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Junior watch list

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Dec 18, 2009.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thought I'd start a thread about this. So far, here's what I can recall off the top of my head:

    Juniors Who Have Officially Declared for the Draft

    Jimmy Clausen, QB, Notre Dame
    Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
    Golden Tate, WR, Notre Dame
    Aurelius Benn, WR, Illinois
    Dez White, WR, Oklahoma St.
    Desmond Brizcoe, WR, Kansas
    Mike Williams, WR, Syracuse
    Abe Koroma, DT, Western Illinois

    Juniors Who Have Announced They are Staying

    Jake Locker, QB, Washington
    Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina

    There's a bunch more who are rumored to be gone (like the Pouncey twins), or heavily leaning one way or the other. But those are the official ones I know of so far.
  2. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    Gerald McCoy has just declared.
  3. bigcountry75

    bigcountry75 Rookie

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    Maybe I am wrong but isn't the wr for Ok State Dez Bryant?
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Thanks for the correction. You're right.
  5. bigcountry75

    bigcountry75 Rookie

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    I wonder how far he will fall but I have always loved him as a receiver....If we could get him in the second round I think he could be our #1 receiver of the future.....Big, physical, fast and great hands.....I don't know about his off the field issues this season but he is a phenominal talent....
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  7. Box_O_Rocks

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    Per ESPN via NFL Draft Scout: 12/20/09 - Rutgers Scarlet Knights junior offensive tackle Anthony Davis said on the field after the St. Petersburg Bowl pres. by Beef 'O' Brady's that he'll have a news conference on Tuesday in New Jersey to discuss his NFL plans. Two sources told ESPN that Davis plans to declare for the NFL draft at the conference. Davis is projected as a first-round draft choice and by some as a top-10 pick as possibly the top offensive tackle in the draft. Rutgers defeated Central Florida 45-24 for its fourth consecutive bowl win.
  8. Box_O_Rocks

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    12/20/09 - An estimated eight to 10 juniors are submitting paperwork to the NFL draft advisory board for an evaluation at the next level, UF strength coach Mickey Marotti said Wednesday. Marotti, the only player or coach available after Wednesday's workouts, helps gather information for players to make the best decision on whether to return for a senior season or enter the draft. Marotti said it is "hard to tell" whether juniors already have made decisions. CB Joe Haden, DE Carlos Dunlap, TE Aaron Hernandez and OLs Maurkice and Mike Pouncey are prime candidates to leave early. "You give them the information and they can do what they need to do," Marotti said. Other candidates for an evaluation include S Ahmad Black, S Major Wright, DT Lawrence Marsh, OL Carl Johnson, OL Marcus Gilbert and RB Chris Rainey, a redshirt sophomore. - The Orlando Sentinel via NFL Draft SCout
  9. Box_O_Rocks

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    12/20/09 - The Pitt Panthers have one more game ahead of them before concluding their 2009 campaign, but head coach Dave Wannstedt is confident one of his defensive anchors will return for his senior season. Wannstedt said he expects junior (redshirt) defensive end Greg Romeus to come back in 2010 instead of entering the NFL Draft. "I'm very confident that he'll be back. I'm going to visit with his parents a little bit. We're gathering information just to be sure that we're doing the best thing for Greg, and that's what my interest is," said Wannstedt. Romeus was the Big East Co-Defensive Player of the Year in 2009, along with fellow Panther Mick Williams. He was also named First-Team All Big East. He recorded 40 tackles and eight sacks in 12 regular season games. The Panthers will meet the University of North Carolina Tar Heels at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C., on Dec. 26. - WTAE TV4, Pittsburgh via NFL Draft Scout
  10. Box_O_Rocks

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    Via NFL Draft Scout...

    12/20/09 - An otherwise quiet Friday on the USC campus was shaken up by the L.A. Times report that starting tailback Joe McKnight was being investigated by USC for driving an SUV that was owned by a Santa Monica businessman. According to the report, Joe McKnight has been driving a 2006 Land Rover around for weeks that is registered to Scott Schenter. McKnight acknowledged riding in the SUV but said he has never driven the car himself. He went on to say that his girlfriend works as a secretary for Schenter and that the Land Rover is, "my baby mama's boss'." USC head coach Pete Carroll was asked about the report after Friday’s practice, and said he was aware of it, but hasn’t read the story. Carroll did say that the compliance office was already reviewing the matter. "I am aware of it. I haven’t read it and all that it says,” Carroll said. “What I do know and what I can say to is that compliance has this in full review and so we will have to wait and see what happens with that. I don’t know anything more than that. “I haven’t read the article yet. I don’t even know what’s in there.” If McKnight is found to be in violation of NCAA rules it could affect his athletic eligibility. The junior from Louisiana is eligible to declare for the NFL draft but had previously stated that he planned to return to USC for his senior season. The deadline for underclassmen to declare for the draft is Jan. 15th. McKnight was not made available to the media on Friday. - Kevin Carden, SCPlaybook.com

