bowl hunt, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be looking for ways for this team to improve in 2015. Regardless of which free agents return to New England next year, the Patriots will have a deep team to go with a considerable amount of draft capital.

Bill Belichick already used some of that capital to acquire key veterans in the middle of the season (Ayers, Casillas), but with the loses of Aqib Talib, Logan Mankins, and Brandon Spikes, the Patriots will have a cache of valuable draft picks at their disposal in April.

Projected Team Needs for 2015:

Wide Receiver: Another year and another draft where the Patriots need a Wide Receiver. If the Patriots hit on their 2013 picks at the position they wouldn’t be in this position, but given the misses and the unproductive Danny Amendola it’s a lock they use a pick on a receiver.

Offensive Guard: The interior line has been volatile all season long. They’ve been able to find some stability by shifting players around, but Dan Connolly is a free agent and even if he returns the team can do much better. Ryan Wendell has held up admirably at Guard, but like Connolly he can be easily replaced by a more talented player.

Edge Rushers:Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones are penciled in as starters and Akeem Ayers (a UFA to be) has been a revelation after his mid-season move from Tennessee. Ayers should be one of the off-season priorities, but even if he resigns the Patriots need to become more explosive on the edge. The team lacks a viable edge rusher to develop behind Jones and Ninkovich. The edge rush position appears to be one of the deepest positions in the draft and the Patriots will get their shot at a number of talented pass rushers.

Traditional Linebacker: Jamie Collins and Dont’a Hightower have developed into Pro Bowl Caliber linebackers. Jerod Mayo, even with his large cap number, is likely to return in 2015 giving the team a great linebacking trio. After the top three there is almost zero depth signed beyond 2014. Look for the Patriots to add another “off the line” Linebacker to the roster through the draft.

All-Purpose Running Back: Both Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are free agents after this season. With Jonas Gray and LeGarrette Blount signed past this season it appears likely that Ridley has played his final game in New England. Vereen has a better chance to return and despite productivity in the pass game, he hasn’t developed as much as many had hoped. He provides almost nothing in the run game and I suspect the Patriots will look for a more dynamic pass catching back at some point in the draft.

Cornerback: This is fully dependent on the contract status of Darrelle Revis. If Revis signs a long term extension, this position becomes an afterthought. If he leaves in free agency then it becomes a priority.

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski has been an animal all year and Tim Wright has contributed when he’s in the game. It’s still likely the Patriots add another pass catching Tight End to the mix, preferably one that can both block and catch.

Draft Pick Status:

1st Round (Own)
2nd Round (Own)
3rd Round (Own)
**Patriots are likely to receive a third round compensation pick for losing CB Aqib Talib in free agency**
4th Round (Tampa Bay) – Pick will be in the top 3-4 of the 4th Round
4th Round (Own)
**5th Round Pick Traded to Tampa**
6th Round (Tampa Bay) – Pick will be in the top 3-4 of the 6th Round
**Patriots are likely to receive 6th Round compensation pick for losing LB Brandon Spikes in free agency**
7th Round (Tennessee) – Top 3-4 of the 7th Round

It appears the Patriots will have at least nine draft picks heading into the draft and they could even add another compensation selection for losing LB Dane Fletcher in free agency. Due to their trades the Patriots will be picking at the top of the 4th, 6th, and 7th rounds with their 4th round selection possibly being the first pick on day three of the draft. Given the likelihood of the Patriots receiving a compensation pick in the 3rd round and making a deep playoff run, the team could have three selections in span of 5-6 picks between end of the third round and the start of round four (around #94-#102)

Patriots Mock Draft

First Round: Alvin “Bud” Dupree, DE/OLB, Kentucky
This draft class is loaded with Edge Rushers and the Patriots will get to select from a number of different options available to them at the end of the first round. “Bud” Dupree is a versatile and athletic edge rusher. He can play both Defensive End or Outside Linebacker in a 3-4 and gives the Patriots another option behind Chandler Jones. Dupree has four seasons of production in the SEC and is lauded for his intangibles. Unlike other pass rushers in this draft Dupree has a more well-rounded combination of size, speed, and strength at this time. At 6’4″/264 Dupree can add a little more weight and make the Patriots even more multiple with the way their scheme their edge pass rushers. A depth chart that consists of Jones, Ninkovich, Ayers, and Dupree is fun to think about.

