2015 Draft: Thoughts and Predictions

drleather2001

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IMO, the Patriots need to shore up the OL and DL in the first two rounds, and then see the best available talent at TE, S, and WR.
 
SB Nation has them taking a Guard, A.J. Cann of South Carolina.
 

RedOctober3829

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Interior OL in 1 of the first 2 picks and in middle rounds.  I also wouldn't mind seeing them get a burner early as well(Sammie Coates or Devin Smith) but the odds of BB actually doing that are very slim. DL is a need as well, but I'll wait to see if Wilfork is still there to bump it up to priority #1. 

Here is a preliminary list of guys I'd like to see them go after at picks 32 and 64
AJ Cann
Devin Smith
Sammie Coates
Arik Armstead
Cameron Erving
Malcom Brown
Jaelen Strong
Ellis McCarthy
Michael Bennett
 
Jan 26, 2015
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I'm hoping they take Arik Armstead. He has ideal physical attributes, and his issues are almost entirely technique-related. For a DL, stuff like that can be taught relatively easily.  
 

bakahump

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I think they pass on a 1st round Pick of OL.  Probably going DL to replace Wilfork and add some talent.  I am still thinking about who on the DL side they may target.
 
In the 2nd I can see OL.  Specifically:
 
AJ Cann- One of the Best G in the Draft.  Though his late 1st early 2nd projections may "price him out" of the Pats plans.  If he is there at 64 then by all means.
 
Laken Tomlinson- The other "Best G" of the draft.  I might like him better the Cann.  The Patriots probably wont as he supposedly has limited positional flexibility.
 
 
And if they dont find good value earlier
BJ Finney C 6'4 324-  he is BIG for a center.  While I think Stork is the C of the future/present, Finney has played g before (1 Game in college) and was an elite C prospect (Rimington Finalist) so I believe he can play internal OL (so that settles that...).  While there might be a learning curve, he is big enough to be a good guard.  He also adds the Flexability that the Pats love, having the potential to slide between C and G
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I was looking at the Patriots draft order for the later rounds (http://www.nepatriotsdraft.com/2015-patriots-nfl-draft-picks)  and it looks like the in season trades brought the Patriots Casillas and Ayers essentially for free.
 
Tampa will move up one spot taking the Pats last pick of the 5th round while giving the Pats Casillas plus Tampa's first pick of the 6th round.
 
Tenn moves up to take the Pat's last pick of the 6th round in exchange for Ayers and the 2nd pick of round 7.
 
Score. (again)
 
 

Ferm Sheller

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My only prediction is that the Pats will draft a LS. Specifically, Joe Cardona out of Navy.
 

Super Nomario

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"Process the Process" with Josh Norris is an interesting take on the draft, with him talking to different folks not so much about individual prospects but about their process.
 
This week it's Steve Palazzolo of PFF, who talks about College Football Focus, a private (read: NFL-teams-only) service that does the same sort of pro charting PFF does but for college. We've gone into the flaws with PFF's grades ad nauseum and there's not reason to revisit that here, but one thing they do (that isn't public, unfortunately) is watch every play and capture all sorts of information about it - who's playing where, who's matched up on whom, what they do, etc. This allows them to build a searchable database of stuff like "all the plays where this G pulls" or "every fly route this WR runs."
 
Some gems:
- They chart La'El Collins with just four pressures allowed all year (three to Vic Beasley). T.J. Clemmings gave up 10-12, which is a lot for someone considered a top tackle.
- Palazzolo (who is very reasonable and responsive on Twitter, especially compared to some of the other PFF guys) acknowledges that they don't have a good sense as to which parts of the PFF grades are predictable or not and they have more work to do there
- Chris Conley of Georgia got good marks for his film (similar to Devin Smith)
- Stephane Anthony graded well by CFF, but Norris doesn't like him
- Byron Jones graded well, albeit in just 300 snaps - targeted 28 times, allowed just 12 catches, 2 INTs, 3 PDs. 26.3 passer rating when opposing QBs targeted him
- Jameis Winston graded right around average. Higher on Mariota
 

bakahump

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1. This is a really good year to replace Big Vince.
Shelton -who wont make it to us
 
Malcom Brown
Eddie Goldman
Jordan Phillips
Carl Davis
All could be there at 31 and 1 or 2 could slip to 64.
 
