Building The Big Board: Offensive Lineman

The Patriots have invested heavily in the interior of the offensive line, but it might be time to use some resources on the Tackle position.

The Patriots have invested heavily in the interior of the offensive line, but it might be time to use some resources on the Tackle position.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

We finish up the offensive side of the Big Board today with a focus on the Offensive Line.  To say that the play of the Patriots O-line has been a disappointment over the last couple of seasons would be an understatement. Injuries and sub par play from veterans led to Tom Brady taking a record number of hits last year. Tom Brady has shown no signs of slowing down, but if he has to endure another year of that kind of punishment, we may lose our franchise QB earlier than anyone wants. In my preparation for this draft, I focused mainly on potential Offensive Tackles. There were some Guards and Centers that caught my attention, but those were two positions that did not get the same type of attention as other positions. Right now, the Patriots Tackle situation is unsettled. Nate Solder has not played as well in recent years and is coming off an injury. Sebastian Vollmer is getting up in age and he to has an injury history that is a cause for concern. Marcus Cannon is a backup, and in my opinion, not a very good one and Cameron Flemming was cut last year only to be forced into playing time after the injury bug hit. As far as I am concerned, both of those guys could, and probably should, be replaced. I am not ready to give up on the young guys the team has at Guard and Center, and with recently acquired Jonathan Cooper, it seems like they have enough pieces to work with on the inside. Plus, with Dante Scarnecchia back as Offensive Line coach, there is some optimism that the group will show improvement. So lets take a look at the current roster and what prospects the Patriots might be targeting in the draft.

POSITION: Offensive Line

PRIORITY: High (Offensive Tackle)

                       Low (Offensive Guard and Center)

Current Roster:

Center-Bryan Stork (age 25, signed through 2017)

Center-David Andrews (age 23, signed through 2017)


Guard- Jonathan Cooper (age 26, signed through 2016)

Guard- Josh Kline (age 26, signed through 2017)

Guard- Tre’ Jackson (age 23, signed through 2018)

Guard- Shaq Mason (age 22, signed through 2018)

Guard- Chris Barker (age 25, signed through 2016)


Tackle- Nate Solder (age 27, signed through 2017)

Tackle- Sebastian Vollmer (age 31, signed through 2016)

Tackle- Marcus Cannon (age 27, signed through 2016)

Tackle- LaAdrian Waddle (age 24, signed through 2017)

Tackle- Cameron Flemming (age 23, signed through 2016)

Tackle- Keavon Milton (age 25, signed through 2016)


From a Tackle perspective, this draft does has some talent, but it is a position that tends to get drafted early and often. This is where losing that 1st round pick really hurts, because one of my favorite targets and a perfect fit for the Patriots (Jason Spriggs) probably is going to get drafted right around when the Patriots should be picking.   Now that does not mean there will not be talent at the position when the Patriots do finally get to make a pick, it just means that talent has question marks. Some of these prospects are as physically gifted as I have seen, but have serious technique issues. Others show a little more in terms of technique, but either lack all the physical tools or need time to develop them. It will be interesting to see what type of prospect the Patriots prefer. Maybe they will draft one of each and see if they can develop both.  As for the other 2 positions, like I said above, I did not spend a lot of time scouting them, but I do have a few that caught my eye and might such a good fit that the team takes one despite not having the need.

Tackles With Draftable Grades:

Shon Coleman-Auburn (6’5″, 304 Lbs.): Coleman has a good combination of measurables and athleticism.  He shows active hands and a good punch to stop defenders.  He plays physical and will play through the whistle. Coleman moves well in space and shows quick feet in his pass protection. He shows good lower body flexibility to anchor and is rarely pushed backwards. He has a bad habit of stopping his feet when he engages a defender and will overextend with his upper body.  Coleman had cancer and looks like he has not gained his full strength back, so he will need time to develop physically. Coleman shows good punch, but does not stay engaged with his defenders consistently enough to move them where he wants them to go. He looks to be a bit slow at the snap and can get too grabby. He is an older prospect because of the time he missed when he was dealing with his illness. Coleman has all the physical gifts to be a Left Tackle but he needs time to develop his technique and strength. (3rd round grade)

Jerald Hawkins- LSU (6’5″, 305 Lbs.): Hawkins is another prospect who fits the mold of a Patriots Tackle and I wrote him up earlier this year. I like his aggressiveness and he seems a little more developed in terms of technique.  He has some things that need to be cleaned up in terms of hand usage and balance, but I think can be corrected. His big issue will be strength.  I think he is a good fit though and think the Patriots might have to overdraft him if they want him. Here is the report on Hawkins from earlier in the process: (3rd round grade)

Joe Haeg- North Dakota State (6’6″, 304 Lbs.): Despite being from a small school, Haeg has had plenty of exposure due to his teammate Carson Wentz. I have written in several different places that Haeg is the guy I think the Patriots will target. He has a lot of experience, he is a hard worker and a leader on a team that has had a lot of success. He needs time to develop his strength, but I really like his athleticism. He needs some refinement on his technique, but it is overall very solid and I think most of that will come with added strength. For a more in depth look at Haeg, here is my report from earlier: (3rd/4th round grade)

Germain Ifedi- Texas A&M (6’5″, 324 Lbs): Ifedi was an interesting prospect to evaluate and I went back and forth on whether or not I should put him on this list. One the one hand, he has ideal physical traits. He is long, with his weight well distributed and he has above average athleticism. He shows a great combination of strength and lateral quickness. He has a wide base and long arms, making it tough for pass rushers to get around him. He is smart and tough. On the other hand, his footwork is a mess, which leads to more bad habits. He tends to play upright and then lunge at defenders. This gets his head down and gets off balance. His hand technique is wild and sporadic, leading to far too many unnecessary holding calls.  Ifedi is not always physical and does not play with a mean streak.  He struggled at Left Tackle when given the opportunity and might be a Right Tackle only. (4th round grade)

Dominique Robertson- West Georgia (6’4″, 325 Lbs.): Robertson might be a guy that not many of you know about, but you should want to. He has a well built athlete that is big everywhere. He has tree trunks for legs and vines for arms.  In the limited tape that I saw, he was virtually impossible to get around and was truly dominant almost to the point of looking bored. He is quick for his size and aggressive out of his stance. He uses his long arms to his advantage and defenders have no chance once he got his hands on them. Robertson plays mean and made the lesser competition look silly. Lack of competition did lead to some bad habits as well. He was consistently late getting his hands up, leading to bad timing and hand placement. This also led to holding penalties. Robertson will be making a massive leap in competition and will need time to adjust to the speed, strength and savvy of NFL defenders. I love his potential and might have the highest upside of any of the Tackle prospects. (4th round grade)

Le’Raven Clark- Texas Tech (6’5″, 316 Lbs.): One of the most polarizing prospects in the entire draft. He has great size, rare length, and good athleticism and mobility. Clark has probably the most intriguing set of traits at the position. Clark is a bit top heavy and his weight will need to be monitored. The big, no massive issue with Clark is his technique. His footwork is a mess and he is consistently off balance. He lunges at defenders and gets himself in such bad positions that he cannot use his length to his advantage. He comes from an offensive scheme that did nothing to help his bad habits and will need to basically start over from a technique standpoint. He has a decent punch, but his timing and placement are sporadic. All the traits are there, but they are raw. If Clark is willing to put in the work and a team is patient enough to work with him, then there is potential for him to be an upper tier Offensive Tackle in the NFL. A project like that is a risk and I would only consider it on Day 3. I have warmed up to him a little bit more, and I realize he will go higher, but I am just not comfortable doing so. Here is my report from earlier on Clark: (4th round grade)

