Posted: 4/30/2012 10:01 AM
Round 1 (21) Chandler Jones - DE(25) Don’t’a Hightower - ILB
Round 2 (48) Tavon Wilson - FS
Round 3 (90) Jake Bequette - DE
Round 6 (197) Nate Ebner - DB
Round 7 (224) Alfonzo Dennard - CB
(235) Jeremy Ebert - WRUDFA(courtesy of nepatriotsdraft.com)
List of Confimed Undrafted Free Agent Signings:
Jeremiah Warren, OG/OC, South Florida 6’3″ 324 lbs.
Warren is a versatle interior offensive lineman from the University of South Florida. There were rumors before the draft that the Patriots were interested in drafting him. Warren is a powerful run blocker who needs to get more flexible.
He should be able to come in and compete for a depth spot along the offensive line. Many expected the Patriots to draft a center, but they passed. Warren might be best suited to play there long term. Warren was a high school wrestling star, which Bill Belichick loves.
Markus Zusevics, OT, Iowa 6’5″ 304 lbs.
Zusevics came went into the Scouting Combine as one of the highest rate offensive tackles in the draft. Unfortunately, Zusevics tore his pectoral muscles which caused him to go undrafted. Zusevics is a devestating blocker and plays with a mean streak. He can play right tackle as well as guard.
The Patriots love taking lineman from Iowa because they have been coached up so well. Zusevics is a candidate to start the season on PUP or even IR, but he has a good chance to stick long term with the team.
Marcus Forston, DT, Miami(FL) 6’1″ 301 lbs.
Two years ago Forston was ranked as one of the top defensive tackles in the entire draft. Very strong player, produced 35 reps at the combine. He can be disruptive when his motor is running. Actually uses his upper body well, can shed blocks and get up field.
Forston’s effort level is very inconsistant and he takes plays off. If motivated and put in the right situation Forston could definitely make the final roster or practice squad. Forston profiles as a 4-3 DT, so he will likely be in the mix for sub package playing time with Myron Pryor.
Brad Herman, TE, Iowa 6’4″ 253 lbs.
Herman is another Iowa Hawkeye, so you know he has been well coached. Had some trouble catching the ball, but is a very solid blocker. Herman was able to get open in the red zone and short yardage situations.
Former Patriots TE Coach Brian Ferentz is currently the OL coach at Iowa and we know about his dad Kirk. The Patriot-Hawkeye pipeline continues.
Chance favors the Prepared Mind.
Last edited 5/2/2012 11:04 AM by Morpheus11
Posted: 4/30/2012 10:39 AM
Jones has great length and the right size for a natural 4-3 defensive end and in time, could develop into a 3-4 OLB. He could add a little more strength and bulk to his lower body, but he's a well-built guy with no big concerns in his game. Like most college prospects, small tweaks to his game will really help him out. Jones needs to stay low and keep his leverage. This is achieved through a more natural or "springy" knee bend. Needs to better utilize his length, whether it is taking longer, more powerful steps off the line or engaging his long arms into his blocker. He has a huge wingspan and the ability to initiate and engage blockers can be a devastating advantage.
His pass rush is a bit unrefined, but these strategies can be cleaned up through coaching. Blockers can typically push him upright and kill his forward momentum.
Jones doesn't have a great burst, but the blueprint for a good starting pass rusher is there if he continues to work. Courtesy of fftoolbox.comStrengths:
Courtesy of WalterFootball.com
Last edited 4/30/2012 11:01 AM by Morpheus11
Posted: 4/30/2012 10:56 AM
Dont'a Hightower6'2 1/4, 265 pounds | Middle linebacker | AlabamaCoverage: Wasn’t used a lot in coverage at Alabama, but stayed on the field in passing situations. Because of his short-area quickness and intelligence, Hightower should hold up well in zone coverage. Reads running back routes nicely. Instincts/recognition: Displayed improved instincts as a senior. Knows his assignments and is quick to diagnose. Doesn't take many false steps. Can play either spot inside on a 3-4 defense. Made the calls for the defense.
