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My Blueprint for the Defense

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Ivan

    Ivan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey


    This is one of those picks that i love when I knew nothing about the kid before they picked him. I agree that the best case scxenario is that he sees time this year and wins Arrington's job in 2015.
     
  2. Ivan

    Ivan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey


    It's a shame you don't post this kind of stuff in the main forum because it would make for much more interesting football discussion there. Right or wrong about any of the speculation this is the kind of stuff knowledgeable football fans should want to be discussing. Their needs and the direction they are going in, who could be available and what the costs might be, and what their future needs and opportunities might be. It looks like the best place for current football discussion may actually be the draft forum.


    Personally I am too Patriots centric, I don't spend enough time looking at other teams and that's something i should change going forward. Appreciate the information, great stuff as always.
     
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  3. Ivan

    Ivan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The great thing about the Easely pick is that it addresses a number of things in one move. They get a penetrating DL who can start inside, a rotational DE to spell Jones and Ninkovich, which was another big need, and they get a young DT to start the rebuilding process on that unit. All in all an excellent pick.

    For me the key to their defensive future is going to be getting the deals done with Revis and McCourty. If they can achieve that they will be able to focus on adding the rotational players you are talking about for the DL and front 7 while maintaining a top 5 scoring defense. If they don't get those deals done they will be faced with needs across the board defensively going into next offseason.

    Time to back up the Brinks truck at Bob Kraft's bank.
     
  4. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Easley's versatility and ability to disrupt from any gap from the 0/1 to the 9 technique is part of what makes him so special, IMO. Doug Farrar calls him the most gap-diverse DL prospect he's seen since Melvin Ingram.

    I completely agree, and I can't see the Pats being dumb enough to let either of those 2 go.
     
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It's obviously way too early to determine how the 2014 defense will shape up or what the main needs will be for 2015, but (assuming Revis and McCourty are extended) here are 7 guys who I could see bringing tremendous value to the defense:

    1. Shawn Oakman, DE, Baylor.* 6'8" 285#. Very inconsistent right now, but Oakman has incredible burst for such a big guy.

    2. Arik Armstead, DE/DT, Oregon.* 6'7" 290#. Armond Armstead's younger brother. Like Oakman, he's inconsistent right now, but he has tremendous size and athleticism. He's giving up basketball to focus completely on football this year.

    3. Dante Fowler, DE/OLB, Florida. 6'3" 270#. Lines up all over the defensive front 7 and creates mismatches. One of the most versatile defensive players in college football.

    4. Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah St.* 6'5" 245#. The next Jamie Collins?

    5. Eric Striker, OLB, Oklahoma.* 6'2" 220#. The next Ryan Shazier? Bob Stoops calls Striker the best blitzer he has ever coached.

    6. Shaq Thomson, OLB/S, Washington.* 6'2" 225#. Tremendous mobility (6'57 3-cone and 3.99 SS), hits like a truck.

    7. Cody Prewitt, S, Mississippi St. 6'2" 220#. Led the SEC in INTs with 6 in 2013. Compares favorably to Harrison Smith, IMO.

    Find a long term LDE complement to Chandler Jones and a long term compliment to Devin McCourty and the defense should get even better.
     
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  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  7. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Good list; I especially liked #s 3 & 7, and the closing sentence is an absolute must-do. I'm anxious
    to see what Buchanan & Kyle Moore have to offer (Jake the Fake Bequette's a lost cause), but am disheartened that SS was given no thought whatsoever.
     
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't expect Bequette to be around past training camp. I assume you mean Zach Moore - I am hoping that in time he and Michael Buchanan will develop as quality depth at LDE and RDE, respectively, but right now I would be quite happy if they get that far. That still leaves plenty of room for a long term complement to Chandler Jones.
     
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  9. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I do indeed mean Zach Moore; I don't know from where I got the Kyle.
     
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Clearly, you meant the Bucs's 2008 4th Rounder who started to emerge with Beefalo in 2012 with 7 Starts and 3 Sacks, signed a 3 Year Deal with the Bears...and disappeared into the Ether.

    Always thinking OutSide The Box, y'are, Brother Stone. ;)
     
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  11. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    How weird is this? Thanks to Wikipedia, I've learned that the Bucs 4th-round pick in 2008, 115th overall, was DT (and could've been 3-4 DE?) Dre Moore; the Bucs 4th-round pick in 2009, 117th overall,
    was 4-3 DE Kyle Moore. That was moore than I had previously known.
     
  12. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    How do you like it? How do you like it? Moore, Moore, Moore!! :D

     
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  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Two guys on this list recently got some attention. First, Dane Brugler of CBS Sports rated Eric Striker as the top Oklahoma Sooners' pro prospect:

    http://www.cbssports.com/nfl/draft/nfl-draft-scout/24581094/nfl-draft-oklahoma-preview

    Second, NFL.com's Chase Goodbread listed Cody Prewitt #5 on a list of the top 14 most physical players in college football:

    http://www.nfl.com/photoessays/0ap2000000355749

    Here's a couple of clips of Prewitt laying the lumber:





    Either of these guys would help fill the only remaining major hole in the back end of the defense. The line between a linebacker who plays in space like a safety and a safety who hits like an extra linebacker is negligible - either one blurs the line between the "base" and "sub" defense.
     
