College Watch List: Offensive Lineman

The Patriots have not really addressed the Tackle position for awhile, but I think this year they must, and maybe early.

The Patriots have not really addressed the Tackle position for awhile, but I think this year they must, and maybe early.

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Okay, full disclosure. I underestimated just how much time and energy having baby #2 was going to take. In the past four years, I must have forgotten just how much work these little guys are. I think my wife and I have finally got a routine down now and I have carved out a little time for film review and writing. I figure I can save a couple hours a week by just not watching the Cyclones anymore. Since we are only a few weeks into the season, it is too early to really get into scouting reports, so I will finish out my series on the Seniors I plan on scouting this season. Today, we tackle the offensive line.

The Patriots victory over the Cardinals was impressive on so many levels. I will be honest, I went into that game with such low expectations that I was stress free. That was of course until the Patriots reminded me and everyone to never underestimate a Bill Belichick coached team. It was one of the most impressive regular season wins I can remember in a long time and now the expectations for this team only go up as players begin to return. I thought for the most part that the offensive line did a good job against a very solid defensive front. That being said, I think we all can agree that an influx of youth and talent is going to be needed at the Tackle position. This scouting season, Tackle will be my main focus, but there are some interior guys I want to take a look at as well. Here are the Seniors along the offensive line that I will be keeping an eye on.


Adam Bisnowaty, Pittsburgh (6’5″, 300 Lbs.)

Chad Wheeler, USC (6’6″, 310 Lbs.)

Conor McDermott, UCLA (6’8″, 310 Lbs.)

J.J. Deilman, Utah (6’5″, 300 Lbs.)

Dion Dawkins, Temple (6’5″, 320 Lbs.)

Avery Gennesy, Texas A&M (6’5″, 310 Lbs.)

Jon Heck, North Carolina (6’6″, 300 Lbs.)

Dan Skipper, Arkansas (6’9″, 326 Lbs.)

Taylor Moton, Western Michigan (6’5″, 328 Lbs.)

Julie’n Davenport, Bucknell (6’6″, 315 Lbs.)

Jonah Pirsig, Minnesota (6’8″, 325 Lbs.)

Erik Magnuson, Michigan (6’5″, 305 Lbs.)

Storm Norton, Toledo (6’8″, 305 Lbs.)


Dan Feeney, Indiana (6’4″, 310 Lbs.)

Dorian Johnson, Pittsburgh (6’5″, 300 Lbs.)

Zach Banner, USC (6’8″, 360 Lbs.)

Johnny Caspers, Stanford (6’3″, 296 Lbs.)

Caleb Peterson, North Carolina (6’5″, 300 Lbs.)

Nico Siragusa, San Diego State (6’4″, 330 Lbs.)

Greg Pyke, Georgia (6’5″, 313 Lbs.)


Pat Elfein, Ohio State (6’2″, 300 Lbs.)

Ethan Pocic, LSU (6’6″, 309 Lbs.)

Tyler Orlosky, West Virginia (6’3″, 295 Lbs.)

Dan Voltz, Wisconsin (6’3″, 295 Lbs.)







101 Responses to “College Watch List: Offensive Lineman”

  1. Russell says:


    1st- I’m going with OT Magnuson here because if BB likes a guy he will take’em early. Also being 1st round pick the contract is longer. DE Jonathan Allen would be the 1st pick if available (unlikely)
    2nd- If Magnuson is 1st, then DE Chris Wormly here, 6’5″ 295 lbs, 4.86 40 yd.
    3d- TE/Slot/WR Evan Engram 6’3″ 227 lbs , more of a slot/WR guy then TE, but plays all over the field, even FB. SOLID blocker, Big hands catches the ball well.
    4th- ILB Brooks Ellis 6’2″ 248 lbs. Not a fast or flashy guy, but over 100 tackles every year, true LB drops in coverage. HIGHLY intelligent guy. maybe early with late 4th.

    After last weeks games the Waiver Wire team order changes from 2016 draft order to Strength, of team and schedule. Patriots are now #32.

  2. Russell says:

    Jay Cutler’s contract 2017;

    $12.5 base salary,$ 2.5 roster bonus, $1 mil. restructure bonus, $16 mil cap hit, ….$2 mil. Dead money.
    If I was GM…..Bye Cutler….

    Trade 1st pick (top 3) …. to mid round team, for 1st & 2d 2017, and 2nd & 4th 2018

    Trade for Garoppolo, ( 2nd 2017, 2nd 2018) draft a back-up QB 3d round?? Mitch Leidner… Minnesota

    • Russell says:

      Gaoppolo would be under contract for a yr. I would try to get it restructured, to a 5-6 year deal.

      • steve earle says:

        I like the idea of extending Jimmy G’s contract long term unless someone like Chicago offered A couple 1sts and a couple mid rd picks too. Not Keen on only getting a 2nd in 17 draft no matter the rest of the candy thrown in.
        As for Chicago getting a 1st, two 2nds and a 4th that may be a reach. After all a 1st isn’t what they use to be. Not saying I wouldn’t welcome a deal for us with a 1st just not holding my breath or forcing a deal for a deals sake at this point.

    • Todti says:

      I agree that Chicago is the most probable team to turn over the QB position, although Jay Cutler showed some consistency last season. The issue I’m seeing here is that the Bears’ offense doesn’t really fit Jimmy G. Sure he has quite an arm but he’s still more of a quick and moving thrower. I’m not sure how that would fit to Jeffrey and White in Chicago.