Pass rush: Was lined up outside in some nickel situations and has the strength to power through blocks. Although he's mostly played at the inside, Hightower has shown in the past that he can get after the passer. While he doesn't have an array of pass rush moves, he can rely on his power to beat blockers.Pursuit: Hightower shows his athleticism with his short-area quickness. For a big linebacker, it's rare to see the quick-twitch movements like Hightower possesses. Is a little deficient moving around sideline-to-sideline to make plays. He's much more of a straight-ahead player who struggles to open up his hips and get around the field. Run defense: In this year's draft, there is no better run-stopping linebacker between the tackle than Hightower. He's stout at the point of attacks and a great tackler. Wraps his arms, lowers his shoulder and drives through the ballcarrier. Has the foot quickness to break down in space and take down speedy running backs. NFL-ready strength in run defense. Has good leg drive to push linemen backward. Final word: Hightower was the leader of the talented Alabama defense the past two seasons. He's an excellent run defender because of his instincts and strength. He's one of the surest tacklers in this year's draft and NFL-ready from a physical standpoint. Took a medical redshirt in 2009 after suffering a season-ending knee injury in the fourth game of the year.Courtesy of Walterfootball.comStrengths:
Courtesy of OGDraft.com
A physically imposing linebacker who is listed at 6’4 260. Has the build of an old school thumper. Obviously not the fastest linebacker out there and I’ll be surprised if he runs faster than a 4.7/4.8. However, plays fast in tight areas and allows him to excel at finding the ball carrier through traffic. Quite nimble for his size. Lacks an explosive first step both when at linebacker and when playing as an end. Doesn’t have great sideline-to-sideline range and is best suited playing inside.
Smart and aggressive linebacker. Generally reads plays well and is quick to attack. Due to his aggressive nature he will get caught up on play action from time to time and he lacks the speed to recover. Has a great sense through traffic and knows where the runners going to go. Finds the ball well in coverage and reads quarterbacks eyes with ease.
Point of Attack:
Excellent at the point of attack. Comes down hill hard and attacks the line of scrimmage. Can stack-and-shed as he uses his strength, length, and hands to fight off blocks. Has a great feel through traffic. Unselfish and will take up blockers so that his teammates can make a play. Takes good angles and does a great job of keeping contain and plugging up running lanes.
Lacks straight line speed but holds his own in coverage. Surprisingly agile for his size and can stick with most tight ends. Not asked to play a lot of man coverage and is clearly better in zone. Reads the quarterbacks eyes well and anticipates allowing him to get a quicker jump. Has long arms that can help him break up passes. Needs to get a better drop in zone as he tends to kind of just shuffle back. Less comfortable the further he is from the line of scrimmage. Will have trouble with more athletic tight ends, especially in man coverage.
Blitzes quite a bit and is used as an end when Alabama goes to its 4-3 sets. Lacks a great burst but has a powerful bull rush. Can get under lineman and drive them back into the pocket. Tight ends are routinely over-matched against him. Would actually not be out of place as a 4-3 left end although he’d need to work on cleaning up his technique. Lacks the speed and burst to be a dominant edge rusher.
Punishing tackler who rarely misses once he grabs a hold of the runner. Wraps up well and brings more than just a pop when hitting. Does a great job of making tackles through traffic. Is routinely at the bottom of the pile with the runners legs in his grasp. Might have some difficulty tackling shiftier players in space.
Started as a true freshman for one of the best defenses in the country. Versatile, but will be best suited to playing inside in a 3-4 scheme. Has the ability to play end in a 4-3. Has some injury concerns as he tore his ACL in 2009 but has been clean since. Regarded as a great leader and has no known off-field issues.