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  14. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Dante Fowler reminds me of a bigger, more athletic and more explosive Rob Ninkovich in some ways. He certainly has the versatility that BB loves. In other ways he reminds me of Da'Quan Bowers coming out of Clemson, but with a better motor and work ethic. Will Muschamp also had this to say about Fowler last fall:

    http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap2000000258782/article/florida-coach-will-muschamp-praises-lb-dante-fowler

    That kind of stuff must be music to BB's ears.
     
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  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    More on Easley, from Doug Farrar at CNNSI.com:

    http://nfl.si.com/2014/06/06/break-it-down-dominique-easley-could-redefine-new-englands-defensive-fronts/

    It's a detailed and interesting read. I particularly liked the discussion of Easley's ability to dominant in a 2-gap as well as a 1-gap scheme, both from different positions on the DL. I also liked this bit:

     
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  16. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mike Reiss looks at new LB James Anderson:

    http://espn.go.com/blog/boston/new-england-patriots/post/_/id/4763789/film-study-on-new-lb-james-anderson

    By all accounts Anderson wore down over the course of the season playing a full-time starting role over 16 games. But also by all accounts he still played at a very capable level, especially in coverage, and accomplished a lot under difficult circumstances with a porous defense in front of him, behind him, and to both sides. Unless he's fallen off dramatically since last season (he turns 31 this fall), he should be a major upgrade to Dane Fletcher.

    I'm with Reiss in hoping that Anderson turns out to be more than just depth at LB, and that he gets used situationally as an effective weapon. I'd love to see him play a LB/S kind of role in sub packages, and could see at least a possibility that he could be more effective in that role than anyone else the Pats currently have (not very difficult given that Pat Chung, Tavon Wilson and Nate Ebner are the other 3 guys likely to play such a role). Anderson had excellent speed and athleticism (4.59 40, 6.68 3C and 41" VJ coming out in 2006) and he still appeared to play fairly fast last year; he's known for being a cerebral player and a "coach on the field" type of guy. BB hasn't had anyone with his skill set in a long, long time (Gary Guyton probably comes closest, but he never played up to his timed speed and lacked Anderson's overall game). I'm also hoping that Anderson plays well enough in that kind of a role to pave the way for BB to go after a guy like Shaq Thompson, Cody Prewitt or Eric Striker in the future.
     
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  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The big question I have with Dante Fowler is this: if BB wants a 6'3" 270# DE with the versatility to line up at LB and play at multiple positions, why not just use Dont'a Hightower in that role? I'd much rather have Hightower in that role than as a full time LB where he just isn't fluid enough in space, and go with Jamie Collins at SAM, Jerod Mayo at MLB, and a WLB/S hybrid with speed like Shaq Thompson or Eric Striker, or a big safety who can play a hybrid LB role like Cody Prewitt. That would also allow the base and nickel defenses to essentially use the same personnel if necessary (a 4-2-1-4, similar to what Ellis Johnson uses, as discussed above in posts #935 and #937 above):

    DL Hightower/Ninkovich - Wilfork - Easley - Cha. Jones
    LB Collins - Mayo
    LB/S Thompson/Striker/Prewitt
    S McCourty
    CB Revis - Browner - Dennard/Ryan

    Against run-heavy teams you could pull one of the CBs and add an extra 3-tech (Kelly/Armstead) and play a 5-2 base.

    Personally, I'd much rather have that kind of personnel grouping than have Hightower as a pure LB.
     
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  18. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Let's see how Hightower performs as full-time MLB. It would seem obvious that he should not play LB
    during passing downs, so he should either be removed from the field completely or tried at DE.
    As an early-down/short-yardage/goal-line MLB, he'll more than adequately replace Spikes by trading
    slightly less power for slightly more mobility.
     
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm sure Hightower will be an improvement on Spikes at MLB, but he's still a question-mark there IMO. I'm not sure that he's mentally or physically quick enough. I keep remembering Drew Boylhart's scouting report on Hightower in 2012:

    http://www.thehuddlereport.com/archive/2012profiles/Donta.Hightower.htm

    I always felt Hightower was a mis-fit pick for where the Pats' D was headed in 2012. He fits much better in the old 3-4. Given the likely current direction of the defense, I think Hightower would be much more effective being used in a Derrick Morgan kind of role, playing on the line and only dropping back occasionally. The combination of a 7.55 3-cone and poor instincts and processing speed scares the heck out of me as a full time MLB. No doubt he's gotten better, but I still have my doubts. Hopefully he'll be limited to non-passing downs in that role, but I don't really see the value of using a top-25 pick on a 2-down MLB. Those guys can easily be found on day 3 of the draft.
     
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  20. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Wow. That scouting report on Hightower at ILB really bums me out.

    Regarding the above, I said it during the 2012 draft, and I still believe it now: Why in the name of
    Ganja would Bill take a 4-3 DE like Chandler Jones, then turn right around and take a 3-4 LB like Hightower? No consistency there at all. And if Bill were truly committed to re-making the defense
    into one that could better play in space, then why didn't he take Lavonte David when he was ripe for
    the picking?
     
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