Building The Patriots Big Board: Off Ball Linebackers and Edge Players

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

With just nine days until the draft, we have reached the penultimate group in the Big Board Series. This one will cover one of the Patriots biggest needs in the draft, the pass rushers. As I have stated before, the Patriots tend to stay away from the one trick pony guys. They would rather sacrifice some production from a pass rushing standpoint to get a guy who is a little more versatile. This group will contain Linebackers and Defensive Ends from college and probably will be asked to play both as a member of the Patriots. The other group will be the off ball Linebackers. With the Patriots trading Jaimie Collins during the season, they team could use another athletic playmaker to pair up with Dont’a Hightower. They do have some guys who filled that role admirably last season, so it is not a pressing need, but one the Patriots could look towards the future and add a guy.

Position: Off Ball Linebacker and Edge Players

Priority: High (Edge) Medium (LB)

Current Roster:

Dont’a Hightower (age 27, signed through 2020)

Shea McClellan (age 27, signed through 2018)

Elandon Roberts (age 22, signed through 2019)

Kyle Van Noy (age 26, signed through 2017)

Rob Ninkovich (age 33, signed through 2017)

Jonathan Freeny (age 27, signed through 2018)

Trevor Bates (age 22, signed through 2017, ERFA 2018)

Position Overview:

The Patriots are a hard team to follow, because no player gets put into a slot and that is where they stay. Ninkovich, Flowers, and Ealy are all probably Edge players technically, but for the two who have been on this team, they play other positions and do other things. This draft class has a lot of talent for guys considered Edge defenders and the group is diverse as well. I think the Patriots will look to add some talent at this position early in the draft and I would consider this a position they could double dip at. Hopefully I have not made this more confusing than it needs to be, instead, lets just get into the prospects.

Edge Players With A Draftable Grade:

Tim Williams, Alabama (6’3″, 244 Lbs): So the first guy on the list goes against everything I said above. Williams is a one trick pony right now, but he is very good at it. He also graded out for me higher than I think he will go because he has some off field issues and lacks meaningful minutes. If you want to stop taking what I write seriously, I would totally understand. Williams is like the girl you know isn’t right for you, but you just cannot leave her. Williams has a good combination of speed, flexibility, lateral agility and power to be lethal as a pass rusher. He has an advanced arsenal of pass rush moves and mixes them up nicely throughout games to keep opponents off balance. He has the size and strength to play a bigger role in the NFL than he did in college, but will need time to develop that aspect of his game. Williams was never asked to drop in cover in college and will need to be coached from the ground up. He only had 2 starts in college and lots of chatter about being in Nick Saban’s doghouse throughout his time at Alabama. He has first round talent from a pass rushing standpoint and the physical and athletic attributes to develop a better all around game. Williams is probably not on the Patriots radar because of the off field issues, but if he is available when the Patriots pick, that would be good value. Grade: 2nd round

Tyus Bowser, Houston (6’3″, 247 Lbs): Bowser has the coveted combination of being an explosive athlete along with excellent movement skills. He is light on his feet, changing direction without losing momentum. He has good lower body flexion with the ability to bend the edge and get to the QB. He is a versatile player who moves well and has good awareness to drop into space and cover the flats or sniff out screens. Bowser has long arms and uses them well to keep opponents off him as well as shed them to continue pursuit of the play. He plays with a great motor and will pursue plays that are away from him. He needs to work on his assignment discipline, but it was improved this past year. He won with speed in college and needs to get stronger to be effective at the next level. His secondary pass rush moves are limited and need to be developed. Bowser has some injury history, including a fight with a teammate that broke his orbital bone. Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Joe Mathis, Washington (6’2″, 266 Lbs): One of my personal favorites in this entire class. He plays with the game with such violence and his hand use is great. If you want to see what people mean when they say a guy converts speed to power, watch Mathis. He may not have prototypical size, but he fits what the Patriots look for. He has versatility to do lots of different things well. The injury history is a concern and there is some off field issues, but those were early in his college career. Those issues, along with his lack of experience may drop him down. Here is my report on him earlier: Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Jordan Willis, Kansas State (6’3″, 255 Lbs): Many of you have already read my report on Willis, but if you have not, here it is: Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Tarell Basham, Ohio (6’4″, 269 Lbs.): Basham is ideally sized for the position. Along with his frame, he has long arms and big hands and he uses them well. Basham is able to beat his opponent with his strength, moving players around easily. He is a well rounded player who can rush the passer, stop the run, and drop into coverage. He plays the game with passion and has a non stop motor. He is stiff when trying to turn the edge and his momentum suffers because of it. He plays a little out of control and needs to work on playing with better balance. His pass rush arsenal is underdeveloped and he needs to work on playing with better leverage if he is going to have success in the NFL. Basham has had some injuries and those will need to be checked out by teams. Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Derek Rivers, Youngstown State (6’4″, 248 Lbs): Rivers has excellent athletic traits for the position. He has good lower body explosion to burst out of his stance quickly. He is an easy mover with good flexibility in his lower half to bend the edge. He has very active hands and he uses them to his advantage. He displays a variety of pass rush moves that will serve him well in the NFL. Rivers plays with good awareness and discipline and is a reliable tackler. Rivers needs to continue to develop his strength. He struggles with power and can be moved when his opponent gets locked on. He seems a hair late at the snap. It could be he needs to work on anticipating things better or he is just a split second slow to process things. Obviously, there will be a jump in competition and he may need some time to adjust to the quickness of the game. Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Duwuane Smoot, Illinois (6’3″, 264 Lbs): Smoot hits the physical and athletic thresholds that the Patriots look for. He is quick off the snap to quickly get past the Tackle when rushing from the outside. He has good lower body flexibility to bend the edge. Smoot has active hands to keep opponents away from his body, giving him the ability to locate the ball and make plays. He plays with good awareness, allowing him to be involved in a lot of plays. He needs to improve his play strength, especially in his lower half. Smoot is too easily bullied in the run game, allowing opponents to redirect him far too often. He has a high motor and gives maximum effort, but will over pursue plays and fall for fakes. Grade: 4th round

Daeshon Hall, Texas A&M (6’5″, 266 Lbs): Hall has ideal size for the what the Patriots look for. In fact, Hall has been compared to former Patriot Chandler Jones in both his physical attributes and the way he plays the game. Hall has a nice combination of speed and power to be a pass rush threat both inside and out. He does a nice job of keeping his head up while maintaining his balance, allowing him to flow through trash smoothly and effortlessly. Hall has long arms and strong hands, showing the ability to rip and shed opponents easily. He is an aggressive player with a non stop motor. He needs to add more variety to his pass rush repertoire. He is overly aggressive at times, either running himself past QB’s when rushing, or overplaying his assignments in the run, creating running lanes. Hall needs to play more patient and be more aware as he seems to lose track of who has the ball and tackle the wrong guy. Hall was not the focus of the offensive blocking scheme and his production may be inflated because of Garrett on the other side. He does have great physical attributes and could be a better pro than college player. Grade: 4th round

Trey Hendrickson, Florida Atlantic (6’4″, 266 Lbs): Another player with the physical attributes the Patriots look for. Hendrickson is an ultra aggressive player who looks like he wants to hurt the guy across from him on every play. He has strong powerful hands and has a good club that is effective. Hendrickson showed a nice variety in his pass rush moves and used them effectively throughout the game to keep his opponent guessing. He has a non stop motor and will wear down his opponent over time. He never seems to tire, playing with the same passion in the 4th quarter as he did in the 1st. Hendrickson was a team captain and was known as a leader at FAU. He tested extremely well, but that athleticism doesn’t always show up on tape. He is a stiff when he tries to turn the corner and he must work on playing with better leverage. He will be making a jump in competition and needs to get stronger. Grade: 4th/5th

Samson Ebukam, Eastern Washington (6’1, 248 Lbs.): While Ebukam does not have ideal physical attributes you wouldn’t know it when you watch him play. What he lacks in height, he makes up for in athleticism. He tested off the charts at his pro day and you see those traits translate to the tape. He has had crazy production in a defensive scheme that mirrors the Patriots 4-2-5. He has a non stop motor and is relentless in his pursuit of the football. He plays with good leverage and balance and does a nice job bending the edge and turning the corner to get after the QB. He is a versatile player that could have some position flexibility in the NFL. He is a well rounded player that does a nice job against the run. He uses a variety of pass rush moves, but they all need work from a consistency and technical standpoint. At times, Ebukam struggles to disengage from his blocker when they get a hold of him and he must be more effective with his hand use. He can get out of control and struggles to break down in space and make open field tackles. He was a team captain and loves the game and I think he could be a fun chess piece for BB. Grade 5th/6th.

