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"2011 New England Patriots"

Will the Pats look much different in 2012?

The demise of the New England Patriots one day after losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI is laughable.

Tom Brady is still one of the best quarterbacks in league history, it didn’t change with one mediocre night in Indianapolis.  Wes Welker will make that catch 99 out of 100 times, and we saw the one drop last night.  Bill Belichick is still Bill Belichick.

Coming into this game, there were three glaring weaknesses on this team.  They were the same three glaring weaknesses that they started the season with.  The Pats won’t recreate the wheel as some would have you believe.  They will stick to the “Patriots Way” of building and retooling their roster.  With four picks in the first two rounds and plenty of cap room, the Patriots will have an arsenal to make the necessary adjustments.

In looking at their current roster and free agents to be, we have identified the top three areas for the Patriots to address this offseason.  In no particular order, here they are: Read the rest of this entry » «Rumors of the Patriots demise are greatly exaggerated»

The Official 2012 NFL Draft Order is Set

Posted by Brad On February - 5 - 20121 COMMENT
"2012 NFL Draft"

The 2012 NFL Draft order is officially set

The cap has been put on the 2011 season with the New York Giants being crowned Champions of Super Bowl XLVI.  It’s a bittersweet end that rings in 2012 NFL Draft season.  Bitter because of the realization that we won’t see professional football until the Hall of Fame game and sweet because it means it’s officially draft time.  With the Giants win we can now begin 2012 NFL Mock Draft season with an official draft order.  Without further adieu, here’s your 2012 NFL Draft order.

1. Indianapolis Colts

2. St. Louis Rams

3. Minnesota Vikings

4. Cleveland Browns

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

6. Washington Redskins

7. Jacksonville Jaguars

8/9. Carolina Panthers

8/9. Miami Dolphins

10. Buffalo Bills

11/12. Seattle Seahawks

11/12. Kansas City Chiefs Read the rest of this entry » «The Official 2012 NFL Draft Order is Set»

"Super Bowl XLVI"Super Bowl XLVI is getting set to kick off in a matter of hours.  In a rematch of Super Bowl XLII, the New York Giants and New England Patriots will face off to determine the Champs of the 2011 NFL season and for our purposes draft slots 31 and 32.

When looking at the starting lineups of the two teams this morning, I realized two things:  1). The Pats starting defensive lineup means nothing because of all the formations and; 2). Both teams featuring lineups of guys that weren’t draft atop their respective draft classes.  With that in mind, I thought it would be a good idea to take a more in depth look at where these players were drafted and give credence to all those late round draft picks that people don’t expect to make their team.  Here’s a look at the starting lineups (and my prediction for the game).

New England Patriots

Quarterback:  Tom Brady – If you don’t know this story, please check out another site.  Brady was the 199th pick (6th round) in the 2000 NFL Draft out of the University of Michigan.

Running Back:  BenJarvus Green-Ellis – The Law Firm was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2008 out of Ole Miss.  He was waived by the Patriots in August and signed to the practice squad a day later.  He was promoted to the active roster in October ’08 and hasn’t looked back.

Fullback:  Aaron Hernandez – Since the Pats don’t use a traditional FB, we went with the second tight end.  Hernandez was the 114th overall pick (4th round) in the 2010 NFL Draft out of Florida.

Wide Receiver:  Wes Welker – Welker went undrafted in 2004 and was signed by San Diego.  He was released by the Chargers to make way for Clinton Hart, a move that Marty Schottenheimer would call “the biggest mistake I ever made.”  Welker was picked up the Dolphins and traded to the Pats in 2007 for a second and seventh round picks.

Wide Receiver:  Deion Branch – Brach was a second round pick of the Patriots in 2002.  This is his second stint with the Pats after being traded to Seattle in 2006.

Tight End:  Rob Gronkowski – Gronk was the 42nd selection in the 2010 NFL Draft.

Left Tackle:  Matt Light – Light was the 48th overall selection in the 2001 NFL Draft out of Purdue University.

Left Guard:  Logan Mankins – Mankins was the 32nd overall selection in the  2005 NFL Draft.  Many thought Mankins was an enormous reach but it’s turned out fairly well for the Pats.  He played left tackle for most of his collegiate career at Fresno St.

Center:  Dan Connolly – Connolly went undrafted in 2005 before being signed by Jacksonville.  Jacksonville would waive Connolly in 2007.  The Patriots signed him twelve days later to their practice squad.

