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BGC 2021 Pre-Draft/Patriot-Type Prospect(s) thread

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BaconGrundleCandy

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What's up Pats fans? I hope everyone had a great Christmas, is doing well and as healthy as can be during these crazy times! It's been an unbelievable, trying year for most. I wish everyone a great 2021!

The pats had a rough year as well. We're no longer in playoff contention and have several big holes. More on that in a few ...

Few days off so wanted to start this while I had the time. Welcome to my 2021 pre-draft thread! Prospect breakdowns & talks. What they do well, could improve on. Best fits for them, our team. Potential trade ideas, mock drafts. Who's your favorite prospect? Favorite for the Pats?

*Any questions about a prospect please ask!* Strengths/Concerns/issues, player fit ...

Speaking of our NEP, I brought up the idea of a Patriot-Type Prospect thread a few months ago in the draft forum and decide to just make a Pats Big Board for @patsfanfromoversea and others when they expressed some interest. A few others asked me before and during the season as well.
Testing plays a decent part and this board will change but this is what I put together and working off. Think it's a good baseline. I put a value on the prospects (this will be my 11th year grading, grades are in draft forum)
It's no secret we have a small board (50 - 150) prospects I'd assume. Maybe A little less or more depending on the year/class but I guess it's closer to a 75-100 most years. Anyway, with that said I'll keep my board under 130 and as close to 100 as possible come draft time.

Had a little luck last year (2020) and previous years (Wynn, Wino, Crossen, Sony, Stid, Froholdt, Dawson and a few others)

Before we get any further I want to pay respect to some of the best posters to write on site and the man himself @Ian for putting this community together. It's different and a lot more personal than what's out there on social media.
Guys like ... @Box_O_Rocks @rookBoston @manxman2601 @PonyExpress @reamer @Off_The_Grid @patchick @dryheat44 @mayoclinic @midwestpatsfan and many, many others that have made this place great. With that here's my board and value groupings. First submitted by @Mark Morse . Resubmitted by Box. Re-resubmitted by @BaconGrundleCandy

I wanted to post something about "Value Grouping", which is the term I use to rationalize BB's draft day strategy. I posted something about this immediately after the 2003 draft.
That draft was incredible, but it left me totally confused. I couldn't see any logic in the trading up and down. The strategy seemed haphazard, and yet it produced very reliable results. It could not have been blind luck that they filled all their positions of need at ideal value spots in the draft. How did they do it?
I don’t know if this is something that is widely discussed in the Nation, or if it's just a pet theory of my own. I haven't read anything about it, or if I have, I've forgotten that I did. I think BB has probably explained the concept behind his draft strategy to the media, although Tom Curran's recent article makes no mention of this type of targeting. I’m not sure how explicit BB’s been in describing how it works.
I thought, I’d post my understanding of how the Pats approach the draft, because so far as I know it is clearly not an intuitive or typical strategy.
-------------------------------
Here’s how it works:
BB, SP and the scouting team identify a group of players who would provide roughly the same value for the team. It is absolutely critical that the staff “believes†in all the players in the value group, without exception. All of them have to be guys that the staff would feel good about drafting and would want to have on the team.

Once a player makes it into a value group, that means he is being targeted for the draft. Before the draft, the staff identify what their key needs are, and decide how they plan on filling those needs, using the value groupings they’ve defined. Generally speaking, it is possible to say, “this group of players should go in the early 1st round, this group of players should go in the late 2nd, early 3rd.â€

On draft day, as the players in a targeted value group start coming off the board, the Pats lie in wait, patiently. The first players coming off the board for a given value group set the baseline value for that group. Once a value group is down to one or two players remaining, they trade into position to take the last guy in that group.

The downside is that by definition, you are taking the guy in each Value Group which the other teams think is the worst of the bunch. But if you’ve setup the board correctly, it shouldn’t matter. It is your own evaluation that counts, not the rest of the teams.
The upside is, you get good players for rock bottom prices. Most important, you eliminate (or at least dramatically reduce) the risk that you come away with absolutely nothing. Examples will help explain how this is possible, in practice ...
If you want to read more about the examples here's the link ...

My 2021 PTP Big Board

Some of the draft principles I believe.
1)The draft is about finding about where value & need meet. You have to be able to set the board and place a value on a prospect in order to properly navigate and have a successful draft. If not you're reaching, drafting on specific need at the wrong time or getting a bad price.

2)Mitigating risk, especially with early picks. You absolutely have to gamble here and there. The draft isn't a blind crapshoot but there is a little gamble involved. Once and while you have take a shot but generally you want to mitigate risk all you can. Biggest way to do that is setting your board properly.

3)You go after your "types" for your "system". You're putting together a team. Again a family in some ways. It's not only about what happens on the field. It's also about practice/work ethic, film room, guys bonding-developing with each other. The "fit" is crucial.

