December 29, 2014

Day Two Running Dia-Blog

9:30 PM – CONTINUING DAY TWO COVERAGE IN THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS POST.

I don’t know about you, but I thought yesterday was great fun.

The Patriots didn’t make a first round pick for the first time since 2000, but did make three trades that left them with eight selections in the top 100 of the draft. And thanks to Friday’s trade up rumors, they were in the thick of it from the top ten through the sixty-fourth selection late last night.

It’s pretty clear now (it always is, after the fact) that the Patriots went into the draft thinking that its real value was in its second and third rounds. That there wasn’t a dime’s worth of difference between the top prospects and those on the next level down. Unless you’re counting real dimes.

Only time will tell if they were right, as they passed on chatted-up prospects like OT Michael Oher (once), LB Clay Matthews (twice), LB James Laurinaitis and LB Rey Maualuga (three times apiece). 

Even as they backed away from first-round contracts, they had no such trepidation on second-round deals as they selected four players in the second for the first time in my memory, and probably ever.

I did a little fist pump when they chose Patrick Chung, the strong safety from Oregon, with their first selection (#34, making it official – it was Cassel and Vrabel for Chung, though having the 34th pick was certainly a key to their first-round trade backs, and the addition of two more Top 100 picks). He was a favorite here throughout the process, for the obvious Rodney Harrison-replacing reasons.

The Pats will now have three front-line safeties under extended contracts, and each of them will be 25 or younger.

Ron Brace was another who caught our attention as he has all the size and run-plugging qualities needed for a 3-4 nose in the Pats system. This isn’t a sexy pick but it addresses a need, both for depth as well as protection against the unlikely event that Vince Wilfork cannot be resigned after next season.

I heard from quite a few Pats fans who would have warmly welcomed Darius Butler as the team’s 23rd pick, so they have to be thrilled to see him picked at 41. Mike Mayock has consistently said Butler was the best zone corner available, and Pro Football Weekly had him rated as the 14th best player in the draft.

No one else did, evidently, but no matter – what’s interesting here is that the Pats add another young corner to the Wheatley/Wilhite combo last year, which should give the team a cushion behind the Bodden-Hobbs-Springs veteran group. We’ll see if this leads to an improved secondary next year, but at the least, they have some depth to protect against the possibility that both Hobbs and Bodden leave after next year.

By the way, you cannot fault the Patriots for not addressing their secondary this off-season. Two front-line veterans and now a second-round corner have been added.

It will also be fun to see what the Pats do with  Butler – he’s two-wayed as a receiver at UConn, and he can return kicks. I’d say there’s a decent chance that Chung, Brace and Butler will all find their way to the field next season.

That may not happen with Sebastian Vollmer, the developmental tackle chosen with pick 58. Like Shamwow Vince says, you know the Germans always make good stuff, but ten bucks to you if you saw this one coming in the second round. He is incredibly massive, but I guess the question will be his feet and mobility. He’ll probably play on the right side, at least until they find out. The Pats were right to grab a tackle yesterday, and we’ll see if Vollmer has the stuff to be the starter when Nick Kaczur plays out his contract.

Now the third round begins with the Pats in possession of the 9th, 19th, 25th and 33rd picks. I favor some receiving help, perhaps an inside backer, a d-end developer, and as always offensive line. Follow along with us in the comments section below.

Scott Benson can be reached at [email protected]

Comments

  1. this will please the fans – LS Jake Ingram of Hawaii at 198.

  2. Chris Warner says:

    Rashad Jennings is still up there. I like Cameron Morrah at TE, as well as the aforementioned KR/ third-down backs in Moore and Sutton.

    If it’s another anonymous OL, I will consider taking a nap.

  3. Chris Warner says:

    JACOB INGRAM, longsnapper, Hawaii.

    Great pick. LOVE this pick. I had him going in the second round.

    (Maybe if I just lie to myself, I won’t feel so weird inside…)

    • Chris Warner says:

      In all seriousness, it makes a lot of sense to grab a longsnapper for some competition here. Excuse my attitude – I’m a bit loopy.

  4. Well, we were wrong on the whole “add a running back” angle.

    Draft Scout says Ingram is the best long snapping prospect in the country.

  5. Chris Warner says:

    MYRON PRYOR, DL, KENTUCKY

    I like this pick. Did a solid job at the East-West Shrine game.

  6. They did get a d-tackle but its Myron Pyror.

    Looking for somebody to grab up Dudley Guice and Lonnie Harvey.

  7. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack at this point. These picks are coming in all directions. Jake Ingram?

    • Chris Warner says:

      Too many picks where the value isn’t apparent. For every Butler at 41 it seems there’s an Ingram at 198. I think the Pryor pick adds depth at a good price, though.

      I’m looking to a RB (still – can’t believe Rashad Jennings is still up there!) or an OLB project later (Pierre Walters, Brandon Long).

      • What about this Mitch King guy that Greg liked? Short and heavy for an OLB though. But doesn’t he get after the passer?

        • Chris Warner says:

          He’s the prototypical “high motor” guy who may or may not resemble Dan Klecko. No real mention of him dropping back into converage, and I don’t see his size (6-2, 280) translating to the outside. He’ll produce in a 4-3 but wouldn’t fit in NE.

          Which means I’ve just secured Mitch King’s career in Foxboro. I am available for weddings and bar mitzvahs.

  8. I think I could get excited about Brandon Tate returning kicks if he was healthy. He was apparently threatening records in both kickoff and punt returns when he was hurt. I think it won’t be easy to replace Hobbs. He had the ability to score, but to me, he had a real knack ot producing good field position when the Pats needed it. They started a few must-have drives from the 40 over the years.

