With The 10th Pick, In the 2008 NFL Draft, The New England Patriots Select Jerod Mayo ILB

Updated May 11th

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Team

My Picks: 

(U)- Unofficial

Key Needs:

Team Moves:

6.

30.

Jets

Grade: C

Best Pick:

Vernon Gholston- OLB

Passrusher.

 

Worst Pick:

Dustin Keller 

Won't block.

RB, WR,  DB

Key F.A. Signings:

Alan Faneca OG

Damien Woody ORT

Jesse Chatman RB

Bubba Franks TE

Calvin Pace OLB

Chris Jenkins DT

Artrell Hawkins S 

Key F.A.  Loses:

CB Andre Woolfolk

Justin McCareins WR

Jonathan Vilma LB

Dewayne Robertson DT

Andre Dyson CD

Erik Coleman S

Adrien Clarke OG

The Team: Jets had a very questionable Draft. Took almost completely boom or bust players. Vernon Gholston exemplifies Boom or Bust, their is no player in this draft who has more space between his floor and his ceiling.  There is a lot of bust in all the prospects they took. I like Gholston, but he does have as many questions as he has physical gifts. Trading up for Dustin Keller was a bad move. They addressed most of their concerns. However, I took QB and CB of their Needs list, and I wouldn't say Ainge or Lowry really fills those needs. They need another average to below average QB, they needed a young QB who could legitimately press Pennington, or knock Clemens off the depth chart. Ainge does neither. Will Lowery ever be better then Hank Poteat? Maybe, we never really know who will fulfill all their potential right after the draft, but I say no. The goods news is that they acquired so many players in F.A, that they really did need much in this Draft, and not much is what they got. Okay, am I being particularly negative because it's the dreaded Jets? Yes I am;-)    

Vernon Gholston- LB/DE Ohio ST, 6-3, 267, 4.58, 37 Reps, 42" Vert.- Boom or bust player who has a lot of questions. He was a weight lifter and body builder in high school before joining the team, and still is more body builder then football player. Doesn't play the run at all, 37 Tackles last season doesn't cut it.. Looks good moving forward, but looses all his grace and athleticism when moving backwards, or sliding done the line. Please don't ask him to drop back into coverage, it can get ugly. Although, on second thought, I think the Jets should try and turn him into a cover Linebacker. It could work! Seriously;-) He was very limited in high school, and his high school coach was afraid to as him to do anything other then run straight forward and hit someone. That is why he played O-Guard for the first two years on the team, his only assignment for two years was move forward and hit whoever lined up directly in front of him. Then he moved to OLB his senior year, where his moved up to two assignments,  move forward and hit the QB or RB. He struggled with assignments early on at Ohio ST, and though he played the Leo position, he was primarily a rush D-End or rush LB. He gets by with virtually no technique but pure athleticism, looks awkward in coverage, and is terrible setting the edge. However, his physical tools are astounding. He has the most potential and highest ceiling of any player in this Draft. Okay so did I look at him a little more positively when I thought he could a Patriot? Yes. And am I examining his Negatives a little more closely now that he is a Jet? Yes. However, what really scares me as a Pats Fan is if this kid can finally absorb some technique, especially using his hands and hand fighting O-Linemen, he could be the best player to come from this Draft.   

Gholston first and foremost, he is a Super-freak. He is a super freaky physical specimen. Solid muscle with great Combine week. Where football players drop and athletic freaks rise. But he is not just a Combine freak, he has the production, attitude, and experience coaches crave as well. His problem is that his best position in the NFL, right now, is Left D-End, in fact he looks to me like a bigger faster Robert Mathis. But, like Mathis, the question is can he hold the point as a Left D-End in the NFL, and like Mathis, the answer appears to be no. He excels at moving forward. Had 13 sacks to tie Vrabel's single season record, and had a Sack in his Bowl game giving him a total of 14 Sacks for the season, he also had, 37 Tackles and 15.5 TFL. Played the "Leo" position last season, similar to what McGinest used to do. He played Right Outside Linebacker in 3-4 and R-End in 4-3, and dropped back in coverage as Ohio States "Drop-End". But, he does not look natural moving backwards. Has experience moving backwards in coverage, as he was recruited as a Linebacker from High School and played the "Leo" position where he was asked to stand up and put and put his hand on the ground, but he loses his natural grace and aggressiveness whenever he is dropping back. He is not Carl Banks, though he does have some LT in him, in that, when he is moving forward towards the QB he plays with great speed, aggressiveness, and grace. When he shifted to LB, he played on both sides, but still looked more comfortable on the Left side. Has experience covering the RB out of the backfield. Doesn't look natural setting the edge, as he always wants to be attacking the QB. He keeps peeking and moving up field rather then holding the edge and preventing the RB from getting to the outside. He could really learn a lot about Run-Responsibilities from Vrabel, who sets the edge as well as any LB in the NFL. Left D-End looks like is natural position, which is important to figure out when you are talking about a Hybrid player. Blast off the line like the Space Shuttle, and soar around the Right Tackle. Plus, he has a quick inside move when the RT backs up too much. A player you want moving forward. Looks like the best athlete on the field when he is moving forward, but his natural grace and speed dissipates the more he back pedals.  Has all the physical tools to play Outside Linebacker in a 3-4, but he will take more time to adjust to that position, as he does not look as comfortable when he is standing up, and appears to be thinking too much and not reacting. 

