My Blueprint For the Pats

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Oct 25, 2012.

  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    This is an revision of my latest mock in Ye Olde Mock Draft Thread, along with some thoughts there and on the main board. I thought I'd post it for fun.


    1. Fix the secondary
    2. A stud LDE opposite Chandler Jones
    3. Youth/depth at OL
    4. Speed at WR to stretch the field
    5. Depth at DT/penetrating DT/successor to Vince Wilfork
    6. Depth at H-back/"move TE" to spell/complement Aaron Hernandez
    7. An eventual true successor to TB

    The Next 6 Months:

    1. Trade Patrick Chung to Tampa Bay for CB Aqib Talib; alternatively, the Pats might trade a 2014 draft pick for Talib and use Chung as a hybrid S/LB this year
    2. Move Devin McCourty to FS and team him with Tavon Wilson, with Steve Gregory/Nate Ebner as backups
    3. Re-sign Sebastian Vollmer
    4. Franchise/extend Wes Welker
    5. Sign Aqib Talib to a long term deal if he works out, or sign UFA CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie (Philadelphia). Brent Grimes (Atlanta) is a possibility, but he's coming off an Achilles injury, and we've already been burned with Jonathan Fanene and injured UFAs. If the Pats are unable to trade for Talib by the deadline, then they can just go after one of these guys during FA in 2013
    6. Re-sign Myron Pryor and Danny Woodhead
    7. Let go: Ron Brace, Deion Branch, Julian Edelman, Kyle Arrington

    The Draft:

    General plan: Get a stud interior offensive and defensive lineman, LDE and a speed WR, plus some developmental talent. This one works for me (I'm assuming the Pats get 5th and 6th round comp picks):

    *** Trade: New England trades #32 and 64 (860 points) to Cincinnati for # 40, 50 and 82 (880 points).

    40. Johnathan Cooper, OG, North Carolina. 6'3" 310. Currently NFL DraftScout #35.


    I have a hard time believing Cooper will last this long, but guards tend to slip a bit. David DeCastro was touted as a likely top 15 pick, and Amini Silatolu was considered a possible late 1st round pick. Cooper has great movement skills and the ability to get the 2nd level, which makes him stand out as a fit for the Pats.

    Note: Jesse Williams is currently ranked #28 on NFL Draft Scout's board, so I had to pass on him in this mock, but if he fell to #40 it would be a tough call between him and Cooper.

    50. Ezekiel "Ziggy" Ansah, DE, BYU. 6'6" 270#. Currently NFL DraftScout #77.


    Sleeper Super Beast!
    A Brother Manx find, Ansah is still raw but has almost unlimited upside. Athletically he is roughly what you would get if Dr. Frankenstein created a fusion of JJ Watt, Jason Pierre-Paul and Dion Jordan. 39" vertical, 10.9 100M and 20.9 200M. Long arms. Great core strength, stunning verticity for a guy his size. Basketball, soccer and track and field background. High character, high motor, smart kid with good processing speed. Fast learner. Not yet terribly instinctive, but developing quickly.

    Dane Brugler of CBS Sports writes:

    NFL Draft Risers and Fallers - -

    Mike Mayock predicts that Ansah could go in the 1st round, but for now I have him as a top 50 pick. He would be a beast opposite Chandler Jones. If Ansah is gone, the Pats could go with SMU DE Margus Hunt (#87) or Florida St. DE Cornelius "Tank" Carradine (#44). One of the 3 should be available around 50. William Gholston (54) is an outside option.

    82. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia. 5'9" 174". Current NFL Draftscout #49.


    Stud Greyhound!
    It's evident that the Pats' offense needs more of a speed threat at WR. Austin would be a Percy Harvin/DeSean Jackson kind of weapon for the Pats: a dynamic speedster who can get separation and accelerate on a dime and take it to the house at any time. Guys like Austin and Jeff Demps could be dynamic weapons in the Pats' up-tempo offense, especially given the blocking TEs and the power running game to balance things out. If defenses go big to try and stop the TEs and the running game then the Pats can shred them with speed.

