or just read it below....
As many of you long time readers know, my main focus since joining the wonderful PatsFans.com team has been the NFL Draft. I have covered the draft with comprehensive mock drafts, in-depth player scouting reports, and various other draft related articles for the last two years. This year I plan to provide even more information and articles to help keep all of you up to date with the draft. In all my articles I ask to hear all feedback from readers. But this year I’m asking all of you to contact me with not only feedback, but any questions you have regarding the draft, prospects or anything related to the NFL draft.
Anyway, onto the article…
The 2006 Senior Bowl is set to take place this Saturday, the 28th, 3 PM Eastern time on ESPN. For those of you not familiar with the Senior Bowl, it is a game played by some of the nation’s top seniors who are hoping to help raise their draft stock. Some of the seniors who are already comfortable with their draft stock, a la Matt Leinart, don’t participate in the Senior Bowl to avoid injuries. Even without some of the top seniors, this year’s rosters for the Senior Bowl are as good as they have ever been. I studied the list and picked out some select players who I think have as good of a chance as anyone to end up on the Patriots.
Joseph Addai: Running Back, Louisiana State (South Team)
It is becoming more and more apparent that the Patriots are going to need a feature running back in the near future. Addai is a very physical, strong back that is crafty between the tackles. He uses his great balance and patience to the fullest. He has good size, standing at 5’11” and 208 pounds. At Louisiana State, Addai was a productive runner who never seemed to go down without picking up at least a few yards. The dimension of Addai’s game that is very appealing is his pass catching ability out of the backfield. The big knock against Addai is his injury history. He suffered a torn ACL in 2001 and has had other nicks and bruises throughout his career.
Demetrius Williams: Wide Receiver, Oregon (North Team)
Demetrius Williams is a speed receiver that could really fill a need for the Patriots. Basically every wide receiver on the Patriots roster has an expired contract and if players like Andre Davis and David Givens don’t resign, the Patriots will be in trouble. Williams is a surprisingly good route runner who thrives against man coverage. He has good height, measuring in at 6’1”, but he could stand to add some weight to his 188 pound frame. Just like Addai, Williams has battled injuries throughout his career and his hands are not consistent enough. However, his playmaking and deep threat ability make Demetrius Williams a player the Patriots should have on their radar.
Parys Haralson: Defensive End/Outside Linebacker, Tennessee (South Team)
It’s no secret that the Patriots linebackers are an aging group that is going to need some replacements in the near future. Parys Haralson is a tweener kind of player with the ability to play defensive end and outside linebacker. He would be a perfect fit as an outside linebacker in the Patriots’ 3-4 defensive set. Haralson is a terrific pass rusher who gives non-stop effort. He was a tough, lunch pail kind of player for Tennessee and was the leader of their defense. He has good size and seems big enough to be a Patriots linebacker (6’1” 250 pounds). Parys needs to improve against the run and sometimes gets pushed around by bigger offensive linemen. He reminds me a lot of a Rosevelt Colvin type player, and I would love to see the Patriots land him.
Gerris Wilkinson: Inside Linebacker, Georgia Tech (South Team)
As I mentioned before, the Patriots are going to need a youth infusion at linebacker. Gerris Wilkinson is a big inside linebacker (6’3” 234 pounds) who is at his best when defending the run. Wilkinson packs a big punch and is never afraid to lay a hard hit on an opposing offensive player. For a big linebacker, Wilkinson is a surprisingly effective pass rusher. He seems like a Belichick type player, largely in part to his versatility. While at Georgia Tech, he saw time at inside linebacker, outside linebacker, and defensive end. The two big knocks against Wilkinson are his lack of top end speed, and his below average coverage skills. He could be a great mid to late round value pick for New England.
Jonathan Lewis: Defensive Tackle, Virginia Tech (North Team)
There have been reports that the Patriots are looking to add some quality depth behind defensive tackle Vince Wilfork other than Mike Wright. The Dan Klecko experiment was a miserable failure, and it appears the Patriots are set to draft a defensive tackle in this year’s draft. Jonathan Lewis is a very athletic defensive tackle that is built like a rock. He has a good burst and moves well side to side. He lacks ideal size and lost a few to many one on one battles with offensive linemen. Lewis was very consistent at Virginia Tech and never really got the coverage or attention he deserved. I really like his potential on the next level.
Greg Blue: Safety, Georgia (South Team)
There are a bunch of quality safeties in this year’s draft. Heading my list at safety is Southern California junior Darnell Bing. If the Patriots are unable to land Bing, Greg Blue would be a satisfying consolation prize. Blue is a terrific athlete with great size (6’2” 220 pounds) and tenacity. Much like Rodney Harrison, Blue lives and dies by the game changing hit. For a man of his size, Blue moves well and is not a liability in coverage. His hands could use some work, and sometimes his aggressiveness is his worst enemy. Blue would be a terrific pick if the Patriots are able to land him in the third round, depending on what they do with their first picks.
Please send any questions, comments, or feedback to me at LetsGoPats37@hotmail.com