Where the #Tweeters Mock the Draft!

New England Patriots

GM: @PFF_Akshay of ProFootballFocus.com –> 2 DL, 1 S, 2 OL, 1 WR, 2 DE/OLB

…. Acquired the Colts 2012 1st and 3rd Round Pick

…..Acquired the Texans 2012 1st Round Pick

……Traded away their 2012 7th Round Pick

____________________________________________

25. New England* (14-2)(From Sea) – @PFF_Akshay – Cameron Heyward, DE

2.10 New England(From Texans) – @PFF_Akshay – Jabaal Sheard, DE/OLB

2.21 New England (2-14)(From Indy in 1st) – @PFF_Akshay – Rahim Moore, S

3.10 New England – from Min (6-10) – @PFF_Akshay – Jason Pinkston, OG/OT

3.23 New England* (From Ind) – @PFF_Akshay – Kendrick Ellis, DT – Hampton

3.28 New England* (14-2) – @PFF_Akshay – Austin Pettis, WR – Boise St.

5.28 (159) New England Patriots:  David Mims, OT – Virginia Union

6.28 – 193. New England Patriots: Craig Marshall, DE/OLB – Marshall

_________________________________________

Trade Log:

Indianapolis Colts have traded pick 2.21, 3.23, and their 1st, 3rd (’12) for the New England Patriots 1.17

New England Patriots have traded picks 1.28, 4.28 and 7th (’12) for Seattle Seahawks 1.25 pick

Houston Texans have traded picks 2.10 and 1st (’12) for New England Patriots picks 2.01 and 2.28

_______________________________________

25 Ohio State DE Cameron Heyward — Immovable five-technique without star-caliber ability.

42 Pittsburgh DE Jabaal Sheard — Absolute steal in the 40s; 2010 Big East Defensive POY.

53 UCLA S Rahim Moore — Playmaker and good value; Brandon Meriweather could be traded.

74 Pittsburgh T/G Jason Pinkston — Nasty run blocker projects to right guard in the pros.

87 Hampton NT Kenrick Ellis — Sensational value pick, as Ellis projects as a second-rounder.

92 Boise State WR Austin Pettis — Possession threat may struggle to separate at next level.

159 Virginia Union T/G David Mims — Developmental right tackle with exceptional length.

193 South Florida OLB Craig Marshall — Another five-technique type, can push the pocket.

The aggressive Patriots acquired two future first-round picks with trades down, and a 2012 third-round pick as the cherry on top.  But what if there is no draft next offseason?  Bill Belichick’s team would be sh!t out of luck, so those were especially high-risk moves this year.  The talent acquired in this draft was still impressive.  Sheard and Moore are big-play creators, and Heyward, Pinkston, and Ellis are rock-solid additions in the trenches.  Ellis may have the highest upside of the group.  The Patriots’ plan was clearly to get more physical in this draft, and the goal was accomplished.

Grade: B-

Graded by Evan Silva – Rotoworld.com – @EvanSilva

Comments on: "New England Patriots" (5)

  1. As a Pats fan, I guess I wouldn’t be surprised but I would be miserably disappointed to come out of this draft with only 2-3 possible starters considering all the picks we have, and not 1 potential game-breaker, just a couple of potential starters and role player roster fodder.

  2. @PFF_Akshay, Patriots 2.2.1 said:

    Who are you looking at as fodder? The idea was to draft the biggest areas of need as starters, which I think Heyward and Sheard can be. I think Moore can be solid starting in Year 1, but since Meri is under contract and unlikely to leave til next season, Moore would learn/rotate snaps like we did with Chung in 2010 and come on the next season. Guards aren’t a 1st round quality pick – plenty of good ones are found in rounds 2-4. I don’t view WR and RB high-end needs like some other people do – our receiving corps was great after Moss left outside of the Jets game. I can’t throw away weeks and weeks of great performance over one bad one when the reality is the Pats o-line (Mankings and Koppen) were the primary reason for the offensive struggles in that game. Our RB duo is fine – I think the talks of Ingram at 17 and all are stupid. The other guys I drafted based on upside. Finally, I feel with 2012 likely having a wage scale, 3 1st rounders give us serious ammo to do whatever we want in that draft since BB is so value oriented. Even with last year’s draft having 4 picks in the 1st 2 rounds – Mccourty became a stud, Gronk is solid, and Cunningham/Spikes are so-so. Surely you weren’t disappointed in that draft?

  3. @PFF_Akshay said:

    Oh and one other thing I forgot to mention with my draft thought process: The Pats simply don’t have roster room right now for later round guys without upside. I view Mims in a kind of similar mold to Vollmer (size, big upside but needs some more work than Vollmer did), and given our OLB depth, I think Marshall can be a beast with the right coaching given his size, athleticism, etc. If he learns to set the edge well, that’s a steal. The only guy I view as a potential ‘filler’ pick was Pettis, but I think he can do what Branch does at a cheaper price and younger age with more upside.