  3. GM-in-Training says:

    So, the Pats let go of a fast, energetic DT, and picked up John Hughes, Cleveland’s castoff, a 320# DT, more of a 4th run stuffer sort of guy.

    They also reloaded with another WR on the practice squad, 6’0″.

    My guess is that John Hughes is more of a short-term loan. His salary is not guaranteed.

    The Pats need to get through week #4 against a run-happy Bills.

    Then, they will need to open up a spot for TB12 and Nink. I’m really not sure who else is on the bubble. Maybe one of the plethora of core special teamers (Brandon King?) or interior OL (Ted Karras?) or banged-up player-to-be-named-later?

    Who do you think is on the bubble?

    • Russell says:

      Bubble guys, when Brady, Ninkovich return;
      Clay Harbor or A.J.Derby (to Practice Squad)
      Jonathan Jones

      • Jeff says:

        Jonathan Jones has been great on special teams, which is why he made the initial roster over Roberts and LeBlanc in the first place. He’s great as a backup corner and special teamer, so I have a hard time seeing them let him go. I agree E. Roberts would be more likely to go, as well as possibly Karras (especially if Jackson and/or Cooper are making significant progress). Harbor and/or Derby is another obvious place to look. Not sure a trade is realistic at this point unless a good team gets really desperate with injuries at a position.

    • steve earle says:

      On the bubble at 10-3: TE Harbor, OG Jackson, CB J Jones, S Richards, OG/OC Karras are all obvious but I wouldn’t be surprised if BB trades one or two of these guys for mid/late rd draft picks.

    • Todti says:

      Clay Harbor and Elandon Roberts.
      With Gronk getting healthy Derby as a receiver becomes more important than Harbor as an all-around & blocking TE. Also, Derby probably already showed enough for a team to claim him on waivers.
      Roberts, on the other hand, probably would make it through waivers onto the PS, and Hightower should be back (although not at 100%) until game 5.
      I think BB values CB depth (and ST play) which is why J. Jones will stay. But you never know with BB.

  4. Russell says:

    Early Mock???

    1st pick (#32) traded for 2nd and 3d picks mid-rounds, only way BB does not trade 1st pick is if he can get Jonathan Allen.

    Trade pick -2nd – OT/G Erik Magnuson ..Michigan
    2nd pick- DE/T Chris Wormley…Michigan
    Trade pick- 3d – TE/Slot/WR Evan Engram …Mississippi
    3d pick- ILB- Brooks Ellis ….Arkansas
    4th pick- OT- Cole Croston.. Iowa

    • steve earle says:

      Good mock Russell I could see Bill going this way. What do you think the realistic chance of landing Allen is? It’s to bad Jimmy G was injured and unless he can get back on the field against Buffalo I can see no way his trade value (based on 5 quarters of play) will be very high.One good thing (?) might be that Bill keeps him around and gets him to extend his contract a couple more years with us. He did look like he could succeed TB in a couple more years. I for one wouldn’t mind if things unfolded that way.

      • Russell says:

        I have my doubts DE Allen would fall to the Patriots, unless he has an injury. Wormly has looked good and he plays both DE spots as well as DT!!
        Watching a bunch of OT’s, BB said something once about how many players have a hard time going from LT to RT. Magnuson plays ROT and has played G.
        The other guy I like is Greg Pyke Georgia, he’s been a G playing RT this year. he has a very long upper body (waist to shoulders), looks solid.
        Croston I liked last year but he did not come-out of school. Plays LT but moves well.

      • Russell says:

        If I’m Jimmy G I sign a friendly 3 year deal with the Patriots. If he does, hard to see BB keeping Brissett too.???
        If it was me I’d trade Graoppolo to say the Bears , for 2nd 2017, 2nd 2018, and continue developing Brissett.
        Brissett will be starting against Bills.

        • steve earle says:

          If Brissett plays vs the Bills and Jimmy sits then no way Chicago gives up two 2 nds for JG based on just over 5 quarters regular season games.

        • Russell says:

          Remember the Bears practiced with the Patriots this year and got to see Garoppolo up close and personal.

    • John says:

      I find that a rather underwhelming mock.

      • steve earle says:

        It;s early but really not a bad mock John. Both Magnuson and Wormley look like sound picks in 2nd. They are not flashy, no wows! in the draft but unless they brake a leg each they could be nice fits. I wouldn’t do it that way myself still. Right at this moment I don’t see Jimmy getting us that additional 2nd Russell has. Going with just what we currently have I’d do this:
        1#32 Nick Chubb RB Geo
        2#64 Devonte Fields OLB Lou’vl
        3#96 Adam Bisnowaty OT Pitt
        4#128+/- Mason Cole OC/OT Mich.
        Still not a big splash but.

        • Russell says:

          LB/DE Fields has some red flags, in his past with the law/ violence …… not sure he would be on any Patriots board.

        • Russell says:

          Bisnowaty watched at LOT, I like him. I think Cubb maybe gone by #32 in the 1st round, but its early, and he’s got a minor leg issue this week, and won’t play.