Right Guard:  Brian Waters – Waters was acquired as an undrafted free agent from the University of North Texas by the Kansas City Chiefs.  He would make five Pro Bowls with the Chiefs before being signed by the Patriots this season.

Right Tackle:  Nate Solder – Solder was the 17th overall selection by the Patriots in the 2012 NFL Draft. Read the rest of this entry » «Super Bowl XLVI starting lineups and where they were drafted»

Micheal Profetta

The way I see things, the Indianapolis Colts/Andrew Luck marriage is a done deal, so for all intents and purposes, St. Louis has the first pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. For my money, QB Robert Griffin III is as promising a prospect as recent #1 overall picks Cam Newton, Sam Bradford and Matthew Stafford…if not more so. The Rams will likely be inundated with trade offers from teams desperate to secure the Heisman-winner (Cleveland, Washington, Miami, and Seattle are the obvious candidates). While staying put at #2 and selecting OT Matt Kalil to neatly address the need to upgrade Sam Bradford’s protection makes sense, the bidding war for RGIII may escalate to the point where the Rams (who have a ton of needs) are made an offer they can’t refuse.

In my previous 2012 NFL Mock Draft, I had the Browns moving up to #2 (in exchange for the #4 and #22 picks). It seemed the ideal trade, as the numbers jived with the trade value chart, and the Rams could still be in position to land Kalil or, at worst, a sorely-needed #1 WR (Justin Blackmon) at #4. I still say that this trade makes the most sense for St. Louis, and I’m really not buying Holmgren and Heckert’s feigned indifference toward RGIII. (If ham ‘n’ eggers like Brad and myself can see the obvious similarities between Griffin and Steve Young, than I’m certain that Holmgren, who was Young’s QB coach at BYU and the offensive coordinator for the 49ers while Young was their QB, can see them too). I’ve heard the argument that the Browns have “too many needs” to make a move for RGIII. Whatever. The Patriots are in the Super Bowl with a swiss cheese defense, old farts like Deion Branch and Ochocinco at WR, and a collection of journeymen at RB. Why? Because they have a franchise QB. The Giants are starting Chase freakin’ Blackburn at MLB and feature a makeshift O-line…but they’re in the Super Bowl. Why? Because they have a franchise QB.

Nevertheless, I’ve decided to go in a different direction with this mock. Free agency and the Combine are still a ways off, so as of right now, I’m more concerned about using my mock to get a feel for different scenarios and possibilities than any sort of attempt at pinpoint accuracy, so why not give another one of the above-mentioned teams RGIII this time? My mock will grow increasingly safer and tighter as the draft approaches, but it’s only early February…time for throwing some ideas against the wall and seeing what sticks.

As usual, I’ve included some first-round trades…but that’s where the trade action ends. I actually gave second day trades a shot, but quickly realized that opening up that can of worms in the second and third rounds of my 2012 NFL mock draft would only result in a one-way ticket to the nearest rubber room.

* – my own trade scenario

"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Andrew Luck"

Exit Peyton, Enter Luck

1. Indianapolis Colts- Andrew Luck QB Stanford (Jr.)

There’s a new regime in Indianapolis. Peyton Manning is approaching 36 years old and is dealing with neck/back injuries so severe that he has resorted to European stem-cell therapy. He’s not in the Colts’ plans. Luck offers prototypical size, Lee Harvey Oswaldesque accuracy (alledgedly), very good athleticism, NFL pedigree, experience in a pro-style system, and impeccable character.

The phone lines are now closed at Colts’ headquarters.

Also considered: None

2. TRADE!! Washington Redskins (from St. Louis)- Robert Griffin III QB Baylor (Jr.) *

While I still think that the Rams/Browns trade is the most logical scenario, who’s to say that the Redskins won’t simply outbid all comers in order to secure RGIII? Desperate QB situations (Grossman/Beck) call for desperate measures…and the options are limited. The Peyton Manning to the Redskins (or Jets) rumors make for great forum fodder, but I’m guessing that Manning hangs ‘em up and gets a head-start on his career as the best NFL analyst in the history of the universe. As for Matt Flynn (the next Kevin Kolb), there’s no shortage of desperate teams that will be willing to overpay for his services in free agency or in a trade, so we obviously can’t assume that the ‘Skins will land him. (Flynn may simply follow Joe Philbin to Miami.) If you think that Ryan Tannehill is ready to step into the lineup and lead the ‘Skins to the playoffs, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d like to sell you. By April, Washington could have no choice but to move up for Griffin.