Second Round: Josue Matias, OG, Florida State
Bill Belichick has only selected one Offensive Guard in the first two rounds during his 14 year tenure running the Patriots draft and that was a converted Left Tackle named Logan Mankins. If the Patriots pick a OL in the first two rounds, that player has to be able to step in and play from day one. Josue Matias is one of the top 2-3 Guard prospects in this draft class and has plenty of experience competing against NFL level talent. Matias has great size while utilizing a combination of power and agility to sustain blocks. Patriots went down to Tallahassee to secure their long term Center last draft and I can see them mining the Florida State program for their long term Left Guard (either Matias or Tre Jackson).

Third Round: Rashad Greene, WR, Florida State
Greene has every attribute an NFL team looks for in a Wide Receiver besides size. He’s very thin (listed at 175-180), but makes up for his lack of size with savvy, smooth route running and an understanding for how to beat coverage. Greene possesses a high football IQ and receives strong character references from coaches. Greene projects to the “slot” in the NFL and could step right into the Patriots offense to replace the overpaid, under-productive Danny Amendola. Greene’s lack of ideal measureables will force him down draft boards, but make no mistake about it, he’s as NFL ready as any WR in this draft.

Third Round (Compensation): Justin Hardy, WR, East Carolina
Looking ahead at the Patriots 2015 depth chart there are only two locks at Wide Receiver; Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell. If the Patriots double dip at a position during the draft, it’s most likely to be at the Wide Receiver position. Justin Hardy one of the most versatile receivers in the draft. He’s been ultra-productive during his college career and has displayed a diverse skill-set to win at multiple levels of the field. He has the ability to play in the slot or out on the perimeter. He can be used on bubble screens or stretch the field vertically. Hardy adds some much needed speed to the receiver corps and gives the Patriots the type of receiver Josh Boyce was supposed to become. Supplementing the offense with two smart, productive, and savvy Wide Receivers would make the Patriots passing attack even more deadly.

Fourth Round (Tampa Bay): Erik Kendricks, LB, UCLA
Kendricks is exactly the type of Linebacker the Patriots have neglected to add the last few seasons. Kendricks is a tackling machine and impact presence against the run. He’s an instinctive player that can diagnose, avoid blocks, and finish. Kendricks is best suited to play on run downs as he’s been exposed in coverage. Not only does he add depth to the Patriots talented linebacker corps, but he’d free up Hightower and Collins to play more of an attacking role on defense. By adding such a savvy run defender Collins is freed up to move around and Hightower can rush off the edge more often. Jerod Mayo is still slated to come back in 2015, but Kendricks provides insurance in case Mayo doesn’t recover and is an upgrade over any other depth LB currently on the roster. Kendricks is a team captain, intense competitor, and an Academic All-Conference performer on top of everything else.

Fourth Round: Javorius “Buck” Allen, RB, Southern California
Bill Belichick loves to use a rotation of Running Backs and while the Patriots have some roster depth entering 2015, they lack an All-Purpose back like Buck Allen. Jonas Gray and LeGarrette Blount are poor pass catchers, Shane Vereen is a Free Agent, James White is unproven, Tyler Gaffney is even more unproven, and Stevan Ridley is a huge question mark to return, so there are plenty of questions at the position. Allen has impressive size (6’1/220) with a combination of skills to play on all three downs. He caught 40 balls as a Junior and looked to have a natural feel for getting open. At one point Allen was 5th or 6th on the USC depth chart and managed to work his way into a workhorse capacity. Allen showed he can be in a Running Back rotation during his Sophomore season and that’s another important component for a Patriots running back.

Sixth Round (Tampa Bay): Eric Rowe, CB, Utah
If Darrelle Revis leaves in free agency Cornerback becomes a much bigger need. Even if he stays the Patriots have a tendency to pick at least one defensive back each draft and this year will be no different. Eric Rowe is a four year starter that has rotated between Free Safety and Cornerback throughout his career. He has great speed (reportedly sub 4.40) and when combined with his size (6’1″), versatility, and game experience, you have a very attractive Defensive Back prospect.

