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Patriots News 04-03, DeVante Parker Trade, Draft Profile Edge Rusher Johnson

Steve Balestrieri
Steve Balestrieri on Twitter
2 months ago at 5:00 am ET
Posted Under: 2022 NFL Draft

Patriots News 04-03, DeVante Parker Trade, Draft Profile Edge Rusher JohnsonJan 9, 2022; Miami Gardens, Florida, USA; Miami Dolphins wise receiver DeVante Parker (11) carries the ball against the New England Patriots during the first quarter at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning, here are your weekly Patriots news 04-03 and some NFL notes.

Well, Saturday is normally a slow news day, but not this one. The Dolphins have traded within the division to the Patriots, sending former 1st round draft pick (14th overall) WR DeVante Parker and a 2022 5th round pick for a 2023 3rd round pick. 

Parker is signed through 2023 and has a moderate, workable cap hit in the next two years. His cap hit is $8.74 million dollars in 2022 with a base salary of $5.65 million this year and $5.7 million next season. 

Parker gives the Patriots a big (6’3,220) WR who should immediately improve the WR room. He became expendable after Miami signed WR Tyreek Hill in free agency. Parker, along with Kendrick Bourne, Nelson Agholor, Jakobi Meyers and tight ends Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith gives QB Mac Jones plenty of viable targets in the passing game. 

Parker gives the Patriots what they wanted from N’Keal Harry, an outside wide receiver with size and speed. He’s had trouble staying healthy, so that will be a concern moving forward. But to get Parker and a 5th for a 3rd next year, especially with the team expecting to receive a 3rd round comp pick for J.C. Jackson softens the blow. 

The last time the Dolphins traded a WR to the Patriots was when they shipped Wes Welker to New England. We all remember how that worked out. 

The NFL Owners’ Meeting was conducted this week and both owner Robert Kraft and head coach Bill Belichick spoke to the media. Naturally, the overreaction to Kraft’s comments went overboard, as is the norm in the Boston area, as some media members immediately had to ask the question “Is Bill Belichick on the hot seat?” While others discussed how bad a season it would take for Kraft to fire him. Nothing like rooting for the home team coach to fail. 

Kraft Frustrated By Increased Expectations and Three Years of No Playoff Victories: 

Kraft voiced frustration over the past three years of no victories in the postseason. In 2019, Tom Brady’s last in a Patriot uniform, the team lost in the Wild Card Round. In 2020, the team went 7-9 and missed the playoffs. And then in last year’s Wild Card Round, the Patriots were routed by the Bills. 

“I’m a Patriot fan big time first,” Kraft said. “And more than anything, it bothers me that we haven’t been able to win a playoff game in the last three years.”

“After my family, there’s nothing more important to me than the New England Patriots and winning football games,” Kraft said. “That’s my passion. Whatever I can do, hopefully in a small way, to make that happen, I’m there. I’m not happy that we haven’t won a playoff game in three years. I think about that a lot.” The two decades of incredible success have fueled expectations, arguably unreasonable ones, that the team should be a contender for a Super Bowl berth every year.

In regards to Belichick not naming an offensive or defensive coordinator, Kraft reminded everyone that Belichick does things differently than 31 other teams. 

“I think Bill has a unique way of doing things. It’s worked out pretty well up till now,” Kraft said. “I know what I don’t know. I try to stay out of the way of things I don’t know. I think he’s pretty good with over 40 years of experience doing it. It doesn’t sometimes look like a straight line to our fans or to myself. But I’m results-oriented.”

He believes that the team may reach contender status again this season. 

“I think we’ve made the commitments as an organization, and I think we have a lot of talent, some wonderful young men from last year and a couple in the weeds from before. This is a chance for them to grow and come together and the team comes together. I think these young quarterbacks, the good ones in their second year have usually grown a great deal.

“Part of it, in fairness, is the chemistry of the people around him. I hope that some of the free agents who we brought in who didn’t perform as high as we would have liked last year will produce this year because they’ve adjusted to the system,” Kraft added. 

“And we’re making changes to take advantage of what they do best. We have a lot of talent that hasn’t been tapped into yet in my opinion.”

“I’m a big fan of Mac Jones. I see how hard he works. He wants everything to go right. He puts the time and energy. His personality is a team guy. We have a chance. Without a good coach and a good quarterback, no matter how good the other players are, I don’t think you can win consistently. Hopefully, I believe we have both an outstanding coach and a good young prospect at quarterback.”

Quick Hitters For the Patriots, and the NFL: 

Trent Brown:  The Patriots enormous right tackle penned a letter to Patriots fans explaining the reasons behind why he re-signed with the team. 

Dear Patriot Nation,

It seems like for as long as I can remember I’ve been a Patriot. My high school team colors were the same red, white and blue, and in a unique way, being here has always felt like home. Through my first seven years in the league, there’s no doubt where I’ve enjoyed my time the most and have the most success. I couldn’t have done that without you. You’re more than fans to us, you’re family. From Foxboro to Boston and all over Massachusetts, you provide us all with an energy that I don’t think any of us could ever put into words coming out of that tunnel at Gillette, seeing you all out in the community, even seeing how you support us online on social media. 

