Building your draft board position by position - week 1: 3-4 Defensive Linemen

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Box_O_Rocks, Feb 15, 2006.

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  1. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    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!
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    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. Ngata*

    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. Stanley

    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.
    I'll start adding 3-4 DE candidates as the week progresses.
  3. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    You're killing me, 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?
  4. drew4008

    drew4008 In the Starting Line-Up

    3-4 DEs (Compiled using various resources)

    6"3, 300
    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
    6"4, 290
    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)
    6"4, 280
    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
    6"4, 270
    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.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2006
  5. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    Great Point!

    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.
  6. drew4008

    drew4008 In the Starting Line-Up

    Actually Babatunde has very LITTLE upside. He isn't very fast or strong for his size and overall is very limited in terms of physical attributes. He has a good motor and good character, but doesn't translate as well to the tougher NFL. He's kind of like a Klecko, a get what you see player. And I'm actually getting tired of those kind of guys, give me someone who has the potential to be a superstar, after all, we have one of the best coaching staffs in the league to motivate a player who has high potential.
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2006
  7. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #11 Jersey

    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.
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Dialogue, what fun!

    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.
    If Ngata fell he would contribute for playing time at DE and NT, easily beating out Hill, Wright, and Klecko in the pecking order. Stanley seems likely to win a reserve DL slot as well. Littlejohn, Anderson, and Burton are all players I believe would have value as reserves, though they may wind up on the Practice Squad for their apprenticeship.
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Create your board based on second day choices; really, some people! :snob:
  10. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #11 Jersey

    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:
  11. drew4008

    drew4008 In the Starting Line-Up

    Mel Kiper is real high on Orien Harris, and he should run pretty well, so he should jump up to the 2nd round come draft day. But he is an interesting prospect if he falls.
  12. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Here's a first pass at the NTs, in value groups with my target round. I've marked a + when my round looks higher than the current conventional wisdom would suggest, and a - when I've pegged a player lower. Players are listed in order of preference.

    Major sources drawn on:

    1 NT Haloti Ngata Oregon
    Absurdly big, absurdly strong, and more athletic than his size should allow. Just try running up the middle on that. A luxury pick if he somehow fell to #21.

    + 3 NT Montavious Stanley Louisville
    Big strong DT, good motor, good character, good upside.
    - 3 NT Gabe Watson Michigan
    Tremendous size and strength, potential to dominate, questionable effort/consistency.
    - 3 NT Babatunde Oshinowo Stanford
    Good frame, solid all-around skills, good character, pretty good athlete. Not the most aggressive player.

    4 NT Jonathan Lewis Virginia Tech
    Explosive, tenacious, plays low, good hands. More steady than spectacular.
    4 NT Steve Fifita Utah
    Strong as an ox, technically sound, good leadership, mighty short.

    (Note that the round 3 group is generally bigger/more athletic/more versatile; the round 4 couldn't play anything but NT here.)

    6 NT Tommy Jackson Auburn
    Solid run stuffer, good effort and character.
    6 NT Jeff Littlejohn Middle Ten. State
    Small school project, pure NT build and decent upside.
  13. drew4008

    drew4008 In the Starting Line-Up

    I question your assessment of Tommy Jackson's character. From what I hear he was the loudest player at the Senior Bowl. Very ****y, arrogant, celebrated alot and egged people on. Although Samuel and Hobbs looked like that a few times this year, I don't want to have very many of those type of players.
  14. Flying Fungi

    Flying Fungi In the Starting Line-Up


    seriously though--dude is dropping on many charts--and i'd LOVE to put him under Willie's arm for a couple of seasons
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    3-4 DE's are scarce as Colts' post-season wins in this draft, partly why I look at Stanley having increased value for the Pats at NT, a year of learning could allow BB to use Wilfork outside if Seymour signs elsewhere.

