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****OFFICIAL**** New England Patriot Draft Thread (1 Viewer)

NER-

outstanding work! Youve absolutely made this a great draft to follow with all the detailed info over the past several weeks. Ive enjoyed it and much appreciate it. Im ecstatic about the draft so far, and could not have anticipated it much better....atleast on the O side of the ball. I was not really big on Maroney, but I will trust that he's a solid guy and player and will contribute in a big way as a Pat. And Ive been interested in Jackson for a couple of months now, and cannot believe they stole him in that slot. Securing the 3rd TE gives Brady a little more depth to work with, and the kid comes from the national champs. Gotta love that attitude and that drive to succeed. I think theyve hit one out of the park on day 1. Again, great work to you epsecially, but also to all of the other fellas in here whove chipped in. We're moving forward and looking for #4 at this point.....both in the draft on Sunday and next February for one of the smaller fingers......

;)

 
Belichick gives veteran Dillon his wake-up call (full article)

In a unexpected bit of candor, coach Bill Belichick admitted yesterday that he called the Patriots’ starting running back before selecting Laurence Maroney with the 21st pick of the NFL draft. Belichick tried to brush the call off as business as usual - “I talk to players all the time. Why would I not talk to him?” he said - but inquiring minds wanted to know:

Just how badly did the Pats want a running back yesterday?

So badly that they left what appeared to be a perfect perimeter, 3-4 defender, N.C. State end Manny Lawson, on the board for San Francisco at No. 22 (the Niners snapped up Lawson with 10 minutes left on the clock). So badly that Belichick took time to dial Dillon at home in Malibu, Calif., (he’s obviously not training with the team), on one of the busiest days of the year.

...

Meanwhile, Belichick showed yesterday he’s more than willing to use the top of the draft to address the offensive skill positions, sending a third-round pick (No. 75 overall) to the Packers for the right to swap second-rounders and draft Florida wideout Chad Jackson.

So on a day when most pundits (guilty as charged) were looking for more defense from Belichick, he pulled a classic switcheroo. As a result, the Pats came out with the second players off the board at running back and receiver.

Tom Brady should be thrilled.

Dillon? Not so much.

Another Article about Dillon: Dillon is in a rush to compete

FOXBOROUGH -- On Laurence Maroney's first day as a Patriot, Corey Dillon sweated. He just didn't sweat the arrival of Laurence Maroney.

While Maroney has been preparing the last few months for the draft that made him the Patriots' No. 1 pick yesterday, Dillon has been laboring in Thousand Oaks, Calif., working for the first time with a personal trainer he claims to be taking seriously. Four days a week Dillon has been running sand dunes, doing hill work that reminds some of the legendary workouts of Walter Payton, working on drills to improve and quicken his footwork, and doing whatever else he's being told to do in an effort to bounce back from the worst season of his nine-year professional career

 
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Absolutely thrilled with day one. This draft stocks the offensive skill positions…and they’re doing it without handing out big free agent contracts. The Pats badly needed an injection of skill on this side of the ball and at least on paper that’s been accomplished. Last year too much of the offense fell on Brady’s shoulders. When the injuries hit and the offense often got stuck in neutral the Pats just weren’t as dangerous as they had been. With these new players and Watson developing the Pats offense should be very diverse, athletic and deep. It will really have the ability to cause those matchup problems they’re always looking for.

While, I swear by the defense first rule this was a draft that was very necessary (expect defense to be the focus in day 2). It will keep the Pats a balanced team. Look what Brady has done in the past often with limited weapons. Now imagine what he can do with improved skill positions and an O line that’s young and improving (and all signed long term except for Koppen right now). The Pats offense is young and really has a chance to be big time for years to come. Look at the age of these guys:

Brady-28

Cassell-23

Maroney-21

Pass-28

Faulk-29

Branch-26

Caldwell-27

Jackson-21

Watson-25

Graham-27

Thomas-22

Light-27

Koppen-26

Neal-29

Mankins-24

Kaczur-26

Gorin-27

Hochstein-27

Now as far as breaking down the first day selections, here’s my take:

Maroney-Could not have been happier. I have felt for awhile that a first round RB upgrade was their biggest bang for the buck and would produce immediate dividends. They now don’t have to worry about Dillon’s replacement long term and short term should he continue to slide. Maroney has size and speed and appears to be a RB that’s perfect for those cold weather games later in the year and the playoffs. His arrival means Dillon, Pass and Faulk are that much more effective. In a best case scenario Dillon plays like he did in 04 and Maroney compliments him but if Dillon is infact traveling south than the Pats are covered and in a stable situation which is far different than what happened in 05.

Jackson-With Givens gone, Troy turning 65 this year, Bethel disappearing and Dwight and Davis not working out this position needed an upgrade very badly. Getting a WR ranked by many as the top 2 or 3 in the draft in round 2 is great value. The kid is fast, has good size and goes over the middle. On paper an excellent compliment to Branch. The fact he comes cheap moneywise means you can extend Branch but the WR position still won’t be eating up too much cap space. While he won’t probably won’t produce like Givens in year 1 he has the upside to post better numbers than Givens while also coming in much cheaper than the deal Givens ended up signing.

Thomas-Total textbook Patriot pick. On the surface many scratch their heads and wonder why. Look deeper and it’s fits the Patriot philosophy to a t. The kid is productive, a leader, played his best in a championship setting and is very diverse in that he can line up at TE, Hback and FB (he can also long snap and is a great special teams prospect). In a year or two this pick will be one that fans point to and say this is why it’s “in Bill we trust.” Mike Mayock said this is one of his favorite two or three players in the draft. Expect this kid to line up everywhere and his sure hands will help keep the chains moving. Also, the fact that the Pats always play three Tes and Graham only has one year left on his deal means this pick makes even more sense. I think this is a real sleeper pick and fully expect this kid to be a real fan favorite in Foxboro once they see what he brings to the table.

As you can see I’m fired up. The first day is just what the doctor ordered. Now let’s get some defenders in day 2 and see about bringing in a few more veterans with the cap space (wouldn’t Law be a sweet addition) and get the season started.

 
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Absolutely thrilled with day one. This draft stocks the offensive skill positions…and they’re doing it without handing out big free agent contracts. The Pats badly needed an injection of skill on this side of the ball and at least on paper that’s been accomplished. Last year too much of the offense fell on Brady’s shoulders. When the injuries hit and the offense often got stuck in neutral the Pats just weren’t as dangerous as they had been. With these new players and Watson developing the Pats offense should be very diverse, athletic and deep. It will really have the ability to cause those matchup problems they’re always looking for.