Sixth Round (Compensation): Gerald Christian, TE, Louisville
It’s a thin draft class for Tight Ends and ideally the Patriots would like to find a more complete one, but Christian offers a lot of upside. Originally enrolled at Florida to be another one of their “move Tight Ends” in the mold of “you know who”. Christian transferred to Louisville after the 2011 season and has been a consistent pass catcher the past few seasons. While he profiles as a traditional move TE/H-Back he does have experience throwing blocks and offers some upside in that area. Christian provides Tim Wright some competition heading into 2015.

Seventh Round (Tennessee): Brett Boyko, OT, UNLV
Boyko is a four year starter at Left Tackle and an accomplished pass protector. It’s tough to garner any attention when playing football for UNLV, but Boyko has been one of the more consistent performers in the Mountain West. Plus his name is really really close to mine.

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58 Responses to “2015 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Edition 1.0”

  1. Bill82 says:

    Disagree with receiver pick. Although amendola has been unproductive, when he is involved he never disappoints. I think they will restructure his contract for sure and try to keep him. Lafell has been a godsend as well, making me think they will focus more on true needs( o line d line and rb) I line is obvious, d line not so much, but vince is getting old, and not sure if eeasly( spelling) can god up, and rb we have vereen who is good passing game, not so much running, and blount, who is also getting old. Although don’t be surprised if they pick up Ridley again for a discount and attempt to use him some more, as this would free up picks for I line and d line especially.

  2. Ryan says:

    Though I like Dupree, I would love to see Hau’oli Kikaha on the team next year. 18.5 sacks and I think around 13 TFL, such a solid player that should be available in the late 1st or early 2nd.

  3. JOE DEMELO says:

    This is what i got for a early mock draft so far:

    1-Cameron Erving G/C/T
    2-Denzel Perryman ILB
    3-Owamagbe Odighizuwa DE
    4-Chucky Hunter DT
    4-John Miller G
    6-Jake Ryan OLB
    7-Tyrus Thompson T/G
    7-Jamon Brown T/G

  4. Ayrton says:

    What Pats receive from Texans for Ryan Mallett?

  5. dslave says:

    I’m a huge fan of Cam Erving with their first pick. This kid would be a top 15 pick if he stayed at LT before moving to center to replace Stork. He could start day one at LT because soldier wont be there next year. The WR from Rutgers, if he comes out, early, has great feet and hands and his name is Carou. Laken Tomlinson, aguard from Duke is a 3rd rounder I like a lot.

  6. Paul Hayes says:

    Since we already have FSU center Stork, and you have us taking OG Matais, why not draft the rest of the FSU OL? Trade out of the 1st and take Erving with the first of 2 2nd rounders Matais 2nd round. Wr Green and OG Tre’ jackson with the 2 3rd rounders. If available take CB Darby with the 4th round pick from Tampa. FSU can be the new Rutgers. LOL Of course I’m joking but it’s fun to think about it.

  7. Daniel R. Martin says:

    What do you guys think about OT Spencer Drago from Baylor? Any chance he’s on the board at the end of the 2nd round? I understand he was once considered to be the top OT prospect, but has since slipped due to his back surgery.

    • steve earle says:

      Yea, I think he could be there the thing is back surgery can be a tricky thing. It all depends on what kind of proceidure he under went? Also there is always a chance of complations even in the simplest ones. Saying that these surgerys have come a long way in recent years, still….

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Would you take a gamble on him Steve? The problem I’m seeing is that players aren’t lining up well for the 32nd, 64th and 96th picks. By which I mean if we dedicate our early round selections to the obvious greatest need, O-Line, we’ll have to reach. Sometimes a lot. That being said, I recognize it is very early to try and peg where each prospective draftee will fall along mock draft lines this far ahead of the draft.

        • steve earle says:

          I think you reconize that it all depends upon which players at the position are still available and if BB decides to bring Connelly back. I’d be far more comfortable holding off until the 3rd rd for him, then again alot depends on if he can preform up to snuff against all stars and at the combine. Honestly I’m leary.