Hightower looks and plays like a prototypical 3-4 ILB. He’s a classic thumper who plays the run extremely well and can deliver some punishing blows. He’s not the greatest coverage linebacker, although he holds his own, and he won’t run a 4.5 but he’s quality linebacker who can be an instant starter from day one and play at a high level. All 3-4 teams who need help inside should take a hard look at him.
Posted: 5/2/2012 10:19 AM
Positives -- Good size and build for safety at the NFL level with good top-end speed... He ran a 4.50-40 at the Illinois pro day, would have tied him for first among all safeties at the combine... Excels in the run game from the secondary, attacks the action with a purpose; shows better explosion versus the run than pass, not afraid to stick his nose in the pile to make plays... Not afraid to lay his shoulder into ball carriers and is a hard hitter, can separate his opponent from the football and make some big plays for the defense... Played two seasons for the Illini at cornerback, but lacked the athleticism and speed to stick there in the NFL; the move to safety was good for him, his speed is average for a corner but excellent for a free safety... Great special teams player, can serve as a gunner on special teams units as well... Was named the team's most outstanding defensive back at the annual postseason banquet... Has started all 25 consecutive games for the Illini over the past two seasons. Negatives -- Needs to improve his footwork, looks slow in and out of his breaks; lacks suddenness and explosion when he plants and goes, has trouble closing down tight spaces... Plays stiff and has a difficult time turning and getting on top of routes, doesn't look like a 4.50-40 guy on film; doesn't possess that quick first step you would like to see from an NFL free safety, range is limited, has trouble covering from sideline to sideline... Needs to work on hand placement in coverage, has the tendency to grab rather than punching and redirecting receivers... Play recognition skills also need to improve, doesn't always read the play correctly; instincts are below average... Doesn't break down particularly well and can be taken advantage of in one on one situations in the open field... Throws his shoulder too much rather than wrapping up and is prone to missed tackles... Overall game needs improvement, had good numbers at the Illinois pro day but looks like more of an undrafted free agent on tape.
Courtesy of sidelinesscouting.com
Wilson doubles as a cornerback and strong safety, and is one of the most versatile players in the Illinois secondary. He became a full-time starter in 2009 when he had 74 tackles, 7.5 tackles for loss, seven passes broken up and an interception, and he followed it up in 2010 with 48 tackles and another interception. As was mentioned before, Wilson has an excellent combination of size and speed, and has been timed in the high 4.3 range. Known as a leader on the field and in the weight room. Coach Ron Zook had great things to say about Wilson as he transitioned from CB to S due to a rash of injuries in the defensive backfield:
“He was not fired up about it,” coach Ron Zook said. “If you ask him, he probably didn’t like it. But he’s a team guy, he’s a winner. He said, `I’ll do whatever I have to for this team.’”
Wilson had a lot of success with the move to safety, as he led the Illini in passes broken up and passes defensed last year. He should have an NFL future either at CB, S, or as a special teams ace or nickel/dime defensive back.Courtesy of nflmocks.com4/25/12: Wilson played well in 2011 for Illinois. He had 81 tackles with 6.5 tackles for a loss, one sack, one interception, one forced fumble and five passes broken up. Wilson is a good athlete and could be a quality sleeper/developmental prospect. He has quality instincts. Wilson didn't participate in the Combine. He has received a lot of interest and took a number of pre-draft visits. 8/26/11: Tavon Wilson is an experienced starter who has been a solid player for Illinois. Wilson had 48 tackles with eight passes broken up and one interception last season. In 2009, he had 74 tackles with seven passes defensed and one interception. Wilson started out his career at cornerback before wisely being moved to safety. He is expected to be a leader on the Illinois defense in 2011. Courtesy of WalterFootball.com
Wilson primarily played free safety but on occasion, could line up man-to-man with wide receivers. He has enough speed to play either hip, inside or outside. He likes to get after the ball when it's in the air and will typically look to knock it loose rather than go for the interception. Wilson doesn't shy away from contact and does look to lay down big hits at times. He does well to maintain gap leverage and take good angles. He wraps up well on contact.