While, I swear by the defense first rule this was a draft that was very necessary (expect defense to be the focus in day 2). It will keep the Pats a balanced team. Look what Brady has done in the past often with limited weapons. Now imagine what he can do with improved skill positions and an O line that’s young and improving (and all signed long term except for Koppen right now). The Pats offense is young and really has a chance to be big time for years to come. Look at the age of these guys:

Brady-28

Cassell-23

Maroney-21

Pass-28

Faulk-29

Branch-26

Caldwell-27

Jackson-21

Watson-25

Graham-27

Thomas-22

Light-27

Koppen-26

Neal-29

Mankins-24

Kaczur-26

Gorin-27

Hochstein-27

Now as far as breaking down the first day selections, here’s my take:

Maroney-Could not have been happier. I have felt for awhile that a first round RB upgrade was their biggest bang for the buck and would produce immediate dividends. They now don’t have to worry about Dillon’s replacement long term and short term should he continue to slide. Maroney has size and speed and appears to be a RB that’s perfect for those cold weather games later in the year and the playoffs. His arrival means Dillon, Pass and Faulk are that much more effective. In a best case scenario Dillon plays like he did in 04 and Maroney compliments him but if Dillon is infact traveling south than the Pats are covered and in a stable situation which is far different than what happened in 05.

Jackson-With Givens gone, Troy turning 65 this year, Bethel disappearing and Dwight and Davis not working out this position needed an upgrade very badly. Getting a WR ranked by many as the top 2 or 3 in the draft in round 2 is great value. The kid is fast, has good size and goes over the middle. On paper an excellent compliment to Branch. The fact he comes cheap moneywise means you can extend Branch but the WR position still won’t be eating up too much cap space. While he won’t probably won’t produce like Givens in year 1 he has the upside to post better numbers than Givens while also coming in much cheaper than the deal Givens ended up signing.

Thomas-Total textbook Patriot pick. On the surface many scratch their heads and wonder why. Look deeper and it’s fits the Patriot philosophy to a t. The kid is productive, a leader, played his best in a championship setting and is very diverse in that he can line up at TE, Hback and FB. In a year or two this pick will be one that fans point to and say this is why it’s “in Bill we trust.” Mike Mayock said this is one of his favorite two or three players in the draft. Expect this kid to line up everywhere and his sure hands will help keep the chains moving. Also, the fact that the Pats always play three Tes and Graham only has one year left on his deal means this pick makes even more sense. I think this is a real sleeper pick and fully expect this kid to be a real fan favorite in Foxboro once they see what he brings to the table.

As you can see I’m fired up. The first day is just what the doctor ordered. Now let’s get some defenders in day 2 and see about bringing in a few more veterans with the cap space (wouldn’t Law be a sweet addition) and get the season started.
:goodposting: I totally agree....

I know I was thinking Williams over Maroney, but the more you read what Coach B says, the more you believe he gets the right personnel for the team. I really am buying into the believe that it is the system that can make a player great. Williams might have been considered a higher ranked running back on most people's boards, but if he did not fit the Patriot system, he would look like a bad pick. Many will say then the Pats could have traded down to get Maroney, but I am also learning that it is not as easy as people think. You need to find someone that has a pressing need at that moment, and a pick close enough to your own to still get the player you are targeting. Plus by letting someone trade up, they could take your player, or teams before your next pick might. Sometimes you just have to take who you want and the fans need to be happy with that decision.

Jackson adds great value. I was thinking there would be no chance of getting him since I though teams like the Eagles and the Broncos would get him. I am glad to see the Pats make the move to help Tom Brady with a few more targets to throw at. I don't think we are done at WR in this draft...I think there will be one more.

The David Thomas move is a good one when you read up on the guy. The NFL Bio Profile scared me when I first read it because it seemed like a reach. I still believe that he would be there at #106 if the Pats waited and filled a defensive need first. I am also learning that fans do not value players in the same manner as coaches and teams. They know there systems best, and know who is needed to make that system successful. Everyone was saying that the Pats did not have a pressing need at the TE position...but coach B disagreed. He is not just thinking for this year only, but years to come. The more I read about DT and the Pats last night, the more this pick makes sense.

There are a lot of Defensive players still out there. With seven picks today, I would like to see the Pats use two of those picks to move up on two other picks and get five quality players today. I was thinking we would get a kicker today as well, but maybe they will just sign a kicker that is left after the draft.

 
Yeah NE, Hoyte is probably a wiser pick. I guess in a needs sorta way we should draft LBers and maybe look for some OL depth.

I gotta admit I'm a little surprised; this draft is deep at LB, we need LBers, our coach is awesome at evaluating talent at LB, and yet we didn't get one yet.

Also has only one C been picked? Mangold? That might be BPA. I remember reading about some good big FB and don't see a FB drafted(it's tricky with them sometimes listing them as RB). That could be BPA too.

 
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Another TE? Garrett Mills (another Pick I think could have been made later with the talent that is still up there).

The more you watch Mills, the more you see just how consistently productive he is. Mills is a very smart player who has been able to line up in a variety of different positions (in-line tight end, H-back and fullback) without making mental errors. Runs smart and sharp routes, and reaches out and catches the ball well with his hands. Runs very hard after the catch and fights for extra yards until he is on the ground. Trouble comes due to lack of size and strength, making it hard to break tackles. Lacks the speed to make big plays and does not protect the ball well (a bit of a fumbler). A highly competitive player that squeezes the most out of his ability. Overall, Mills will be valuable for his intelligence, versatility, competitiveness and hands. He could try to carve out a spot for himself as a No. 3 tight end, backup fullback that can also be used as a motion blocker, and on special teams.

STRONG POINTS

Mills is a smart football player who knows how to get open. Runs very sharp routes, and once he gets to full speed, shows a little burst to get separation. Has very good hands and consistently has shown the ability to adjust and make tough catches on off-target passes -- can get down and pluck the low pass surprisingly well. Runs hard after the catch and never stops fighting for extra yards until he is on the ground. Has the natural flexibility to bend his knees and block with leverage.

WEAKNESSES

Mills is a "tweener" who has the size of a fullback, but is much more of a receiver than a blocker. Lacks a burst off the ball into his routes and does not have the speed to get deep and make big plays. Despite his tremendous effort running with the ball, he lacks the size to break tackles and the explosive burst to make big plays. Lacks the strength to block effectively at the line of scrimmage -- can be torqued and tossed off his feet too easily. Despite having very good hands, he does not consistently get his head and shoulders around quickly after a cut, and it causes him to fight the ball a little when it gets on top of him.

