|Did Patriots reach with Friday’s draft picks?||04.27.13 at 12:42 am ET|
FOXBORO — The Patriots came out of their first day of the NFL draft with a couple of solid prospects who made sense for where they were selected. Marshall receiver Aaron Dobson has good size, good speed and very good hands (he didn’t have a single drop on 92 targets last year). Rutgers corner Logan Ryan will fit into the rotation right away and could eventually be a starter if Aqib Talib departs after this season.
However, there’s one question that should be on a lot of Pats fans’ minds: What was going on with the other two picks?
Although “value” is one of his favorite words in post-draft press conferences, Bill Belichick has never been one to care whether he’s taking a player at their slot or well before it. For example, Logan Mankins was not a projected first-round pick, but more of a mid-round guy. The Pats chose him at the end of the first round in 2005 and he’s been a four-time All-Pro. Last year, the Pats took a safety even the most sophisticated of draftniks never had heard of in Tavon Wilson out of Illinois in the second round.
On Friday, the Patriots again strayed from the scouting reports and big boards flashed across the screens of ESPN and the NFL Network, and took two players ahead of where they were projected. Southern Miss pass-rusher Jamie Collins went probably a round earlier than expected when the Pats took him in the second, but it was the selection of Rutgers safety Duron Harmon that surprised a lot of people — including Harmon.
Harmon, the 26th-ranked safety by ESPN’s Scouts, Inc. (carrying a grade of 35 out of 100), watched the draft on TV with his mother “as a fan,” and was prepared for any scenario — including the seemingly likely one that he would go undrafted. Then the Patriots took him, and unlike every other pick to that point, there was no highlights package, no long discussion about what kind of prospect he is. Harmon had a good sense of humor about it.
“I did laugh,” Harmon said. “My mother, she was very excited. She was like ‘Hold up, baby. Where’s your clips at?’ I was like, ‘Mommy, I don’t think they knew I was going today so I don’t think they had any clips ready for me.’ She was a little upset about me not having clips, but I think me getting drafted overtook her sadness about my clips.”
So the question is: Why Harmon was rated so low, and why did the Patriots took him so high? The answer is hard to find. He wasn’t invited to the combine. Scouts Inc. has a grade on Wilson, but they didn’t profile him as a serious prospect. So how, if he’s good enough for an NFL franchise to draft him, can he be such an unknown? Read the rest of this entry »
|Patriots draft Rutgers defensive backs Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon in third round||04.26.13 at 9:55 pm ET|
The Patriots drafted a pair of Rutgers defensive backs in the third round Friday night, using the 83rd overall pick on cornerback Logan Ryan and taking safety Duron Harmon 91st overall.
Both players were college teammates of current Patriots safety Devin McCourty. Ryan had 93 tackles and four intercepts as a senior. He stands at just a shade above 5-foot-11 and 191 pounds and is a very good tackler.
The selection of Ryan falls in line with the Patriots’ interest in players who excel in the three-cone drill at the Combine. Ryan finished seventh among all players with a 6.69-second performance.
Harmon is considered to be a big reach, as he was the 26th-ranked safety by ESPN’s Scouts Inc. and was projected to go undrafted.
For more on the Patriots, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Patriots draft Aaron Dobson 59th overall||04.26.13 at 8:36 pm ET|
The Patriots used the 59th overall pick on Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson.
As a senior, Dobson had 57 receptions for 679 yards and three touchdowns, though he had 12 touchdown receptions as a junior. Perhaps his most impressive stat is that he had zero drops on 92 targets as a senior.
Given the Patriots’ need for an outside receiver, Dobson should be a strong fit. He stands at 6-foot-2 6/8 and 210 pounds, runs in the 4.4 range and has terrific hands. He is the highest wide receiver the team has drafted since Chad Jackson, who went 36th overall in the 2006 draft.
For the full scouting report and stats on Dobson, click here. Or you can watch an absolutely insane catch he made below.
For more on the Patriots, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Patriots take Southern Mississippi pass-rusher Jamie Collins||04.26.13 at 7:57 pm ET|
The Patriots made their first selection of the draft Friday night, taking Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins with the 52nd overall pick.
The former defensive back stands at 6-foot-3 4/8 and 250 pounds. He played defensive end and outside linebacker after moving up from the secondary. One interesting note on Collins: He played under three different defensive coordinators in his time in college.
Something to consider is that by no means was Collins projected to be a second-round pick, but then again Logan Mankins wasn’t a projected first-round pick. Either way, this should be considered a reach on paper.
The 52nd pick was acquired from the Vikings Thursday night in a deal that netted the Pats four picks in exchange for the 29th overall selection.
From ESPN’s Scouts Inc.’s scouting report:
Shows average awareness in underneath zone coverage. Above average backside discipline. However, below average natural instincts and takes too long to locate the ball. Gap discipline is an issue. Gets caught out of position far too much.
Scouts Inc. also questions his work ethic:
Above-average agility and closing burst for size. Closes down cutback lanes. Does not make as many plays in pursuit as speed/athleticism would indicate. Effort is biggest concern. Doesn’t chase like hair is on fire and appears to take some plays off.