    • Chris Warner says:

      This, to me, means they should look at the KR/RB position we’ve talked about.

      • I bring up quarterback again, as well.

        Players at this point in the draft are usually long shots, but I wonder if that’s become increasingly so in Foxborough the last few months. Look what they’ve done in the d-backfield for example. And they have a run of UDFA’s like Woods, Guyton, Redd that are ahead of anybody that would be drafted now. This may explain the LS stuff, going to a very targeted need, and maybe they’re taking shots late in the day here trying to hit on a developmental lineman. But who do these guys taken at this point challenge, on either the regular roster or the PS?

        • Chris Warner says:

          third-down back, backup DE, and backup ILB.

          Moore, Sutton; Khalif Mitchell; Frantz Joseph (good value in the seventh).

  9. Chris Warner says:

    Pats up next… two in three picks (232 and 234).

  10. I won’t argue the backup DE, but the backup ILB – at best its a developmental guy that hits the PS. They have Mayo, and some combination of Bruschi, Guyton and McKenzie, plus the Ruud kid. Also Alexander has lined up inside. I guess I’m skeptical about how much to expect from any of these guys now, in terms of challenging that first wave of competition at any position.

  11. Hey Chris, if anybody would have told me three momnths ago that we’d be sitting here hanging on picks 232 and 234, I’d have said they were nuts. Now let’s push this giant ball of oil out the window.

  12. I don’t think Julian Edelman even went to college.

  13. Chris Warner says:

    JULIAN EDELMAN, QB, KENT STATE

    A 6-foot, 198 pound QB. ESPN listed him as a WR.

    Very disappointed. If you’re going to spend time on a WR, why not our boy Dudley Guice?

  14. When they’re picking Kraft’s gardener’s son, you know it’s time to call it a day.

  15. He must be some friend of the equipment manager or something. “Hey man, let’s draft Edelman.” I bet Belichick left the stadium hours ago.

  16. Chris Warner says:

    And Sammie Stroughter goes on the very next pick. My heavens.

  17. Chris Warner says:

    DARRYL RICHARD, DT, GEORGIA TECH

    Good value here. Can play the DE at 6-3, 303. Developmental, I assume.

  18. Sammy Straughter went next. He seemed like a good kid Chris.

    On Edelman: “What if you knew him, and saw him picked in this round, how can you run when you know?”

    And now the final choice is DT Darryl Richard of Ga. Tech. A taller (6’3) 300 pounder.

    • Chris Warner says:

      All personal feelings aside, Sammie Stroughter could contribute on special teams tomorrow. A great pick in the seventh.

      What’s the deal with Edelman? How is he a WR? I’ve got to get to the bottom of this.

  19. Chris Warner says:

    Here’s a quote on Edelman to warm your heart:

    “On paper, Edelman has no business being selected in the NFL Draft.”

    http://www.fftoolbox.com/nfl_draft/profile_display.cfm?prospect_id=1735

    Godspeed, Dudley Guice, Devin Moore, Brandon Long and the many others who actually had a chance to make this team.

  20. “QB from O-HI-O…”

  21. Nopointe says:

    Julian Edelmanat 232 – theres your Wildcat QB

  22. I mean, I was interested in them like you, but there’s been 230 picks in this draft, and those guys are still there. The Pats aren’t the only ones passing on them. If Brady’s healthy, we’re talking about a 11-12 win team, or more perhaps. How many spots can be open? I can’t be real disappointed at this stage, because the picks are so unpredictable by nature.

    • Chris Warner says:

      I suppose I’m as disappointed in myself as anything else. I take pride in being able to read the Pats and what type of player they prefer. I’m bummed I didn’t go with my instincts and bring up Myron Pryor for the draft board, especially after I’d mentioned him in the East-West Shrine review.

      One thing Reiss wrote which I didn’t know: 11 of the 14 OL now on the roster have a contract that runs out after 2009. I would have made OL more of a priority in the draft.

      Either the roster is going through a major renewal or this draft will prove an overall bust. You bring up a good point, Scott: where can the players go?

  23. Nopointe says:

    https://admin.xosn.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=47585&SPID=4445&DB_OEM_ID=11400&ATCLID=610665

    2006
    ranked second on the team and eighth in the MAC in rushing yardage with nearly 60 yards per game on a total of 658 yards and seven scores…rushed 23 times for 121 yards against Ohio on Oct. 28

    2007
    rushed 118 times for 455 yards, an average of 3.9 per rush…averaged almost 57 rushing yards per game while adding two scores on the ground……was third on the team with 455 all-purpose yards……rushed for 100 yards twice – against Kentucky (135, career-high) and Bowling Green (104) on Oct. 20…

    2008
    broken arm

  24. Chris Warner says:

    Okay, all done for the 2009 draft. I will close with a look at five guys I’d love to see come to camp as undrafted free agents with a shot at special teams: RB Devin Moore, OLB Julius Williams, OLB Brandon Long, WR Dudley Guice, TE Kevin Brock.

    We’ll see you tomorrow, campers. Thanks for hanging out with PD.

  25. Copious, many thanks.

    • Chris Warner says:

      I second that, Copious: Thank you. I used that site last year but had forgotten it until you reminded me.

      We’re on it!

  26. Chris Warner says:

    As of 10:45 p.m., Pats have CB Jamar Love (on my board!), S Marcus McClinton (thanks again, Copious), and QB Brian Hoyer (poor guy was on ESPN all day).

    The aforementioned PD hopefuls went to the following teams:
    Devin Moore – Seahawks
    Julius Williams – Jaguars
    Dudley Guice – Titans
    Kevin Brock – Panthers

    Brandon Long still available.

    PD Interviewees of note: Gerald Cadogan – Panthers; Roger Allen – Rams

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