Tag Archives: Sam Hubbard

New England Patriots Mock Draft 2.0, Post Trade Edition

Steve Balestrieri
April 6, 2018 at 9:26 am ET

 

Lots of Opportunities to Move Up

With the trade of Brandin Cooks to the Rams, the Patriots draft picks now look vastly different than they did a week ago. With two picks now in both the first and second rounds, they now have plenty of options to move up and around the draft board.

For this particular mock draft, we didn’t do any trading to move up or down the draft board, although we do feel that they will most certainly do so at some point as they now have no picks in the 4th or 5th rounds of the draft.

We have been using the draft tool that the folks at Fanspeak.com that we’ve been touting for awhile and it is really good and highly recommended.

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 several big boards to choose from. The boards are all updated every Tuesday.

The big boards for each site differ 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 until it is your time to pick.

For this second mock draft (4-5), I used the big board of Draftek.

Here is our second mock draft attempt this year: PatsFans Mock 2.0

Round 1, Pick #23 Linebacker Rashaan Evans, Alabama:

Evans somehow was still on the board at #23 and was too good a prospect to pass up. He’s a quick twitch, versatile linebacker who can line up in the middle at the Mike, or on the outside and has tremendous sideline-to-sideline speed. He can cover tight ends, running backs and is a tremendous blitzer up the A-gaps. He’s a big-time difference maker on defense and is a Day 1 starter. Read our draft profile on him here:

Round 1, Pick #31 Edge, Sam Hubbard, Ohio State:

We stuck with our original pick at #31 with Hubbard as he was still there using a different big board. He’s not a one-trick pony that can scream off the edge and nothing else. But the Patriots with their style of defense want players who can set the edge first and also rush the passer. Hubbard is a well-rounded, good defensive end prospect.

He gives that needed depth on the edge, can step in and play at a high level on Day 1, can play either side so he’s versatile and can do a bit of everything.

To see our draft profile on him click here:

Round 2, Pick #43 TE, Mike Gesicki, Penn State:
The Patriots pick up a long-term replacement for Rob Gronkowski who is/was contemplating retirement. While no one can replace the best tight end in the NFL, there are several very good options in the draft.

Gesicki has good size and moves pretty well for a guy at 6’5, 250-pounds. While he’s not an elite athlete that will leave defenders in the dust, he has the best hands of any TE in the draft and is a classic overachiever. He’s limited as a blocker and could use some more strength but would be a very good option in the flex or “move” tight end role with Gronk.

Round 2 Pick # 63 OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon:
Crosby is an aggressive road grader in the running game, a mauler at 6’5, 320 pounds with excellent strength and power.

He has improved in pass protection and has played both tackle positions as a four-year starter for the Ducks.

Round 3, Pick #95 QB, Kyle Lauletta, Richmond:

Lauletta has been widely mock drafted to the Patriots all spring…which usually means that he won’t be coming. But by Round 3, the majority of the highly sought after quarterbacks were taken. Lauletta has the skill set to do very well with the Patriots.

He throws a nice ball and leads his receivers well, he won’t throw them into big hits. Lauletta has a quick release, very good footwork, moves well in the pocket and was a team leader. Doesn’t have a cannon for an arm but is very tough, physically, and mentally. Learning from Brady for a year or two may be just what the doctor ordered.

Lauletta’s draft profile by us can be seen here:

Round 6, Pick #198 CB, Levi Wallace, Alabama:

Wallace was a walk-on at Alabama because his father was from Tuscaloosa. High football I.Q. and considered to be a very high character player and person. Paid his dues and worked his way up to be a starter in 2017.

Was the “other guy” on the Bama defense that opponents tried to pick on. He responded with three interceptions and 18 passes defensed. Sets the edge extremely well in the running game. Lacks experience but a good developmental prospect. Good length at 6’0, 185 pounds.

Round 6, Pick #210 LB, Nick Deluca, North Dakota State:

Deluca is a three-year starter, a three-down middle linebacker who has smarts, leadership, and toughness. Deluca is a very instinctive linebacker while not a burner and doesn’t have great speed, he consistently plays faster because of his instincts. Has very good size at 6’2, 243 and covers well with good depth and can play both zone and man. Was an outstanding special teams’ player and will immediately become part of the core unit in the NFL.

Round 7, Pick #219 RB, Jordan Wilkins, Mississippi:

Wilkins has good size at 6’0, 215 and had 1000 yard season in the SEC as a senior in 2017. He paid his dues and came on strong after very little wear and tear on his body. Had only 311 career touches in his five years.

Wilkins runs with a low pad level but at times tries to bounce too much to the outside. Had 26 catches as a senior, and would be a nice addition to the running back by committee approach. His best football is still in front of him.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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.