Then you have questions but potential in
Grady Jarret - A bit undersized but a fire plug
Derrick Lott - Competition questions and Older....but also potentially more physically developed
Leterruis Walton- New to the DT position but ideal size
Xavier Cooper- Another undersized but interesting player (DE)
 
So we have options from 1st through maybe the 6th round.
 
I am assuming they want some stout-ness next to Easley
However ......Jarret with Easley has the potential to be a QB Nightmare if they can hold up blockers on running plays and continue to allow High, Collins and Mayo to cleanup.
 
2. Bobby Richardson (Or X. Cooper) would be a great kid to get to groom for 2016/17 replacement for Nink.  Maybe 3rd/4th if still there???  Bigger then Nink (but that might be helpful without Vince and if we go with a 2nd DT more Easleys size then Wilforks.)  But with good combine numbers for his size and a non stop motor.  Scouting makes me hear echoes of Dwight Freeney. But Richardson would be bigger but not as quick.
A Richardson, Jarret, Easley, Jones front 4 should be able to hold up enough to not look like the 2014 Colts Rushing D.  And they could be a GREAT pass rushing line.  As a rough Point of reference The RJEJ line would be 10 pounds less then the starting DL for Seattle this year and 29 lbs less then the Bengals line.  29 seems like alot...but the Pats weights are based on 2 2015 and 1 2014 combine figure.  I have to assume each of those guys would add a bit (5-10 lbs) in the next couple years.  That would put them right around that same weight.  With Siliaga and some more Beef you could rotate in a "heavy set" when needed.
 
3. With a 6th ish pick I would love for the Pats to pick up Nick Marshall (CB auburn) a converted Qb his long speed and experience is a bit lacking.  But his quickness is pretty impressive for someone 6'1 and 207. (Compare him to a slightly smaller Marcus Peters, who is highly touted,  for instance).
 
Either as a Chung replacement (Converting to a face the line safety might be easier then staying as a CB but also might be "yo-yo" ing the kid) or as Arringtons "Nickel" (IE someone big aggresive enough to support the run but quick enough to cover the slot.)
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Randy Gregory apparently tested positive for weed at the combine.  It may be stupid to make a big deal of a positive marijuana test but history shows that these players do tend to slide significantly.  I still highly doubt he falls all the way to us though.
 

Dick Pole Upside

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I have an interest in Gregory because he went to my kids' high school.  My wife works in the front office of the high school, and has shared that multiple NFL teams have visited the school over the past couple of months looking for H.S. background info on Gregory (I imagine this is SOP for most kids projected to go in the draft).
 
McShay and Kiper had him pegged for the #5 or #7 overall draft slot.  Last year, #5 (Khalil Mack) received $18.7M guaranteed, $11.9M signing bonus.  #7 (Mike Evans) received $14.6M guaranteed, $9M signing bonus.  Even if Gregory slips to the middle of the first round (#15), he stands to lose about $5-9M guaranteed right off the top for smoking weed.
 
I seriously doubt he will fall to the Patriots, but any "slide" that is self-inflicted is very costly, to state the obvious.
 

nighthob

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Maybe we can successfully spread a rumour that he's been arrested with an underaged hooker and 3oz of blow to get a slide all the way down to 32?
 

dcmissle

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Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Randy Gregory apparently tested positive for weed at the combine.  It may be stupid to make a big deal of a positive marijuana test but history shows that these players do tend to slide significantly.  I still highly doubt he falls all the way to us though.
He will slide and maybe significantly. There is talent at his position, and he has to be dumber than dirt. He will enter the NFL "in the program" so it's not an inconsiderable risk.
 

dcmissle

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Can you think of anyone falling in the first round who the Pats might trade up to get? And by trade up, I mean by more than a slot or two or three.