      • steve earle says:

        Update: I did some quick checking and it reads that I may be wrong about Drago. He is already preforming well and they say his stock is rising. So that now would very much effect his draft position. Sorry for the wrong lead I was talking off the cuff without checking. So now it depends on things going forward. If no set backs he looks to be inline to go well before our 2nd. How much so depends if GM’s are leary of back injuries as I am. So I’m probably not the one to make a good evaluation about him.

  8. Russell says:

    Intersting numbers, maybe not as solid as the NFL Combine but;

    Dupree 6’3″ 252lb 4.79 40yd
    Fowler 6’2″ 261lb 4.84 40yd
    Ray 6’2″ 245lb 4.83 40yd
    Beasly 6’2″ 235lb 4.58 40yd
    Tull 6’2″ 245lb 4.58 40yd

    Leonard Williams 6’4″ 294lb 4.88 40yd
    Henry Anderson 6′ 5″ 295lb 4.92 40yd

  9. Russell says:

    These numbers may not be as solid, as the Combine ,but still interesting;
    Dupree 6’3″ 252lb runs 4.79 40yd
    Beasey 6’2″ 235lb runs 4.58 40yd
    Fowler 6’2″ 261lb runs 4.84 40yd
    Ray 6’2″ 245lb runs 4.83 40yd
    Tull 6’2″ 245lb runs 4.58 40yd

    Lonard Williams 6’4″ 294lb 4.88 40yd
    Henry Anderson 6’5″ 295lb 4.92 40yd

  10. Dylan.C says:

    How has Xavier Suo-Filo looked?

  11. Russell says:

    A thought about moving up in the draft. What’s your thoughts on trading OT Solder and the Patriots 2nd pick (32 in the round) to Minn. for thier 1st, (10th in the round??)
    Solder would start at LOT and Kalil move to OLG where he is a better fit. Patriots end up with two first round picks, 10? and 32. Minn. ends up with two 2nd picks 10? and 32 in the round.


    • acm says:

      What leverage would the Pats have in a deal like that? Solder is coming off a sub-par year, which would always give life to the argument that it was Mankins’ presence there that masked Solder’s shortcomings as a LT. Furthermore, his rookie deal is done and only way the Pats keep him beyond that would be to pick up his 5th year option at 7.5 mil – not exactly a bargain to kick the tires for what seems to be an average LT. I say only way as I doubt the Pats and Solder’s agent (same one as Welker’s) would strike a long-term deal any-time soon due to likely big diff in their evaluations of the player’s worth right now. Dunn will always want his client to test free agency unless the Pats are willing to offer Solder a 4-5 year deal for top dollar, which I just can’t seem do at this point.
      So, the question remains – what sort of leverage would the Pats have in a trade like that? None, as far as I am concerned. It would make little sense for Minny to just swap 2nd round picks with the Pats for Solder (again, on his 5th year option) let lone surrender a top 10 pick in any of the top 2 rounds, especially the 1st.

      Best thing for the Pats, imo, would be to just let Solder go, use the cap space to retain DMac and Revis and draft OL high. And, to make things even sweeter, next year they also get to reap the rewards of losing an average OL-man in the compensation pick formula.

      • Russell says:

        Would it cost more/less to put the “tag” on Solder?? I think he’s done in New England, tho his year was not great, so hard to see that kind of money from some other team, Maybe.
        I’d rather have Revis.

        • acm says:

          Tagging Solder would cost the Pats significantly more than picking up his 5th year option. For last year, the franchise tag for OL was 11.6 mil, while the transition tag, 10 mil.
          Picking up that 5th year option, with or without a long-term deal to boot, is the only way Solder stays with the Pats for 2015.

        • steve earle says:

          I’ve come around to the point that I agree Solder is a problem for what ever reason. He started out terrable vs the Jets and apparently was benched because I saw no injury on field. Cannon was only a little better. Though acm jokes about OL x4 it may not be so terrably funny or out of the question. Anyway no way he deserves 7 + mil and doubt he would bring much to a trade at this point

  12. MM-II says:

    Wide Receiver:

    Virtually every season, only four players combine for 75%-85% of Brady’s targets. Virtually every season, only two of those four are WRs.