    After the West Virginia-Texas game Bucky Brooks wrote:

    West Virginia's Geno Smith shows poise of NFL quarterback -

    This pick is a bit of a stretch based on NFL DraftScout's current rankings. It is based on the assumptions that Austin could slip a bit based on his size and the perception that he might be limited in the number of touches he gets. An alternative would be Brother Manx's binkie, Tennessee Tech WR Da'Rick Rodgers (#76 overall on NFL DraftScout's current board), who has more size but less pure speed, or someone like Aaron Dobson of Marshall (#80).

    *** Trade: Pats trade their 3rd and 4th round picks (around #94 and 126, rough 160 points) to move up in the 3rd round to around #86 (160 points)

    86. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina. Current NFL DraftScout rank #82.


    Stud Horse!
    Williams is an extremely talented DT who slips a bit because of a deep and talented class and because he is a slightly older prospect, having spent 2 years in a manufacturing plant before going to community college and then to North Carolina. I'm not normally a fan of North Carolina players, but Williams has a great motor, terrific core strength, and great athleticism for a big man. He is strong against the run and has the strength to handle double teams, but is explosive enough to collapse the pocket and penetrate. He has nice positional versatility, playing either 4-3 DT position, 3-4 NT, and even some 3-4 DE. At one point projected as a 1st/2nd round pick, DraftScout currently projects him as a 3rd round pick, and he would be a steal, even if he required a slight trade up in this range. A rotation of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Williams would be beastly.

    5th (comp). Chris Gragg, TE/H-Back, Arkansas. 6'3" 236#. Currently NFL DraftScout #150.


    Sleeper Stud Horse!
    Gragg is Arkansas' leading receiver so far this year despite missing 3 games due to a bone bruise, which should keep his draft stock down and make him a relative bargain. A "move TE", he would provide backup insurance to Aaron Hernandez and would also create even more mismatch headaches when the two are used together. Gregg is deceptively fast, has good hands, and knows how to find the open seams in a defense.

    6th (comp). Dontae Johnson*, CB/FS, North Carolina St. 6'3" 190#.


    Johnson played FS for the last year, but was moved to boundary CB this year opposite David Amerson. He is big, physical, tough, fast, smart, versatile and has good ball skills. He's not as fast as Richard Sherman, but brings a somewhat similar raw skill set.

    If Johnson doesn't declare, alternatives might be someone like Blidi Wreh-Wilson of Connecticut or MIcah Hyde of Iowa.

    (continued due to length restrictions)
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    (continued from previous post due to length restrictions)

    7th. Kyle Long, OT, Oregon. 6'7" 311#. Currently NR by NFL DraftScout.


    Sleeper Super Beast!
    Another candidate for Dante's Dancing Academy, Kyle Long is raw but incredibly athletically gifted. The son of HOFer Howie Long, who describes Kyle as "the best athlete in the family", and brother of former 2008 #2 pick Chris Long. Started as a pitcher for Florida St., dropped out because of academic and alcohol issues, got his act together and switched to football. In his first year at Oregon but has no remaining NCAA eligibility. A huge kid who plays with a mean streak, with outstanding core strength and athleticism.

    Long has petitioned for another year of NCAA eligibility and is waiting to hear, but as of right now, he will be in the 2013 draft. Gil Brandt predicts that he will be drafted:

    J.J. Watt, Jared Allen, Jake Long among NFL's best linemen -

    Potential Guys for 2014:

    The 2014 draft is over 18 months away, but it's never too early. Given my long term blueprint, here's 4 guys who are on top of my interest list:

    1. Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame. 6'6" 303#.


    Super Beast!
    Tuitt is a fusion of JJ Watt and Richard Seymour. Incredible core strength, great burst, tremendous length. He doesn't have Ziggy Ansah's verticity and range, but he has more power. If the Pats doing get a stud LDE in the 2013 draft then I'd consider pulling a Mike Ditka and trading my ENTIRE 2014 draft for Tuitt. He and Chandler Jones together would cause the other 31 teams to apply for federal disaster relief. Tuitt will be a top 15 pick, and will likely come out as a junior in 2014.