4)Have a clear understanding of each draft as a whole. Each one is different but the same. Where the talent is, how deep/how much depth is in it, other team needs . What you need & have to work with. How many picks you have, your opponents have. Future picks, player trades ... Have an understanding of how you think it'll play out and how you can use to your advantage. This is where you're coming together as a group in the "war room" and going over every scenario and again how you can make it work for you're team. By draft time you should have a great sense & better feel about your approach. And really good feeling for what the public or market thinks and a good feel for each team individually.

5)More capital the better. More picks don't = more success. Ultimately you have to hit on the prospects. More picks = flexibility & ammo. The draft is about value but flexibility is a huge asset. In order to really maximize this you need to move up & down at times. Not all the time but it's a nice card to play. Flexibility in the draft is always nice and makes things easier. Picks for prospects, vets, future picks.

Back to this year's class. Overall this is a very deep draft imo. I'm guessing I'll have 10 -15 first round grades but a ton of 2nd-4th. Again testing plays a decent part in my final grade but after doing this for a little bit that's where I'm at with it. Deeper than top heavy in most positions. A lot of really good prospects though. It's a great year to have a lot of picks though!

Pats Picks (including comps) ...
1st
2nd
3rd
4th X 3
5th
6th X 3
7th

Top needs ...
QB, DL, LB, WR


NEP could go in a few different directions bc of how much ammo we have and the personnel situation we have in a few spots. We have enough picks to trade up for two first picks or three seconds. I'd love too see little aggression and land 2-3 top 60 prospects to really get this team back on track. We would still have a few nice shots in the mid rounds. Again any questions please ask.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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Defense




Edge/Rush - This class has some big-time athletes with upside. Lots of speed. I expect this is the group that will shine when testing starts and they get to running around and doing a few drills. Lots of pass rushers with efficient cornering ability. Few big boys you can play outside early and kick back inside on money downs. Again the athleticism just stands out with this group. Deeper than top heavy. A few guys that could crack the first round but like the rest of the DL most of the value is in the second-third-fourth rounds. You should have a plenty of options there.






Big names - Kwity (Quit-y)Paye. Supposedly he ran a 6.37 3C and 4.60 40 at 270lbs at one point. Jayson Oweh (reportedly ran 4.33 at 6'5/260), Gregory Rousseau (6'7/265), Patrick Jones (6'5/260), Carlos Basham (6'5/280), Rashad Weaver (6'5/270)






Other names to know - Adetokunbo Ogundeji, Boye Mafe, Myjai Sanders, LaBryan Ray, Dayo Odeyingbo, Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, Chauncey Golston






Pats related - As we've gone more & more away from base-43. We've seen less of the bigger ends and more athletic backers playing different roles. Like a few other groups you really have a nice mix of options. You want that big power end that can keep his outside shoulder clean, contain, speed to power - you have the Michigan guys, Paye & Hutchinson. Golston, Jones, Weaver, Basham. Rush LB - you have Ossai, Ojulari, Moon, Koonce. Multiple pieces you can move around - Ogundeji, Odeyingbo, Hutchinson & Ray.






LB - Such a fun group, maybe my favorite out of the class. The position has no choice but to evolve with the explosion of the passing game. Not only are defenders being tasked with more but they're covering a better, more versatile athlete capable of doing more. Whether it's WR, RB or TE the LB position faces off against everyone at some point.



This group is has big prize at the top and bunch of nice consultation prizes. You have 4-5 prospects that could turn out to be really good overall backers in a few years. Surprising how well guys have adapted to coverage. It's just part of the position now. As you look into the class there is real potential. Not just Twitter talk and maybes people throw out there to hype up the class. This is a well-rounded group. If you need to upgrade your LB corp this is the class you feel comfortable about rolling the dice on.




Big names - Micah Parsons isn't perfect but his peak stuff is special. He's quick and fast with legit closing speed. At 6'2 almost 250 he's almost a blur out there. Came to PSU as a DE\RB and transformed into a force at LB. At times he's able just fly - full speed through traffic and the los. Very comfortable navigating through bodies. Can take the bait on backfield disguise - PA, RPO/RO etc but a lot of it is just development and experience. He's a perfect fit for an attacking scheme or that role in a defense (Zimmer or Flores comes to mind). Chazz Surratt (bro of Sage WR) is also new to the position. Came in as a QB, got hurt and is trying to transform himself into an athletic LB. Crazy but he's been getting Fred Warner comp's since last year. Had a rough year but again is still learning. JOK = Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, has to listen to and develop his instincts but he's so fun. He's strong and can handle himself along the line. Decent hands with some juice. Very comfortable in short area coverage. Strong ability to ID routes. Covers everyone. Zaven Collins (Former HS QB & S starter for both sides) he's something else and filled up the stat sheet this year. Talked about him in draft forum a little bit. He's fun. Nick Bolton has great instincts with some physical limitations. Dylan Moses had an off year but is a tackling and ball tracking machine. Jabril Cox is worth a good look - big dude with coverage abilities and qualities. Baron Browning could be a nightmare. Another guy I talked a little about. He could be as good as anyone in this class. He does a little of everything really and is all over the field. Covering slot, shallow. He has some juice as well and can play with the big boys. Really want to see him in 2-3 years after he's in a NFL training program-getting molded by coaches.




