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The Night Before the Draft

 

Draft Info:

  • Round 1: Thursday, April 26 (8 p.m. ET)
  • NFL Network and ESPN are broadcasting it

Twitter Accounts To Follow:

My Patriots Mock Draft:

  • 27: Nick Perry, DE
  • 31: Janoris Jenkins, CB
  • 48: Brandon Thompson, DT
  • 62: Alfonzo Dennard, CB
    • Dennard would be a higher pick if he didn’t attack a cop…
  • 93: Joe Adams, WR
  • 126: Charles Mitchell, S
    • I love Mitchell’s play at Mississippi State

My NFL Mock Draft (with out trades):

  1. Colts select Andrew Luck, QB
    • The Colts have already said they will draft Luck, who is the best QB prospect since Peyton Manning
  2. Redskins select Robert Griffin III, QB
    • The second best quarterback of this years draft, RG3 compares greatly to Aaron Rodgers. He also has a higher ceiling than Andew Luck, but caries a much lower floor
  3. Vikings select Matt Kalil, LT
    • The Vikings have been shopping this pick around, so don’t be surprised if they do trade down. If they don’t though, Kalil will be their man
  4. Browns select Trent Richardson, RB
    • I’m no sold on taking a running back this early, but the Browns have all but said they will draft Richardson
  5. Buccaneers select Morris Claiborne, CB
    •  Ronde Barber is 37 years of age and Aqib Talib is a mess. Claiborne will shore up the secondary and will provide instant playing time
  6. Rams select Justin Blackmon, WR
    • Sam Bradford has had zero targets in his two seasons in the NFL. The Rams take Blackmon to provide him with a threat. However, Michael Floyd, in my opinion, is the better receiver in this years draft
  7. Jaguars select Michael Floyd, WR
    • In my first mock, I had Melvin Ingram in this spot. Then I had Stephen Gilmore, and now Michael Floyd. Floyd will give the Jaguars a much needed threat
  8. Dolphins select Ryan Tannehill, QB
    • Tannehill is the closest thing to a franchise quarterback left in this years draft
  9. Panthers select Fletcher Cox, DT
    • If this draft was right after the Combine, Dontari Poe would be drafted in this spot. However, Poe is now considered a work out warrior, which has helped Cox’s rise. Did I mention that Fletcher Cox is pretty good too?
  10. Bills select Riley Reiff- OT
    • Reiff makes too much sense for the Bills to draft. He has the overall package to be a All-Pro and the Bills have a very leaky line that led to Ryan Fitzpatrick playing with broken ribs most of the latter half of the season.
  11. Chiefs select Luke Kuechly, ILB
    • Kuechly reminds me of Zack Thomas, which is a very good thing for the Chiefs
  12. Seahawks select Melvin Ingram, DE
  13. Cardinals select Cordy Glenn, OG
    • Glenn’s stock has shot up through the roof these past few weeks, the Cardinals pair him up with Levi Brown to give Kevin Kolb more than enough time to through the ball
  14. Cowboys select Mark Barron, S
    • First off let me say that I do not like Barron this high up. In fact, I like his teammate Dre Kirkpatrick more than him. However, the Cowboys want him according to many other draft pundits…
  15. Eagles select Quinton Coples, DE
    • If the draft was based on talent alone, Coples would be the first DE taken. The draft is based on more than that though, so Coples drops to the Eagles at Pick #15. I would not be surprised though if the Eagles draft Chandler Jones or Michael Brockers
  16. Jets select Courtney Upshaw, OLB
  17. Bengals select Dre Kirkpatrick, CB
    • Newly acquired corner Terence Newman is not more than a stop gap. The Bengals know this and without any pressing needs, they go out and get the next Nate Clements in Dre Kirkpatrick
  18. Chargers select David DeCastro, OG
    • The Chargers are one injury away on the offensive line from another disaster of a season. DeCastro will be an All-Pro and will be more than worth not drafting a pass rusher
  19. Bears select Chandler Jones, DE
    • I’ve heard two names popup constantly when you talk about who the Bears are going to draft, Chandler Jones and Whitney Mercilus. Jones is more polished than Mercilus, so the Bears draft Jones
  20. Titans select Stephen Gilmore, CB
    • Stephen Gilmore reminds me of Cortland Finnegan, the recently departed Titan
  21. Bengals select Jonathon Martin, OT
    • The Bengals shore up the offensive line to give Andy Dalton more time to connect to A.J. Green and possibly Doug Martin
  22. Browns select Kendall Wright, WR
    • Brandon Weeden will be a thought here, but the Browns can get him later on at Pick #37
  23. Lions select Courtney Upshaw, DE
  24. Steelers select Donta Hightower, LB
    • Initially I had Mike Adams here, but Hightower is the better value and player, so the Steelers go with the best overall player at this point
  25. Broncos select Michael Brockers, DT
    • The Broncos will be absolutely delighted if Brockers is still on the board at this point
  26. Texans select Stephen Hill, WR
    • The first  reach of the draft, Hill just reminds too many people of Calvin Johnson. Can you imagine having to go against Andre Johnson and Stephen Hill?
  27. Patriots select Nick Perry, DE
    • Perry is the best pass rasher at this point in the draft, and Perry has lots of ability and a high ceiling
  28. Packers select Shea McClellin, OLB 
  29. Ravens select Peter Konz, C
  30. 49ers select Rueben Randle, WR
    • The other reach of the first round, the 49ers take the dynamic Rueben Randle. Randle never had the type of production you would like of a 1st round receiver, but he never had a legitimate quarterback in Jordan Jefferson. He is very untapped and Jim Harbaugh knows this
  31. Patriots select Janoris Jenkins, CB
    • On talent alone, Jenkins is the best corner in this year’s draft. He has alot of problems with drugs and immaturity though. Coach Belichick has taken other drug risks like Aaron Hernandez and I don’t think the drug problems effect his decision with taking Jenkins
  32. Giants select Coby Fleener, TE
    • Fleener is the best tight end in a very weak class
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Pregame Post: Pats take revenge on the new year