    2. AJ McCarron, QB, Alabama. 6'4" 210#.


    Brady Clone!
    AJ McCarron is the perfect Tom Brady understudy. His processing speed, vision, accuracy, ability to read defenses, poise under pressure, pocket awareness and other attributes are uncanny. Brady will be 37 when the 2014 season starts, and that's the right time to have a rookie who will actually be ready to succeed him in about 2-3 years. McCarron has Bradyesque intangibles. Hopefully Ryan Mallett will produce just enough to be trade bait, and we can snag McCarron and make him Brady's backup.

    Alabama Football: AJ McCarron's Passing Ability Makes Crimson Tide Unstoppable | Bleacher Report

    If we get a good LDE in the 2013 draft, one can make a good argument that finding a true successor to TB should be the #1 priority for 2014.

    3. Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washingotn. 6'6" 258#.


    Super Beast!
    Seferian-Jenkins is quite simply the second coming of Rob Gronkowski. A power forward on the UW Basketball team, he is a rare combination of power and the ability to gain separation. He is a complete TE. He and Gronk on the same field would be unstoppable.

    4. De'Anthony Thomas, RB/WR, Oregon. 5'9" 178#


    Greased Lightning!
    The "Black Mamba", Thomas may be the biggest home run threat in college football. He has tremendous speed, but his acceleration and turning radius are truly extraordinary, allowing him to change directions and create separation in very small areas, and then turn on the jets and potentially take any play to the house. As Russ Lande once wrote, "De'Anthony Thomas almost made LaMichael James look slow". Thomas has the versatility to line up at either RB or WR, and can be devestating on screens, draws, reverses, crossing plays, in the slot, or out wide. Combine him with guys like Jeff Demps, Shane Vereen, Danny Woodhead and Tavon Wilson along with the 2-TE offense and power backs, the Pats offense would have opposing defenses so confused that they wouldn't know what to do.

    He might only get 10-15 touches per game, but Thompson could potentially create 5-6 splash plays with those touches. Needless to say, he would obviously be a huge weapon in the return game. He and Tavon Austin would act as "compound mutliplies" in the same offense.

    Of course it's absurdly early, and there will be tons of other guys who will emrge, but I'll be keeping a close eye on those guys as things progress.

    The 2013 Roster:

    That offseason and draft would leave the Pats with an extremely preliminary 2013 roster looking something like this:

    Offense (27):

    QB(2): TBrady, RMallett
    RB(5): SRidley, BBolden, DWoodhead, SVereen, JDemps
    WR(5): WWelker, BLLloyd, TAustin/DRodgers, GSalas, MSlater
    TE(5): RGronkowski, AHernandez, DFells, GBallard, CGragg
    OT(4): NSolder, SVollmer, MCannon, KLong
    OG/C(6): LMankins, JCooper, DConnolly, NMcDonald, RWendell, DThomas

    Defense (26):

    DT(5): VWilfork, KLove, SWilliams, MPryor, BDeaderick
    DE (6): CJones, ZAnsah, JCunningham, JBequette, TScott, JFrancis
    LB(6): JMayo, DHightower, BSpikes, RNinkovich, DFletcher, RCarpenter/DTarpinian
    S(4): DMcCourty, TWilson, SGregory, NEbner
    CB(5): ATalib/DRodgers-Cromartie, RDowling, ADennard, SMoore, DJohnson

    Special Teams (3):

    K: Gostkowski
    P: Mesko
    LS: Aiken

    That's 56 players, which is a decent starting point. I think you could make a pretty good final roster out of that group. For 2014 McCarron could replace Mallett, Seferian-Jenkins could replace Fells, and Thomas could replace Welker. Tuitt would only be necessary if a LDE prospect for 2013 doesn't work out.
  3. Merril Hoge's Tie Knot

    Merril Hoge's Tie Knot Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    How long did this take you? Rex Ryan has been working on a blueprint for the Pats for 4 years and that still doesn't work.
  4. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Pro Bowl Player

    #24 Jersey

    Liked both posts because one like is not enough.