Ifeadi Odenigbo, Northwestern (6’3″, 258 Lbs): Odenigbo has good size and athleticism. He is fluid in his movements and has the ability to bend the edge. He uses his arms to create separation and has excellent hand use. He plays with good balance when dipping his shoulder to get under his opponent. His shows good lower body power to bully his opponent into the backfield. He does a nice job of converting speed to power and can get to the QB multiple ways. His pass rush is undeveloped and he lacks counter moves if he doesn’t win at the snap. He lacks explosion at the snap to win consistently on the edge. He does not have a lot of experience and his mental processing must improve to keep up with the speed of the game. He also needs to work on his tackling technique. Grade: 6th/7th round

Keionta Davis, UT Chattanooga (6’3″, 271 Lbs): Davis has an NFL ready physique with long arms and powerful hands. He is strong and uses his length to keep his opponents off of him. He does a nice job setting the edge and at the point of attack. Davis plays with great awareness, doing a nice job of keeping his eyes on the ball and his hands up to disrupt the QB’s timing and throwing lanes. He uses his strength in combination with some good pass rush moves to get after the QB. He has a good motor and will chase down backside plays. He is not a natural pass rusher. Davis plays stiff and upright and does not have the fluid bend to be a true edge rusher. He needs to work on playing with better leverage. Davis tends to be overaggressive as a rusher, taking himself out of plays. Grade: 7th round

Fadol Brown, Mississippi (6’4″, 273 Lbs): I like to think of Brown as the poor mans Joe Mathis. They are similarly built and have a similar skill set. Brown has ideal size and length for the position and fits the Patriots player profile. He has vines for arms and he uses them well to steer defenders to where he wants them to go. Brown is not as athletic and fluid of a mover as Mathis, but he plays with good power and leverage. He is stiff in his lower half and needs to play with better leverage. Brown did not put up impressive numbers as a pass rusher, but made a lot of plays at or near the line of scrimmage. He has an extensive injury history and medicals will determine if he gets drafted. He has the physical traits that are worth drafting and trying to develop. Grade: 7th round

Interesting UDFA Prospects:

Jimmy Gilbert, Colorado (6’4″, 234 Lbs.)

Al-Quadin Muhammad, Miami (6’3″, 255 Lbs)

Josh Carraway, TCU (6’3″, 242 Lbs)

Cameron Malveaux, Houston (6’5″, 273 Lbs)

Evan Schuan, Penn State (6’5″, 261 Lbs)

Gimel President, Illinois (6’3″, 253 Lbs)


Off Ball Linebackers With A Draftable Grade:

Ryan Anderson, Alabama (6’2″, 253 Lbs): Anderson was born to be a Patriot Linebacker. While he does not have ideal measurements for the position, he more than makes up for it with his instincts. Anderson plays faster than his timed speed because of his intellegence. He does a great job of reading and anticipating what the offense is going to do and reacts quickly to it. While Anderson is not tall, he is thick in all the right places. He plays with good balance and can sift through trash around him while maintaining his focus on where the ball is. He is a fundamentally sound tackler and plays with great passion and motor. He does a good job in space, knowing what his assignment is and understanding throwing lanes. He looks more comfortable moving forward than backwards, but with a little coaching, he won’t be a liability if he has to drop back. Anderson is known for his work ethic, leadership, and his high football IQ. He may not have any one elite trait, but he is very good at just about everything he has been asked to do. Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Duke Riley, LSU (6’0″, 232 Lbs): If you have followed me at all over the past few seasons, you know I find one of these smaller Linebackers to hitch my wagon to, and this year that guy is Duke Riley. I have used the term water bug for quick and shifty Wide Receivers and Riley is the defensive version of that. He looks like he is shot out of a cannon at the snap of the ball.  He has great burst and instant acceleration to quickly attack the ball. His read and react skills improved as the season went on, but it is still an area he can improve on. He has great lateral agility to sidestep bigger opponents, making him very difficult to latch onto. Riley is more than willing to mix it up and plays much bigger than his actual size. He is a good tackler as well, using proper form to bring down players that are bigger than him. He is a smooth mover with good speed to not only cover zones, but can match up man to man and not be out of place. He is a special teams ace as well as a defensive captain for a very talented LSU defense. Obviously size is Riley’s biggest negative. He does not have the length or the strength to take on blockers and win consistently. He can be taken out of plays because he has to avoid would be blockers. Grade: 2nd/3rd round

Alex Anzalone, Florida (6’3″, 241 Lbs): One of my favorite players in this draft, Anzalone has the versatility and the athletic traits to be a very good player in the NFL. I wrote up his report earlier, you can check that out here: Grade: 3rd/4th round

Vince Biegel, Wisconsin (6’3″, 246 Lbs): While his teammate with the famous last name will get all the press clippings, Biegel has a chance to be just as good and at a much better value in the draft. I also wrote him up earlier, so you can check him out here: Grade: 4th round

Ben Gedeon, Michigan (6’2″, 244 Lbs): Gedeon looks the part of an NFL Linebacker. He is a smart player who moves smoothly to the ball. He is very active and loves to hit people. He seems to love to mix it up and makes life difficult on anyone who is supposed to block him. Gedeon has a high football IQ and plays with great awareness. He knows where the ball is at all times and can fight through trash to get there. Gedeon has a ton of experience on special teams and should contribute there immediately. He does not have great speed and looks much more comfortable moving forward than backwards. He tends to play a little out of control, leading to over pursuits and missed tackles. Grade: 6th round

Ben Boulware, Clemson (6’0″, 238 Lbs): Physically, there is nothing about Boulware that will impress you, but do not tell him that. He is an old school guy who makes up for his physical limitations buy doing all the little things well. He plays with an attitude and determination that would rival anyone in this draft. He is a solid tackler. He is smart player that reads and reacts to the play quickly. He has excellent awareness and has made a lot of big plays in college. Boulware does not have have the physical or athletic traits that translate well to the NFL. He struggles to take on blocks and can me maneuvered by bigger, stronger opponents. He has the right mindset to make it in the NFL despite his limitations. Grade: 6th/7th round

Harvey Langi, BYU (6’2″, 251 Lbs): Langi is more athlete than football player right now, but he has decent size for the position and excellent athletic traits. Much like Boulware, he plays the game the right way. He gives maximum effort on every down and just loves the game. He has seen playing time at Defensive End, Middle Linebacker, Outside Linebacker, and Running Back. Langi is a work in progress, but showed great improvement as the season went on and his best football is ahead of him. He has all the athletic traits as well as the mindset needed to play well above his draft slot. He will need coaching in just about every facet of the game, but has shown a quick learning curve in the past and should continue to develop quickly. Grade: 7th round

Interesting UDFA Prospects:

Matt Milano, Boston College (6’0″, 223 Lbs)

Elijah Lee, Kansas State (6’2″, 224 Lbs.)

