October 2, 2014

Patriots Draft Scenarios: In Belichick We Trust, Mostly

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

This season on PD, we’ve shown different scenarios of how we think the Patriots draft will go, and how we want it to go. Now, armed with updated pro day info and a different week’s perspective, we revisit how April 28-30 will go down.

New England has six picks in the first three rounds (say them with me, people: 17, 28, 33, 60, 74, 92) and one pick in each of the following three. The Patriots have selected 24 rookies over the past two years, 17 of whom remain on the roster.

In short, youth has been served; at this point, quality rules over quantity.

A review of the second round of the 2009 draft helps us predict Bill Belichick’s draft tendencies. He traded down for safety Patrick Chung, a potential long-term starter at Foxboro, then fulfilled a defensive line need with Ron Brace.

Belichick later grabbed cornerback Darius Butler, whom many saw as a first-round talent. Finally, he surprised New England fans by taking offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer, an under-the-radar prospect who quickly became a starter.

The second round yielded two starters (Chung, Vollmer), one contributor (Brace), and Butler, who may not pan out for the team despite coming in as the highest-rated of the bunch.

Based on that round, let’s predict the Patriots 2011 draft.

FIRST PICK (17 and 33) – Belichick will trade up for the pass rusher he wants here. As much as we’ve been begging for UNC’s Robert Quinn, we can more safely predict that Cal’s Cameron Jordan gets the call.

At 6-4, 285 pounds, Jordan can rush the passer as a down end or contain the run as a 3-4 outside linebacker. That flexibility makes him an every-down player and gives opposing offenses something else to think about.

SECOND PICK (28) – Offensive lineman Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin. New England’s O-line needs help and Carimi can provide it, as he was the best on the Badgers’ formidable front in 2010.

In the past we would have liked to see a defensive end drafted here, but Jordan gives the Pats some leeway to improve the other side of the ball.

THIRD PICK (60) – Running back DeMarco Murray, Oklahoma. Here’s where we differ with Coach Belichick. We see plenty of backfield talent available on Day Three, and would seek defensive help here. However, Murray’s speed (4.38 40) and production (school record 6,626 career all-purpose yards) bring him to the Pats in the second round.

While recent pro day results have many looking at Eastern Washington’s Taiwan Jones in this area of the draft (including a 4.33 40 and a 39.5-inch vertical), Jones’ double-digit fumbles over the past two seasons (danger!) will keep him out of a Pats uniform.

FOURTH PICK (74) – Defensive lineman Terrell McClain, South Florida. The word “explosive” gets thrown around in sports the same way “genius” gets used in Hollywood: far too often. Still, McClain’s physical nature fits the description. At 6-2, 295 pounds, he ran a 4.85-second 40, faster than most fullback candidates.

Though we’d look for a taller candidate to fill out the defensive end spot, McClain’s (wait for it…) explosiveness will entice Belichick to draft him here.

FIFTH PICK (92) – receiver Greg Salas, Hawaii. Now, if we were picking, Edmund Gates of Abilene Christian would wind up in Foxboro. Gates has breakneck speed that can open up the field.

Salas lacks that straight-line zip, but he has mid-range quickness and a knack for getting open that Belichick will appreciate, as will a certain someone whose name rhymes with Pom Shady.

SIXTH PICK (125) – Traded for future considerations. Let’s face it: when it comes to Belichick and trades, the man can’t help himself.

So, let’s try that again…

SIXTH PICK (159) – Outside linebacker Bruce Miller, Central Florida. The Conference USA Defensive Player of the Year proved a nightmare for opposing defenses. His size (6-1, 254) will keep him on the board late, but his strength (35 bench reps) and his tenacity (watch him wreak havoc here) will make him a contributor on any 3-4 defense as an outside linebacker convert.

SEVENTH PICK (193) – Offensive lineman Andrew Jackson, Fresno State. The 2009 All-WAC guard spent most of this past season injured, pushing back his status to later on Day Three.

Jackson tossed up 225 pounds 25 times at the combine. Besides having a historical name, he plays for old Belichick pal Pat Hill at Logan Mankins’ alma mater. None of that hurts.

FREE AGENTS – With only seven picks taken in this year’s draft (we hope), the Pats will need some players to round out rookie camp. We offer some prime choices below.

Running back Terrence Holt, Austin Peay. Holt already made our superlatives list as the Danny Woodhead of 2011 (he’s 5-7, 185). We’d like nothing better than for the Pats to give him a shot. The running back/returner did yeoman work for the Governors this past season, leading the team in rushing, receiving and return yards (averaging 23.4 per kickoff).

For confirmation that kick and punt returns can be the most exciting plays in football, watch Holt here.

Tackle David Mims, Virginia Union. He’s about as raw as a fresh egg, but who better to deal with young linemen than Belichick and Coach Dante Scarnecchia? Having size (6-8, 331) and strength (29 bench reps) adds a ton of potential.

