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Patrick Willis...Effective In NE's System?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by sebman2112, Mar 19, 2007.

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  1. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Patrick Willis
    [​IMG]

    Height: 6'1"
    Weight: 242
    Position: Inside Linebacker
    College: Mississippi

    Scouting report (HS stats removed due to characters limitations):

    OVERVIEW
    One of the few bright spots during the Rebels' rebuilding process, Willis established himself as the best middle linebacker in college football the last two years. He played most of the 2005 season with a broken right hand, but still ranked sixth in the nation in tackles per game (10.9). He surpassed those totals in 2006, again ranking sixth nationally with an average of 11.42 tackles per game.

    One of the most respected players in the country, Willis is also one of the most liked personalities away from the game. A leader both on the field and off, he is heavily involved in community service. Despite all of the accolades he has received the last two seasons, he quietly goes about his job.

    How far he has come on and off the field is because of his tireless work ethic. Willis came from a split family environment, as his mother left home more than 15 years ago. At age six, Patrick was cooking breakfast for his younger sister and brothers. At 10, he was picking cotton around his home. The proceeds went to his father, Ernest, to pay the utilities. Even now, Patrick says it wasn't that bad.

    Willis would play his final season at Mississippi with a heavy heart after the death of his brother, Detris. Detris, 17, had been swimming with friends in gravel pits near the family's hometown of Bruceton. The 218-pound teenage linebacker cramped up. "Once he cramped up, it just spread," Patrick said. "He was the biggest one out there. No one could pull him out." Patrick would dedicate the rest of his career to the memory of his brother.

    Willis enrolled at Mississippi in 2003, seeing action in 13 games as a true freshman. He finished the season with 20 tackles (16 solos) and a stop behind the line of scrimmage. The middle linebacker would appear in 10 games as a reserve in 2004, but despite not starting any contests, he ranked third on the team with 70 tackles (54 solos) and led Ole Miss with five sacks and 11 stops for losses. He had four quarterback pressures and caused and recovered a fumble. That performance earned him All-Southeastern Conference honorable mention.

    Willis took over middle linebacker chores in 2005. He suffered a broken middle finger on his right hand against Vanderbilt, playing in his final eight games wearing a cast and in the team's last two contests with a broken bone in his right foot. Still, he ranked sixth in the nation and led the SEC with 128 tackles (90 solos). He posted three sacks, 9.5 stops for losses and two pressures. He also caused two fumbles, recovered another, intercepted a pass and deflected four others, walking home with first-team All-America and All-SEC honors.

    Willis was a consensus All-America and unanimous All-SEC first-team pick as a senior in 2006. He received the Conerly Trophy as Mississippi's best college football player and was the recipient of the Butkus Award and Lambert Trophy winner as the nation's top linebacker. He was also selected SEC Defensive Player of the Year by the Associated Press and the league's coaches and was a finalist for the Bronko Nagurski Award.

    During his final season, Willis collected a career-high 137 tackles (87 solos) with three sacks and 11.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage. He caused two fumbles, recovered another and batted down seven passes.

    In 45 games at Mississippi, Willis started 22 times. He finished his career with 355 tackles (247 solos), 11 sacks for minus-92 yards, 33 stops for losses totaling 154 yards and eight pressures. He caused five fumbles and recovered three others, returning one for a 9-yard gain. He also had one interception and 12 pass deflections.