Second team All-American. Big-10 D-Linemen of the year. 

Dustin Keller- H-back Purdue, 6-2 7/8, 245, 4.53, 26 Reps, 38"-  I love this pick for the Jets. Dustin Keller is the most overrated player in the Draft. Pure Boom or bust player. He is exceptional in the Passing game, but a brutal selfish mess when it comes to run blocking. This player has Bust written all over him. He is a converted WR, who never really converted to TE, he has been an H-Back/slot receiver at Purdue. The only good news about this pick is that there are whispers that the Jets might try him as WR. I said, before the Draft, I wouldn't draft him, period. As his outright refusing to block on running downs scares the crap out of me.       

A buyer beware player. A super superior Athlete who blew up at the Combine. Recruited to Perdue as a WR. Can move out into the slot and play WR like Ben Watson. Can stretch the field and run deep down the Slot. Clutch kid will make the big catch in the big situations. Can catch the ball with his hands. He can  twist, fight, and catch the badly thrown ball. An enigma. He is ultra-aggressive with the ball in the air and will fight, push, and shove the DB to get the ball, yet when blocking on running downs, he looks disinterested, and afraid of contact? If you watch him attempting to get out of Defenders way when he is supposed to be blocking you wouldn't Draft him on the First Day. A Combine wonder who won't block for his teammates. 

Table from NFL.com:

Vernon Gholston DE 6'4" 258 Ohio State
Pick Analysis:With this pick, the Jets become more athletic on defense. Gholston will need to show more consistency to match his physical talent. If he's able to become an every down player, Gholston has Pro Bowl potential playing in the Jets' 3-4 scheme. He has more sacks than any Division I player over last two seasons (23).
Dustin Keller TE 6'3" 242 Purdue
Pick Analysis: Keller brings good college production as an H-back and slot-type guy. The Jets get the player they haven't had to go down the seam. They could have went with a receiver like a Devin Thomas or James Hardy, but instead trade up to get one of the draft's top tight ends in Keller.
Dwight Lowery CB 6'1" 185 San Jose State
Pick Analysis: Lowery led the nation in interceptions as a junior in 2006. He didn't play as well this fall after recovering from a broken jaw before the season. He is better in zone coverage than man-to-man. He is also a good return man on special teams.
Erik Ainge QB 6'6" 225 Tennessee
Pick Analysis:A seasoned starter at Tennessee, Ainge has decent arm strength. He didn't compete favorably at the Senior Bowl. He is the nephew of Celtics GM Danny Ainge and is not afraid to perform under the spotlight. He will likely come in and be a long-term developmental option should Kellen Clemens falter for the Jets.
Marcus Henry WR 6'4" 207 Kansas
Pick Analysis:Henry is tall and fast. He's got a lot of upside, but is just figuring out how to play the game. Henry is a humble player with a good work ethic and is willing to learn.
Nate Garner OT 6'6" 334 Arkansas
Pick Analysis:Garner is a big, tall guy but is not very fast so he is not ideal for pulling. He has experience as a five-year senior and those players have generally worked out well in the pros. He is strong and projects as a possible depth player.

7.

Saints

Grade: C

Best Pick:

Sedric Ellis- DT USC 

Monster inside.

 

Worst Pick:

Carl Nicks- 

Bad character.

 OC, TE, LB, DB

F.A. Signings:

Jonathan Vilma LB 

Randall Gay CB

Aaron Stecker RB

Bobby McCray DE

Key F.A.  Loses:

Jeff Faine OC 

Brian Simmons LB

Spencer Johnson DT

The Team: I really like what the Saints did this off season. They upgraded their defense at all three levels, and getting Ellis could be the final piece to a very good season. However, I'm a little puzzled why the didn't grab a Center or Tight End. Now trading pick 40 for Jeremy Shockey was shockingly dumb, considering how smart the rest of their off season and draft was. 

Sedric Ellis- DT USC, 6-2, 310, 5.2- Could be he final piece to an improving defense. A great player. The more you watch him the more you like him. Better run defender then Warren Sapp, with near the same explosion.  

Ellis has the abilities to develop into a superior 3-technique DT. However, he played a lot of read-and-react at USC, and I think he can play in any scheme. He has exceptionally long arms that he uses exceptionally well to keep blockers of his body. The more I watch him play the more I like his game, and the more I think he can play in any scheme. Played on the Nose a lot in USC hybrid scheme, and absorbed a lot of double teams. He would often line up directly on the Center and two-gap. And, when he was unleashed he shot through the gap like a buckshot through balsawood.  