This is prompted by PFT piece suggesting that a month out, the first round is looking unpredictable beyond a few things that seem pretty firmly grounded -- Winston is going 1, Williams probably going 2, and Fowker is going high.

For example, Beasley has been mentioned as going as high as 3, as low as 22.

Whether you buy that or not, if this first round is fluid, who would get the Pats' attention if he dropped significantly, if anyone.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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dcmissle said:
Can you think of anyone falling in the first round who the Pats might trade up to get? And by trade up, I mean by more than a slot or two or three.

This is prompted by PFT piece suggesting that a month out, the first round is looking unpredictable beyond a few things that seem pretty firmly grounded -- Winston is going 1, Williams probably going 2, and Fowker is going high.

For example, Beasley has been mentioned as going as high as 3, as low as 22.

Whether you buy that or not, if this first round is fluid, who would get the Pats' attention if he dropped significantly, if anyone.
 
With the picks the Pats have in the 3rd/4th rounds, they have some ammo to move around to get the guy they want. They can't move the compensation pick at the end of round 3 that they got for Talib, but it makes their own 3rd rounder and their early 4th much more likely to be in play. 
 
I'd say I'd be looking at the following guys, should they "fall":
 
DL
Malcom Brown DT 
Danny Shelton DT
 
DB
Marcus Peters CB
Trae Waynes CB
Landon Collins S
 
OL
La'el Collins
Ereck Flowers 
Andrus Peat 
Brandon Scherff (could fall if teams view him only as a G)
 
Edit: By the way, Fanspeak has their draft simulator updated with compensation picks, if anyone is looking to waste some time (please don't post results though, no one cares about your pretend draft!). Fun exercise though, and they give you a bunch of different draft boards to choose from so it helps keeps things interesting. Long story short, this draft should be a fun one for the Pats. 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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dcmissle said:
Can you think of anyone falling in the first round who the Pats might trade up to get? And by trade up, I mean by more than a slot or two or three.

This is prompted by PFT piece suggesting that a month out, the first round is looking unpredictable beyond a few things that seem pretty firmly grounded -- Winston is going 1, Williams probably going 2, and Fowker is going high.

For example, Beasley has been mentioned as going as high as 3, as low as 22.

Whether you buy that or not, if this first round is fluid, who would get the Pats' attention if he dropped significantly, if anyone.
 
Its very unlikely to happen but I've been daydreaming a bit about the possibility of Danny Shelton slipping and the Pats trading up to nab him around 20.  There is a fairly established price of a 3rd rounder to trade up 4-8 slots at the back end of the first round (numerous deals have revolving around those parameters in the last couple years), so I figure it would cost the Pats more like their 3rd and the high 4th they got from the Bucs to move up 12ish slots.  That's a steep price, especially for a coach like BB that really values depth, but the possibility of adding a Wilfork/Ngata level beast in the middle seems pretty hard to turn down.  I'm not saying Shelton will have that kind of career, but he has that kind of ceiling.  A dominating presence in the middle that dissuaded other teams from running up the gut and allowed the LBs to play a little more freely and a little more clean could really have a transformative effect on the rest of the defense.  Andy Reid has the 18th pick and Chip Kelly has the 20th, so there are at least a couple guys there with whom BB might be able to work a deal.
 
Could Shelton fall that far?  Most mocks have him going in the early teens but I could see how a bunch of teams in that area - Browns, Saints, San Francisco - might decide that they need more help on offense or defending the pass and that the likely available WRs, CBs, or OLBs/DEs address more pressing needs.  And there are a couple teams like the Dolphins and Texans that have a lot of resources already tied up in the DT position and are unlikely to spend a 1st there (even if Shelton is a different kind of DT than Suh or Watt).
 