  5. Jeff says:

    Seems like Fleming has done alright so far this season. Has he developed into a decent depth swing tackle? He was considered to have pretty high potential when drafted, and though a season ago most of us wrote him off as a bust, is he may be a 3rd/4th tackle option that we can feel comfortable with when he comes in, or is he someone the Pats have to try to move on from?

    • steve earle says:

      It’s still early but Fleming does seem to be doing well up to this point. The team has gone up against three def. lines that were said to be very good and our line did very well including Fleming. When bill drafts O-linemen it’s mid to late rounds as a rule so we have to expect time for them to develope. This could well be what has happened with him. Guess we can hope he continues his upward development and becomes a mainstay on the line.

  6. John says:

    Great team win on Thursday night. All 3 phases. Awesome.

    Anyone have any early draft thoughts? Or prospects, or positions, you think they could target? Know it’s early, but it’s always fun to track prospects during the CFBall season.

    Areas of potential need: OT, Pass-Rusher, RB, CB/SAF

    Some guys I really like: Adam Bisnowaty OT, Dawuane Smoot DE, Royce Freeman RB, Budda Baker SAF/CB, Jalen Reeves-Maybin OLB, Byran Cox DE/OLB, Jourdan Lewis CB

    What do you think?

    • steve earle says:

      Yea John, go down the page a ways and you can find two or three early mocks some of us risked. It is really early so don’t hold any of us to them.

  7. John G says:

    Cyrus jones, joe thuney, Vincent valentine, Malcolm Mitchell (rounds 2-4) have all had positive impacts so far. We are only three games into the season and I can clearly see the role each player will have on this team. Say what you will about the draft but in my opinion, it doesn’t matter who and where bill drafts someone. If you have a good enough coaching staff that understands what they want in a player, they are going to look like geniuses.

  8. Russell says:

    Please check-out my Patriots articles at , thumbs up help, have had over 2000 for 187 articles!

    Thanks for your support!

  9. Russell says:

    Colts grab WR Streeter off Patriots P-Squad. So I would guess very high chance BB signs OT Austin Shepherd if he clears the Waiver wire.

    • steve earle says:

      Is the deadline 4pm to clear wavers?

      • Russell says:

        I think so Steve, but BB may be far to busy to make a move on OT Shepherd.

        • steve earle says:

          Once he clears wavers he’s a free agent so hopefully a plan is in place by Pat’s to contact players agent in cases like this. Bill and coaching staff were and likely still are up to their eyebrows in work but wouldn’t it be the job of a noncoach to keep tabs on new free agents and aleart BB? I should think Shepherd would be of intrest given the OT situation.

    • steve earle says:

      It’s kind of late right now and unless we hear something by Sat am then I doubt we will see Shepherd in Foxbrough. Another OT I’d like to see BB pick up is John Weidenaar OT Mont St. Last I heard he was cut by Cinn and is FA. Recall reading he is green but with a high up-side, Worth a look on P-sqd. and we have both need and room. What do you think of him?

    • steve earle says:

      Well appears BB is not intrested in Shepherd even for the P-sqd. Barker and DeBord are there now already but we never hear about players there, if they are doing well or not. Don’t want to tip off other teams. Maybe Russell’s contacts have some insight, Russell?

  10. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots please sign another QB for emergency. Rest Jimmy G and don’t put Edelman
    your most valuable receiver at QB. Finally get Gronk on field and stop doing so many commercials.
    I am starting to think Russ Francis was a better Tight End.

    It doesn’t look good for Patriots Thursday night against Texans.
    Bennett and Gronk together would make a High School QB look good for Patriots.

    • steve earle says:

      Russ Francis was a great TE but different time different personality no one can say who was better. I wouldn’t trade Gronk for Russ but if a Francis clone was available sign him up. Never have to many great players.

  11. Russell says:

    San Diego wavied Austin Shepherd OG/T Alabama ?? Practice squad maybe?

    • steve earle says:

      Could be if someone doesn’t claim him but why did SD wave him I thought he was fairy well regarded?

      • Russell says:

        Just not a system fit? Will see if he clears waivers if BB grabs him.

        • steve earle says:

          Yea, have to wait until tomorrow to find out but if we should grab him off wavers Bill will have to release someone. Any thoughts about that? Be very surprised if he clears wavers though far to many needy teams out there.

        • Russell says:

          Sign OT Shepherd to P-Squad release WR White.

          After Mingo gets in more playing time next few weeks, (before the trade deadline) Trade Jamie Collins to the Cowboys, for a 2nd 2017 and 3d in 2018.
          BB knows if he loses him to free agency best he will get is a 3d Compensatory pick 2018.

        • steve earle says:

          Slept on your idea of Collins trade. Nope, no way. Bill would be foolish to trade our best LB during the season. Don’t care how many 2nds.

        • Russell says:

          I agree Steve, it’s better for the Team NOT to trade Collins. However from a business point of view, BB knows who he has the best chance to signing new deals.
          You can’t keep everybody, Collins is easier to replace (Mingo?) than Hightower, or Butler.
          If you lose Collins to free agency (Patriots WILL offer him a good deal, say $5-7 mil. a year) all the Patriots will get is a 3d compensatory pick.
          Trading Collins at some point, will bring draft choices better than a 3d compensatory.
          Putting the “tag” on Collins will cost to much, for one year.

        • steve earle says:

          @ Russell: Yea football is a business and the business is winning football games. Bill is all about what gives the team the best chance of winning NOW. Bill will deal with contracts when the winning is done, right now it’s the games that matter.