Last time these two teams played each other the Bills pulled a major upset and looked like the team to beat. It’s now a new year and almost two different teams are playing. The Bills are 6-9 and the Patriots are 12-3 looking to secure the number one seed in the AFC.

These Bills aren’t limping into Foxborough though. They have one of the better turnover creating defenses and have a very potent offense lead by Ryan Fitzpatrick, C.J. Spiller, and Stevie Johnson. Like I said before, the Bills are not the same team that beat the Patriots in Week 3. They lack Fred Jackson and the offense is very mistake prone.

The Patriots should win this game without much effort.

Game Info:

  • In Foxborough starting at 1:00 ETS
  • On CBS

Pats Injuries and Inactives:

  • Logan Mankins
  • Sebastian Vollmer
  • Ron Brace
  • Tracy White
  • Kevin Faulk
  • Shane Vereen
  • Ryan Mallett

Key Matchups:

  • Stevie Johnson vs Devin McCourty
    • Last time these two teams faced each other Johnson averaged 11.8 yards per catch and we all know McCourty’s issues
  • C.J. Spiller vs Pats Run D
    • Spiller has played well the last two games and the Patriots run defense is ranked 17th in the league. If the Patriots want to help their leaky pass defense, then stopping the run is a must.

Questions:

  • Will Stevie Johnson have an impact?
  • Does C.J. Spiller have a great day?
  • Will Ridley score a touchdown or two?
  • How does the offensive line play today?

Predictions:

  • Tom Brady will throw for four touchdowns and Ridley will runs one in
  • The defense will look strong
  • Patriots 38, Bills 21
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Pregame Post: Demoted to Chiefs

The Chiefs, well, aren’t that good. Even with Matt Cassel they aren’t scary. Now that Palko is in and Cassel is out, any hope of them competing is out of the question.

On the offensive side of the ball, the Chiefs have the 9th ranked running game featuring the Thomas Jones and Dexter McCluster combo. Dwayne Bowe can burn defenses, but considering Tyle Palko is the quaterback throwing to him, no worries. On defense, they feature a overall better unit than the Patriots. Brandon Flowers is a great corner who can ball with the best of them.

For the Patriots, on offense they had a great 2rd half against the Jets last week. BenJarvis Green-Ellis and Stevan Ridley should be able to run all over this Chief defense. Welker is always Welker and Ochocinco is finally getting involved. Hernandez and Gronk should provide a huge mismatch in the Patriots favor. On the defensive side, Andre Carter is on fire coming off of a great 4 sack game against the Jets. Mark Anderson is more involved and Mayo will make plays today.

 

Game Info:

  • Starts at 8:30 P.M.
  • At Gillette Stadium
  • On ESPN

Pats Injury and Inactive Report:

  • Patrick Chung
  • Devin McCourty
  • Brandon Spikes
  • Kevin Faulk
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Jeff Tarpinian
  • Ryan Mallett

Questions:

  • How will the Pats defense play this week?
  • Will Andre Carter have a sack?
  • Does Andre Carter and Mark Anderson line up as ends?

Predictions:

  • Tom Brady has a great game
  • Palko from the Chiefs is intercepted twice
  • Patriots 34, Chiefs 7
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Reality shows its ugly head

Where do I start? The offensive line was horrible, the secondary tested our faith, special teams were certainly special, and the coaches were out coached. The only upside to this game is that it can’t get possibly worse.