 
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The Kicker I been pimping for two months! Easily could have waited till the fifth round though or maybe the sixth... (at pick 136 or 191 is where I had him targeted)

Stephen Gostkowski

Strengths:

Has a strong enough leg...Accurate and is money in the bank from 40-yards on in...Very productive...Consistent and extremely reliable...Was a four-year starter.

Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.

Notes:

Participated in the Senior Bowl...Was also a pitcher on the Memphis Tiger Baseball team...Finished up as the NCAA's "active" career leader in field goals and PATs.

 
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It is just an opinion mind you, but I think the last two picks could have been traded down, or both players taken later. I read that there would not be many kickers drafted this year so I think this pick could have waited for the kicker. There were two other Rookie Kickers that the Pats looked at as well. No need to reach so early.

As for the TE, I think he could have been acquired later as well. There were some pressing needs that easily could have been plugged up with these last two draft positions.

off to T-Ball....keep the thread alive.

 
WTF? Are one of those guys a deep snapper as well or is BB going with the Dan Reeves 7-TE roster pholisophy?

 
A couple head scratchers there, but I have blind faith in Belichick and Pioli. They obviously know what they're doing.

 
Mills is a really good pass catcher. He will be a FB. I'm wondering where the D is as well but this draft might tell me that the Pats like Tully Banta-Cain as a starter and will leave Vrabel inside with Biesel as the first backup. I really didnt think they needed a safety (heard Harrison is coming along very well) as they signed Tebucky Jones who is no longer starter material but should be a good backup.

 
A couple head scratchers there, but I have blind faith in Belichick and Pioli. They obviously know what they're doing.
Well, they needed a kicker and he could be the "ghost" of Vinitieri.
 
Any chance either of these TEs could be WRs in disguise? WTF is it with NE taking a gazillion TEs every year? :confused:

On the plus side, looks like we got some training camp competition for Marteeen Gramatica. :thumbup:

 
Ryan O'Callaghan...ESPN lists him as a Guard, most boards I have seen list him as a tackle. Looks like a late 3rd-early 4th round projection so good value here.

So, OK, I understand what the Patriots are doing...taking BPA and getting good value (except for the Kicker pick...I'm sorry that was too early). So I guess I'm not so much disappointed in what the Patriots are doing as I am in how the draft is falling out. We've added a LOT of young talent to our offense...and NOTHING to our defense.

All I can say is that offenive talent better come together in a big way because right now the Patriots are going to have to score 25-30 points every week to win.

Anyone got something to cheer me up/change my mind on this?

 
Ryan O'Callaghan...ESPN lists him as a Guard, most boards I have seen list him as a tackle. Looks like a late 3rd-early 4th round projection so good value here.

So, OK, I understand what the Patriots are doing...taking BPA and getting good value (except for the Kicker pick...I'm sorry that was too early). So I guess I'm not so much disappointed in what the Patriots are doing as I am in how the draft is falling out. We've added a LOT of young talent to our offense...and NOTHING to our defense.

All I can say is that offenive talent better come together in a big way because right now the Patriots are going to have to score 25-30 points every week to win.

Anyone got something to cheer me up/change my mind on this?
The only loss from the end of the year defense that was SHUTTING teams down and allowed basically nothing to Denver in the playoffs is McGinnest. Add in the fact that we get Harrison and Gay back and I dont think there is a big cause for worry for the defense. Seymour, Warren, Wilfork, Colvin (really was a stud at the end of the year), Vrabel, Bruschi form an incredible front 7. A little light on depth (Jarvis Green, Tully Banta-Cain and Biesel are the main backups. The backfield of Samuel, Hobbs, Gay, Warfield, Harrison, Wilson are solid if unspectacular.
 
from ESPN insider:

RYAN O'CALLAGHAN

Strengths: Massive ROT prospect. Continued to improve as career progressed. Shows great height and bulk. Is an absolute mauler in the running game. Possesses adequate-to-good lower body strength. Will drive defenders off the LOS as a run blocker and rarely loses a one-on-one matchup after locking on. Takes good angles as a "reach" blocker. He has long arms and big hands. Shows a quick set in pass pro and has good balance for his size. He plays under control and shows the ability to mirror-and-slide in the short-area. Definitely has the feet and balance to hold up in pass pro at the ROT position. He also shows great awareness in pass pro. Is intelligent and picks things up quickly. Also is hard working and tough. Has played through a lot of pain during collegiate career.

Weaknesses: Durability is a major concern; he has suffered a broken hand, has gone through three shoulder surgeries and also has suffered two concussions. Lacks explosiveness as a blocker. He does not show a jarring punch or the ability to knock DE's back with initial contact. Shows good quickness in the short area but lacks ideal mobility especially for a LOT in the NFL. He does not show good speed as a second-level blocker and may have more trouble overcoming that weakness in the NFL.

Overall: O'Callaghan broke his left hand in the spring of 2002 but played in all 12 games as a backup during his redshirt freshman season in 2002. He started all 11 games at right guard as a sophomore in 2003. He had surgery done on both shoulders during the spring of 2004 but returned healthy and started all 12 games at right tackle that season. He started 11 of the team's 12 games at right tackle as a senior in 2005, missing the Washington State game due to concussion. O'Callaghan is very much a prospect on the rise following consecutive dominant seasons to finish his collegiate career. Over the course of his last two seasons, O'Callaghan anchored an offensive line that paved the way for a 2,000-yard rusher (J.J. Arrington) in 2004 and two 1,000-yard rushers (Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett) in 2005. There are real concerns regarding O'Callaghan's long-term durability. He also lacks ideal explosiveness and does not show the athleticism to play the left tackle position in the NFL. However, O'Callaghan is a massive lineman with the size, feet and intelligence to emerge as a good starting right tackle in the NFL. If he checks out physically during post-season workouts, we feel O'Callaghan is worth selecting in the late-second or third round range of the 2006 draft.

I love the pick. Depth at the OL is always good. Goring and Kaczur were slated to split time at RT.

As it stands Pats now have...

LT Light........Kaczur, Gorin, O'Callaghan

LG Hochstein/Neal........Tucker

C Koppen/Hochstein.......Paxton

RG Mankins.......Hochstein, Neal

RT Kaczur/Gorin.......O'Callaghan

Love the depth

 
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Seymour, Warren, Wilfork, Colvin (really was a stud at the end of the year), Vrabel, Bruschi form an incredible front 7.
This is the big problem in my mind...that "incredible front 7"...is only 6 players. True, McGinnest is the only loss, but he was a big part of how good the D was at the end of last year. He's a HUGE lost and we've been able to do nothing to replace him.LB is the most important position in the Pats D and not only do we have little depth, we don't even have a full compliment of starters.