Other names to know - Mike Rose, Pete Werner, James Skalski, KJ Britt, Tony Fields, Bumper Pool, Paddy Fisher, Merlin Robertson




Pats related - We got hit by an 80's Tyson hook/uppercut combo with the loses of Hightower, KVN & Roberts. Hightower is a borderline HOF and KVN was a perfect fit here. We did invest in position in the last draft, Uche has played very well at times but we still need some help there. And there seems to be a lot of the types we like in this class. Collins, Browning & JOK should all be within our range at some point. All three can cover, rush & impact the run game. I'd love to hear Bill's thoughts on these guys specifically and the LB position(s) . Anyway we definitely have options. This is a pretty strong group with what looks like some real depth.






CB - Testing really shapes this position so it'll be interesting how it shapes up but this looks like a very solid class. You have some bigger corners (Campbell\Jean-Charles\Jones), a few standout slot (Molden\Surtain) and some really solid all-around prospects like Horn, Lucas, Stokes ... Don't think I'm spending a 1st here but rather getting a great deal later on. Not any freaks like Pat Pete or even a Gilmore but a lot of prospects a tier or two below which means a lot of really good players. Wait and capitalize off the depth here.




Big names - Jaycee Horn, Eric Stokes, Derion Kendrick, Elijah Molden, Caleb Farley, Asante Samuel JR, Patrick Surtain, Shaun Wade, Tyson Campbell




Other names to know - Chase Lucas, Cameron Bynum, Greg Newsome, Ambry Thomas, Keith Taylor, Myles Jones, Shaun Jolly, Matt Hankins, Shemar Jean-Charles




Pats related - We know how much Bill values the position. Both early on and udfa. Bill is always looking to add pieces that can help. The one thing that stands out amongst some of these guys is the toughness - ability to tackle they have. Horn, Molden, Jolly, Jean-Charles and a few others just look like they would fit in this draft. We're definitely taking a DB or two this draft. More than a few of our types.






S - Another class with more depth than top heavy talent but like the other groups I came away with a few specific impressions after my second real look at the class. You have some really smart prospects - guys that can capitalize on the other team making mental mistakes on down & distance or being sloppy pre-snap for example. Guys on point being where they're supposed to be at (landmarks-depth). The other is I see quite a few nickel prospects. Won't wow you into making a top 15-20 pick but there are some great prospects in this class.




Big names - Richard LeCounte, Jevon Holland, James Wiggins, Greg Eisworth, Trevon Moehrig, Richie Grant, Paris Ford, Andre Cisco.




Other names to know - Cam Taylor-Britt, Brady Breeze, Alonzo Addae, Reed Blankenship, Joe Foucha, Jacoby Stevens, Kolby Harvell-Peel, Tariq Thompson.




Pats related - Few prospects have stood out the last few years bc of their football IQ & versatility. LeCounte, Blankenship & Holland all have stood out as guys we'd like Eisworth too. Their intangibles and smarts have just always stood out. Seem like guys we'd go after. Check out Wiggins, Alonzo Addae and Richie Grant.






IDL - This class won't break any records in terms of first round picks but is a little better than people gave it credit for. Including me. You don't have any game changers but more than a few prospects that could be above average to really good NFL players. The first wave of prospects taken will be the multiple types. Guys that can play a few snaps at 3, 5, 0/1T depending on what you want to do. A few two-down fatties that could possibly make a living plugging up the inside. It's not the best class but there are a bunch of prospects that can help a team in different ways right away. You don't want to reach with this class. If you miss out on one or two guys you like just wait and work with what you can.




Big names - Daviyon Nixon is a bulldog. Fast off the ball. Shorter prospect with built in leverage. Does a good job of getting underneath you, working half-man rushes. Has a plan when rushing the QB - Active hands- few moves but it's his tenacity and motor along with his fire hydrant build that make it difficult. Legs/feet don't stop. Focuses in one man when doubled. Can eat up his gap, 2-gap. Athletic, very good all-around defender. Went community route to work on grades and himself. Had one big time offer from Bama. Things clicked this season for a few reason but he credits it with pad level/leverage & watching more film. Most likely understanding what he's seeing all we'll. Picks up in pullers in the run game. Long arms. Thick squaty build. Him and the Stills brothers might get looks from us. All three are familiar with bear-tite-amoeba fronts. Manipulated pressure. Guys you can move around. After Nixon I'd expect Barmore to come off the board next. Then it's w/e your needs are. W/e you like. Tufele. Shelvin. Onwuzrike. Tuipulotu. Wilson. Jordan Davis.




