It's my favorite time of year, not just for the NFL, but for the entire year! That's right, it's the NFL Draft. You may call my obsession with the NFL Draft strange, or pathetic, but I can't help it. I find it extremely fun to evaluate college players, project their talent and try to predict where they will go in the draft. Of course, most of the time I'm way off, but I still find it more fun than anything. Honestly, I would rather have it be the NFL Draft than my birthday. Since I am so thoroughly in love with this event, I will discuss the Patriots' draft.
Patriots Draft Needs:
The Patriots have a few needs.
Secondary: The most obvious is the secondary. They lost Asante Samuel and he left a big hole on our team. The Patriots do have two young cornerbacks in Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite, however the Pats only had a total of 14 interceptions and the team leader, Brandon Meriweather, only had 4. The cornerback class isn't great this year, but Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis are good prospects.
Possible Picks: Alphonso Smith, D.J. Moore
Wide Receiver: The Patriots have two great receivers in Randy Moss and Wes Welker. However, Jabar Gaffney isn't very consistent and had a few major drops this season on potential touchdowns. We need some depth as Chad Jackson never panned out after looking like a great prospect out of Florida. They could go after a receiver in the later rounds.
Possible Picks: Juaquin Iglesias, Brian Robiskie
Linebacker: Linebacker is definitely not as big of a need as last year, but I think it is still a potential first round pick. All of the starters are above 30 except Jerod Mayo and Adalius Thomas had a pretty serious injury last season. We could use some youth and we know how Belichick loves his linebackers. There are a few prospects who will be available near the end of the first round who will be good picks.
Possible Picks: Brian Cushing, Clint Sintim
Tight End: Come on, Ben! Ben Watson has great potential, but has failed to realize that. He can be a great receiving threat and throughout his career, he has shown flashes of that wonderful talent. However, he can be consistent which is why this is a need. The only way I see us using a first rounder on a tight end is if Brandon Pettigrew falls to us, and that's a big if.
Possible Picks: Brandon Pettigrew, Chase Coffman
Alphonso Smith, CB, Wake Forest
Smith is a very good athlete with great speed, quickness and burst. He has shown amazing instincts throughout his four years as a starter at Wake Forest. He finished his career with 21 interceptions, including 15 as a junior and senior. He is a fierce competitor and has good experience as well. His productiveness could bump him into the first round, but his height (he is only 5'9") is not good. That could relegate him to the second.
D.J. Moore, CB, Vanderbilt
Moore is a cornerback with a great set of skills. His athleticism is just as good as Smith's and his body control is impressive. He is extremely aware of what is going on. That makes him a perfect fit for zone schemes and he would fit in well with the Patriots' coverage schemes. He has been compared to Terrence McGee as well as Ellis Hobbs. His speed isn't great and his height is an issue, like Smith. He is only an inch taller than Alphonso, at 5'10".
Juaquin Iglesias, WR, Oklahoma
Iglesias was the best receiving option for this years' Heisman and the most prolific offense in college football. Iglesias isn't necessarily fast, but he is definitely quick. He runs routes smoothly and his hands are very soft. I saw him go across the middle very often. His potential isn't great and his top speed isn't awesome. He struggles against the jam and I haven't seen him get much seperation.
Brian Robiskie, WR, Ohio State
Tough minded and consistent, Robiskie is capable of making an instant impact on his team as a rookie. He consistently produced for Ohio State throughout his career and provided a good target for Boeckman and Pryor. He has good height as he is 6'2". He could be the best senior wide receiver prospect available in this draft.
Brian Cushing, OLB, USC
I absolutely love Brian Cushing. Almost as much as I loved Jerod Mayo and Keith Rivers last year. Cushing is extremely versatile, like Mayo, and he can play both inside and outside in any system. He has good size, good bulk and pretty good athleticism. He is a smart player and a hard worker, which I expect Belichick would love. Durability is a concern for Cushing and he may not have a definite position.
