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Tom Curran's draft primer...

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Seneschal2, Apr 10, 2007.

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  1. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    Curran is doing a position-by-position breakdown leading up to the draft. If possible, I'd like to keep this as a 'floating' thread, as it may be interesting to see if Tom will have a Patriots slant with these mini-profiles. And if so, this thread will serve as a handy reference. I'll update as needed.

    Compiled after conversations with NFL scouts and front office personnel and Tony Pauline:

    CBs

    Safeties
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good read.
  3. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    I agree -- which makes two of us. :rolleyes:

    Here's Curran's latest, which I find is worthy to consider: ILBs

    Feedback please...
  4. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I read it, it was interesting in a minimilist kind of way. Top Fives are only so interesting . . .
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2007
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nothing too surprising there except that Waters is really moving back up right now. Was his torn ACL a straight torn ACL or was there other stuff involved like Harrison ? After his good workouts he seems like a great guy for us as we wouldn't need him as a starter until 2008 anyway.
  6. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Waters? Not until day 2. Desmond Bishop is another pretty good candidate for ILB that can be had fairly late.
  7. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If I got anything out of the 5 chosen to be highlighted, it would be a focus on Waters, I guess.
  8. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Apparently Waters looked fine at his workout, so really it's just a question of rust. Bishop isn't in the same league as a healthy Waters. I could be talked into drafting him at #91 if we haven't gotten our LB yet. If Bishop is there in the sixth round, I wouldn't be opposed to picking him up, but he's not going to give you what Waters will.
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure why everyone doesn't want to touch Waters, torn ACLs aren't exactly career ending and, like you said, he's not looking too bad right now.

    If we got one of the CB and one of the Safeties in round one I would have no problem taking Waters near the end of the 3rd round.
  10. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    Exactly. So much focus is on the early portion of the Pats draft, that if we don't draft a LB early, we better start considering some of these later prospects. I know BB does. :)
  11. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    Curran rates David Harris as a 32-50 pick. I think he has size, 6-2 245, speed, sub 4.60, pass coverage ability, excels in run stuffing defense. He excelled at Div I big time football. He is smart, instinctive and technically sound. I think he is the best specific SILB 3-4 ILB in the current draft.

    He is a a "safe pick" that will play, but some say he has a limited ceiling. Reaching for him at 28 versus 32 is hardly a "big reach". If we know anything about the Pats first round picks under BB/SP, is that they don't want to miss and haven't done so, to date.

    After the fact, they seem to make sense. Would Harris look good at 28, "in retrospect"?
  12. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    When I mock it out, without trades, I always come to the decision of Harris or Josh Wilson at #28, knowing that either one is a "reach". Usually I take Wilson, figuring I can hopefully pick up Bradley, Waters, or DeOssie later on. But by no means would Harris disappoint me at #28.
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I look at Robison, DeOssie, and Waters as the mid-round fallbacks, it always comes down to Woodley, Harris, and Bradley...and whoever Tony Pauline might be, he did nothing to take my eye off Bradley:
    I have to wonder how much of the last sentence is related to a player in his first year back from ACL surgery, and whether Woicik, Nash, Pees, Pepper, and Patricia can improve on that...he's the perfect size to fill TJ's old shoes.
  14. Seneschal2

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    Updated -- OLBs

    OLBs

    1. Paul Posluszny, Penn State
    2. Jon Beason, Miami
    3. Lawrence Timmons, Florida State
    4. Stewart Bradley, Nebraska
    5. Justin Durant, Hampton

    ---

    Every OLB listed (except Bradley) is small by Pats standards. All are under 240 and relatively short. Bradley as we know is 6-3, 254.

    That said, if size is indeed a requirement to play ILB for the Pats, then Bradley moves into the #1 slot. If BB suddenly detours from his preferred LB mold, then IMO Posluszny will rank up there with Bradley as the top two from this very short list.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Re: Updated -- OLBs

    David Harris and Anthony Waters are the two of Curran's top five ILB who pass my size stereotype. I've opined enough on Willis, he's just a better fit for the Tampa-2 teams and a poor fit in a 3-4 taking on Guards head-to-head. Siler might be able to bulk up to 250, but his change of direction numbers show very limited quick twitch capability - Drew Bledsoe at ILB. I think the Pats are going to be making a decision between Harris and Bradley when looking over second round talent to take in the late first (those looking at rankings and thinking third round for Bradley, at least two pundits have Bradley going in the second). Waters is a nice fallback choice in the middle rounds.
  16. BelichickFan

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    Re: Updated -- OLBs

    I'm not about to eliminate any of these guys except Durant :

    Sounds just like Bruschi.