  12. Jeff says:

    Any chance Glen Gronkowski signs onto the practice squad? Seems like the Pats have rare fullback depth with Develin and Harbor, but it would be fun to see him on the team, and some people were projecting him as high as a 6th round draft pick.

    • steve earle says:

      I liked what little I saw of the younger Gronk last year in collage but as you say we have Devlin and Harbor. This may be a due diligence exercise on Bills part so I’m not expecting to see a signing here.

  13. Todti says:

    On a different note, while looking through the snap count for the game against the Dolphins I thought about next years’ defense. People are apparently asking why Mingo doesn’t get snaps on D but only on ST. Mike Reiss speculates that it’s due to him only being here for a couple of weeks and needing time to get up to speed in the system. But what about another reason: what if BB deliberately holds him back either for this season so that he doesn’t command big money in FA or until they extend his contract in the next months. Right now he’s under contract for this season but if the Patriots are satisfied with what they see during practice and his limited snaps they’ll probably try to extend his contract now because his market value is so low. I think he could be a kind of safety net against the loss of Jamie Collins.
    In general, I can see the Patriots shift the focus on defense further towards their LBs. I don’t think they will (or can) keep Sheard, but I assume Long will stay because he won’t command that much money and BB values the mid-tier so much, especially when it comes to players like Long. The whole DL, to me, screams: Contain, contain, contain!!! Right now it looks like this for next season:
    DTs: Brown, Branch(?), Valentine
    DEs: Nink, Long, Flowers (+ Rufus Johnson & Grissom)
    Those are predominantly run-stuffing and edge-setting DL-men. Then there are the edge-tweeners McClellin, Mingo and to some degree Collins. Hightower and Freeny are also quite rangy, each in his own way. It looks to me like the Patriots want to contain the pocket and send their athletic LBs on the hunt, both versus run and pass. The methodology for the defensive backfield looks somewhat suitable for that. They’ve got a true cover corner in Butler (he will get the first-round tender and thus stay for at least another year) and have thrown a lot of players at the other positions to see who sticks. I assume Ryan will be high on the list of potential extensions this coming offseason being very good against the run and solid in coverage. If Ryan stays and one of Coleman, Jones, Jones or Rowe rises up to be a valid #3 CB they’ll have a solid CB corps for man coverage, and Chung and even McCourty have shown that they can cover TEs.

    Long story short, I think the mid-to-long-term plan on defense is containment (and therfore cheaper personnel) up front, man coverage in the back, and fluidity in between. With, potentially, Collins, Hightower, Mingo, McClellin and Freeny they’ve got a very diverse arsenal of athletic LBs to play in space both against the run and the pass and at least the fromer 3 are very good on blitzes.
    Also, this distribution of emphasis would be a rather cost-effective way. Yes, Hightower and especially Collins will be expensive, but imagine what edge rushers on an equal level would command. I think Kuechly is the only LB with a clearly higher appreciation than Collins around the league, and he gets less than $12.5m per year over the next 5 years. Let’s say Collins will reject slightly better offers to stay with the Patriots and get about $11m. That’s less than what Ryan Kerrigan gets.

    • steve earle says:

      Lots of spec here Todti, not saying your wrong though Hightower and Collins may be a contract to far. I’d stick with Collins he’s more athletic, covers more ground. As for the contain theory yesterdays pass rush lends credence to the idea but even when we blitzed not much pressure was put on Tannerhill.

      • Todti says:

        Yeah, it’s a lot of speculations. But I think keeping both is certainly possible, at least for one year. According to, the Patriots have cap space of about $63.5m (almost no dead money, yay!) and the following players under contract:
        QB: Brady, Garoppolo, Brissett
        RB: Lewis, White, Foster
        WR: Amendola, Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell
        TE: Gronk, Harbor, Derby
        OL: Solder, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, Waddle, Jackson, Karras
        DT: Brown, Valentine
        DE: Nink, McClellin, Flowers
        LBs: Freeny, Roberts
        S: McCourty, Chung, Ebner, Richards
        CB: C. Jones, Rowe, J. Jones
        ST: Gost, Allen, Cardona, Slater