E5 Yaz

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On the idea of trading up, let's say someone such as Cameron Erving is there and (as Don Banks speculates in his mock) the Colts would take him at 29, in small part to keep him from the Patriots. Could NE jump above the Colts?
 
29 Colts
28 Broncos
27 Dallas
26 Ravens
25 Panthers
24 Cardinals
 
The Broncos and Ravens don't seem the type to want to deal to help the Pats move up. Dallas, while interesting, might still be trying to move its pick for AP. The Panthers and the Cardinals, meanwhile, need offensive linemen themselves.
 
23 Lions
22 Steelers
21 Bengals
20 Eagles
 
Lions and Eagles are possibilities. But who know what Kelly wants to do? 
 
There aren't a lot of options in the 10-12 picks ahead of the Pats
 

soxfan121

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E5 Yaz said:
 
 
The Broncos and Ravens don't seem the type to want to deal to help the Pats move up. 
 
Denver, yes. But there's a long history of trades between BB and Ozzie - the "rivalry" doesn't extend to trades, or hasn't in the past.
 

E5 Yaz

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soxfan121 said:
 
Denver, yes. But there's a long history of trades between BB and Ozzie - the "rivalry" doesn't extend to trades, or hasn't in the past.
 
Even so, I'd think Dallas, Detroit and Philly are better bets ... if they want to move up
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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E5 Yaz said:
On the idea of trading up, let's say someone such as Cameron Erving is there and (as Don Banks speculates in his mock) the Colts would take him at 29, in small part to keep him from the Patriots. Could NE jump above the Colts?
 
29 Colts
28 Broncos
27 Dallas
26 Ravens  Would require something like NE's 1st and 3rd round picks. Or 1st and two 4ths. 
25 Panthers
24 Cardinals Would require something like NE's 1st, 3rd, 4th round picks
 
The Broncos and Ravens don't seem the type to want to deal to help the Pats move up. Dallas, while interesting, might still be trying to move its pick for AP. The Panthers and the Cardinals, meanwhile, need offensive linemen themselves.
 
23 Lions   Would require something like NE's 1st, 3rd, 4th and 7th round picks
22 Steelers
21 Bengals
20 Eagles  Would require NE's 1st and 2nd
 
Just wanted to note what the cost could possibly be if the Pats were to move up, based on the somewhat limited draft trade value chart. Personally, I think the price to trade with Philly is too high for someone like Irving.
 
If they're convinced he's their guy and he's still on the board at 26, I'd be on the phone trying to work a deal with Ozzie, hoping he'd take my offer of our #1, and two 4th's (picks 101 and 131), but ultimately willing to give up a 1st, 3rd, and the later 4th to go up and get him. 
 
The Pats would still have their 2nd, a 3rd round compensation pick, an early 4th and a couple later round picks in rounds 6 and 7. 
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Last year, New Orleans moved from 27 to 20 for a 3rd and Cleveland moved from 26 to 22 for a 3rd. In 2013, San Fran moved from 31 to 18 for a high 3rd and Atlanta moved from 30 to 22 for a 3rd and a swap of a 6th for a 7th.
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Yeah, I was using the old chart. I'll play around with the new one SF121 linked to see if the values change much.
 
 
Morgan's Magic Snowplow said:
Last year, New Orleans moved from 27 to 20 for a 3rd and Cleveland moved from 26 to 22 for a 3rd. In 2013, San Fran moved from 31 to 18 for a high 3rd and Atlanta moved from 30 to 22 for a 3rd and a swap of a 6th for a 7th.
 
If the Pats moved up 7 spots from 32 to 25 like the NO trade you referenced, I would imagine the price would be similar. I had them giving up a 3rd to move up to 26 in my post above and a 3rd/late 4th to move up to 24, so I don't think I'm too far off.
 
