2022 Fits

DJnVa

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Cellar-Door

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The Athletic's Dane Brugler's newest mock has:

#21 Nakobe Dean, LB




#53 John Metchie, WR

Two-round 2022 NFL Mock Draft: Dane Brugler’s mock 2.0 has a new No. 1 pick and more surprises – The Athletic
I can't imagine Bill going Dean, I'm hopeful of him easing into smaller faster LBs, but I kinda think if he does it will be the 6'3" 240 types like Smith rather than the safety sized 6' 225 Dean (for example Dugger is 6'2" 220+)

Metchie is interesting, he doesn't look like he has elite measurables (fairly short, mediocre 40 time) but he's got production (including with Mac) and he's known as a good blocker. Seems like a WR Bill would take.
 

SMU_Sox

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Mayo was only 240. I think with Bill he wants guys close to that. So for example Devin Lloyd is 235 but could easily add 5-10-15 pounds to his 6’3” frame. Dean is probably 5’10”, 5’11” and maybe truly 225. He gets hung up on blocks. He’s not a Patriots type at LB. Don’t worry though. There are like 10 guys this draft cycle at ILB at 240+ and many of them have the athletic traits and speed of smaller guys.
 

Mugsy's Jock

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Kiper's initial mock sends the Pats Jameson Williams at #21. I have a sneaking suspicion the trend of reuniting successful college QBs and WRs from the 2021 Draft will be an overhyped storyline in 2022.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2022/insider/story/_/id/33093803/nfl-mock-draft-2022-mel-kiper-predictions-all-32-first-round-picks-teams-aidan-hutchinson-malik-willis-nakobe-dean

Thanks in advance to the amazing regulars in the draft subforum. I really don't follow college football much during the year (unless you count Wake Forest), but will become an entirely over-confident expert capable of banging out logical mock drafts seven rounds deep three months from now. One thing I believe in my bones now though is that defense should dominate the early rounds. Looking forward to SMU's linebacker grades.
 

OnTheBlack

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As a Penn State fan I’ve watched all his games. He’s the best safety Penn State has ever had. Elite athlete who can cover and as the scouting report says, will knock the taste out of your mouth. Juco kid who took a tough route, became a captain of a top ten defense who is indeed the leader and locker room tone setter. Sets the standard. Love him as a player.

Apologies for name-only post. Now that I have read the ground rules...

There is a need at safety, yes. Brisker was a JUCO transfer from Lackawanna College to Penn State in 2020 and started that year and all games in 2021.

There are a number of mock draft sources out there, but CBS Sports lists him as the #2 safety, and #47 player overall.



The linked analytical piece also addresses Brisker's qualities in



My own personal observation over about 20 games...this guy can cover, and when it comes to hitting, he is a wrecking ball. All-B1G this past year.
 

Shelterdog

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Mayo was only 240. I think with Bill he wants guys close to that. So for example Devin Lloyd is 235 but could easily add 5-10-15 pounds to his 6’3” frame. Dean is probably 5’10”, 5’11” and maybe truly 225. He gets hung up on blocks. He’s not a Patriots type at LB. Don’t worry though. There are like 10 guys this draft cycle at ILB at 240+ and many of them have the athletic traits and speed of smaller guys.
Pretty sure Mayo played at 245-250 and he was generally listed in that ballpark.

I really don't see BB going with lighter linebackers. Sometimes he'll play a guy like winovich for a bit and then they get run over/ don't hold the edge and then they get benched. I also think we really overrate how well smaller LBs do in coverage--think about how we as fans feel on offense when even a fast linebacker is covering a James White or a decent TE or a slot receiver in coverage.

Any thoughts on whether Jermaine Johnson can play off the line enough that he could be a fit? I was really impressed with his physicality and athletic ability when i watched him play.
 
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SMU_Sox

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Mayo probably put on weight. At the combine he was 240 though. Jermaine Johnson II is an OLB right now but probably can do ILB things. I saw him last night vs Ekwonu and he had his number… i didn’t even scout him directly. I just saw him wreck NC States OL though so my initial thought he is he a baller…
 

Shelterdog

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Mayo probably put on weight. At the combine he was 240 though. Jermaine Johnson II is an OLB right now but probably can do ILB things. I saw him last night vs Ekwonu and he had his number… i didn’t even scout him directly. I just saw him wreck NC States OL though so my initial thought he is he a baller…
I watched Johnson a bit and he seems like you'd use him a little like a Nink--he's taller and more of a defensive end but I've really liked him. I'm a big believer in the Pats needing to build up their front seven if they want to beat the Bills and Chiefs--I'd be really happy with a Johnson/Chris Harris draft (even though Harris is a little light).

Frankly this is lining up for someone like Detroit to trade up to get a QB at 21.
 
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He is also a very willing and contributor on ST as a returner and a gunner. We all know how that kind of skill set puts a Pastrnak in BB’s pants.


edit: was replying to post about Kiper picking Jameson Williams #21 in his mock
 

Mooch

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I'm coming around on Bryan Cook as a late Day 2/early Day 3 guy at Safety. Kid hits like a tank and has legit cover skills.
 