Whatever price Snyder, Allen, and Shanahan may ultimately pay for the Heisman-winner should be well worth it. (I have the ‘Skins giving up their ’12 and ’13 first-rounders in this scenario.) Folks who think that RGIII will slip to the Browns at #4 or even the ‘Skins at #6 are kidding themselves. If not for the presence of a once-in-a-generation prospect like Luck, Griffin would be the #1 pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. If you think that RGIII is a hot prospect now, just wait until April. He’s an Olympic-level athlete, not to mention incredibly charasmatic and intelligent (see his eloquent Heisman acceptance speech if you need proof), so I’m guessing that predraft workouts and interviews will be a walk in the park for him. I honestly wouldn’t be shocked if, at some point during the predraft process, the “unthinkable” happens…the Colts seriously consider choosing RGIII with the #1 pick.

Also considered: Rams stay put and draft OT Matt Kalil, trade down with CLE/MIA Read the rest of this entry » «Profetta’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Not Your Everyday Mock»

Profetta’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Day Two

Posted by Brad On February - 5 - 201215 COMMENTS

Micheal Profetta

SECOND ROUND

"2012 NFL Draft"1. (33) Cleveland Browns (from St. Louis)- Lavonte David OLB Nebraska *

The “trade down” method pays off handsomely as the Browns net an athletic WLB perfectly suited for Dick Jauron’s defense at the top of the second round. The ultraproductive David would be a top 20 pick if he was a bit bigger, so this could be a huge steal.

2. (34) Indianapolis Colts- Kelechi Osemele OG/OT Iowa State

The Colts could resemble the Arizona Cardinals next season…a team hoping to recreate the Pittsburgh blueprint for success. That means installing the 3-4 defense, and drafting big, mauling run-blockers along the O-line. The Colts could use help at almost every position, but protecting Luck and improving the rushing attack should be the foundation for rebuilding the offense. Osemele would help in both capacities. He offers the prerequisite size (6-5/333) and the versatility to start at either guard spot or RT…all glaring needs in Indy.

3. (35) Minnesota Vikings- Chase Minnifield CB Virginia

Due to age (Antoine Winfield), legal woes (Chris Cook) and injury (Cedric Griffin, Winfield/Cook again), Asher Allen is the only corner on the Minnesota roster who can be counted on at this point…and he should probably be a nickel back. Minnifield’s zone-coverage ability makes him a natural fit in the Vikings’ Cover-2. He addresses a huge need, and represents very good value in the second round.

With the Vikings’ recent signing of CFL refugee Solmon Elimimian, I’ll no longer consider Dont’a Hightower or Vontaze Burfict here. Don’t laugh. After doing some homework on Elimimian, I’ve come away impressed. An undersized, hard-hitting ball-magnet, Elimimian could start at WLB, with Erin Henderson moving to the strong side, and Chad Greenway to the middle. I think that Elimimian has the potential to follow in the footsteps of Cameron Wake and Brandon Browner as the latest CFL-to-NFL success story.

4. (36) Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Lamar Miller RB Miami, Fla. (rSo.)

At worst, Miller would be an excellent complement to LeGarrette Blount, who regressed after his surprisingingly successful rookie season. Blount has a serious case of fumbilitis, is useless on third downs and in the hurry-up offense, and continues to show questionable judgement off the field. Miller offers the long speed to open up the Bucs’ vanilla attack, and the upside to supplant Blount as the starter in the near future.

5. (37) Cleveland Browns- Chandler Jones DE Syracuse (Jr.)

It’s obvious at this point that we will all grow old waiting for Jayme Mitchell to “blossom”, so expect Cleveland to come out of the second day of the 2012 NFL Draft with a pass-rushing complement to Jabaal Sheard. In my 2012 NFL Mock Draft scenario, it’s Chandler Jones over Andre Branch in a photo-finish at #37. Jones is an unpolished gem with prototypical size (6-5/265, great length), plenty of speed, and NFL bloodlines. Upside pick. Read the rest of this entry » «Profetta’s 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Day Two»

Amini Silatolu Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 4 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Amini Silatolu"Amini Silatolu

Midwestern St.

Ht. 6-3 Wt. 324

Pass Blocking:  Amini Silatolu played LT asMidwestern St. but looks to be a guard in the NFL.  He’s got a solid base and sits low in it up to contact.  He does rise up on contact and loses leverage battles but can be worked on.  He’s got sticky hands that are tough to shake for defenders.  Good but not great range on the edge that sometimes leads to him lunging into contact.  At guard, he could excel without having to play the edge.  He extends his arms into contact and throws a solid punch on contact.