Kyle Murphy- Stanford (6’6″, 305 Lbs.): Murphy has good size for the position with a frame that can handle getting bigger.  He is a smart player with good technique.  Murphy has quick feet and does a nice job getting to the 2nd level on run plays or getting out wide on screens.  Murphy plays with tenacity and aggressiveness. He has very active feet in both his pass and run sets. He is quick off the snap and engages defenders quickly.  He did not test well and came in with shorter than expected arms. Murphy needs to get bigger and stronger to hold up in the NFL.  He tends to over extend his upper body to compensate for his lack of strength. (4th/5th round grade)

Caleb Benenoch- UCLA (6’5″, 311 Lbs.): Benenoch is an interesting prospect. He left school early but does have 35 starts under his belt. He is another prospect that has the look of a Patriots Tackle; tall and athletic with long arms. He has room to grow and needs to, but he shows good footwork and movement skills to get to the 2nd level on combo blocks. He plays with a bit of a nasty streak and shows the ability to move guys around. He does a nice job of sinking his hips and absorbing contact. Lower body strength needs to catch up with upper body. He tends to get impatient in his past sets and will lung at defenders. He lacks awareness when it comes to pass rushers with multiple pass rush moves. He does have experience at both Tackle and Guard. He might be a nice developmental Right Tackle who could shift inside if need be. (5th round grade)

Cole Toner- Harvard (6’5″, 306 Lbs.): Toner is a smooth moving, athletic Tackle. He has adequate size for the position but definitely needs time to develop his overall strength. He is quick out of his stance and plays with light, active feet. He is a smart player with excellent balance and technique. He moves well, both forward and back. He is obviously highly intelligent and it translates to the field. He has good hand technique with a good punch and proper placement. He has a lot of work to do from a strength standpoint. Even in college he had to lean and lunge to generate adequate power. It will be a big jump in competition for him and he shouldn’t be counted on year one to be a significant contributor. He does not have ideal arm length for a Tackle and may get a look at Guard despite never playing the position. He may never be more than a back up, but could be a reliable piece. (5th/6th round grade)

Willie Beavers- Western Michigan (6’4″, 321 Lbs.): I struggle on where to put Beavers and ultimately his best fit might be at Guard, but whatever team does draft him should give him a shot at Tackle. Beavers is a big bodied prospect with a huge legs and a big “anchor” for a backside. He is an aggressive player that moves people easily with his powerful lower body. He is at his best when attacking defenders instead of allowing defenders to get into him. Beavers hands are all over the place and he needs refinement in his hand use.  He tends to be overaggressive, which in turn gets him off balance. He struggles to recover and that leads to penalties. Beavers does not look as comfortable in space and may benefit to a move inside. He could be an interesting piece along the lines. (5th/6th round grade)

Tyler Johnstone- Oregon (6’5″, 301 Lbs.): Early in his career, Johnstone had the look of a Day 1 or 2 prospect. He tore his ACL in 2013 and then re-injured the same ACL during his rehab. When he was at his best, he was a smooth mover with quick feet and athleticism. He showed flashes of his former self this year and with more time he may be able to regain his form. He needs to add weight and strength to his frame, but he does have the size and movement skills to play Left Tackle. (7th round grade)

Interesting UDFA Prospects:

Stephane Nembot- Colorado (6’6″, 322 Lbs.)

Tyler Marz- Wisconsin (6’6″, 316 Lbs.)

Davante Harris- Appalachian State (6’4, 306 Lbs.)

Guards and Centers With Draftable Grades:

*quick note:While I like guys like Joshua Garnett and Christian Westerman as prospects and even for the Patriots, my personal belief is that the team does not need to address these positions and I would only take one on Day 3 if I felt there was value.

Max Tuerk- USC (6’5″, 298 Lbs.) So I lied, I have one guy with a late Day 2/early Day 3 grade. Because of his injury though, I do think he will go Day 3, so I can get away with it. I wrote Tuerk up earlier (read here: but I had some additional notes I wanted to add. Tuerk is another guy I know does not have ideal measurements from a weight and arm length standpoint, but I still think he has Tackle potential. Putting him in at Guard will limit his athleticism and expose his lack of strength. If he plays outside, he can take advantage of his athleticism and quick feet. I know I might be the only person to think this way about Tuerk, but who cares. Regardless of his position in the NFL, he needs to bulk up and add strength. His real value is his versatility as he has game experience at all 3 positions. (3rd/4th round grade)

Rees Odhiambo- Boise State (6’3″, 314 Lbs.): Rees (not typing that last name again, it is pronounce AH-dee-AHM-bo) is a really intriguing prospect on so many levels. He is a guy I really like and is really close to “binkie” status. First, from a position standpoint, I don’t know where to put him. I actually want to at least try him at Tackle before committing to him at Guard. He does not have ideal measurables for the Tackle position, but he has the athleticism, strength, and movement skills to stay outside. He has great footwork and lateral movement to pass protect and he has the lower body strength and tenacity to run block. He is aggressive and will play through the whistle. He does tend to expose his chest in pass protection and he needs to work on his hand placement. The biggest question with Rees is the injuries. He has not made it through an entire season yet and the medicals will be huge. His tape shows a Day 2 type of pick, but the injury history will knock him down. He could be a steal though if he can stay healthy at the next level. (4th round grade)

Joe Dahl- Washington State (6’4″, 304 Lbs.): Dahl is a well coordinated athlete who moves very well. He plays with good balance and fundamentals. Dahl is a hard worker, paying his own way as a walk on the first two years before getting a scholarship. He is technically sound and he plays the game with intensity.  He lacks size and length to stay out at Tackle, but could be used there in a pinch. He will need to get stronger as he was pushed around by physical defenders. He did a nice using his quickness and technique to re-anchor, but that will be much harder to do in the NFL. He played in the “air raid” offense which requires lineman to “retreat” at the snap. Dahl will need time to adjust to a new scheme. I really like his tape might give him a shot at Tackle before making the move inside. (4th/5th round grade)

Vadal Alexander- LSU (6’5″, 329 Lbs.): Alexander was a 4 year starter in the SEC, playing Left Guard, Right Tackle, and Left Tackle. He has a huge frame and wide base than makes it difficult for defenders to get around. He is powerful run blocker that can get to the 2nd level. He moves well for a guy his size and has a nasty disposition. Defenders are rendered useless once he gets his hands on them. Alexander tends to play with a high pad level and will get off balance. His footwork is sloppy and he will struggle moving in space. He could be a swing tackle option, but seems better suited in a phone booth where he can use his size and strength to his advantage. (4th/5th round pick)

Interesting UDFA options:

Dominick Jackson-Alabama (6’5″, 313 Lbs.)

Kyle Friend- Temple (6’0″, 295 Lbs.)


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128 Responses to “Building The Big Board: Offensive Lineman”

  1. Philip says:

    I don’t see only Tackle as a real need … both OT and DT.

    My mock would be:

    2nd/AZ – DT Chris Jones
    2nd/NE – OT LeRaven Clark

    3rd/NE – WR Leonte Carroo
    3rd/Comp – LB Jordan Jenkins

    5th/ Day-Trade – ATH Keenan Reynolds (I assume he uses one 6th Round and next years 5th round pick)

    6th – RB Keith Marshall // WR Moritz Boehringer // TE Thomas Duarte // CB Kevin Peterson

    7th – You never know who is falling 🙂

    I know some of my picks are reaches, but BB has never shied away to overdraft some prospects.

    • steve earle says:

      I really think LaRaven Clark is a reach at 2nd. He has great potential but personally I wouldn’t draft him higher then a 4th, but that’s just me. Otherwise I like your mock it shows good thought and balance. Nice job!