SMU_Sox

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Don’t be surprised if they don’t go OT early. There aren’t a lot of guys who fit what they like. Maybe Penning out of Northern Iowa but he’s a bit of a project. That’s not a problem with Wynn signed but unless they use Onwenu as a RT (which I don’t think they want to do) and if Brown leaves he would probably have to start and I’m not sure he can be ready on day 1. Braxton Jones is someone I am waiting for more tape on. He didn’t look particularly athletic and I want to see him Vs better competition. He seemed at first blush like he might be a day 3 target for them. It’s not a particularly good OT year. There might be a glut of guys who could be average to below average starters or maybe swing tackles but no one is standing out as a quality starter they could draft and start year 1. And I’m still not sure on Penning. He really struggles vs Iowa State but dominated lesser competition and has huge size and plus athleticism. He’s also got a nasty streak and finishes everything. If they don’t go with him it’s a pretty steep drop to the next tier of talent. Not a good year at OT.
 

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Ok, I'm not falling in love with the guy but I can see BB falling in love with Quay Walker. He's tall, has played some DL, but probably an off the ball/inside backer in the pros. Versatile etc.
 

SMU_Sox

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Any thoughts on Wisconsin ILB Leo Chenal? Seems like a fit for a Hightower replacement from both a body type and playing style perspective.

Edit: I see he was brought up earlier, here’s a clip

View: https://twitter.com/benfennell_nfl/status/1478753416713232384?s=21
I finished him tonight. I’m now trying to shake off the adrenaline and drool combination that happened to me as I watched him. I love Chenal’s fit on this team. I’m wondering if he would be best replacing High or Judon or if having him able to do both is just another plus.

View: https://twitter.com/johnalimberakis/status/1487588161148628994?s=21



My thread on him.

I think he tests well too.

If I had to guess his range I’d say they take him round 2. It’s hard to know where a scheme specific guy like Chenal goes. If you like his type he’s 2nd round material for you. If you don’t like his type (big ILB/OLB) then you wouldn’t even draft him.
 
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SMU_Sox

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Shrine Bowl and Senior bowl weigh-ins were today and this last weekend. I’m glad Muma (ILB) came in at 242 pounds. That’s a good weight for him. If the Pats wants to go for a lighter (for them) guy who plays with intensity and who is a great athlete he would be a nice WILL for them. If you go on Twitter and search for the senior bowl you can find all their weigh-ins there.
 

SMU_Sox

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I am in seasonal form for draft prospects. I typically do 2 guys per work day and 3 guys on Sat/Sun. I spend about 4 hours per night on it and on the weekends 6-8 hours a day. I wanted to start in December but life got in the way so I'll be doing overtime soon to make up for that lost time. I'm frustrated that I have only did my initial wave of positional groups: OT, and ILB. By this time I am usually done with 4 groups. Frustrated but I will make up the time. Also I know this is a long post but there isn't really an easy way to discuss 9 ILBs without it being long. Sorry.

ILB though is loaded this year. LOADED.

Let's start with the big boys.

There are 2 guys who could do Hightower or KVN roles: Leo Chenal and Darrian Beavers. Leo Chenal is the luxury edition - his athleticism is off the charts and when it comes to run defense and pass rushing he is in a different tier than Beavers. Beavers unfortunately is a middle of the road athlete with significant concerns with short area adjustment/COD and lateral agility/mobility. Beavers is a good processor and smart in coverage. He makes up for his limitations by knowing when he has to pick up what route and determining where the run will go and what gap he has to plug. He's smart. The Patriots liked to use High with twists and stunts and Beavers can move so choppy executing them. It's a big concern for me. Both these guys though can hold up and even dominate OL at the LOS which is rare for an ILB to do. As much as Chenal is a fish out of water right now in coverage he profiles to me in this scheme with pass rushing and run defense as a first rounder. His coverage skills are day 3 to UDFA. Beavers meanwhile has day-2 traits as a run defender, is acceptable in coverage but doesn't have much range, and is also acceptable as a pass rusher but his lack of athleticism and choppiness with games limit him. I love Chenal. I like Beavers a lot too but he doesn't have the ceiling that Chenal does.

There there is a list of ILBs who are more modern but might be able to play in their system with some tweaks, especially if they are paired with a thumper. I am going to argue for an against these guys as fits.

The top 4 smaller ILBs: Devin Lloyd, Christian Harris, Chad Muma, Damone Clark. The 3 developmental guys: Brandon Smith, Quay Walker, and Troy Andersen.

The top 4 smaller ILBs:

Lloyd is not as physical with OL - he is more of a get around rather than through them and he is excellent in zone coverage and is a good pass rusher. He is probably best on a team that uses their ILBs in coverage more but he could work here. He's reckless as a tackler and tight ends have sealed him off in the run game. I don't think he is physical enough for them. He's a great player but I don't see him as a scheme fit.