Brooks Ellis, Arkansas (6’2″, 240 Lbs)

Steven Taylor, Houston (6’0″, 228 Lbs)


Final Thoughts:

As you can see by the sure volume of prospects on this list, there is a lot of talent at these positions. The crazy part is, this is the paired down version. I think the Patriots will draft one, maybe even two guys from this list. A lot of these guys can come in and contribute right away. Some may have limited roles or just play special teams in year one, but there is some exciting talent to be had and I hope the Patriots find their guy and grab him.



128 Responses to “Building The Patriots Big Board: Off Ball Linebackers and Edge Players”

  1. macspak says:

    Looks pretty certain JG and MB are staying. So, our draft begins on Friday – late Friday. Doubt I’ll even watch on Thursday unless things change. I see Cleveland is considering using their #1 on Trubisky. He of all 13 college starts with losses to some pretty bad teams. They would spend it on such an unproven QB but not JG? And, many pundits would support that line of belief – I cannot call it reason or thinking. People forget how QB’s used to be developed. Now – instant gratification – usually ending in ultimate failure.

    I’m also seeing people still enamored with a QB who can throw the ball 80 yards. When is the last time you saw a completion on a ball that traveled 80 yards in the air? Never? Remember the biggest bust of all time – J Russell. Could throw 90 yards from his knees. Great. You don’t throw from your knees. Keys to a successful QB are leadership including work ethic and being clutch, recognition, reaction and accuracy. How far or hard you can throw the ball is way down the list. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? But, damn good thing such idiots exist.

  2. macspak says:

    Looks pretty certain JG and MB are staying. So, our draft begins on Friday – late Friday. Doubt I’ll even watch on Thursday unless things change. I see Cleveland is considering using their #1 on Trubisky. He of all 13 college starts with losses to some pretty bad teams. They would spend it on such an unproven QB but not JG? And, many pundits would support that line of belief – I cannot call it reason or thinking. People forget how QB’s used to be developed. Now – instant gratification – usually ending in ultimate failure.

    I’m also seeing people still enamored with a QB who can throw the ball 80 yards. When is the last time you saw a completion on a ball that traveled 80 yards in the air? Never? Remember the biggest bust of all time – J Russell. Could throw 90 yards from his knees. Great. You don’t throw from your knees. Keys to a successful QB are leadership including work ethic and being clutch, recognition, reaction and accuracy. How far or hard you can throw the ball is way down the list. When will they ever learn? When will they ever learn? But, damn good thing such idiots exist.

  3. Duky says:

    It’s only a feeling. But i would love to see it. Wanna see some more picks for the Pats.

    • Stephen J says:

      I see Intuition nice. Here is one thing that just came to light this morning that I couldn’t explain but now makes sense. Malcolm Butler staying away and not attending open workouts after signing his restricted FA tender told me something was up and that appears to be the case because it was reported that Butler had a long-term deal with Saints agreed upon and probably a part of that agreement was to stay away from open workouts for injury related purposes. Now that it appears that the Saints are no longer interested it may open up the door for other teams such as the Bucs if they are interested. They maybe interested in the combo deal but I am not sure if there is interest in either. Butler seems to make more sense but Dion Lewis less so because the Bucs seem more interested in a bigger back to replace Doug Martin.

  4. Hdpaulie says:

    Yet another list of pass rushers that omits Hunter Dimick of Utah. The guy gets no love. Was 3rd in nation with 14.5 sacks and 20 TFL. Was a combine snub but had 38 reps on the bench press at his pro day which would have been best at combine. Dimick will be this years Pats draftee that will cause everyone to say who?

    • Stephen J says:

      Russell and I know who Hunter Dimick is we highlighted him in an earlier posts while Mike Gerken mentioned him last year as a potential he didn’t this year.

      Here is what Russell and I said

      Russell:DE Hunter Dimick 6’3″ 268 ran 4.69 40 yd. and did 38 on the bench. I looked back to one of my Oct. Patriots Mock’s And I had Dimick as a late round guy. His tape is good, with good edge/gap control, & strong in the run game. Teaming him at RDE a long side DT Tomlinson looks like an outstanding pair of prospects, that “fit” what BB wants with gap control.

      Stephen J:Hunter Dimick vs Trey Hendrickson who do you like better

      Russell:Dimick I see only as RDE,, 4-5 tech. Not at DT, or fast enough for left DE. Hendrickson I see better quickness to play R or L DE, 4-5 tech, Maybe OLB.

      Stephen J:Ok I’ve been thinking about Dimick and Hendrickson and this is what dawned on me
      Hunter Dimick would be/fill Rob Ninkovich’s role better
      And if Tyus Bowser and Derek Rivers were already picked/off the board Hendrickson would be/fill the Jamie Collins roll better
      Another player that comes up as well is Basham. I’m not sure which role he would fill better but my initial sense is Ninkovich so Basham would be the 1st choice then Hunter Dimick would be the 2nd if Basham were already off the board.

      • Stephen J says:

        Since then Samson Ebukam came to light. Now he is more versatile and has the speed to play both L and R DE and or OLB but is not as Pro Ready as Hunter Dimick but also has more upside.

      • Mike Gerken says:

        The reason Dimick did not make my list is that I think he will get drafted earlier than I have him graded, so he doesn’t make the cut. Doesn’t mean I don’t like him. Here are my notes:
        + Non-stop motor;effort
        + light feet
        + keeps head up with ability to work through trash
        + above average setting the edge
        + high football IQ
        + plays with a mean streak
        + team captain
        + productive college player

        – lacks speed to get around edge
        – stiff in his turns
        – unrefined pass rush moves
        – struggles to change direction
        – short arms
        – older prospect
        – medical issues

        grade: 6th round

        • Stephen J says:

          Beautiful Thanks Mike.

          Love it.

        • Mike Gerken says:

          Is that close to how you saw him? I think some team will see the production (maybe even the Patriots) and take him in the late 4th or 5th. I worry about guys who have that type of production at that age. He is literally a man among boys and that is a big advantage. I am not sure that production translates to the NFL.

      • Ryan says:

        Important thing to note: Dimick’s bench press numbers are inflated by his extremely short arms. Combine folks have acknowledged that short-armed guys have an advantage, and Dimick’s arms are very short indeed (don’t recall the exact measurement).

        • Ryan says:

          He measured in at 31″ at the Shrine game, but he measured in at 29.5″ the previous spring. The first measurement puts him in front of only Elijah Qualls, but close to Carl Lawson out of combine participants. That second measurement is more worrying, and if true it could spell doom for him against long-armed OTs. At any rate, he’s not as strong as he appears from the bench press alone.

  5. Stephen J says:

    ACM I agree with you that OT’s maybe taken earlier and if Garcia is taken earlier and the value to the Pats are not there they will pass. You are correct that his arm length is shorter than they prefer but is that enough for them to pass on him I don’t know maybe, maybe not or does it just move him down a notch in terms of value. It certainly is not ideal. Also thanks for pointing his arm length out that is one of the criteria that I need to keep reminding myself of for some reason I keep forgetting about that one.

  6. Duky says:

    Lewis and Butler would make much more sense for the #19 Pick of Tampa. But, i don’t believe it will happen.

    • Stephen J says:

      Good to hear from you Duky I’m curious as to why you don’t believe it will happen.

  7. Stephen J says:

    Here is another possible OT.

