Tag Archives: Joe Haeg

Patriots Mock Draft 3.0 – Offense Addressed Early

Steve Balestrieri
April 11, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

Team Addresses Needs While Taking Best Available with Top 4 Picks

With free agency slowing down somewhat, the Patriots continue to be active and with the draft less than 3 weeks away, it is time for our Mock Draft 3.0

There is a fascinating tool to use for doing a mock draft made possible by the guys over at Fanspeak.com that we touted last year and is even more fun to use in 2015.
In their “On the Clock” simulator, you are the GM for any NFL team. You can choose how many rounds you’d like to draft for (1-7), and pick one of nine different big boards to choose from.

All of the big boards differ quite a bit and the site has a random selection process that picks for the other 31 teams based on the best player available and team needs that are constantly updated. For this third mock draft (4-9), I used the big board of Drafttek.

With the continued moves the Patriots are conducting in free agency, they still have needs at OT, RB, CB with depth needed at WR and LB. This mock draft found so good quality playmakers available that not only filled their needs but were the best players available when it was time to pick… Read on.

Here is our Patriots Mock Draft 3.0 – Drafttek Big Board Edition:

Round 2, Pick #1 WR Tyler Boyd, Pittsburgh: A surprise here, Boyd wasn’t on the board in the earlier mock drafts we conducted. Boyd has good size at 6’1, 200-pounds, and can change direction at top speed.

Boyd is very competitive and wins most 50/50 situations. He runs very crisp routes and has elite ball skills, timing his jumps perfectly. Very physical and tough after the catch. He also has outstanding hands and although isn’t a burner, has had success at returning both kicks and punts. Would be a great fit in the Patriots offense.

Round 2, Pick #2 RB Devontae Booker, Utah: Another surprise, Booker was long gone in our earlier mocks. Booker has good size at 5’11, 219-pounds for the position and would be an outstanding addition to the Patriots offense as he excels between the tackles, can handle a full load of carries and is an every-down threat as a receiver out of the backfield as well.

Booker is a patient runner but with proper urgency once he sees an opening. He has very good vision and awareness. Doesn’t possess great speed, but shifts well, forcing defenders to miss. A willing and effective pass blocker. A true three-down running back.

Round 3, Pick #3 OT Joe Haeg, NDSU: Haeg was a 4-year starter at NDSU and is versatile, playing both tackle spots. Athletic at 6’6, 304 pounds, he could use some bulking up at the NFL level as well as building up his core strength.

Haeg uses his length to his advantage in pass protection and has good agility and lateral quickness to get to the edge in the running game. His run blocking needs to improve a bit.

With the NFL strength and conditioning program and being coached up by Dante Scarnecchia, Haeg could be a nice pickup. Read our scouting profile here:

Joe Haeg

Round 3, Pick #4 CB Cyrus Jones, Alabama: We selected Jones in an earlier mock and wouldn’t hesitate to strike again. Jones is a thick, powerfully built athlete that while he doesn’t have the height preferred (5’10), he makes up for by playing big and with a chip on his shoulder.

A converted wide receiver, Jones can change direction quickly and gets his hands on a lot of passes. He’s a reliable, violent tackler in the open field and has good ability to stick with receivers in man coverage. He’s an outstanding kick returner.
Read our scouting profile here:

Cyrus Jones2

Round 6, Pick #5 DE Aziz Shittu, Stanford: Shittu is a versatile DL that has played a variety of techniques from the “0” to the “5” for the Cardinals. Although undersized for an interior defensive lineman at 6’3, 280-pounds, Shittu plays very fast and is a very good disruptor who can blow plays up in the backfield.

He’s a tough physical player whose best football is in front of him. He can play outside as a defensive end or be an interior sub-package penetrator. He’s shown some ability to stand up to double teams in the running game. His final college game in the Rose Bowl was a tremendous effort, 8 tackles, 3.5 for loss and 1.5 sacks against Iowa.

Round 6, Pick #6 OLB Joe Schobert, Wisconsin: Schobert is a classic high-motor guy that gets overlooked because he’s not the most athletic guy but always seems to make the big play.

He’s versatile and can play at either outside or inside linebacker. He’s quick off the snap, gets off of his blocks, keeps his feet moving and is a relentless sideline to sideline player.

At 6’2, 244-pounds, he’s not the biggest guy out there and has decent coverage skills. He’s also a standout special teams’ player on the coverage teams.

Round 6, Pick #7 WR Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa: Garrett is a big-bodied WR (6’4, 221 pounds) who had a tremendous 2015 in the high-flying Tulsa offense. He grabbed 96 passes for 1588 yards and eight touchdowns.