My biggest issue with this game was the offense. First off, the line was horrible. I’ve never seen Logan Mankins and Sebastian Vollmer play as bad as that. Tom Brady had no time to wait for a play to develop. Secondly, the wide receivers where not getting any separation from the corners. The corners were all over them. Thirdly, the play calling was terrible. Why was Stevan Ridley not ran? I love Kevin Faulk, but why did he have more carries than Ridley and Green-Ellis combined (he had 6 carries while Green-Ellis had 5)?

With the constant 3 and outs, the defense could never get a break the entire game. The secondary was worse than chopped liver. Can someone call Asante Samuel and beg him to come back? The pressure was too sporadic. Its great that Andre Carter get two sacks, but Big Ben had all day. Oh, and the fact that 3rd downs are apparently first downs now is also a problem.

Don’t even get me started on special teams. Stephan Gostkowski missed a field goal and absolutely botched two onside kicks. Danny Woodhead seemed to dive for the 20 yard line everytime and in my current state I want to trade him and Gostkowski for a pair of competent people. Zoltan Mesko however looked great with booming punts.

The problem with this team is that fundamentals are missing and the scheme/players no longer works. Devin McCourty missed so many tackles he looked like Darius Butler. The offense missed too many blocks. 4-3 is not working, but nothing will work until we get a #1 corner like Asante Samuel or a legit, young pass rusher like Brian Orakpo.

All of the problems start off with the top. Belichick the general manager is failing Belichick the coach. We need a true defensive coordinator like Romeo Cornell or Rob Ryan (before last night’s Cowboys game). We no longer have the talent for Belichick to have all the roles. While we have drafted better the last 2 years, we cannot trade the high picks for a bunch of lesser guys. The offense has too many holes to hide lack of strong talent beyond Wilfork and Mayo on the defense.

Beasts:

  • Andre Carter
    • Carter had 2 sacks on the day and looked like the reason we got him. Unfortunately for him though the rest of the defense didn’t show up.

Bums:

  • Patriots Offensive Line
    • I can’t begin to start. False starts, missed blocks, and no time happened too much
  • Patriots Offense
    • A 30% 3rd down efficiency… Come on!
  • Patriots Secondary and Linebackers
    • Slow, horrible, and could not cover was the story of the day
  • Patriot Coaching
    • There is no way Bodden looked as bad as Molden. The changes at halftime didn’t work and the Gronk TD was not challenged (I realize BB didn’t get a good view, but please…)
  • Patriots Special Teams
    • A missed field goal and 2 botched onside kicks

Answers:

  • Does McCourty shutdown Mike Wallace?
    • Nope
  • Do the Patriots run all over the Steelers?
    • The Steelers turned the Patriots into roadkill
  • How does the cutting of Leigh Bodden effect the defense?
    • Molden, his replacement, looked like a chicken with his head cut off
  • Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer are back. Is their impact felt?
    • Vollmer’s impact was felt negatively
  • Chung, Ihedigbo, McCourty, Arrington, Molden, Adams, and Ventrone. Does Big Ben burn these guys?
    • Big Ben took them to the house and back again

Thoughts:

  • I’ve never been so wrong in my life with my prediction
  • Heinz Field was booming the entire game
  • This was a wake up call
  • Why was Gronk a non-factor the first half?
  • Brady looked flustered all day
  • I really want the Pats to draft a WR and CB  without injury problems

Tweets:

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Pregame Post: Sticking it to the Steelers

Anytime the Patriots and Steelers play, it’s like two giants colliding head to head. Granted this is a Steeler team missing Hines Ward, James Farrior, and James Harrison, but this is a Patriot team with a depleted secondary and a pass rush that rushes like an old lady. But for the sake of today’s game, it’s two giants colliding.

I’m not too worried about Mike Wallace. His size is perfect for Devin McCourty. Rashard Mendenhall doesn’t scare me at all. In fact, the only thing that scares me about this game is Big Ben making plays.

The Patriots are still having defense issues, but the things are starting to click. The offense is a Tom Brady offense – smart and efficient. We get Kevin Faulk back so it’ll be interesting to see how he fits in. Taylor Price is back too and a few Patriot Twitters out there are saying he’ll have a major game.

Game Info:

  • Played at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • Starts at 4:15, Sunday October 30, 2011
  • On CBS

Pats Injury Report:

  • Julian Edelman
  • Ryan Mallett
  • Josh Barrett
  • Shane Vereen
  • Dane Fletcher
  • Donald Thomas
  • Jermaine Cunningham

Key Matchups:

  • Mike Wallace vs Devin McCourty
    • McCourty hasn’t had the worst of seasons, but he hasn’t been that good against #1 wide receivers. The good thing about Wallace though is that he is 6-0 so McCourty has an easier time covering him.
  • Steelers DLine vs BJGE, Ridley, Faulk
    • Faulk is back in the lineup and BJGE/Ridley each are having great games. The Steeler defensive line is old and has had injuries all season long.

