Building your draft board position by position - week 1: 3-4 Defensive Linemen
The draft contests seem to have attracted a number of participants, but haven't generated much dialogue. I'd like to try something else which, if it doesn't generate dialogue, will hopefully give people a forum to give their views in more depth on why a particular player fits the Patriots' scheme.
Here's the project: Using the Great Blue North's position rankings as your starting point, put together a draft board for each position. Please explain why the player fits for the Patriots', how they would use him (3rd down specialist, alternate positions, or specific STs assignment, etc.), and project what round would be best to take him based on your evaluation of team needs.
I suggest the GBN rankings as a starting point, but you are welcome to "scout" other sources and use their assessments in your supporting notes (links and quotes are encouraged to help feed our draftnik hunger). Updating your post with new data is also encouraged (combine/pro-day results, etc.) please use a new color with each update to help folks spot the changes. Remember, BB likes to know what a player can do for the team, not so much what they can't do.
We have 11 weeks to play around with the prospects - I am starting with DL and OC/OG since combine results shouldn't effect their rankings too much:
Week 1: DL (Base 3-4 DEs and NTs)
Week 2: OC/OG
Week 3: WR
Week 4: CB
Week 5: LB
Week 6: TE
Week 7: OT
Week 8: S/STs
Week 9: RB/FB
Week 10-11: Put together a final board based on your position boards.
April 29 - draft day!
Defensive/Nose Tackle (DT/NT)
Haloti Ngata 6'5" 345 5.08/40 Oregon: Has the strength, quickness, and size to play a two gap technique in the Patriots' 3-4 defense. Versatile, he can play DE and NT in the 3-4, DT in the 4-3, and interior line on punt return and field goal defense special teams. Potential everydown player. Tall to clog passing lanes, he can collapse the pocket and pressure the QB. Stought against the run, he requires constant double teams, has good mobility along the line of scrimmage and can play sideline to sideline. Gets good penetration in the kicking game, good kick blocker with 7 blocked kicks while at Oregon (School Record). Coachable.
Concerns: He is a junior coming out early (Mother's ill health and family financial concerns dictated the decision). He tore the ACL in his left knee and missed the 2003 season (appears to be back to full form with his play to date). He is reported to be a little lazy (Veteran leadership should negate this concern).
Projected: Top 10, unlikely to fall out of Top 15. First round candidate if he does fall.
Montavius Stanley 6'2" 321 5.20/40 Louisville: Has the strength, quickness, and size to play a two gap technique in the Patriots' 3-4 defense. Versatile, he can play DE and NT in the 3-4, and both DE/DT in the 4-3. Potential everydown player. He penetrates well, collapsing the pocket and pressuring the QB with 7 sacks in his career. Stought against the run, he requires constant double teams. Sideline to sideline player with a lot of hustle.
Concerns: Tore a pectoral muscle at the end of the season and missed the Gator Bowl. He had surgery to repair the tear in January.
Projected: Early 2nd to 4th round. May need to trade down in the 1st round to get him at the best value.
Jeff Littlejohn 6'2" 319 5.09/40 Middle Tennessee State: Has the strength, quickness, and size to play a two gap technique in the Patriots' 3-4 defense. Versatile, he can play DE and NT in the 3-4, and DT in the 4-3. He can collapse the pocket and pressure the QB, but plays considerably better against the run, he requires constant double teams.
Concerns: Level of competition.
Projected: 6th round or later, but may rise on the boards with the scarcity of 3-4 NT candidates. A second day candidate dependent on the demand for 3-4 NTs.
Gerald Anderson 6'2" 313 5.43/40 Georgia: Has the strength, quickness, and size to play a two gap technique in the Patriots' 3-4 defense. NT in the 3-4, and DT in the 4-3. He can collapse the pocket and pressure the QB, but plays considerably better against the run, he requires constant double teams. Finds the ball well and moves laterally on the line.
Concerns: Maintaining his intensity. Had a back injury that limited playing time, he appeared to have no trouble in the Hula Bowl and dominated against the competition there.
Projected: 6th round of later, but may rise on the boards with the scarcity of 3-4 NT candidates. Limited value before the 6th round for the Patriots.
Antwan Burton 6'3" 315 5.45/40 Temple: Junior College transfer. Strong against the run, limited pass rush. He is not as athletic as some DTs, but plays his responsibilities in team exercises and games creating opportunities for other players. NT 3-4, DT 4-3. Hustles, chases plays upfield, winds up around the ball a lot. Draws double teams regularly.
Concerns: Missed 2004 with a broken bone in his foot (showed no ill effects during 2005 season).
Projected: UDFA. Nice project to invite to camp.
You're killing me, BOR...now how am I supposed to get any work done for the next two months? :rolleyes:
I started work on this but I was going about it a little differently, focusing on round value to me. For instance I'm not crazy about Gabe Watson, who has a disturbingly high talent/production ratio. But if it were mid second day and somehow he was there, would I really throw him over for Jeff Littlejohn?
Maybe another way to put it: I found myself as intrigued by the players you didn't list as the ones you did. Is Babatunde Oshinowo off your board altogether, or would he be worth it at some point in the draft?
3-4 DEs (Compiled using various resources)
Titus Adams, Nebraska (huskeralk here?)
Round 3 to Round 4 prospect
2004 Brook Berringer Citizenship Team
2003 First-Team Academic All-Big 12
2003 Big 12 Commissioner’s Spring Academic Honor Roll
2002 Big 12 Commissioner’s Fall Academic Honor Roll
Titus Adams enters his senior season as one of Nebraska's most battle-tested defensive players, having appeared in 37 games in his career. After two seasons as a key reserve, the Omaha native stepped into the starting lineup at defensive tackle last season, and teamed with Le Kevin Smith to give the Blackshirts a solid interior defense.