    12/18/09 - Joe McKnight, star tailback of USC's football team, has been driving a sport utility vehicle owned by a Santa Monica businessman, an arrangement that the school is investigating and may be in violation of college rules. The NCAA, which governs major college sports, prohibits student athletes from accepting benefits from marketing representatives or agents or "extra benefits" based on their athletic ability. For several weeks, McKnight has been seen driving a well-kept 2006 Land Rover that, according to California Department of Motor Vehicles records, is registered to Scott Schenter. Schenter, 47, has a background that includes marketing, and a company he owned registered a website called 4joemcknight.com. It is unclear whether Schenter has any ties with USC or the school had knowledge of his activities. If it's found that McKnight is in violation of NCAA rules, it could affect his athletic eligibility. USC's football team will next play against Boston College in the Emerald Bowl on Dec. 26 in San Francisco. - Gary Klein, The LA Times
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Damn. One of my top 3 conversion prospects if he declares.
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Staying in school for his senior season is the best thing he could do.
  13. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Poor Pete the Rete Carroll, asleep at the wheel again.
  14. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

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    Maybe the huge number of junior defections is not going to occur.
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  16. O'Doyle Rules!

    O'Doyle Rules! Rookie

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    Well highly regarded Michigan CBs do tend to turn out pretty well in the NFL...
  17. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not a fan of Warren. If you're talking Big 10 cornerbacks, Amari Spievey is where you want to be.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  20. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    That kid just made himself a boatload of cash, if he doesn't get hurt.

    If I was a DT this year, I would stay in school, because you are not going to displace Suh or McCoy at the top of the draft board this year, but next year is more wide open.
  21. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    12/21/09 - Great news for Iowa fans today, as defensive end Adrian Clayborn will return for his senior season in 2010, according to The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette's Marc Morehouse. A first-team All-Big Ten selection, Clayborn was a beast this fall for Iowa. He recorded 18 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks, nine quarterback hurries, four forced fumbles and a blocked punt that he returned for a touchdown against Penn State, the team's signature play of the season. Despite his stellar season, Clayborn seemed like a good bet to remain at Iowa. He'll anchor a strong defensive line in 2010. The attention now turns to left tackle Bryan Bulaga and cornerback Amari Spievey, who both have NFL decisions to make. - Adam Rittenberg, ESPN via NFL Draft Scout
  22. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  23. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  24. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Some recent notes on the junior watch list from TFYdraft:

    TFY

    The most interesting note is concerning Texas A & M junior Von Miller, 6'3", 240#, who led the NCAA in sacks this year with 17: "Texas A&M defender Von Miller is also likely to play one more college game before entering the draft. Scouts have told us the Aggie junior ranks just behind Ndamukong Suh of Nebraska and Oklahoma’s Gerald McCoy on the list of the top defenders from the Big 12. Southwest area scouts think Miller, who is projected as an outside linebacker by most, could easily add 15-pounds to his frame and stay at the defensive end position. He presently grades out as a second round choice but sources have told us the Pittsburgh Steelers and New England Patriots have shown a lot of interest in Miller and could over-draft him in round one."

    Von Miller with 15 more lbs. could be another Clay Matthews kind of guy. He's got a deadly 1st step and is a brilliant pass rusher, but it's not clear that he has the bulk to set the edge or that he would be a 3 round player for BB. Then again, that's what I thought about Matthews, too.
  25. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, Matthews isn't a "3 round player" for BB, he's not even a three down player for him - not that many Matthews fans would understand the scheme differences which might have driven the draft decisions last Spring.
  26. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    From what I'm understanding, the Pats use bigger OLBs than most schemes, and Matthews was too small to set the edge against the run. Is this correct?
  27. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No fair introducing subtleties like schematic fit when Matthews' 11 sacks are staring you in the face. :D

    Have you watched Von Miller at all? I don't see him being a good schematic fit for the Pats at all, despite the TFYdraft reports of interest from the team. He's a deadly quick pass rusher, but he can't set the edge or stack and shed to save his life.
  28. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not an expert on variations of the 3-4 scheme and how BB's approach differs from others. Perhaps someone like Jays52 or Bakes781 could discuss that. But as I understand it, BB looks for some of the following form his OLBs:

    1. They have to be able to read the play and diagnose run vs. pass. They aren't primarily just pass rushers. As DaBruinz noted last offseason when we discussed this topic, "the primary job of the OLB is to diagnose what the play is. The OLB has to be able to discern between a run and pass play. Once he has done that, he has to be able to set the edge on a run play on a rushing play to his side. Or, if its a passing play, rush the passer where someone else picks up the TE and or the RB, or drop back into coverage himself if one of the other line backers is taking up the rush. The Patriots, under Belichick in the 3-4, have never had an OLB JUST put his ears back and rush the Passer on every down."