    No reason to eliminate any of these guys IMO. This is an impossible draft for me to guess at with these guys, several first round Safeties, several late first round CB. Who the hell knows.
  17. sebman2112

    sebman2112 Rookie

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    Who do you keep getting as choices at 24?
  18. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    Marshawn Lynch RB California
    Justin Harrell DL Tennessee
    Anthony Spencer LB Purdue
    Aaron Ross CB Texas
    Paul Posluszny LB Penn St

    To be honest, I'd rather trade 24 and pick up Spencer or Harrell at 28.
  19. NEPatriot

    NEPatriot Banned

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    I've found Curran's draft primers to be rehashed draft guides. I don't think he really follows college football to the extent needed to provide new and useful insight. This is also the case for most newspaper writers who are really writing for the benefit of more casual fan.
  20. biffman

    biffman Rookie

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    Timmons sounds intruiging. We could use him situationally for a year or so and then have him starting in year two.

    Tony Pauline says... "Explosive athlete who plays bigger than his listed size. Makes plays all over the field and really forces the action. Defeats blocks, beats running backs to the corners and easily covers tight ends down the field. Not completely there just yet but has only started for one year."

    Where is he projected to go? Late first/early second?
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2007
  21. psychoPat

    psychoPat Role Player PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Agree that his choices and write-ups sound banal.
    But what should he do, make stuff up?

    I'm paying attention to Curran's words because
    i presume that a good jolt of his "NFL scouts and front office people" still work in Foxboro.
    Kremlinologists might glean some true Pats-think in there.
  22. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    NFLDraftScout.com who has him as their #2 ILB:
  23. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    Did you miss this part:

    "Compiled after conversations with NFL scouts and front office personnel and Tony Pauline."

    So based on that tidbit of info, exactly how much of these primers come from each of those sources -- we don't really know. I do agree, that after reading hundreds of profiles, much of it is familiar and old news.

    My only reason for starting the topic was the hope that Curran's primers would have a Patriots' slant to them, with maybe a clue here or there. :cool:

    Exactly, and thank you.
  24. bruinator

    bruinator Rookie

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    What the hell does Curran know about football!!!!
  25. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Well the difference in the two is investment vs value. I think a 3rd rounder is a bit high to risk on a guy like Waters coming off injury. Whereas there is virtually no risk to spending one of our many 6th rounders for a 2 down run stuffer like Bishop. I don't necessarily disagree that Waters might be more talented than Bishop... but I don't want to spend a high pick on him either.
  26. Box_O_Rocks

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    Okay, let's play Kremlinologist.

    Paul Posluszny, Penn State: What Curran wrote - He's going to have to get a little bigger to play on the same side as the tight end in the NFL...Has to improve at shedding and is adequate but not outstanding in coverage...Probably not fast enough to be on the weak side. What he quoted - "He has the ability to anticipate plays before they occur and is always flying around the ball...Has the versatility to be used on the outside or at inside linebacker in a 3-4 alignment."
    - Analysis: 6'1.5" 238, he lacks 12 lbs to match the Pats LB prototype. So Curran says he needs to 'get bigger' to handle 240-270 lb Tight Ends? Go figure, what does he need to do to handle 300+ lb OL? He has to improve shedding - all college LBs need to improve here. Speed is not as critical for a 3-4 LB. He quotes anticipation - a good thing if you're looking for Tedy's replacement as Field General. Versatility to be a 3-4 LB.
    - Summation: Posluszny is a too small Pats prospect as far as size, he'd need time for Woicik to build him up. Expect him to get most of his reps on Special Teams in year one, and maybe get some platoon time in year two.
    - Draft value: Expected to go in late first/early second, he's in the Pats' ballpark. Question: Is he that much more valuable then later, larger ILB prospects?