      • GM-in-Training says:


        I hear where you’re coming from on a value-discipline point of view.

        Consider the opportunity cost if they miss out on a high-upside OT, though.

        There are some positions you just can’t scheme around. You have to have an above-average player to man them or a bunch of other things break down. OT is such a position. If ever you overdraft, it’s OT (better than Safety, right?).

        • steve earle says:

          Your point is well taken GM and though my mock didn’t include Clark but took Hawkins with a 2nd nothing is case in stone that BB couldn’t double dip and take Clark too though a little later. Technoque wise Hawkins is way ahead of Clark while strength Clark gets the nod. The two could then compete to see which is of greater use early and which can develope into a dominate starter. Hopefully both.

        • td says:

          I’m not so sure you need a “franchise” LT or RT anymore on this team. If Brady is going to get rid of the ball 2-2.5 seconds you really just need an OT to hold up the edge rusher a little bit. I think what got the last OLine coach fired is his lack of understanding that and/or not having multiple silent snap counts versus Denver. I heard Matt Light say that they had at least 5 different versions when he was there. This would lead to much cheaper options than what they have now in $5-8 million dollar OT’s. Interior OLinemen need to hold up a little longer than the outside guys.

          I think they are more dedicated to the quick passing game than ever with the addition of Hogan, Bennett and Washington.

        • Philip says:

          But you nees to give Brady these seconds, which he clearly did not had against Denver when they started whit a bunch of back-ups (yes, in this case Volmer is a back-up to me, he is RT and a RT only).
          And you need also to look at the long term need. Volmer wont play forever.

        • td says:

          But they can scheme against guys like Miller and Ware with big TE’s. Matt Light also said that when he faced a guy like Miller they would have one of the TE’s slant in and ear hole the DE trying to take off at the snap of the ball. We did not have that option against Denver since Gronk was needed elsewhere and Chandler, well he’s done.

          Why need a franchise (expensive) OT now? We have never had one before; Light, Ashworth, etc.

        • Philip says:

          But you still need quality play of your OT….which lacked when Solder was done for the year.

          Light was a franchise OT … He was never elite, but always above average …. Price level was different that time.

      • Philip says:

        Thanks steve,

        I agree that he is a reach at round 2, but this years OT class is weak and I fear that he is no longer around at our 3rd.

  2. Kevan says:

    Looks like pats open up in Arizona possibly a sun night game. Then 3 home games- Dolphins, Texans, bills…..bye week 9

  3. Russell says:

    Easley cleared waivers now a free agent. Why would you bring RB Graffney back? Must have been some kind of issue with someone else?

    • GM-in-Training says:

      Possible reasons Gaffney went out and back in through the revolving doors:
      1. Easley’s release leap-frogged DT up above RB in their draft priority, so they wanted an affordable free agent RB now as a hedge.
      2. Now they know they have Blount to do the heavy reps, and they want a backup who is affordable, has spent time in the system, might be able to catch passes a bit better for the hurry-up offense, has a bit more time to develop, and is apparently a good guy (Stanford grad and all).
      3. They let Gaffney test his value on the open market, then brought him back grateful and under control at low cost for a few years.

    • acm says:

      Not good. Was hoping someone would claim him but him not being physically fit probably played a role.
      Best thing we can hope for now is someone signs Easley so that Pats aren’t eating the entire 3.6 mil of cap-hit.

      • steve earle says:

        I can’t say I’m surprised. In two years he had only 25 tackles and was activated for 22 games. Is that what a 1st rd pick is?

  4. acm says:

    RB Gaffney back with the Pats LOL

    • J H TARBORO says:

      ACM i thought you were joking! Gaffney is back! Patriots cut LB Eric Martin.

    • steve earle says:

      I guess the surprise here is why are we surprised? Bill cuts guys resigns them cuts them resigns them. Nobody even leaves town sometimes. Then it all works somehow, go figure.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        My guess is they cut Gaffney and then signed him to a contract that protects them better if he were to get injured again. As the team approaches mini camps, if he was signed and got hurt, they would have to pay him his entire contract, like they did last year. It was probably something like that.

  5. acm says:

    More tidbits from Mike Loyko on the Easley matter:

    “Heard Easley and Belichick/Coaches had a blowout after the Texans game. I’m told it was over his hip issue. Easley said it was minor …”

    “team still put him on IR.. I guess he said something so to BB about messing with his money.”

    “Never knew this but can confirm @BenVolin report from this morn. that DE never wanted to be drafted by NE and was unhappy when NE picked him”

    That last one is such a gem …
    If you thought Easley was a stupid pick 2 years ago, how you feeling now?
    Seriously, if 50% of the BS that’s coming out now about the Easley pre- and post-draft situation at NE is true, what the f*ck was BB thinking taking him in the 1st?!?!

    • acm says:

      and some more:

      “This stuff on Easley is coming directly from a Patriots player and confirmed by someone else close to the FO.”

    • J H TARBORO says:

      ACM, i knew it was a stupid pick back then, i liked Aaron Donald before he blew at the combine, and the knock was, Donald was too small 6’1 285 and they drafted Easley 6’2 285 with 2 bad wheels.
      Donald ( pro bowls ) Easley ( turd).

      • Ryan says:

        I even liked Grady Jarrett last year. He was apparently too small, and he’s doing well with the Falcons.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          I agree Ryan, Clemson’s Grady Jarrett was a last years favorite, i couldn’t believe he went in the 5th rd. to ATL.

        • carlo strada says:

          So how do you like Sheldon Day in the 4th?

        • Ryan says:

          My opinion on that is that it will be hard to pick him in the fourth without a fourth-round pick. I’d take him at the end of the third.

  6. Tristan says:

    My latest mock draft. Post Rams-Titans trade and easley release. Pats are well balanced with with very few rosters spots (6-7 LB, CB, RB, DL, OT, WR) open to rookies barring injuries. I think the 2nd/3rd round picks will make the team the rest will be tight and may be only 2 or 3 others will make 53. I feel our first 4 picks will consistent of 2 O and 2 D. O being one weapon and one tackle and Defense one dline and one corner. The rest of the draft will be bonus picks and see if one or two pan out. We may trade up to early second. Guys I could see Bill targeting are Derrick Henry (long term RB) or Johnathan Bullard DT/DE (replace easley).

    Round 2 60 Jordan Jenkins OLB/Dline Georgia (pass rusher/Linebacker)
    Round 2 61 Joe Haeg OT North Dakota State (swing tackle)
    Round 3 91 Sean Davis CB/S Maryland (Corner and safety Depth)
    Round 3 96 Daniel Lasco RB Cal (Running back depth)
    Round 6 196 Brandon Doughty QB Western Kentucky (third string QB)
    Round 6 204 Glenn Gronkowski FB/TE Kansas State (Long term FB/special teams)
    Round 6 208 Keenan Reynolds WR/RB Navy (contirbute in Offense and special teams)
    Round 6 214 Briean Boddy-Calhoun CB Minnesota (Cornerback depth)

    Round 6 221 Cole Toner OT/G Harvard (guard/tackle competition -practice squad)
    Round 7 243 Stirling Bailey DE/DT Georgia (interior Dline depth)
    Round 7 250 Devin Fuller WR UCLA (receiver depth -practice squad)

  7. Russell says:

    Back to a Trade Mock, now the upper part of the draft board has changed.