This worries me.

 
Yeah NE, Hoyte is probably a wiser pick. I guess in a needs sorta way we should draft LBers and maybe look for some OL depth.

I gotta admit I'm a little surprised; this draft is deep at LB, we need LBers, our coach is awesome at evaluating talent at LB, and yet we didn't get one yet.
really puzzled no LBers yetI'd guess we're bringing in some undrafted free agents

 
Seymour, Warren, Wilfork, Colvin (really was a stud at the end of the year), Vrabel, Bruschi form an incredible front 7.
Do you have any idea that the Pats are switching to a 4/3?Warren and Wilfork are both DT's, so teh formation you have here can only fit a 4/3.

The biggest concern the Pats have on D is at LB.

Since they start 4, that means Beilsel or Banta Cain will be starting at LB.

Really thought theyd get some draft help here but it hasn't happened yet.

 
Yeah NE, Hoyte is probably a wiser pick. I guess in a needs sorta way we should draft LBers and maybe look for some OL depth.

I gotta admit I'm a little surprised; this draft is deep at LB, we need LBers, our coach is awesome at evaluating talent at LB, and yet we didn't get one yet.
really puzzled no LBers yetI'd guess we're bringing in some undrafted free agents
Yep, sound like my concern was an echo of everyone else's thoughts....One idea: Trade for OLB Donnie Edwards, who has played in a 3/4 for the past 3+ years.

 
Seymour, Warren, Wilfork, Colvin (really was a stud at the end of the year), Vrabel, Bruschi form an incredible front 7.
Do you have any idea that the Pats are switching to a 4/3?Warren and Wilfork are both DT's, so teh formation you have here can only fit a 4/3.

The biggest concern the Pats have on D is at LB.

Since they start 4, that means Beilsel or Banta Cain will be starting at LB.

Really thought theyd get some draft help here but it hasn't happened yet.
Uh...Warren has been the Pats starting DE opposite Seymour in their 3-4 for about 3 years now.I do agree with your concenrs about LB, though.

 
Just got home and looking over who is left.

See the Pats took Offensive Tackle | Senior | California Ryan O'Callaghan

Strengths:

Has great size and a massive frame...Extremely strong player who can be dominant...Outstanding run blocker...Tough and physical with a nasty demeanor on the field...Smart with great instincts...Has good balance and can anchor...Once he locks on it is over...A hard worker and team leader with top intangibles...Has a lot of experience and has led the way for some prolific Pac-10 offensive attacks.

Weaknesses:

Has a history of injuries to both of his shoulders and durability could be a very real concern...Is not a great natural athlete...Not very mobile or agile...Struggles with speed rushers...Does not have the ability to play the left side...Won't be able to just impose his will based on pure size and strength like he did in college.

Notes:

Could potentially have to move inside to guard at the pro level but he has experience as a starter there...What you see is what you get and if it's a big mauling right tackle you are in the market for then this is definitely your guy.

_________________________________________

Sliding story

Offensive tackle Ryan O’Callaghan spoke with the media on a conference call moments ago, and said he talked with his former University of California teammate Aaron Rodgers about what it’s like to slip in the NFL Draft.

O’Callaghan, the Patriots’ fifth-round pick, felt he was one of the top tackles in the draft but slipped to the 136th overall pick. Rodgers, a potential No. 1 pick at quarterback last year, slipped to No. 24 before being picked by the Packers.

“Last night, this morning, and I just got off the phone with him a little while ago. He compared [our situations]. He said it was a little longer wait for me, but it was still rough [for him], because he was on national TV and everyone was staring at him. He was the only one left. It was a little rough. I was talking to him when he was sitting there last year. I feel the same thing now.”

O’Callaghan said he’s played both tackle spots and both guard spots over his career, but his primary spot is right tackle.

______________________________________________

O'Callaghan stats

Quick hits on Patriots fifth-round draft choice Ryan O’Callaghan, an offensive tackle from the University of California:

* Started 35 games at the University of California.

* Had four surgical procedures on his shoulders, two concussions and two hand fractures, but only missed one game over his career due to injury.

* All-Pac 10 Conference first-team selection in 2004 and 2005.

* Played right tackle.

* As a senior, totaled 38 knockdowns and had 19 touchdown-resulting blocks for an offense that averaged 427.9 yards per game.

* Scouting report issued by the Patriots’ media relations staff lists him at 6-foot-6, 344 pounds.

* Turns 23 in July.

 
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Kicking competition

More from a conference call with Stephen Gostkowski, the kicker selected in the fourth round (118th) by the Patriots:

How would you feel about being the replacement for Adam Vinatieri?

“I mean, it’s exciting to think I might be able to start in the NFL anywhere. Then to be able to replace a guy like Adam Vinatieri, the most respected guy in the NFL, you can’t go in there expecting to do something that somebody else did. You just have to go in there and bring what you can bring to the table, and hopefully you can win over the fans and win over your coaches and teammates by making a big kick. I expect to have that same kind of pressure put on me. I’m not looking to impress anybody to fill anybody’s shoes -- not everybody gets a chance to kick two game-winning Super Bowl kicks. I’m just trying to come in here and fight for a job. I still have to go in there and fight off Martin Gramatica. It will be a good competition.”



What is your reaction to being picked by the Patriots in the fourth round?“It was an exciting moment for me. I was actually doing laundry. I was planning on turning on the TV around 1, 2 o’clock, but I got that call. It was one of the most exciting moments of my life. I’m very happy to be where I’m at right now.”

Don’t you have a baseball game today?“We have two, but my coaches gave me the rest of the year off, because they figured I might have the chance to play football. They’re ecstatic for me already.”

Safe to say you were surprised the call came as early as did today?

“Definitely. Going to bed last night, I had no idea what to expect. I was excited about the opportunity, and just glad to get a shot somewhere. When I got that call from the Patriots, I was ecstatic. It’s a team everyone has been following the past couple of years. It’s a winning tradition.”

How have you prepared for seasons in the past when you were playing baseball in the spring and summer?

"During the spring season I usually would just take off a couple of months [from football] during baseball season and hit high gear during summer time, but this year, considering all the workouts and stuff I had, my baseball coaches were really lenient. I devoted a lot more time toward football than baseball. Because I only pitch once a week, I would kick three or four times a week, workout with the baseball team and pitch whenever I could. It was more geared toward football this season."

