Revis Island Floats Away: Draft Affected?

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I know, I know! By now, you probably have had enough on the topic, but I wanted to get my thoughts on Revis leaving and how it affects the Patriots.  Plain and simple, the Patriots got worse the second Darrelle Revis signed that massive contract in New York.  After reading Revis’s comments though, I think the Patriots were the team that was going to have to wow him with their offer instead of the other way around.  Now with Revis and Browner gone, the Patriots went from having arguable one of the best secondaries in the NFL to arguable one of the worst in just one day.

When you look at the names left on this roster, not only is it hard to find a corner that you feel comfortable as your #1, but if we are being completely honest, it’s hard to find a guy to feel comfortable playing the #2 corner spot.  The scary part is, that it is not just those two positions that were hurt yesterday.  Everyone in that secondary played better in their roles last season because they had a guy like Revis.  It put players like McCourty and Chung in position to succeed.  It made the pass rush look better than it was because that secondary could lock down players for longer.  So this is not just about replacing Revis and Browner, but could mean a change in defensive philosophy.  The good thing is, the games do not start tomorrow and there is still time to salvage this defense.

The Patriots are not doing us draftniks any favors, that is for sure. I think we have to assume now that the cornerback position becomes a high priority in the draft and may be a position that they double dip in.  Maybe I am a clairvoyant or something, because I have done several write ups for this site on corners(shameless plug.)  The problem is I was focusing on players who fit the defensive style they played last year, and I am not sure they will have the personnel to run that style again.  So, I decided to go back and look through my notes to see who the Patriots could target to help bolster the secondary.

First round Cornerback Options:

Marcus Peters: Based on the tape alone, Peters looks like a top half of the first round talent. He has good size, gets in and out of breaks quickly, moves well in space, and has scheme flexibility.

Top 40 guys:

Jaelen Collins:  Collins might be an option at pick 32, but I would like him better in the second round. Great athlete with ideal size.  He only has 10 career starts, so he may be more of a project.

Kevin Johnson: Another guy who moves really well and has good height for the position. Needs to bulk up and add weight, but has great movement skills and I think could play in both schemes.

Byron Jones: Limited tape on him for me so far, but an athletic freak. On tape, seemed a little stiff when he had to turn and run, but his numbers say otherwise. Lots of experience is a plus.

Top 50 guys:

Quinten Rollins: limited experience and lacks elite speed, but is always on the hip pocket of receivers in man to man. Another guy who needs some time to develop.

Round 2 and round 3 guys

Eric Rowe: Tough guy who is a solid tackler. Aggressive player who surprised everyone with his timed speed.  Shows scheme flexibility on tape.

P.J. Williams: Not as high on him as most, but he has size and movement skills. He can be too aggressive and doesn’t track the ball well when running with receivers.

Steven Nelson: Smaller player, but tough and plays bigger than he is. I like him better playing in zone, so he now could be a better fit for the Patriots

Ronald Darby: Good size and super fast, has off field baggage and limited experience on the field. Maybe a better pro than college prospect if he develops

Day 3 guys:

Jacoby Glenn

JaCorey Shepherd

Damian Swann

Craig Mager

Ladarius Gunter

Lorenzo Doss

Nick Marshall


Obviously there are other names out there, but these are guys I have had at least a little exposure to. It is going to be very interesting to see who the Patriots take because it could give us a hint on what type of defensive scheme they decide to go with.  Even as I write this, I still can’t believe Revis is gone, but it is time to move forward and hopefully add talent to a position that is desperate for it.




29 Responses to “Revis Island Floats Away: Draft Affected?”

  1. It’s actually a great and helpful piece of information. I’m satisfied that you simply shared this useful information with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.|

  2. Steve says:

    This has probably been said already and argued many times, but I haven’t heard it enough. After watching the Super Bowl several times (not that it took more than once to realize what I was seeing) I realized a few things: Logan Ryan can’t cover anyone at this level. More so, Butler can cover.

    The larger point here is this: Butler will be handed a starting position in camp to lose. Not just because he won the Super Bowl with possibly the greatest play in sports history, but because once he was put in that game he was amazing…not perfect, but above average and made several plays with his athleticism & mind. BB will not let that go unrewarded…he found a player, period.

    The big question is who will be playing the other side? He let Browner walk…that tells a story.

    I was around when Law was lost. We had this panic around here that was very similar to what is going on now. Who is going to replace the great Ty Law?!!! Well, to those who were watching there was a kid who was performing named Samuel that looked pretty good, and he was given the job…he did pretty well if I recall. Yes, Law was better, but sometimes players appear and they earn spots…get their shot at winning a job.

