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Safeties to watch (merged)

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Ochmed Jones, Aug 18, 2011.

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  1. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Much has been speculated this week about Merriweather. Is he in the Patriots plans? Tough to tell. BB definitely sent him a message in practice this past week by starting Brown over him. Is Merriweather smart enough to receive the message? Well that is another story altogether.

    Regardless however you dice it or slice it, safety is a position of need for next year.

    Fortunately for BB the two best safeties in the country are currently playing BB's defense in college. Lester and Baron of Alabama. Lester is better in coverage and Baron is the better thumper.

    I would not be upset if BB used pick #32 to secure either one, provided they both run well.

    PS: With New Orleans first, I would love to see us take the 6'6" DE from South Carolina. I think he is going to be amazing this year, if he is healthy.
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011
  2. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid On the Roster

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    Re: Safety Position

    You must mean Devin Taylor.
  3. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Delano Howell is flying way, way under the radar for next year, but he fits the profile of safeties we've drafted over the years. He's roughly the same size and speed as Meriweather (5'11, 195, 4.5), and I think he shows a promising mix of skills. Fills very well against the run. Strong blitzer. Could improve in man to man coverage, but that's generally not a strong point for most safeties, anyway. His deep zone coverage is . . . solid, not spectacular. He's a reliable centerfielder, and although he's very clearly not a finished project yet, I think he'll improve considerably as a senior.

    He will have started around 35 games by the end of the year, and should have over 200 tackles and double digit interceptions to show for it--and this is after transitioning from running back, so that's a nice career. He's productive and instinctive, and I like him as a late second/early fourth sort of guy right now. I'm curious to see how he does with another year of seasoning.

    Early games last year:

    Delano Howell vs Notre Dame and USC - YouTube

    Watch the red zone defense on a couple straight plays, including a good read and open field tackle against a pretty darn good tight end about two minutes in. Nice work. He sheds blocks pretty well, too. He's undersized, but he's violent with his hands and does a good job keeping plays in front of him.

    A few great hits against USC, but also a few mistakes. Not exactly mental flubs, usually, although he has a few; rather, he's a split second late on some of his reads. I chalk that up to inexperience, and I want to see if he improves this year.

    Later in the year:

    Delano Howell vs VT,Oregon,Arizona - YouTube


    To sum up, I don't think he's as talented as Meriweather. I also don't think he's as prone to mistakes. He had five picks on the year, so he can make plays on the ball, but he seems to be more of the steady performer you can win with if the overall team talent is there.
  4. s3antana5757

    s3antana5757 Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Love Kenny Tate. He's going to OLB this year for Maryland, but he's a stud. Speed, tackling, and play making.
  5. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    That's the guy. He could be something special if he stays healthy.
  6. UofApatsfan

    UofApatsfan Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    It's several years away, but it would be crazy if they got that freshman DE on South Carolina (Clowney). He's also 6'6" and easily has the frame/build to play 3-4 DE, and he would thrive at it. I can't remember a D-line prospect coming out of HS as talented and dominant as Clowney is.
  7. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Thread topic: safeties.

    Majority of posts in the thread: OLB, DE, etc. :D

    One guy we haven't mentioned yet is Micah Hyde. He played corner for Iowa (a football team I respect a lot), but is being moved to safety this year. Micah Hyde - YouTube

    Good player.
  8. doesntmatter1

    doesntmatter1 Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Nice to see im not the only delano howell fan. I definately want him more than any other safety so far. On another note. There seems to be an unusual amount of good inside linebacker candidates and wide recievers.
  9. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    This team right now is one dependable, sure-tackling, smart, tough FS away
    (i.e.: everything Stomper is not) from having a very, very intriguing defense.
  10. UofApatsfan

    UofApatsfan Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    lol good point

    As mentioned already, I think Robert Lester is the obvious 1st choice but might require a 1st rounder if he improves off of what was already a great season last year. Plays in the college system most like BB's defense, has the height we currently lack at safety, and is the coverage specialist we need complimenting Chung.

    2nd choices would probably by Tate or Ray Ray Armstrong, but Robert Lester seems like by far the best choice as it stands.
  11. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Safety Position

    I agree. That's why I would've loved to see Renaldo Hill. He's old and not flashy, but versatile, experienced, and dependable. Must've been out of shape or something.
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    He also makes a lot of calls in the secondary. I have no problem taking Lester at #32 provided he runs well.

    If we come back in round three and take Barron,so much the better for us.
  13. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    If BB dos that, we may need to start calling him "Noah of Draft Day" for taking guys two at a time.

    In '07, it was two WRs (Welker, Moss)
    In '08, it was two CBs (certainly an "oops!" on that one)
    In '09, it was two DTs
    In '10, it was two TEs
    In '11, it was two RBs
  14. s3antana5757

    s3antana5757 Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    It's worked. It would be crazy to have the two starting safeties from a team that should win the SEC and maybe a national title.
  15. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Not sure BB is going all out after any Bama players. His kinship with Saban may have taken a hit when Nick was at Miami and got audio tape of Brady's audibles. We could have had T. Cody. Didn't bite. Could have had M. Ingram traded out and grabbed a couple of other rb's. I wouldn't pencil in interest on Bama players because of Belichick/Saban relationship.
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Safety Position

    Totally agree. It's really hard to know how to assess the position, though, without getting any look at Ras-I Dowling. IF he can get healthy, I really think he could fill the bill. He's a smart leader who was very technically sound in college.

    Can Dowling stay healthy? Do the Pats intend to give him a shot at the FS job? Who the heck knows?
  17. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    The good news from today's practice is that Dowling participated in full pads.

    I still think that Bill wants to see him at CB first, before any Geno Wilson - to - FS move is made.
    Now if Bodden is just resting, as opposed to being hurt, and Butler doesn't totally suck vs. Detroit,
    then maybe there'll be enough CB depth to give Dowling - or maybe Arrington - some time at FS.

    Either way, if there is enough talent at FS in next year's draft to warrant expending one of our top-100 picks there, I'm all for it. Our lineage there doesn't exactly rival Red Sux LFs: Stomper, Wilson, Tebucky Jones...
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Is Lester a Junior this season?
  19. reamer

    reamer Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    Yes. It's not for sure that he'll declare, although if he has another year with high interception totals, he will probably make himself draft eligible. The Alabama team is so talented that it's likely he'll be encouraged to move on, provided he plays up to his potential, in order to make way for younger talent.

    That said, he has to improve a LOT as a tackler before I'd even think about drafting him. His coverage is great. His ability to take good angles and wrap up . . . not so much. Makes Meriweather look like Rodney Harrison by comparison.

    Updated with video from the season:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6mCig75d9gU

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PjvhYLMdfrU

    While both videos show his Penn State game, they also profile a few other games (Tennessee, Auburn, Mississippi State). Fantastic upside, but must improve his game.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2011
  20. BillBelichickFan79

    BillBelichickFan79 Rookie

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    Re: Safety Position

    I like Lester too, he had a great nose for the ball last year. I want to see him improve some of his open field tackling. He reminded me a bit of Meriweather in that phase last year -- he wasn't consistent enough. He's on the smaller side too.

    Kenny Tate is an animal and would be an animal in our defense. Could line him up all over the field and do many different things with him.

    I really like Janzen Jackson on Tennessee too. I know people will scream "character concerns," but the kid has got a ton of talent and hits like bricks. He may provide better value than Lester or Tate, who receive more fanfare/draftnik media coverage.
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