Do you have a sport preference between the two?

"I can watch anything. I can watch bowling on TV; I can watch tennis. Just the ability to compete in different sports as long as I can was a great opportunity. If I had season tickets to a football or baseball team, I would go to every game. I'm a fan of all sports, I just happen to have excelled better in football."

Would you rather be a Patriots fourth round pick or a Red Sox first round pick?

"That's a tough question. I'm excited ... the feeling I had today when I got that call, I don't think it can be beat. So I'm pretty excited about the chance to be a fourth round pick for the Patriots."

Was there a point when you realized your future was going to be in football and not in baseball?

"I really turned things around my junior year in college, when I really started getting really consistent and proving that I had what it takes to kick at the next level. Playing two sports and not being able to practice all the time in baseball really kind of caught up to me. There was a time when I thought I would be a better baseball prospect, but I came to the realization ... I've just been working really hard at kicking and defining myself as a kicker, and it's paid off so far."

Do you have a most memorable kick?

"There's nothing like your first field goal you ever make. It was first game my freshman year. We lined up left-footed for a fake and we jumped offsides and it got backed up for a 50-yard field goal. I bounced it off the crossbar and it went in. That was my first ever collegiate field goal and that was definitely my most memorable one."

Who was it against?

"I don't remember. It was our first game. It was Murray State or something. It was my first collegiate game. I was 18 and had no idea what was going on and just went up there and kicked it and got a lucky bounce."

Adam had a reputation of being a kicker who wasn't afraid to hit somebody on coverage. Is that something you can do?

"Oh definitely. I feel like ... I'm not saying I'm huge, but compared to a lot of kickers, I'm a bigger guy ... tall enough and I feel like I'm athletic enough if I need to make a tackle, I can do that. And the return guys are usually ones that are about my size or smaller. If it was Ray Lewis running at me it might be a different story, but running somebody down that's my size, I don't think I'll be afraid to put my nose in there."

Have you ever kicked in snow?

"I've never kicked in snow, but I'm looking forward to it."

What's your take on the pressure that kickers face in the NFL?

"You can't really look at it as ... every kick is a pressure situation. If you can't handle pressure, you shouldn't be in the business. You want to be able to kick that game-winning kick, because that's where people fall in love with you; kicking the ones that count. Everybody can make a million field goals and then miss the big one and that's all [people] think about. You just have to take that pressure with you into practice and get your reps in to where when it comes to gametime on Saturday or Sunday --whenever it may be- it's like repetition; it's like a golf swing. You know what you're going to do before you get out there. You don't have to think of anything extra. It's just natural when you get enough practice in."

What kind of ability do you have on kickoffs and getting touchbacks?

"I've had good success over the last year with kickoffs. I was over 60-something or 70 percent in touchbacks. I feel like I have a strong enough leg to get it through some good conditions and get some good hang time. Working out, I've been usually getting a lot of good touchbacks. It's hard to get touchbacks in the NFL with a new ball and the ball backed up five yards, but I feel like I can bring something to the table and help out on kickoffs."

Do you have any contact with any NFL kickers at all? Do you go to any of those guys' camps?

"I've never met an NFL kicker in my life. I've always usually been doing my own [thing]. Never really went out to many camps or anything like that. I just kind of figured stuff out by getting tidbits of information here and there from coaches and other things like that."

do you remember the coldest weather you've kicked in?

"We kicked in below freezing in Cincinnati twice. It gets pretty cold and windy down here. Nothing like snow, but a cold game is a cold game, I feel like once it gets to a certain point, your body feels about the same no matter what. I've done pretty good in my cold weather games that I remember. If you let it bother you upstairs in your head then it's going to bother you on the field. If you act like it's just a normal day, you're going to have just a regular day, and kick just as good as if it was 80 degrees and sunny out."

You've seen Martin Gramatica's personality. How do you compare to him?

"I'm a pretty even-keeled guy. I stay even no matter what happens. If I kick a game-winning kick, you're not going to see me jumping around. And if I miss one, you're going to see me take the same approach the next time. I stay even-keeled. I keep everything the same way. I'm just a real laid-back guy that just likes to have a good time."

Are you at all concerned about the attachment that the fans had here to Vinatieri? Does it add to the pressure or can you shut it out?

"You don't really have to shut it out. You can take it as a challenge and everybody likes a challenge as athletes. It's exciting that a team can have so much respect for a kicker because kickers sometimes reach out for respect, and they don't get as much from other teams. Just the ability to know that New England has such good fans and to realize a good thing when it comes is exciting for me. If I do good, I hope to get the same respect. I'm not trying to replace anybody. I'm just trying to do what I can do and hopefully that will be good enough for New England."

How about kicking in the wind? It gets pretty bad up here in New England. I understand the Liberty Bowl isn't the easiest place to kick in either.

"The Liberty Bowl is a wind gust machine. It just swirls in and out. You've got to block it out before the game starts. In warmups you check and see what it is doing to the ball and you take your gameplan into action and when you get out there, if you're thinking about it, the kick is already missed. You just have to block it out just like any other pick."

How did you fit on the team in Memphis?

"I fit in great. Me and [Memphis Running Back] DeAngelo [Williams] are good buddies. He was the first guy that called me and he's one of the top players in the nation this year. If you do your job, people get good respect for you and it's easy to be your friend. I feel like I'm a pretty likeable guy. Just a laid-back personality. I'm not going to do anything to upset you. I like to laugh and have a good time. I feel like I'm just like anybody else, except I can kick and that's the only thing different between me and someone who takes hits all the time. I like to be friends with everybody. I don't discriminate for anybody."

 
More from Mills

The Q&A from a conference call with fourth-round tight end Garrett Mills, of Tulsa:

Are you a fullback or tight end?“It’s a good question. I’m going to come in to this organization and do whatever is asked of me. If Coach Belichick wants me to do a little tight end, I’ll do that. If it’s fullback, I’ll do that. If it’s a little bit of both, even better. I’m just excited to get down there, to start learning the offense, and seeing how they’ll utilize me.”



Can you talk about your role on special teams?“The thing Coach [steve] Krapthorpe, our head coach here at Tulsa did, he prided himself on putting starters on special teams. So my first couple of years, I was on special teams and it kind of continued throughout my career. It’s just something I’m used to. I don’t really know anything different. When it’s time for special teams play, I was just excited to get out there, just like it was any other play.”



How might your size be a factor while moving on to the NFL?