  4. It’s very difficult to comment on the final selections without being in the flow of the draft. Even following it after the fact has a different feel.

    I’ll try to give my opinions though best I can.

    The first is a question of what exactly you wish to attempt to do with those 2012 picks? Even if you have 3 1st rounders and there is a wage scale, it does not mean someone will want to trade with you since the higher pick will be more cost effective for the potential trade partner to keep as well. Also since the pick will be more cost effective, the old trade value chart will be obsolete and those picks now become even more valuable. Not sure any assumptions can be made good or bad about how that plays out but certainly can’t figure its a great advantage. Last part on this topic would be to ask if you already have a great feel for the 2012 draft class? Is it shaping up to really be super? Is that why you want 3 1st rounders? Is it especially good for an area that NE has a large number of free agents possible hitting the market next season? I did see something about the Pats being short on draft picks in 2012 so if that is true your draft will help that very nicely.

    OK moving on.

    Since you set up this premise with these trades I can’t really argue with the the Heyward pick to much. Especially the way the picks fell prior to pick 17.

    Again because you traded out of both 28 and 33 as well as down from 17, which I Am dead against, it’s hard to argue so much with grabbing Sheard. Not happy about going from 3 picks in top 33 to 1 pick in top 41.

    The Patriots are closer to the end of the transition than the beginning so I prefer to grab a couple potentially better players.

    So the first two picks not much complaint playing the cards you dealt yourself.

    I can’t believe all the reaching by everyone in this mock.

    Safety wouldn’t be on my radar but based on current evaluations its decent value I guess. I have heard so many mixed reviews about him and have not done any research on him myself as they don’t have a S need “this” year. Plus this is a horrible S class in general. You can never have too many good DB’s though so if you say he’s a good one then cool.

    The problem I have so far is only that I prefer some of the players that we could have gotten without the trades.

    From a overall roster talent level I think the Patriots have a fair amount of places they can add upgrades but I think if they focus on pass rush and the OL they’ll be good to go.

    The Patriots were 11th against the run in yards per game and tied for 13th in yards/avg against the run. Very respectable considering the DL was the position decimated with injuries last season. Yet you went after Kenricks later when Wilfork and Brace are on the team.

    Heyward I understand given the opening and Stroud’s age and who knows about Ty’s hip and he’s not getting any younger either.

    You have to have questions about Wrights concussion as well as Pryor’s back. Both causing significant loss of time and potential career ending type injuries waiting to happen. Losing them also cost NE a significant amount of interior pass rush in sub packages.

    The patriots do a pretty good job of getting teams in 3rd and long and then spit the bit. They need to focus on identifying the guys to address that and go after them not settling for trade back and choose the best of whats left at a given draft spot. ..and I am not talking about trading up into the top of round 1.

    The OL has a number of questions. The Patriots have been rumored to have been interested in Erik Wood and Maurkice Pouncey in back to back 1st rounds. They clearly can see what is going on in the last 3 consecutive post season losses. What late round OL have the Patriots drafted that have worked out for them in the BB era besides Koppen? Mankins was a 1st, Light and Vollmer 2nds. Light and Vollmer are solid but not exactly Perennial pro bowlers either, not that they need to be. Neal was a once in a generation trial project they struck gold with. Levoir? Not drafted by the Patriots. Connolly? Not drafted by the Patriots. Wendell? Not drafted by the Patriots. Ojinaka? Not drafted by the Patriots. Ohrnberger? Jury still out. Light is a FA and without “good” bargaining power you either are bending over or letting him walk. I don’t hold out hope for Mankins reconciliation. Neal retired and although Connolly did ok he’s not Neal. I’m also not ready to put Vollmer into the left tackle HOF like many Pats fans. Scar can only work so many miracles and hasn’t been able to work any in the last three post season games. I haven’t bought into the poo pooing of the NE line by others over the past few seasons but the circumstance are different at the moment. Taking the timely opportunity to make it even better than it was automatically makes your RB’s, WR’s and Brady all that much better without even addressing any players at those spots.

    Pettis could arguably have trouble making this roster. He isn’t grading out any higher than Price or Tate did coming out of college.

    You could take a flier on Ricky Stanzi. I have no problem not doing that as I like Hoyer a lot but its an option and if NE decided to carry 3 QB’s there would be more likelihood for the QB to make the roster than a WR at this point.

    Same could be said for Burton at CB with a possibility to beating out Wilhite based on grade coming out.

    I’d say Jaiqwuan Jarrett as well since he grades out better than barrett or page did coming out of college but you already took a S earlier.

    Oops just saw we don’t have a 4th and almost all the RB’s are still on the board. You have open roster spots for that position so not really any possibility the one you take doesn’t make the team so take the one you prefer over Pettis. Yo have the opening AND you get to pick the one you like rather than convincing yourself you like what you get later.