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/13/223412-our-1-need-mile.html (post #31)

    BB demands more "read and react" skills from his OLBs than do some other 3-4 schemes, such as those run by Dallas and San Diego, where the OLB is primarily a pass rusher, or even Pittsburgh where the LBs tend to be disruptors rather than reading plays and reacting.

    2. BB sets a huge amount of value on the OLB being able to "set the edge" in a run play. This requires the OLB to function like a lineman and take on blockers. The LBs aren't so much protected by linemen (the way they are in Baltimore's scheme, for example), they function almost like linemen in taking on blockers and disengaging from them. This in turn generally requires a bigger and more physical OLB than, for example, speed rushers such as Elvis Dumervil and James Harrison, and puts a premium on skills like stacking and shedding. This is particular true for the "strongside" OLB, which Mike Vrabel played. The "weakside" OLB (played by Roosevelt Colvin and later Adalius Thomas) doesn't have quite as much focus on taking on linemen and is a bit more free to pass rush, but still BB places a relatively high value on setting the edge and containing running plays. This disfavors OLBs who are too slight to take on blockers and set the edge, and OLBs who stylistically tend to run around blockers to make the tackle. Matthews had this reputation coming out of USC.

    3. BB uses his OLBs in coverage more than teams such as Dallas and San Diego, so finding players with coverage skills is a plus. That was one of the major factors in targeting a guy like Adalius Thomas in FA. This might have been a question mark for guys like Larry English who were more DE's who rushed the passer all the time. Matthews had superb cover skills, having started as a safety at USC.

    4. BB tends to require a lot of discipline from his players. He places a premium on players sticking to their assigned area/responsibility and the defense functioning as whole, and disfavors players who tend to freelance a lot.

    5. BB places a lot of value on height in his OLBs, and particularly likes tall players with long arms who can get their arms up and clog the passing lanes.

    BB doesn't seem to particularly place a lot of value on stats like sacks. Only once in 10 years have we had a LB get more than 10 sacks (12.5 from Vrabel in 2007, when we were ahead a lot and could rush the passer more), and only 3 LBs have had as many as 8 sacks in the past decade (Vrabel, Colvin and McGinest). He wants OLBs who can do a variety of things well and have the discipline to do their job so that the whole defense functions the way he wants it to. The Pats 3-4 OLB is a less glamorous position than that on Pittsburgh, San Diego, or Dallas, for example. It's a blue collar job.

    My impression of Matthews is that he is a heat seeking missile who is great rushing the passer and running around blockers to make tackles, and great dropping into coverage, but that he may lack the discipline to fit into BB's scheme, some of the height that BB likes, and some of the bulk and physicality to take on blockers and set the edge the way BB likes. That's not meant as a criticism of Matthews, who is turning out to be a fabulous player, more a comment on how he fits to BB's scheme. Whether BB should be more flexible in the type of players he targets is a whole different issue.

    For all of those clamoring now that we should have taken Matthews, note that last spring almost 75% of those polled on this board preferred Larry English at 3-4 OLB for the Pats. English currently has 2 sacks as a backup at San Diego, but could very possibly take over next year as the starter for Shawne Merriman.

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england.../13/224567-larry-english-clay-matthews.html

    I'll defer to my more learned colleagues if they disagree with any of the above. I'm not a schematic analyst by any means.
  29. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To follow up on the last post regarding BB's preferred OLB characteristics, to do all of the things that BB desires from his OLBs requires size (bulk), height (length), strength (especially to take on blockers), speed, quickness, lateral agility, loose hips (to drop back into coverage and shadow TEs), safety-like coverage skills, 3-4 DL-like skills in terms of taking on blockers (stacking and shedding), pass rushing skills, a blue-collar work ethic, quite a bit of intelligence to read and react and diagnose plays, and the mental discipline to function within a complex system and not free lance. Add in BB's interest in high-character, high motor kids, and it becomes even tougher.

    Not an easy combination of skills to find. Which is why some of us (rightly or wrongly) get very excited when we see a prospect who seems to possess most or all of those attributes, like Connor Barwin did last year, or Austen Lane does this year, and (rightly or wrongly) are willing to overlook things like amount of experience at a position or level of competition to a certain extent. Even guys who are not perfect fits but who possess a lot of those skills, like Robert Ayers, Jeremy Beal, Greg Romeus, Greg Hardy and Jason Pierre-Paul get extra attention because it is so difficult to find a perfect match.
  30. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mayoclinic did a good job of discussing scheme differences.

    What we know for sure is BB felt picking up an extra fifth round pick to move down three places to 26 was a better value than picking at 23. He then found Green Bay's offer of a second, two thirds, and another fifth a better value than picking at 26 - which is why Green Bay has Matthews, they paid for him. BB felt he had adequate depth at OLB (per interviews after the draft). Arguably he was right, if the offense was functioning better the defense would be playing with a lead and could unleash the dogs more often (see 4th Qtr, TBC @Buffalo; 2007, Vrabel up until Colvin to IR).
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2009

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