“To be honest, I don’t really see it as an issue at all. My whole career, I’ve been told I was undersized. Coming out of high school I was told I was undersized to play tight end at a Division 1 college. Hopefully I proved those guys wrong and hopefully I do the same at the next level.”

What aspect of your blocking do you need to work on in addition to being the type of receiver you are?

"Considering my size, I'm not a guy that is going to take a defensive end and blow him off the ball 10 yards. I have to use my feet and hands and the technique that I have been taught to get the job done. As far as my receiving skills, I was a pretty good receiving tight end at the Division I level. Obviously, there are some things that I can work on because the professional game is a different game. I'm just going to come in there and do what I'm told to do."

What kind of contact did you have with the Patriots during the draft process?

"To be honest with you, they called me about three minutes before they took the pick. They were on the clock and Coach Belichick's assistant called me and told me there was a chance that I may be a Patriot. Shortly after he put Coach Belichick on the phone, they told me the good news."

Did you interview with them at the Combine?

"I think I visited with them briefly at the Combine."

What is your background if any on defense?

"I played linebacker in high school. That is about all that my defensive background goes. I was recruited as a linebacker coming out of high school and got a few offers to continue playing linebacker, but I just felt more comfortable on the offensive side of the ball."

What are your thoughts about the situation you are entering into here with the Patriots?

"I'm excited. I don't think there is a better overall organization in the NFL. From my perspective, they are obviously a classy organization that has had a lot of success in the past and hopefully that can continue in the future."

Your high school is very well noted. Do you have any friends in the NFL?

"Rocky Calmus was a linebacker drafted out of Oklahoma by the Titans. He played there a few years and then was with the Colts last year. Sean Mahan, I believe is with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He is an offensive tackle."

 
More on kicker

More on the selection of kicker Stephen Gostkowski, who the Patriots selected in the fourth round (118th overall).

The following is re-printed from a blog entry in the weeks leading up to the draft:

When Steve Gostkowski arrived on campus at Memphis as a freshman, his focus was baseball. He had a partial scholarship to pitch for the Tigers (Division 1).

“Coming in, I didn’t know if I wanted to play football,” he said from campus. “But I decided to walk-on to the football team, with the idea of possibly earning a full scholarship. That’s when I fell in love with football all over again.”

Gostkowski (6-0, 214) has been a two-sport athlete at Memphis since, playing baseball in the spring and football in the fall. He earned a full scholarship after his freshman football season. And while he loves baseball, he said there is no doubt where his future lies: football.

On Wednesday [April 12], he is scheduled for his fifth workout for an NFL team, when Patriots coach Brad Seely comes to town.

“In some ways it can be more nerve-wracking than a game,” he said. “I feel like the workouts have been going well, that I’ve shown a lot of leg strength.”

Gostkowski, who describes himself as having a laid-back personality, is coming off a season in which he hit 22-of-25 field goals (9-of-9 beyond 40 yards) and converted on all 35 extra points. A four-year kicker, he holds the Conference USA record for field goals, with 70.

One area that might be difficult for the Patriots to project is Gostkowski’s experience in the cold. While Gostkowski said the wind picks up at times in Memphis, the coldest temperature in which he’s kicked was around 25 degrees, in Cincinnati.

“It gets pretty cold down here, but not as cold as Boston,” he said. “I don’t have experience on a consistent basis, but not many guys do. You get used to it.”

In balancing baseball and football, Gostkowski has brought footballs on road trips this spring and works out at local football fields on the road. He believes playing two sports has helped him as a kicker, and said baseball coaches have encouraged him to kick, telling him that they understand if he misses a practice or game due to football obligations.

“So far,” Gostkowski said, “there haven’t been any conflicts.”

 
More on Mills

Quick hits on Patriots fourth-round pick Garrett Mills, a tight end from the University of Tulsa:

* 6-foot-1, 232 pounds

* Versatile player who projects as a fullback or H-back, in which he’d be in motion a lot and lining up in different spots.

* Scouting report handed out by the Patriots’ media relations staff says that “with his great work ethic, quickness and natural hands, Mills could develop into one of the finest pass-catching fullbacks in the pros since the days of Larry Centers, a player who hauled in 827 passes during 13 seasons with Arizona, Washington, Buffalo and New England.”

* Became the third member of his family to play at the University of Tulsa.

* 50 games played, with 33 starts.

* Finished career with 201 catches for 2,389 yards and 23 touchdowns.

* Capable gunner on special teams, registering 26 tackles (14 solos).

* Turns 23 in October.

* Name is Michael “Garrett” Mills.

 
Day 2 quick hits

A couple of quick hits heading into Day 2 of the draft:

* A few fans emailed about the need for selecting a tight end in the third round (David Thomas) with Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson already on the roster. Head coach Bill Belichick explained that the Patriots run a two-tight end offense and the team needs three players on the roster to do so. Also, Graham is coming off routine shoulder surgery this offseason and his contract expires following the 2006 season. So since any tight end picked would be essentially projected for the game-day 45-man roster (the Patriots regularly dress three tight ends for games), the feeling here is that there was a need for another tight end.

* One area to watch is whether the Patriots draft a cornerback today. If not, that could increase the team’s pursuit of free-agent Ty Law. When the Seahawks selected cornerback Kelly Jennings in the first round on Saturday, that potentially took one interested team out of the mix for Law.

* Sign-ability is always an issue with draft picks and it’s worth noting the agents of the team’s top draft choices. Running back Laurence Maroney is represented by Vance Malinovic of Lock, Metz & Malinovic Sports in Arizona. Malinovic also represents Patriots offensive tackle Nick Kaczur. Meanwhile, Chad Jackson is represented by David Canter of DEC Management in Florida. Canter’s first NFL client was former Patriots draft choice Tony George (1999, pre-Belichick) although he doesn’t have any clients on the current Patriots roster. David Thomas is represented by Jordan Woy of Texas, who also has a working history with the team (i.e. -- Cedric Woodard offer sheet) although he doesn’t have any clients on the current roster.

 
Here is hoping the Pats take CB Derrick Martin with their next pick....

Martin Nance at WR might be a good pick here too....

 
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The more I think about these picks, the more I like them. I think we'll once again be as good or better than any team in the league.

I loved the Maroney and Jackson picks from the start, but at first I wondered about the two TEs. With the Pats offense basically a two TE offense, we really should have 4 solid TEs on the roster. Thomas and Watson both have the speed to be split out, which can really create a lot of mismatches, especially if they're on the field at the same time. Mills provides depth and can be useful on special teams. Graham is just an all-around beast, the most well-rounded of the bunch.