The SF 31 to 18 move for only a high 3rd is a bit surprising, but considering we have the last pick in the 2nd round I might be a little high with the asking prices, but not that much. I had them moving up to 20 for a 1st and the last pick in the 2nd round. 
 

soxfan121

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EC, I think the variable that ultimately makes all these charts "off" is that we don't know how deep teams perceive the talent pool to be. In some years, the 3rd rounder is sufficient; in others it take a 3 & 4 (for example). I read a thing after last year's draft how the Raiders trade down was gonna "skew the chart" and it did...but the Raiders made a good deal for them, even if by the "chart" they got hosed. 
 

ElcaballitoMVP

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Kiper did a 3 round mock. Here's who he took for the Pats:
 
Top needs: DL, WR, CB, RB
Round 1 (32) DT Eddie Goldman, Florida St.
Round 2 (64) WR Chris Conley, Georgia
Round 3 (96) RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa
Round 3 (97) CB Alex Carter, Stanford
Personally, I like Goldman, but I don't think he'll be on the board at 32. I hate the Conley pick. I think he's a 4th round prospect. I'd take Ali Marpet or AJ Cann to shore up the interior OL, instead. I don't mind Johnson, but I'd rather wait a little longer on a RB. Carter doesn't excite me, but they need some depth. At that point, it's in Bill we trust territory. 
 

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ElcaballitoMVP said:
Kiper did a 3 round mock. Here's who he took for the Pats:
 
Top needs: DL, WR, CB, RB
Round 1 (32) DT Eddie Goldman, Florida St.
Round 2 (64) WR Chris Conley, Georgia
Round 3 (96) RB David Johnson, Northern Iowa
Round 3 (97) CB Alex Carter, Stanford
Personally, I like Goldman, but I don't think he'll be on the board at 32. I hate the Conley pick. I think he's a 4th round prospect. I'd take Ali Marpet or AJ Cann to shore up the interior OL, instead. I don't mind Johnson, but I'd rather wait a little longer on a RB. Carter doesn't excite me, but they need some depth. At that point, it's in Bill we trust territory. 
 
Same if a quality plug and play guard is there in round 2 you pounce since they have made little effort to resign Dan Connolly.
 

Yossarian

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Yeah, I'd be surprised if they take a guard with their first-round pick unless someone they really like falls.  It's a deep draft on interior OL, supposedly, and you could probably get one of similar caliber in the 2nd round or even later.  
 
Reiss has been talking up Jake Fisher, an athletic OT out of Oregon who could potentially slide down to guard but end up as an adequate long-term replacement for Solder should the need arise.  I have no idea if BB likes the player, but it seems like his kind of move.
 
As for DB, don't forget Kevin Johnson out of Wake Forest.  Sort of like Jamie Collins -- a really good player on a really bad team.  I could see him falling if there's a run on other positions.
 

Super Nomario

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Chris Price made a good point about the Pats' draft: they already have 75 players on their 90-man roster and have 9 draft picks, which will leave them pretty full. They definitely have the ammo to trade up, and there's little chance that all nine draft picks would make the team (like last year when they cut Gallon, Halapio, and Jemea Thomas). I could see someone they like hanging out at 24 or 25 (like Kevin Johnson or Danny Shelton or Cam Erving or Todd Gurley) and they give up 96 to move up a few spots, knowing they pick again at 97 and 101 anyway.
 
 
“There’s not as many spots as there has been in the past just from an overall roster standpoint. I think we’re around 73 or right around there — 73 or 74,” Caserio said of the current roster, which actually stood at 75 as of Wednesday according to the league, unless Caserio knew of a looming deal that had yet to be announced.
 
“I think in years past we’ve been a little bit lower. But the roster is more full relative to where we are in the whole process,” added Caserio, who said there hasn’t been a lot of dialogue around draft-related trades to this point. “Right now, we have nine picks. We’ll see how that goes if we end up using those nine picks, and then there’s players we’ll sign after the draft.”
 