        So, here’s a potential scenario – I’m not saying it’s reasonable, just that it could work:
        Garoppolo won’t be on the roster which saves about $1m. Instead the Patriots will probably draft a QB late and stick him on the PS.
        Amendola will be in his last contract year with a cap hold of almost $8m. He’ll either get another extension/rework or cut, the latter of which would save $6.5m. Let’s say the gang stays together and Amendola gets about $3m. Bennett likes winning Superbowls with Brady and Gronk, which is why he stays for the very $5m the Patriots get from extending Amendola. Heck, we’re generous – we’re sentimental after Brady drags the team to 15 consecutive wins – so that we split the savings from trading Jimmy G onto Bennett and Amendola. The advent of Derby makes Harbor redundant saving $1.5m, half of which (plus playing time incentives) go to Michael Williams whose task is to support whoever is going to play RT. Develin gets the other half, and let’s say $0.5m got lost somewhere along the way.
        We still have $63m and half of the offense looks like this:
        QB: Brady, Brissett
        WR: Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, Amendola
        TE: Gronk, Bennett, Derby, Williams
        FB: Develin
        I don’t see Tre Jackson staying on the roster but since the Patriots probably won’t draft an interior OL-man higher than the fourth round, the salary for the iOL will stay more or less the same. I’m not sure the Patriots will keep Waddle but for the purpose of this scenario let’s say he’ll be the backup RT. Let’s assume the Patriots are going to draft an OT with one of their early picks – that’s about $1.5m. Since Fleming is going to play a somewhat solid 2016 season (again, scenario) he’ll be back as a swing tackle – which means Cannon is gone because I want people to read further on and not die from frustration. So, we’re at $61.5m and the OL looks like this:
        Solder, draft, Fleming, Waddle, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, Karras, Jackson/draft
        Seeing that the offense which blocked so ferociously for him during his dominant 2016 postseason is kept together, Blount cannot contain himself and signs the first piece of paper he finds in Belichick’s office – and to be honest, keeping Blount is still the most likely option the way the last couple of offseasons have unfolded. And it’s getting even better: Bolden will extend his contract, of course! Make it $2.5m for these two combined and we’re down to $59m. The offense looks like this now:
        QB: Brady, Brissett
        WR: Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, Amendola
        RB: Blount, Bolden, Lewis, White, Foster
        FB: Develin
        TE: Gronk, Bennett, Derby, Williams
        OL: Solder, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, draft, Fleming, Waddle, Karras, Jackson/draft
        Basically, Garoppolo’s spot goes to Foster because depth at the receiving back position is critical as we’ve learned and since there are only 4 WRs. The starting ROT will be either the rookie, if BB drafts a rather complete than highly talented OT, or Fleming. Constantly changing the TE to Fleming’s side or always putting Williams there and occasionally letting him run routes could be a nice gimmick.
        Now to the more interesting, and complicated, part of the roster: special teams. Just kidding. Gost, Allen, Cardona and Slater are already under contract, so no changes here. Now seriously, on to the defense.
        As I said in the first post, I think Sheard will be gone but Long will stay. I think BB values having Long there and Long likes playing for BB as well as a highly professional and contending team. Moreover, he’s going to be 32. So he’ll get a two-year deal or something like that, with almost no guaranteed money in year 2 and $3m in year 1. Furthermore, the Patriots will draft a DE in the 2nd round (they’ll have 3 picks in the first 2 rounds due to trading Jimmy G) which comes down to about $0.7m. Talking about drafting, the Patriots use their second 2nd round pick – after using their second high pick to trade down into the lower 2nd round – to get another big DT (let’s say $0.8m). For whatever reason, Branch will be back again for about $2m. Thus, we’ve got $52.5m left and the DL looks like this:
        Brown, Valentine, Branch, draft; Nink, Long, Flowers, McClellin, draft
        At LB, Freeny and Roberts are already under contract. As I said in the first comment, I think Mingo will get an extension fairly soon – let’s say $2.5m (with higher salaries in option years to come in case they cannot keep Collins) so that we have a nice $50m left. The Patriots might also draft a LB in the mid-rounds to compete with Roberts but the financial difference will only be marginal.
        I think Hightower is more likely to get an extension, because of the value he has to BB (not just as a player, but also as a communicator and leader). Looking at other ILB contracts I assume he could get something between $7m and $8m. Let’s say $8m as a combination of Hightower and the upgrade over Roberts – which leaves us with $42m. For the Collins issue, it’s actually pretty easy: he’ll get the franchise tag. That’s probably going to be about $15m next season so that we have $27m left, and the LB corps will basically look like the one for this year: Collins, Hightower, Freeny, Mingo, Roberts/draft.
        The reason the Patriots can afford to slap Collins with the franchise tag is that Butler is going to be a restricted free agent. The Patriots can apply a first-round tender, which will be south of $4m, and I don’t think a team would part with a 1st round pick for Butler. Furthermore, the Patriots are going to extend Ryan’s contract and give him $4m (or even more because BB really likes that kind of player), so that the media outlets will salivate over the fact that Butler won’t even be the highest paid CB on the roster. We’re left with about $19m. To make things easy let’s say the Patriots resign Coleman – $2.5m or so – as well as Harmon (also $2.5m). Harmon is actually an interesting case. Right now, the Patriots have no FS behind McCourty in 2017. I guess they would have drafted a safety this year if they had wanted to part ways with Harmon, which is why I assume he’ll stay with the Patriots. After all, we still have about $14m left – enough for early talks about contract extensions, an emergency contingent throughout the season, and paying King for ST work even though I hope Kamu somehow makes his way back to Foxborough. There might even be enough money to keep Sheard although that would be really close.

        So, the Patriots very well have enough money to have the following roster in 2017:
        Brady, Brissett
        Edelman, Hogan, Mitchell, Amendola
        Blount, Bolden, Lewis, White, Foster
        Gronk, Bennett, Derby, Williams
        Solder, Thuney, Andrews, Mason, Fleming, Waddle, Karras + 2 draft picks (OT, iOL)
        Brown, Valentine, Branch; Nink, Long, Flowers, McClellin + 2 draft picks (DT, DE)
        Collins, Hightower, Freeny, Mingo + 1 draft pick
        McCourty, Chung, Harmon, Ebner, Richards
        Butler, Ryan, Coleman, C. Jones, J. Jones/Rowe
        Gost, Allen, Cardona, Slater (+ King/Kamu?)