New England Patriots, Mock Draft 1.0, Post Free Agency

Steve Balestrieri
March 30, 2018 at 8:30 am ET

 

Where will the Patriots look to first in 2018?

With Free Agency now over a few weeks old, it is time take an early crack at looking at the draft from a Patriots perspective. There are still moves that can be and will be made in free agency and there is always the possibility of a trade that may affect the way the team looks at the draft. But with the initial free agency period winding down it is time to move to the draft.

We have been using the draft tool that the folks at Fanspeak.com that we’ve been touting for awhile and it is really good and highly recommended.

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 several big boards to choose from. The boards are normally updated every Tuesday.

The big boards for each site differ 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 until it is your time to pick.

For this opening mock draft (3-30), I used the big board of Matt Miller, Bleacher Report.

Here is our first mock draft attempt this year: Mock 1.0

Round 1, Pick #31 Edge Sam Hubbard, Ohio State:

Maybe it is an omen, I finished uploading a draft profile on Hubbard into our database and started doing our first draft and all the best linebackers slipped off the board between 25-28 which we expected but getting Hubbard was a nice pickup.

He gives that needed depth on the edge, can step in and play at a high level on Day 1, can play either side so he’s versatile and can do a bit of everything.

To see our draft profile on him click here:

Round 2, Pick #43 TE, Dallas Goedert, South Dakota State:

The Patriots pick up a long-term replacement for Rob Gronkowski. Is this raw kid a Gronk clone? No, but he’s arguably the most complete tight end in the draft. And once a guy starts talking about retirement…

Good size and moves very well for a guy at 6’5, 255-pounds. He’s a guy that can be moved around at different spots and levels. Excellent hands adjusts well to the ball in the air. He’s a good blocker when playing in-line. He has good quickness and has excelled at getting free at the line of scrimmage and beating the jam. 

He’s a strong runner after the catch and can play the traditional “Y” or in-line tight end or the flex or “move” tight end outside. This kid will have a year or so to learn from Gronkowski and should be an immediate impact player.

Round 2, Pick #63 LB, Jerome Baker, Ohio State:

Baker is one of those “new breed” of linebackers at 6’1, 229 that are smaller but with speed and athleticism and he has plenty of that. Baker is a good tackler and very good in coverage due to his excellent speed and athleticism.

Baker doesn’t have a lot of size and his toughness, especially in the running game could be a question mark. But that is the price you pay when you go faster and more athletic at times. Not a great instinctive player but could be a very good third down linebacker, something the Patriots were lacking last year, especially in coverage.

Round 3, Pick #95 QB, Kyle Lauletta, Richmond:

Lauletta has been widely mocked to the Patriots all spring…which usually means that he won’t be coming. But by Round 3, the majority of the highly sought after quarterbacks were taken. Lauletta has the skill set to do very well with the Patriots.

He throws a nice ball and leads his receivers well, he won’t throw them into big hits. Lauletta has a quick release, very good footwork, moves well in the pocket and was a team leader. Doesn’t have a cannon for an arm but is very tough, physically, and mentally. Learning from Brady for a year or two may be just what the doctor ordered.

Lauletta’s draft profile by us can be seen here:

Round 4, Pick #136 CB, Taron Johnson, Weber State:

Johnson wasn’t a highly sought after recruit but parlayed that into a very positive career and a Senior Bowl invite. He’s not a big guy at 5’11, 192 which could push into the nickel or slot corner role and that would work just fine for the Patriots.

Johnson is a scrappy, aggressive corner with good coverage skills and broke up 42 passes in 45 career games. He’s also a good tackler, something the Patriots insist on with their corners, especially in the running game.

Round 6, Pick #210 RB, Justin Jackson, Northwestern:

Jackson is a 5’11, 193-pound running back who isn’t the biggest guy but has great vision and anticipation of where the holes are going to open up. He and Ron Dayne are the only Big Ten RBs that rushed for 1000+ yards in all four college seasons.

While not a power runner, he keeps his legs moving and has been a workhorse while catching 44 passes out of the backfield in his senior year. With the Patriots always going with a running back by committee approach, Jackson could be a very nice pickup, he’s a guy not afraid to run between the tackles and is good in the passing game.

Round 7, Pick #219 LB, Christian Sam, Arizona State:

Sam is a linebacker whose draft stock is all over the place. Some have him as a 2nd rounder, and we’ve seen him mocked all the way to where we found him in Round 7. He’s a steal here.

Sam is a 6’2, 237-pound linebacker who can play with speed, quickness, and change in direction. He’s a three-down linebacker with very good coverage skills. He’s got the potential to be a starter inside on Day 1 if he picks up the pro game quickly.

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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.