Looks like a one-gap DT to me. Plays bigger then listed height, because he uses his long arms expertly to keep the O-Linemen off his body. Plays with tremendous strength and leverage. Shows great explosion. Was the only player consistently double-teamed on USC's ultra-talented defense. He has such strong hands, that when gets his hands on an O-Linemen's shirt, he can control them until he throws them aside once he reads the play. 

1st Team All-PAC-10. For two years in a row he was voted Defensive Player of the Year by PAC-10 O-Linemen. 

$ Tracy Porter- CB Indiana, 5-11, 185, 4.4- I had  this pick, Porter at 40. Porter is a finesse corner, but I think he will develop into an excellent Man Corner. He reminds me of Assante Samuel.

Porter is still a basketball/track guy trying to convert to a football player. He didn't play football until senior season of high school. Very good PR. Reminds me of Assante Samuel. Exceptional athlete. Terrific feet. Smooth in and out of breaks. terrific hips, can twist out of his backpedal  with the grace of an angel. He has 16 career INTs and 30 PBU at Indiana, including 6 INTs and 10 PBU as a Senior. Has to learn to play tougher and with more physicality. Has been dominated by big strong WRs. He demonstrated he understood he needed to be tougher as a Senior, and played with more passion and physicality. The more I watch him the more I like him. 

Reminds me of Assante Samuel. Exceptional athlete. Terrific feet. Smooth in and out of breaks. terrific hips, can twist out of his backpedal  with the grace of an angel. Has 16 career INTs at Indiana, including 6 as a Senior. Hast to learn to play harder and with more physicality. He demonstrated he understood he needed to be tougher as a Senior, and played with more passion and physicality. The more I watch him the more I like him. 

Demario Pressley- 6-3 301, DT North Carolina ST- Big strong Nose Tackle Type, who is still more promise then production. He played well at the Senior Bowl. He played better as a Junior were he garnered 44 Tackles, 2 Sacks, and 7 TFL. Struggled as a senior do to off season knee surgery, but still started 8 of 10 games and garnered 38 Tackles, 1.5 Sacks, and 6 TFL. He stands up well inside with good strength and power, but also can display surprising athleticism sometimes. He was impressive art the Senior Bowl were I first noticed him. However, he has not put it all together yet. Where do to laziness or lack of technique, I don't know. He has Second Round talent, so getting him in the Fifth was a good risk. 

Carl Nicks- 6-5 341, ORT, Nebraska- A big time buyer beware player that I would not have touched. I worried that once he got his money his production would end. Getting him in the Fifth Round was good value, and not enough enough money for him to quit working. Compares favorably to Jake Long Physically, but mentally ha is Long's foil. Shows the difference between the Number One Pick in the Draft and a Fifth Round pick. Has similar potential to Long, but will never achieve it, unlike Long.  

A buyer beware player. Looks and tests like a First Round talent, but has bust written all over him. Very immature. Played at three different schools in college. But, he is an athletic freak. He has the feet, size, and athletic ability to play LT, but you could never trust him there. Has amazing grace for a man his size. A planet person, meaning there are only so  many people with his size and dexterity on the planet. 

Terrific athlete who moves like a much smaller man. Has the body and athleticism to be a Left Tackle, but not the work ethic or character.  

Table from NFL.com:

Sedrick Ellis DT 6'1" 305 Southern Cal
Pick Analysis: The Saints traded up to boost the interior of their front four. Ellis will be counted on to clog up the line of scrimmage and be a disruptive force in the backfield. His best traits are exceptional strength and great instincts.
Tracy Porter CB 5'11" 185 Indiana
Pick Analysis: The Saints continue to address their defense, as Porter projects as a third corner. He was productive at Indiana, but like many corners, is not known as a good tackler.
DeMario Pressley DT 6'3" 301 North Carolina State
Pick Analysis: The latest in a recent tradition of North Carolina State defensive ends like former No. 1 overall pick Mario Williams and former first-round pick Manny Lawson. Pressley has great athleticism, speed and quickness for his size. He is an explosive player off the ball with good upside.
Carl Nicks OT 6'5" 341 Nebraska
Pick Analysis: Nicks hasn't played enough college football to expect great things from him early in his career. He does have bulk and can move better than expected at his weight. There are some concerns that he will battle weight issues throughout his career, but he can block a linebacker in space. This is a boom-or-bust pick.
Taylor Mehlhaff K 5'10" 185 Wisconsin
Pick Analysis: Mehlhaff is a left-footed kicker with good accuracy. Good, not great, leg strength. He's more of a 45-yard and in kicker, but demonstrated great accuracy while kicking in a tough place at Wisconsin.
Adrian Arrington WR 6'3" 203 Michigan
Pick Analysis: Some thought Arrington was a very good player that was overshadowed by Manningham at Michigan. He has good hands and caught a lot of passes. He lacks breakaway speed, but is a good possession receiver. A hamstring injury that prevented him from working out at the combine hurt his stock.