Harris is still developing as a pass rusher. His coverage skills are above average and his run defense is also above average for what they want to do. He has good power and athleticism but is still only a 230-235 pound guy. He doesn't dominate OL. He also has some issues with tackling which showed up a lot. He is a fit but there are better versions of him.

Chad Muma: He is 242 pounds so he checks that box. He plays with his hair on fire. He, like Harris, is generally above average to good taking on OL and usually wins vs TEs and FBs in the run game. He is athletic and his coverage skills and range are impressive. He has good burst but sometimes can over-pursue. He doesn't have a lot of pass rushing moves but you can use him in games or blitzing down the middle. He would be a ST demon while he develops as well. If we went for a more athletic pairing to a bigger ILB he is one of my top choices.

Damone Clark: Another 242 pounder. He plays with a lot of burst and power. His lateral agility is adequate but not great. Like the rest of these guys he isn't going to handle OL at an elite level but he is a tier or 2 below that. So still very good. That lateral adjustment ability shows up when he tackles. He has good power and straight line speed though. As a coverage man he is best at short drops and you don't want him covering twitchier receivers. He would be fine for what they ask. He has some processing issues and can be slow to pick up guys moving through. As a run defender he hits the right holes and attacks with speed and power which is what they like. He isn't as athletic as Muma but plays with more power.

The next 3 guys are all in the same bucket of athletic but either developing, new to the position, or just have a lot of issues.

Quay Walker is a bit of a ball of clay - He is another guy who is still developing as a starter. He has these flashes of power but doesn't consistently play with it. World class athlete and has shown impressive range when man up in coverage however is still learning to process zone drops. He is also processing and learning that skill for run defense. There are clips where he tosses Bama OLs to the ground and clips where he doesn't have a sound plan of attack and is defeated. I think he has the traits to play in their system but he has a long way to go. High upside. Lot of risk. When he bull rushes he often doesn't get underneath the OL's pads enough which saps his power. When you see him correctly execute it THEN you can see what he is capable of.

Brandon Smith pisses me off. He has all the athletic traits you want, is 240+ pounds and you'll see 200 pound WRs wash him out of the run game. Then two plays later he will throw an OL to the ground. He is inconsistent in everything that he does including processing. He probably made the most mental errors of anyone I watched who has played his position at least 3 years. I don't like his type. I am not a fan of toolsy guys who don't put it together after a long period of time playing the position. I'd argue he is not a fit because of his mental traits not being up to snuff and because he is so inconsistent.

Last guy is Troy Andersen. He is like Chad Muma but without the playing experience. Some teams want to convert him back to QB where he was a starter in college in 2018 and projects like Taysom Hill. He is 242, an exceptional athlete, also plays with his hair on fire. His biggest issues are processing, learning how to stack and shed and get off blocks (it is UGLY right now), more route anticipation, and his tackling needs to be completely redone. He would also profile to be a ST demon. He has the mentality, toughness, and physical tools they might like in a WILL or compliment to a Beavers/Chenal type. He might even be able to be used for trick plays on offense because other teams want to look at him as a tight end, gadget guy, and RB. Yeah - he's an interesting prospect to say the least. He's someone that would need a year or two or three to develop his skills as an ILB but could do that while playing on STs.

Edit: I omitted 5-6 sub 230 guys here who are too small to warrant consideration.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I’m going through edge at the moment and the one guy who screams Pats to me and who I would be happy with at pick 21 is former four star recruit FSU transfer from UGA and Juco (#2 Juco player that year) Jermaine Johnson. Talk about a great fit. He’s 6’4” and about 260 with long 34+ inch arms. He has the frame to add more weight but even at 260 he has tremendous power and an anchor. I want his his resting but he I think he has good burst and bend - he isn’t super quick twitch but he can change directions in short spaces well and adjust his angles of tackling and attack to square up. He’s lightning fast to shed blockers and make tackles and he’s always alert to what is happening with the play. He doesn’t get stuck on blockers and has the balance to recover from cut blocks. He’s a really good power rusher with his bull and long-arm moves that can knock tackles and guards back and put them on skates. He’s excellent setting a hard edge and against the run. Backside pursuit is great. Scraping over the top and being super aware is another trait he has. He’s just so smart and physical and a + athlete. He has a variety of very effective pass rush finesse moves too like a nasty spin. He excels with games (twists/stunts). His biggest drawbacks are his age (24) and his bend isn’t elite. He’s definitely the most polished edge minus maybe Hutchinson.
He fits what they want in an edge. He can line up inside or drop back into coverage when asked. His smarts and physicality and nastiness as a run defender are what we need. He’s also a plus pass rusher and fits in with the collapse the pocket rush style they like as his power is great. He rarely misses tackles and is really good adjusting to scrambling QBs and elusive running backs and lining them up with quick body mirroring.

I think about pairing him with Chenal in the 2nd round - you want run defense and pass rush? Those guys are where it’s at.
 