We all know that free agency is a part of the business and we all hope to attain the most we can to support our families in a career that goes by all too fast. But what was most important to me was to be somewhere that felt like home, which is why I was grateful that the team and I could agree to terms that will solidify my return and get to the mission of winning more championships. I plan to make my next seven my best seven. And just like before, I need you to help me do it. That’s the Patriot way. So you soon. Sincerely yours, TB77.

Bobby Wagner: The former Seahawks’ outstanding linebacker despite recruiting efforts from Matt Judon, has signed a 5-year, $50 million deal with the Rams. As I wrote here recently, I didn’t think Wagner would sign here for two reasons, he’d want more money than the Patriots would be willing to pay and he wants a chance to win now. 

Todd Bowles: I’m not getting into all of the conspiracy theories that are abounding with Bruce Arians stepping down, but will say, that I am really happy for Bowles to get a shot at head coaching again, with a good roster.

I thought he was a good head coach who got a very raw deal from the Jets. 

Slade Bolden: The Alabama slot receiver has frequently been mentioned as a late-round fit for the Patriots. That may still be so, but if the Patriots’ actions at “Bama’s Pro Day have anything to do with it, I’d put that possibility as slim right now.

The Patriots contingent at Tuscaloosa left before (due to incoming bad weather) before Bolden worked out. I wouldn’t put that down as a good sign for the slot receiver. 

Patriots 4th & 2 Podcast: If you haven’t checked out our PatsFans.com podcast, “Patriots 4th & 2” in a bit, please check it out. Derek Havens and I posted a video of some WRs, OL, and other 1st round draft possibilities for the Patriots..

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 Draft Profile — Jermaine Johnson, Edge, Florida State: 

As the 2022 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots’ radar or that we feel would be a great fit.

The Patriots can use some help at the edge in 2022. Matthew Judon was outstanding but was overworked and faded down the stretch. Much was expected from Josh Uche after an outstanding training camp but he disappeared. 

Ronnie Perkins was drafted last year, but had a red-shirt type of year and didn’t see the field at all. Chase Winovich had a decent start to his career with back-to-back seasons with 5.5 sacks but ended up in Bill Belichick’s doghouse and saw the field little in 2021 and was traded to Cleveland for LB Mack Wilson. 

The team will probably still look to add a veteran in free agency, one particular former Patriot, Trey Flowers has been a name that has been tossed about, and he’s still just 28-years old. But they will probably also look for a draft prospect as well. And the next player in our draft profile series would help a great deal. 

Jermaine Johnson, from Florida State, is the first player in ACC history to win the Defensive Player of the Year in his first season in the ACC after transferring from Georgia. Johnson notched 18 tackles for loss along with 12 sacks among 70 total tackles with two pass breakups and two forced fumbles.

Johnson measures in at 6’5, 254 pounds with 34-inch arms. He left Georgia to get more playing time and the biggest question was how he would play in a featured role. He answered all of those questions and had a fantastic week at the Senior Bowl.  

Pros:

– Wide wingspan with broad shoulders

– Strong edge setter in the running game

– Filled out his lower body in 2021

– Has the tools to be an elite pass rusher at the next level

– Still ascending, hasn’t hit his peak

Cons

– Hand usage needs to improve (Joe Kim could help with that)

– Needs to work on his finesse pass-rushing moves

– Bend on the edge and flexibility is average

What his Role Will Be:

Johnson will definitely begin his career as a designated pass rusher. 

Will His Role Change from Year 1-to-2?

Yes, he could easily become a plus starter for years to come

How Many Downs Can He Play?

Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?

Kyle Van Noy, who was released.

What is his ST Value?

Limited

Conclusion: 

Johnson has good size, athleticism, technique, with very good strength, and an excellent football I.Q. who has the ability to become a definite impact player at the next level. He has room figuratively and literally to grow and has yet to reach his peak as a football player. 

He’s an instinctive player who will get better and better with good coaching and will improve with more experience. He is relentless with a non-stop motor. He’s a top 20 talent and if he’s there at #21, would be a great addition to the Patriots’ defense. And would provide a needed boost to the pass rush. 

A highlight video reel from College Films can be seen here:

_______________

“I think our staff is complete,” Belichick said. “I wouldn’t rule anything out. But I don’t think we necessarily have to hire anybody else.”

Bill Belichick, at the owners’ meeting, pretty much ruled out that Bill O’Brien, Adam Gase or anyone else is taking over the offensive coordinator duties, where he added, rather unnecessarily “I’m not big on titles. We have jobs to do. We’ll do the jobs.”

“We won’t be calling any plays for a while,” Belichick said. “Don’t have any games for a while,” when he was asked about who will be calling the plays. 

_______________

“So, how was your week?”

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts on Stitcher and Streamyard as Russ Goldman, Derek Havens, and myself from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news and game analysis.

 


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Posted Under: 2022 NFL Draft
Tags: Bill Belichick Devante Parker Jakobi Meyers Jermaine Johnson Kendrick Bourne Matthew Judon Miami Dolphins Nelson Agholor New England Patriots Patriots Patriots edge rushers Patriots wide receiver injuries


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