Receiver Jeremy Ross, California. Ross led the Golden Bears in punt return yardage and, at 6-0, 209 pounds, qualifies as a bigger wideout in New England (aka Receiver Lilliput). His speed (4.44 40) and – dare I say it – explosiveness ( 39-inch vertical) should get him a look.

If you want a look, see his highlights here.

Defensive tackle Elisha Joseph, Temple. Though he got overlooked in favor of teammate Muhammad Wilkerson, Joseph’s pro day turned heads. He benched 225 pounds 43 times (whoa) and managed to hurl his 295-pound body 28 inches skyward (yeesh). If he goes undrafted, he should get a call from Foxboro.

Cornerback Darrin Walls, Notre Dame. The Pats found success signing Irish safety Sergio Brown last year, so why not return to South Bend for his battery mate? Walls managed a 4.42 40 at his pro day and showed good quickness. He had three interceptions and four pass breakups this past season.

Middle Linebacker Cobrani Mixon, Kent State. New England got their money’s worth out of Kent State alum Julian Edelman; look for them to invite this All-MAC Football first-teamer to camp. The 6-1, 245-pound Mixon ran a 4.68 40 and had 33 bench reps at his pro day. In 2010 he had 82 tackles, including 6.5 sacks.

You can see Mixon’s pass-rushing ability in his highlight reel.

Well, dear readers, any thoughts on this year’s draft – or any players we should be looking out for – please let us know in the comment section below.

Email Chris Warner at [email protected]

 

Comments

  1. BAMNATION says:

    I don’t think you need such a high pick combo 17 n 33 to get Jordan.

    Would see they Pats use a 2 or 3rd w 17 to move enough if need be.

    Then I think they trade down from 33.

    But let’s see you never know w BB.

    • Chris Warner says:

      Bam, you’re in the majority with your contention that the Pats won’t have to pay such a high price for Jordan. I see BB making a big move and then – as you said – moving down or trading away a pick later.
      Say what you want about BB, that guy always makes the draft exciting.

    • I think that the 33 is almost as valuable, maybe more, than the 28. I see him trading that for a first rounder next year.

  2. No one is calling Cam Jordan a great pass rusher – he’s more of a run stuffer. And I haven’t seen anyone suggest that he could drop back and cover as an OLB. Plus, why trade as high as #7 – 1530 points on the value chart – to get him, when either he or J.J. Watt will probably fall to #17 anyway? And on top of that, is Jordan worth picks that should get you two starters? He really didnt’ get hyped until the Senior Bowl. I’m not giving up essentially two first round picks unless I”m sure the guy has All-Pro next to his name.

    Bad Mock!

    • Chris Warner says:

      Bad Mock? Bad Mark!
      See what I did there? No, seriously: calm down.
      I’d love it if NE got J. J. Watt; problem is, BB never takes the players I want him to take in the first. Let’s just watch and see what happens.

  3. Remember the 2003 draft? There were some monster DL available, most notably Dwayne Robertson and most fans (me included) wanted BB to trade up and get him. He didn’t but I (and most) hoped he would trade up and get that second stud DL – Sullivan. BB didn’t and ended up having to settle for the fifth best DL that day (according to draft “experts” and Ron Borges). There was outrage and disappointment. Most said not trading up was due to BB’s arrogance.

    Little did we know Ty Warren would end up being the best of the bunch for a 3-4. I’ll put it on the line that BB has a pretty good idea who he wants. Yes, it would be fun for once to trade up but if HIS guy (not the sexy guy) can be had at 17 then I’m all for it.

    And I hope any OL he drafts has a disposition like a grizzly being woken up by a mosquito. Clint Boling might fit the bill.

  4. T.sweatt says:

    I,dnt really no much about the draft but i hope my brother terrence holt get picked…all he need is one shot and the world will love him. dnt call him short just say he height challenged. no ond can ever call him slow he is like the road runner beep beep. please belive he will put on a show. To see his work look him up on youtube.com and type in his name.

    thanks

    • Chris Warner says:

      TS – Not sure if Terrence will get picked, but I think his production and ability should get him into an NFL camp this spring and onto the field in August for an extended preseason look. We at PD are on his bandwagon and hope for the best.

  5. I read on ProFootballWeekly draft insider that McClain is a bit of an underachiever, so that has me thinking “no way” for him.

    I’m thinking OL (Guard) and D-Lineman, OLB, then best player available including RB and QB.

    I am so sick of everyone saying we need a WR to stretch the field… no way. Bethel Johnson anyone? Just won’t happen. BB knows that it takes some time for recievers to develop and will go with what he has or bring back Moss. Our other TE was injurred in the playoffs and the Jets had a great gameplan. I don’t see that happening over and over again.

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