8.

Jaguars

Grade: A

Best Pick:

Derrick Harvey DE

Needed a QB.

 

Worst Pick:

Quentin Groves- 

Heart and Character concerns.

S, DT, QB, OL, SS

Key F.A. Signings:

Troy Williamson WR

Jerry Porter WR 

Drayton Florence CB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Marcus Stroud DT

Bobby McCray DE

Sammy Knight S

The Team: I really liked this Draft. The Jags identified the player they thought would help their Franchise the most, and they went and got him. Weather you thought it was a reach or not, I don't care. In the Draft when you see the player that will help your Franchise the most, you go and get him, period. I also liked their later Round picks. I also liked Groves, though he does come with medical and character concerns. He is a bit of a buyer beware player, but on the field he has amazing speed, quickness, and hustle.       

Derrick Harvey- OLB/DE Florida, 6-4.5, 271, 4.8, 31 Reps, 28" Vert- Harvey was a guy who was a pure passrusher, but like all passrushers his production was inconsistent. The Jags can afford to sacrifice a little in their run defense for a large upgrade in their passrush. 

Harvey showed up at he Combine looking like a different player. Weight 291, and then later was listed at 271. Getting a fix on his size and weight has always been a problem. He didn't look like the ultra-thin ultra-quick D-End I have been watching at Florida the past two seasons. He look frumpy and out of shape, and weight 271 pounds. He couldn't be the rail thin passrusher we've been watching at Florida the past two seasons weigh over 290 pounds. I don't know, but if he is 271 pounds and still has that remarkable onfield speed and quickness, he is a legit top ten pick. He is just simply speed, hustle, and aggression, all over the field. Relentless passrusher, uses his hands and long arms expertly. Has an excellent Rip-move. Has knack for slapping the ball out of QBs hands. Great up field speed. great athlete. 

Not really sure how to describe this player. He was a rail-thin, super-athletic passrushing force. Who was all speed hustle and aggression on the field. Then he showed up at the Combine at a frumpy 291 pounds? I'm still not over it. However, he uses his long arm and quick hands hands like a kung fu fighter. Has an excellent rip move. Has a knack for attacking the QB and slapping the ball out of his hands.

Quentin GrovesDE Auburn, 6-3, 245, 4.55, 30 Reps- Another passrushing force for a team that has to go through the Colts and Pats if they are to reach the super Bowl. I said he was their worst pick, because some had to be, and he does have concerns, off the field. On the field he looks like a Dwight Freeney type D-End. 

Groves just had off season Heart surgery. The good news is that his condition is better then 100% healed, and he may be a better player physically now then before the surgery. He had a condition that caused his heart to beat to rapidly, and now it won't do that. However, it was heart surgery a few weeks before the Draft, so I just can't see any team taking him in the First Round.  

Speed player. Terrific athlete. Primary position was as DE, but played a lot standing up, and dropped into coverage more then I thought acceptable. Had two serious injuries he played through, toe and shoulder. Had 9.5 Sacks as a Junior playing DE. Had 3 Sacks as a Senior, where they kept moving him further and further from the line. Showed inconsistent effort as a Senior. Teams have to decide if that was caused by injury or lack of heart. Attempting not to sound pathetic, I hurt my toe a month ago and it is still killing me, so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying that it was injuries that caused him to look so bad and not a lack of wanting to play, as is the assumption of some. His value is his ability to blast off the line like a bullet with a grudge. He looses value when he is caught by O-Linemen, and is stalemated to much. However, if you need a Pure Passrusher he is top five on the list in this years Draft.  

Pure speed rusher. Injuries hampered production his senior year. Played standing up and dropped back into zone coverage as well played hands down. Great initial burst, and can beat O-Line with first step explosion.  

He started 38 games and had 62 plays behind the line of scrimmage (Sacks and TFL), plus he forced eight fumbles. Has great burst at line a scrimmage. Plays faster then player around him. Lacks size and can be dominated when a big lineman gets his big hands on him. Needs to be a 3-4 Outside Linebacker to reach full potential. 

Thomas Williams- LB USC, 6-1 238, 4.8- A ultra-valuable back up as 'SC. Actually started 4 games last season at two different positions, Sam and Mike, and garnered 56 Tackles and 5TFL. Special teams maven, who will make this team on special Team as he learns to play LB. 

Trae Williams- CB South Florida, 5-9, 193, 4.5- A great Firth Round pick. I had the Pats taking him in the Forth Round, so you know I lake him. Reminds me of Ellis Hobbs. He really attacks the ball when it is in the air, and has 16 career INTs. Has good hand to intercept the ball. Lack a little long speed, but as the all the other skills needed to be a good Corner. 