Wilson's positional versatility will be helpful to him if drafted. The larger issues is that he doesn't particularly do anything especially well. He's a solid football player with very limited upside or athleticism. He wasn't invited to the combine but did run a solid 4.5 40 yard dash at his pro day.
In all likelihood, Wilson will not be drafted and should receive a shot as an undrafted free agent. With the high priority teams place on pass defense, he could earn his shot somewhere.Courtesy of fftoolbox.com
National FootBall Post's Wes Bunting on Tavon Wilson:
"A thickly put together safety prospect with a compact frame and natural girth through the mid section. However, looks heavy-footed when trying to re-direct and isn’t real sudden/explosive in space. Tries to sit into his drop off the line and does a decent job keeping his base down and feet under him.
However, gets upright when asked to turn and run, is stiff in the hips and lacks the range to get off the top as a centerfielder. Struggles in tight areas as well, doesn’t feel routes develop around him quickly and lacks the fluidity to open up his hips laterally and close. Gets very grabby and is uncomfortable in space and doesn’t possesses the short area quickness/range to hold up in man.
Possesses questionable instincts as well, rarely getting early jumps on the football and struggles to recognize his run/pass keys at times. Displays a slight burst attacking downhill and running the alley. Locates the football quickly and has the tenacity needed to work his way toward the ball carrier.
However, lacks that second gear to routinely make the play. Sees his fair share of angles outpaced toward daylight and isn’t the mot effective when asked to breakdown one-on-one. Lowers his shoulder into contact and generates some pop into contact when in a phone booth. But, is inconsistent wrapping up at times, as he will slip off backs and allow ball carriers to create through contact.
Impression: A thick framed kid with some natural power, but his lacking closing gear shows up in both the run and pass game."
Last edited 5/2/2012 10:42 AM by Morpheus11
Posted: 5/2/2012 11:02 AM
Positives -- A power player with good bull rush, stays low to get under the pads of linemen and work through blocks... Extends his arms and uses his hands well to disengage, violent player who can knock linemen off balance, establishes leverage and can penetrate the line of scrimmage with push-pull move... Gets his hands up in passing lanes when he can't get to the quarterback... Has the tools to develop into an above average run defender, thick player with a physical build and solid frame, has the strength to anchor, gains leverage off the snap to control blocks on contact, very good stack and shed type player... Locates the ball quickly and does a nice job in backside pursuit; plays with a high motor, works through the whistle, the majority of his pass rushing success comes by working hard and creating pressure with his motor... Diagnoses plays fairly quickly, is rarely fooled by misdirection or screens, has good instincts as both a pass rusher and run defender... Has played all over the defensive line at Arkansas, very smart and experienced player; overachiever who should make a rotation early in his career and might eventually develop into a starter with hard work, also a very good fit as a 3-4 DE (5-technique)... Redskins coaches used him as a 3-4 OLB at the Senior Bowl, was quoted as saying it was unexpected but a great opportunity. Negatives -- Doesn't have a great first step and lacks the flexibility to dip his shoulder around the corner and can't consistently threaten the edge; gets upright around the edge and can be pushed out of plays... Favors the bull rush and creates pressure with motor and hard work, but lacks counter moves; collegiate pass rushing success came against tackles who lack base strength, struggles versus bigger OT's, is a straight-line type of athlete who lacks explosion and suddenness, and doesn't change direction particularly well... Can struggle to make plays away from his frame, doesn't have great range due to poor COD and lateral agility; isn't a special athlete... Shorter than ideal arms... Missed three games in 2011 due to an injured hamstring.