ZMart100

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I’m going through edge at the moment and the one guy who screams Pats to me and who I would be happy with at pick 21 is former four star recruit FSU transfer from UGA and Juco (#2 Juco player that year) Jermaine Johnson. Talk about a great fit. He’s 6’4” and about 260 with long 34+ inch arms. He has the frame to add more weight but even at 260 he has tremendous power and an anchor. I want his his resting but he I think he has good burst and bend - he isn’t super quick twitch but he can change directions in short spaces well and adjust his angles of tackling and attack to square up. He’s lightning fast to shed blockers and make tackles and he’s always alert to what is happening with the play. He doesn’t get stuck on blockers and has the balance to recover from cut blocks. He’s a really good power rusher with his bull and long-arm moves that can knock tackles and guards back and put them on skates. He’s excellent setting a hard edge and against the run. Backside pursuit is great. Scraping over the top and being super aware is another trait he has. He’s just so smart and physical and a + athlete. He has a variety of very effective pass rush finesse moves too like a nasty spin. He excels with games (twists/stunts). His biggest drawbacks are his age (24) and his bend isn’t elite. He’s definitely the most polished edge minus maybe Hutchinson.
He fits what they want in an edge. He can line up inside or drop back into coverage when asked. His smarts and physicality and nastiness as a run defender are what we need. He’s also a plus pass rusher and fits in with the collapse the pocket rush style they like as his power is great. He rarely misses tackles and is really good adjusting to scrambling QBs and elusive running backs and lining them up with quick body mirroring.

I think about pairing him with Chenal in the 2nd round - you want run defense and pass rush? Those guys are where it’s at.
Do you have an example of him dropping into coverage in mind? I didn't see it against Miami or NC State.
 

SMU_Sox

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@ZMart100 He had a grand total of one rep against UNC. Looked fine but it was one rep in that game and 8 reps total for the season. He dropped into zones at UGA and you can see that in 2020. His Kentucky game is available - did it there 6 times. It’s not a strength but he has the athletic profile to be able to do some straight back drops or curl/hook defense.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I have a 7.99 on him right now but I want to see his testing because that is important to edge. A 7.99 is: Will be very good player. Probable rookie starter. May or may not have pro bowl physical traits. I think his floor with mediocre testing is a 7-7.5: Can be a good starter you can win with. Should compete for role/starting position. May be immediate contributor.

Quick edit: a 7.99 in most years is a back end of the first or an early to mid 2nd round kind of grade. This year there aren't a lot of blue chippers but there are a lot of 7+ players, or quality starters.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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For the little it is worth, he got major props in the ESPN senior bowl writeup.
Johnson performed so well in Mobile that a few scouts joked that his agent should pull him. Johnson ultimately wasn't at practice Thursday for unspecified reasons, but many thought he had done enough to bolster his stock.

McShay: I actually heard he is pushing to play in the game Saturday, which shows you how competitive he is as a player. Johnson is long and a smooth mover, and he plays hard. That relentless effort was on display all season with Florida State, too, despite a tough year for the Seminoles. I'd be shocked if Johnson wasn't a Day 1 pick.

Fowler: Florida State head coach Mike Norvell told me Johnson is among the most NFL-ready guys he has coached.
 

SMU_Sox

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I wrapped up my initial edge guys. Assuming they stick to their current scheme...

Typically the Patriots don't draft edges early. They draft a variety of types of edges in round 3-4. They do the IDL/edge type. They take shots on super athletes like Rivers. They like athletes but they will also take guys like Flowers too who is good with games. Early on there are 2 guys who are fits: Jermaine Johnson, who I wrote about, and Boye Mafe who I had the pleasure of watching this past weekend.

Mafe is a classic 7.75 prospect. A 7.75 is "Unique Potential. Pro bowl traits who needs critical technical development and consistency.” He has elite burst and you can actually see him taking RBs and tight ends and matching routes. He is long with ideal size and frame. His outside speed rush is phenomenal. His run defense has a lot of issues from mental like gap discipline and processing runs and keeping track of the carrier to technical with not keeping his chest clean and overflowing zone runs. Even his pass rushing could be improved as he has no good counters and limited initial moves. He’s high risk high reward. He could be a pro bowl caliber 3-4 OLB but he could also stall out and be a one trick pony DPR.

I already talked about Jermaine Johnson being a fit. I will hit on the rest of the top of the class.

There are two guys going top 15 (maybe 1, 2), so I won't be getting into Hutchinson or Thibs.

There are some guys who are considered edges but really are best in a 3-4 scheme as base ends or 5-techs. Modern 3-4 base ends are 270-290ish pounds now. Logan Hall, Isaiah Thomas, Travon Walker, Cameron Thomas, and maybe George Karlaftis fit into this bucket. Belichick likes these types but usually in the late 3rd or day 3. These are the IDL/Edge types. Belichick still prefers his base ends at 300+ and definitely not 275 or so. All of these guys can be interior rushers on passing downs.

Arnold Ebiketie is a solid all around edge who is better at pass rushing but is much better in a scheme that lets him penetrate vs the run as opposed to having to set and hold the edge. If he can add some functional strength against the run he might be an all around lower end starter. Advanced hands as a pass rusher but with only above average athletic traits.

