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Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

Player Bio: Jeremy Gallon

Name: Jeremy Gallon

Position: Wide receiver

School: Michigan

Selected: Round 7, Pick 244 overall

Height:¬†5’7

Weight: 185

Strengths:

  • Displays strong hands, route running ability¬†
  • Has great balance and vision after the catch¬†
  • Tremendous college production¬†
  • Could contribute on special teams

Weaknesses:

  • Undersized¬†
  • Not dynamic, lacks top end speed
  • Has trouble blocking

Analysis: 

Gallon has strong hands, displaying great hand-eye coordination. He runs good routes and can read defensive zones. The Michigan product lacks top end speed, but shows burst and agility on tape.

Gallon shows some similarities to Julian Edelman. He may be able to contribute on special teams and has traits that could translate to the NFL. Almost built like a running back, great vision with the ball in his hands. His production in the Big Ten stood out on numerous occasions. Loves the game, very passionate.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Jemea Thomas

Name: Jemea Thomas

Position: Defensive back

School: Georgia Tech

Selected: Round 6, Pick 206 overall

Height:¬†5’9

Weight: 192

Strengths:

  • Tough, versatile athlete¬†
  • Four-year starter, accountable¬†
  • Shows great awareness, high football IQ
  • Strong tackler, loves to hit
  • Plays much bigger than his size

Weaknesses:

  • Undersized frame that can struggle against bigger athletes¬†
  • Average range, displays stiff hips at times
  • Question about his fit at NFL level¬†

Analysis: 

The Patriots love to bring in young defensive backs and Thomas is a player with potential. He’s not necessarily a starter, as he could struggle to find a perfect fit, but Belichick loves versatility. Even though he’s 5’9, the Georgia Tech defensive back plays much bigger ¬†on the field delivering crushing blows to opponents.

Thomas should be able to contribute on special teams right away, his ticket to potentially landing on the 53-man roster, but he could elevate himself into a much larger role in the future. He could play cornerback, nickel (in the slot) and strong safety at times. His toughness and competitive spirt stands out.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Zach Moore

Name: Zach Moore

Position: Defensive end

School: Concordia-St, Paul

Selected: Round 6, Pick 198 overall

Height: 6’5

Weight: 269

Strengths:

  • Has NFL size; Long, lean, athletic frame
  • Quick off the snap, flashes pro ability¬†
  • Scheme diverse, working in 3-4 and 4-3 defenses¬†
  • Improved throughout collegiate career¬†
  • Two time captain, good work ethic¬†

Weaknesses:

  • Behind in development, requires some patience¬†
  • Must learn to convert speed to power
  • Irrelevant facing double teams
  • Can lose leverage getting too upright¬†

Analysis: 

Moore is an impressive player, even as a prospect facing lower level talent. He’s a long, lean athlete that has all the tools to develop in the right pro system. He had great production, having 33 sacks at Concordia.

While Moore will be a 24-year-old rookie, he has intriguing upside moving forward. While he’s raw, there’s a chance he can contribute from day one. Moore will put pressure on Jake Bequette and Will Smith for a roster spot in training camp. He might require some patience, but Moore could pay dividends down the line.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Jon Halapio

Name: Jon Halapio

Position: Guard

School: Florida

Selected: Round 6, Pick 179 overall

Height: 6’3

Weight: 323

Strengths:

  • Big, thick body with a fierce mentality¬†
  • Can drive defenders, anchor on the line
  • Tough, played through a torn pectoral his senior year
  • Team captain, 43 career starts

Weaknesses:

  • Lower body technique needs work
  • Struggle to react, poor balance with contact
  • Limited blocking range
  • Run block mauler, but needs work in pass protection
  • Injuries may be a concern

Analysis: 

The Patriots went back to the Florida pipeline to grab another offensive lineman. Halapio is a big-bodied mauler that will need work on pass protection in order to develop at the NFL level. He’s tough and is a warrior in the trenches. Despite a torn pectoral, he pushed through the pain and then wanted to prove he was better than his 2013 tape in the pre-draft process.

Halapio needs some work, but has the potential to be a solid NFL guard. The Patriots needed to inject some youth to their line, they did just that. Expect Halapio to be a backup lineman to start, maybe coming in on short-yardage situations.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Cameron Fleming

Name: Cameron Fleming

Position: Offensive Tackle

School: Stanford

Selected: Round 4, Pick 140 overall

Height: 6’5

Weight: 330

Strengths:

  • Good size, big body and strong hands
  • Explosive and agile for his size
  • Shows good awareness and alertness
  • Three year starter in pro-style offense¬†
  • Very intelligent

Weaknesses:

  • Tight hips, struggles versus speed rushers
  • Could improve finishing off blocks
  • Footwork could improve

Analysis: 

Fleming is an impressive prospect. He might not be totally NFL ready, but he has starting potential. He’s a big-bodied specimen that can move well for his size, showing explosiveness when engaging defenders.