He’s a huge target that can go up and catch contested balls in space. Dropped only 3 of 99 catchable balls in 2015. Once he gets his hands on the ball, he can make opponents miss and forced 21 missed tackles last year.

He ran a limited route tree at Tulsa and his route running needs to get crisper but he has all kinds of potential and the Patriots have the offensive personnel now that they can take their time with him to develop him into a big target for the offense. Read our scouting profile here:

Round 6, Pick #8 RB Daniel Lasco, California: Lasco is an undersized (6’0, 205), running back from Cal that plays and runs hard but due to his style of play has had some injury concerns.

Runs inside excellently with a very aggressive, downhill slant, falling forward for the extra yards. He’s a very effective pass blocker and was productive as a junior out of the backfield (33 receptions, 356 yards and 2 TDs).

Round 6, Pick #9 OT Dominic Jackson, Alabama: Jackson was a starter for only 1 year for the Tide after coming over from JUCO. A 6’6, 315-pound mauler in the running game, his pass blocking skills took some time to develop at Alabama but he set to work on it this season and was beaten for only two sacks in 2015.

He was credited by the Alabama coaches with 43 knockdowns in the running game and comes with a bit of versatility as he could play right tackle or kick inside to guard.

Round 7, Pick #10 CB LeShaun Sims, Southern Utah: Sims comes from a small school at Southern Utah but has the measurable (6’0, 203) to play big in the NFL. He has packed on 20 pounds of muscle since coming to the Thunderbirds and ran a 4.41 last spring.

Was an effective press-man corner, albeit against lesser competition but turned some heads at the Shrine Game. He’s an under-the-radar prospect that the Patriots always seem to find every spring.

Round 7, Pick #11 QB Cody Kessler, USC: Kessler was a three-year starter and finished with 88 TDs and only 19 INTs. Despite lacking in size (6’1, 224), and only average arm strength, he has the competitive fire and mental toughness to battle his way thru adversity. Played for five different coaches in college.

Will step up in the pocket and deliver the ball to whomever is open. Was very accurate, never finishing with under a 65 percent completion percentage. Ended his career with a 67.5 completion rate. Gets thru his progressions quickly and will take what the defense is giving.

Mock Draft 3.0 2016

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Possible Patriots Draft Target, OT Joe Haeg

Steve Balestrieri
April 4, 2016 at 10:00 am ET

Haeg Could be Targeted by the Patriots Early in Day 2

As the 2016 NFL Draft draws closer we’ll profile some of the players that may be on the Patriots radar that we feel would be a great fit.

The Patriots suffered a ton of injuries in 2015 and none of them were felt as badly as in the offensive line. There was a never-ending carousel of players in and out of the Patriots OL that eventually took its toll in the second half of the season and down the stretch. The Patriots used 37 different OL combinations last year and the QB, Tom Brady was the guy who paid the price as he was hit more than he has been in any year in his career.

Left tackle Nate Solder was lost for the year after Week 4 with a torn bicep. 2014’s starting center Bryan Stork missed the first seven weeks with concussion symptoms. Sebastian Vollmer, Josh Kline, Tre’ Jackson, Shaq Mason all missed significant time with injuries.

It got ridiculous down the stretch as the Patriots have used five left tackles, five left guards, two centers, seven right guards and five right tackles. Two things happened, their strength and conditioning coach and the offensive line coach’s contracts were not renewed. Solder and Vollmer are back but the team can use an influx of youth at the tackle position, preferably a young man that can come in and vie for snaps if not immediately, by year two in 2017.

Joe Haeg from North Dakota State is a player who would fit in well with the Patriots system. A former walk-on player, he blossomed on one of the FBS’ most successful teams. He’s started 60 of 61 possible games and has the versatility that Bill Belichick loves in his players, 32 at left tackle and 29 at right tackle.

Joe Haeg

Haeg received the Top Collegiate Offensive Lineman award from the FCS Athletic Directors Association in 2015, and was a two-time first team All-Missouri Valley Conference lineman.

He has an athletic build at 6’6, 304 pounds but has a frame that would allow him to add on additional weight with little loss of his agility. He uses his long arms very effectively in pass protection, keeping edge rushers away from his body.

He’s agile and quick off the snap in the running game and shows the lateral ability to get around the edge to the second level effectively. Shows good communication to recognize pressure

Pros:

– Squares up to pass rushers well, keeping them at bay

– Excellent quick reaction to pass rusher’s moves

– Very good agility and balance in the running game

Cons

– Has lean lower body, needs to beef up a bit at the next level

– Core strength is an issue and needs to be improved

– Hand strike on pass rushers tends to be too low at times

What his Role Will Be:
His role will be competing for one of the backup offensive line roles, which initially would be the swing tackle. As he finds his feet in the NFL game, he could compete for starting reps at the right tackle role.