Clint Sintim, OLB, Virginia
Clint Sintim has very good size and arm length. What is the main reason I think the Pats could draft him? He is a great pass rusher. The Patriots really need to improve their ability to rush the passer. Sintim finished his career with 27 sacks, 20 of those coming in his last two seasons. He is tough and he is a reliable tackler. He has the tools to be a great linebacker, but doesn't display great range and doesn't go sideline-to-sideline.
Brandon Pettigrew, TE, Oklahoma State
Pettigrew is an offensive freak. He is a perfect example of a tight end. He is a great receiver, especially up the middle of the field. His hands are soft and the blocking aspect of his game is strong as well. He gets good push when run blocking. Why don't I think we will take him? He could be drafted 11th overall, or 21st overall. Also, he was charged with felony assault and battery on a police officer.
Chase Coffman, TE, Missouri
Coffman is extremely athletic, especially for a tight end. He jumped over a defender, like Knowshon Moreno did, against Illinois. He is a natural receiver and his big, soft hands reflect that. He is definitely the best route running tight end in this class, without question. However, there is one huge question mark. He almost never blocked as a tight end at Missouri. He was often in the slot, in motion or even out wide. Blocking is a problem.
*Possibilities for first round draft pick
Patriots Draft, What I See Happening
#23 - Brian Cushing
I explained Cushing above, look there if you want to know more about him. I think he will be taken over Sintim because of his versatility. His ability to play both inside and outside will be very useful for the Patriots. I think he is a better pick than either cornerback and either wide receiver. Brandon Pettigrew won't be available and Chase Coffman isn't worth that pick.
#47 (From Chargers) - Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
The Patriots address their secondary issue with the first of their second round picks. Butler's speed and athleticism is spectacular, but it is misleading. His stats are not great. He isn't a good tackler and never had many picks. Last season he had no picks and through his career, only racked up seven as a four year player. He needs to improve his tackling, as he never had more than 54 tackles in a season. His skill set makes him worth this pick.
#58 - Patrick Chung, S, Oregon
The Patriots do need some help at the strong safety position since Rodney Harrison most likely won't be back as his old self. Brandon Meriweather was very impressive, but James Sanders needs to be upgraded. I see this as either Chung, Javon Ringer or an offensive lineman. Chung, like Harrison, is a big hitter and is great against the run. However, he does not shed blocks well and he is not a great cover man. I think he would be a good second rounder.
#89 - Eric Wood, C, Louisville
Wood has good size and strength. I am impressed by what I have read about his ability to finish blocks, but, after doing plenty of research, I found that he isn't a superior run blocker and also struggles in the passing game as well. The Patriots need depth at offensive line and he should be a suitable back up. He has a lot of experience and works hard, which will certainly help him. He can get to the second level thanks to his athleticism.
Here is my dream ... Other than writing for either ESPN or SI and other than being the next Mel Kiper. After going through this in a logical manner and thinking about what will happen, here is what I want to happen.
The Patriots, having franchised Matt Cassel, trade Cassel for the Chiefs first rounder (#3 overall). Then turn around and trade that to the Raiders, if they want Crabtree, for the seventh pick and 2010's first rounder if the Raiders want him that much, or for a second rounder and a fourth rounder.
With that seventh pick overall, the Patriots may be able to take either Malcolm Jenkins, Aaron Curry or Rey Maualuga. If Malcolm Jenkins, they can still draft Brian Cushing with their second first rounder. If Aaron Curry or Rey Maualuga, they can take either Alphonso Smith or D.J. Moore.
If the Raiders are desperate, or foolish, enough to give us 2010's first rounder, we can draft a quarterback to groom under Brady since Cassel is gone. Next year Tim Tebow, Sam Bradford and Colt McCoy will be available and we could draft on of them. If we do not get that and get other picks in this draft, we can use them on other positions of need or use them to trade as well.
Yes, I am aware that this is completely ridicilous and will never happen, hence "My Dream".