Fleming is a very intelligent player and hard worker. He majored in aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford. His former college coach, David Shaw, said on ESPN, “The bottom line is he doesn’t get beat.”

He started for three years in a pro style offense and compares to Marcus Cannon a bit. He could play right tackle, may be able to kick inside to right guard. Just a depth guy from the start, but could push for a starting role down the line.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: James White

Name: James White

Position: Running back

School: Wisconsin

Selected: Round 4, 130 overall

Height:¬†5’9

Weight: 204

Strengths:

  • Good vision, balance
  • Takes care of the football, only two fumbles in 754 carries
  • Excels in pass protection, willing blocker
  • Shifty runner, short-area burst
  • Tough, competitive, highly respected in Wisconsin’s program¬†

Weaknesses:

  • Lacks top-end speed
  • Undersized, short arms and small hands
  • Does not push the pile
  • Hasn’t shown the ability to be a feature back, split carries all four years

Analysis: 

With Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen entering contract years, the Patriots were expected to take a running back or two in this year’s draft.¬†White should be able to contribute to the committee right away with his ability to pass protect. New England needed a backup third-dpwn back and White should fill that role.

The Wisconsin tailback has shared carries throughout his collegiate career, displaying excellent ball security. He maximizes runs, showing burst through the hole. He has not shown the ability to be a feature back and most likely won’t at the NFL level.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Bryan Stork

Name: Bryan Stork 

Position: Center / Guard

School: Florida State

Selected: Round 4, Pick 105

Height: 6’4

Weight: 315

Strengths:

  • Good size and can handle big defenders¬†
  • Intelligent, called out pass protection at FSU
  • Understands angles, has ability to slide and seal¬†
  • Versatile, can play center and guard
  • Loves to compete, plays with an edge

Weaknesses:

  • Short arms
  • Needs work with hips, stiff movements and has trouble sinking¬†
  • Tends to play too upright, exposing his body and losing¬†leverage

 

Expert’s Takes: 

“He’s got some interior versatility. He can play center or guard. He’s smart, understands blitz pickups and the nuances of playing offensive line.” — Mike Mayock

Good-sized, bump-and-steer blocker ideally suited for a zone-blocking, slide-protection scheme. Smart, tough technician capable of serving as an interior swing backup and could eventually fend for a starting job as a pivot. Will be best developed by a patient, respectful position coach.” — Nolan Nawrocki¬†

Analysis: 

Stork is a big-bodied technician that should fit in well with the Patriots. He loves to compete, has a high football IQ and is versatile. He has the ability to play center and guard, doing both at Florida State. He called the pass protections, too.

Stork needs some time to develop, probably a backup before challenging for a starting role down the line. He is a massive size upgrade over current center, Ryan Wendell. Stork needs work with his hips, focusing on not getting too upright, but should be able to find success with his lunchpail attitude and love for the game.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Jimmy Garoppolo


Recently drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo. (USA TODAY Images)

Name: Jimmy Garoppolo

Position: Quarterback

School: Eastern Illinois

Selected: Round 2, Pick 62

Height: 6’2

Weight: 226

Strengths:

  • Very quick release
  • Mobile, can slide in pocket while keeping eyes downfield
  • Goes through progression, great anticipation
  • Very accurate, can make all NFL throws
  • Poised, mentally¬†tough in the pocket
  • Smart, durable, team leader¬†

Weaknesses:

  • Small hands, had a lot of fumbles in collegiate career¬†
  • Played mostly in shotgun, spread offense
  • Footwork could¬†be improved
  • Could improve pocket awareness¬†

Expert’s Takes: 

“This kid’s got a quick release, good arm and is very athletic. Tom Brady, at his age, and Ryan Mallett’s uncertain status forces this pick. This is an insurance policy for an unknown future. He’s an interesting quarterback. He makes every throw. The feet and quick release are what stand out.” — Mike Mayock¬†

A decorated FCS passer, Garoppolo could excite quarterback coaches with his quick delivery, mental make-up and work habits, yet he still needs to prove he can fit the ball into tight windows and do more than carve up soft shells the way he regularly did on his way to a record-breaking performance in college. Possesses the physical tools to eventually earn an NFL starting job in a rhythm passing game with continued refinement but is more of a caretaker than a game changer and will require some patience adapting to the NFL game.” — Nolan Nawrocki¬†

Analysis: 

Garoppolo has all the tools to be a very good NFL quarterback. He didn’t play against the top competition in college, needs to work on pocket awareness and could benefit from sitting a few years. He comes into a good situation in New England. Can learn a pro style offense, while cleaning up his game. The Walter Peyton Award winner, given to most¬†outstanding FCS player, is a smart guy and a great leader. He should fit great in New England.