Kingsley Enagbare makes some sense although he gets overwhelmed at the point of attack vs the run. He isn't necessarily athletic but is long and has an arsenal of pass rush moves. Some are higher on him as a complete player but his run defense worries me.

There are other guys who could work as designated pass rushers because they have so many deficiencies against the run: Drake Jackson, Myjai Sanders, Nik Bonitto, Nik Bonitto can do some off-ball stuff and reminds me a lot of Uche but more polished in pass defense (and run defense too). Myjai Sanders has great burst but he is so stiff in the hips. His bull rush is a 98 mph fastball though. Drake Jackson is appallingly bad against the run. He has the athleticism and length but he is also underdeveloped as a pass rusher. I don't buy the hype on him. Myjai and Nik are potential fits as DPRs and Bonitto might even be a long term starter if he can play inside. That's a projection, I know, but he does enough in coverage that I think he might be able to handle it.

So of the top 16 or so edges 2 are prototype kind of fits (Johnson, Mafe), 2 are potential fits but have a lower ceiling (Ebiketie, Enagbare), and 2 as DPRs (Sanders, Bonitto and Bonitto could be a candidate to be an ILB convert who does OLB things on passing downs).
 

SMU_Sox

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Zion Johnson is a fit. Patriots like guys who are smart, tough, strong, and athletic enough for offensive line. That's Zion Johnson. He is an interior offensive lineman but played a year at LT. He doesn't have the foot speed imo to stick there but he might be able to. Like Jermaine Johnson he is someone who could start day 1. Zion might be the most polished and pro-ready of all the prospects I have looked at. He is equally as dominant vs the run as he is vs the pass. Just an extremely technically proficient guy with very good power and hands. He could give them near pro-bowl caliber reps for 10 years. If he doesn't get injured he's an easy 10 year starter who makes the team ring of honor kind of prospect. It's amazing how advanced he is given that he didn't play football until later in high school and was better known as a golfer early in his college and high school career. He then transferred from Davidson to Boston College, kept putting on weight and strength and working very hard on his craft. He plays like a veteran. And the thing with Johnson that I absolutely love is he isn't just good at his position. He makes his LT and C better the way he can help them with rushers, blitzes, twists, and stunts. He makes so many blocks where he is taking two guys on at once and holding ground like it is nothing. He can shoot out his arm and catch blitzing linebackers coming full-steam downhill. I love this guy. I know, I know, taking a guard at 21 with all their other needs is probably not a popular or sound idea but he is absolutely a fit and would rake on this team.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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@SMU_Sox - I believe that I read that he was staying after practice at the senior bowl to work on his shotgun snaps. So, drafting him could also mean getting an Andrews replacement down the road. The thought of a JAM interior line next year is tasty, on its own.
 

Shelterdog

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Zion Johnson is a fit. Patriots like guys who are smart, tough, strong, and athletic enough for offensive line. That's Zion Johnson. He is an interior offensive lineman but played a year at LT. He doesn't have the foot speed imo to stick there but he might be able to. Like Jermaine Johnson he is someone who could start day 1. Zion might be the most polished and pro-ready of all the prospects I have looked at. He is equally as dominant vs the run as he is vs the pass. Just an extremely technically proficient guy with very good power and hands. He could give them near pro-bowl caliber reps for 10 years. If he doesn't get injured he's an easy 10 year starter who makes the team ring of honor kind of prospect. It's amazing how advanced he is given that he didn't play football until later in high school and was better known as a golfer early in his college and high school career. He then transferred from Davidson to Boston College, kept putting on weight and strength and working very hard on his craft. He plays like a veteran. And the thing with Johnson that I absolutely love is he isn't just good at his position. He makes his LT and C better the way he can help them with rushers, blitzes, twists, and stunts. He makes so many blocks where he is taking two guys on at once and holding ground like it is nothing. He can shoot out his arm and catch blitzing linebackers coming full-steam downhill. I love this guy. I know, I know, taking a guard at 21 with all their other needs is probably not a popular or sound idea but he is absolutely a fit and would rake on this team.
Interior offensive line is a low key need on this team. Andews and Mason aren't that young, Onwenu is a question mark right now after a great first year (and maybe is more of a RT?), Karras is probably cheap but he's not signed yet, and you don't have a wendell/connolly type experienced back up who you'd be comfortable having step in as a starter.

All that said I had something more in lines of a fifth round pick --which I'm sure we acquire at some point--on a versatile center/guard--maybe the other BC kid Lindstrom or Owens from Alabama, maybe Dohnovan West from ASU if the board falls that way. maybe Vrabel's kid and move him to guard.
 