Questions:

  • Does McCourty shutdown Mike Wallace?
  • Do the Patriots run all over the Steelers?
  • How does the cutting of Leigh Bodden effect the defense?
  • Jerod Mayo and Sebastian Vollmer are back. Is their impact felt?
  • Chung, Ihedigbo, McCourty, Arrington, Molden, Adams, and Ventrone. Does Big Ben burn these guys?

Predictions:

  • Mike Wallace has an average day
  • Ridley will have a monster game
  • Haynesworth gets a sack
  • We don’t have to put Wilfork in coverage
  • Phillip Adams shows up
  • Big Ben throws 2 interceptions
  • Patriots 27, Steelers 24
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Defense saves the Pats

First off, let me say sorry for the lateness of this post. I thought I clicked ‘Publish’, but apparently I didn’t. Anyways…

This game had all the markings of an early 2000s game where the defense had to bail out the offense. If you told me that I’d be saying this before the game, I’d tell you your crazy. There still needs to be a lot done with defense though. Tackling was poor and long balls where still killing us.

The offense seemed out of rhythm at times and Tom Brady was out of rhythm the second half until the game winning drive.

Beasts:

  • Kyle Arrington
    • Relatively our best corner right now, Arrington showed up by intercepting Tony Romo’s pass in the first quarter
  • Brandon Spikes
    • Spikes was all over the field and was doing great with the blitzes
  • Andre Carter
    • Carter is developing, well turning into, the pass rusher we want. With two sacks on Romo, Carter is finally getting it. Now if only Haynesworth can get it….

Bums:

  • Ochocinco
    • When you run the wrong route after 6 weeks of being here, your a bum
  • Mathew Slater
    • Slater lost a fumble off of a return. I could understand if the ball was stripped out like a Ray Lewis strip but it was punched out and Slater’s poor ball security allowed for that

Answers:

  • Did Phil Costa bring on the wrath of Vince Wilfork upon himself?
    • Yes
  • Will the Patriots be able to stop Jason Witten?
    • 4 catches for 48 yards
  • Does Dez Bryant torch the Patriots secondary?
    • With only 78 yards on the day, I’d say no
  • Will Mark Anderson get another sack today?
    • No, but Andre Carter and Kyle Love did
  • Does the offensive line allow any sacks?
    • They allowed 3

Thoughts:

  • Kyle Arrington continues to show why he got paid
  • Whats wrong with Logan Mankins?
  • Brandon Spikes is looking really good
  • Big plays are still killing us
  • We need to tackle better
  • The Pats are still Straight Out of Foxborro

Tweets:

Other:

  • After every game I start a post game discussion on the Patriots subreddit on Reddit.com. The current one is here so go ahead and check it out for some other thoughts
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Pats Pre Game Post: Hunting Buffalo

Game Info:

  • Played at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Orchard Park, NY
  • Starts at Sunday, September 25th, 1:00 EST
  • On CBS

Pats Injury Report:

  • Aaron Hernandez, MCL sprain
  • Taylor Price, hamstring
  • Patrick Chung, hand
  • Albert Haynesworth, back
  • Sebastian Vollmer, back
  • Mike Wright, concussion

Key Matchups:

  • Kyle Williams vs Dan Connolly
    • Kyle Williams is a athlete and Connolly has problems with athletic defensive lineman
  • Fred Jackson vs Pats d-line
    • Jackson currently leads the league in rush yards with 229 and an average of 6.5 per carry. Granted that was against a lost Kansas City team and a not so good Raiders team. The Pats have the 11th best rushing defense in the league currently, while KC is 25th and Oakland is 27th.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick vs Pats secondary
    • Sergio Brown, Josh Barrett, James Ihedigbo, and Ross Ventrone are our safeties… Yeah, not a very good group with Chung out. McCourty can handle Stevie Johnson though, but yards after the catch was a big thing in the San Diego game and with these safeties…

Questions:

  • Will Devin McCourty show up?
  • Is Fred Jackson going to be contained?
  • How will the Pats depleted secondary handle the red hot Ryan Fitzpatrick?
  • With Aaron Hernandez out, will Ochocinco have a big game?
  • How many times will the Patriots bring the blitz?

Predictions:

  • Brady lights up the Bills secondary
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick and Fred Jackson will wreck havoc in the 2rd half
  • Its going to be a head banging, high scoring game
  • Patriots 35, Bills 31
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