Garoppolo was a surprise pick by the Patriots for many people around the league. With Tom Brady not getting any younger and Ryan Mallett only under contract for one more year, it makes sense to bring in another signal-caller. With that being said, it seemed like the team had more pressing needs to address in the second round. The team felt strongly about Garoppolo, obviously, and he’ll be under a microscope in training camp. Could this be Tom Brady’s heir apparent?

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Player Bio: Dominique Easley


Easley’s upside is immense, and he should be a potential playmaker in the Patriots’ defense. (USA TODAY Images)

Name: Dominique Easley

Position: Defensive lineman

School: Florida

Selected: Round 1, Pick 29

Height: 6’2

Weight: 288

Strengths:

  • Explodes off the ball
  • Great use of his hands
  • Terrific motor and energy
  • Versatile, has played all along the defensive line¬†

Weaknesses:

  • Both knees have required ACL surgery¬†
  • Could add some more size and get functionally stronger¬†
  • Limited experience in two-gap technique
  • Can be overaggressive¬†

Expert’s Takes:¬†

“He was a top 30 pick until he tore his ACL in September. He’s quick and explosive. A lot of people felt like he was going to drop because of the ACL. This is a typical Bill Belichick pick. The rest of league discounted talent, but he’ll be in training camp. The Patriots needed defensive linemen and this kid is gifted.” — Mike Mayock

“Undersized, explosive, athletic, high-motor three-technique whose junior season was cut short in Week 3 by a knee injury. Injury history will likely affect his draft stock, but when healthy, he shows the ability to disrupt the backfield and pressure the quarterback. Fits best in an aggressive scheme in which he could use his quickness to slant, stunt and shoot gaps. Medical evaluations will determine draft standing.” — Nolan Nawrocki

A healthy Easley has exceptional get-off quickness, constantly playing on the other side of the line of scrimmage. But buyer beware. In a draft awash with talent, some team will really need to have a special feeling for Easley to spend a high pick based on potential not attained due to multiple, non-contact injuries.” — Rob Rang¬†

Analysis: 

Easley is a very good pick for the Patriots. Obviously, his knee injuries are concerning, but his upside is immense. Talent-wise, he is a top ten pick in this year’s draft. Easley has shown great versatility and plays with a tremendous motor. If you liked the way former linebacker Brandon Spikes played, you’ll love Easley’s energy.

With Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly not getting any younger, bringing Easley along in the defense makes sense. If you watch his tape, his hand technique is excellent. He explodes off the ball and can get into the backfield with ease. He will be able to contribute right away.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!

Top Five Position Rankings for the 2014 NFL Draft 2.0


Patriots Head Coach Bill Belichick has made some big moves this offseason, but there are more holes to be filled in this years draft. (USA TODAY Images)

With the NFL Draft only days away, here are my final position-by-position top five rankings for 2014:

Quarterback
1.  Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M
2. Blake Bortles, Central Florida
3. Zach Mettenberger, Louisiana State
4. Teddy Bridgewater, Louisville
5. Derek Carr, Fresno State

- There’s no Andrew Luck type quarterback in this class, but there are several prospects that offer intriguing upside. For teams in need of a QB, it will come down to evaluations and fits, but there’s no telling who the first guy off the board will end up being.

Running back
1. Ka’Deem Carey, Arizona
2. Tre Mason, Auburn
3. Bishop Sankey, Washinton
4. Jeremy Hill, Louisiana State
5. Andre Williams, Boston College

- I’m sticking to my guns. Arizona’a Ka’Deem Carey is my top overall tailback this year. Ignore the 40 time, put on the tape. After watching him play for the last few years, I see a productive NFL running back.

Last year was the first time in over a decade no running back was taken in the first round. Could we see a repeat? I wouldn’t rule it out. While there are some talented prospects, I’m not sure any player is worth taking in the top 32.

Wide receiver
1. Sammy Watkins, Clemson
2. Mike Evans, Texas A&M
3. Odell Beckham Jr., Louisiana State
4. Brandin Cooks, Oregon State
5. Marquise Lee, USC

- Watkins and Evans will be the first two wide receivers taken. After that, Beckham, Cooks and Lee could all go in the first round. The receiver class is tremendously deep and there will be players taken in the second, third and fourth round that could end up being starters early on. If you need a wide out this year, you’re in luck.