Will his Role Change from Year 1-2?
Yes, with a little technique and size added in the Patriots strength and conditioning program he should be the starting RT tackle on Day 1 in 2017.

How Many Downs Can He Play?
Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
His roster slot will be in direct competition with reserve offensive linemen Cameron Fleming and Marcus Cannon.

What is his ST Value?
None

Conclusion:
Haeg is a guy the Patriots traditionally love, a self-made hard worker that has had to grind his way to where he is today. He’s a team leader and has been a part of five consecutive FBS college championship team. The Patriots reportedly spent quite a bit of time with him down in Mobile.

He’s been in big games, he knows his assignments and those around him. He sets up well in his base and has good balance while squaring himself in pass protection. He mirrors pass rushers very well. His quick feet and agility allow him to get to the second level in the running game.

Working with Dante Scarnecchia and the Patriots strength coaches should do him a world of good. If he can add some core strength and work on some technique issues, there is no reason why he couldn’t be an effective right tackle in the NFL for years to come. He may need some time to develop and it may take an entire season. He could be targeted early on Day 2 unless the team moves up in the 2nd round and drafts another prospect.

He projects in the Patriots system to be a Potential Starter. He should fit in very well into the NE offense.

 

Haeg’s highlight film can be found here, courtesy of College FB Dude:

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

Patriots Mock Draft 2.0 – Early April Edition

Steve Balestrieri
at 6:00 am ET

Free Agency signings make for better draft flexibility

With the Patriots still being active in free agency, it is time to conduct our Patriots Mock Draft 2.0 – Early April Edition. Obviously with the moves their making with available veterans it will affect the way they approach the draft.

There is a fascinating tool to use for doing a mock draft made possible by the guys over at Fanspeak.com that we touted last year and is even more fun to use in 2015.
In their “On the Clock” simulator, you are the GM for any NFL team. You can choose how many rounds you’d like to draft for (1-7), and pick one of nine different big boards to choose from.

All of the big boards differ quite a bit and the site has a random selection process that picks for the other 31 teams based upon the best player available and team needs that are constantly updated. For this second mock draft (4-2), I used the big board of Optimum Scouting.

I say this because the big boards differ a great deal depending upon the board chosen. I did another using a different big board and the results were vastly different. Looking at how the board plays out, I think we can all expect the Patriots to make a move to move into either the 4th or 5th rounds as the talent level begins to drop steeply between the third and sixth rounds.

With the continued moves the Patriots are conducting in free agency, it makes their job a bit easier once the draft rolls around. Without as many holes to fill, they can be flexible and opt for the best player available or move up and down if they so choose. It was a surprise to see both a well-known RB and CB plummet down the draft boards until they were available much later that we thought earlier… Read on.

Here is our Patriots Mock Draft 2.0 – Early April Edition:

Round 2, Pick #1 RB Alex Collins, Arkansas: Collins earned second team All-SEC honors behind Heisman winner Derrick Henry in 2015 where he had his third 1000-yard season in a row, rushing for 1577 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Razorbacks.

Collins has good size at 5’10”, 217 pounds and was a TD machine getting 32 scores in three years. Great vision and patience, keeps his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage and stays low with excellent pad level thru the hole.

Displays very good hands out of the backfield and is very consistent at finding daylight and moving the sticks. His major red flag is ball security, with 16 fumbles over the past three seasons.

Round 2, Pick #2 OT Joe Haeg, North Dakota State: Haeg was a 4-year starter at NDSU and is versatile, playing both tackle spots. Athletic at 6’6, 304 pounds, he could use some bulking up at the NFL level as well as building up his core strength.

Haeg uses his length to his advantage in pass protection and has good agility and lateral quickness to get to the edge in the running game. His run blocking needs to improve a bit.

Selecting him in the 2nd round may be a bit of a reach, but with the NFL strength and conditioning program and being coached up by Dante Scarnecchia, Haeg could be a nice pickup.

Round 3, Pick #3 OLB Leonard Floyd, Georgia: Here was the first of a few surprises in this draft as Floyd fell all the way to Round 3. He’s been widely mocked to go in the 1st in many spots. With a playmaker of his caliber, he was too good to resist.

Floyd has great length at 6’4, 244 pounds, and is a rangy, athletic player with off-the-charts numbers in the vertical (39.5 inches), and in the broad jump (127 inches) which for a player of his size is fantastic. He ran a 4.60 time in the 40-yard dash and a 7.18 time in the 3-Cone Drill.