    ANALYSIS
    Positives: Has a muscular upper-body frame with good shoulder and chest definition and the potential to add at least another 10 pounds of bulk without having it affect his overall quickness … Has a lean waist, good bubble, muscular legs with good bulk … Tough athlete who played all of 2005 with a cast to protect a broken right hand and performed in the final two 2005 games with a broken bone in his foot … Moves very well operating in space and has the loose hips to change direction fluidly … Shows good acceleration, balance and body control working his way down the line … Aggressive taking on multiple blockers, using his leg drive and power to stack single blocks at the line of scrimmage … Instinctive and quick reactor who won't get fooled by play-action and is quick to recognize blocking schemes … Stays square when facing-up to offensive guards, getting enough leverage with his strength and shedding quickly thanks to active hand swipes … Hard worker in the training room who won Lifter of the Year honors at Ole Miss in 2006 … Looks natural reading plays and also seems to be in position to make the tackle … Keeps his feet on the move and shows good urgency closing on the ball … When he makes proper reads coming off the snap, he is instant in attacking the ball … Has the hand strength to take-on and shed blocks and it is rare to see him get pinned when he stays low in his pads and keeps his hands inside his frame and active … Makes proper body adjustments to bring down the ball carrier in the open … Takes on the lead blockers with force, sinking his weight to push the opponent back and clog the rush lanes … Comes off blocks cleanly to redirect and make the play working in-line … Shows good explosion taking-on the ball carrier through the holes … Keeps his balance when he extends his hands to defeat cut blocks and has the sudden burst to close when chasing ball carriers along the perimeter … Has the speed to reach and make the cut off, showing good balance to shut down the cutback lanes … Is more of a hit-and-run type working toward the outside running plays, as he has the chase acceleration and takes proper angles to close … Has great ease of movement flowing to the ball from sideline-to-sideline … Does not need to gather, maintaining acceleration when trying to redirect … Slippery enough to get through traffic and can play the trail and adjust to the quick cuts by tight ends in man coverage … Has a good feel for the pass, getting to the flats with good urgency and gets a good jump on the ball working in the zone … Uses his lateral agility to bull rush into the backfield … Explosive hitter who wraps well and comes under with good control when playing in space … Will jolt an opponent on contact and plays with very good leverage when attempting to blitz, as he is quick to locate the quickest running lane to close on the quarterback … Makes every effort to collapse the pocket, but must keep his hands active to prevent from getting stacked on his inside charge … Has good speed for man coverage (just lacks a feel for where he should position himself) … Smooth in his backpedal and has good plant-and-drive agility to mirror backs and tight ends in the short area … Has the range to make plays away from his area and is very good at sifting through traffic.

    Negatives: Gets walled-off by the larger blockers when he fails to keep his hands inside his frame … Lacks ideal bulk to control or split double teams … While he has the speed to cover deep, he is a bit of a liability in this area, as he looks slow to see the routes develop when working in the zone … Eyeballs the quarterback too long and is not good at anticipating the pass, struggling to get his head turned quick enough to track the ball in flight … Does not have the natural hands needed to snatch the interception, struggling to field the ball cleanly … Slippery in his moves through trash, but will get walled-off once a bigger blocker latches onto his jersey to ride him out … Plays with pain, but has had several injuries in recent years that lead to questions about his durability.

    Compares To: Dan Morgan, Carolina -- Willis is like Morgan in his ability to sift through traffic and flow to the ball with suddenness, or at least what the Panthers have seen from Morgan when he isn't suffering from a rash of concussions … … Willis has valid run defense instincts and keeps the plays in front of him, but does struggle recognizing the pass plays … He has the speed to make plays along the sidelines and is an effective wrap-up tackler who does a nice job of taking the ball carrier down by attacking the runner's outside leg … He needs to add bulk to defeat double teams better at the next level, but with his quickness, aggressiveness and willingness to learn, he will soon become a linebacker coach's dream.


    INJURY REPORT
    2005: Suffered a broken middle finger on his right hand, missing the second half of the Vanderbilt (Sept. 17) game, and sat out the following week against Wyoming (Sept. 24). Was forced to wear a cast on his hand to protect the injury the rest of the year … Suffered a partial AC joint right shoulder separation against The Citadel, but did not miss any game action … Broke a bone in his right foot against Arkansas (Nov. 12), but still played in the team's final two games against Louisiana State (Nov. 19) and Mississippi State (Nov. 26).