    BB sends No. 61 to San Francisco for 3d pick in 2017, and 4th (No. 105) 5th (No. 142)

    2nd- No. 60- LB Joshua Perry
    3d – No. 91 – DT Hassan Ridgeway
    3d- No. 96 – CB/S Sean Davis
    4th- No. 105- OL Joe Dahl
    5th- no. 142- WR/RB Keenan Reynolds

    6th- OT Nick Ritcher
    6th- DE Dean Lowery
    6th- QB Jason Vander laan
    6th- CB Vernon Harris
    6th- WR Alex Erickson
    7th- OL Jordon Walsh
    7th- RB Byron Marshall

    • Yohy says:

      Totally agree with the logic of the trade. Pats will need a fourth round pick to draft Reynolds. There is such a buzz about him now.
      Do you think any other team wants to help the Pats and make a trade?
      Do you think Reynolds lasts til the 6th round?

  8. J H TARBORO says:

    mock #1 no trade
    2) DT Adolphus Washington-Ohio St.
    2) OT John Theus-UGA
    3) CB/S Sean Davis-Maryland
    3)RB CJ Prosise-Notre Dame
    6) LB Victor Ochi-Stoney Brook
    6)FB/TE Dan Vitale-Northwestern
    6) DE Theiren Cockran-Minn
    6) WR Alonzo Russell-Toledo
    6) WR Chris Moore-Cinn
    7) WR Moritz Wilhelm Boehringer-Germany
    7) QB/RB/WR Keenan Reynolds
    RB Darius Jackson-E.Michigan
    CB Cre von Leblanc-Florida Atlantic
    WR Jakeem Grant-Texas Tech
    DE Sterling Bailey-UGA

  9. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots Mock Draft.
    2 Braxton Miller WR Ohio State
    2 John Theus OT Georgia
    3 Maliek Collins DT Nebraska
    3 Cyrus Jones CB Alabama
    4 (Possible trade with Rams for 2 6rd picks) Keenan Reynolds RB/WR Navy
    6 Trade to Rams
    6 Trade to Rams
    6 Terrance Smith OLB Florida State
    6 D.J. White CB Georgia Tech
    6 Austin Blythe C Iowa
    7 Joe Schmidt C Notre Dame
    7 Andy Janovich FB Nebraska

    Keenan Reynolds will be a Patriots and he is very talented a break away threat.

  10. Todti says:

    Holy moly, the Titans now have 15, 33, 43, 45, 64, 76, 140, 177, 222, if I’m not mistaken (which could certainly happen considering the amount of picks involved).

    Let’s use that in a mock draft.
    The Patriots trade their 60, 91, 196, 2017 5th for the Titans’ 43, 140, 2017 4th. The Titans aquire another high pick so that they have a plethora of 7 picks between 15 and 91. The Patriots target a falling player, use one of their 6th round picks, and leap in 2017 to make up for the loss of their 4th round pick.
    Then, the Patriots trade 61 & 250 for the Texans’ 119, 159, 166. The Patriots need mid-round picks, simple as that, and BB finds value there like no other.
    Finally, the Patriots trade 119 & 204 for the Bucs’ 108 to target a falling player.

    2-43 DT Vernon Butler
    The Patriots need youth up front with Branch and Knighton on the wrong side of 30, especially after the release of Easley. Butler is a versatile player so he can succeed Branch and/or Knighton against the run while providing interior pressure in place of Jones and Easley. Brown and Butler are a good duo for years to come, and the Patriots can’t go wrong with someone called Butler.

    3-96 OT Shon Coleman
    Well, that one is probably self-explaining. Coleman might get picked higher than that but I could see his age and necessary time to develop scare some teams off. Not so the Patriots, who can allow him to sit behind Solder and Vollmer for a season, taking over for the German in 2017 or 2018. Also, the pick enables the Patriots to get rid of Cannon and his salary.

    4-108 LB Joe Schobert
    Might seem like a reach for some. He’s a versatile LB, although not excelling in any trait. Still, he can do whatever BB asks of him and he would be an immediate ST player, thus kicking Bostic off the roster.

    5-140 CB D.J. White
    Solid athleticism and about the height of Butler, but great cover skills and instincts. Should be a capable second CB in case they decide to let Ryan go. I know it’s not as high as many would like to see the Patriots draft a CB but I just don’t feel safe with CBs outside the top prospects so I’d rather draft in the mid-rounds.

    5-159 WR Daniel Braverman
    With Hogan and Washington coming in there is enough depth not to be forced to draft a WR early. So, the only WR in my mock is Braverman, who probably is the most Patriots-esque WR coming out of college in the last couple of years. He would provide the necessary depth at slot WR that was exposed last season, and could succeed Amendola down the road. The Patriots probably draft him a bit early here, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.

    5-166 WR Keenan Reynolds
    Well, he’s got to be on the mock draft, although I don’t particularly like the pick. I just hope they don’t take him earlier than that.

    6-208 FB/mTE Dan Vitale
    Versatile TE out of the backfield, but limited athleticism and classic FB skills. Develin’s on a 1-year contract and in case Harbor gets the FB/mTE role this season, he could succeed him after one year on the PS (if he clears waivers) and save about $1m in 2017.

    6-214 RB Peyton Barber
    The Patriots use a late-round pick as competition for Blount who serves as a stop-gap option to a deep RB class in 2017. While not being highly athletic he’s got the size and vision to be the big back and had the 4th-best time at the three cone drill. He’s apparently a smart guy, picking up playbooks quickly and showing potential in pass protection, and considering his background he seems like a humble guy.

    6-221 QB Brandon Allen
    Future backup after Jimmy G leaves. Coming from a pro-style system, shows leadership and accuracy on short-to-intermediate throws.

    7-243 WR Ed Eagan
    Priority FA as the Patriots saw that there cannot be enough depth for Edelman and Amendola.

    After using FA on skill position players the Patriots concentrate on front players early and draft for depth later, while utilising the surplus of picks this season to trade up and into the future. There aren’t many roster spots available anyway.

  11. Russell says:

    A very interesting prospect I like is OT Nick Ritcher University of Richmond. His dad Jim Ritcher played 14 years with the Buffalo Bills during their super bowl runs. Nick is 6′ 5″+ 304 lbs. runs 5.38 40yd,(1.77 ten yd split) 25 on the bench, and a 7.93 3-cone drill. Tape is limited and competition level is a question.

  12. Russell says:

    Dominique Easley, I’m Told, could not pass the physical , so could not be traded. The Patriots are hoping someone will sign him, with the future in mind.
    However I think that is “iffy” at best, but the guy has skills, so maybe. So it’s likely for now anyways the Patriots are on the hook for $3.6 mil to be in dead money, against the salary cap.

  13. Russell says:

    OK Guys the Salary cap number is changing all the time but at present;
    Patriots total contracts- $165.8 mil.
    The Top 51 contracts + the draft pool- $160.3 mil.
    Dead cap money’ $ 9.6 mil.

    The NFL cap for 2016 is $155.2 mil.

    Total cap space today, $-6.3 mil.

    • Russell says:

      It’s important to note, my cap numbers include dead cap money, and draft pool money, which is money NOT yet spent, and of course can change quickly.

      • Kevan says:

        Hey Russell I’m still confused buddy. I always thought the dead cap hit goes to the following year. So the patriots dead money from 2015 has already been factored in to 2016, and the 9.6 dead hit this year will be factored in to the 2017 season.

      • Russell says:

        It’s my understanding dead cap money is owed during the year. You could be right as to when it is paid. Example;
        Easley’s dead cap money for 2016 is 1.9 mil. (what he would have been paid) but total dead money is 3.6 mil. So the Patriots may be able to move some into 2017, but not all of it.
        the Salary cap and it’s issues is very complex, with many ways to move money around.
        Last year the Patriots were still paying dead money on Logan Mankins contract deal.