An extremely athletic player for his size, Adams split his sophomore campaign between defensive end and tackle, and excelled as a pass rusher. Adams played inside at tackle in 2002, and appeared in 13 games, finishing his redshirt freshman campaign with 21 tackles, including a pair of sacks. He redshirted in 2001.
Adams is an excellent representative of the Nebraska football program in the classroom and the community. He is a regular participant in the Huskers' extensive community outreach programs, and is on track to earn his degree in business administration this December. He was also a first-team academic All-Big 12 selection in 2003.
Manase Hopoi, Washington
Round 3 to Round 5 Prospect
A candidate for All-America honors ... on track to regain his fifth year of eligibility by earning his undergraduate degree in four years ... a second-team All-Pac-10 selection in 2004 ... had 54 total tackles and led the Pac-10 with 22 tackles for loss, one shy of Washington's single-season record ... his tackles for loss tally ranked second among Division I defenders ... also totaled nine sacks during the year, the ninth best single-season mark in UW history ... started all 11 games at either defensive tackle or defensive end ... had six tackles for loss at USC tied school record (Jerry Jensen, 1997 vs. ASU) and were most by a Pac-10 player this season .. also had three sacks vs. USC ... voted the team's John P. Angel Defensive Lineman of the Year award and the L. Wait Rising Lineman of the Year.
Moe Thompson, South Carolina** (Criminal charges)
Round 5 to Round 7 Prospect
High School: Ranked as the #5 best TE in the nation, and registered 85 tackles and 5 sacks at DL, #15 best ATHLETE prospect.
2002: Freshman All-American honors
2003: Honorable Mention All-SEC
2004 Preseason: All-SEC candidate at defensive end ... Extremely athletic and aggressive defender ... Had a great spring practice ... Recipient of the Joe Morrison Memorial Award for defense during the spring, which goes to the most outstanding defensive and offensive player during spring practice.
Senior Bowl practices: Former South Carolina defensive end Moe Thompson was on hand, announcing he will not return to school and will opt for the draft. Suspended from the Game****s program after being arrested on burglary charges, Thompson pleaded guilty to two counts each of attempted first-degree burglary and petit larceny in December. He was subsequently sentenced to five years of probation in a suspended, 20-year prison term. One of the highest rated defensive ends in the nation entering 2005, Thompson originally transferred to Grambling prior to last season. He decided not to play football until his legal brouhaha was over.
Announcing his decision to enter the draft, Thompson expects the league to grant him special exemption. He is also expecting an invitation to February's combine and hopes to carry his 270-pound frame across 40 yards at the RCA Dome in 4.6 seconds.
Victor Adeyanju, Indiana
Round 3 to Round 4 Prospect
Has excellent size and the frame to get even bigger...A tremendous natural athlete...Speed and quickness are outstanding...Has good range and pursues well...Has a great motor...Puts in his time in the weight room...A hard worker with top intangibles who wants to be the best...Tough and durable with four-years of starting experience...Still has a ton of upside and his best football is still to come.
Still very raw and needs some development...Needs to work on his technique and will play too high at times...Must develop additional pass rush moves...Could do a better job against the run...Might be a bit of a workout warrior...Was not super productive throughout his career...Needs to bulk up and put on some weight.
Spent much of his childhood living in Nigeria...Has all the physical tools you look for but is just a little rough around the edges...Could become a top pro defensive end with the right coaching...You could see a team fall in love with his potential.
More to be added later, I'm off.
We don't need to use a first or second round pick on a NT. Babtunde is a perfect fit for our team in round 3. He's very smart and has a terrific upside. He will have a year or two backing up Big Vince but hopefully providing quality reps when Vince is out. We didn't have much of that last year.
I don't want to draft an NT on the first day. I'd much rather get a vet through FA or trade to spell Vince. It would be asking a lot of a rookie NT to play this season. If there's second day value at the spot, that we can afford to make inactive every week, fine.
Oshinowo: Gets listed at 309 or 320, I'll have to wait for the Combine. Below is an example of the kind of stuff I keep reading about him. I've not been sold on his value in the Pats' system, similar to how I've not been sold on Watson finding his 'on' switch as a reserve NT for the Pats.
Well, as I said I don't think we should be taking a NT on the first Day, but there is a guy on my board who I'm not sure if he's a DE or NT in the 3-4. He's slated as a third rounder:
He is an exceptional athlete for a man his size. He is quick, agile, and speedy. He gets admirable penetration on the defensive line allowing him to be relatively active in the run stopping department in his game. He is an outstanding tackler who plays with great range and is great at covering ground on the field. He is also a great pass rusher because of his superior speed for his frame. He is good at beating offensive lineman from both a physical standpoint and a finesse standpoint. He has a good resume of moves that he uses, and they are quite effective too.
That would be Orien Harris of Miami. 6'3" 300.
Other NT prospects, but probably undrafted free agents:
Jason Hatcher 6-5, 285 Grambling
Stephen Bowen 6-5, 275 Hofstra
A.J. Schable 6-3, 285 South Dakota
Brandon McKinney 6-2, 335 Michigan State
Fred Thwreatt 6-2, 350 Texas Tech
Those are based purely on measurables. I haven't watched any of them.
Now the 3-4 DE is another story. I'm fine drafting one early. Broderick Bunkley from Florida State is probably my favorite, at 6'2" 300 lbs. I'd be cool with drafting him somewhere in the 27-40 range.
And an interesting chart to consider:
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