    For 2014, the top four target-getters have been (in order): Edelman (WR), Gronk (TE), LaFell (WR), Vereen (RB), combining for +/- 80% of Brady’s targets. The #5-target role (about 10% of all targets) has been more or less equally divided between Amendola (#3 WR) and Wright (#2 TE/WR). So, Amendola’s “underusage” hasn’t been necessarily because he’s “bad”, but more likely because the #3 WR – whoever it may be – is typically “underused” in the Pats’ offense.

    I’m sure many would argue that this SHOULD be different, that the 80% of Brady’s targets SHOULD be more broadly distributed. And I’m sure many would argue that, if the Pats’ third WR was “better”, targets WOULD be more broadly distributed. Good luck with all that. About the best I can offer is that a VERY special rookie MIGHT bump everybody but Edelman and Gronk down the TARGET depth chart. Eventually.

    At the moment, it appears that Edelman and LaFell would be the Pats two top >WRs< for 2015. Gronk isn't going anywhere, so there's three of the likely 2015 top four already on the roster. Vereen might be gone for a bigger contract elsewhere, but Amendola (possibly at a reduced pay rate), Wright and (maybe) James White are already on the roster as potential replacements in the 4th spot. The Pats also have Dobson on IR, as well as Boyce and Krause on the PSQ. So, it's NOT A "LOCK" that the Pats spend a draft pick on a WR. They MIGHT spend a pick and/or load up again on UDFAs and/or sign a couple cheap veteran free agents.

    That said, this IS Belichick. He'll take whoever HE perceives is the BPA who fits somewhere in his own short and/or long term plan, so no one should be shocked/outraged if he grabs a WR at #32.

  13. Philip says:

    Any thoughts on Fleming last game?
    I think he did a solid (not good but solid) job in the second half against this dominant Jets front. Give him a full offseason at OG and I think he can start next year at RG.

    We have Cannon back for 2 years. So we have a swing tackle.

    I can see that BB will try to bring Connolly back at a team friendly deal.
    So IMO BB won’t go OL in the first 2 rounds.

    • Russell says:

      IMO Flemming seems like a solid player, who is being used somewhat like Nate Solder was in his first year. Could Flemming replace Solder at LOT??
      IF Solder is gone, Flemming, Cannon, and a drafted OT (Cory Robinson??) could fight for the job.
      IMO Dan Connolly will retire, after have so many concuisons/injuries. OLineman Kline, Davey don’t show me much, so drafting an OG type looks likely,( OG/TChristian Lombard) with many free agent Olineman on the 90 man roster, after the draft.

      • Philip says:

        good point… solder had his up and downs this season. bb will look in his 5th year how he will progress. but i think he will be top 10 next year again.

        can’t se fleming at LT … he is more power-run RT/RG.
        Cannon is a good back-up (LT and RT), but not a starter.

        kline did very poor last game and i don’t understand why devey is on the team. what happend to halipo (don’t know if that’s spelled right-the guard from florida that we drafted in the 6th round). even don’t know why he is not at the practice squat.

        at the moment the only guy who can start at LG next season is connoly or cannon makes the leap.

        to robinson .. good LT in college, don’t think he can play there in the nfl. not athletic enough. more natural at RT

  14. qwerty says:

    Kendricks is a tackling machine ….

    that would mean he is another chris borland or else it is just hype

  15. acm says:

    Not a bad mock but not too crazy about it either, Mike.

    Not of fan of Dupree as someone to spend your most valuable pick on and that’s the biggest let down for me.

    I like Matias (not crazy about Jackson) but at RG not LG in the NFL. I don’t think he is nimble enough to excel in pass protection at the pros yet I like his size and think the Pats need a player like him in run blocking. At LG, I think the Pats would be better off going with an OT convert to OG – Sambrailo, Flowers, Drango, Collins, Clemmings. A player like that, who’d bring OT experience and thus position flexibility, could well be considered in the 1st round even.

    I like both WRs – Greene and Hardy – just not sure about the double dip at the WR position; then again, with the Pats success, they might as well take as man WRs as possible and hope for the best.
    I doubt they both last till late 3rd, however, even if we’d have to wait for the combine and beyond to make a more precise eval in that regard. Either way, I doubt the Pats get, or take, a shot at both and between the two I’d go with Hardy.