    South Carolina Mason Zandi

    This is what Dane Brugler wrote A skyscraper at left tackle, Zandi will always have pad level issues due to his height, but he moves well and plays with a mean streak to finish through the whistle

    Here is what he did at his Pro Day and a Nate Solder comparison
    Mason Zandi……………………..Nate Solder
    309 lbs……………………………319 lbs
    1.81…………10 Yard Split……..1.77
    31 1/2″……..Vertical……………32″
    4.90…………20 Shuttle………..4.34
    8.12…………3 Cone…………….7.44

    Outside of the 20 and 3 cone they match fairly well. Is that good enough. I don’t know. He is just another late round Undrafted Free Agent possibility. Which one of these they like most is anyone’s guess just pointing out which one’s fit what the Pats look for.

    • Stephen J says:

      Here he is at LT against Clemson this year

      • steve earle says:

        Hey Stephen, kid looked good against Clem. Good awareness, movement, appears to have good strength and redirects speed rush well. Looks like you found another sleeper. Nice work.

        • Stephen J says:

          Thanks Steve

          He can be a mauler at times I’ve seen him pancake two or three guys from the games I viewed. He also appears to have some trouble with those speed rushers. As you said he disrupts them by pushing them off but if the play is extended he is toast because he is not quick enough to recover and continue to block them.

        • steve earle says:

          Yes, what I saw too. Still a late rd. prospect who could find a place with some team.

  8. Stephen J says:

    This time of year in the NFL is fascinating. I was just looking into what Russell said about Tampa Bay being interested in Cook and this is what I came across. TampaBayTre (Trevor Sikkema) from was asked Do you think the Dalvin to TB buzz is real? His response. Not as real as you’re probably hearing. So I went over to PewterReport and the latest report relating to the draft highlighted 5 safe players available to the Buc’s at 19.
    1 Budda Baker
    2 Adoree Jackson
    3 Jordan Willis
    4 Charles Harris
    5 David Njoku
    What I find fascinating is two things one they are targeting Defense specifically DB and a report/podcast by michael lombardi last week where he said this about Adoree Jackson “I see rare quickness, rare instincts, rare balance, and rare speed. A Def player that can make plays on 4 downs.” “I loved Desmond Trufant coming our to school, this guy is a better Trufant”. – on #USC CB Adoree Jackson.

    Now combine that with Tampa Bay possibly being interested in trading for Butler with the 19th pick. Just fascinating. I don’t know what’s going to happen but certainly stuff like this makes things interesting. Stay Tuned.

    • Russell says:

      No chance Tampa trades #19 for Butler. They could have signed him as a RFA, and given #19 for Butler. Maybe trade other choices for Butler, but NOT Number 19, 1st round.
      I’m leaning toward BB keeping Butler ($3.9 mil. this yr. ) and drafting a CB. BB will get a 3d Comp. Pick for Butler in 2019.
      I’m feeling the Same with Garoppolo ($ 800 K this yr.) and drafting a QB next yr. BB will get another 3d Comp. pick in 2019.

      • Stephen J says:

        I’ve read in two different locations where the Pats want to trade Malcolm Butler. It’s a matter of finding the right offer, but Belichick won’t trade just to trade.
        Now this is speculation on my part but what if the Pats not only traded Butler but Dion Lewis as well to Tampa for the 19th pick. Here is my reasoning. The Buc’s seem to be looking for a RB as well as a CB so why not kill two birds with one stone. The Pats would then elevate DJ Foster to Dion’s spot and bring in more Undrafted Free Agents to compete such as Dalton Crossan and if he gets drafted then Austin Ekeler who is similar to him. Just a thought I was pondering.

      • steve earle says:

        No telling what GM’s are thinking in Feb compared to end of Apr. Sometimes they get the Woulda, Shouda, Coulda, syndrome as the draft closes in. No idea what’s going to happen in the next couple days but isn’t it fun and exciting looking at all the maybes?

  9. Chris D. says:

    Only mock

    Rd 3 Rasul Douglas cb-west Virginia
    Rd 3 Trey Hendrickson edge-FL Atlantic
    Rd 4 George Kittle TE-Iowa
    Rd 5 Ben Gedeon LB-Michigan
    Rd 6 DeAngelo Brown DT-louisville
    Rd 7 Elijah Hood RB-North Carolina

    Would have picked a safety if still had two picks in Rd 5

  10. Stephen J says:

    Dante Scarnecchia: Patriots’ Greatest Offensive Line Coach

    Listen to what Dan Connolly says at 0:48 -1:02. Dante teaches them many things but one of the biggest if not the biggest thing that he teaches is technique. Now technique seems to be key because Dante seems to cherish the broad jump specifically as something that helps implement his technique. Is it the only thing no but the most important thing (except say things like football smarts/passion and something that came out recently by Urban Meyer where he said BB told him that at this stage of his career he will only work with players that he likes everything else seems to be secondary). While there are different variations to that secondary as to what will help in implementing his technique. For example one player will have a great broad jump and great bench while one will have a great broad and great vertical while yet another will have a great broad and 3 cone yet all have great broad jumps. That is the one common thread through all the players the Pats have drafted on the OL. Even Marcus Cannon at 358 lbs did a broad of 8’11”. I would say the 2 most common are the broad and vertical then everything else just seems to be a mixture of certain traits(not sure exactly what it seems to vary) and that could be because of the certain position they are playing.

    • Russell says:

      With OT Will Holden’s intangibles, he looks like a likely BB type guy. 9’2″ B-Jump.

      • Stephen J says:

        When I first came across the Pats criteria using the Broad Jump + another criteria I immediately thought I wonder how long it will take Russell to notice Will Holden’s intangibles meet that criteria. He is one of the guys who meet the criteria and can play left Tackle as well but not the only one.

  11. Russell says:

    DT Caleb Brantley was charged with punching a woman, in the face who lost a tooth. SMART The Dumb get Dumb-er…………………

    • acm says:

      Cowboys will probably take him in the 4th now, if not earlier – they don’t care about these things.

    • steve earle says:

      WTF some guys just don’t learn. Guess he drops from my board, geese.

  12. Stephen J says:

    Possible Butler Trade coming but it’s not what your thinking

    Look for Butler to be traded but not to the New Orleans Saints but to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the 19th overall pick according to RYAN WOODEN of
    Here is what he said.
    The Buccaneers can easily outbid the Saints by offering up their No. 19 overall pick. More importantly, they have a long trade history with New England and the low frequency in which they play each other might make the trade extremely palatable.
    The Buccaneers also have just over $27 million to in available cap space and could comfortably afford to give Butler a long-term deal. And he’d be part of a formidable trio with Brent Grimes and Vernon Hargreaves.
    If this is the case then some of the players the Pats have interviewed make sense. I guess we will have to wait and see a few more days.

    • Russell says:

      VERY doubtful Tampa bay would give-up #19 in the 1st round! They look to be targeting RB Dalvin Cook , which they need more than Butler.

      • Russell says:

        Maybe Butler to Philly for LB Mychal Kendricks, 26, $4.6 mil. this yr. and two more yrs. on his contract , PLUS Philly’s 3d choice #74. ????????????????

      • Stephen J says:

        They may want Cook but believe he will be off the board by their pick so that is why the interest in Butler

        • steve earle says:

          Your comment about Buc’s thinking Cook will be taken before #19 is likely so I’m thinking a deal for Butler could be based on IF Cook is taken then the trade for Butler takes place. If so we will not know about it until draft day itself. Deals like this have been agreed on before.

        • Stephen J says:

          To me it’s possible but I’m thinking it’s has more to do with what is in this article. The Buc’s are weighing the options and there maybe division among them as far as what they want to do.

          Do they want to trade the 19th pick and get Butler then hope they can pick him up in the 2nd. Do they even want Cook due to the injuries and baggage especially with the issues they’ve had recently with Doug Martin.
          Is Cook’s value worth a 1st round selection or is it more a 2nd round selection.
          That is what I believe the Buc’s are discussing and debating

        • steve earle says:

          Sounds equally or even more plausible. If I were the Bucks I’d pass on the trouble waiting to happen with Cook but no accounting what GM’s will do when desperate. About a Butler trade we’ll just have to wait and see.