    Again the team needs pass rush and NE is bad about drafting late round OL’s so why not take Ricky Elmore? You could possibly end up with Cunningham, Sheard, Ninkovich and Elmore and losing TBC, who’s a stiff, Moore and Murrell. To inexperienced at the position?

    You’ve also got two TE projects on the board in Julius Thomas and Virgil Green that you can try and sneak on the practice squad as possible replacements for Crumpler in 2012.

    Maybe a flier on a problem child in Brandon Hogan who has 2nd round talent but is a knucklehead. End of 5th round pick is a throw away pick so you could gamble with a high risk high reward type. It paid of for Tampa Bay TWICE last year.

    …and if you want to take a late round flier on a OL type you can do it with the last pick by addressing a position not yet addressed and select Zane Taylor.

    Those would be my thoughts.

    To recap and simplify I think you pretty much couldn’t do much else than what you did with the 1st two or three picks and possibly the 4th one. You were kind of forced to those logical decisions based on your trades and what the board left you with. After that I think you have a lot more options for finding players that either address open roster spots or upgrading weaker rostered positions than the players chosen.

  5. @PFF_Akshay said:

    Great post PFP, will address some of your comments:

    For what the Pats needed, I do feel this draft is weak besides 3-4 DE, which I was happy to take Heyward considering how the draft went (FYI, I traded to 25 bcause I had a suspicion Baltimore might snag him and he was the last DE i really liked besides Watt and Jordan)

    3-4 OLB is an AWFUL class this year. I don’t like Houston or Ayers much. I would have happily taken Brooks Reed at 33, but he was taken before that; then again, I think will be more of a Cunningham type; solid, but not a Pro Bowler or anything. I think Sheard has a way higher ceiling than a guy like Reed given the right coaching, and I have trust in NE’s coaching staff over any staff in the league to help a kid out. Watch some tape of the guy; he’s impressive, and if he hadn’t made a dumb decision in college, I think he’d be a guy you see discussed in the 1st.

    Regarding OL: There’s a big caveat there. I think OT is necessary to draft in the first 2 rounds. OG? Not so much. I’m not even referring to BB’s tenure; in general, interior linemen just don’t get drafted as high as tackles. A lot of people say Pinkston in the 3rd is junk, but that’s because a lot of those people are looking at him as a tackle. I view him as a guard and nothing else, and for this draft, I have to assume Mankins and Light are back with the team since technically they still are with all the CBA shenanigans.

    Pettis I took because I think Branch is nearing the end, and I didn’t like what I saw in Tate last year. He had good plays here and there, but I was largely underwhelmed by him. I want as much competition as possible at the WR spot, but at the same time, it wasn’t something I wanted to spend a high pick on unless a guy like Baldwin fell where I wanted him or Green/Jones somehow dropped further than they should have. I tend to be very selective about WRs I like high; in the last few drafts, the only WRs I liked in the 1st 2 rounds were Nicks, Dez and Mike Williams; I thought Britt would whiff but I was wrong, but the other 3 I mentioned are panning out well. I didn’t see anyone of that mold in this class besides Green.

    Regarding the trades, that was all about value for me. I think Houston’s pick will be around 15, and I don’t see the Colts winning the Bowl. I LOVE some of the WRs coming out next year, much moreso than this class (Floyd, Blackmon, etc). I also view the 2012 draft class as a whole as it looks now as more promising.

    Safety is on my radar simply because I’m probably one of the most outspoken anti-Meriweather people. I think he’s a total chump, and can’t WAIT til we find his replacement. I think his undisciplined style and lack of any fundamentals, bad angles, bad tackling, etc, more often turn out to hurt the team than help. I think Moore can be a GREAT complement to Chung since he’s more in an FS mold while Chung is an SS/Harrison type; but Moore is disciplined and has sparkling character.

    Regarding QBs, I don’t like Stanzi. Would have considered a Dalton or Kapernick or even Yates at value, but I had Mims with an early 4th round grade and another OT can’t hurt. I also expressed my views on Marshall; I think he has HUGE potential, and at worst, it’s a 6th rounder we cut. Once you start getting deeper in the draft, you’re looking for gems in my opinion; I want guys who have boom potential, not guys with ‘meh’ ceilings but ‘meh’ floors.

    TE wasn’t a consideration for me; blocking TEs are much easier to find than receiving TEs, and we have 2 very serviceable young receiving TEs on the roster.

    Like I mentioned in the earlier post, I don’t think RB is as big of a need as some others do. I think our tandem is fine, they’re both young and hard working, and unlike WRs, RBs do well if the OL does well. I’ll go for OL any day of the week and take a so-so RB than take a guy like Mark Ingram with a crappy OL. I understand more competition certainly can’t hurt in the RB spot, but our running game wasn’t the issue last year; our defense was during the season, and our defense AND OL were in the playoffs.

    As always, thanks for the input; appreciate it!

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