        • Russell says:

          Patriots paid $ 4 mil on Logan Mankins deal in dead money in 2015. Patriots cap should be $ -6.2 mil. not 6.3 sorry.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea but the reason mankins hit was added to the then current season is because it was guaranteed money that was prorated, so when you get rid of a player that has guaranteed money in future years it always gets tacked on to the current season. Easley was set to earn 1.9 for 2016 but also had guaranteed money in 2017 and since pats released him they have to pay the guaranteed 2017 money in 2016. I’m sorry man this just isn’t right, BB would never be in the red in April before a draft, just not gonna happen. He usually has 4-5 mil going into the regular season for emergencies. The dead cap hit is a roll over, if it wasn’t then Miguel would have already factored it into this year.

    • Miguel says:

      Teams can not be over the cap once the League Year begins. There is no way that the Pats or any team could be in the red at this time. is the official NFLPA cap space numbers while my website is unofficial and is usually up to date except when I am out of the country like I was last week.

  14. Brian says:

    Was quite shocked to see the Easley release news today come up on my phone. Am quite disappointed for a number of reasons. One is that we are releasing a guy that is quite talented and will likely be picked up immediately, with high potential to contribute if put in the right locker room. Another is that it ends up becoming a complete waste of a first rounder in a fairly strong draft. But lastly is that I quite enjoyed watching his disruption and pass rush ability when he was on the field. We have been screaming for a pass rush for years and now that we had it, seems to be gone in one off season with Easley’s and Jones departures.

    There obviously must have been quite a build up of issues for the Pats to decide to out right release him. And from the sounds of it this guy was a headache right from the beginning. Which made his selection even more head scratching. How could such a thorough and disciplined organization not do their homework on his personality.

    What worried me of Easley’s future a while back was the fact that 2 years removed from his torn ACL, he ended up finishing the year on IR from a quad injury. Either he truly has no knees left, or he was not rehabbing properly because all the extra attention and focus on his quads/hamstrings and stabilizers should have made them much less susceptible to further injury.

    While I am disappointed that I won’t be able to watch him wreak havoc next to Brown for the next 5 years. In Bill I begrudgingly trust.

    With our new needs and potential for more 3-4 looks, here is what I would like to see done in the draft:

    Round 2- Shilique Calhoun OLB MSU
    Round 2-Jerald Hawkins OT LSU
    Round 3- Kalan Reed CB Southern Miss
    Round 3- Bronson Kaufusi DE BYU
    Round 4- Devin Lucien WR ASU
    Round 6- Dominique Robertson OT West Georgia
    Round 6- Keith Marshall RB Georgia
    Round 6- Dadi Nicolas OLB Virginia
    Round 6- Clayton Fejedelum SS Illinois
    Round 7- Kwame Bell DE Clarion U

    • steve earle says:

      Injury prone is injury prone Brian. Easley was a wasted draft pick the moment his name was called. It’s okay to take a risk on day three but on the 1st rd? No, and we have a rich history to prove it here in NE. We are constantly on catch up mode trying to fill needs from injury prone or head scratcher draft picks. What saves us is Bill’s uncanny ability to find low rd or UDFA guys that get the jobs done and then some. Shed no tears for Easley even if he gets picked up ( hope he does) he will likely never have an injury free season or a long career.

      • Brian says:

        I don’t believe he was a wasted pick from the get go. His ability when healthy would have made him a top 15 pick. And let’s not forget that Rob Gronkowski ended up being a decent pick despite his back injuries in college. What I do think is that his injuries, supposed personality and lack of Game preparation should have made the pats think twice about selecting him in the 1st round. In the second or third round go for it but save the swing for the fences for later.

        What is making the pats try and play catch up is Bills affinity for selecting 7th round safeties in the second round year after year. But then he ends up grabbing guys out of no where that play great so I digress.

        My big gripe with the situation is that Akeem Hicks left the pats because he felt that he would have more playing time and opportunity with the Bears. If we had it in our mind that Easley was on his way out. Couldn’t we have made that decision a month ago and had the better chance of keeping Hicks.

        • steve earle says:

          Key words are “when healthy”. How many full games did Easly play in 2 yrs with Pats? Gronk was not a 1st rd pick #1, and is one of the few exceptions to the rule, injury prone is injury prone. Believe what you want, the facts are there to see.

        • Brian says:

          Unfortunately when your picking at the top of the 1st year after year, you have to take risks to get a top talent. Gronk was picked as a high 2nd. Not a huge gap from where Easley was picked.
          My point was that sometimes the gamble works and players over come their injuries, and sometimes they don’t. Gronkowski’s back injuries in my non-professional mind were a much bigger risk then Easley’s knees.

          Easley’s ability made him worth the risk, however his personality should have made him a UDFA

        • Kevan says:

          Gronk is not the exception it happens all the time. 13 pick difference between the two, and the pats traded up for Gronk too.

  15. Stephen J says:

    Does anybody know anything about Brandin Bryant FAU

    Draftdiamonds seems to like him while optimumscouting not so much

    Brandin Bryant, Florida Atlantic – 6’2”, 290 UDFA
    Quick, agile gap penetrator that is light in the pants and gets driven back far too easily. Might have some scheme versatility to play in an odd front

  16. Stephen J says:

    Just came across a DL men courtesy of optimumscouting

    Thought was interesting due to BB liking players with family members that have played in the NFL before

    Defensive End

    Roy Robertson-Harris, UTEP – 6’7”, 260 5th round
    Cousin of former pro-bowl offensive lineman Carl Nicks, Robertson Harris is an intriguing prospect. Standing at 6’7 with length that you just can’t teach, Harris was a disruptive force last season even though he only managed 3.5 sacks, recording 9.5 tackles for loss and 4 forced fumbles. Long and agile, covers ground with his first step and bends the edge fairly well, this could be a name we haven’t heard the last of.

    • steve earle says:

      Interesting is the right word Stephen so I looked him up. 40 time nothing great but I don’t put great stock in that for any linemen but his reviews seem more aimed at potential making me think he a long term project guy who will be a career back up if he can indeed stick at all. Also not likely on Pat’s radar unless very late, not a 5th. Be interesting to watch though and thanks for all info you are supplying all the rest of us to laze to find these guys.

  17. acm says:

    From Mike Loyko’s twitter on things he’s hearing when it comes to reason for Easley’s release:

    “Everything from strange interactions with teammates, personality change/shift, not respecting leadership, and just overall strange behavior.”

    Oh, boy, don’t know whether to laugh or cry … Such a tremendously talented draft class in 2014 and this is what Pats managed in the 1st round …

  18. EdgeX says:

    You know it’s a good thing the Pats have 11 draft picks this year…cause, boy, the way we are going we’re going to need to use all of them to draft the “needs” on this team.

    I’m thinking that the Pats really won’t be able to solve all of their positions needs/depth this year at all.

    Thanks Easley!

    • Ryan says:

      Blame Belicheck. He could have drafted Joel Bitonio at that slot, and then last year in the fourth we could’ve had Grady Jarrett or Marcus Hardison instead of Shaq Mason or Tre Jackson. That would’ve been a much better solution at the same two positions, but Bill decided to take an extreme risk instead.

      • Stephen J says:

        Ok Ryan

        Lets Blame Belicheck for going to the Superbowl and AFC Championship games the last 2 years even with those draft picks. I will take those results any day even with the picks chosen

        • Ryan says:

          Yeah, but he still made a bad decision. I’d take him over every other NFL coach, but that doesn’t mean that the Easley pick isn’t his fault.
          I’m not calling to fire Belicheck. I’m just saying that this one is on him, because they knew that Easley had terrible knees and still drafted him in the first. It’s really not Easley’s fault that he can’t stay healthy.
          That said, someone has to be blamed for a botched first-round pick, and it’s Belicheck this time. I still trust him, but he has made some mistakes early in the draft.