Chauncey Washington- RB USC, 6', 217, 4.4- Great pick. Could be the steal of the Draft, if he can ever get on the field with this teams depth at RB. The more you watch him the more you'll like him. Had a very underrated career at 'SC. For all the hype of all the amazingly talented RBs at 'SC, whenever Carroll was worried and needed to relie on a RB, it was always Chauncey put in the critical positions. A power back with good speed. the kind of player every team needs. Played Full Back, Feature Back, and Third Down back at 'SC. 

Good receiver coming out of the backfield. Consistently made the correct play when his team needed him most. Very good straight line speed. Underrated player. Can chip the Right-End and still swing outside and make the catch. Smart reliable player, who started over  a lot of more talented RB. Might not make the eye popping play, but rarely makes mistakes. A coaches player.

Table from NFL.com:

Derrick Harvey DE 6'5" 252 Florida
Pick Analysis:The Jaguars moved up with an eye on getting after the opposing quarterback, especially Peyton Manning. Harvey is a natural pass rusher and his best football may be ahead of him considering he came out as a junior. He's got a great first step and is a tremendous athlete.
Quentin Groves DE 6'3" 250 Auburn
Pick Analysis:The Jaguars add another pass rusher to their defense. Although Groves had 26 sacks at Auburn, he's got some quirks in his game. If he can get everything going mentally he will be a good player.
Thomas Williams OLB 6'1" 238 Southern Cal
Pick Analysis: Williams has been a backup most of his career at USC. He played four spots, including LB and FB. He's a smart guy who's going to be a solid special teams player at this level and bring effort, intensity and passion to that phase of the game.
Trae Williams CB 5'9" 193 South Florida
Pick Analysis:Overshadowed by Mike Jenkins on the other side at South Florida, Williams was also a solid cover corner. He does not necessarily possess as much talent as Jenkins, but was a main reason for the Bulls' surprising run early in 2007 with his strong play in the secondary. He fell a bit on draft boards, but still holds good value at this spot and gives the Jaguars a young corner to develop under stalwart veteran Rashean Mathis.
Chauncey Washington RB 6'0" 211 Southern Cal
Pick Analysis:Washington lacks some football intelligence. He started at USC in a tailback by committee situation. He's a strong inside runner with a solid build. He's a backup-type player and could develop into a good kick returner.

9. 

Bengals

Grade: D+

Best Pick:

Anthony Collins OLT

4th Round? 

 

Worst Pick:

Jason Shirley- 

Are you kidding me?!

RB, DE,  LB, OL, TE

Key F.A. Signings: 

Darryl Blackstock LB

Key F.A.  Loses:

Justin Smith DE 

Landon Johnson LB

Madieu Williams S

The Team: Just when it looked like the worse run Franchise would finally turn the corner, they implode! Again. They are the only team with a top five QB who didn't make the play offs. Marvin Lewis is a fraud who needs to be fired immediately. As long as he is the Head Coach and they have that cheap-ass idiot Owner, they can only fail-fail-fail. Lewis's behavior in regards to Chad Johnson show why he may have been a good D-Coordinator, but will never be successful as a Head Coach. First, a month ago, he finds out Johnson is going to be interviewed on NFL Live, so he goes on ESPN an hour before Chad and insults him. Then Chad goes on NFL Live and is read Marvin's verbal assault on him, and is openly distraught that his so-called Head Coach would openly insult him on national TV. That was when he stepped up his complaints about the Bengals and said he would never play for them again. Saying, "I'm a man of my word, and I will never play for the Bengals again." Then a week before the Draft, Marvin goes on ESPN and mocks Chad and calls out his manhood, saying, "I believe Chad is a man of his word." That like was used specifically to mock Chad and insult his manhood. Chad can never play for that man again. Marvin, is the anti-leader. Chad Johnson, whether you like it or not, is the Bengals best player. Can you ever imagine Bill Belichick openly insulting, mocking, and call out Tom Brady's manhood on National Television? Not in a million years. Take a look at Richard Seymour, insider reports have been consistent that Belichick is furious with Seymour, who has done nothing but disappoint since he signed his big contract. Seymour got the message, he has been working in the Pats off season program since February, and has been quoted as saying he needs to step things up. Now, did you see one quote of Belichick insulting Seymour? No. Can you imagine Belichick do an interview on ESPN and mocking Seymour, and calling out his manhood? Never! In a million years never. Now, Captain Loser from ESPN2 (I refuse to give him any publicity but he likes to skip through the tulips, if you get me) said "he was proud the Bengals were finally "sticking to their principals." Because, and I quote, "He opens his mouth." What a scumbag, is their anything more UnAmerican then a scumbag saying another American doesn't have the right to speak. So the Bengals should stick it to Chad because then "Opens his mouth." Baffling? So, Marvin, sticking to his principles, welcomed Odell Thurman back with loving arms from his Two-Year Drug suspension. Then, Marvin, sticking to his principles, refuses o take Two First Round Picks for Chad Johnson, so he can force him not to play next season, because he, "Opens his mouth." Then, Marvin, (and this is the beautiful one) sticking to his principles, Drafts Jason Shirley. Jason Shirley who was suspended THREE TIMES last season! Jason Shirley who got so drunk that he smashed his car into an APARTMENT BUILDING!!! Then fled the scene. Jason Shirley who is currently facing 2 Drunk Driving charges, 1 count of Hit and Run. Way to stick to your principles Marvin. Doing drugs, good. Drunk driving, good. Fleeing the scene of an accident, good. Opening your mouth, BAD! If they weren't so stupid I'd think they were doing it on purpose. The Bengals management has finally figured out a way to count down on player costs. Just ridicule, mock, and ostracize your best player until he is unable to work for you any more, then fine him everyday he misses. Not only do you not have to pay his salary, you can actually make money off his fines, YEAH!   