        After wining yet another Superbowl (2001-2003-2004 & 2014-2016-2017) the Patriots have the option to decide between giving Collins a long-term contract or extending Butler and Mingo. Or maybe they can afford all of them since Brady takes yet another cut via extension. 🙂

        • steve earle says:

          Well, wow. you have done your home work and then some. I can find no fault in your thinking providing your numbers are on which I can’t begin to argue with. I did notice you think Tre Jackson will be let go but then you include him on the projected roster. An oversight or reconsider?
          It’s much, much to early for a mock draft but I’m just going to throw out a test mock and ask you for your eval on it. The actual prospects may change as the season goes on but here is one idea at great personal risk of my credibility I might add.

          First Bill trades Jimmy G for a high 1st (providing he plays and wins next two games)
          Bill trades down high 1st for a mid first and a 3rd. So here goes:
          1#15+/- Mike Gluchey ROT ND 6-6 310
          1# 32 Nick Chubb RB Geo 5-10 220
          2#64 Devonte Fields OLB Lou 6-4 240
          3#79+/- Adam Bisnowaty LOT Pitt 6-6 305
          3#96 Mason Cole OC/OT Mich 6-5 305
          4#130+/-Richie Brown LB Miss St 6-2 245

          This is as far as I dare try at all to early point. AS you can see I’m looking strongly at the OL at the expense of the DL but covering that with a strong LB draft. Ok guys what do you think?

        • Russell says:

          WOW Todti, your into this…. I think Amadola is done after this year. OL Jackson also gone, TE Bennett resigns, as does OL Cooper, DE Long, DT Anthony Johnson, Harmon, Fleming, Branch (or retires),LB Mingo,S King, TE Williams, RB Bolden, CB Coleman, LB Hightower

          free agents lost… DE Sheard, CB Ryan, OT Vollmer (or retires), OT Cannon, LB Collins, (unless traded to Dallas at the trade dead line this year, for 2nd round pick)

          Garoppolo goes to the Bears, for 2nd pick this year and 2nd pick in 2018.

          Patriots draft projection;
          1st – DE Jonathan Allen
          2nd (bears)- OC/G Pat Elfein
          2nd (Cowboys)- OT Erik Magnuson
          2nd – Slot/TE/WR – Evan Engram
          3d – RB Corey Clement
          4th- LB Brooks Ellis
          later choices OT Antonio Garcia, or Cole Croston

        • steve earle says:

          @ Russell, Jeeze stop giving me fits with the trading Collins stuff. Your scaring the c–p out of me even if you mean post season cause no way during and not for only a 2nd. My problem is your right too often. Anyway about Chicago and Jimmy G that could happen but you know (whats his name) is signed through 2021 and has a hugh cap hit if they release him unless he’s traded. Then you have to find a GM willing to take the contract of a failed starter. Lots of ifs there.

        • carlo strada says:

          i think that HT is more of a Belichick guy than Collins, but the fact that HT is some sort of prone to injury, makes me think that he aint have the edge over Collilns just yet. How many games has HT missed since coming out of Bama?
          Collins on the other hand, aside his viral infection last year, has proved been durable.
          How about keeping both Collins and Mingo and trading HT for a 3rd round (use it for draft a thumper LB)

        • steve earle says:

          @ carlo strada: I have been thinking the same thing about HT. He is far better choice for trade then Collins. He missed games last year and year prior if I’m not mistaken and was again banged up in camp this year. If Russell wants to trade a starting LB HT is where to start. As for Mingo so far we have only the slightest evidence he can or will be more then a sub pkg pass rusher.

  14. Russell says:

    This is why I wanted to see BB add a guy like QB/TE Jason Vander Laan to the Practice squad!!

    • steve earle says:

      My favorite was Vernon Adams from Ore, now with Montreal CFL. Only knock on guy was his under 6 foot height. Reminded me of Doug Flutie. Has same kind of field vision and awareness.

  15. GM-in-Training says:

    So….who is the backup QB Thursday night? They’ve got nobody on the practice squad, so in likelihood order here are my candidates:

    3. Jimmy G. in a sling
    2. AJ Derby
    1. Julian Edelman

    • Russell says:

      I would guess Garoppolo will be inactive, and Edelman would be the emergency guy. I do think BB adds a QB to the Practice squad to get reps. in the system.

    • steve earle says:

      Well it hit the fan all right! I think if Bill even considers another QB it would be AJ Darby but I’m not sure he will even do that. Brady will be back on Oct 3, so not unreasonable that Bill could opt to make the calculated risk to stand pat.

  16. John says:

    Still not that worried about Houston, but I am worried about the defense (to a degree). They seemed to disappear after Jimmy G. went down, and when Miami decided to run the hurry-up. Thought Jarvis Landry really exposed some of the DBs, particularly Coleman and Butler.

    I thought Jimmy G., Blount, Chris Long, the OLine, and Martellus Bennett were all excellent. Sheard, Coleman, Butler, and the ST units were all sub-par.

    Wonder if they decide to add an RB to the roster? In addition to a QB (obviously). Let me know what people think.