    This is football not curing cancer. Butler can run, can cover, can think and play the game…what happens with the other D-backs will be more interesting. But, I have no problem with Butler being the starter out there come September.

  3. Russell says:

    The loss of Ayers, shows me the Patriots did not feel he “fit” into the teams future, and Sheard better met thier team need.

  4. Claire says:

    Where’s Ekpre-Olomu of the Oregon Ducks?

  5. Joe Blake says:

    BB’s new strategy: A youth movement in full force in Foxboro. Coach the 25 year olds up. Sprinkle in a few leaders that you overpay for. Absorb their cap hit (Brady’s 14 M, Solder, Mayo, McCourdy) assisted by a lower contract for the younger player. Throw in a speed element and see where it takes you. No 5th ring for Brady this year, ride that SB win. The heat is off with this approach. Keeping Revis would have created a repeat pressure cooker. If Butler did not happen to make a great play, Revis’ presence would not have mattered. A better overall approach: spend money wisely, think longer term.. Games will be competitive in AFC East. No top seed assurance for awhile. Pats will still be fun to watch. Fingers crossed for a great draft.

  6. Russell says:

    The Saints are trying to trade WR Kenny Stills,…..Worth a Patriot (late 4th)???

    • Ryan says:

      I sure think so. Stills could add some of that speed we’ve been missing at the wide receiver position.

    • acm says:

      I liked Stills back in 2013. But have to wonder why the Saints would be looking to get rid of him with two years left on his rookie deal.
      It’s a deep WR class plus pats may well prioritize cheap , veteran talent at the WR position. I’d keep that 4th rounder for someone else or use it as amo to move up.

  7. GM-in-Training says:

    Do you think the Patriots are playing Free Agency for Compensatory Picks?

    If Over the Cap is right, the Pats will get the best 2015 3rd-round compensatory pick for Aquib Talib from last year (he jumped ship for about ~$9Million/yr. Salary).

    For this year, Revis (~$14M/yr. Salary, probably some post season honors), Browner (~$5M/year salary), Vereen (~$4M/yr. Salary), Casillas (~$3.5M/yr. Salary) are only offset by the signing of Sheard (~$5.5M/yr. Salary).

    I don’t know how it will all play out, although the Pats like waiting to pick up veterans until after some date in early summer when the market is more favorable and the compensatory formula stops counting transactions, so, for the 2016 draft, maybe they gain a 3rd, 4th and 5th round compensatory picks out of all of this. Seattle certainly looks to be getting 4 2015-compensatory picks a year after their Superbowl and subsequent flood of veterans jumping ship.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      And, we can add Akeem Ayers to St. Louis (~$3M/yr. ).

    • Russell says:

      Interesting thoughts, and could very well be part of the thought process, with the lossesthis year the 2016 draft , could see two 3d round compensatory, and 2 4ths , depending how it all works out.

  8. Russell says:

    It’s clear the Patriots want to get younger/less costly at the CB position. Malcolm Butler was a step in that direction. UDFA who made the 53 man roster, because he could play, and was able to make plays, in a limited roll with-in a deep Patriot secondry. BB saw solid play from (P-Squd) Dax Swanson last preseason, and Justin Green (who played alot 2013 preseason) who he traded to the Cowboys (who later cut him, and BB brought him back to the P-Sqaud.
    So who will be the next prospect,
    CB Justin Coleman 5’11” 189lbs, 4.53 40yd, 20 on the bench, 371/2″ on the verticle 3.98 shuttle, 6.61 on the 3 cone drill. Very solid prospect with good tape, moves well ,intelligent, good tackler in the run game.

    • Russell says:

      At the NFL Combine Coleman had the fastest 10yd split in the 40….1.42 The avg. 10 yd split time for DB’s was ,…1.56. Just a number but , short area quickness , shows up in that 3 cone drill as well…6.61

      • Ryan says:

        I really like Coleman but I wonder when it would be wise to take him. I was thinking late 4th round, what are your thoughts?

        • acm says:

          Coleman is better suited for the slot than the outside. Think he is more of a project than a can’t miss-talent level prospect. An interesting player to keep in mind but not one to prioritize in the draft.
          All in all, for me he is a 7th-round/priority UDFA type player.

      • Russell says:

        I think Coleman is worth a 3d-4th depending on other CB’s you may consider. Last year he moved to slot, because of the need of his tackling abilities near the line. Before that he played outside, he is a prospect for sure, not sure about a starter, more likely a role player(maybe 25% snaps) ?? guy/spiecal teams guy year one.
        Any CB BB drafts will not see more than 40% of the snaps, IMO

  9. J H TARBORO says:

    Hypothetical question: Colts just waived RB Trent Richardson, would you bring him to camp if healthy and with weight loss?