    Nothing against Eric Kendricks as a player, just don’t think he’d fit what the Pats do at LB. Here I should mention I doubt he lasts this long in the first place in a class that is not all that deep in quality at the position, which would play a role in his chances of becoming a patriot (a matter of vallue vs risk eval here)
    Provided they keep Ayers and Casillas – not a long shot by any means imo – I’d rather see the Pats go at LB late in the draft (Mike Hull or Jake Ryan are two players I’d look at there).
    A lot would depend on Mayo’s situation and if he can be back to functional form next season, but I;d rather save going for his replacement with an early-ish pick in 2016 (Scooby Wright III).

    Like Eric Rowe quite a bit but have stong doubts he lasts till the 6th rd. I think he is a prime candidate to improve his draft stock at the combine and even now I’d say he is more of a 4th than a 6th rounder. Similar players more likely to be available late in draft would be CB Ladarius Gunter and CB Byron Jones, imo.

  16. acm says:

    My summary of Pats 2015 draft needs:

    OL, OL, OL with the top 3 picks. Then, trade Easley for a 2/3 rounder and spend it on OL again. I know, who’d be dumb enough to do that trade with the Pats, right? Well, statistically, at most half of the GMs in this league know what they are actually doing and there is always the outside chance Reggie Mckenzie is still in the mix next year.

    Starting with 4th round and later picks – an OLB/DE hybrid, a DB/SAF, an athletic DT/DL and a WR for kicks and laughs. Can throw in a change-of-pace RB too, if Vereen leaves.

    Assuming they keep Ayers and Casillas; Cut lose Solder if needed to resign both Dmac and Revis.

    Done, done and done.

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      You are joking about trading Easley and spending our first 4 picks on OL, right?

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Hey Bob, what precisely did you see from Easley to make you think he’ll be a big part of the Patriots’ future? His whopping seven solo tackles or his continued and perpetual string of knee related injury issues?

        While we might not need to spend our first several picks on the offensive line, it probably wouldn’t hurt to spend our first and second round picks there. That is if we want to keep our all-time great QB injury free, and last years waste of a second round pick precisely that. Wasted and unneeded, and sitting on the bench.

        • Bobthebuilder says:

          You think it’s realistic that Easley is traded? And why do you still, half a year later, take every chance you get at bashing the Garappolo pick? Get over it.

        • steve earle says:

          Though I agree with you about the draft last spring as you know, I kind of doubt Bill would be ready to give up on Easley after only one season, shabby as it was. Personally I expect very little improvement next year because as you point out, it’s his knees again. I can’t see using a first round choice on any prospect who has medical issues unless they are proven to be non issues.

      • acm says:

        Well, Bob, it was a tongue-in-cheek comment attempting to emphasize how improving the OL should be priority #1 for the Pats and it’s not even close.

        As for the Easley trade, sure it was a joke – I mean it’s not like I believe someone would do it for real anyway, unless there is a GM out there who hates his job, that is.
        I am afraid I am not one of those people who look BB in the eyes and nod in approval of everything he does or says, so no, I am not a believer in the idea that Easley is/was or will ever be a difference-maker for the Pats.
        The reality is I for one was never enamored by his physical talents and character in the first place and never believed he would be a game-changer in the pros. The two knee injuries only made him that much more baffling and regrettable of a first round pick for the Pats in the 2014 draft.
        The one and only positive for me in the Easley pick was and is the hope that he is an indication for a larger trend where BB has decided to go more athletic on the defensive front. That’s pretty much it.

        • Joe Blake says:

          Two OL road graders and one nose tackle with first 3 picks. Order based on best athlete best fit. 4-7, who cares: a crap shoot: Say LB, WR and a DB in the mix. Good by and good luck to Turnstile Nate.

  17. MM-II says:

    With the little I’ve seen of Fleming since the first four weeks of his ROOKIE season, when the entire OL was playing like crap, I really don’t have the coaching expertise to be able to project how his career is going to turn out once he’s healthy and has had a bit more experience.

    In any case, most of the teams who’ve had similar average draft positions to the Pats have been getting good interior OL starters out of the mid/late rounds. It’s nothing unique to BB and it’s not as if he’s neglecting quality to save a buck or anything like that.