For more on the Patriots, visit weei.com/patriots.
|Second round blog: Manti Te’o to Chargers, Geno Smith to Jets||04.26.13 at 6:46 pm ET|
The picks and some quick analysis on the fly…
- The Jaguars kicked off the second round of the draft by taking Florida International safety Johnathan Cyprien third overall. Cyprien was seen as a potential option for the Pats in the second round, as the Pats hold the 52nd and 59th overall picks.
- The 49ers followed the Cyprien pick by shipping the 34th pick, which they had acquired from the Chiefs for Alex Smith, to the Titans. Justin Hunter was the pick for Tennessee, which is interesting considering they have pretty much the same player on their roster already in Kenny Britt.
- Zach Ertz was an interesting pick for the Eagles. Chip Kelly has now passed on quarterbacks twice, and the next team picking with a potential need at quarterback is the Jets at No. 39.
- It was not Johnthan Banks, but Darius Slay who was the first Mississippi State cornerback taken as the Lions took with the 36th pick. Banks is big and slow, while Slay’s stock had been on the rise.
- Giovani Bernard went to the Bengals with the 37th pick. The North Carolina product was the first running back taken as the Bengals continue to bolster their offense.
- The Chargers made a major splash by trading up for Manti Te’o at No. 38, but the Jets one-upped them by bringing in Geno Smith with the 39th pick. The undersized and athletic Smith is an intriguing prospect. Worst-case scenario, the Jets still get bad quarterback play.
- Tank Carradine to the 49ers makes the rich richer. Big, strong pass-rusher.
- The Bills lost Donald Jones to the Patriots in free agency, and the Robert Woods pick replaces him well.
- Manelik Watson goes to the Raiders at No. 42. A good right tackle who has a lot of developing to do.
- Talk about an overhaul of a secondary. After signing Dashon Goldson and trading for Darrelle Revis, the Bucs draft Johnthan Banks. If it all comes together that will be a tough team to throw on.
- The Panthers went from desperately needing help at defensive tackle to having some really good young players at the position in Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short. Both players were great value, as Lotuluelei was a steal at No. 14 and Short could have easily gone in the late first round.
- Not thrilled with the Kevin Minter pick for the Cardinals. Well out of Alec Ogletree and Te’o's class. Kiko Alonso out of Oregon went to the Bills with the next pick to make for a mini-run on inside linebackers that later continued when the Bears took Jonathan Bostic.
- The Cowboys traded down with both Tyler Eifert and Zach Ertz on the board in the first round, but they got a good receiving tight end with San Diego State’s Gavin Escobar.
- Eddie Lacy has fallen a bit here, as he will at best be the third running back taken. The Steelers took Michigan State back Le’Veon Bell.
- The Johnathan Hankins pick is good for the Giants as long as they aren’t planning on making him a nose tackle primarily. If they are, why not go for the bigger Johnathan Jenkins?
- What was I saying about how well Bengals draft? Love the Margus Hunt pick for them.
- Arthur Brown definitely fills the need for a Ravens team that lost Ray Lewis and Dannell Ellerbe.
- Broncos take Montee Ball. Yet another running back ahead of Eddie Lacy.
|20 players Patriots could consider in Round 2||04.26.13 at 1:00 pm ET|
Who’s ready to find some value?
The Patriots will be on the clock with the 20th pick of the second round on Friday thanks to their deal with the Vikings. As weak as this draft is compared to past years, there will be good prospects available to them if and when they pick, so here are 20 prospects they could consider in the second round (keep in mind they also have the 59th pick). At least one will be available to them, but it’s likely that many will still be on the board by the time pick No. 52 rolls around.
Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee
Prototypical size and speed for an X receiver at 6-foot-4, 196 pounds. It’s pretty surprising he made it out of the first round.
Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
Looks like an NFL defensive end at a very strong 6-foot-4 and 276 pounds and is considered a very hard-worker. Not much versatility — he’s a defensive end, not a DE/OLB ‘tweener.
Kawann Short, DT, Purdue
There have been a lot of comparisons to Geno Atkins, but there have also been some work ethic concerns.
Robert Woods, WR, USC
There were some issues with drops in college, and he has short arms for a receiver.
Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
A very balanced corner who does everything well. So-so size at 5-foot-10½ and 192 pounds.
Keenan Allen, WR, California
Slow. Had to take an extra drug test after he had suspiciously high levels of water in his system at the combine.
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Was considered a surefire top-10 pick early in the draft process, but he’s slow and has a reputation of not being a hard-worker.
Margus Hunt, DE, SMU
A project of a pass-rusher who could have a big payoff. Unlike Ziggy Ansah, you don’t have to take him with a top-five pick.
John Cyprien, S, Florida International
Rangy and was a four-year starter, but he can be fooled easily. Read the rest of this entry »
|Disorganized impressions from the first round of the NFL Draft||04.26.13 at 12:38 am ET|
The first round of the draft is in the books and the Patriots have … picks.