    1. I dream of a Jon Cooper/Ziggy Ansah first two picks so very nice there.

    2. Jeff Demps/ Tavon Austin/ De'Anthoy Thomas - Going full on fast and small. Nice strategy.

    3. I'm fully on board the AJ McCarron train. Would absolutely take him in the first round next year if necessary.

    4. Not sure about Talib. Just think there is too much baggage there. wonder if BB got burned by the Ochocinco, Haynessworth and to a lesser extent Randy Moss trades. Baggage usually comes back to haunt you.

    5. Not sold on a pass defending linebacker? Little surprising after your Lavonte David interest last year. Do you thinkk we don't need one or that BB won't draft one? Curious to know your thinking there.

    Anyway, excellent post which I think will generate a lot of discussion (I hope).

    edit: Just a further thought on Aqib Talib. Don't forget the BB/Schiano relationship and their level of trust. If Schiano is willing to offload, that makes me think that BB would be similarly uncomfortable with Talib. I do afree with you on the need for a quality vet in the secondary though.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2012
  5. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I've been playing with most of the stuff for it in a while in various threads and in PMs with OTG. The "my" is a misnomer of course, as I owe a lot of the ideas to you, Grid, Manx, Mackenzie and others. :eat3:
  6. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I'm torn between Cooper and Jesse Williams, but I generally used NFL Draft Scout rankings as a rough guideline and Williams is currently ranked higher. Plus, Sylvester Williams was a nice consolation prize.

    With the "Oregonization" of the offense I like the idea of small/fast/versatile guys mixed in with the power running game, the multiple TE formations and the up tempo offense. It gives tremendous flexibility to spread the defense out wide or find the open seam while still being able to pound the ball or overpower defenders. If the defense tries to match up with quickness then the TEs and running game will destroy them, and if they try to go big then they won't be able to keep up with the speedsters. It seemed like a nice way to go. Woodhead and Vereen also fit to some extent.

    Yup. Assuming the needs are met in the 2013 draft, McCarron would probably be the top priority. Brady would be 37 going into 2014, and McCarron would have a couple of seasons to understudy before taking over. Hopefuly the Pats could get some trade value for Mallett, who doesn't really fit.

    If the price on Talib were low enough I think the risk would be warranted. It would essentially be trying Talib out for about half a season to see if he works out. If he didn't, not much would be lost. As with Haynesworth, BB would probably pull the plug at the first sign of trouble. In my model, continuing to use Patrick Chung as a coverage safety is only hurting the team, so any move that gets us out of that model is addition by subtraction, even if Talib turns out to be dead weight. In that case, the team just moves on and goes after another veteran FA option. If Talib does work out, the Pats would have the inside track at signing him to an extension - and if he signed elsewhere, they would be no worse of in terms of pursuing other FAs. As for the Schiano/BB thing, note that BB was still interested in kicking the tires on Kellen Winslow II even though Schiano dumped him, so it's not a given that he wouldn't be willing to take a look at Talib. Winslow didn't work out, but that was more because he wanted a bigger role, which wouldn't be an issue for Talib.

    A quality vet in the secondary can make a huge difference. Kareem Jackson struggled tremendously as a rookie for Houston in 2010, and settled down tremendously after Houston signed Jonathan Joseph in 2011. Get someone like Talib or DRC next to Ras-I Dowling and Alfonzo Dennard and get more reliable deep coverave with McCourty and Wilson at FS and I think you would see a dramatic improvement in secondary play.

    I guess it's a couple of things. First, I don't see any Lavonte Davids out there. I always thought David was special - the most instinctive and best coverage LB I'v seen since Sean Lee. I'm not convinced about Arthur Brown, Khaseem Green, Jonathan Brown, Jelani Jenkins, Alex Ogletree, etc. - at least not yet, and not to the point where I'd use a pick in the range where they would be drafted. Also, I'd like to see how Jeff Tarpinian develops and whether Dane Fletcher comes back before further evaluating that situation.

    If Lavonte David were in the 2013 draft, he would be in my mock. Count on it.

