Tag Archives: Leonte Carroo

Patriots Mock Draft 4.0, Pats Head to La. Early, Late

Steve Balestrieri
April 18, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

Team Needs Change Slightly with Release of Easley, Jones

With The Patriots making some moves in releasing three different defensive linemen and the NFL Draft less than two weeks away, it is time for our Mock Draft 4.0

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 more fun to use in 2016.
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 fourth mock draft (conducted 4-16), I used the big board of CBS Sports.

With the continued moves the Patriots are conducting in free agency, they still have needs at OT, RB, CB and now at DT with the releases of Dominique Easley, Chris Jones, and Ishmaa’ily Kitchen. It looks like the team is building towards bigger tackles to handle run stopping duties since the team spends most of their time in sub-packages. But they can still use a disrupting penetrator…or two.  The team could still use depth at WR and LB… Read on.

Here is our Patriots Mock Draft 4.0 – CBS Sports Big Board Edition:

Round 2, Pick #1 RB Kenneth Dixon, Louisiana Tech:
Dixon from La. Tech. would be a perfect fit for the Patriots offense and is a true dual-threat running back that can be equally effective running the ball as he is catching it out of the backfield.

Dixon is not the biggest back at 5’10, 215 but he’s not afraid to and is effective running between the tackles. In his four years at La. Tech he had a combined 87 touchdowns, (72 rushing and 15 receiving) and is very effective after first contact. He averaged 3.3 yards after contact.

Dixon rushed for 1070 yards averaging 5.4 yds per carry and caught 34 passes for 26 combined TDs (19 rushing, 7 receiving) in 2015. Read our draft profile here:

Round 2, Pick #2 CB Artie Burns, Miami: 

Burns is a corner with the size, (6’0, 190 lbs), that teams are looking for. Heis a playmaker who led the ACC with six interceptions in 2015. He’s still raw with his technique at times but with his long arms, he very effective at jamming receivers at the line of scrimmage. He has experience at corner as well as free safety.

He’s a very physical corner well-suited to play man coverage. He was a track star with outstanding athleticism and had experience as a kick returner while at the “U”. Burns is also a mature young man who is the kind of guy the coaches here would love. Read our draft profile here:

Artie Burns

Round 3, Pick #3 DT Sheldon Day, Notre Dame:
Day is a slightly undersized DT at 6’1, 293 pounds but plays with a relentless motor. Like the player he’d replace, Dominique Easley, Day has an explosive first step and is the first to fire off the ball and disrupt plays in the backfield. Also like Easley however, he does come with some injury concerns.

His quick feet allow him to slip by would-be blockers while his lateral quickness and good, aggressive hand movements make him a natural at rushing the quarterback. Played 3-technique and 5-technique at Notre Dame.

With the preponderance of big-bodied run stuffers at the Patriots defensive line, Day fulfills a need for a penetrating pass rusher in the interior.

Round 3, Pick #4 WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers:
Carroo comes from the Rutgers player pipeline and possesses good size at 6’0, 212 pounds with a solid, muscular build while displaying very good athleticism despite not having breakaway speed.

He’s quick to catch the ball and turn north-south, averaging over 20 yards per catch in 2015. He runs crisp, effective routes and possesses excellent hands. He’s a very smart player and is adept at working the middle of the field with the occasional double move to go deep. The Patriots already conducted a visit with him.

He has great leaping ability and adjusts well to the ball in the air. Does come with some off-field issues as well. Read our draft profile here:

carroo

Round 6, Pick #5 OT John Theus, Georgia:
Theus kept sliding down in this mock draft and we gambled that he’d still be here. We were looking for Kyle Murphy or Le’Raven Clark in Round 2 but both were gone.

Theus has very good size for the tackle position at 6’6, 313 pounds. While he started at RT as a freshman, he really didn’t start to get his game together until 2014. He moved to the left side and really improved as both a run blocker and pass protector.

He needs to build up his strength but played against top echelon competition in the SEC. He’d be the RT of the future with some work by Dante Scarnecchia.

Round 6, Pick #6 DE Matt Judon, Grand Valley State:
Judon is an intriguing player with a nice blend of size, speed, and athleticism to garner a long look during the NFL Draft. At 6’3, 275 pounds he has the prototypical build for a DE but showcases a really nice bend on the edge that keeps tackles from engaging him effectively.

Was a truly dominant player albeit against lesser competition at D-II with 20 sacks in 2015. Posted good times in the 40-Yard Dash with 4.65 with a 7.67 time in the 3-Cone Drill. Also did a 35-inch vertical and 30 reps on the bench press.

His Pro-Day was attended by scouts from 26 NFL teams. Diamond in the rough.

Round 6, Pick #7 RB Keith Marshall Georgia:
Marshall is another intriguing prospect, at 5’11, 219 pounds he has good size but is an absolute burner, running a blistering 4.31 in the 40. He added 25 reps in the bench press. Stuck behind Todd Gurley, Marshall lost most of two seasons to injury.

He was used as a receiver a little bit as a freshman, something the Bulldogs didn’t do much of with him after that. As an open field runner, he doesn’t possess great moves but with his speed, he can literally run by anyone. Worth a Day 3 look? Sure thing.

