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Patriots 2013 Training Camp, A Look At The Defensive Ends

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  1. PatsFans.com Article

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    Patriots 2013 Training Camp, A Look At The Defensive Ends
    By: Steve Balestrieri

    there is plenty of room for camp competition and six players will compete for three, perhaps four roster slots...

  2. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    With Chandler Jones more than likely turning the page, and stepping into elite status, it should be a great year for the defensive line. Not to mention, young hungry players like Justin Francis and Jake Bequette stepping up and taking the reigns. One player to watch though, IMO will be Michael Buchanan who was heralded as a sleeper pick in this year's draft. The guy is a great athlete and has the speed, size and tenacity to make an immediate impact according to many analysts. Would keep my eye on him definitely.
  3. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    He could be the next Markell Carter! ;)
  4. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    lol Ha! not this kid.. He looked like a beast amongst men out there, and naturally.
  5. jmt57

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    The training camp battle between Francis, Bequette, Buchanan and Benard should be very interesting. Is it too soon for me to already be writing off Cunningham and Vega?
  6. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    If you are writing in Benard and Buchanan? Absolutely.
  7. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I'm interested to see if Buchanan can turn into our next Tully Banta Cain. 7th rounder is considered almost a throwaway pick but sometimes you get lucky and can find a gem like a Givens or TBC near the end of the draft.

    Can Vega turn into the next Wake? Who knows. I think Armstead has a better shot, but we will see for real at training camp.
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    #12 Jersey

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    Benard could be a dark horse, was once a promising pass rusher, particularly under Mangini and Ryan.

    He also seems to have a similar body type to Ninkovich, on paper anyway.
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Competition is great.

    However, sometimes it means that we have no one that we are sure that we can count on.

    THREE WE CAN COUNT ON
    ----------------------
    WILFORK NT/DT
    JONES DE
    NINKOVICH DE/OLB (a key player for us, at least in sub packages)
    ===========================

    WE CAN SPECULATE ON THE REST - PICK SIX

    DT Armstead, Kelly, Forston, Cunningham
    DE Francis, Bequette, Buchanan, Benard, Vega

    I get it that Belichick did very well with the resources spent on these players. However, given that one of these is a 4-3 starter, we seem to be lacking quality. I could certainly see free agents making the roster, being added at any time, include after the cuts before Game One.

    I suspect that we our 3 DT's out of the list of four. They all might even make it. However, there is little real competition for roster spots, except from UDFA's. We might very well bring in a DT or two.

    I'm not happy with the DE depth at all. This is greatest potential weakness on defense. Jones is a potential pro-bowler. Ninkovich is an OK starter opposite. And then, and then??

    BTW, did we sign Abraham yet?
  11. NEPettyOfficer72

    NEPettyOfficer72 Rookie

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    Michael Buchanan is far more quicker, faster and athletic then Tully Banta-Cain. But we'll see how his overall pass rushing skills pan out in the NFL. In college he looked like a man playing amongst boys.
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    I haven't written off Cunningham yet; only because I'm curious if they're attempting to convert him into a full time defensive tackle.

    I think it's become clear that Cunningham is never going to be the edge player most envisioned when he was drafted in the 2nd round. However he did have some success inside last season in sub packages.

    I'd guesstimate that his playing weight last season was 10-15 pounds more that his combine weight of 266. Most of the articles during offseason activities indicated he bulked up even more.

    So I wonder if his weight is now around 290, and could be productive as a 3 technique defensive tackle on an every down basis?

    Or is this just wishful thinking on my part? :)
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  14. NEPettyOfficer72

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    Not wishful at all, actually a great idea. I could see them doing that, as he has done before on a few occasions. He has so much versatility, that's another reason why I see them having a hard time letting him go.
  15. Brady6

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    I'm very high on Buchanan, had he came out after his junior season he was slated to be a first round pick, many considered him to be a better player than Whitney Mercilus.

    Color me optimistic but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Buchanan steal a significant amount of Ninkovich's snaps at the leo left defensive end position. Probably not initially but as the season progresses, similar to how Dennard emerged after week 5 last season.

    One thing that stands out to me about our DL corp this season is the length. Kelly, Armstead, Jones, Buchanan, and Bequette all listed at 6'5 or taller. In a passing league that a huge advantage to have in your front 4.
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    Difference between Michael Buchanon and Markell Carter, was that Buchanon did it against much better competition, AND Buchanon has a non stop motor. It's all up to Buchanon to show his stuff. I expect big things from Bequette this year as well. I think Cunningham may be the odd man out, depending on injuries.
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    Buchanan's pre draft measurable we also at the NFL combine, Carter's were at a pro day. Buchanan also was significantly better than Carter in most key metrics.

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=104248&draftyear=2011&genpos=OLB

    http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/dsprofile.php?pyid=89512&draftyear=2013&genpos=DE
  18. Brady6

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    Going into camp I have Armstead, Cunningham, and Francis all grouped together as three technique defensive tackles.

    Looking around the NFL this new crop of players like Atkins, Fairley, and of course Watt are all 285-300 pounders playing inside with tremendous results.
  19. scott99

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    I really think Armstead is the wildcard. If he can duplicate his success from the CFL, I think he can get 7 or 8 sacks from the inside, though I think he can play end also. He has excellent athleticism as seen in this rather long video. I think he can become a beast.

    Armond Armstead 2012 CFL All-Star Highlight Video - YouTube
  20. jmt57

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    BTW, did we sign Abraham yet?


    John Abraham just signed with Arizona, so that speculation/hope has officially ended.

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