    • Russell says:

      I doubt BB adds a QB to the roster, (would need to cut a player) better idea is the Practice squad. Someone who could get practice reps, looking ahead to the Buffalo game. Edelman, and or A.J. Darby emergency QB this week. (they know the system)

    • Jeff says:

      QB seems pretty likely to me. The defensive performance was certainly lackluster in the second half, although I wouldn’t overreact. They were still dominant in the first half, and only let up when they were up huge points. We’ll see if the trend continues, but I could see this being a blip where the defensive scheme loosened up a bit with the big lead and guys let up a bit with such a lead. Houston’s offense seems a bit more dynamic this year, but it wouldn’t surprise me the Pats D’s talent really shines through with the short week of preparation. Hightower of course is a big loss, but there’s enough talent on the defense to overcome that.

      • Russell says:

        BB knows teams watch game tape. It would not be surprise at all if he played a “different” defense on purpose in the second half of the Miami game. Teams could be led to believe Miami “solved” the Patriots D , where BB went in a different direction, knowing all he wanted was a win. The missed Field goal, made things look questionable, on BB thoughts, but it worked out in the end.

        • steve earle says:

          That’s just a little to far out for me Russell. I think it was what it was. Our pass rush was really iffy against Arizona last week and again yesterday. Have no reason why on paper we should be on or around the QB every pass but have not. Heck you tell me why?

        • John says:

          Other than C. Long, whose been tremendous, the pass-rush has been sub-par. Hightower coming back will help, even though he’s not a pass-rusher, but he blitzes well, and forces other guys to go back to regular their regular snaps at their regular positions.

          I think they will fair ok with Houston. I would like to see them add an RB to the roster. Bolden doesn’t count for me, he’s a ST’er.

        • Russell says:

          Miami came out in the second half throwing and using a different game plan altogether. Patriots played more zone, 3 man rush, not running their blitz packages etc. I think by design. I think BB was trying to hide things he could have done, “If” the game had been 3-7 points at the half.
          Just like I think Ninkovich took one for the team, knowing he would need time for his injury, and not tying up a roster spot for 4 games, by “using” a suspension. (does not count on the roster)
          Patriots sign Ninkovich to a friendly contract extension, giving him bonus money not held back by the suspension.

        • steve earle says:

          Again I messed up my typing. The sentence should read: No idea why, on paper, we SHOULDN’T be on or around the QB ——–. I hate it when I screw up like that and I use only one finger too. No not that one! That one is for Goodell.

    • steve earle says:

      Not sure why your not worried about Huston? Texans have a good defense and at last a competent QB now. Heck I worry about both the next two games. I just learned years ago , NEVER BET AGAINST A Belichick team.

  17. Dan Sullivan says:

    Don’t be surprised if Patriots sign Johnny Manziel it could be a win win for both.
    I think Patriots best move would be to sign Jimmy Clausen.
    Good win for Patriots today.

    • steve earle says:

      Manziel? Manziel? I would be appalled! Manziel is not an NFL cal. NFL backup even if he was sober .

  18. steve earle says:

    All to real Freddie, looked like Jimmy got a dislocated shoulder from my perspective. Throwing shoulder too. Does this mean IR for him and our hopes for 4-0 rest with Brissett? And where the heck is our pass rush? Tannerhill sat back all 2nd half and tore us apart, jeeze!

  19. Todti says:

    Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

  20. Russell says:

    “IF” BB would trade Jimmy Garoppolo before the 2017 NFL draft, (likely if it happens) then do you think he drafts a QB and once again carry 3 QBs on the Patriots roster??
    I think so, But would he use a 1st round pick on a QB ???
    He may have too, if he wants QB Cooper Rush (best choice in my opinion).
    What you all think?

    • steve earle says:

      Same thing I asked on the previous page almost Russell. Good question! I can’t see Bill making such a trade unless someone comes up with an offer just to good to turn down. BUT ,if it should happen I could see Bill looking for another young QB in the draft I just don’t think it would be a first or second. Brissett has shown flashes enough that I think Bill would be looking mid round for another developmental guy especially after Bressett has a full year in the system, JMO.

      • steve earle says:

        I think I misinterpreted Russell’s question above. Russell asked “if before the 2017 draft”, I took it to mean before the 2016 season is done. My response was in reference to the latter. To the former I think there is no doubt Bill tries to trade Jimmy before the draft and before or after I still think he would not be looking high for another QB this coming draft.

    • Jeff says:

      I don’t think they’ll be desperate to draft a QB, especially if Brissett continues to be at least okay. However, if they think there is a first-round worthy guy when they’re picking in the first, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see them pull the trigger. When you look around and see what teams are giving up to grab the top 1-2 QBs in each draft, even if they’re not perfect prospects, a late first rounder is worth the investment to get a starting caliber QB, even if you don’t use them for 2-3 years. But like I said, I don’t think they’ll be desperate to really lock in unless they love the guy.

  21. Dan Sullivan says:

    Week 1 my favorite players for the Patriots.

    1) Julian Edelman he came out with great intensity that set tempo that Patriots aren’t going
    to be pushed around.
    2) Offensive line Coach and Offensive line starting two rookies.
    3) Jimmy G. played very smart game.
    4) Chris Long applied very good pressure.
    5) Justin Coleman every play I saw that he was in he played great maybe the next Butler.

    I didn’t mention Blount who had some great runs.
    Let’s go 2-0 Sunday against Dolphins.

    • Todti says:

      I’d add James White. We know he’s a great receiver but I was surprised how solid he was in pass protection. Developing into a well-rounded pass-RB will bode well for him.