    • Russell says:

      Sure, I would offer basic deal, and see what he can do. I think you will see Jacksonville do just that and quickly.

    • Russell says:

      Richardson must clear the waiver wire for the Patriots to have a chance, and teams have 10 days this time of year to make up thier mind. (only 24 hours during the season)

      • acm says:

        T-Rish is still on his very early 1st-round pick salary, so I’d say it’s a sure thing he clears those waivers.

  10. Jeff M says:

    We’ll unfortunately be going back to the infuriating defensive backfields of old with soft zone coverage schemes which let teams march up and down the field and convert on 3rd & 20 with regularity. Very sad.
    Not only that but Devin McCourty will get totally exposed because of the lack of elite CB play and will show just how ridiculous that contract he was given is.
    Yet, Bill will still get this team to 12 wins, and likely lose in the AFC Champ game and say “see, my way works”.

    • bmp1113 says:

      McCourty will not be exposed. You must not watch him play if you think his ability is only because revis was there. Browner was not an elite cb. Dmac was a top safety in the league before last year. This backfield is miles ahead of the 2011 dbs. You know, the ones who made it too the super bowl. Edelman was on boldin that year.
      31 other teams were not willing to pay what the jets paid for revis. They offered him a giant contract and he will be missed, but revis wasnt on every super bowl team ever.

  11. Ryan says:

    Here are my thoughts by pick, assuming Trae Waynes, Marcus Peters and Kevin Johnson are all gone when we first pick.

    Pick 32- P.J. Williams, Quentin Rollins
    Pick 64- Byron Jones, Jalen Collins, D’Joun Smith, Alex Carter
    Picks 96 and 97- Josh Shaw, Ronald Darby, Steven Nelson, Eric Rowe
    Pick 128- Justin Cox, Ladarius Gunter, Doran Grant, Justin Coleman, Jacoby Glenn
    Pick 161- Jacorey Shepherd, Lorenxo Doss, Craig Mager
    Pick 192- Damian Swann, Julian Wilson

    In my mind, anyone in the first three groups should be able to play immediately, so as long as we draft a CB with one of our first 4 picks we should be fine. It’s lucky that this draft is so rich in CB talent.

  12. J H TARBORO says:

    Here are some small school prospects, possible UDFAs, youtube has their highlights.
    OLB Isaiah Fleming- Cheyney Univ.
    OLB Bret Shannon- Butler
    ILB Aaron Roane- Richmond
    DE Deron Bruce- Ottawa
    LB Deshawn Dinwiddie- Emporia St. (pro day coming up)
    S Andre Rawls- Virginia St.
    S Jonathon Rollins- W.ill
    CB Tray Walker- Tx.Southern 6’3 195lbs.
    CB Randy Harvey- Florida Int’l
    check these guys out!!!

  13. J H TARBORO says:

    Very good article, I really like CB Byron Jones out of top 40, possibly the best athlete in this draft, but we must wait till his pro day later this month to how he moves in space, ball skills etc. Eric Rowe, Josh Shaw,Charles Gaines and Ronald Darby would be my next group. I really think the Patriots will focus on the pass rush this year even more than previous years, We know that we can’t replace the level of production Revis and Browner brought to the team this year, but i also believe the Patriots knew they needed to bring in guys like this because of their pass rush. Last year was year to part ways with Wilfolk but they kept him and made roster moves such as DL Alan Branch, because they knew Wilfolk wasn’t the same player he was before his injury. The CBs supported our DL, this year our DL will support our CBs. Bellichick has a plan, we may not know, he has one.

  14. acm says:

    Revis was always just a 1-year rental but bummed about them letting Browner go too. Looking to replace both of your starting CBs without a significant drop off, in the same year, would be a challenge.

    Anyways guys I like for the Pats:
    M. Peters (obvious character concerns but without those, he is unlikely to be there at 32)
    B. Jones
    E. Rowe
    L. Gunter

    All big, physical and scheme/position versatile guys. Pats already have more than enough smaller CBs. Need to add size to deal with those athletic TE or big WRs.

    • carlo strada says:

      I ve heard so many stupid opinions such as: “at the end of the day, If Revis was to go down on Patriots offer, wise thing would be let Browner go, besides he got torched by Fleener and most TE”. Yet i think that s crap, eventhough he was abused by the latter, he did a pretty good job against Julius thomas, and im quite sure that had Patriots faced Saints, Browner alone would have countered J Graham.

      Many claim that he d be useless now that Pats are teorically going back to cover 2, since ” he s never been a zone guy” but that s also crap:
      a) Browner played zone at Seattle
      b)Pats swith over coverages constatly, besides i think Pats could also play some cover 2 man.

      Really hate this move

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