    Jon Beason, Miami: What Curran wrote - can sniff out plays in short yardage...on the small side to be an inside linebacker. What he quoted - great range to the sidelines...makes a lot of plays in pursuit...overrated...does more chasing plays than actual forcing the action.
    - Analysis: 6' 1/4" 237 at the Combine & 229 at his Pro-day. Curran says he's on the "small side" - Pos needs to get bigger, this kid is going to find it nearly impossible to reach that Pats' prototype 250. The quotes tell it all, "pursuit" is a Tampa-2 strength.
    - Summation: Extremely bad fit in a 3-4 role.
    - Draft value: Pre-draft decoy.

    Lawrence Timmons, Florida State: What Curran wrote - plays smoothly and shows excellent anticipation skills...Blows up a lot of plays...Strong with good size...Good in pursuit...has plenty left to learn about the position. What he quoted - Makes plays all over the field and really forces the action. Defeats blocks, beats running backs to the corners and easily covers tight ends down the field. Not completely there just yet.
    - Analysis: 6' 7/8" 234 he would have benefitted from another year in college. His athleticism makes him attractive, his anticipation speaks to Bruschi replacement value. He's a downhill player who does well fending off big boys.
    - Summation: "Pursuit" is a Tampa-2 strength. Defeating blocks is a 3-4 strength, the question, does a player 16 lbs. lighter than the Pats' prototype LB have the sand to play head-to-head with the big boys inside? How does he defeat blocks? 6'1" Tedy Bruschi does it by sliding off the block and around the blocker to make the play. Taller, longer armed Vrabel does it by handfighting the blocker and keeping him in the hole. Can a player a smidgeon under 6'1" play like Tedy to evade the longer-armed OL in the NFL?
    - Draft value: A reasonable late 1st round value, for a 4-3 team.

    Stewart Bradley, Nebraska: What Curran writes - Excellent size and power...Can take on blocks as a run-stuffer and is brings a lot of power off the edge as a pass rusher...Decent in coverage for a big guy and a good worker with football smarts...not the smoothest guy...[in] pursuit...versatile defender. What he quotes - ...powerful linebacker who forces the action up the field...Leaves a trail of blockers in his wake...dominant at the point of attack...Plays heads-up football...limitations in coverage or when asked to make plays in reverse.
    - Analysis: 6'3 1/2" 254 a classic prototype LB in height and weight. He is also a classic Pats' 3-4 LB defeating blockers head-to-head, strong at the point of attack, blessed with football smarts that translate on the field, and versatile as to position. In his first year coming off of ACL surgery he has limitations in coverage, yet covers pretty well for a big guy - what can he do with another year and good coaching?
    - Summation: What more do people want? He comes from a read and react defense with prototype size and a high football IQ.
    - Draft value: Do you take an almost perfect fit in late round one? Or wait and hope he's still there at 91?

    Justin Durant, Hampton: What Curran writes - Speedy and tremendous in pursuit...can cover well...good and vocal leader who works hard...smaller school...relying on speed...have to become adept at shedding. What Curran quoted - weak-side one-gap linebacker... Explodes up the field in run defense yet also gets depth on pass drops in coverage...needs to play in a system which allows him to freely flow to the action unabated.
    - Analysis: 6' 7/8" 230 he's the same size as Timmerman, yet .15 sec faster in the 40 and quicker, but not as good at taking on blocks. Good in coverage (16 passes defensed in career).
    - Summation: Durant sounds just like a SS.
    - Draft value: Not a 3-4 linebacker, but has value at SS.
  27. psychoPat

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    This is EXACTLY what i envisioned someone
    with a lot of interest ... patience ... and specific knowledge doing!
    It is such an outstanding illustration of Kremlinology
    that i wonder if Box hasn't practised that craft before.