    • Ryan says:

      Hogan and Mitchell played like seasoned vets as well. The offense could explode if it actually gets healthy.

    • Jeff says:

      Looks like Belichick liked Coleman too- he seemed to be getting reps over Ryan, although none of the CBs looked very good in this game.

  22. Jeff says:

    Bengals just waived OT Trey Hopkins to keep Keivarae Russell. Think he’ll garner any interest from the Pats?

  23. EdgeX says:

    I haven’t looked to deep into next years drafting class yet but so far from what I gather that OT, RB, TE looked stacked for next years draft (there are probably more positions that are stacked once I look into it more).

    That being said, for OT I’ve heard good things on Adam Bisnowaty and Julie’n Davenport. I wouldn’t be surprised if we double dipped at that position next year. Also hopeful the Pat’s pick up a decent RB next year. And I would really love it if the Pat’s pick up a player like Bucky Hodges TE out of VT if Bennett doesn’t stick around.

    • steve earle says:

      I agree a double dip for OT would seem a smart move. We could find ourselves with two 1sts if Jimmy G comes on strong for the next three. Bill likely trades down one and get two or three extra choices. We could come away with a really nice draft if Bill resists the urge to pick a injury prone no name in the 2nd lol.
      Also I like your two OT prospects.

      • Todti says:

        Yeah, I see that as well. At the moment the Patriots have 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 6th and 7th round picks. If Jimmy continues to play on that level (and the coaching staff continues to put him into a good position) the Pats might be able to get a low 1st or high 2nd round pick for him, which would then allow them to trade one of these high picks. BB could turn that into something like 3rd, 3rd, 4th or so. That would be great considering the likely exodus of players in next years’ FA. Also, the Patriots will probably get a good amount of compensatory picks in 2018 if a lot of players leave. So in the end the Patriots might have close to 10 picks in each 2017 and 2018 to really ramp up or revamp the roster.

      • td says:

        Someone should fork over some good assets for Jimmy G with all the shoddy QB play. It’s truly amazing the turnstile they have had at the interior line spots the past 2-3 years, if they have that settled down they can turn their attention to the T spots. They seem to really like Solder, but he seems to get injured much like Vollmer lately and he takes up quite a bit of cap space.

        • steve earle says:

          You have identified exactly the OT problem of chronic injury’s and caps. We need two good young OT’s that can stay healthy and on the field. Problem is it will not be this season so we can only hope Solder and Vollmer return asap and can finish the year strong. Then that Bill finds two good OT’s in the draft who can start next year.

  24. Russell says:

    Chiefs place 3d round pick, CB KeiVarae Russell on waivers, Why?

    • steve earle says:

      Spec is it’s a numbers thing. He had a stress fracture in his leg in 2014 but said to be fully recovered from that so unless new info comes out I expect he will be quickly claimed by someone.

  25. Russell says:

    Charles Davis Tull in New England for a work-out!!! CB Mike Hilton released!!

  26. Jeff says:

    My early money is on Conor McDermott in the 2nd and Storm Norton in the 7th. If Vollmer can be extended for 1 more year, that would give a nice depth chart of Solder and Vollmer as starters with McDermott developing, filling in in case of injury, and maybe playing some tight end, plus Waddle, Fleming, Norton, and maybe DeBord if he sticks around to compete for a 4th OT roster spot as well as a spot on the practice squad.

    I’d keep an eye on Mason Cole as another potential pick along the offensive line to perhaps play in the interior.

    Another question I have is why Shaq Mason hasn’t been tested at center yet. Many felt that would be his natural position when he was drafted – I wonder if there’s a possibility of him being moved there to compete with Andrews next year.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      McDermott does seem to play a similar style to Vollmer and Solder. He struggled last weekend, but it was a tough test. I worry a guy like him will get pushed up to the point the Patriots won’t have a chance to draft him.

    • Russell says:

      I will be shocked if Vollmer signs on for another year. “IF” he plays this year I think he retires.

      • steve earle says:

        I agree with that. Vollmer has suffered injuries the last three or four years now and at his age it’s most likely he will say enough. If he should want to play another year or two it would not surprise me to see Bill trade him.

    • steve earle says:

      The coming draft looks good for OT’s and that’s good for the Pats. So good th at if Bill gets to trade Jimmy G for a med/high 1st rd choice he will trade down and get an extra couple choices. That scenario would allow him to pick his choice of a couple OT’s and plus fill another couple of needs due to his being unable to likely retain all our coming FA’s. I can’t really make any predictions of who, it’s a case of too many to good. Have to wait for the collage season to unfold and give us a better who’s who. Still looks good!

  27. Russell says:

    Number one on my list is ROT Erik Magnuson, and #2 is Greg Pyke also playing ROT this year. (played OG last year) Pat Elfein is my best inside prospect C/G.

    Magnusun has played G as well and is a mauler, with very quick feet, 5.03 40yd at 307 lbs.

    • Mike Gerken says:

      I too am a big fan of Magnuson. I think he plays Patriots style football and could be an ideal candidate to play ROT.
      As of right now I still think Pyke is better suited inside, but I look forward to seeing his development throughout the year.

      • Russell says:

        Another interesting guy not on you list is Cole Croston a mid-round? 6’5″ 307 5.07 40yd Iowa playing LOT. Considered a better pass blocker then run blocker. BB has an Iowa coaching connection.

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