RedOctober3829

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Super Nomario said:
Chris Price made a good point about the Pats' draft: they already have 75 players on their 90-man roster and have 9 draft picks, which will leave them pretty full. They definitely have the ammo to trade up, and there's little chance that all nine draft picks would make the team (like last year when they cut Gallon, Halapio, and Jemea Thomas). I could see someone they like hanging out at 24 or 25 (like Kevin Johnson or Danny Shelton or Cam Erving or Todd Gurley) and they give up 96 to move up a few spots, knowing they pick again at 97 and 101 anyway.
 
Either this or they could go the other way: if there are no players they love at #32 they could auction off the pick for a late pick this year and a 2016 1st.  They could fill their needs in the middle rounds with OL/DL if they so choose.
 

dcmissle

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Polian says he is another Robert Mathis. (But Polian also said he had a mere turf toe injury, and he did not move players down his draft board for those).

Five months is five months. He will slip.

Gregory will slip as well. Florio noting yesterday that it could be to the bottom of the first round.

What we really need in here is a good, old fashioned Josh Gordon style donnybrook about Gregory.
 

Yossarian

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Forget Josh Gordon -- anyone with weed issues the Pats take will immediately be compared by dumber media members and fans to Aaron Hernandez.
 

( . ) ( . ) and (_!_)

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Yossarian said:
Forget Josh Gordon -- anyone with weed issues the Pats take will immediately be compared by dumber media members and fans to Aaron Hernandez.
Luckily for us fans that won't stop the football people from building the best football team they can. Nor should it.
 

Jnai

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Draft question:
 
The Patriots hold the last pick on Day 1. Normally, you get a certain amount of time to make your selection, before the team with the next pick can just put in a selection.
 
Do they have to pick on Day 1? Can they hold the pick all night and try to trade it? If they don't pick, can #33 pick in the #32 spot?
 

RedOctober3829

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Jnai said:
Draft question:
 
The Patriots hold the last pick on Day 1. Normally, you get a certain amount of time to make your selection, before the team with the next pick can just put in a selection.
 
Do they have to pick on Day 1? Can they hold the pick all night and try to trade it? If they don't pick, can #33 pick in the #32 spot?
No, they pick on Day 1.  If they don't bring up a pick, it's conceivable that Tampa at #33 can go ahead and put a pick in.
 

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E5 Yaz said:
In case you were hoping for improvement in ESPN's draft coverage, Richard Deitsch has this:
 
Chris Berman hosts the opening night of ESPN’s coverage, with main set analysts Jon Gruden, Mel Kiper Jr. and Ray Lewis.[/size]
 
http://www.si.com/more-sports/2015/04/26/inside-nfl-draft-coverage-espn-nfl-network-media-circus
On the brighter side, this will provide Fred Toucher opportunities to do his very funny Ray Lewis impressions. They are pretty damn good and right on.
 

Jnai

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RedOctober3829 said:
No, they pick on Day 1.  If they don't bring up a pick, it's conceivable that Tampa at #33 can go ahead and put a pick in.
 
I wonder if the difference between making selection #32 and #33 would actually outweigh the advantages of being able to hold the pick all night.
 

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Shane Ray getting busted for pot early this morning is not going to help his draft position.  
 
https://twitter.com/BKSportsTalk/status/592835200591200257 
 

dcmissle

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Good Christ. Speeding with weed in the vehicle on the eve of the draft. So how much money was that worth?

Edit. Let's go through this slowly again so everybody gets it. If you make it to the NFL, you can smoke as much weed as you please with the exception of a narrow period each year when you know you will be tested. The only stipulation is you cannot fuck up beforehand -- or be reckless about it when you are in the League -- because then they can test you randomly. Which means that you cannot smoke at all if you value your career.

But one guy smokes in advance of the Combine, and this guy speeds with weed in the car with fewer than 100 hours to go before he's going to be selected.

Stupidity can certainly get you driven down or off draft boards and it probably should. But somebody will rail about Missouri's stupidity in outlawing weed.