        • steve earle says:

          I am 100% with Ryan on this one. Many of us were screaming no don’t before the drafting of Easley and we are just a bunch of unprofessional fans. We could see it but Bill didn’t so it is on him. He bought into the hype that Denver was going to take him so he blinked, it happens. But it wasn’t an act of God, it was a decision of man and the man was Belicheck. Doesn’t make him bad it just is what it is. Doesn’t make Ryan bad he’s just pointing out the facts.

  19. GM-in-Training says:

    OK, latest theory on the Easley release:

    Easley went off to Germany for physical rehabilitation, against team doctors’ advice and didn’t make the hoped-for progress. Pats decided that if Easley showed up at OTAs and aggravated his injury it was another season lost and no chance to recoup the salary cap hit.

    Whereas, if the Pats trade Easley, and he does manage to pass a physical and sign with another team, the Pats are off the hook for some of the cap hit. By releasing him in mid April, there’s more chance for Easley to get picked up by a team taking a flyer on him.

    A trade still would have been better…so I don’t know if this theory holds water, or if there’s even more going on.

    • EdgeX says:

      Just wait a few more days I’m sure after giving the beat writers more time to do their job some skeletons will come out of the closet. Sad day in Patriots history.

    • acm says:

      From what I understand, best thing for Pats cap-wise would be for another team to pick up Easley off the waiver-wire.

  20. Ryan says:

    Like GM-In-Training, I’m a fan of waiting until the third for a defensive tackle unless a great one falls into our reach. The only two DTs I’d trade up for are Vernon Butler and Chris Jones, assuming that Andrew Billings and Sheldon Rankins go early in the first round. Here’s who I’m looking at in each other round:

    Round 2: Johnathan Bullard
    Round 3: Javon Hargrave, Sheldon Day, Willie Henry, Jihad Ward
    Round 6: Adam Gotsis, Trevon Coley, Justin Zimmer
    Round 7: Destiny Vaeao

  21. Russell says:

    Patriots are presently at; $ – 6.2 mil cap space ….in the red. Canonn next to go?

    • Ryan says:

      Why not Gronkowski? We can pick up Higbee for cheap this year and get back our first-round pick. Seems like a flawless plan to me.

    • Kevan says:

      Russell where do you get these numbers I was just at, before Easley was released they were a hair over 6 mil in the green.

      • acm says:

        Same question, Russ? Your cap numbers are quite frankly nuts LOL 🙂

        If Easley gets picked off the wire, which seems quite likely, Pats will actually open up 1.9 mil of cap-room, from what I understand. If he goes unclaimed, they will lose 3.6 or whatever overall due to dead-money on his rookie deal.

        As Kevan said, Patriots had 6+ mil in cap space before cutting Easley.

        • Kevan says:

          Yea that’s true, also if Easley doesn’t get claimed but does sign with another team, whatever that team pays him will be deducted from the 3.6.

      • steve earle says:

        My two cents: I don’t trust any of these numbers because one site gives one set of numbers and the next another. It’s like listening to politicians in an election year.

    • EdgeX says:

      There’s no point in calculating cap space right now we don’t know how this will pan out – if Easly is picked up by another team that changes things all over again.

  22. GM-in-Training says:

    Lot of talk about whether to prioritize defense or offense high in the draft, especially with the Easely news.

    It’s an eternal question.

    I’ll say this. Defenses may win championships, but only if makeshift offensive lines let them.

    The Pats have added Kearse, Kuhn and Knighton to the DT rotation. There should be interesting DT in the 3rd round, as well.

    What have the Pats done in Free Agency for OT? Are there going to be any high-upside OT left in the draft after pick 61? I don’t think so, either.

  23. steve earle says:

    Okay I’m bragging now but my last mock looks real good to me. Traded up mid 2nd for DT, next pick an OT then a CB. Guys can argue who but the plan is sound.

    • Kevan says:

      Who you got Steve? I’m guessing butler Haeg Murray

      • steve earle says:

        You didn’t look at my last mock? Okay I used the trade up a 2nd and a 3rd for a mid rd 2nd. Then said with that mid 2nd either Vernon Butler DT ( if available) or Adolphus Washington DT. With the 2nd 2nd Jerald Hawkins OT and them Eric Murray CB in the 3rd. I really think that would be a pretty good top of our draft. Day three is full of all kinds of possabilitys we could add another OT and DT or anything else but it’s the top 3-4 picks that set the tone.

  24. acm says:

    Just to put into perspective the state of the Pats D going into the 2017 season, after the release of DT Easley and trade of Chandler Jones (looking at recent starters for Pats, as well as important acquisitions this off-season):

    Unrestricted Free Agents:
    – DE Ninckovich, Sheard, Long
    – DT Branch, Knighton, Chris Jones
    – LB Collins, Hightower
    – CB Ryan
    – SAF Harmon

    Restricted Free Agents:
    – CB Butler

    Under Contract:
    – SAF Chung, McCourty
    – DT Brown
    – LB McClellin

    • acm says:

      But never mind the above, let’s continue mocking average (at best) WRs and RBs to the Pats in the 2nd and 3rd rounds.

      • Kevan says:

        Bolden,Blount,brown are all on 1 year deals. Dion Lewis has 2 left, James white can catch a few passes but can’t run period. I’m not gonna be shocked if pats take a RB 3rd/4th rd. Hightower Collins and butler will be resigned, probably Sheard as well. Ninko and branch are getting up their in age, they either come back cheap or get let go, Vollmer too. No one should lose any sleep over losing Harmon or Chris jones, and no one even liked logan Ryan before this past season, if he has another good year he can be brought back at a decent rate.

        • acm says:

          Until you have Brady at QB and a solid OL, the offense will fix itself – you plug in any run-of-the-mill RB or WR and make it work. After Brady, the one area that needs to be fed constantly high in the draft is OL.

          Defense requires much more time and effort to develop chemistry and lack of talent there will kill you. You think it was a coincidence Patriots didn’t win a SB for so long but got SB #4 when they finally managed to load up on defensive talent? No, it wasn’t. And considering how long it took them to do that, it’s not an easy thing to do either. That is, you can’t lose your talent on D and hope to replace it overnight.

          Branch and Ninko getting up there in age (you can add Knighton and Long too) is even more reason to draft defense first – even if you can bring those guys on cheaper deals, it will be just a short-term fix anyway due to their age.

          P.S. Harmon has developed into a really good depth FS. WHo do you think takes D-Mac’s place if he goes down?
          Ryan had a tremendous 3rd year in 2015, ranking in top 30 at CB, along with Butler. One reason why Pats will likely lose him is not because they wouldn’t want/need him back but that they won’t be able to afford both him and Butler.

          Chemistry between teammates is incredibly important pretty much everywhere on defense but much more so in the secondary. So, yes, they would miss both Ryan and Harmon, should they leave.

        • acm says:

          Patriots O have been a top 3 unit in the NFL for the past 10-12 years, year-in-year-out, with literally 7th rounders/UDFA fromt he draft or cast-off FAs at WR and RB.
          The only Unit on O where quality actually matters is the unit that allows Brady do his thing and keeps him healthy – the OL. Everything else, apart from Gronk, is moving bits and pieces.