      • Stephen J says:

        Also it maybe possible that it’s not a straight swap other picks maybe included what exactly I don’t know.

        The other possibility would be the Colts who have 21 million in cap space but that would be less likely because we would potentially face them more often and they sit at 15.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree, Colts much less likely. I’m not holding my breath for any trades. If one happens I just want time to adjust my mock for crying out loud.

        • Stephen J says:

          Most likely going to happen during draft to see how the board plays out if certain players fall to them then no trade if not trade becomes more likely not guaranteed. I am just point out to possibilities of where I have come across that seem to match what the Pats are doing(players they are looking at). For example if they had discussions with Tampa and they said they might be interested in Butler(possibly other things such as another player or swap of picks) for the 19th pick if the player/s they were looking at didn’t fall to them then that would make sense as to why they looked at Barnett who might be available around that 19th pick. Just BB doing due diligence in case things play out like that.

  13. Stephen J says:

    Just came across another player that is intriguing as an Undrafted Free Agent. He is a CB/KR/PR ST’s from West Georgia.
    He blocked 13 kicks. His name is Marcus Sayles

    Here is an interception and return for 17 yards starting at the 1:35-1:44 mark He is #19
    In this game he had 6 solo tackles along with 2 assisted

    Then at his Pro Day where more than 2 dozen teams attended he drew the attention of Buffalo. Here is what he did.
    4.43 40
    42″ Vert which showed up on the clip above
    10’10” Broad
    6.64 3 Cone
    3.96 20 Cone
    18 Bench

    If you want to see his highlight video here it is

    • steve earle says:

      Very impressive highlights and tests. Any idea about size? looks on the slight size but doesn’t shy away from hitting. Possible slot CB prospects? Got any more on him?

      • steve earle says:

        More then I expected on the computer. He’s either 5-7 177 or 5-10 170 depending on the site. A little light for playing from scrimmage but still could be good on ST’s. Kid can block kicks like crazy and if he can return kicks he could find a place in the NFL. Somebody should tell BB.

        • Stephen J says:

          He is just under 5’10″(5’097) meaning 5′ 9 and 7/8″ and he played at 170 then weighed 177 lbs during Pro Day is currently at 180 lbs

        • steve earle says:

          That’s a little better and if he works on his strength while keep his speed and quickness I can see him sticking with someone as an UDFA.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          To me that height-weight combo is disqualifying.

          Lots of other guys in the league who are 195# and 5’9″ would have those agility numbers if they weighed 177.

        • Stephen J says:

          You may disqualify them but the league doesn’t if they did 177 pounders wouldn’t’ be drafted but still are.

        • Stephen J says:

          Here is a list of the lightest players who has played or is playing in the NFL.

          Also the Patriots don’t discount it either remember a guy named Jeff Demps well they didn’t disqualify his 4.26 speed because he weighed 174 lbs while at 5’7″ yes he did bulk up to 191 but still ran a 4.31 so while it did slow down it was still fast enough

    • Stephen J says:

      Actually those times were his Mock Pro Day that can be seen here

      His actual Pro Day numbers are

      4.37 1st 40 4.50 2nd 40 averaged out to 4.44
      1.45 10 Yard Split(insane) the average 10 yard split for CB’s at the combine is 1.58
      40″ Vert
      4.06 20 Shuttle
      6.56 3 Cone
      11’0″ Broad

  14. Russell says:

    As of today, the Patriots have 30 players contracts that will end after this season.
    OT Nate Solder
    QB jimmy Garoppolo
    WR Julian Edelman
    CB Malcolm Butler
    WR Danny Amendola
    To name just a few. So BB plans ahead, which needs to be kept in mind with the draft this coming week.
    Nate Solder will be 30 this year. the Patriots have OT Chase Farris, OT LaAdrain Waddle, & OT Cameron Fleming on the Roster. ALL these guys contracts end after this yr.
    CB Malcolm Butler; The Patriots have CB Cyrus Jones, CB Gilmore, CB jonathan Jones, CB Eric Rowe. With CB Coleman contact ending this yr.

    • steve earle says:

      Any way it’s broken down, barring a trade, we will only have six (seven if Buf matches) draft picks. No way Bill covers everything next year with picks this year. He will do what he can and still improve this years team first.

    • acm says:

      I’d think Solder will be extended after the draft. He will be 30 yo next year, will probably want to finish his career with Pats and may be getting a bit too old to be looking for a contract that would put him outseide of Patriots range.
      And this is not the year to draft Solder’s replacement – these OTs we keep mocking to the Pats here and there are depth-player material and may be good enough to beat Waddle or Flemming to a roster spot, they are not starting-left-OT level, though.

      The WR situation was taken care of with the Cooks trade and drafting Mitchell last year. Next year, if they want to keep Amendola and/or Edelman, I doubt they will have trouble doing so.
      As it stands now, Pats will have to carry 6 WR, including Slater, on the roster, so I doubt Patriots go WR early in the draft. Maybe they draft a player late (7th round) and bring in 3-4 UDFA for camp too. Unless one of those guys beats out Amendola or Slater or there is an injury to one of the starters in camp, I don’t see them carrying 7 WRs next year.

      When it comes to projecting the WR situation beyond 2017, I think resigning James White should also factor in as he is 80% a WR and 20% a RB.

      • Stephen J says:

        They may not be starting material now but how many has Donte taken and they’ve become starters. Not sure who that would be specifically but Antonio Garcia would be a possibility they’ve looked at him but would they be willing to spend a 3rd most likely the 72nd on him is the question. If a trade with Butler happens and they get a 1st would they spend it on Ramczyk I imagine that is why they brought him in for physicals and to see if they like him in that spot. Not saying these will happen just possibilities.

        • acm says:

          You are referring to interior OL, OTs are different, especially left OTs – Patriots tend to invest high picks in those positions.
          The only player in the draft that has the athleticism that Patriots look for in a starting LT is Bolles, who is very, very raw and will be a 25 yo rookie.
          Players like Ramczyk, Garcia etc could well make for a good RT in the NFL but not LTs – level of talent and athleticism is just really low this year.
          Even if the Pats do get a high pick in a trade, using it to get OL there would be a reach for need, not value. As things stand right now, the players projected to fall into the 3rd-4th round are no better than guys they could find in later rounds – all are depth-level players, not starting LT material.
          It would be worth taking a shot on a developmental OT late in the draft but this is not the draft to draft to target OL early due to need.

        • Stephen J says:

          No I am referring to OT and what the Pats look for in their OT and Garcia matches that

        • acm says:

          When I said that Pats tend to invest in OTs, I meant they look for Players with high-level of talent and athleticism at the position, and those players tend to rise to the top rounds of the draft, in general.

        • acm says:

          Garcia is a good player who looks a lot better this year because the overall level of the OL is so poor.
          Considering how many teams need OL (see the stupid contracts they gave to below-average OTs in free agency), Garcia will likely go early – probably top 40-50 picks, at worst. In general, however, he’s more of a 4th round type of talent.
          Garcia doesn’t have the arm-length and athleticism (especially 3-cone) Patriots look for a starting LT, so that he would be worth a high pick.
          Garcia in the Pats system would be sufficient at RT, which they already have in Cannon, or a back-up 3rd/swing OT i.e. Flemming/Waddle. Spending a high pick on such a player would be a waste of capital, however, unless Garcia were to fall to late 3rd-4th round range, which I doubt will happen. Hence why I said what I said earlier.

        • Stephen J says:

          They tend to but not always and the athleticism that the league looks for is not the same the Pats look for.