SMU_Sox

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@Shelterdog I like Nick Zakelj from Fordham a lot day 3. He can be a swing tackle or a potential starting guard especially for gap/power. He should be available day 3. Nasty mauler attitude. Above average athlete and has decent size and length. Power too. Fordham - Left Tackle/OL
 

Shelterdog

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@Shelterdog I like Nick Zakelj from Fordham a lot day 3. He can be a swing tackle or a potential starting guard especially for gap/power. He should be available day 3. Nasty mauler attitude. Above average athlete and has decent size and length. Power too. Fordham - Left Tackle/OL
On paper a perfect fit. What do they want--smart tough and athletic enough? The level of competition obviously a question mark and when you see quotes like "struggled in pass protection against Holy Cross" you do wonder a little.
 

SMU_Sox

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I have not watched WRs yet but Kyle Philips UCLA WR might be a guy the Patriots target day 3. He’s 5’10” 186, is a good punt returner, and was described by Brett Kollman as, “Hunter Renfrow on 2 shots of espresso.”
 
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I have not watched WRs yet but Kyle Philips UCLA WR might be a guy the Patriots target day 3. He’s 5’10” 186, is a good punt returner, and was described by Brett Kollman as, “Hunter Renfrow on 2 shots of espresso.”
How do we feel about UCLA special teamer types?

49291
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
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Oh what to do about Jordan Davis? I mean he's obviously a prototypical Patriot. He has the burst and tackle radius to be special. The big question with him is how good of a pass rusher will he be, as well as his stamina and can he hold up to 50% of snaps? 60%? 70%? I think he has the explosiveness, hand usage, power, and tackle radius to be a + pass rusher as a NT. He has everything they look for in a nose and he has rare pro bowl traits. But he also was snap limited at UGA and wore down as games went on. Stamina is already an issue and he's huge. I don't know the answer here. I think he is a fit and a prototype Patriot but he certainly has some risk to go along with his reward.

Travis Jones might be a decent consolation prize. He's an immovable object as an NT. The issue with him is that as solid as his hand usage and power/anchor is he has bad COD and no burst and is limited athletically. He doesn't have the stamina issues but isn't as big and not nearly the athlete Davis is. Davis is a much better pass rusher because all Jones can do is slowly get there.
 
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Bowser

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Sep 27, 2019
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Oh what to do about Jordan Davis?
Do you see a scenario where the Pats go off-script and add a second DT (along with Barmore) who can get vertical, like a Winfrey or Wyatt? Or a Phidarian Mathis, who can do a little of both? All things considered, I think I'd prefer a CB in Round 1 and Mathis in 2 over Davis in 1.

I ask because Evan Lazar has written quite a bit about how the Pats defensive approach may be at a crossroads. Either they continue to pair a gap-control D line with 250+ pound LBs and man-coverage DBs ... or they shift to more of a zone scheme with an attacking front and faster LBs. I fear Bill will go with the tried and true approach and, as a result, that Jordan Davis would be too perfect a fit to pass up.
 

SMU_Sox

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Lazar is right but I don’t think they shift much - it’s something we’ve been discussing on our slack too.

I am taking a deeper dive on those three tonight. I watch a ton of UGA and SMU so I can tell you already Wyatt is a fit. He’s a classic base end 300+ style. He can also play 3-tech.

So with DMC close to the end and with the guys they have signed you can make an argument that they could radically change what they are doing on defense. I just don’t think they go lighter faster. Too many teams are chasing that style. If they stick to their bigger guys and a heavier lineup but inject athleticism they will be fine. Free agency is going to be telling though. If they sign guys that indicate a scheme shift I’ll have to rethink things. But as they stand now…
So for DTs/base-ends think Wyatt, Mathis, Winfrey (you already mentioned them but they are the top guys). For NT there are another 3-4 guys: Davis, Jones, Ridgeway, and Noah Ellis. Davis is the round 1 NT, Jones round 2, Ridgeway round 3-4, and Ellis day 3.

Linebackers: Chenal, Beavers. Maybe Luketa? He played edge this year but ILB last year. He’s a super athlete but hasn’t produced much. Damone Clark is another bigger heavy handed guy. Chenal, Beavers, and Clark though are my top 3 for them.

Safety is 4-5 deep but you might also think about cornerback converts. Corner and Safety are more top heavy this year.

Predicting which positions they will focus in on early is impossible right now but typically Bill prefers to build his defense from the front 7 up but until Barmore he had gone away from that approach for the last 4-5 years. However this is a year where the guys he would want to stock up at base end/DT, ILB, and edge should all be available in rounds 1-2 and even maybe 3. Honestly I’m just excited because they are so many impact player potential fits this year vs last year.
 

SMU_Sox

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I really need to stop thinking guys are fits just because I watch them live. I got through Leal, Winfrey, Wyatt, and Mathis.

DT is tough to figure out for the Pats. They have a few types. They have historically drafted big two gapping nose tackles, 300 pound plus long armed two gapping base ends and DTs, and then they have also drafted or signed slightly smaller 290ish penetrators. Right now with their scheme you’d think they would want to continue with noses and big base ends in the earlier rounds and penetrators later.

If you want bigger, longer base ends who can two-gap that (on tape) rules out Leal and Winfrey who have close to no anchor. Wyatt unfortunately can get pushed around too but his burst and bend for a DT is like Barmore (elite traits). He might be able to two-gap at an average or better level but right now he’s much better and has better traits as a penetrator. The guy who can two-gap and run stuff exceptionally well as a base end is Mathis. He’s your classic run stuffer with plus size and length. He’s also an exceptional processor.