New England Patriots Draft Profile, Sam Hubbard, Edge, Ohio State

Steve Balestrieri
March 29, 2018 at 8:30 am ET

Hubbard One of the Top Edge Players in the Draft

As the 2018 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 were decimated on the edge in 2017. They lost Jabaal Sheard and Chris Long in free agency. But they brought over Kony Ealy in a trade with the Panthers and then drafted Derek Rivers and Deatrich Wise in the draft. They were planning on having the old pro-Rob Ninkovich for one more season along with Shea McClellin and Dont’a Hightower who was moving to the edge last year.

Well, Ninkovich unexpectedly retired in training camp. McClellin and Rivers were injured in camp and were lost for the season. Ealy didn’t fit and was released. Hightower and rookie Harvey Langi who was pressed into some edge work were lost for the year as well. The team brought in Cassius Marsh, but he didn’t work out and later signed Eric Lee. Lee showed a nice ability to rush the passer but had trouble on the edge. They eventually brought James Harrison on late in the season.

The team signed Adrian Clayborn this spring which immediately helps. Hightower, Rivers and Langi return, they’ll join Trey Flowers, Deatrich, Lee, and Adam Butler but they could really use another young edge player which could facilitate moving Hightower and Langi back to linebacker.

Sam Hubbard from Ohio State has prototypical size for an edge player at 6’5, 265-pounds. He still had a year of eligibility left but decided to come out in this season’s draft and has first-round talent. He had a very productive final season with Buckeyes, garnering 42 tackles, including 13.5 tackles for a loss, seven sacks, and two forced fumbles.

He would be a nice fit for the Patriots defense and would be a Day 1 contributor as an edge player as part of their rotation. He could easily develop into an above average pass rusher and a starter.

Hubbard was a lacrosse player (oh yeah another lacrosse player) and is a converted safety before he packed on the muscle and became one of the stalwarts on the team’s defense. Hubbard is a high-motor guy as well as a high character one. He was a team captain as well as Academic All-American.  His work ethic will immediately win over the coaching staff and his tenacity will get kudos for the team’s fanbase.

He has a high football I.Q. and his instincts are excellent. While not an elite athlete, he produces thru his smarts and instinctive play.  He’s a sure tackler and does a good job at setting the edge in the running game.

He’s not an explosive pass rusher, and benefitted from the stunts and twists the Buckeyes ran in the passing game. But he displayed good, quick hands and is versatile and can play on either side of the line. While he’s not an elite pass rusher, he’s a very solid all-around player who can do it all.

Pros:

– Good Height and Length

– Sturdy setting the edge

– Great instincts

– Excellent motor

Cons

– Not an elite athlete

– A bit stiff at times when turning the edge

– Needs to keep pad level lower

What his Role Will Be:

Hubbard will be an immediate rotational player on the edge. With Flowers and Clayborn and possibly Rivers, he’ll be expected to play whenever they need to keep fresh legs out there.

Will his Role Change from Year 1-2?

Yes, in Year 2 he should have packed on a few pounds in the strength and conditioning program. Then he can push for more reps and perhaps slide into the starting position with a solid rookie season.

How Many Downs Can He Play?

Three

What Current Player on the Roster Will He Replace?

Geneo Grissom, who has been a very good Special Teams player but hasn’t contributed at all defensively. Hubbard could force him out.

What is his ST Value?

Limited, but he has done some coverage duties in the past

Conclusion:
NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein in his profile wrote that:

“Hubbard will pass the eyeball test with his height, weight, and build, but he’s missing the plus athleticism to take him over the top as a pass rusher. His tape is solid, but nothing jumps off the screen. Teams looking for a big-time edge rusher won’t get too excited by him, but he will appeal to defensive coordinators looking for guys with size and motor to plug into a blitz-heavy, twist-happy defense. Hubbard could become an early starter as a strong-side defensive end for a 4-3 defense.”

Hubbard is what many draft experts call a “safe pick”, in that he has a very high floor and while he may not become an elite defensive end, because of his work ethic, excellent instincts and high motor could be a very good one.

While Patriots fans want the guys who can pin their ears back and rush the QB kind of players, that isn’t the defense that they run. The “read and react” defense is predicated on setting the edge first in the running game and then having the ability to push and squeeze the pocket forcing the opposing QB into making mistakes.

They want versatile guys who can do it all and Hubbard is the kind of player they covet. Bill Belichick will love this guy, he has a tremendous work ethic, high football I.Q., a non-stop motor and will be a productive member of the defense.

While he’s not that explosive guy at the line, he’s very quick and ran the 3-Cone Drill in a very impressive 6.84. He has the ability to be an above-average pass rusher in the NFL with a bit of experience. He should be an immediate Day 1 contributor to the defense if the Patriots decide to pull the trigger.

Hubbard’s highlight reel tape from Devo Highlights can be seen here: 

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

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcasts 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.