The Gostkowski pick makes me feel good because I really don't want a Gramatica on the team. O'Callaghan adds some depth on the offensive line, which with Mankins, Kaczur, Koppen, and now O'Callaghan, now has a lot of solid young talent.

On the defensive side of the ball, I think we're in good shape. Warren, Seymour, and Wilfork might be the best defensive line in the game, and Jarvis Green would be starting on most other teams. At linebacker, I think Colvin and Vrabel will be outside, with Bruschi and Beisel inside. Colvin and Banta-Cain outside with Vrabel inside next to Bruschi is another possibility. I think we may also see some contributions from Ryan Claridge this year.

I'm actually excited about our secondary this season. We still don't have that elite cornerback, but I think we have more depth than we've had in the secondary in years. Harrison should be ready to start the season, and Wilson has another year of experience behind him. I really liked the move to reacquire Tebucky Jones for depth and special teams. James Sanders may eventually become a starter, and hopefully Gus Scott can stay healthy this season. Mel Mitchell should also contribute on special teams and he adds more depth. Artrell Hawkins and Chad Scott can also play safety; Hawkins stabilized the strong safety position last year, finally ending the revolving door that started spinning when Harrison went down.

At cornerback, hopefully Samuel can continue to improve. Hobbs looks like he may develop into a solid starter. I liked what I saw from Gay two years ago, so hopefully he'll have bounced back from his injury and he'll be ready to go. Eric Warfield may fight for a starting job or at least the nickel role, and Chad Scott and Hawkins are here for depth.

If I had to pick my Super Bowl favorite for next season right now, it'd be New England. :thumbup:

 
Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.
Not sure how accurate that is. A short blurb on NFL.com: He is an excellent kickoff man who made the most field goals of 50 yards or longer over the past two years in NCAA Division I.

 
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Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.
Not sure how accurate that is. A short blurb on NFL.com: He is an excellent kickoff man who made the most field goals of 50 yards or longer over the past two years in NCAA Division I.
Thanks, I needed that! :thumbup:
 
DE Jeremey Mincey, Florida.

Height: 6-4

Weight: 258

40 Speed: 4.84

Gotta imagine they are looking at him as an OLB with that size.

 
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DE Jeremey Mincey, Florida.
Strengths:Shows good quickness...A tough, hard-nosed player...Is relentless and has a motor that never stops...Very active and is always around the action...Does a solid job versus the run...Makes a lot of plays behind the line...Really penetrates.

Weaknesses:

Is not as tall as you'd like...Struggles to shed blockers...Doesn't play with great leverage...Lacks great instincts...Is not really a sack artist...Raw and needs work on developing his technique...Only played two years at the major college level.

Notes:

Transferred from Butler Country Community College...Doesn't have all the physical tools you look for but manages to get the job done...Interesting prospect who you'd maybe dismiss based on measurables but really impresses on game film.

_________________________________

From NFL.com

SUMMARY

Mincey is a junior who came out early for the draft and definitely would have been better suited to stay at Florida for another season. Even though he would not have become a better athlete or more explosive, he would have had the chance to improve his technique enough to become a more consistently productive player. For a slightly thin defensive end, Mincey really lacks the burst off the ball to be an impact pass rusher and will have to rely on competitiveness and all-out effort to be productive. He is a tough and instinctive defensive end who consistently gives an excellent effort on every snap. Because he reads and reacts to the play quickly, his effort helps him to consistently make plays and be productive, but only a few of his plays are behind the line of scrimmage or impact plays. He does a good job of maintaining backside position and contain on runs away, and once he is sure the play is going away and the back is not cutting back, he comes down the line of scrimmage quickly and can chase down the play in pursuit better than expected. He does a good job of stepping up and stone-walling the pulling wham blocker and can squeeze down the line of scrimmage to close the hole before the back can get through it. Overall, while Mincey was not going to skyrocket up the charts by staying another season, if he had come back for his senior season and had an excellent 2006, he could have moved himself up to a late-rounder. Mincey's playing strength, competitiveness, effort and all-out hustle on every snap will allow him to stick in the NFL as a backup DE.

STRONG POINTS

Mincey is a smart and highly competitive defensive end who consistently makes plays through effort and determination. On runs away, he does a good job of flattening out and chasing plays down the line of scrimmage, and once he gets to full speed, he can chase plays in pursuit. He has good playing strength at the point of attack and can hold his ground vs. the run block and gets his hands free to make arm tackles. When he rushes the quarterback aggressively and with leverage, he can jolt the offensive tackle and drives him backwards into the quarterbacks lap. When he cannot free up to get the sack, he does a very good job of getting his hands up into the passing lanes to tip passes.

WEAKNESSES

Mincey is a little bit stiff in the hips and it hinders his ability to move well through traffic, which hinders his consistency chasing down plays in pursuit. While he has good playing strength to hold ground vs. blocks, he struggles to shed and get free consistently once the offensive tackle locks up on him. He is not explosive off the ball as a pass rusher -- on nearly every snap, he was the last defensive lineman moving at the snap -- and cannot threaten the corner as a speed/edge rusher. He does not have the explosive closing ability to finish plays/sacks consistently. While he makes his share of tackles, none are impact plays and most are down the field.

 
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From NFL.com:

SUMMARY

Mincey is a junior who came out early for the draft and definitely would have been better suited to stay at Florida for another season. Even though he would not have become a better athlete or more explosive, he would have had the chance to improve his technique enough to become a more consistently productive player. For a slightly thin defensive end, Mincey really lacks the burst off the ball to be an impact pass rusher and will have to rely on competitiveness and all-out effort to be productive. He is a tough and instinctive defensive end who consistently gives an excellent effort on every snap. Because he reads and reacts to the play quickly, his effort helps him to consistently make plays and be productive, but only a few of his plays are behind the line of scrimmage or impact plays. He does a good job of maintaining backside position and contain on runs away, and once he is sure the play is going away and the back is not cutting back, he comes down the line of scrimmage quickly and can chase down the play in pursuit better than expected. He does a good job of stepping up and stone-walling the pulling wham blocker and can squeeze down the line of scrimmage to close the hole before the back can get through it. Overall, while Mincey was not going to skyrocket up the charts by staying another season, if he had come back for his senior season and had an excellent 2006, he could have moved himself up to a late-rounder. Mincey's playing strength, competitiveness, effort and all-out hustle on every snap will allow him to stick in the NFL as a backup DE.