Tight end
1. Eric Ebron, North Carolina
2. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington
3. Jace Amaro, Texas Tech
4.Troy Niklas, Notre Dame
5. C.J. Fiedorowicz, Iowa

- Ebron is head and shoulders above the rest, but I tend to believe he will go much higher than he should. Good top overall prospects, but not a very deep position. After the top there’s a significant drop off in talent.¬†There are some red flags around several players, however, there’s a lot of potential.

Offensive tackle
1. Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
2. Greg Robinson, Auburn
3. Taylor Lewan, Michigan
4. Zack Martin, Notre Dame
5. Joel Bitonio, Nevada

- Flip a coin for Robinson or Matthews, either could be the top tackle taken this year. I rank Matthews higher because he is more well-rounded and polished at this point. Martin offers tremendous versatility and Lewan is now slouch either. A very good group of top offensive tackles this year. Nevada’s Bitonio has been a fast riser and could sneak into the first round.

Guard
1.¬†Xavier Su’a-Filo, UCLA
2. Trai Turner, Louisiana State
3. David Yankey, Stanford
4. Gabe Jackson, Mississippi State
5. Brandon Jackson, Clemson

- Unlike last year, I wouldn’t expect a guard in the top 20 overall — which speaks to the talent available at more important positions — but nevertheless, Su’a-Filo, Turner and Yankey seem to be a cut above the rest.¬†Clemson’s Brandon Jackson remains in my top five despite injury his knee during a workout and will have to sit out this upcoming year.

Center
1. Weston Richburg, Colorado State
2. Marcus Martin, USC
3. Travis Swanson, Arkansas
4. Bryan Stork, Florida State
5. Tyler Larsen, Utah State

- Richburg is my top prospect, with Martin right behind. Both guys much more impressive than the rest. Not a sure-fire center in this class, but some guys who should be able to develop.

Defensive tackle
1. Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh
2. Louis Nix III, Notre Dame
3. Timmy Jernigan, Florida State
4. Dominique Easley, Florida
5.¬†Ra’Shede Hageman, Minnesota

- A talented group that offers some versatility in multiple fronts. Florida’s Dominique Easley could be a top 20 selection if he wasn’t coming off a knee injury, he’s that talanted. Arizona State’s Will Sutton, South Carolina’s Kelsey Quarles and Penn State’s Daquan Jones are three players sitting outside the top five that could be solid as well.

Defensive end
1. Jadeveon Clowney, South Carolina
2. Kony Ealy, Missouri
3. Dee Ford, Auburn
4. Stephon Tuitt, Notre Dame
5. Scott Crichton, Oregon State

- Clowney is the biggest name, but there are some quality pass rushers available in this class. Ford has been very impressive throughout the pre-draft process and Crichton has been rising as of late. Unlike the interior defensive line, the defensive end group is not exceptionally deep.

Outside Linebacker
1. Khalil Mack, Buffalo
2. Anthony Barr, UCLA
3. Ryan Shazier, Ohio State
4. Kyle Van Noy, BYU
5. Demarcus Lawrence, Boise State

- Some highly rated prospects on the edge this year. Mack has been talked about at the no. 1 overall selection, while Barr could also land in the top 10. There are some athletic linebackers in this group that should translate well to NFL defenses looking for answers in a pass-happy league.

Inside Linebacker
1. C.J. Mosley, Alabama
2. Chris Borland, Wisconsin
3. Max Bullough, Michigan State
4. Preston Brown, Louisville
5. Shayne Skov, Stanford

- The inside linebacker position is much thinner than some of the other positions in this year’s class. Mosley is by far-and-away the top rated prospect. While Mosley will almost certainly go in the first round, it wouldn’t be a surprise if another inside linebacker waited until the late-second or early-third round before they hear their name called.

Cornerback
1. Justin Gilbert, Oklahoma State
2. Darqueze Dennard, Michigan State
3. Kyle Fuller, Virginia Tech
4. Jason Verrett, TCU
5. Bradley Roby, Ohio State

- After Dennard and Gilbert, there’s some debate over the next cornerback this year. Even though those two players are listed as the top prospects, there are plenty of questions about how good they can be from day one. In a pass happy league, however, cornerback is a highly-coveted position — so look for teams to reach if the need is there.

Safety
1. Calvin Pryor, Louisville
2. Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, Alabama
3. Deone Bucannon, Washington State
4. Lamarcus Joyner, Florida State
5. Jimmie Ward, Northern Illinois

- The safety class isn’t as strong as some of the others, but the top five is a solid group. Pryor and Clinton-Dix seem to be first round talents. Bucannon is an ascending talent that has put his name in first-round discussion.¬†Joyner could be listed at CB, but despite his small frame, is being looked at to play safety; his versatility on the nation’s top team stood out in 2013.

Do you have a Twitter account? Be sure to follow me: @PatriotsHaven!