        • Stephen J says:

          Oh 1 other time that the Pat’s factored in that most over look now a days is the 10 yard split for LT’s more so than the 3 cone

        • GM-In-Training says:

          The Pats have VERY high standards for a starting LT candidate. This is not the year to pickup another Nate Solder. They’re actually set for starting OT in 2017 anyway. But, there could maybe be a project with traits. It’s hard to say because 6’8″ 320# with footspeed and fight is so hard to find.

          If you want a project that may develop for 1-3 years before becoming a starting tackle…

        • Stephen J says:

          Davenport may go to high not have value. A developmental guy is taken later than the 3rd-4th round sounds like he could possibly be taken in the late third-early 4th round range so that is why you look for who else meets those traits in the later rounds more value there for the guy who has similar traits/criteria.

      • Stephen J says:

        Pats don’t care about 3 cone for LT it’s a bonus if they have it but they care more for arm length 34″+, height 6’5″+, broad jump approx 9’+ and Vert of approx 30″+ now there are some late round/undrafted OT’s that have all these plus the speed in 3 cones 20 shuttle and 40 and they are going to surprise people and I wouldn’t be surprised if after 1-2 years they will be starting.

        • steve earle says:

          You are of course referring to Javarius Leamon my personal favorite late rd developmental LT prospect? And I still am having a hard time fitting him into my sparse mock.

  15. acm says:

    A nice, short clip of Mike Mayock (BC alum) visiting BC to speak to S John Johnson, who looks like a future Patriot thru and thru:

  16. steve earle says:

    Reading that Buf. may be considering matching our offer on Gillislee per Roto World. Not sure how much credibility to assign to that or where they get their info? Rejoice Mike, there may yet be a place for Hunt with the Pat’s.

    • acm says:

      Bills would look stupid no matter what they do.
      If they don’t match, they look like the Patriots farm team.
      If they do match, they will be forced into a decision by the Pats and will end up paying 4 mil for their back-up RB, a player they could have paid 2-2.5 mil with a 3rd or 2nd round tender.
      The time for the Bills to be smart was when they were deciding what tender to give Gillislee, now it’s too late for that.

      • steve earle says:

        LOL, Yes so true but they have been playing the stooge for so long its just habit now.

  17. acm says:

    3) DE Demarcus Walker
    3) TE Adam Shaheen
    4) CB Shaq Griffin
    5) S John Johnson
    5) DL Jeremiah Ledbetter
    6) LB Vince Biegel
    7) OT Connor McDermott / Storm Norton / Andrew Wylie

    • acm says:

      With the additions of Walker and Ledbetter, Patriots could try to create a NASCAR package on the DL, along with Flowers and Ealy. These are players who are good against the run yet active going after the passer.

      I very much like DE Jordan Willis and LB Tyus Bowser for the Pats but think they may be out of range with the current picks Pats have at their disposal.

      • acm says:

        As to why I think a NASCAR package may be on the Pats’ mind, a quick look at their 2017 schedule explains everything – Pats are about to play a number of very good to great QBs this year and they need to improve their pass-rush, while at the same time not compromising the run D.
        Last year the Patriots pass-rush suffered tremendously until very late in the year. I think that was more due to the lack of penetration thru the middle than the loss of Chandler Jones.

        The Patriots 2017 schedule and their approach to it may well be similar to what they did in 2014 when they faced some really good passing offenses and QBs, as well. Then they went out and signed Revis and Browner and drafted Easley in the 1st round, in spite of his numerous red-flags as a prospect.

        Patriots are also facing a number of big, physical WRs this year, which may well have been the reason why they went out of their way and spent big on CB Gilmore.

        • steve earle says:

          Agree with your reasoning thinking Willis and Bowser may be gone and your right about the pass rush necessary this season. My short list for the #72 is, Jordan Willis, T.J. Watt, Tyus Bowser, Demarcus, Walker, Daeshon Hall and Joe Mathus. Really hoping we get one at #72 and another at #92. That would mean one of my top 3 would have to come down to #72. (Crossing multiple fingers.)

        • steve earle says:

          Another opps! I said Joe Mathus was the 6th guy on my #72 list when actually it’s Tarrell Basham. Joe is the top of my #92 list. After all my scribbles I even confuse myself.

        • acm says:

          I like Basham and TJ Watt too for that 72nd pick.
          A sneaky option there would be CB Sidney Jones, who was probably a lock for a top 15 pick before tearing his Achilles.

        • steve earle says:

          Heck yea, should point out any guy that slides down from my #72 list to the #92 spot is then at the top of that list. And hey, from your lips to Gods ear.

    • steve earle says:

      Oh! Nice mock,acm, I really like it, next best to my own, (LOL) But really a good one.

  18. Russell says:

    I feel the Patriots go D-line with their #72 pick, DT Tomlinson, DE Willis, DE Wormley are the highest rated on my board THAT MAY BE AVAILABLE.

    3d round #72 – DE Jordon Willis; In a large edge rusher class, Willis seems to be less regarded by many , which is good for the Patriots. DT Dalvin Tomlinson is my second choice.
    3d round #96 – LB/SS Eric Wilson; Early here, but BB has a history of “early” on some prospect. Wilson starts on special teams, and could work into Chung’s replacement.
    4th round # 132- OT Will Holden; BB was at Vanderbilt’s pro-day where he worked LB Cunningham, but I’m betting he spent time with Holden as well.
    5th round # 183 – CB Jack Tocho; This guy is maybe the BEST fit for the Patriots in this draft ! Intangibles are great, team captain, intelligent, strong work ethic, interviews VERY well, 6′ 205 lbs, 1.58 10 yd, 6.78 3-cone, 31 5/8″ arms. I would draft him at #96 if Wilson was not so well none among scouts.
    6th round # 200 – DE Evan Schwon; Another guy who just fits what the Patriots like.
    7th round #239 – S Donald Payne; A small school guy that could be a steal here.

    • steve earle says:

      I have Willis, Watt and Bowser at the top of my 6 for #72 all of whom may or may not go earlier? Afraid Tomlinson and Wormley aren’t in the final 3 though if taken there I couldn’t complain, at least not loudly. I just think those two guys could be taken a little later, your reaching I think. Don’t get me wrong I would welcome either just at maybe#92?

  19. Stephen J says:

    Here is additional info on Basham

    Tarell Basham, Edge Defender, Ohio

    Inside the War Room: He’s not bendy, but Basham is crazy explosive out of a three-point stance, with the burst to push tackles into a hasty retreat off the snap. His hands are violent, but unrefined, as Basham works tirelessly to give himself a tighter trim to the quarterback around the outside hip of his opponent. He’ll run himself too far up the arc at times, a plight that could be avoided if he utilized his nasty counter spin move more often.

    Basham has aggressive (and sometimes reckless) play speed on the field and is a non-stop ball of energy on the hunt for sacks. He’s a good run defender with the length and physicality to hold the point of attack and the smarts to know what to do in unblocked situations. Basham has a higher ceiling than Taco Charlton, but he has to utilize his hands more consistently as weapons or he’ll continue to be too high-variance as a pass rusher and end up on the ground more than he does in the quarterback’s lap.

