… and my 500th post. Yes, I know it’s more common to celebrate a 1000th post, but hey, it took me 3 1/2 years to get to 500, so …
Third string baby!
I’m attempting to become more of a draftnik, so here’s my attempt at a Patriots draft board by some need positions.
* Asterisks means the guy has Patriots intangibles
1. Alphonso Smith – watching this guy at the Senior Bowl practices, he looked like Asante Samuel out there. It just makes too much sense. He’s my current mock pick at #23.
2. DJ Moore – speed, versatility, returner
3. Sean Smith – we may learn at combine if he’s really an NFL corner
4.Vontae Davis – ranked lower because he doesn’t seem like a Patriots-type guy
5. Jarius Byrd
6. Mike Mickens – current injury won’t scare Patriots away
7. Victor ‘Macho’ Harris
8. *Keenan Lewis – smart, hard worker, average athleticism
9. Darius Butler – weak senior season seems like it’d hurt him in the Patriots’ eyes
10. Joe Burnett – probably biased by this Central Florida Samuel-type corner
Assumed gone: Malcolm Jenkins
Left off: Coye Francies (doesn’t seem to have the character), DeAngelo Smith
OLB – I’m thinking that if they go OLB in round 1, it’d be as an elite pass rusher. Remarkable depth here.
1. Everette Brown – may be long gone, but including him as a possible trade-up option
2. Larry English – if he has the upfield burst could do with comparatively weak coverage ability
3. Brian Cushing – Mock draft favorite
4. Clint Sintim – easy transition, but is he an elite pass rusher?
5. Aaron Maybin – a bit light
6. *Paul Kruger – My current mock for pick #47, he’s got the intangibles
7. Clay Mathews – I’m not seeing it, but maybe he falls
8. Michael Johnson – this guy could drop, but he’s a freak athlete
9. Connor Barwin – mandatory inclusion or I’d get flamed
10. Zack Follett – not the elite pass rusher
11. Marcus Freeman – not the elite pass rusher
Assumed gone: Brian Orakpo, Aaron Curry
S – Overall, I don’t quite see the talent/value for round 1, but they’ll have to pick one by round 3. I’m prioritizing coverage over run support.
1. Sean Smith – If he’s a safety, he could be an excellent ball-hawking cover safety
2. *Louis Delmas – Team leader, an option at #48
3. *Rashad Johnson – “coach on the field”, fast, can cover, my mock for #57
4. Patrick Chung – Not sure he has the coverage ability
Left off: William Moore (board favorite, but I just don’t see it)
OT – I think it’s possible they go OT in round 1 or 2, but I doubt they’d draft one much after that because it wouldn’t be an upgrade. Of course they could draft one in rounds 5+ as a project.
1. Michael Oher: Could fall, but I’m not sure he’s reliable/consistent anyway
2. Eben Britton: Has the athleticism for the system
3. William Beatty: Also has athleticism
4. *Troy Kropog: Athletic plus intangibles, not particularly strong
5. Jamon Meredith: Smart, versatile
Assumed gone: Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, Andre Smith
Left off: Philip Loadholt (not for Patriots system)
WR – Unlikely to take one in round 1, possibly in round 2-3 though. After the Chad Jackson and Bethel Johnson fiascos, I’m thinking the Patriots prioritize intelligence, route-running, and hands over athleticism.
1. Jeremy Maclin – probably gone at #23, but would be nice
2. Percy Harvin – intriguing, but unlikely in round 1 and won’t be there in round 2
3. Derrick Williams – Probably biased as a Penn State alum
4. Juaquin Iglesias – Seems like he’d be a reliable guy
5. Brian Robiskie – polished, smart, but athletic?
6. Kenny Britt – intriguing, but raw
7. Hakeem Nicks – Also reliable, but may be zero deep threat
8. Louis Murphy – Florida connection
9. *Kenny McKinley – lower rounds, but very intriguing as small, quick, good route runner
Assumed gone: Crabtree
Left off: Darrius Heyward-Bay, Patrick Turner, Ramses Barden
TE – We all know this is coming.
1. Brandon Pettigrew – Not my favorite, but he’s probably the best athlete of the bunch
2. Chase Coffman – Reliable
3. Shawn Nelson – Senior Bowl riser
4. Bear Pascoe – Late round option with Fresno St. connection, but maybe not much more
Left off: Lots of guys, I don’t know the TE class as well.
Honorable mention: Scott McKillop – didn’t do ILB, but I love this guy for the Patriots
So, who’d I leave off? Rankings out of whack? Any Patriots-type character guys I should have asterisked?