Other names to know - Tedarrell Slaton, Alim McNeill, Khyiris Tonga, Darius/Dante Stills,




Pats related - Again from a schematic pov guys like Nixon, Stills X2, Barmore are at least familiar with some of the stuff we do on defense. All 4 are impact guys on the field but leaders of their respected units. The class might not be garnering a ton of attention but that's not a bad thing. Most go by consensus, w/e they last heard. Ideally none get taken round one, it's not far-fetched. And we can use a comp to trade up and get our early round two.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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Offense




QB - Lots of hyperbole thrown around in sports, today's society in general but it's not a stretch to say Lawrence is a generational prospect. I remember bringing him up years ago with Fields. How tied together they were. They've been competing against each other from afar, in football camps, everywhere football debate is happening. Lawrence has not only put a mile between him and Fields but everyone else as too. In the last 10-15 year's how many prospects would go over him? Just a rare blend of athleticism, size, skills, traits and leadership. And he's won. That's the thing that goes underappreciated. Lawrence has delivered! He's not just draft Twitter or Kiper hype. He's for real. He's won everywhere he goes. HS, College, elite camps. He has a few leadership qualities that players flock to. When your QB is playing with the kind of physicality he does no one is making "business decisions". Everyone is ready to go. He talks it and walks it. Everything you want in a QB when it comes to that stuff. He's also very religious and seems to walk that as well. I don't care about religion but can appreciate the discipline and selflessness one has when they're about that for real. Good for him. You'll probably never worry about him off the field.



Usually bigger QB's are a bit awkward in one way or another. Delivery, mechanics, movements ... Not the case with Lawrence. He's a QB through and through. Without getting into a eval, his best feature may be the ability to throw on the move with silly velocity and accuracy at times. But it's the ability to do that to his non-dominate side though that is really special. Usually guys are going to have trouble bc their arm isn't strong enough and their footwork has to be proper to really get the ball to go where they want it. Lawrence's whip is from another planet. This isn't just cool stuff to say. It makes it very hard to trap him with overloading a side like you would with Baker for example. Footwork ain't bad either.



He's been under a Lebron James-Type microscope since he was 15 and delivered each step of the way. Who ever gets him is very, very lucky.




Big names - Obviously Trevor Lawrence. Wilson will be QB2. Both him and Lance are intriguing as hell. Both have a little trouble with some defensive disguises mostly zone/match. Lance more than Wilson from what I've seen but both need to work on post-snap stuff. Like I mentioned above Justin Fields and Trevor Lawrence's names were tied together for years but I haven't seen the improvement from Fields. Overall it's been a slow ride. Just not quick enough when it comes to making or really coming off of reads. Too slow looking through concepts. If he's getting top ten talk and teams are saying they're all in. Get your money but he needs another year in all honesty. Just not ready to takeover a team. Carson Strong. Kyle Trask. Desmond Ridder. Mac Jones. JT Daniels. Davis Mills.




Other names to know - Brock Purdy, Kellen Mond, Brady White. Ian Book.




Pats related -The SR class is weak but one guy that has been getting NEP buzz is another Florida man, Kyle Trask. From a few months ago ...




"Agreed on both. Trask is actually on my small PTP list. Won't wow you and I question the pocket presence/mobility. Arm isn't great. But he can be efficient. Esp short/intermediate. Keeps things moving on time. Grinder, just goes play to play. Doesn't get too up/down. Quiet confidence. Some bad passes he won't get away with at the next level. Day two guys I think for most part".




I could definitely see Bill and some of the staff liking Trask. He's right up their alley in a lot of ways and poses some obvious concerns you can't shy away from. We a very good OL and can improve. So there's a huge hurdle right there. This OL with a competent QB could build some serious chemistry which is exactly what Trask needs once he comes into the league. He'll need a few established vets to build a rapport with to make the passing game work. Again though he's a safe bet with a little upside and some things you'll probably always have to work around. He keeps the trains running on time though and we know Bill goes safe > project or risk most of the time.




@KontradictioN could we really be Florida-North if we go Pitts, Trask, Toney. Chances are slim bc Pitts will likely be the first "skill" position off the board and someone might grab Toney top 40 but stranger things have happened. I remember talking about Toney and other gators with you. Nice to see them in the league. Anyway I think if Trask has any chance in the league he'll need an athletic OL in pass pro to really help him utilize some of his skill set. Not just a good OL that can pass pro but guys that can move around. Ultimately giving him more time & space. Leaving him to do as little maneuvering as possible, staying away from the better athletes chasing him. I know Wynn needs to stay healthy but I think we have the right type of line for him. Athletic in pass pro but can bully you on the ground. How about Toney as a 3rd down RB/Option out if the backfield? You could line both back there if you want. I hope Toney keeps his head on straight and goes to the right team.






OL - Maybe not quite as talented at the top of the class but possibly a bit deeper overall. Whether its tackle, guard or center, "versatility" might best describe this class. It's just a running theme between all 3 positions once you start digging in. You have prospects like Leatherwood, Slater, Carman who might be drafted as OT but ultimately could switch to inside. At guard you have Cade Mays who literally played every position across the line in his college career. Zion Johnson has played both tackle and guard for a whole year. Dickerson (C) has played almost 50-200+ snaps everywhere LT, RT & RG. Multiple plug and play guys at each spot. Very athletic group overall.