    Thanks. It's just kicking the tires, but it's been fun. Your input has shaped this as much as anyone's.
  7. ZoisKing

    ZoisKing On the Game Day Roster

    #11 Jersey

    I appreciate the effort you put into this, as it took me a while to read it.

    I'm all for trading down in this draft, and I like Cooper a whole lot-specifically if he can be gotten in the 2nd round.

    Between Ansah, Carradine, and Jordan, I don't know who to like as a bookend to Jones. Hopefully we have the ability to choose between them.

    Thanks for keeping me updated on the prospects guys, as I don't get to watch much of anything this semester.

    I'd rather tune in here than anywhere else on the net. :rocker:
  8. Merril Hoge's Tie Knot

    Merril Hoge's Tie Knot Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    I'd love to give you a 1000 word break down on what I think, but I actually don't know much about a lot of the players. Whatever, I'll tell you what I do know.

    I like all the priorities and I like most of the next 6 months. I wouldn't trade a 4th for Talib, but I would trade Chung for him.

    Regarding FAs: DRC is alright but he doesn't seem much like a Patriot to me. I need to watch more Philadelphia though. I also wouldn't restrict it to just CBs. I thought McCourty took a big step forward in his man coverage this season, so I wouldn't make the move to safety permanent, but I might let the FA crop make the decision for me. Goldson, Reed, and Byrd are very good safeties.

    The players: I like Cooper, but I don't like drafting guards high, and like you I dislike UNC prospects.

    Love Ansah.

    Austin is alright, but I'd prefer Rogers. It's been a while since we had an outside receiver than could feast on press man and Austin can't.

    I don't know who Williams is, I ignored him like I do with most all UNC prospects. I don't know who Gragg or Johnson are either.

    Love Long and all the 2014 guys.
  9. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Pro Bowl Player

    #24 Jersey

    Please don't confuse most UNC players with Cooper. I too am not a fan but I see a consistency and intelligence that goes beyond what I see of most UNC players. Normaly they're wonderful in terms of measurements, raw skill and combine type numbers but they tend to have poor work ethics are inconsistent and a little precious. One only has to look at Zach Brown, Dwight Jones, Quinton Coples and Kevin Reddick to see the type of thing I'm talking about. And this is why I'm not a fan of Sylvester Williams - he's pretty inconsistent which suggests to me that he suffers, at least a little, from 'UNC syndrome'.

    Cooper has none of that - he's a leader, wonderfully skilled rather than just relying on his strength and speed and very consistent. I'm pretty confident he'll prove the UNC stereotype wrong.
  10. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I generally avoid UNC players like the plague. I tend to think of them as the Powderpuff Girls - great measureables but no toughness. But the 2 UNC offensive linemen, Brandon Williams and especially Cooper, seem different. Cooper has all of the qualities you want in a guard for the Pats. I'm not 100% sold on taking him ahead of a DL in the 1st round, but in this mock if he slips to 40 he would be an absurd value, and the draft is all about value.

    The value principle applies to Williams as well. Yes, he is inconsistent. But he is a 2nd round talent. He's a bit different than the usual North Carolina kid. He has more of a blue collar background and work ethic: he spent 2 years in a machinest shop before going to Coffeyville Community College, do he doesn't have that elitist sense of entitlement that permeates some of the UNC recreuits. He will turn 24 in a month, so he's a somewhat older prospect, which gives him a bit of maturity and which could also impact his draft status. He's been listed as a 1st/2nd round pick by most sites up until now (including NFL DraftScout) and I've completely stayed away from him up till now, but as a 3rd round pick he would be great value.
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    BTW, I'm not proposing this, but since Dontae Johnson may well not declare, if anyone wants to they can substitute this for my 6th round comp pick:

    6 (comp). Tyrann Mathieu, DB, LSU. 5'9" 178#. Current NFL DraftScout ranking #74.