  18. J H TARBORO says:

    Mike Loyko, i love your WR choice of E. Carolina’s Justin Hardy, he reminds me of a young Antonio Brown. Great choice also with Florida State’s OL Joesue Matias, i did some research last year on him.

  19. nick says:

    does anyone think fleming is just not ready to play or not gonna pan out? every time he plays he gets absolutely owned, particularly yesterday against sheldon. people are projecting him as start guard nxt year, but i see him only as back up. we need to guards and we need them in the draft.

    • steve earle says:

      Right again nick and as long as BB pickes up o-line in mid and low rounds this will be the results.

      • nick says:

        thanks steve. seems like we see eye to eye for sure. i had high hopes for flemming, but man he either has no techqniue or no strength, or both. he never looks comfortable one on one. its alarming. imagine if we face seattle? the are gonna bring the dogs and we will be in for it. so desperately need a couple big boys up front. kounjdio is my number 1. matias is big, but i was dissapoitemd by his film. you got any other guys on your radar? i know u like the kid from lsu…

        • Kevan says:

          Fleming is a rookie playing in a more competitive league, and out of position. Have to point out that the jets have a pretty darn good dline. I thought he did well in that 3rd TE role against the colts. He’s had struggles for sure but outside of special talents, that’s what rookies do.

        • MM-II says:

          I agree with Kevan.

          Fleming had only played 128 OL snaps until Sunday and has been injured the rest of the time – most recently with a significant ankle injury that got him carted off the field at the end of the Indy game and had him in a walking boot for a week or two. It’s just not a big enough sample size for a reasonable prognosis.

        • steve earle says:

          We do seem to be right on the same page nick, I think it’s because we don’t over think things. My top o-line hopes start with Vadal Alexander LSU as you know. Russel is doubtful he will anounce for the draft and if he does he will go far higher then our first pick. Still he’s atop my list. After that I go A J Cann OG S.Car, Arie Koandjio G Ala, Jaseu Mantus OG Fla St, Daryl Williams OT Okla, Tyrus Thompson OT Okla and then the kid Sambrailo intrests me. I believe all of these prospects deserve an early look and would fill the rolls of OG’s while a couple could also make it as OT’s. Probably more but those are the ones I’ve identified for my board.

  20. steve earle says:

    I can’t understand how so many of the posts seem to be dazziled by the idea of WR’s and RB’s and ignore football fundementals, blocking and tackling. Right now, as was evident yesterday, our line blocking is a sad affair. Mike ignores this reality as does many posts. Maybe I’m just old and senility is setting in but it sure looked to me like the problem was self evident.

  21. Russell says:

    Nice break down Mike thanks, always enjoy your thoughts,.. tho it’s still early. I think LB Kendricks is a likely 2nd rounder guy in this years draft. I’m not a fan of DE Dupree, just does not fit the Patriot “type”. Not as intelligent, with personality issues IMO. Alot will tell by who’s on the draft board, but DE/LB Fowler jr., DE/LB Nate Orchard, and DE/LB Hau’oli Kikaha, would all seem like better fits in the Patriot Family.
    The Oline is though to call, BB has gotten quality players in the Mid-rounds, and may look there again, but surly he drafts TWO guys. If BB could, he may take Erving, but unlikely he’s on the board. Grasu, Kouandijo, Lombard,and B.J. Finney would seem IMO more likely draft picks.
    WR is another Area IMO, BB drafts a guy, and we know he watched alot of Stanford tape last year,..OT Flemming, RB Graffney, so it would be hard not to see what WR Montgomery can bring to the Patriots. A later round WR may make scence also , WR Kevin Vereen Jr. looks good.
    I’m also high on DE/DT Henry Anderson (Stanford) and a later round LB Davis Tull.
    A solid prospect as a RB thats very good in the passing game is David Johnson (northern Iowa) 6’2″ 229lbs.
    I like Rowe but hard to believe he’s on the board that late, 4th round more likely.
    So based on your draft position picks;
    1st- WR Ty- Montgomery
    2nd – DE/LB- Nate Orchard
    3d-DE/DT- Henry Anderson
    3d -(Comp)- OG/T Christian Lombard
    4th- (Tampa)-SS Eric Rowe
    4th- OC/G -B.J.Finney
    6th- (Tenn.)- OLB- Davis Tull
    6th- (Comp)- Kevin Vereen jr.
    7th- (Tampa)- DE Dezmond Johnson

    • steve earle says:

      3rd rd until you get to our greatest need, O-line Russell? And the comp pick at that!