Keith Rivers- LB USC, 6-3, 235, 4.51, 42", 10"7', 4.38 S.S.- Rivers is a freak, and I mean that as the ultimate compliment for a Draft Prospect. Physically he is a freak, and  I believe in drafting freaks. You know I like this player, because I had the Pats taking him at 10. The more I thought about it the more perfect it became. He reminds me of Takeo Spikes. He is a better athlete, and less mean then Spikes, and Spikes was more of an inside player Rivers is more of an Outside player, but I think the comparison is valid. He will have a similar career to Spikes, and that is pretty good, and if he doesn't hurt his knee, like Spikes, that will be great. Of course the real tragedy is that this loser management situation can only try to force him into being a loser. 

Keith Rivers is a tough player to grade. He disappears in games more then I can say I'm honestly comfortable with, but he played on such a talented defense, maybe the most talented defense ever. Sed Ellis, Lawrence Jackson, Terrell Thomas, all three will be taken in the top three rounds of this years draft. Plus, he shared Linebacking duties with Rey Maualuga (if he had come out, I would have bet 15 gallons of ice cream that the Pats would have taken him) and Brian Cushing (who some think is better then Rivers, I don't). Two Linebacker who could be top ten picks in next years Draft. So there were times when all of these players disappeared because of the talented players making plays around them. Athletically Rivers has everything. Good size, 4.5 speed, great feet, and can twist his hips and run with any Tight End or Running Back. Plus, he is an excellent hitter. He is very smart and has good football instincts. He can find the ball in traffic and trash and still make the big hit. He can change direction on a dime. And really plays to his speed on the field. He runs from sideline-to-sideline like a guy with 4.5 speed. He has started his third straight season at WLB, so moving inside will be an adjustment. Though he didn't start a game as a freshman, where he had 25 Tackles, no Sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, and 2 PBU, he didn't missed a start since. His Sophomore season, where he became a starter and never left, he had 52 Tackles, 1 Sacks, 3 TFL, 1 INT, and 1 PBU. His Junior season, he had 85 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 7.5 TFL, 2 PBU, 3 FR and 1 FF. Last season, despite playing on maybe the most talented defense ever, he was an All-American, and he had 78 Tackles, no Sacks, 5 TFL, and 4 PBU. At his Pro Day he looked like he was sculpted out of steroids. You may not think he should be a top ten pick, but he sure looked like it physically. He is an extremely hard worker, with all the intangibles we hope are important. Loves the game of football, and it is very important to him. I think this quote is from NFL.com, "He was 1 of 10 semifinalists for the 2007 Butkus Award and 1 of 17 quarterfinalists for the Lott Trophy, as well as an SI.com All-American first team, Pro Football Weekly All-American first team, Walter Camp All-American second team, Phil Steele's All-American third team and Collegefootballnews.com All-American honorable mention pick."  He is tough and physical in the Number 55 tradition at USC, which is a sacred number given only to it's top Linebacker recruit. He has experience at all three Linebacker positions 'SC played, and as a Freshman and Sophomore played with his hand down in obvious passing downs. He has shown a knack in pass coverage, and is his super smooth athleticism really shines in coverage. Has tremendous on field versatility. Reminds me of Carl Banks, excellent in run defense, a great hitter, and he is an excellent passrusher, but sis ability to cover is so valuable that he is asked to blitz much less then he should.  

Jerome Simpson- WR Costal Carolina, 6-1 3/4 199- Another nice draft pick. Simpson is guy who really stood out at the Combine. He was big, athletic, and caught everything thrown at him. I predicted last year that Jacoby Jones was going to be the surprise of the Draft, and I am saying the same thing for Simpson, he will be the surprise of this Draft. Especially when you consider that he will start, because in order to save money they have harassed Johnson into a hold situation so they could fine his ass and not have to pay his salary.  

Really rose up the charts with a nice showing at the Combine. Has a terrific blend of size and speed. He has big hands that he uses to snap the ball out of the air. Reminds of of last years Third Round pick by Houston Jacoby Jones, who looked like he was going to be the answer across from André Johnson before he hurt his shoulder.