Big names - Penei Sewell is a super blend of size & athleticism. Unbelievable quickness & twitch for 6'6/325. His footwork, ability to move-climb different levels and play in space is a thing of beauty to watch. He has to improve his hand placement & timing but he's still a baby. Plays with a nasty motor 24/7. Very quick & aware against pressure-disguise. Potential at 24-30 yo is enormous imo. He also has a younger bro doing work back at Oregon. After Sewell look for Darrisaw, Slater, Eichenberg and Leatherwood to come off the board in some order.




Other names to know - Teven Jenkins (possible top 30-40 pick), Tommy Doyle, Dan Faalele, Kayode Awosika, Nolan Laufenberg, Drake Jackson. And Deonte Brown. And Michael Menet.




Pats related - Re-sign Joe. When people were praising Trent Brown I remember saying that Thuney was our best and most consistent OL'm. With a healthy Wynn, who was playing like a top 15 OT this year (yes he has to stay healthy but the last injury where he got rolled up on is what it is. Happens every week nothing you can do about it), we have an extremely consistent and athletic left side. To go along with a potential bully right side. Nice mix there.




A few months ago @patsfanfromoversea asked me about potential 62 replacements. Obviously a tall task but there are a few decent prospects worth a look if that happens. Zion Johnson, Clark Barrington, Aaron Banks, Cade Mays or AVT (Alijah Vera-Tucker) all look like promising prospects. *Something to think about* If we draft OL early usually they have tackle experience - that's the case for all of the above except Barrington
.


WR - Another loaded class ... Instant playmakers and a few day three prospects that can contribute right away. A deep class without actually grading anyone and a smorgasbord of types ...



You can go after Chase, Seth Williams or Sage Surratt, (bro of Chazz) for an X. Both prospects from Bama look like nice fits at Z. Big slot, Terrace Marshall, Marlon Williams. You need quick hitters, Elijah Moore or Amon St Brown. Need an athlete to top off your WR corp? How about a Rondale Moore or Kadarius Toney?




Moore might slide into round two. Toney might fall to round 3 even though I think he might be worth a second. Doubt he runs faster than 4.55 (Supposedly ran 4.69 coming out of HS, don't expect a 4.4 jump. 4.5 wouldn't be bad at all, not his game anyway he's a juke machine with a mean dead leg) and there might be more off the field bs coming out but we'll see. He is a Florida man after all. which you can watch here. He was also on video with simulated rifles at a park with other gators. Depending on how the process goes - interviews, background checks etc but he's one of a few players that might slip further than where their value really is. If things aren't as bad as they seem he's someone every team wants today. Someone you can up primarily in the slot, in the backfield but not just for handoffs. Toney was a QB in HS.




Big names - I just mentioned three but Rondale Moore is part bulldog & water bug. I'll be posting clips and highlights but if you've never seen him play do your a favor and make it a point to. Don't think he's a true WR1 but he's a fantastic piece. If we wanted to just be done with our WR issues one of the big three in round one and a guy like Moore in round two would do it.




Other names to know - Another Moore ... Elijah Moore has been fantastic this year. Very quick in/out his breaks. Borderline explosive off the line. We need a slot and he might be the best one slot this year. Dax Milne, Nico Collins, Warren Jackson & Mike Woods. Amari Rodgers deserves some love as well. He hit the ground running from jump this year and was a huge part of that train staying on track. And Shi Smith. And Jhamon Ausbon. And UNC kids.




Pats related - Last year Reagor & Jefferson were very high on my Patriot-Type Player Big Board, 1 & 2 for WR. We immediately traded out after both were taken. Reagor checked all the profile boxes but JJ's game was so pro-ready and refined. The way he reads leverage, understands how to work in space. It screamed NEP. Both have flashed but JJ has absolutely ripped up the league. One of Smith, Marshall , either Moore or Waddle would be a nice start to retooling this WR corp. All look like players. 4-5 prospects that will go rounds 3-5 look like our types (Schwartz, Milne). We could change the complexion of this group through this class for sure.






TE - One gem. A few solid prospects that should be really good players and a few that could be good if a few things turn out right. Not a bad class at all. I'm just not breaking the bank for anyone besides the Florida kid. Again some really nice prospects that will stick and contribute but if I'm looking for pass catchers im probably going WR > TE early on.