      • Russell says:

        I’m having a harder time drafting an Olineman early, If I could get Erving with my 1st I would. I think he’s gone. If I could get Grasu with my 2nd I would, but again I think he’s gone.If I could get Kouandijo with my 2nd I would, but again I think he’s gone. So I think BB looks to the mid-rounds as last year.

        • steve earle says:

          Our pick will be at or near the bottom of the rounds. No use pretending our 1st is anything except a glorified 2nd rounder. History indicates we will not have a top OT there but likely one of the top OG’s will be, maybe two. Grab the best first then pkg our 2nd and a 4th to move up in the 2nd with an eye to grabbing the other. With rookie contracts both will fit under the cap leaving room to resign our top vets. Don’t over think the process, fix the worst first.

        • steve earle says:

          I also should clarify I feel Grasu is an OC only and should do well there but does not have the bulk or functional strength to play G in the nfl. I could be proven wrong at the combine but til then… If a second dominate OG isn’t available to a pkg of our 2nd and 4th only then do we look elsewhere such as DT/DE our next most critical need as LB, DB, RB and WR is in far better condition then the two critical needs.

    • Russell says:

      Steve the only other draft I could work to get an Olineman early;

      1st- OG Arie Kouandijo
      2nd – DE/LB Nate Orchard
      3d- OG Christian Lombard
      3d- (Comp) DE Henry Anderson
      4th (tampa)- S Eric Rowe
      4th- WR Jordon Taylor
      6th (Tenn,)OLB Davis Tull
      6th (Comp)- WR Kevin Vereen Jr.
      7th- DE Dezmond Johnson

      • steve earle says:

        I like this much better Russell and wonder if you think Sambraillo could fit as a 2nd or 3rd pick, he does sound good in the write up previously?

      • steve earle says:

        Checked up on lombard and am a bit concerned when I read “season ending back injury”.

    • Henry says:

      I’m not sure I buy Montgomery as a round 1 prospect. I’ve grown sour with the whole chess piece phenomenon after the failure of Harvin, Austin. Is it worth is to work them into the gameplan? Only time will tell with Montgomery.

  22. nick says:

    mike, always curious at your draft choices. dupree is slow to the ball and cumbersome – an overrated prospect thus far that shouldn’t crack round one. considering it is a deep draft at that position, perhaps wait till the second. matias is decent, but definitely not in my top 3. not sure where you have certain guys ranked, but kounjdio or grasu has to be taken here.
    aftr watching this season and this last game – the top 3 needs are glaringly – o line, pass rush, and d back. its not even close.
    feeling like the double dip should definitely be on o line – lets load up on legit talent there.

    • steve earle says:

      Thank you nick for your words of sanity. I do feel Grasu is strictly an OC which we have covered and another Big guard or G/T would be better. Kouandjio pick is perfect.

  23. Henry says:

    Justin Hardy is one of the premier talents in this draft and has the tools to be a star. He is a cross breed between Beckham Jr. and Landry, not to say he will measure up to the former anytime soon. The only real knock is the skinny build, but he has consistently put on weight every year at East Carolina and there’s no doubt in my mind he could continue to bulk up.

    Also on the defensive back front, couldn’t Olomu have a Colvin-like drop during the draft? He is a straight ball-player that could have a decent NFL career with his skillset to defend the pass, disrupt the running game, and play on special teams. Otherwise Diggs from Texas or Grant from OSU seem like attractive options, but that’s just because I haven’t seen this Utah player. But good article, the Kendricks pick is awesome.

  24. steve earle says:

    Gee Mike did you see today’s game against the Jets? When Brady wasn’t being sacked he was preassured and being hit. Really one OG in the 2nd then 2 WR’s in the 3rd and so on? IMO even if we had Jerry Rice, Moss, Welker, Edelman and Gronk all in their prime it would not have changed the fact that without time for our QB to find open receivers and step into his throws todays game would have been just about the same not even mentioning the inability to run the ball.

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