Courtesy of sidelinescouting.comStrengths: • Gets very good leverage • Top notch motor • Can play 4-3 DE or 3-4 OLB • Great upper-body strength • Has improved each season of play Weaknesses: • Not overly athletic • Doesn't have experience in space • Lacks lateral movement ability • Can be caught off balance • Technique needs improved Courtesy of draftcountdown.comStrengths:Prototypical size for 4-3 end. Has experience lining up at end in 3-4 and 4-3 sets and also with his hand off the ground. Consistently explodes off the line. Stays low and generates a strong bull rush. Strong motor; very active player who consistently gives a strong second effort once he appears to be stopped. Does a nice job sliding through holes on the interior line; shows great body control when he slows down and moves in a more deliberate manner.Weaknesses:Average agility and change-of-direction ability; can get into the backfield but won’t chase down many mobile quarterbacks. Needs to play with better balance; attempts to explode into the backfield with such force that he often gets knocked off balance with a quick punch from offensive tackles. Spends too much time on the ground; overaggressive nature allows him to get pushed around too easily by more physical tackles. Missed time with a hamstring injury in 2011
Comments:Bequette has the physical tools, but needs to work on his technique and overall awareness on the field. His explosion off the snap is impressive, but he definitely benefits from the fact that he has a one-track mind on the field (to get into the backfield). If he played a more balanced role in Arkansas’ defense he likely would not stand out on film as often. While his ability to surge into the backfield can definitely be an asset, he is often caught out of position on screens and misdirection plays. With some quality coaching, he could develop into a starter but he probably isn’t an instant-impact rookie.Courtesy of draftace.comA thick, physically built defensive end prospect who possesses the frame to play the run at the next level. Sits into his stance well and can generate leverage off the snap. However, lacks a great first step when trying to reach the corner. Doesn't have the ability to consistently threaten the edge at the next level. Tries to drop his pad level when trying to flatten out, but isn't real flexible. Tends to drop his head and bend at the waist and initially can get under blockers, but then pops upright and can routinely be pushed past the pocket. Demonstrates a great motor and works hard in pursuit and most of his outside pressures come off his motor/power and not first step burst. Doesn't have much of a counter off his outside rush either. A linear rusher who struggles to change directions at speed. However, does have some savvy off the snap. Will work the jab step to the edge and cleanly shoot the C-gap, fighting his way into the backfield. However, is at his best as a push/pull guy. Displays a strong bull rush, gets his hands under the pad level of defenders, keeps his base down, feet under him and can overwhelm on contact. Not overly sudden when asked to disengage through contact and change directions, but creates havoc in the backfield and will work till the whistle. Has experience playing on both sides of the line of scrimmage at the college level and I could see him doing the same in the NFL as well. Is a solid run defender, plays the run game with integrity, finds the football quickly and works hard in pursuit. Not overly fluid/flexible when asked to breakdown closing from the backside, but works hard to get there and puts himself in position to consistently make plays on the ball carrier. Comes off the ball low when asked to anchor, gains inside leverage with his strong hands and not only can control blocks on contact, but does a nice job disengaging and making a play on the back. Lacks ideal range, but has some stack and shed ability when run at. Impression: Not a special athlete, more of a savvy power player, but works hard rushing the pocket, has a great motor and can play the run. A rotational guy early on who has the ability to earn a starting role, but looks more like a rotational guy.Courtesy of Nationalfootballpost.com
Posted: 5/7/2012 9:32 PM
Posted: 5/8/2012 12:32 AM
Posted: 5/8/2012 2:13 PM
dokgonzo wrote: Dennard will be the ball-hawk. Between him and Moore it'll be dicey throwing into Pats coverage.I see Wilson as more of a replacement for the James Sanders role - solid guy, good run support, quiet leader to settle down the more high-strung DB's just mentioned. The Pats secondary really suffered when Sanders was let go, not so much from his production but his steadying presence with the young secondary.
Posted: 5/8/2012 8:33 PM
Posted: 5/9/2012 10:28 AM
Posted: 5/11/2012 1:32 PM
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