    If you care to, kind sir, i would love to see your comparable treatment of Curran's CB and S write-ups.
    Fascinating that these are the three positions he covers first!
  28. Box_O_Rocks

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    Kremlinology part Two: ILB

    Patrick Willis, Mississippi: What Curran writes - Everything you want in a player...Extremely productive with good size and good speed...sharpen his cover skills a fair amount. What Curran quotes - who can dominate play in the box...good job diagnosing the action and getting to the spot...Must now learn to make plays moving in reverse.
    - Analysis: 6'1 1/8" 242, down to 237 at his Pro-day. Willis at the Combine lacked 8 lbs. of being the Pats prototype LB. He's everything you want, except...coverage. He diagnoses well, but what is diagnostics compared to anticipation (See Posluszny, Timmons) or 'Heads Up' football (See Bradley)? Which is the better quality(ies) for a Field General?
    - Summation: Despite the enthusiastic opening, this is an incomplete player with a whole new skill set to learn. Not a bad thing, but it should be a splash of cold water. It also leaves the question of his ability as a Field General unanswered. Anticipation I've already equated to Field General skills. In the service a 'Heads Up' individual saw the danger/hazard/consequences before the action occured and took steps to arrange the best possible outcome before hand. Diagnoses sounds good, but it also seems to be in step with the action, and not ahead of it. The one thing you don't read is his ability to take on blockers, a 3-4 requirement.
    - Note: Full disclosure - I've not considered Willis an adequate 3-4 LB for some time, that may be coloring my perceptions now. I like to think I'm compensating for my bias, but you must make up your own mind.
    - Draft value: First round, for a 4-3 team.

    David Harris, Michigan: What Curran writes - Effective...reads and reacts to the run...Good at taking on blockers and holding the point...Hard-working... stiff...sharpen his ability...productive..could be utilized in a 3-4. What Curran quotes - underrated player...He's a tough, instinctive...improve his pass coverage.
    - Analysis: 6'2 1/4" 243 Harris lacks 7 lbs. of being the prototype Pats' LB and being taller than Willis and Timmons may have a larger frame to carry the weight. He also needs to improve in pass coverage, but like the others will improve with good coaching. He takes on blockers well, a 3-4 strength. What we don't read is his ability to be a Field General.
    - Summation: He has the basic 3-4 skill requirement, an ability to take on blockers. Coverage skills can be learned. The issue of his Field General skills remains unresolved.
    - Draft value: Considered a 2nd round value, Harris is available for the Pats and is an adequate 3-4 ILB.

    Brandon Siler, Florida: What Curran writes - blue-collar...understands the position...quick and instinctive...pursuit...He's a junior...robotic...in coverage...Thinks he's really good. What Curran quotes - forceful run-defending...explosive...packs a wallop at the point of attack...rough edges...starting potential.
    - Analysis: 6'1 3/4" 241 instinctive, explosive, blue-collar are all great sounding, but Curran makes a point of noting he came out early and "thinks he's really good." Translation, he's a potential problem child.
    - Summation: Fuggedaboutit.
    - Draft value: nil.

    Anthony Waters, Clemson: What Curran writes - Terrific size...Runs well, takes the reins on the defense...uncertainty...has to work on shed techniques...less than ideal technique...suspended after a 2004 brawl...nice fit in a 3-4 system. What Curran quotes - tremendous...sideline-to-sideline...Fast in all directions
    - Analysis: 6'2 1/2" 245 he lacks 5 lbs of the Pats' prototype LB. The ideal ILB in terms of size, leadership, and speed, once he learns how to stack and shed properly.
    - Summation: A nice fit for the Pats if they can land him.
    - Draft value: Curran predicts the third round, some rankings have him in the 7th or undrafted. The Pats may need to bundle 2nd day picks with #91 and if they want him.

    Buster Davis, Florida State: What Curran writes - Nasty little...finds the football at all costs...terrific first step...well in coverage...a little short...productive and durable...on the small side...guard against getting overweight...too much of a size risk. What Curran quotes - Were Davis five inches taller...terrific combination of smarts, intensity and playing speed...Size is a major concern...exploit him in coverage.
    - Analysis: 5'9 3/8" 239 smurf LB. An excellent player at the college level who may not be as successful against Pro-caliber players.
    - Summation: His size argues against seeing him in a 3-4.
    - Draft value: Curran feels his value is in the third round, but that presumes he'll be playing in the 4-3 he knows.
  29. captain stone

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    Wow. Terrific thread, guys. I love reading this stuff.
  30. c_nice_37

    c_nice_37 Rookie

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    Awesome breakdown BOR - this is what I needed to start my morning, along with this cup of coffee.
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