Floyd is extremely versatile and played ILB, OLB and as a down lineman for the Bulldogs. While his production wasn’t eye-popping, he led the team in sacks for three seasons in a row. He can rush the passer by blitzing off the edge and cover in space. He needs to add some beef before he can set the edge in the running game but would be a great addition in the Pats sub-packages.

Round 3, Pick #4 WR Keyarris Garrett, Tulsa: Garrett is a big-bodied WR (6’4, 221 pounds) who had a tremendous 2015 in the high-flying Tulsa offense. He grabbed 96 passes for 1588 yards and eight touchdowns.

He’s a huge target that can go up and catch contested balls in space. Dropped only 3 of 99 catchable balls in 2015. Once he gets his hands on the ball, he can make opponents miss and forced 21 missed tackles last year.

He ran a limited route tree at Tulsa and his route running needs to get crisper but he has all kinds of potential and the Patriots have the offensive personnel now that they can take their time with him to develop him into a big target for the offense.

keyarris-garrett

Round 6, Pick #5 RB Kenyan Drake, Alabama: Shocked to see Drake still available on this mock. Drake was the #2 back to Henry in Alabama but the 6’1, 210 pound back has good size and is explosive as both a runner and a pass receiver.

Has quick feet that never stop moving and he’s elusive in the open field and has the ability to make people miss. Extremely versatile, Drake was sometimes split out as a slot receiver where his value as a receiver was showcased.

He can run, catch the ball, has been a kick returner and blocked a punt on special teams. He’s perfect insurance for Dion Lewis, in case he’s not ready to start the season while recovering from his ACL injury.

Round 6, Pick #6 CB Artie Burns, Miami: Another shocker here as I expected to see Burns gone by Round 2 at the latest. Burns has good size at 6’0, 190 pounds with excellent ball skills and the ability to play press man coverage or zone.

Burns shows good awareness and can read the play and react quickly, but he needs to add some weight at the NFL level and improve his tackling. He’s very aggressive which could lead to some penalty flag issues in the NFL

Another versatile guy, he was a kick returner and is a very mature young man, foregoing his senior season to care for his two younger brothers and a son after his mother died in October of a heart attack.

Round 6, Pick #7 OL Willie Beavers, Western Michigan: Beavers was a three-year starter at left tackle at Western Michigan and has very good size at 6’5, 321 pounds. He has good athleticism and agility with quick feet which aids in pass protection. He’s quick off the snap and is able to slide and protect against speed rushers on the edge.

Good run blocker that is able to fire out, and push him man downfield with leverage. Has no major weaknesses, he just needs to fine tune his game, something Coach Scarnecchia will be bound to do.

Round 6, Pick #8 DT Darius Latham, Indiana: Latham was a two-year starter for the Hoosiers playing both the one and three-technique in the hybrid defense, improving every season. He has good size at 6’4, 311 pounds and shows good lateral agility and strength. He can overpower blockers at the point of attack. Plays with a mean streak.

Plays a bit upright and doesn’t have great vision. Latham has some red flags for off-field issues. Was suspended twice for violation of team rules and for an altercation with the student ethics committee.

Round 6, Pick #9 DE Miles Grooms, Hampton: Grooms is a small school stud, playing for Hampton but the 6’3, 251-pound edge player has dominated and is looking to make the big jump to the NFL.

He projects to be a strong side linebacker in the NFL and has the speed and athleticism to be able to cover in space and blitz off the edge. He has excellent initial burst, quick feet, and the flexibility and knee bend to consistently force tackles off balance.

Round 7, Pick #10 OT Tyler Marz, Wisconsin: Marz has good size at 6’6, 316 pounds and played well for the Badgers for the past three seasons. He has decent but not great arm length at 33.5 inches. He’s a good, tough run blocker but at the East-West Shrine game, struggled against good pass rusher in one-on-one drills.

Probably a fit at right tackle or guard is in store for him at the NFL level.

Round 7, Pick #11 QB Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky: Doughty was a three-year starter at WKU and finished up his FBS career with 111 TD passes (15th all-time), and had the 10th best career completion percentage at 68 percent.

Doughty has decent size at 6’3, 216 and has adequate arm strength but is inconsistent with his deep ball throw. Draft expert Dane Brugler from CBS Sports said that “Doughty was an ideal fit for the up-tempo scheme that relied on a quick release and smart decisions, making most of his reads pre-snap and identifying soft spots in coverage. He has improved functional pocket mobility and carries himself like a coach.”

 

mock Draft 2.0 2016

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.