    Favorite Trait/Skill: Burst/Motor

    Best Fit: 4-3 DE

    Content from Jon Ledyard of FanRagSports

    • Stephen J says:

      Here is a nice play by Basham where he sets the edge and then explodes out at the proper time to make a play

    • Stephen J says:

      For a more detailed breakdown here is a filmroom study of Basham

      Some Highlights

      Can line up at both left and right end.
      Basham watches tape to find weaknesses he could exploit.
      Answered the small school question by beating talented senior’s at the senior bowl.
      He exploited Bisnowaty with his speed and rip move at the senior bowl on the left side then bull rushed Zach Banner from the right side using good hand placement and his speed to power to push him back quickly. Improved from Junior to Senior Year.
      His awareness keeps him from over pursuing(keeps himself in front of the QB) and is able to use a counter to stay in a play rather than taking himself out of a play by over pursuing.
      May not be the greatest at it but can drop into coverage as well and do a decent job.
      An intelligent guy who prepares.
      Understands his skill set in what he can and can’t do.
      Weakness is late off the ball/snap.
      Hand placement and playing upright can be issues at times during his Junior Year seemed to make improvements on that during his Senior year.
      Solid run defender.
      Defends the gap pretty well.
      Needs improvement on timing and hand placement.
      Backup for 1st year then take over starting roll in 2nd.
      When he said this I immediately thought he could be Rob Ninkovich’s replacement

      Tarell Basham…………………Rob Ninkovich
      269 lbs………………………….260 lbs
      1.60………..10 yard split……..1.69
      32 1/2″…….Vert……………….34 1/2″
      4.35……….20 Shuttle…………4.18
      7.27……….3 Cone…………….6.96

      • Stephen J says:

        Two other players that have a similar skill set that matches Rob Ninkovich’s times and measurements are

        Derek Barnett…………………..Trey Hendrickson
        259 lbs………………………….266 lbs
        1.70………….10 yard split…..1.59
        31″……………Vert…………….33 1/2″
        4.44………….20 Shuttle………4.20
        6.96………….3 Cone………….7.03

    • steve earle says:

      Basham has the looks of a very good DE just wonder if he goes before our #72? He’s on my List of #72 prospects though.

  20. Stephen J says:

    Here is another Edge player that I haven’t heard many talk about more are focused on his teammate Derek Rivers and I am talking about

    Avery Moss, Edge Defender, Youngstown State

    Inside the War Room: Put on his game against West Virginia and you will be blown away by his power and length. He destroyed the Mountaineers’ redshirt freshman left tackle on almost every play. Moss is incredibly heavy-handed and has all the tools to be a terrific run defender in the NFL. He understands what to do in unblocked situations, and is always in control at the line of scrimmage. His athleticism won’t compare to his best friend and college teammate Derek Rivers, but Moss varies his play speed to lull tackles to sleep, exploding by them suddenly with swats and swim moves.

    FRS NFL Content Editor John Owning aptly pointed out to me how Moss false steps out of his stance on obvious passing downs (especially from a two-point), but if he can fix that issue, he flashes the natural burst to convert speed to power at a higher rate. He’s never gonna be a dominant edge rusher, but I think he can have a lot of success inside as a situational interior rusher. Moss has the versatility to play base 4-3 end or a five technique in a 3-4 front on early downs and could be attractive to teams who like to mix and match personnel up front. Moss reminds me of Trey Flowers stylistically.

    Favorite Trait/Skill: Power/Length

    Content from Jon Ledyard of FanRagSports

  21. Stephen J says:

    Interesting Note

    I was reading an article by CBS Sports and in it they mentioned Cooper Kupp. They said his dad played for Bill Parcells.

  22. Dan Sullivan says:

    Final Patriots Mock Draft unless a trade happens. 19.0
    3 Conor McDermott OT UCLA
    3 Daeshon Hall DE Texas A&M
    4 Jalen Reeves Mabin ILB Tennessee
    5 Isiah McKenzie WR/KR Georgia
    5 Isaac Rochell DT/DE Notre Dame
    6 Jeremy Sprinkle TE Arkansas
    7 Avery Gennessy G Texas A&M

    Free Agents
    Tedric Thompson S Colorado
    Jeremiah Ledbetter DT Arkansas
    Hardy Nickerson Jr. LB Illinois

    Good Luck to BB and his great staff!
    Don’t forget Brady wasn’t a first or second round pick.

  23. Stephen J says:

    Here is a good read with some insights as well as a few surprises in the top and bottom of this list of 31 Edge players.


  24. Stephen J says:

    Let me introduce you to another small LB from Northwestern his name is Joseph Jones

    He maybe a long shot but there is a reason why I bring him up. I came across him through PFW. In an article it mentioned he was a starting LB yet he excelled on Special Teams. This is what was said Jones’ ticket to an NFL roster will be his special teams, and he knows it.

    “I love special teams. I’m all about it,” he said. “If I had to choose, special teams or linebacker, I think at the end of the day I’d choose special teams. In the sense it’s the same play over and over, but it’s that 1-on-1 battle each time. You know what he’s doing, he knows what you’re doing, it’s let’s grind it up and be physical and see who wins at the end of the day. It gives me a lot of energy.”

    At Northwestern’s Pro Day while most(30 of 32 teams) came to see the likes of others like Anthony Walker Jr., Ifeadi Odenigbo, and Austin Carr he gave it his all for all to see here is his results
    231 lbs
    4.45 and 4.50 40
    35 1/2″ Vertical
    10’03″(123″) Broad
    4.21 20 Shuttle
    6.72 3 Cone
    18 Bench

    While he may not get drafted it would not be surprising to see him picked up as an undrafted free agent

    Here is a 1 min clip from the Northwestern vs Minnesota game

  25. Stephen J says:

    Athletic Small LB Comparison

    Jalen Reeves-Maybin…Elijah Lee………..Eric Wilson…Blair Brown…..Duke Riley
    230 lbs……………………229……………..230………….238……………231
    1.64……..10 Yard Split…1.60…………….1.54…………N/A…………..N/A
    35 1/2″….Vertical……….38″………………39 1/2″……..37″…………..34 1/2″
    4.38……..20 Shuttle…….4.37……………4.31………….4.18…………4.21
    7.35……..3 Cone………..7.05……………6.96………….6.92………….6.89

    • steve earle says:

      I like Eric Wilson from this group and have him at#200 on my mock but fear he will not last that deep.

      • Stephen J says:

        To be honest I was disappointed when I saw Elijah Lee’s times and measurements. Thought he would be stronger and faster but I was pleasantly surprised by Duke Riley’s times. I didn’t think they would be that good. I remember before the combine that I liked what I saw from Duke but thought that the Patriots weren’t interested in small LB’s so I left it as that. Then Russell mentioned Eric Wilson then the Pats had contact with him and others then I looked at Eric Wilson and liked what I saw both on film then his times. Then recently I started looking at others since it seemed like Eric Wilson was rising in interest around the league. When I did this today and saw Duke Riley’s times and measurements I guess you could say I came full circle. My top two small LB’s would be both Duke and Eric in no order but if both were to go higher then I wouldn’t mind Blair Brown but not so sure the Pats would due to his height but he is the same height as Eldon Roberts so that would be possible but it seems like he is also rising up the boards so I wouldn’t mind taking a chance on Joseph Jones as a Free Agent if those three fell through and the Pats were looking for a small LB.

        • Ryan says:

          Apparently there is a buzz about Riley that could put him on Day 2, maybe before we even pick for the first time. Playing for LSU will do that for you. I like Reeves-Maybin and Lee because they’ll be available so late, which might not hold true for someone like Wilson, whose combine numbers pop.

        • Stephen J says:

          Reeves Maybin has had 3 shoulder surgeries since the spring of 2016. Not sure how much longer he will hold up. Plus he missed most of 2016 due to some serious medical concerns don’t know exactly could of been the shoulder but the Pats had him in for a look maybe for that reason to check him out medically.

        • steve earle says:

          That’s how I started out too. Pat’s just haven’t looked to smaller LB’s for years so I dismissed them until the last couple months. Riley’s stats have moved him up on my board a good deal but would prefer Wilson but not as high as I believe he may go. Kind of stuck by my own preferred picks. To many wants, not enough picks.

  26. Antigonus says:

    Daeshon Hall looks decent. Other than that, none of them are pro ready.