    Johnny Jolly 6'4" 309 5.10/40 Texas A&M: Has the size, strength and quickness to convert to a 3-4 DE playing in the Patriots’ 2-gap scheme. With Seymour’s future up in the air, some consideration needs to be given to drafting a replacement to develop. Ty Warren 6’5†307 came out of the same system, suggesting Jolly is a good candidate to make the transition as a Patriot DE. Jolly was a mixed bag in the Shrine Game, collapsing the pocket well, he wasn’t as impressive in the run game using a penetrating attack that was more often countered well by the OL. He was selected as one of the 4 ‘goal-line’ stand DLs (All-Star rules, 4-3 only) that made the game winning stand for the West team - suggesting his DL coach had confidence in his run game.
    Concerns: Nothing beyond his current penetrating style.
    Projected: 2nd round, he is a good value there for NE.

    Barry Cofield 6'4" 305 4.93/40 Northwestern: Stought against the run in the Shrine Game, wasn’t as effective collapsing the pocket but did get a decent push and drew double teams on pass plays (Antwon Burton sucked up the DTs in the run game). Was part of the East’s most effective D-line, showed good hustle.
    Concerns: Nothing stands out.
    Projected: 5th round or later. Cofield

    Manase Hopoi 6'4" 290 5.18/40 Washington: Excellent pass rush in the Shrine Game, showed some effectiveness at the point of attack though various write-ups consider that his weak point. Was on the line for the West’s winning goal line stand.
    Concerns: Maturity, controlling his temper during the game. Is serving 2 years probation for assault following a bar room brawl.
    Projected: 7th round or later.

    Daniel Federkiel 6’7†275 4.9/40 Calgary: Sleeper pick who played an intriguing, if raw, Shrine Game. Various sites have him listed as heavy as 295, it seems likely he could bulk up to 300 without losing too much quickness/speed. Long arms clog passing lanes, he demonstrated good ball awareness and hustle. Part of the West’s game winning goal-line defense. Has potential to learn McGinest’s strong OLB role if he maintains his weight at 270-ish. Would likely be a Practice Squad player or game day inactive for the first year.
    Concerns: Level of competition.
    Projected: Difficult projection, has value for the Patriots as high as the 5th round.
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I consider Bunkley a 1st round grade, but I was unimpressed with how he disappeared for much of the Senior Bowl. Harris didn't impress me in the Senior Bowl either. The site above likes Bunkley as a 3-4 DE, they don't think much of Harris, I just think Bunkley is too short for working against the big Pro tackles the way Sey and Ty do.
  17. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Get your arguments in order for week 5 when we argue LBs. ;)
  18. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Slim pickings for 3-4 DE in this draft.
  19. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #12 Jersey

    I like the BOX list, all with good size, and I concur with the opinion that the value is in drafting a player on Day Two. With the wealth of young talent already on the DL, there is no reason to spend an early pick on an elite prospect, only to ride the pine in his first few years. Warren, Wilfork, Hill and Wright are all young players playing under their rookie contracts. Let's not look to add too much roster congestion when we already have more compelling roster needs at WR, LB and DB.

    One more point: With Klecko as the sole exception, BB drafts DTs to play DE in the 3-4 and drafts huge mutant DTs to play NT. So any prospect that doesn't break the 300# barrier with a lean body type (Seymour, Warren) is not going to make the Pats draft board.
    Those 275#, 280#, 290# prospects are not going to get a second look by the Pats staff, unless it looks like they have LB potential.
    If the guy has a big butt and pot belly, he needs to be in the 320#-345# range.
    Big and physical is an absolute must have, and long arms are key: that's what made Bobby Hamilton successful for us.
  20. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    I agree, which is why I grade him as a solid Pats prospect but not round 1.

    But...consistency check here, BOR. Bunkley is probably 2 inches taller than Wilfork, whom you've nominated to move out to DE if Seymour leaves! VW seems like a straight NT to me.

    Meanwhile, anyone have thoughts on Kedric Galston of Georgia? He has the rare body type -- 6'4", 298, 5.0, athletic -- and reportedly a good work ethic. He has an injury history (car accident) and a stupid off-the-field incident history (disorderly conduct in a bar fight) but seems to be regarded as a good character guy overall. Day 2 prospect?
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