Run Blocking:  Outside of David DeCastro, Silatolu may be the top run blocker in the guard group.  He drives through his hips into contact and finishes blocks with a tenacity.  He’s a drive blocker that could excel in a power running scheme.  He has good range and is a better move blocker than I initially thought.  He sees his target and hits it, sometimes lunging into contact which will have to be corrected.  Fell in love with Silatolu while watching him block 10-15 yards downfield until the whistle blew.  I think he’s NFL ready as a run blocker.  Read the rest of this entry » «Amini Silatolu Scouting Report»

Kelechi Osemele Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 4 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Kelechi Osemele"Kelechi Osemele

Iowa St.

Ht. 6-6 Wt. 347

Pass Blocking:  Kelechi Osemele will be aided by his time spent at tackle in college.  He’s a good athlete considering his size.  He has long arms and powerful hands that don’t allow defenders to shake him once they are engaged. He has a powerful anchor and sits in his stance well for his size.  Playing on the interior will alleviate some of the issues he has getting to the edge against speed.  He has a tendency to play high and get overextended when working his way to the edge against speed rushers.

Run Blocking:  I was disappointed by Osemele in the run game.  I expected him to be physically dominant at the point of attack but he wasn’t.  A ton of natural strength but he played soft as he was slow off the snap.  He gets lazy out of his stance and struggles to gain leverage in the run game.  Once engaged he is a pure drive blocker but will need to work on his technique off the ball.  He’s got sticky hands and sticks through contact.  He moves well and plays coordinated for his size. Read the rest of this entry » «Kelechi Osemele Scouting Report»

2012 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings

Posted by Brad On February - 4 - 2012ADD COMMENTS

"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Kendall Wright"

The 2012 NFL Draft is a deep class of wide receivers.  As I finished scouting reports on the 2012 WR’s, I quickly realized that I gave 36 receivers draftable grades.  Off the top of my head the most I remember was 30 in the past five years.

As always a reminder that the projected round means the round that I think they will be drafted.  The rankings of receivers is not based on the projected round but the grade I gave the receiver.  Without further adieu, here’s our 2012 NFL Draft wide receiver rankings: Read the rest of this entry » «2012 NFL Draft Wide Receiver Rankings»

David DeCastro Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 4 - 2012ADD COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, David DeCastro"David DeCastro

Stanford

Ht. 6-5 Wt. 310

Pass Blocking:  David DeCastro uses leverage and lateral agility to be an effective pass blocker.  He sits in his stance and is a natural knee bender.  Mirrors defenders with superior foot agility.  He extends his arm through contact and uses leverage to stay under the pads of defenders.  He is susceptible to the bull rush due to his lack of anchor strength but he re-sets as well as any guard in this draft.  His head is always on a swivel and wins matchups before the snap of the football with his awareness of blitzers.

Run Blocking:  DeCastro excels as a run blocker.  He played RG in Stanford’s power run scheme.  He has the quickest first step of any OL in this draft and is routinely the first off the ball.  Uses leverage really well and keeps a solid base under him through contact.  He excels in space, in the screen game or pulling, with his footwork and ability to break down.  He’s not a dominant drive blocker but has a nastiness about his game that will allow him to play to the whistle.  High effort guy that will give his all with each play. Read the rest of this entry » «David DeCastro Scouting Report»

Levy Adcock Scouting Report

Posted by Brad On February - 3 - 20122 COMMENTS
"2012 NFL Draft prospect, Levy Adcock"Levy Adcock

Oklahoma St.

Ht. 6-6 Wt. 322

Strengths:  Levy Adcock is a massive tackle/guard that has incredible strength.  He has a powerful base with incredible hand strength.  Once he is locked in with his hands he is tough to shake.  Impressive short area quickness that allows him to mirror defenders well.  Longs arms and extends them well into contact.  Impressive run blocker that can create a ton of surge off the ball.  Ideal run blocker in a power running scheme.  Does an excellent job getting into the second level and seal for a big man.  Impressed on tape by an almost 330 pound man cutting defenders in open space.  He breaks down well in space and drops his pad level to gain leverage down the field.  Impressive conditioning for a big man in OSU’s up-tempo offense. Read the rest of this entry » «Levy Adcock Scouting Report»