*Pat Sims- DT Auburn, 6-4, 330, 5.2- Another nice pick. It's a shame to be wasting such a nice Draft.

Has exceptional size and exceptional interior quickness. Can not just hold the double team, but has the size, strength, and quickness to split the double team consistently like Ted Washington used to do. Has some boom and bust in him, as he hasn't learned how to control his weight, is a bit of a one hit wonder, and has a history of immaturity. 2005 DNP- do to discipline issues. 2006 16 Tackles, 5 TFL, 3 Sacks. 2007 37 Tackles, 11.5 TFL, 4.5 Sacks. Has a lot of problems in 2005. However, by all accounts he has turned his life around and was considered a team leader and one of the hardest working players on the team. A player I am rooting  for, as I hope he continues his redemption. We all need a little redemption in our lives. 

Got into a lot of trouble as a youngster, but appears to have honestly turned it around. Got thrown off the team for not trying hard enough, and came back and has been considered a leader and one of the hardest working players on the team. A Ted Washington-type NT, and I mean that a huge compliment, as I believe Washington was the best NT ever. I just see some 3-4 team taking him in the Second Round.

Andre Caldwell- 5-11, 190, 4.31- Another good pick, but who really cares.

Caldwell is a Fifth Year Senior. He is track guy playing WR. But, he does have good hands and runs routes well. He has speed and explosion on the field, and can separate from anyone. Last season was his best season, where he had 56 Receptions for 761 Yards and 7 TDs. Destroyed every Cornerback they put in front of him at the Senior Bowl, except McKelvin. Got open deep for 30, 40 and 50 yard bombs at will. had one of the most impressive displays at WR in Senior Bowl history. Was not as uncoverable in the game, and Florida receivers scare the cramp out of me.

Track guy playing WR. Has great speed and can separate from anyone. Dominated the Senior Bowl Practices, and made every CB look foolish except McKelvin. However, constant failure of Florida WRs has to worry GMs. A buyer beware player. 

Anthony Collins- OLT  6-5, 315- Could have rounded out a rather nice draft, if the Bengals weren't doomed to fail.  

Collins is a good athlete who plays with good power. Sometimes looks stiff and unnatural. All-American Tackle. Needs to bend his knees with more consistency. When he bends at the waist he can be stood up and tossed aside. There is a huge variance of opinion on this guy. Some see him as a First Rounder and some see him as a Forth Rounder. Has the talent, feet, size, and long arms to play left Tackle in the NFL, but some question his commitment, and he sometimes doesn't look like he is giving 100%.

Is a good athlete who plays with good power. Sometimes looks stiff and unnatural. All-American Tackle. Needs to bend his knees with more consistency. When he bends at the waist he can be stood up and tossed aside. 

Table from NFL.com:

Keith Rivers LB 6'3" 235 Southern Cal
Pick Analysis:The Bengals had a need at linebacker and Rivers should be able to make an immediate impact as a rookie. He played as a true freshman at USC in 2004 and started 36 games over the next three seasons. He's a versatile player with good instincts and great character.
Jerome Simpson WR 6'2" 190 Coastal Carolina
Pick Analysis:The Bengals have released one receiver this offseason and another has requested a trade. Simpson has big hands and long arms which is great for a wideout. He set school records with 157 receptions for 2,636 yards and 41 touchdowns. He will be given a chance to play meaningful snaps as a rookie.
Pat Sims DT 6'2" 310 Auburn
Pick Analysis:Sims only started this last year at Auburn after quitting school in 2005. But it's very seldom they let a guy quit and come back unless he's that good. He has similar burst off the ball to Glenn Dorsey and overcame some tough off-field issues in school, including the death of his sister.
Andre Caldwell WR 6'1" 200 Florida
Pick Analysis:The 6-foot tall Caldwell recorded 185 receptions in college. The Bengals get great value in the third round - a guy who knows the ropes of how the NFL works with his brother, Reche, having played in the league for a number of years.
Anthony Collins OT 6'5" 317 Kansas
Pick Analysis:Collins has long arms and some left tackle skills, but he's raw and only played one year of high school football. In time, he could potentially project out to be a guard at the pro level.
Jason Shirley DT 6'5" 329 Fresno State
Pick Analysis:Shirley is reminiscent of Tony Siragusa but with better speed and not quite as much strength. Marvin Lewis may want to go back to his old Ravens 4-3 defensive scheme with the Bengals and this pick fits.
Corey Lynch FS 6'0" 205 Appalachian State
Pick Analysis:A special teams ace who can block kicks, Lynch has size at 6-3 and is able to fill in at safety. He ran an extremely impressive cone drill and the rest of his measurables were outstanding. He is a fantastic athlete.
Matt Sherry TE 6'4" 255 Villanova
Pick Analysis:Sherry had an excellent Pro Day workout at Villanova that helped his draft stock rise. He did not play great competition at Villanova but has solid measurables and can compete in Cincinnati at the unsettled tight end position.
Angelo Craig DE 6'5" 235 Cincinnati
Pick Analysis:Craig played defensive end in college, but projects to be more of a linebacker in the pros because of his slim frame. Having played at the University of Cincinnati, he's a hometown favorite for the Bengals.
Mario Urrutia WR 6'6" 232 Louisville
Pick Analysis:A very tall receiver, Urrutia flashed big-play ability with Louisville. He was one of Brian Brohm's favorite targets and is adept in jump-ball situations. Urrutia would have been well-served to stay in school an extra year but will have a chance to carve out a role as a goal-line receiver

