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Robert Ayers

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mayoclinic, Feb 7, 2009.

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  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Tennessee DE, 6'3", 270#, 4.75. Was originally recruited as an ILB out of high school, and has played some LB for Tennessee in addition to DL (both DE and DT). Didn't do too much his first 3 years but came on as a team leader and performer this past year. Was defensive MVP of the senior bowl. Good at taking on OLs and shedding blockers.

    Does anyone see this guy as a potential SILB conversion? He played ILB coming out of high school, and has played some LB in college. Played with Mayo, who would probably have a good angle on him. Just a thought.
  2. Box_O_Rocks

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    Perhaps, he seems to have some of the tools needed to play OLB if he's not capable of moving back to ILB. More likely he's being assessed for 3-4 DE.
  3. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    I like the OLB idea. He showed in the Senior Bowl that he has the strength and speed to get around or through OTs. He was known for his ability to be stout against the run so that would go along the lines of what BB wants in his OLBs. I didn't see much Tennessee games this year, but Mayock, who I respect, was impressed by what Ayers showed and also mentioned that teams might be looking at him as an OLB.
  4. cstjohn17

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    I see an outside shot that he could play 3-4 OLB, not sure he can drop into coverage. I think he could a be a Jarvis Green type, play 4-3 end or even move inside to tackle in obvious pass rushing situations.
  5. Richter

    Richter Rookie

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    If the Pats are going to go after a big guy like that to play inside on the strong side, I'd rather go after Jasper Brinkley, aka Levon Kirkland part two. Ayers would probably play outside regardless of where he goes.
  6. Box_O_Rocks

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    I felt Jasper was stiff and not very instinctive prior to his knee injury.
  7. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would agree on Brinkley. I haven't seen enough of Ayers to have an opinion on him. The main thing that made me think he might be worth thinking about in terms of being able to play SILB is that it was his original position, so he wouldn't be a completely raw conversion.
  8. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    It's an interesting thought. He's basically the same size as AD. What about the athleticism?

    Which reminds me...What a freak of nature AD is...I think he has to be used inside more often next year.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    AD is one of my all-time favorite players. 2 years ago I wanted him in the worst possible way but didn't believe it was possible, and then couldn't believe it when we actually got him. I don't think he's come near his full potential here. He spent the first year learning the system, the second changing from ILB to OLB and then being injured. I expect him to be a beast this year.

    Ayers obviously doesn't have AD's speed, but he seems to have been moved around and played a number of different positions, including DT, DE and LB. He was listed as one of the players the Pats specifically looked at during the Senior Bowl, though that doesn't mean much.
  10. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I agree. I thought AD was playing at a Pro Bowl level when he went down w the injury. The defense unraveled with him out, and that is no knock on Woods who played well in his place.

    I don't know enough about Ayers, but I want someone w that size at SILB, stuffing the run. For now, I want AD to be that guy at least in the near future, especially given he can also drop to cover or rush from the inside or the edge...basically can do anything.
  11. condon84

    condon84 Rookie

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    Our pass rush issue could be resolved if they just let AD rush all the time (like we used him in the SB) instead of having him drop back half the time. Vrabel seems like he lost a step and cannot be counted on to bring pressure consistently to be used as the main OLB pass rusher.
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2009
  12. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ayers is going into the combine as one of the fastest risers in the draft. Here's some highlight footage:

    YouTube - Tennessee Volunteer Robert Ayers

    He actually does remind me a bit of Adalius Thomas both in terms of his build and the way he plays at times. There's a really nice pick of Matthew Stafford at about the 4:30 point where he shows a nice ability to drop pack and good hands. I could see him moving inside to SILB, particularly as he played it in high school and Tennessee moved him around a lot.
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    It is always very easy to get pumped up about a player off of his highlight clips, but he really does seem to be the kind of guy we need. And I agree avbout his similarity to a guy like Adalius Thomas. I hope the Patriots look at him to see if he can handle all of the responsibilities of an OLB in the 3-4 - particularly, obviously, dropping into coverage. His pass-rushing an his ability to hold the edge are evident in spades on that youtube.
  14. TheKraftyOne

    TheKraftyOne Rookie

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    Ayers made his plays in the Senior Bowl against linemen with pass blocking problems. He was invisible for the rest of the game and looked like Gholston at times to me. He didn't look like he had good awareness tracking the ball carrier and didn't look good shedding blocks in the game. He had a better week at practice.
  15. stinkypete

    stinkypete Rookie

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    I don't like conversion projects in the first 40 picks. Too risky. Give me Sintim or Matthews over any of these tweeners, unless there appears to be another LaMarr Woodley in the bunch.
  16. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    The problem with Ayers is that he is a little bit small and short for a Pats defensive end at 6'3 272. And as a 2 gap defensive end, I don't think he'd get as many opportunities to get after the QB except in obvious passing downs. Hrrrm.
  17. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    How are you going to know which ones will end up being "another LaMarr Woodley"?

    I'm not pumping Ayers, Barwin, or anyone else right now - it's too early. I'm certainly not suggesting taking them in the first 40 picks (which would basically be our #23 1st round pick, since our other first day picks are #47 and #58). I'm just suggesting that they have some intriguing attributes and are worth taking a close look at.
  18. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I recall Lamar going in the second round, and Pitt's pick was a typical end of round pick for a winning team...
  19. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Partly correct. Actually, after winning the 2006 SB, Pittsburgh fell back to earth and finished the 2006 season 8-8. They took Woodley in the mid-2nd round at pick #46. The Jets traded up with Green Bay and took his teammate David Harris at #47 with the next pick. The Pats had given up their late 2nd round pick to the Dolphins in order to get Wes Welker.

    I hope Pittsburgh falls back to 8-8 again this year.
  20. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I see that NFP has Ayers ranked at #13 in their latest rankings, and calls him "as NFL-ready as any player in the draft". The more I look at this kid, the more I like, particularly as an SILB conversion. I thought it was worth bringing this thread back up given NFP's ranking.
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