Big names - Kyle Pitts is a monster. Easily the prize of the class and one of the big prizes in the draft. He's been an absolute monster in college. His size and catch radius are huge problems. Natural separation off stride length and cuts. Knows how to separate off the line and in route with stab/swim. More sudden than I gave him credit for. Sinks into his hips at 6'6/240. He's going to be problem on any team but the better the QB lookout, he could dominate. Think he's played close to or over 1k snaps inline & detached. You can literally put him anywhere. Backfield, slot, wide, anywhere you want. Could dominate MOF/red zone. Good enough blocker overall, he can work on that while catching 10 TD a year. Pitts isn't just a TE. He's something else. Pat Freiermuth better stalk than inline blocker. Tough, reliable, likes playing through contact. Good safety blanket with some tough yards upside. Good speed and quicks but can't get off the ground for errant passes. Nice solid prospect. Charlie Kolar. Matt Bushman. Kenny Yeboah. Brevin Jordan. Hunter Long. Jake Ferguson. Nick Eubanks. Tre Mckitty. Tony Poljan, Cary Angeline, Noah Gray.




Other names to know - Kylen Granson, Jeremy Ruckert, Carl Tucker, Miller Forristall.




Pats related - If we're set on not taking a QB this year for we reason and we have a shot at Pitts, take it. Usually I'm against TE round one unless it's a special one. Pitts isn't just a TE and he's special. I've seen him win in every way possible and we're missing that type of talent on this team. He has TE1 potential in the NFL. I'm waiting until rounds 2-5 on everyone else personally. If I miss out on Pitts maybe a Long, Kolar, McKitty later on. Freiermuth in the 2nd would be good value.



Regarding Keene & Asiasi - It wouldn't be overkill at the position if we were lucky enough to land Pitts. Keene is an HB/TE, Swiss knife imo and Asiasi was hurt all year. Not his fault but I'm not passing on special simply bc we drafted a few in the mid rounds last year. That goes for any spot. If value & need meet go for it.






RB - The RB class is pretty sweet. You'll always find depth here but this one is a lil light. The top of this class could be something though. You could easily have 4-5 top 50 picks (ETN, Harris, Williams, Sermon, Carter & Hill). And again they'll always be some nice depth this position. You have a 6-7 potential feature backs and a few nice 3rd down options.




Big names - Travis ETN is in the mold of Kareem Hunt & Kamara. Contact balance is superb. Runs low to the ground, eyes always moving, very nice peripheral vision and anticipation. Tough to pin down. Runs very hard. Plenty of speed and flexibility to get the corner on stretch plays but also has enough power to run inside. Was one of the best inside runners at one point. Loves running through the B gap in the left side. Carter could be a nice 3rd down back. CEH-lite. Harris is great. Reminds me of Shaun Alexander, LGB, even Henry to an extent. Javonte Williams




Other names to know - Khalil Herbert, Kenneth Gainwell, Javian Hawkins, Rakeem Boyd, CJ Marable, Chris Evans & CJ Verdell.




Pats related - We have a gem in Harris. He's exactly the guy I saw in college. It's a mystery what happened to Sony, just not the same player but Harris has been legit. Aggressive runner that wants to finish. Should be a + in pass pro. Very good vision. It all depends on how the board falls but someone like Michael Carter, CJ Marable or Khalil Herbert could be decent complements/replacements
.
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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DeVonta "Smitty" Smith - SR - Alabama - 6' - 6'1 / 175-185 - Amite, LA

Strengths

Release
- Versed / Nuanced at the los with a variety of release moves and techniques to create space. Quick, soft foot firing feet. Killer jab step, hesitation - stutter variations, speed, stretch, motor ... very patient and super efficient, everything is clean. Nothing is wasted. His patience at that line is superb. Knows how to stem a DB - inside/outside to set his route, re-stem. Smith does an amazing job at attacking & winning the leverage battle. Fantastic at threatening outside leverage to win inside with head/shoulder fakes, stutter steps - creating an outside stem to gain inside leverage. Displays a real understanding of leverage - how to attack it and work it.

Route Running - Very smart, efficient and precise route runner. One of the best in-breaking/slant runners you'll find over the last few years. He does a very good job at using his body to get into his man, subtly creating space off contact. He does this after stacking his man with some hand fighting as well. Let's the route develop. Sells a good vert route. Disguises doubles. Great tracking ability & feel on deep routes. Very adapt, makes it work regardless of situation. Can threaten any area of the field, all three levels. Quick hitters out in the flat. Will keep the chains moving with slants. Can win on back shoulders along sidelines. Wins deep off his release, savvy stacking and ability to set up a DB using spacing, blind spots. Can separate at top of route. Very refined at route runner.

Speed/Play Speed, Body Control, IQ - Very quick in-out of breaks, plant step. Not the most explosive but has suddenness and some twitch- juice. He does everything at full speed and can change gears when needed, that's key! Nothing seems hard or is advertised. Everything is fast, clean, fluid. So efficient. Smooth but shows off very good patience and FBI (FootBall Intelligence) Has some some wiggle and shake - most often makes the first guy miss sometimes second. Great body control, timing and ability to catch through contact for a smaller player. Reliable player going over middle/MOF. Tough, he's a football player that isn't afraid to get hit. Comes back on "broken plays", shows good awareness for down/distance and where he is on the field.

