Good morning, here is your Sunday Patriots news 04-25, the 2021 NFL Draft is just a few days away as this promises to be a very intriguing one, not just for the Patriots but for the other 31 other teams.
Best wishes to our own Russ Goldman. Russ and his entire family has tested positive for COVID-19. We wish them all a speedy recovery.
Please check out our draft profiles as we inch closer to the 2021 NFL Draft.
Have you checked out our team news feature for all 32 teams yet? It is a great resource to keep up with what is going on all across the NFL.
Quick Hitters For the Pats, and the NFL:
Aaron Rodgers: After watching a bunch of temporary guest hosts since the beginning of the year, Rodgers is the best one that the show had thus far. Is it a career for the QB when his playing days are over? We’ll see, but the ratings spiked with him as a host.
Rodgers showed some humor, personality, and the ability to relate with the contestants. One great clip came when the defending champion, chose the category “Title” for $400.
“In the 1960s these Midwesterners earned 5 NFL championship trophies.” Nobody answered. Rodgers spread his arms wide and said to the audience laughing …the Green Bay Packers?” When the champion answered the next clue as the Boston Celtics, Rodgers quipped…”Oh you got that one.”
Another hilarious moment came also on Final Jeopardy when the clue was, “One of the luminaries who drove in the “Golden Spike” in Utah in 1869 was this man who later founded a university.” No one answered it correctly, and Rodgers, quickly took a swipe at his college rival Stanford.
“The answer is Leland Stanford,” Rodgers said, “who was the president of the Central Pacific Railroad that later founded this school in the Bay area that gets beat by Cal all the time.” Jeopardy could do a lot worse than working out a deal with Rodgers when his playing days are over.
Salary Cap Questions? Ask Miguel: There is no one with more knowledge when it comes to NE’s salary cap than our old buddy Miguel Benzan aka @Patscap. If you’re going anywhere else for salary cap information, you’re doing yourself a disservice.
4th & 2 Podcast – If you haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, please check it out. Derek and I are recording a 1st Round Mock Draft trying to pick all 32 selections later this morning.
Russ Francis/ Chuck Fairbanks: The former Patriot tight end and head coach both should be in the Patriots team Hall of Fame…this will be on our Sunday posts until it happens.
Patriots Doing Homework on Trask
With so much uncertainty going on in round one, the Patriots are continuing to evaluating this year’s group of quarterbacks at each level and there’s apparently some interest in one name in particular.
According to NFL Network analyst Daniel Jeremiah, Florida quarterback Kyle Trask appears to be a player on Bill Belichick’s radar. Jeremiah said during his recent “Move the Sticks” podcast that there is “a little buzz in league circles that the Patriots are doing a lot of homework” on the Gators QB.
During their “Body Shop” segment of the podcast, they looked at a variety of players who the club may select next week, with Trask’s name coming up among the group they believe would help the Patriots moving forward.
Starting at #15, cohost Bucky Brooks had his suggestion for who he believed would be a good fit and he has them selecting Northwestern’s Greg Newsome II.
“When I look at Greg Newsome, the reason why he really fits in New England, he’s a versatile player,” said Brooks. “This is a guy that can do anything that you want to see on the island. He can play bump, he can play off, man or zone, he has good instincts and awareness. To me, his game screams Patriots player.”
Jeremiah has the Patriots taking a receiver at #46, with Purdue’s Rondale Moore being the player he believes would be a good fit.
“Let’s go Rondale Moore,” said Jeremiah. “You want to talk about versatility, all the gadget stuff you want to do with him, fly sweeps, you can throw him in the backfield, just get the ball in his hands and the fun begins. This New England offense has always been at its best when it’s been built inside out. Julian Edelman retires and we can slide Rondale Moore right in.”
At #96 (3rd round), they then have the Patriots taking Trask.
“The reason why Kyle Trask is a nice fit is because we’ve seen him operate as a distributor in this offense,” said Brooks. “And we understand, Josh McDaniels can tweak the system to make it where it is all about getting the ball out, let the playmakers do the work. They’ve upgraded the playmakers around the quarterback, with the two tight ends, Jonnu Smith, Hunter Henry, some of the weapons on the outside. Then you just need a playmaker that can get it to them and let them go to work. I think Kyle Trask would certainly fit that role.”
To close things out, at #120, Jeremiah went with South Carolina linebacker Ernest Jones.
“The first tape I watched on Jones actually was against Florida,” said Jeremiah. “He can play on the line of scrimmage, plays over tight end, and he beat up Kyle Pitts pretty good in that game at the line of scrimmage. Very physical, he’s got stopping power as a tackler. When he hits guys, it is over. To me, I think some of that versatility, some of that physicality, would be appreciated by the New England Patriots. That’s why I have him going at pick 120.”
For anyone looking for more on Trask, we wrote about him previously here.
Sherman was Nearly a Patriot
Anyone who remembers the name Ras-I Dowling probably won’t be happy to hear this news, but it appears the Patriots decided on Virginia’s Dowling when they made their 2nd-round pick during that 2011 draft.
According to a recent article by Domonique Foxworth in “The Undefeated”, Sherman revealed that he and Dowling were New England’s final two names but they obviously didn’t select him.
