December 10, 2016

Stacking Board with Second Day Defensive Linemen

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

picWith a slew of Patriots coaches going elsewhere, a 3-4 defensive alignment lacks the exclusivity it used to have for New England. Increased demand could send the Pats searching defensive line nods on Day One. Below are some Day Two draftees to consider this coming weekend, with a few late-round prospects having the potential to play developmental roles.

The picks have been broken down into early, middle and late, meaning the third round through mid-fourth, mid-fourth through mid-sixth, and mid-sixth onward.

EARLY DAY TWO – END

What’s eating Gilbert? In yesterday’s board-stacker, Scott mentioned Jarron Gilbert of San Jose State. Gilbert has climbed up the charts almost as quickly as he climbed out of a swimming pool, a feat that either shows his genuine power or an acute case of hydrophobia. Though a little slight for the NFL (the one profession besides sumo wrestling where 6-foot-5, 290 pounds seems undersized) a Draft Guys profile points out Gilbert’s quickness and strength on the playing field. He fits as an ideal candidate for a 3-4 defensive end and must be had if available on Day Two.

Since Gilbert will probably be off the table by then, I’m taking another, more likely candidate:

Warrior, come out to play: No, he’s not really a 3-4 defensive end candidate, but if Scott can bring up Everette Brown, I’m taking David Veikune here. Though he had a less-than-spectacular combine (see his numbers) watching the video of his workout reveals a player who performs better in drills than in timed events. Considering his strength (35 bench reps, 33-inch vertical) and his 2008 stats at Hawaii (73 tackles, nine sacks), Veikune gets a look here as a rotational end/pass-rushing OLB. 

EARLY DAY TWO – NOSE

Great (or at least pretty-darn-good) Scott: Clemson’s Dorell Scott (6-3, 312) already had a workout with the Patriots, according to NFL Draft Scout. Looking at Scott’s numbers from his combine, they compare with New England’s own Vince Wilfork’s. Keep in mind while watching his combine workout footage (especially his 30-inch vertical leap): this guy weighs over 300 pounds.

MID DAY TWO – END

Leaving on that midnight train to Foxboro: Georgia defenders carry a certain reputation with them, a trend Corvey Irvin (6-3, 300) could continue. After a lackluster season with only 34 tackles, Irvin still managed a positive Senior Bowl week and ran a 4.93 40-yard dash at the combine. As former Bulldog defensive lineman Richard Seymour could tell you, it’s not all about the stats.

MID DAY TWO – NOSE

Wolverine on video: Immediately after Michigan’s tough season, Terrance Taylor (6-0, 300) was ranked lower than this, but his combine and pro day (37 bench reps, 5.08 40) depict the potential to hold down the middle of a 3-4 defense. In this clip, watch him at right tackle as he collapses the pocket while occupying two Northwestern blockers (the fumble recovery is a nice little perk).

LATE DAY TWO – END

The Khalif don’t like it, Rock the Casbah: As seen by his pro day numbers (including a 5.04-second 40 and 30 bench press reps) Khalif Mitchell (6-5, 315) has a ton of talent. Draftguys deliver the goods on Mitchell in their online profile. Check out his speed and hand-fighting ability. The question about Mitchell revolves around whether he can consistently put that talent to use or not. In his Q&A with PD, he says he’s ready to take the next step. At the very least, he’d be an entertaining guy to have in Foxboro.

Running up that Hill: Though Sammie Lee Hill’s massive build (6-4, 329) may peg him as a nose tackle, the Stillman product’s relative quickness has made him a defensive end candidate in a 3-4 alignment. On his pro day blog, NFL.com’s Gil Brandt reported that Hill worked out for the Patriots. If Hill performed to the level of his combine numbers, New England reps probably liked what they saw.

Just for perspective, Hill weighs as much as Seymour toting a backpack full of books. Does anyone else remember Dave Butz – all 6-7, 291 pounds of him – being an absolute monster 25 years ago? Now 300-pounders come around as often as the paperboy.

I’m really not as old as I sound. Moving on…

LATE DAY TWO – NOSE

We like most Marlons equally, but he’s our: While at LSU, Marlon Favorite (6-1, 314) rotated along the defensive line with guys like Glenn Dorsey and Ricky Jean-Francois. While Jean-Francois is ranked higher (and his name could get him confused with a Belgian action hero), Favorite fits better as a run-plugger in a 3-4 scheme.

Hey you kids, get off my Lonnie: Give Lonnie Harvey credit. The 6-4, 335-pound Morgan State product got his name out there by putting his pro day workout on video and posting it online, a great example of what the less-ballyhooed must do to get attention. If you have a heart colder than that of Lyuba the frozen mammoth  and need more reasons to root for Harvey next week, read about his desire to set a positive example in his PD interview.

Frozen tundra, indeed: When looking over results from Vaughn Martin’s pro day up in Western Ontario, I couldn’t help but notice his 36.58-meter dash (5.00 seconds) and his bench pressing 102 kilograms 33 times. (Man, there was a time in my life when we were all supposed to learn the metric system. It’s true.). According to the Western Alumni Gazette, Martin declared early for the draft. Though he’s as raw as roadkill, it’s not such a big risk: in Canada, a player can go back to school if undrafted, even after hiring an agent.

Tomorrow, look for our final draft preview by position with Day One and Day Two quarterback/running back prospects for New England. It’ll be a kiloton of fun!

Chris Warner can be reached at [email protected] .

Leave a Reply