    AGILITY TESTS
    Campus: 4.62 in the 40-yard dash … 365-pound bench press … 500-pound squat … 310-pound power clean … 38-inch vertical jump.

    Combine: 4.51 in the 40-yard dash … Benched 225 pounds 22 times … 35-inch vertical jump … 9-foot-11 broad jump … 7.23 three cone drill.

    PERSONAL
    Liberal Arts major, enrolled in the College of Liberal Arts … Made the Chancellor's Honor Roll in the Fall of 2003 … Guardians are Chris and Julie Finley … Son of Ernest Willis … Born Patrick L. Willis on Jan. 25, 1985 … Resides in Bruceton, Tenn.

    Copyright NFLDraftScout.com, distributed by The Sports Xchange
     
  2. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    He could be effective, by all accounts he is a solid player. I don't seem him as anything special and with the geneal weakness of the ILB/MLB class he will likely get picked between 15-20. I wouldn't move up to draft him.
     
  3. Warren94

    Warren94 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I think it is a great comparision with Dan Morgan. Willis has gotten a lot of injuries, albeit He plays through them.
     
  4. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

     
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Willis will be a good linebacker for someone. It seems that he would be a two down back for the patriots. He could split time with Bruschi, instead of bringing in Seau. My choice would be Seau and keep #24 for someone else.

    BTW, we have this discussion each year. Last year it was Lawson. Five years ago it was Napolean Harris. Posters here want to draft young linebackers, except for the occasional try for one top player (Vilma).

    bb has had little interest in drafting linebackers. He brought in Colvin, Vrabel and now Thomas. In addition, he brought in Phifer, Cox, Gardner, Beisel and Brown. Have done so badly at the linebacker positions. Are we such draftniks that we need to solve all position needs through the draft? Are draftees always a better deal than free agents? I'd rather bring in Hartwell and Seau and give Alexander and Woods another year to develop.
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2007
  6. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    I have my doubts that he's a fit. Which is why I don't want to spend a first round pick on him, perennial pro-bowler that he may become.
     
  7. Boston Boxer

    Boston Boxer U.S. Air Force Retired PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    yes, we are :)
     
  8. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Unlike others I wasn't on the Lawson bandwaggon so this line of thinking does not apply to me. I was on the let's get Laurence Maroney, and or Chad Jackson express train. I haven't been calling for "young" backers for years, because I didn't really think it was that big of an issue. I don't jump off the bridge at the first sign of trouble.

    To be honest I would love to see someone like Willis in the first, or a trade with GB and someone like Woodley, Harris, or Spencer in the second. I wan't Secondary selections just as much as I do LB selections, maybe more. Hopefully they draft a backer in the first 3-4 rounds, and 2-3 secondary players in that same time frame.
     
  9. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

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    NE should give up at least one of their first, and 20M guaranteed to get Briggs then....:)
     
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If that's all it costs, I would do it in a minute.

     
  11. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That was the Peter King speculation this morning. It might be overkill, a LB corps of Thomas, Briggs, Bruschi, Vrabel, Colvin, and (probably) Seau. We might pioneer the 2-7-3 defense.

    If they can re-do Samuel's contract, we should be in good shape to bring in Briggs.

    Of course, Briggs has said that:

    1) He doesn't want to play in a 3-4 (small issue)
    2) Wants to go somewhere where he can be "the Man" (potential big issue)
     
  12. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    He'd probably love Detroit then. :rolleyes:

    Chicago wouldn't trade him there though. Maybe we could act as middle man for a small fee.....say #28 to Chi for Briggs, and then #34 and #66 to us for Briggs.
     
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Demented minds think alike, I wonder if we can get the skins 2008 1st + a 2nd day for #28 and they can get Briggs for #28 and ungodly money...:p
     
  14. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I was under the assumption that the Skins were working on trading away their 2009 draft picks now and had none the next two years.
     
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Such profligate fools! In that case maybe the Pats can acquire their entire draft class given the deflation of future draft picks.
     
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