Round 6, Pick #8 DT Luther Maddy, Virginia Tech:
Maddy is a second DT who is slightly undersized at 6’1, 295 pounds.  Like Day, he’s best suited to playing in a four-man front as a sub-package interior pass rusher.

He has got a quick first step and explodes into the backfield making plays behind the line of scrimmage. He’s at rushing the QB and a player that improved each year against the run. He too, should add some strength in the NFL.

Round 6, Pick #9 OLB Tyler Matakevich, Temple:
Too small, too slow and not athletic enough is what is commonly heard about the Owls’ linebacker. But all he does is make plays and is very productive.

A football film junkie, Matakevich is always very well prepared and plays with great instincts which counteract his lack of speed. He’s very physical and shows good timing on his blitzes. Non-stop motor and a madman mentality make him a natural STs player, a sure-fire way to earn a roster spot.

Round 7, Pick #10 OT Caleb Benenoch, UCLA:
Benenock was a three-year starter at RT for the Bruins and has the size at 6’5. 305 pounds. He’s athletic with good footwork in pass protection, with good knee bend. Plays at times with a nasty streak which is a positive.

He needs to build up his strength at the next level, especially with his lower body. But has good potential and worth the late round flyer as he fell throughout the draft.

Round 7, Pick #11 QB Jeff Driskell, Louisiana Tech:
Driskell has the pro-typical size of an NFL QB at 6’4, 230 pounds. He shows good scrambling ability and pocket awareness. He’s a tough kid and a competitor who makes good decisions under pressure. He passed for 4033 yards with 27 TDs and only 8 INTs in 2015.

Arm strength and velocity are only so-so. His release needs to speed up at the NFL level. Driskell is a good prospect to garner some reps in TC and to backup Jimmy Garappolo just in case Tom Brady’s suspension is put back into place.

Mock Draft 4.0 2016

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Possible Patriots Draft Target, WR Leonte Carroo

Steve Balestrieri
March 29, 2016 at 6:00 am ET

Caroo can be a Potential Patriots draft target and keep the Rutgers pipeline going

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 have addressed the wide receiver position in free agency signing Chris Hogan away from the Bills and Nate Washington who was with Houston in 2015.  But they still have a need for some more depth at the position and could use an influx of youth in there.

With Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Hogan, Washington and Aaron Dobson at WR, with Rob Gronkowski and new addition Martellus Bennet added into the mix at tight end, the targets for QB Tom Brady appear to be on paper formidable. Add in a healthy Dion Lewis out of the backfield and the offense looks to be one of the best in the league.

With the upcoming draft they can select a player that will fit the system and they won’t be putting pressure on him to produce right away, but to develop the way the team wants.

Leonte Carroo from Rutgers could be the next player to keep the Scarlet Knights pipeline to New England alive. His skill set makes him an attractive possible Patriots WR target in the draft.  He’s been a very consistent productive receiver for the past three seasons in New Jersey where he’s averaged over 20 yards per reception the last two seasons. Had 217 career catches at Rutgers, of which 31 went for 25 yards or more.

Carroo has good size at 6’0, 212 pounds and is a muscled, strong receiver with very good athleticism despite not being the fastest WR (4.50, 40 time). He has good body control and vision and can find holes to make yards after the catch.

Plays taller than his height due to very good leaping ability, very good hands, he’ll catch the ball away from his body and snatch it out of the air. Despite an off-field incident, has leadership and was a team captain. Also plays STs and was on Rutgers’ coverage unit.

The Patriots not surprisingly, conducted a formal interview with Carroo recently.

Pros:

– Very athletic receiver, can break off verticals to come back and make catches

– Cuts well and will gain separation with sharp moves inside

– Adjusts very well while the ball is in the air

– Outstanding leaping ability

Cons

– Had an arrest for assault (charges dropped) but a red flag

– Has decent but not breakaway speed, won’t run by corners

– Improved but can still struggle with press coverage

What his Role Will Be:
His role will be as an outside wide receiver with the Patriots offense. He’ll compete for the Brandon LaFell role the past two years. Working the sidelines, deep slants and the comebacks. With his size and athleticism, he should be well suited for it.

Will his Role Change from Year 1-2?
Yes, with improved route running and experience in the Patriots offense, he’ll be looked to in Year 2 to provide a big jump in production.

How Many Downs Can He Play?
Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?
The already departed LaFell and he’ll compete with Aaron Dobson for a roster spot.

What is his ST Value?
Good, worked on the coverage units for Rutgers

Conclusion:
Carroo, in addition to the obvious Rutgers’ connection seems like a great fit for the Patriots offense. With good size and very good athleticism, he’ll fit perfectly in the New England short to intermediate passing game.

His route running and learning the Patriots complicated route tree will need some work but with the depth they have at the present time, the Patriots can take some time to develop him slowly.

But he’s a good and willing blocker in the running game, will play special teams and has good reliable hands. Add in his leaping ability and the desire to consistently get extra yards after the catch makes him an attractive target for the Patriots.

The team will have to check out his background closely after the off-field incident that caused him to miss two games in 2015. But barring any red flags, Josh McDaniels could find a nice role for him as an outside receiver in the offense.

He projects in the Patriots system to be a Potential Starter with time. He should be available in the middle rounds of the draft and the Patriots with a pair of Round 3 selections could snatch him there.


Carroo’s highlight film can be found here, courtesy of Kyle Haigh:

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.