I have 5 more DTs to finish but none of them are top 100 guys. 2 are probably NTs but finding tape on Idaho (Noah Ellis) has been difficult.

With nose tackles there are 3 guys who are potential fits: Jordan Davis, Travis Jones, and to a lesser degree Neil Farrell. Davis is the most versatile with his ability to penetrate or two gap. Jones is a much better two gapper than penetrator but he can do it and Farrell is the opposite - he ideally plays as a shaded 1 tech to the side of the center where he can fire through the gaps downhill and wreck opposing backfields. It comes down to do they want to stick with a two-gapping approach at nose? If so it’s Davis and Jones. If they are ok with a penetrator than Farrell would work for them. I think he’s a little over aggressive though and I question if they want that. His shedding ability and tackle radius are also a bit problematic.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
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Safeties take forever to get through. I got through the top 9 pure safeties. The issue with safeties is for the most part all of these guys have some traits the Patriots like.

I love Kyle Hamilton. He won't be available.

Can do everything but not the best with single high: Brisker, Hamilton. Brisker is best as a box safety but he can handle man coverage against some slots and tight ends. His backpeddle transitions are below average and he has issues both recognizing routes as well as breaking on them without tripping himself up. He is a hammer though and is a freak athlete. I want to see his agility drills though. I think his skill set is redundant with Dugger and Phillips though.

Guys who can handle single high but it’s a projection: Jalen Pitre and Daxton Hill. I love these two. They should both test off the charts. They both have the mental traits you want but Hill doesn’t have many single high reps and Pitre mostly played in the box or as a slot. Pitre showed off his FS skills though at the senior bowl and let’s remember that a lot of safeties are corner converts. Pitre is more physical and offers you the possible complete package with versatility to play any safety role. He’s such a tenacious player too. He might be a bit undersized for box play but he plays with good play strength and intensity. Both guys can be lockdown slots corners/safeties. Hill is less risky to project to FS but I think Pitre has a higher ceiling.

You have 3 other guys who can possibly handle single high but I’m not sure of their range and they have some other issues. None of them are strong tacklers for example and aren’t the most physical. Kerry Joseph, Verona McKinley, and Lewis Cine. Cine is probably best suited for a 2 high scheme. He doesn’t have the athleticism (I think) that the others do. Joseph is inexperienced. He has some eye discipline issues too. He’s also probably best suited for two high and I’m not sure about his range. McKinley has range issues too and lacks physicality. I think McKinley and Joseph have the ball skills that Harmon did. Cine has the smarts they like.

If I had to guess though I think they would like Hill and Pitre early. Depending on testing I’ll update the other guys. Safety is a tough position to evaluate. You have to watch a ton of games and it’s really really really really boring.

Hill and Pitre though feel like prototypes. Brisker is a prototype too but he plays a redundant position.
 

SMU_Sox

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WR wise they tend to go for size speed combinations who project to play X. They don’t invest in slots in rounds 1-3. Given their preferences in the last 20 years they probably only like Treylon Burks and Drake London early. With Burks the knocks on him are that he has limited but highly productive experience outside and vs press, he ran a limited route tree, and in particular I have some questions about his horizontal change of direction because he ran few sudden horizontal routes and he has some wind-down issues anyway. With London the knock on him is his top speed. He might just be a 4.55-4.6 guy and while they took Harry I’m not sure if London is quite good enough with his size/speed combo.
Dotson would be a fit but he’s undersized. Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson would be fits but they are only average sized and it is unclear if they can play outside against press. Olave isn’t a fit because he’s a slot although he has the high end athleticism they lack but is undersized. Metchie is a slot, doesn’t have great size, and is, I think, only an above average athlete.

I still have a ton of WRs to get through so will update later.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Always interesting to read your breakdowns SMU. Would love to know your thoughts on Pickens. I think he's flying a little under the radar due to the injury and small sample size this year.
 

Auger34

used to be tbb
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Apr 23, 2010
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WR wise they tend to go for size speed combinations who project to play X. They don’t invest in slots in rounds 1-3. Given their preferences in the last 20 years they probably only like Treylon Burks and Drake London early. With Burks the knocks on him are that he has limited but highly productive experience outside and vs press, he ran a limited route tree, and in particular I have some questions about his horizontal change of direction because he ran few sudden horizontal routes and he has some wind-down issues anyway. With London the knock on him is his top speed. He might just be a 4.55-4.6 guy and while they took Harry I’m not sure if London is quite good enough with his size/speed combo.
Dotson would be a fit but he’s undersized. Jameson Williams and Garrett Wilson would be fits but they are only average sized and it is unclear if they can play outside against press. Olave isn’t a fit because he’s a slot although he has the high end athleticism they lack but is undersized. Metchie is a slot, doesn’t have great size, and is, I think, only an above average athlete.