10.

Patriots

Grade: A

Best Pick:

Jerod Mayo LB

Had to have an ILB.

 

Worst Pick:

Matt Slater- 

Traded up for a player 

with no real position. 

S, OL, LB?

Key F.A. Signings:

T.J. Slaughter LB 

Jason Webster CB

Fernando Bryant CB

Lewis Sanders CB

WR Sam Aiken

TE Marcus Pollard

Key F.A.  Loses:

Asante Samuel CB

Donte' Stallworth WR

Eugene Wilson S/CB

Roosevelt Colvin LB 

Randall Gay CB

Here are my initial reviews of the Pats Draft:

Pats Day One

Third Round Review

Day Two

Here are some current reviews:

PFW in progress Podcast of Day One of Mini Camp 

PFW in progress Podcast of Day Two of Mini Camp 

Report on Mini Camp by NECN

NECN Pats Video Page

Mini Camp Photos Day One

Mini Camp Photos Day Two

Patriots Today Mini Camp Coverage May 7th

Belichick Press Conference May 3rd

Belichick Press Conference May 2nd

Patriots Today Mini Camp Coverage May 2nd

Patriots now Rookies Arrive May 1st

Patriots Today Draft Recap April 28th

The Team: I liked this Draft, and that's not just the Homer speaking. I said after last years Draft, that after the Forth Round I didn't see any player making this team. All the player they drafted after Brown where all Stash Players. Meaning if they could get them on a list, they could make the team. But only from the Injured Reserve, PUP, or the Patrice Squad, or some other Stash List. This year all seven players have a chance to make this team. All seven players are among the smartest players drafted. All seven players will learn the playbook faster the most rookies. And most importantly, all seven players have excelled on Special Teams. 

The current good news, is that the two rookie Corners look great at Mini Camp. Both showing great quickness and quick-twitch change of direction. Jerod Mayo is nothing but impressive in person.    

Table from NFL.com:

Jerod Mayo OLB 6'1" 242 Tennessee
Pick Analysis: Mayo can play either inside or outside linebacker. He had 25 starts during his last two years at Tennessee. Mayo adds youth to a group of veteran linebackers in New England. He's known for his competitiveness and production.
Terrence Wheatley CB 5'9" 178 Colorado
Pick Analysis: With their linebacker need seemingly taken care of in the first round, the Patriots take a cornerback here. The Patriots may have found themselves a steal in Wheatley, considered a shutdown corner with speed. After sitting out the entire 2005 season following surgery to repair a broken wrist, Wheatley established himself as one of the most talented corners in his conference the last two years. He's also a talented kickoff returner.
Shawn Crable OLB 6'5" 241 Michigan
Pick Analysis: Crable is a big outside linebacker, who is a perfect fit for the Patriots. He does have thin legs, but you can use him in pass rushing situations and get some production for him. He had 16 sacks in college. While Crable is limited in pass coverage, he has great run-stopping skills and can be a good special teams coverage player.
Kevin O'Connell QB 6'5" 225 San Diego State
Pick Analysis: O'Connell came on like gangbusters in his senior season at San Diego State. The Patriots have struggled to develop a quarterback behind Tom Brady, but O'Connell will have time to develop and could become the backup.
Jonathan Wilhite CB 5'10" 185 Auburn
Pick Analysis: Wilhite was a junior college transfer to Auburn. He made 22 starts and ran very well with a 4.4 in the 40-yard dash. He has strong measurables across the board as well as 101 tackles in college. He is very good at flipping his hips and recovering in coverage, though he did have injury concerns in college.
Matt Slater WR 5'11" 195 UCLA
Pick Analysis: The son of Jackie Slater, he is a great kick returner and took back three for touchdowns this year at UCLA. He is also very fast and ran a 4.4 at his Pro Day. He is a standout special teams player and fits the Patriots' schemes.
Bo Ruud OLB 6'4" 234 Nebraska
Pick Analysis: The younger brother of current Bucs middle linebacker Barrett Ruud. He has been a starting linebacker the past two years at Nebraska. He's not quite as talented as his older brother, but has some skills.

If you have any questions or comments feel free to email me:

patsfanmock12@yahoo.com