STRONG POINTS

Mincey is a smart and highly competitive defensive end who consistently makes plays through effort and determination. On runs away, he does a good job of flattening out and chasing plays down the line of scrimmage, and once he gets to full speed, he can chase plays in pursuit. He has good playing strength at the point of attack and can hold his ground vs. the run block and gets his hands free to make arm tackles. When he rushes the quarterback aggressively and with leverage, he can jolt the offensive tackle and drives him backwards into the quarterbacks lap. When he cannot free up to get the sack, he does a very good job of getting his hands up into the passing lanes to tip passes.



WEAKNESSES

Mincey is a little bit stiff in the hips and it hinders his ability to move well through traffic, which hinders his consistency chasing down plays in pursuit. While he has good playing strength to hold ground vs. blocks, he struggles to shed and get free consistently once the offensive tackle locks up on him. He is not explosive off the ball as a pass rusher -- on nearly every snap, he was the last defensive lineman moving at the snap -- and cannot threaten the corner as a speed/edge rusher. He does not have the explosive closing ability to finish plays/sacks consistently. While he makes his share of tackles, none are impact plays and most are down the field.

 
DE Jeremey Mincey, Florida.

Height: 6-4

Weight: 258

40 Speed: 4.84

Gotta imagine they are looking at him as an OLB with that size.
Yep, sounds like a DE->LB project to me.Man, there are still some good prospects left at ILB. I have to think one of their compensatory picks will be used there.

 
Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.
Not sure how accurate that is. A short blurb on NFL.com: He is an excellent kickoff man who made the most field goals of 50 yards or longer over the past two years in NCAA Division I.
Thanks, I needed that! :thumbup:
Sorry Guys, just read that myself...I wonder if they changed the bio on him from the last time I read it. The other Bio is in the Patriot thread somewhere.I would like to point out that another kicker was not chosen till the 188 pick. So there is a chance they would not gotten him at 191 if they waited, but could have with the 136 pick. Makes me think that the Patriots reached for the kicker position.

 
nice job everyone.

1st round - I like the fact that we went RB, but put me on the wagon that wanted Williams not maroney. I think Dillon will have a great year now, and if not, at least we have a full size RB to put in the game.

2nd round - Trade up for one of only 2 top wr's. I dont think either wr would have been considered top in almost any other year, but im glad we got the tall one :D . considering we had 2 3rd rounders I love the move. This was certainly a NEED.

3rd round - Before I did some research I was pretty pissed. Then seeing that we only have 2 te's, and one probably wasnt going to be here next year, I like the move. I dont care where the guy was projected, I like the fact that we will move up and down to get the guys we really want. I think this was the case here and I like what i'm reading about this kid.

4th round - Garrett Mills, fb/te. I dont know much about him. Hopefully used as a FB and we can dump some short passes to him.

4th round - Gostkowski. Kicker. Alot of folks seem pissed that we took him this early. We have alot of picks and I love the fact that we took a guy that we needed. I would rather have him now than possibly lose him. I cant belive vinitieri is gone :cry:

5th - round - Ryan O'Callaghan O-line. We need the depth, read some good things and bad. Hopefully a project that will work out. A bit worried that we didnt draft any secondary help.

6th round - Mincey DE - Looks like a special teams guy with a motor. Hopefully they can use him from time to time in a few years subbing in. edit: to be used as linebacker

 
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Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.
Not sure how accurate that is. A short blurb on NFL.com: He is an excellent kickoff man who made the most field goals of 50 yards or longer over the past two years in NCAA Division I.
Thanks, I needed that! :thumbup:
Sorry Guys, just read that myself...I wonder if they changed the bio on him from the last time I read it. The other Bio is in the Patriot thread somewhere.I would like to point out that another kicker was not chosen till the 188 pick. So there is a chance they would not gotten him at 191 if they waited, but could have with the 136 pick. Makes me think that the Patriots reached for the kicker position.
I'm not sure you can really assume that. Maybe if he was still on the board, someone else would've picked him earlier than when the next kicker got chosen.
 
Weaknesses:

Was not put in many high-pressure situations...Never devoted his full attention to football...Probably doesn't have the range to kick 50+ yarders...Limited upside.
Not sure how accurate that is. A short blurb on NFL.com: He is an excellent kickoff man who made the most field goals of 50 yards or longer over the past two years in NCAA Division I.
Thanks, I needed that! :thumbup:
Sorry Guys, just read that myself...I wonder if they changed the bio on him from the last time I read it. The other Bio is in the Patriot thread somewhere.I would like to point out that another kicker was not chosen till the 188 pick. So there is a chance they would not gotten him at 191 if they waited, but could have with the 136 pick. Makes me think that the Patriots reached for the kicker position.
It probably was a reach, but if they really feel the guy is the kicker of the future, better safe than sorry. If he grades out that much higher than the other kickers in the draft, there is no guarantee he wouldn't have been snapped up earlier than their next pick.
 
Two Picks you can't trade...here we go....

Dan Stevenson - Offensive Guard | Senior | Notre Dame

Height: 6-5 1/8 | Weight: 300 | 40-Time: 5.39

Strengths:

Has good size and the frame to bulk up further...Tough and a hard worker...A smart player with great intangibles...Versatile and has played both guard and tackle...Has good bloodlines...Three-year starter who is experienced and durable.

Weaknesses:

Needs to put on some weight and get stronger...Is not a great athlete and has limited mobility...Lacks explosiveness at the point of attack...Can be more physical and nasty...Feet are only average...Probably doesn't have a whole lot of upside.

Notes:

Father Mark Stevenson played for the Detroit Lions as a center/guard in 1985, brother Tony played football at Arizona State while another brother Joey played football at Arizona Western...The recent success of Irish offensive linemen in the pros could work in his favor...Will at least provide value and depth as a backup.

Le Kevin Smith - Defensive Tackle | Senior | Nebraska

Height: 6-2 7/8 | Weight: 316 | 40-Time: 5.05

Strengths:

An outstanding athlete...Has great speed and quickness...Stout at the point of attack and an outstanding run stuffer in the middle...Can penetrate and make plays behind the line of scrimmage...Came through with the best season of his career as a senior...Has a lot of experience as a three-year (35 game) starter.

Weaknesses:

Durability is a question and he has suffered major injuries to both knees...Has an inconsistent motor and doesn't always give maximum effort...Is a little shorter than you'd prefer...Is not much of a sack artist...Needs to get stronger...Might be a wave player...Doesn't always play up to his potential and is an underachiever.

Notes:

First name is pronounced Leh-KEE-vin...An interesting player who has all the physical tools to make it...A quality nose tackle prospect who might fit best in a 3-4 defense...Could really surprise if he can stay healthy and play hard all the time

 
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