I still have a ton of WRs to get through so will update later.
I would be interested in a deeper dive on Burks if you’re able to do it….I’ve seen Deebo Samuel and AJ Brown comps on the positive side and then I also saw Rich Hill rate him as the 9th best receiver in this class
 

SMU_Sox

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@tbb345 I’d be happy to. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Burks going into watching him. I had seen a bunch of clips in the slack channel but they were a mixed bag. Some put the pen down stuff and then other reps where I was like what exactly was he trying to run there?

He lines up everywhere. He has some tight end reps, FB reps, RB reps, reps in motion, outside, lining up in a dirty split, true outside, you name it he’s probably done it. The issue though is he barely faced any press coverage and lined up primarily in the slot. I think he faced maybe 39 total press reps in all of 2021. There are two mitigating factors here. 1) he beat press when he faced it. His stats Vs press:
View: https://twitter.com/kevincolepff/status/1498408928056594436?s=21


6.4 yards per route run Vs press is outstanding. I saw him roast some Bama corners who tried to press him. I came away thinking you have to have a little faith in the small sample size projection but I loved what I saw.
2) many colleges put their best receiver in the slot.

His top end speed is exceptional on tape. He can outrun a secondary and he outran Bama’s secondary and ILBs. That’s impressive. Whereas Drake London will be tackled from behind when Burks is on the run he’s gone. Burks has really strong hands but his catch form is not always ideal. He will be able to make contested catches though at a better rate than all but London of the top prospects. Dotson actually shows some ability here too.

He doesn’t run a lot of horizontal breaking routes so I have some questions about his change of direction and wish he ran more than the limited routes he did. He mostly ran gadget/schemed plays or more vertical routes. He would run overs and crossers but he’s not going to run a whip route for you. In a more traditional offense he would probably be a Z or an X who gets some schemed touches. He also has shown an ability to return but IIRC only did that his freshman year.

Burks has the highest ceiling of all the guys I’ve looked at but not the highest floor. I actually got done Drake London tonight who is currently the 3rd guy on my personal board and only behind Hutchinson and Hamilton. I’m going to write up why I think he is the perfect Patriot type. I’ll save that for sometime tomorrow (later today technically).
 

j44thor

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@tbb345 I’d be happy to. I wasn’t sure how I would feel about Burks going into watching him. I had seen a bunch of clips in the slack channel but they were a mixed bag. Some put the pen down stuff and then other reps where I was like what exactly was he trying to run there?

He lines up everywhere. He has some tight end reps, FB reps, RB reps, reps in motion, outside, lining up in a dirty split, true outside, you name it he’s probably done it. The issue though is he barely faced any press coverage and lined up primarily in the slot. I think he faced maybe 39 total press reps in all of 2021. There are two mitigating factors here. 1) he beat press when he faced it. His stats Vs press:
View: https://twitter.com/kevincolepff/status/1498408928056594436?s=21


6.4 yards per route run Vs press is outstanding. I saw him roast some Bama corners who tried to press him. I came away thinking you have to have a little faith in the small sample size projection but I loved what I saw.
2) many colleges put their best receiver in the slot.

His top end speed is exceptional on tape. He can outrun a secondary and he outran Bama’s secondary and ILBs. That’s impressive. Whereas Drake London will be tackled from behind when Burks is on the run he’s gone. Burks has really strong hands but his catch form is not always ideal. He will be able to make contested catches though at a better rate than all but London of the top prospects. Dotson actually shows some ability here too.

He doesn’t run a lot of horizontal breaking routes so I have some questions about his change of direction and wish he ran more than the limited routes he did. He mostly ran gadget/schemed plays or more vertical routes. He would run overs and crossers but he’s not going to run a whip route for you. In a more traditional offense he would probably be a Z or an X who gets some schemed touches. He also has shown an ability to return but IIRC only did that his freshman year.

Burks has the highest ceiling of all the guys I’ve looked at but not the highest floor. I actually got done Drake London tonight who is currently the 3rd guy on my personal board and only behind Hutchinson and Hamilton. I’m going to write up why I think he is the perfect Patriot type. I’ll save that for sometime tomorrow (later today technically).
I follow the FFB dynasty community quite a bit so WR is up my alley whereas the defensive side might as well be a foreign language. The collective big 3 are Burks/London/Wilson likely in that order. As much as I'd love to see Burks or London in NE seems unlikely they make it to them and there are too many holes on the D to warrant a WR in rd 1 I think.

WR class is considered quite deep this year but not elite so hopefully they can find a #2 type in day 2/3.
 

Super Nomario

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View: https://twitter.com/DanPizzuta/status/1496177898524454912/photo/1


This was interesting, not sure how it holds up for projections, but an attempt at TYA vs. YPRR.... it does not love Olave at all. Williams/Burks/Tolbert on the other hand...
Both those stats hurt Olave and Metchie for playing with Wilson / Williams, I think. We can maybe conclude that the latter have more statistically-impressive profiles, but I think it's hard to compare to guys like Burks who are the only game in town.
 

Average Game James

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