Nevertheless, there was plenty of excitement in the first round Thursday night, and the trade with the Vikings sets up a pretty interesting Friday for the Patriots. Here are some quick, disorganized thoughts from the first round:
- The Pats moving out of pick No. 29 suggests that they didn’t like any one of the available wide receivers so much that they couldn’t wait. They have the 20th pick in the second round and maybe one of Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen and Robert Woods is available there, but maybe not. They also passed on Cordarrelle Patterson by trading the pick, as he went to the Vikings with the traded selection.
If the Patriots prefer a receiver in the next tier below those guys (in my opinion, Hunter is head and shoulders better than Allen and Woods, though the three have widely been ranked closely enough), New England does have their own second-rounder (No. 59) as well as Minnesota’s third (No. 83), where they could select someone like West Virginia’s Stedman Bailey or Tennessee Tech’s Da’Rick Rogers. You also have to consider that they were willing to lose a third-round pick for Emmanuel Sanders when they signed him to an offer sheet, so faxing that in with Thursday’s trade leads one to believe that the Pats just might not be thrilled with this draft’s receivers.
- The Dolphins are right for seeing an opportunity to be the second-best team in the AFC East and seizing it. The Jets are a mess and the Bills are starting over with a rookie quarterback, so Miami has done work this offseason.
After getting Ryan Tannehill some weapons with Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson to add to the re-signed Brian Hartline and adding Philip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe to the defense, Miami made its latest splash Thursday night by trading up for the draft’s top pass-rusher in Dion Jordan. Tannehill still has some developing to do, but this roster looks pretty damn good right now. The Dolphins probably won’t challenge the Patriots this year, but they’ll definitely be their biggest in-division competition.
- No running backs were taken in the first round for the first time since 1963, but it should be that way more often. An NFL running back’s prime is such a short period and similar production can easily be gotten with later picks that it’s a wonder running backs go in the top 10-15 picks so regularly. The lack of first-round backs probably wasn’t a product of that line of thinking from NFL decision-makers, but more a lack of healthy star power at the position. Alabama’s Eddie Lacy was the only running back that appeared to be a serious candidate for selection in the first round.
- Watch out for the Bengals. Adding Tyler Eifert to a passing attack that already has A.J. Green, Jermaine Gresham and the underrated Mohamad Sanu? When you consider how good Cincinnati’s defense is and the fact that they’ll be getting 2012 first-round cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick back from injury, the Bengals are a scary team and should be a serious contender in the AFC next season.
Another thought on the Bengals: They’ve drafted so well in recent years. The obvious slam-dunk that comes to mind is Geno Atkins in the fourth round in 2010, but they’ve hit early on guys like Green, Andy Dalton and Kevin Zeitler. This year, they had a need at running back and rather than getting so-so value with someone like Lacy, they used the 21st pick to improve their offense in a bigger way with a better player. There are six rounds to go, but so far the Bengals get an A+.
- I won’t make the obvious “turns out the Bears’ and Vikings’ interest in Manti Te’o was fake” joke, but yeah. The Vikings and Te’o this year were like the Patriots with Dez Bryant in 2010: they had multiple opportunities to take him and passed each and every time (the Pats did it twice with Bryant, while the Vikings did it three times with Te’o). Speaking of Te’o, this year is the exception to the rule that high-upside inside linebackers never fall. Usually elite inside backers don’t make it out of the top 10 or 15 picks (seriously, look it up — it’s crazy), but perhaps the character issues came into play this year.
The Vikings, Giants and Bears all need help at inside linebacker, but all three teams passed on both Te’o and Alec Ogletree, with the former not being selected in the first round and the latter being taken 30th overall by the Rams.
- I really don’t like the Ziggy Ansah pick for the Lions. That line will be good no matter what with Ndamukong Suh and perhaps a healthy Nick Fairley, but Ansah is either an eventual star or an eventual mess. You can’t even compare him to Jason Pierre-Paul because JPP had played more than three years of football and he was the 15th overall pick, not the fifth overall pick.
Ansah’s athletic and has a very high ceiling, but that’s a gamble a good team can take in the middle of the first round, not one a bad team can take with a top-five pick. Even in a draft as bad as this year’s, you have to know you’re getting an impact player with the fifth overall pick. The Lions could have done that with Barkevious Mingo or plenty of others.
- I can’t knock the Bills for the EJ Manuel pick. I don’t really like any of the quarterbacks in this draft class as NFL starters (Geno Smith is my favorite of the bunch, however) and accuracy is a major issue with Manuel, but when you like a quarterback, you go out and get him. The Bills disregarded value and went for the guy they think can help them win. It will be a while before the pick is proven right or wrong.
- Forget the NFL-record five offensive linemen going in the top 10. Depending on what you call Justin Pugh, either four or five interior linemen were drafted in the first round (Jonathan Cooper, Chance Warmack, Pugh, Kyle Long, Travis Frederick). That, as they say, is cookoo bars.
2013 PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
2013 NFL DRAFT
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- USA Today: Gronkowski Dealing With Back Issue, Could Face (Another)...
- Patriots Sign Second-Round Pick Jamie Collins
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- Rapoport: Gronkowski Forearm Surgery 'Imminent'; Likely To Be Monday
- Kyle Love Claimed By Jaguars; Joins Brandon Deaderick
- On Kyle Love