    Fallen Beast!
    The Honey Badger becomes the 2013 version of Aaron Hernandez/Alfonzo Dennard, a day 1 or 2 pick who slips to day 3 because of off field issues and gets snatched up by BB. Mathieu is undersized and doesn't have elite man coverage skills. But he is a heat seeking missile and ball hawk par extraordinaire who can be moved all around the secondary to create disruption. He's a big risk without a true position and multiple off field issues leading to his dismissal from LSU, but as a day 3 pick the upside is too great to ignore. While NFL DraftScout still has him ranked #74, his recent arrest for repeat MJ possession will no doubt send his draft stock plummeting, and he can surely be counted on to commit a few more faux pas between now and the draft to keep his stock down.
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    BTW, my previous version of this had the Pats keeping their 3rd and 4th round picks and taking Oklahoma swing tackle Lane Johnson in the 3rd round, Chris Gragg in the 4th, and Texas DT Brandon Moore in the 5th. But then I decided that Williams dropping to the 3rd was too good to pass up and that Moore, while talented, may not come out this year and was "more" of a developmental guy (pun intended). Plus, if the Pats re-sign Sebastian Vollmer and drafted Cooper at guard there's no need to move Marcus Cannon to guard, and no need to draft a swing tackle in the 3rd round, and drafting both Johnson and Kyle Long would be overkill. We'd probably end up cutting Long in an attempt to sneak him onto the PS, only to see some other team snatch him up. So I modified my mock.

    OTOH, if (a) Sebastian Vollmer isn't re-signed, either because his injury history or his price tag preclude a long term deal, or (b) the Pats don't draft a guard early and look to move Marcus Cannon to guard, then it might make sense to draft a tackle like Johnson.

    Lots of options. Lots of good players. Lots of fun.
  13. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    I would prefer to trade Chung for Talib in my scenario, but it's quite possible that Tampa wouldn't be interested, especially as they have Mark Barron. Maybe they'd see Chung as a worthwhile backup. I think I specified a 2014 4th as an alternative, which is roughly equivalent to a 2013 5th round pick.

    One of my reasons for preferring to move McCourty to safety is that he plays better in zone and with the ball in front of him than in man/press coverage, whereas Dennard and Dowling play better in man/press. It doesn't make sense to "mix and match" CBs with different stylistic strengths. If McCourty is developing his man coverage skills that might be different. As for signing UFA safeties, I'd grab either Gholston or Byrd in a heartbeat, but I'm assuming both will be franchised or extended (Gholston was franchised last year and almost certainly will this year, and I can't see Buffalo letting Byrd get away to a division foe). Reed's already been discussed in detail. Don't see that happening. DRC isn't my ideal Pats CB, but he'd be a big improvement over Kyle Arrington. I think Talib has the best skill set of the bunch, but obviously there are issues and risks involved. He's only 26. I think it's worth the risk if he can be had reasonably cheaply, but that's JMHO, and it's only because we're desperate.
  14. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? Supporter

    No Jersey Selected

    McCarron would be an excellent replacement for Brady. Nice arm, smart, accurate, good footwork in the pocket, and seems to enjoy studying film. Let him sit behind Brady in the wings for a couple of years and then unleash him. I can see his stock being well on the rise by the time the draft rolls around though.
  15. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    Realistically, if we somehow address the other needs discussed in this thread (secondary, OL, LDE, WR) between now and the 2014 draft then I think that I'd be fine with using our 1st round pick on McCarron if necessary. I can't think of a better investment to keep the continuity of the franchise intact.
  16. Avenger

    Avenger Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #11 Jersey

    Sign Reed if the ravens don't, he's not what he once was but his presence would help the secondary greatly.
  17. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I rarely get excited about college QBs but I do find myself excited about McCarron, and strangely enough it’s his lack of flashiness and very sound fundamentals that impresses me the most. He seems to play without any ego whatsoever.
  18. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    Agreed. And I'm hoping that that very "lack of flashiness" keeps his draft stock down a bit, at least to the late 1st round.
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic Supporter Supporter

    That's probably a no-brainer, but I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for it to happen. The chance of Baltimore letting Reed get away short of retirement is pretty slim.
  20. Avenger

    Avenger Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    #11 Jersey

    They need money to resign Flacco, I'm not saying it will happen but I can see them letting him walk and him deciding that he has more left in him

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