    • steve earle says:

      I like Dashon Hall too but see nothing to say he is more or less pro ready then then the other three or four DE’s in his draft range. Every kid coming out from collage has to learn new things. I have him on my board as mid to low 3rd and would be fine if he becomes a Patriot.

      • Antigonus says:

        Don’t see many players with high motor, power, technique sound.

        • Stephen J says:

          His technique is far from sound

          This By Jon Ledyard of Fanragsports

          Daeshon Hall, Edge Defender, Texas A&M

          Inside the War Room: Tools will probably get Daeshon Hall drafted earlier than they should but turn on the tape and you’ll see a player that isn’t anywhere close to reaching his ceiling. A salivating frame and impressive combine will generate lots of interest, but Hall was used as a gap-slashing, interior crasher in pass rush situations for the Aggies, leaving his rush game underdeveloped off the edge.

          He’s only spent one season in a true defensive end role, which showed as Hall resorted to an only mildly successful bull rush on almost every pass rush snap. 6-foot-5, 266 pounds with 35-inch arms will get a lot of defensive coaches lining up to work with him, but right now, Hall still gets pushed around too easily as a run defender and is a long term project as a pass rusher.

  27. macspak says:

    Been a long while since I did a Mock, mainly because I sucked at it, but here goes:

    Pats get lucky with a couple of “falling stars” who become can’t ignore value picks, and make a unique BC double dip.


    3 – 8 (72) From Carolina – Sidney Jones CB WA (instead of Cheech Chong’s I got a basketball Jones BB has a football Jones)

    3 – 32 (96) Assigned Selection – Julie’n Davenport OT Bucknell (Great upside and we can’t ignore that at such a weak team and draft position)

    4 – 25 (131)From Seattle – Jake Butts TE MI (BB likes butts, or so I have been told)

    5 – 19 (163)From Denver – Fadol Brown DE Ole Miss (Why not? Seems to have the right measurements and skills)

    5 – 40 (183)Compensatory – John Johnson SS BC if not available Jadar Johnson SS Clemson (The first JJ probably is a better player and fit but the second JJ ain’t bad)

    6 – 16 (200)From Indianapolis – Matt Millano OLB BC (May be more of an ILB but he is an LB who can play; he and JJ 1 excelled during Shrine Game practices etc.)

    7 – 21 (239)From Detroit – Evan Schwon DE Penn St (My deference to Russell pick but also a double dip at DE)

    I think RB’s and WR’s, and a whole slew of other positions, will come as UDFA

    • Russell says:

      A good looking group, DE Schwon is a great prospect in the Patriots scheme, and under the radar.
      Putting my finial Patriots Mock together.

  28. Ryan says:

    Last mock of the year:

    Third round — No. 72 (from Panthers): OLB Alex Anzalone
    Third round — No. 96: DE Daeshon Hall
    *Fourth-rounder — No. 118 *Forfeited in Deflategate (from Saints)
    Fourth round — No. 131: OT Adam Bisnowaty
    *Fifth round — No. 163 (from Broncos) *Assumed to be given up for Mike Gillislee. If not, Pats select an RB here, perhaps Jamaal Williams, Jeremy McNichols, or James Conner.
    Fifth round — No. 183: S John Johnson
    Sixth round — No. 200 (from Colts): CB Xavier Coleman
    Seventh round — No. 239 (from Lions): OLB Elijah Lee

    As long as the Pats grab a linebacker, a defensive end, an offensive lineman, and some secondary help, this draft will be a success. As long as the other picks are interesting, I’ll be content.

    • steve earle says:

      I like this mock Ryan but have to ask wasn’t the 5th to go to Buf the #131? Thought I read that. If not I have to adjust my mock AGAIN.

  29. Stephen J says:

    I wrote this comparison over at the Mock Draft Post

    Athletic Comparison Delano Hill vs Kai Nacua

    Delano Hill…………….Kai Nacua
    216 lbs…………………216 lbs
    4.27……20 Shuttle……4.14
    6.96……3 Cone……….6.87
    33 1/2″…Vertical……..39″

    For those not familiar with him here is a brief but good write up on him with a video

  30. Stephen J says:

    Could RB Austin Ekeler be the next Danny Woodhead

    Just in case you were wondering how Austin compares to Danny here you go

    Danny Woodhead……………Austin Ekeler
    5’075″…………………………5’8 5/8″
    197 lbs……………………….195 lbs
    4.20………20 Shuttle……….4.21
    7.03………3 Cone…………..6.85
    38″…………Vert……………..40 1/2″

  31. Stephen J says:

    I was just looking at the OL pro day/combine numbers specifically Jylan Ware and came across one that I haven’t heard mentioned here(at least I don’t recall off hand) and that is Andrew Wylie they both put up incredible times and measurements so here is a comparison

    Jylan Ware………………Andrew Wylie
    317 lbs………………….312 lbs
    4.70……..20 Shuttle….4.50
    7.96……..3 Cone………7.23

    I would be interested in the Arm Length of each and maybe the bench but outside of that they check the athletic aspect of what the Pats look for especially the Broad

    • Stephen J says:

      In an article from PFW(ProFootballWeekly) here is what Wylie said

      “I knew when I came in that my work ethic was already there,” he said. “I was already out-working upperclassmen when I came in as a true freshman and I played all 12 games that true freshman year. After that I knew this is what i wanted to make a career out of. Because I was out there, 18 years old, going against guys like Khalil Mack and Dante Fowler in those big out-of-conference games. I was holding my own against those guys. That’s when I knew I could make a job out of this.”

      Wylie started all 12 games at left tackle as a freshman. As a senior, he started all 12 games at right tackle and finished his career with 44 starts, ranking fourth all-time at EMU. He said teams see him at left guard or right tackle

    • Stephen J says:

      While looking into Wylie I came across another OL man that put up more incredible times and measurements. He is strictly an interior OL man his name is Kofi Amichia from USF

      302 lbs
      4.99…. 40
      1.74…..10 yard split
      33 1/2″..Vert
      No Shuttle or 3 Cone times

    • Mike Gerken says:

      Should be on there, not sure what happened. I wrote him up and everything, but he has vanished. I will edit and it should be fixed shortly. Thanks for bringing him up, because he is on the list and should be on there.

  32. Stephen J says:

    Per Aaron Wilson

    Rising Tennessee LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin met with Titans Wednesday, per source, met with Lions, worked out for Patriots, Falcons, Saints

    • Ryan says:

      One of many smaller guys I love in this draft. No complaints here if we grab him on day 3.

  33. Stephen J says:

    Patriots also worked out Lakewood’s Shaquill Griffin along with fellow former UCF cornerback D.J. Killings today per Greg Auman

    Shaquill Griffin allowed just 39.7 percent of the passes thrown into his coverage to be caught in 2016 per PFF

    PFF also said this Shaquill Griffin is a poor man’s Marshon Lattimore, and doesn’t have Lattimore’s injury history

    Pro Day Results
    194 lbs
    4.38 40
    1.54 10 yard split
    38 1/2″ Vert
    11’0″(132′) Broad
    6.87 3 Cone
    11.62 60 Shuttle
    17 Bench

  34. Russell says:

    If DE Jordon Willis was to be on the board at #72, the Patriots would blessed to grab him! Number one in this group, by my score card.

  35. Stephen J says:

    Just to note on Derek Rivers. The reason why he is a hair late of the snap is due to his discipline. What I mean by that is Bo Pelini is the head coach of Youngstown and he deploys a Tackle read based system instead of ball read. Since he is disciplined in carrying that out it appears that he is always late of the snap because he isn’t moving off the snap he is moving of the Tackle.

    • steve earle says:

      Good to know Stephen, that info moves him up a couple spots on my position list.

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