        • Kevan says:

          I want good players and depth at all positions including RB, even if it is probably the least important with Brady. A good running game with that 2 TE set will make the offense even harder to defend. With the opponents focusing so much on Brady and the passing game, there is no exuse to not have atleast a decent run game. I disagree with run of the mill Wrs, once again you need good players and depth at all positions. I don’t ever want to see a Caldwell,gaffney as our starters again. Don’t care who’s at Qb.
          I agree that chemistry is more important on D I just don’t think the situation is that bad. Chandler jones was a good player especially in the 1st 8 weeks of the year, but he always slowed down and was invisible come playoff time. He got his sacks against lesser players and honestly Sheard is a better run defender. The reason that trade happened was to keep this defense together. I like the depth at end I really do. Between flowers and Johnson we have atleast one good player. The older players that might be on their final year, if we lose them we lose their contracts too. Branch long and ninko= 8mil? Another 6 mil for Vollmer. Knighton another 2 mil. That’s around 16 million for next year if they walk, plus the salary cap hike probably another 10 mil. The core and foundation of this D is intact, pats gotta get some deals done but they will it’s cool. CB and tackle were my top 2 picks draft wise, and yea we need DT too but it’s a dam good year to need a dt I kno that. I’m not dissing Ryan or Harmon, I just said Ryan had one good year, nobody thought he was any good. Honestly most didn’t want him on the team after a bad preseason. And Harmon is fine, I like the 3 safety 4-2-5, but that could be a 3 corner look too and McCourtey is signed up long term. I just try to stay in the middle of things I know if they leave BB will have a plan. safety’s are signed up, the lbs will sign, pats will pluck a DT or two out of this draft. Defense will be ok, it sucks that BB didn’t lock up hicks or even Siliga but like I said I’m not losing any sleep. Brown branch Knighton are a good top 3 to me. The situation is no where near as bad as other years. I still say pats got a top 10 D, top 3 O atleast.

        • acm says:

          A major point of the argument against drafting RB and WR early this year is exactly the lack of top talent at those positions, while much better talent level would be available at other positions, especially D, which also happens to be an area of much bigger need too.
          It’s a simple argument of drafting for value first (even better if it happens to be a need too) as opposed to need alone.
          In short, I’d fully consider drafting Leveon Bell 2.0 in the 2nd and the Pats surely could use such a player … problem is, there is no such prospect this year.

          This being said, priority should always be D/OL first, then everything else. If a can’t miss prospect at RB and WR falls to you, sure, but none of those “gems” in this year’s draft.

        • Kevan says:

          I totally agree, I had corner tackle my top 2, dt is up there as well now. And your right there is no Leveon bell this year who was drafted 48th overall. I just think there are some good players their, better than average, pats might take one late 3rd or 4th round. They might not though. Pats might feel with Scar back, a healthy Oline with some more development with the young guys it’s enough.

  25. Russell says:

    BB is hoping another team will pick-up Easley off the Waiver Wire. the Salary cap for Easley if he is NOT claimed by another team will cost the Patriots, $3.6 mil. If Easley remained on the roster, $1.9 mil.

    • acm says:

      Seahawks should be in all the way, no matter what. As long Easley didn’t do something really dumb breaking the law, so should some other teams (e.g Falcons, where Dan Quinn was his coach at Florida, iirc)

  26. acm says:

    Well, what a waste of a 1st round pick Easley turned out to be, in one of the most talented classes for the past several decades, nonetheless. Who could have predicted that, right? Right?

    Silver lining of this whole cluster*uck is people will, hopefully, stop mocking subpar RBs early to the Pats in a draft class rich in DT talent.

    • Matt says:

      Well looks like Easley is another Katzenmoyer. They could not see this coming with the 2 torn ACL’s he has in college. Guess they really need to draft a DT with one of there 2 picks in the 2nd.

      • acm says:

        What was shocking about the Easley pick was not only his extensive injury history but that he didn’t seem to fit the “Patriot Way” from a mental make-up point of view.
        I remember him saying during a pre-draft interview how he preferred watching cartoons over football/game film. That, among other things, made me see him as a bit of awkward fit the Pats.

        Latest news on what made the Pats release Easley – not his injury history but his inability to fit with the “Patriot Way”. Shocking, right?

        • matt says:

          Your right i forgot about the cartoon statement he made. I hope they can draft a good DT someone that isn’t a knucklehead.

    • steve earle says:

      Well what took so long? Some of us took a lot of grief over our critical thinking of drafting Easley, a known injury prone player, with our 1st rd pick. Seems we were right. Now I agree the way to go is take a DT early and another later.

      • Russell says:

        DT Vernon Butler trade-up to get.

        • acm says:

          I’d love Butler but if he falls out of the 1st round in this draft class, GMs accross the NFL should be fired … by a firing squad. 😉
          In short, I don’t see him fall deep enough for Pats to trade up and take. More realistic early options should be Chris Jones, Jon Bullard, Willie Henry and H. Ridgeway, imo, to name a few.
          Nothing but D and OL for me early in this draft.

        • Russell says:

          I still think if Whitehair falls into the second BB should get him. DT Henry, and Ridgeway look solid at 3d round.

        • acm says:

          Whitehair is too good imo to fall into the 2nd but few things would shock me, at this point. Even then, I am not sure he’d be worth the price (a 2nd and a 3rd, maybe, or even both 2nds) to go up and get him, when you consider the depth they already have on the interior of the OL and needs elsewhere on the roster (all over the Defense and OT, where I don’t think Whitehair would ultimately play).

          I player similar enough to Whitehair, who I like a lot and should be available in the 3rd-4th round range (maybe even later) is Joe Dahl. So, I think Dahl would represent better value, when all is said and done.

          I personally wouldn’t trade up in the 2nd for anyone but a premier DT or OT prospect.

      • Kevan says:

        Everybody acknowledged it was a risky pick. Some people chose to complain about it, some chose to accept it.

  27. Joey NL says:

    Whoa! Dominique Easley waived by the Patriots.

    What a waste of a 1st round pick he has been.

    • GM-in-Training says:

      April Fools?

      Well, crap. There goes a bunch of mock drafts.

      They’ve let go of Siliga, lost Hicks, released Easley. They’ve added Kearse and Knighton. They’ve swapped every-down DE Jones for 3rd-down DE Long. Hicks and Easely could produce sacks. Kearse and Knighton, not so much.

      I really liked how deep the Defensive Line was last year. It allowed them to rotate and play strong for 4 quarters. I guess they figure the 2016 draft is deep in DT, so they’ll pick up something in the 2nd or 3rd round, but sheesh…what a bummer.

      Why did they act now, which telegraphs their need for DT, rather than after the draft?

      • Ryan says:

        We did make some great picks in the fourth last year, but it’s still tough to stomach the fact that we passed up both Grady Jarrett and Marcus Hardison in that range. Either one of them would’ve been great value in this scenario.

    • steve earle says:

      I’m shocked! Shocked! Guess I had that one figured back when we drafted him.

  28. GM-in-Training says:

    Last year the Pats drafted two OG. They ended up playing a lot.

    What do you think the likelihood is that the Pats draft two OT this year?

    • Ryan says:

      I think that if they do that, one will be a player who projects well to guard as well. Our guard position is staffed by the likes of Tre Jackson, Shaq Mason, and Jonathan Cooper right now, so there’s definitely room to add someone and I think this is a pretty good draft for guards specifically.