Coverage(s) - Can beat press man with release & hands. Has gone up against NFL talent for years and been leaving bodies behind for years. Bump & run, eats up cushions in soft coverage. Kills zone, his spatial awareness is too good. Guys have been trying to bully him since hs and he's not intimidated.

YAC player who can create space by himself. Off manufactured touches. Not a bull but won't go down by arm tackles

Hands - Plus, soft, reliable hands that appear strong. Plucks, snatches the ball out the air. Natural pass catcher. Tucks it away with contact/over the middle. Strong enough to fingertip a high point - will hold the ball out/up to avoid a DB ripping the ball away.

Shows regular effort and willingness on blocking. Cam stalk block, work on perimeter.


Concerns
When it comes to concerns, there aren't many. Definitely not any glaring holes. I'm simply looking for reassurance(s) that he can do it rather than proof that he can play at the highest level. There's not a lot he has to learn or things he doesn't do at least pretty well.

Not the biggest prospect. Probably comes in around 6' - 6'1 / 170-180. Doesn't bother me. Some want him to add weight. I wouldn't care. A few pounds but don't go crazy he's a small WR no matter if he adds 10 pounds. Just be in optimal shape for you.

Will have to prove he can play with the big boys with better technique. Specifically along the los where he wins quick. That's how he wins. He's displayed everything you want to see but will have to do it against the best athletes who are (6'+/200+ with length) regularly.
Could always improve in a few areas - could tighten up his route running a little bit. Maybe become a little more explosive overall. Ultimately it's going to come down to if he can continue to have the same or good success off the line.
Thoughts - Outlook
Smith is an outstanding prospect who specializes at getting off the los. Crafty refined route runner with ball skills and yac ability. Small but tough. Smith is ready to step in day one and play a big role. Ideal slot/z you can move around and take advantage of match-ups if the opportunity presents itself. Again the biggest question is will he have success off the line but that's his greatest strength imo. He could be a very good player in almost any system bc of his skill set/traits.

I don't grade until after testing but Smith looks like a top 5-6 WR in this year's class and easy top 40-50 pick. I really like him.

Comparison - Calvin Ridley - Doug Baldwin

Traits That Translate
  • Can win in the three big phases - release/los, in the middle of his route and at the top of the route.
  • + Hands, route running and IQ
  • Tough player who can make you miss and actively looks for yac. Smaller RB with the ball in his hands
  • Versatile - Can line up anywhere, runs the whole tree & will block

Inside stem, creates space for the out but that's not the good stuff. Check out how quick and crisp he is off that plant/cut. Flattens out his route to give his QB an easy target. Good stuff.


Press against Horn, NFL prospect, Joe Horns kid. Sells outside with a quick jab. Gets into Horn and stretches out over the middle.


Press man, big time whiff by Mukuamu, NFL prospect. Buys what Smith is selling. Again so good at selling outside.


This is a great rep. Horn is in press man but fails to get early hands on Smith. Little head fake - body fake to the outside about a half second after the snap then explodes inside.


Going against another NFL prospect in Stingley. Too quick off the line, shake - in route and finishes up top.

 

BaconGrundleCandy

PatsFans.com Supporter
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Not sure where or exactly what Bill would do with him but I'll put it here. Wouldn't mind seeing him in Ricard role from Balt. FB/TE/OL.
"Career Overview: Fourth-year player who has appeared in all 37 games (eight starts) as a tight end/fullback since 2016 ... Went both ways in 2019, seeing action in seven games at defensive tackle ... Core special teams player … Has carried the ball 28 times for 65 yards (2.3 avg.) and three touchdowns ... Defensively, has nine tackles, including one for a loss, in 76 snaps ... Returned three kickoffs in his career for 44 yards (14.7 avg.) ... Three letters".

Syracuse's Chris Elmore is one of a kind
 

patsfanfromoversea

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Great stuff as always, thank you for the information and work you put in there ! It helps a lot concentrating on players who the NEP could focus on during the process. I hope you had nice christmas days.
Do you would trade up if Zach Wilson is still there between spot 5-8? It seems a new qb has a bigger impact than i thought on the offense. Guys like herbert, burrow are doing great stuff esp burrow with that team just looks way more competitive..and what would a trade up to these spots usually cost? Would you trade up for Lance and Fields?
The guys i like most for the top 15 behind the qb's are probably Parsons Smith Chase Waddle Sewell Pitts and maybe Paye..in the worst case scenario they all could be gone if we pick at 15..would you consider a trade down then? Getting an extra second or third might be nice to get a late second early third WR/IOL/IDL player
 

BaconGrundleCandy

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Ridder has a legit NFL whip. + arm talent at times. Easy gas, tons of velocity. Can drop it in a bucket, lead shoulder - accuracy, placement & touch are Inconsistent but some special passes and you bet on arm talent.
At times beautiful deep ball mechanics. Smooth transfer. Smooth lower half, sturdy base feet intact. Easy delivery, tad long but very pretty. Upper half - throwing motion - arm comes down, is a bit low on intermediate/shorter throws. Lower half works, clean for the most part but it's something he can work on.

