Welcome Back My friends to the show that never ends We’re so glad you could attend come inside come inside
Emerson Lake and Palmer
The New England Patriots truly are the show that never ends. The alphabet soup networks know this and push the narrative year round. Graduate classes are given in journalism schools across the country on it, bloggers who beg for your clicks on Twitter depend on it, and they all hope that their spin doctoring whirlwind distracts you from the real show. The Patriots year round preparation – dedication and commitment to their jobs.the Patriots draft board gets shaped and cut down from the first day Bill and his staff months ago walked into the “ War Room” , work that others have done is cast aside as Bill looks at each recommendation and he stacks the deck, then reshuffles and stacks it again and again as each off season domino falls, first the College season then the bowls then the senior bowl workouts the combine, pro-days and finally the schedule release. But wait there is one more reshuffle and stack to get to, the draft itself. Bill will restack his deck as each pick is made. Until he choses to make his first selection. If that is at 23-33-29 or 10 , i have no idea. And neither does anyone else, but all i have to go on is what i have in front of me and 300 hours of film study. Here are my Monster Pics for the Patriots,
Round One Pick 23
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State 6’4, 255
I may have wobbled a bit on this pick but i never wavered, there is a hole in the Patriots defense and Vander Esch is the peg the Patriots need to fill it. He has all the measurables. size, speed, combine numbers that jump off the page. But wait he can play football too, LVE has tremendous downhill speed and power to burn when it comes to bowling over linemen to get into the backfield and stuffs runners at contact. He also drops well into coverage using his 6’4 frame to make every throw a QB attempts a gamble. This kid has it all, except the east coast exposure.
RD 1 pick 31
Lorenzo Carter, DE/LB, Georgia 6’6, 250
Carter has the size speed and talent to be a top 15 player taken in this years draft. So why isn’t he ? some say he took too many plays off during his college career, something i don’t see happening if he gets into the Patriots system. Carter played in college as both a defensive end and an off the ball linebacker, equally comfortable in a 4-3 or 3-4 i think the later is where he will fit in best at the next level, no matter if its rushing the passer, running down a back or backpedaling into coverage Carter is Smooth Consistent and Explosive. The more tape i watched of him the more i liked what i saw. What did i see? the second coming of Jamie Collins.
Rd 2 Pick 43:
Justin Reid, S, Stanford 6-0, 207
Versatility The hoodie Loves it and so do I , Reid can play the deep spot, up in the box and cover the slot, I wouldn’t be surprised if he could play outside either. Motion does not perplex this kid one bit something we all know the Pats had issues with last year. He can cover the slot receiver and handle Tight Ends,a monster in run support. This young man has an extremely high football IQ you can see it in his anticipation and the fact that i didn’t see him out of position in more than a handful of plays in all of 2016 and 17. He is a gamer who can stop the run and handles coverage better than his brother, Who’s his brother ? Eric Reid
Rd 2 Pick 63:Kyle Lauletta, QB, Richmond 6-3, 222
Here it is people the Next Man Up. Lauletta has taken some grief and has slipped this far on the fact that his arm strength isn’t the best and his most accurate passes are short to mid-range. Sounds like fit to me. When watching Lauletta i saw a QB who slides well in the pocket and isn’t afraid to let plays develop, he makes second and third reads like a pro has a smooth lower half, when running play action he looks like soft butter spread over warm bread , and can get the ball out as fast as anyone in this draft. Under center in the pistol or shotgun he moves effortlessly. A two year captain from a football family. His father and uncle played for NAVY Dad as a QB and his brother played C at Bucknell. This man was raised on football and eats game film for breakfast lunch and dinner.
Rd 3 Pick 95 Chukwuma Okorafor, OT, Western Michigan 6-6, 320
You want a tackle here’s a tackle CHUNK Okorafo. Massive NFL frame has a good punch and has the power to take on bullrushes , i hoped a man this massive would be better in the run blocking dept but that’s where his issues lie. This is a very top heavy draft and an even more top heavy OT draft. But Chunk has the tools and the Patriots have Dante Scarnecchia and Scar has done more with less ,in this draft Chunk is good value here.
And now we pause as the Pats have no forth or fifth RD pick
Rd 6 Pick 198 Charvarius Ward, CB, Middle Tennessee 6’1, 195
Is he huge no , is he from a power program no , but i think Chavarius Ward could be the steal of this draft. Physical in man and has the IQ to play zone , the kid is a baller who breaks it up when QB’s test him and wraps up when the time comes.
Rd Six 210 Durham Smythe TE Notre Dame 6’4, 236
Yes i want Dwayne Allen gone, i never wanted him here in the first place. Smythe is a classic Y TE who looks and plays like a lineman this kid is MEAN loves to do his job ad his job is run blocking, am i drafting the heir to Rob Gronkowski no, I’m handing Bill cap space and better depth then he has on the roster at this time
Rd Seven Pick 219: Ito Smith RB Southern Miss 5’9 195
You want to replace Dion Lewis i’m doing it in the Seventh RD . Smith by no means has the open field water bug moves that Lewis has what he does have is soft hands and an great motor, you’re drafting this kid to catch balls out of the backfield and he does that more often than any of the big names in this years draft. Kalen Ballage ? Please , he caught 40 balls once in his college career. Sony Mitchell never caught more than 30 in a season. Ito Smith has amassed 40 or more catches in each of his last three years.
That’s it people, will i be right on all of these picks ? HELL NO, i may not be right on any of them, i probably wont be right on where Bill drafts them, I’ve given up worrying about things like when and where round and selection and you all should too. There are holes to fill needs to be addressed and i think i did just that. If the draft breaks and these picks are made i think you will all be very happy with the results.
As always you can follow/give me grief on Twitter @Tmurp207