“Day 2 came in the same room with fewer people, but more optimism,” wrote Foxworth on what things were like during that draft for Sherman. “Sherman expected to get drafted in the second or third rounds. His agent had told him that the New England Patriots were deciding between him and Ras-I Dowling, a cornerback from Virginia. With the first pick of the second round, the Patriots selected Dowling. “Awww,” went Sherman’s shrinking contingent. His agent told him that the Baltimore Ravens were the only other team that had shown interest, but they had already used a first-round pick on Colorado cornerback Jimmy Smith. His phone never rang.”
The Seahawks ultimately went on to select him and Sherman went on to have a terrific career, while Dowling was cut by the Patriots two years later.
For anyone who might be curious, Dowling is now the defensive backs coach at William and Mary after joining the University in 2017 as defensive quality control coach.
Mock Draft 4.0 – Searching for the Best Player Available:
With the 2021 NFL Draft just days away, we did one last mock draft. We didn’t make any trades
So, here our picks and a brief bio of each is written below.
We used the Pro Football Network’s (PFN) mock draft simulator.
1st Round, Pick #15 Micah Parsons, LB, Penn State: Parsons is arguably the best linebacker in the draft, and it is a surprise to see him fall this far on the big board, possibly due to some off-field concerns.
Prototypical size and build of an NFL linebacker, he possesses tremendous flexibility, speed and explosiveness, with top notch instincts. Initially recruited to Penn State as a pass rusher. Wasn’t asked to cover much as his value as a pass rusher was deemed too valuable. He has the ability to a cornerstone of the defense for years to come.
2nd Round, Pick #46 Dillon Radunz, OT, North Dakota State: Okay, the team didn’t get Trey Lance from NDSU, but
3rd Round, Pick #96, Kyle Trask, QB, Florida : From PFN: “Trask is a traditional pocket passer with great vision, instincts, and wherewithal. He’s accurate with a terrific sense for what’s happening on the field, but the lack of foot quickness and leg speed limits him to just a few offensive systems.” He’ll sit for a year, and hopefully be ready to take over. Some compare him to Stidham, I think that is way off the beam, Trask is much more talented.
4th Round Pick #120, Tyler Shelvin, DT, LSU: Shelvin is a massive (6’3, 348), immovable force on the nose who is outstanding against the run but doesn’t offer much at all against the pass. But with the Patriots lacking a true nose tackle, Shelvin is in the mode of a Vince Wilfork, Ted Washington type of player. He also has great hands and can disengage blockers and will find the runner and finish. He plays with a non-stop motor and despite his lack of speed, goes all out on every snap.
Shelvin dominates as single blocking and has the strong anchor to absorb double teams at the point of attack, allowing the linebackers to clean up and make plays.
4th Round, Pick #122, Shi Smith, WR, South Carolina: Smith is another undersized slot receiver who was a go-to guy at Columbia, with excellent short-area quickness, strong hands, and the ability to run back kicks.
He can make the tough catches and has the savvy and quickness at the line to create separation. While not a deep threat, per se, he can get open deep and is a good vertical threat. He’s fearless across the middle. He shined at the Senior Bowl and with the right coaching at the next level can be another versatile player.
5th Round, Pick #139, Divine Deablo, S, Virginia Tech: Deablo is a linebacker-sized safety (6’3, 227) who would be perfect as the Patriots dime linebacker/safety. He’s best in the box and acted as the QB the secondary. He may have to bide his rookie year learning, but the kid is a thumper and would be a very good box safety.
6th Round, Pick #177, Camryn Bynum, CB, Cal: Bynum was a four-year starter and a two-time captain for Cal. He plays head up with outstanding ball skills. He’ll fall due to his 40 time but plays faster than his timed speed due to his instincts. Was rarely challenged at Cal by opposing QBs.
6th Round, Pick #188, Elijah Mitchell, RB, Louisiana: Mitchell reminds me a lot of Damien Harris of the Patriots and that isn’t a bad thing. Solidly built at 5’10, 218, Mitchell runs hard and smart, with good vision, cutting back against the grain.
He dropped about 10 pounds before his Pro-Day and ran a blistering 4:32 in the 40. He’s a good runner between the tackles with above average traits catching the ball out of the backfield. He’d be an excellent member of a running back by committee rotation.
6th Round, Pick #197, Richard LeCounte, S, Georgia: LeCounte reminds one a little bit of Duron Harmon and has good range to be the subpackage centerfielder. He has solid ball skills with good hands and is an active tackler although not a big man. He was a three-year starter for the Bulldogs.
7th Round, Pick #242, Malcolm Koonce, Edge, Buffalo: Koonce is a bit of a diamond in the rough, he was a very effective pass rusher at Buffalo and plays faster than his timed speed. As a subpackage pass rusher, he can rush with his hand in the dirt or standing upright as an OLB. He’s a developmental project but could become a solid player in the right system.
“So, how was your week?”
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Posted Under: Patriots Commentary
Tags: Camryn Bynum Dillon Radunz Divine Deablo Elijah Mitchell Greg Newsome II Kyle Trask Malcolm Koonce Micah Parsons Northwestern University Ras-I Dowling Richard LeCounte Richard Sherman Rondale Moore Shi Smith Tyler Shelvin University of Florida University of Perdue William and Mary University