Physical runner, has wheels and will use them. Has to protect himself a lot better but he's a big threat on the run and move. NFL speed will catch up with him, no more 40+ yard runs but he can hurt you a lot with his legs. He's a truck and can really pick up yards though. Short, tough yards he could be a real big threat as well.

6'4/215 NFL size, arm & attitude. Nice physique that can take another 10-15 pounds easy.

He produced right out the gate as a true FO. 20/5 & 60+% followed up by 18/9 55% & comp 66% this year. Cinci resembles a NFL more than most college teams. Balanced. They ask him to play mistake free. Very few overall TO and turn it up when it matters the most. With his arm or legs.

Has to improve deep accuracy, keep working on and improving his footwork and pocket awareness/presence. The last two aren't problems just he could improve and he has. He's improved in so many areas since his FO year. That tells me he's actually working and a football player. You don't go from flash/potential to where he is without working hard.

He can throw guys open but could improve his eye manipulation and anticipation in terms of not staring down targets. Wants to put it on his shoulders to win every play but plays great within the structure. Executes his offense and plays the "game manager" part that is actually a great complement of a QB's play imo. That tells me his coaches trust him. He can handle running an RPO/RO scheme and just wants to win. He won't sell out his teammates to make plays.

Trevor Lawrence's best asset might be his ability to throw on the run. Particularly away from his dominant side. That's important. Defenses will try to trap you. Ridder's arm is is whip and can just do different things with it. Mobility and ability to throw on the run are huge.

He came on Cinci around 5'11/190 soaking wet. Big-time growth spurt between FO-SO year. Worked hard in the weight room. Hes a worker in all ways. Study's his film and others. Wants to learn. Vocal about football being a team sport. Wants to win and his college career reflects that. 30+ wins and I know wins aren't a QB stat but I'll use it here anyway. It does reflect well on his play, attitude and growth though. He's grown physically and matured big time. He's still a pup but again wants to learn and has shown big time growth in a short time. Ridder had to work for the starting job from day one. He's shown big-time toughness, both mentally and physically. He's been proving himself every day so he's not taking anything for granted. He'll fight for it.

He's a legit JR so he still has 2 good years to where he can improve, adjust and so on and still have a long career. He's not a finished product by any means. I think some teams will love him once the get close to him after the season.

The thing that sticks out is the fact that his coaches trust him in big moments. Cinci wants to play balanced ball and not take many chances. So he didn't have as many chances to show off but when the game was on the line. High leverage plays/situations. His coaches asked him to make a play.

+ Arm, Intangibles-Tough, Mobile

- Has to work on decision making and improve those mechanics on some passes




 

BaconGrundleCandy

PatsFans.com Supporter
PatsFans.com Supporter
Great stuff as always, thank you for the information and work you put in there ! It helps a lot concentrating on players who the NEP could focus on during the process. I hope you had nice christmas days.
Do you would trade up if Zach Wilson is still there between spot 5-8? It seems a new qb has a bigger impact than i thought on the offense. Guys like herbert, burrow are doing great stuff esp burrow with that team just looks way more competitive..and what would a trade up to these spots usually cost? Would you trade up for Lance and Fields?
The guys i like most for the top 15 behind the qb's are probably Parsons Smith Chase Waddle Sewell Pitts and maybe Paye..in the worst case scenario they all could be gone if we pick at 15..would you consider a trade down then? Getting an extra second or third might be nice to get a late second early third WR/IOL/IDL player
Thanks brother and good post. There's probably like 6-8 realistic options for us and if not I'd trade back and go for multiple picks in round two.

So it's draft season and that means ...

I knew about his uncle but haven't heard anything truly negative about him. If things check out Id trade up to 8-12 for him or Lance. Both are tiny projects but we need a QB and both are super intriguing. I don't have a good feeling about Fields tbh. Flashes but too slow with too much. Lance has some issues like Wilson but their peaks are legit and look like NFL QB's.

I love Waddle. His acceleration, top end speed and elusivness are top tier. He really is a problem. Might never catch 100 balls but he's a threat to the end zone anytime he has the ball.

Smith is a technician who I'd prefer to trade down a little but definitely a first round talent. Wins in a lot of ways. Chase is more of a bully. Again if like to trade back for him. As of now I think I'm Smith/Waddle/Pitts > Chase.

Id trade up to 10-12 if Sewell were there. He's so athletic, nasty and has so much potential. I think Bill would love Parsons on the field but not sure about the attitude. Heard Parsons thinks he's the greatest but sometimes that's not that big a deal and overblown.

Paye is a wildcard but definitely someone we'd love to have and our type.

I think we have 4-5 1st round grades on OL too. Thuney is a big domino. Hopefully we resign him but even though we might decide to go in that direction too. Maybe RT?
 

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