  29. Russell says:

    Patriots mock draft option 2;

    Trade 2nd (61) and 3d (91) to New Orleans for 2nd (47),
    No. 47- DT Venon Butler, Louisiana tech
    No. 60- LB Joshua Perry, Ohio State
    No. 96- OL Joe Dahl, Washington State

    6th- RB/WR/ QB- Keenan Reynolds, Navy
    6th- RB Byron Marshall, Oregon
    6th- QB Jason Vander Laan, Ferris State
    6th- CB Michael Jordon, Missouri Western
    6th- P Tom Hackett, Utah
    7th- CB Vernon Harris, Dartmouth
    7th- WR Tevaun Smith, Iowa

  30. Martyr says:

    My mock draft for the Patriots:

    2nd (60): Xavien Howard CB
    2nd (61): Josh Perry LB
    3rd (91): Traded to Baltimore for 4th round pick (104) and (130)
    3rd (96): C.J Prosise RB
    4th (104): Joe Haeg OL
    4th (130): Willie Henry DL
    6th (196): Joe Dahl OL
    6th (204): Justin Zimmer DL
    6th (208): Kevin Hogan QB
    6th (214): Devin Lucien WR
    6th (221): Alex Mcallister DE
    7th (243): Tyler Higbee TE
    7th (250): Trevor Austin WR

  31. Russell says:

    My Patriots Mock is in the final stages;

    2nd-(No. 60)- LB Joshua Perry, Ohio State
    2nd-(No.61) Traded to New Orleans for 3d round pick 2017, and 4th (No. 112), 5th (No. 152)
    3d- (No.91)- CB/S Sean Davis, Maryland
    3d- (No. 96)- OL Joe Dahl, Washington State
    4th From New Orleans (No. 112)- DT Hassan Ridgeway, Texas
    5th from New Orleans (No. 152)- RB/WR/QB- Keenan Reynolds, Navy

    6th- DL Justin Zimmer, Ferris State
    6th- LB Nick Kwiatkoski, west Virginia
    6th- QB Jason Vander Laan, Ferris State
    6th- CB Vernon Harris, Dartmouth
    6th- OT Nick Richter, University of Richmond
    7th- WR Alex Erickson, Wisconsin
    7th- RB Byron Marshall, Oregon

  32. Very cool to see all the draughts!

  33. Russell says:

    No Cody Whitehiar? Most mocks I see have him in the, very late 1st, or early 2nd round, so BB would need to trade-up to get him.
    I think Whitehair is the 3-4th BEST O-lineman in this draft class. Able to play OG or OT, lots of experience (over 50 games started) no major injury issues, smart player with high intangibles. Quick feet, good hand use, good balance, alittle stronger in pass blocking than run blocking .
    Joe Dahl is my next interesting guy, in the same mold as Whitehair, OG or OT late 3d round would be a very fine addition.
    Joe Haeg is third on my list, and a good value in the late 3d round.
    If BB waits until the 6th round, a very good prospect is, OT Nick Richter, 6’5″ 304 Lbs, 5.02 40yd.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Nope, way to rich for my blood. Good player, don’t get me wrong, and might be able to play RT, but more likely OG or OC. He even said at the Combine he would prefer to play OG. Do not want to trade up in this draft to take a player at a position that is crowded with youth already.
      As I stated, if the Patriots draft a G or C, I prefer to wait until day 3.

  34. Jim R says:

    I am not a fan of drafting a WR in round 2 however if Sterling Sheppard or Tyler Boyd are there they should be thrilled to get one of them. I also think If Jaylon Smith slides to 60 they should take him. In round 2/3 the will take a corner/Safety nobody has heard of.

    • steve earle says:

      I’m half with you and half not. I’d be happy to get either WR you mention but no way would I risk a high pick on a guy who may never be able to play again because of nerve dammage in his knee. Even if he does come back to play there is a big question in my mind if he will be the same player he was. No thank you we are already short a 1st rd pick don’t want to risk a 2nd.

  35. EdgeX says:

    Mike, a few points:

    1. Surprised you have Germain Ifedi ranked so low, maybe for the Pats he’s a 4th rounder, but from what I’m reading much more likely he goes late first/early 2nd

    2. Love that Shon Coleman is getting the attention – to me he’s our best bet at a Vollmer like replacement on the right side

    3. Never heard much about Dominique Robertson but you definitely peaked my interest

    4. Your not alone with your thoughts on Max Tuerk – and out of this list I’d be ecstatic if the Patriots drafted Max Tuerk, Shon Coleman, or Joe Haeg.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Yeah, I am lower on Ifedi than most. I view him very similar to Clark. They both seem like big projects to me that have long term upside potential, but need time. Ifedi’s issues seem a little less pronounced than Clarks, but Clark does have a little better physical traits and Left Tackle potential. It puts them both as Day 3 guys for me. I am fully aware that they both will go before that, and I am okay with that.

  36. Stephen J says:

    New England Patriots: Best Second-Round Prospect Duo

    Which Duo would you choose?

    As for me I had a hard time choosing from the middle three duo’s but here is my choice
    1 Duo 4 of 6
    2 Duo 5 of 6
    3 Duo 3 of 6

    I was going back and forth with the 1st two now what about you

    • Kevan says:

      I went 6 because I want corner,tackle with 1st 2 picks. I feel pats can do better than Hawkins though, but I like Xavien Howard.

      • steve earle says:

        Yea Howard would be a good CB pick if available probable have to move up a bit to be sure we could get him. You think we could do better then Hawkins, anyone in mind? Seems like all the OT’s in that range have some question or other.

        • Kevan says:

          Maybe better is the wrong word Steve, and at the end of the 2nd it defenitely would not be a bad pick. In all honesty you probably know more than I do, it just doesn’t seem like a fit to me right now. I do like Haeg. Do you like Hawkins? Who’s your top 5 that the pats have a chance to get?

      • steve earle says:

        I like Coleman, Hawkins and Haeg at the bottom of the 2nd. Thing is all three need strength added but have the feet for OT’s. None could step up if one of our starters goes down but like Solder his rookie year all 3 could add occasional support to the line in the right situations. Plus with Scar back this year I could see some excellerated improvements.
        As for my top five I pretty much like the guys I mentioned in my latest mock, Butler DT, Washington DT,Hawkins OT, Murray CB And Brown LB/SS. If you mean just at the bottom of the 2nd those 3 OT’s above, your CB Howard and though a reach at 2nd I still like the CB Murray from Minn. He is a tenacious scrapper and I think could spell our starters early on and play in spots maybe by Nov.

  37. GM-in-Training says:


    Pretty astute assessment.

    I think the Patriots are in a position where they have to take a chance on the player with the highest ceiling.

    They need somebody who can back up Solder this year in an emergency without too much drop off, or forcing Vollmer to play out of position. I don’t think drafting a Right Tackle gets the Pats where they need to be.

    In my Mock I pushed for both Clark and Robertson, because with good coaching I think either could become a dominant LT. They’re both really long armed athletes. There’s nobody else who is likely to be available in the 2nd-4th that offers as much upside.

    I think if the Pats get both of them, Cannon and Michael Williams are gone. The Pats might try to park Robertson on the practice squad, but would have to be ready to promote him on short notice if another team tries to claim him.

    • steve earle says:

      I don’t know GM but I’m thinking your requirements that an OT must be able to back up solder this year by a prospect taken from 2nd to 4th is unrealistic. Given Mikes breakdown of prospects none look to be capable of that this year, It would most likely require Volmer to come over and hope Waddle can hold the RT job down. The only way I see a Rookie able to meet your standard would be trading near top of the 2nd as a high rated OT slides down to that range. Mabe I’m wrong but given most scouting reports that seems unlikely.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        Solder played a little bit as a rookie. Yes, he was a 1st-round blue chipper.

        I’m not saying they have to be ready to back up LT in the first 8 weeks. That’s what Waddle or flipping Vollmer over would be for…but at the end of the season, when the odds of injury have gone up over the accumulation of battering, they could be ready, especially if we have an heir and a spare who both have high upside.

      • GM-in-Training says:

        And if they both work out…by 2017 not only do we save a bunch letting Vollmer get paid in Free Agency (hello compensatory pick), we have leverage and/or savings to be found when Solder’s deal is up.

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