I don’t think Collins will unseat anyone initially. But once he gets acclimated to the defense and the league, I see him as more of an edge threat – either at outside linebacker dropping into coverage occasionally or as a true defensive end. I do not see him taking Spikes’ place as an inside linebacker. Collins is very athletic and versatile and I believe he could carve a role either as a pass rusher or maybe even a coverage linebacker in sub packages. The interesting thing is, at the end of the season Ninkovich and Spikes will be free agent (unless they’re extended before then). Collins could replace Ninkovich if necessary, and I could see Dont’a Hightower moving inside to replace Spikes with Collins taking over on the outside if that scenario unfolded. Until then, I expect to see Collins in sub packages rushing the passer.
Do you see the picks of
I don’t see why it’s likely that one of them doesn’t pan out, but I do agree with your overall premise that having two instead of one is good insurance. Personally I’m more intrigued with Boyce, who is a speedster and big play guy who can play on the outside as well as in the slot. I’m enamored with his potential and I believe he could be a big-play guy right from the start before potentially growing into a bigger role. Dobson may have a bigger role initially but I don’t believe he’s as gifted as Boyce and may not have as much upside. Either way, it’s nice to have two young receivers who can play on the outside to develop into the offense.
I’m wondering if you could provide any additional insight into the drafting of
We were all curious with the Harmon pick but let’s not pretend we know where he was rated on other teams’ boards. Of course the Patriots evaluate what they believe the other teams will do and they try to establish how they feel other teams will set their boards, but you do realize that’s an impossible task, right? There is no way any team can know how any other team is feeling about any particular player. If Belichick wanted Harmon in the third round but felt he could wait, all it would have taken is one team to take him and then you lose the player. You credited Belichick for waiting in prior drafts but how would you have felt if they weren’t able to trade ahead of Baltimore to take Gronkowski? Would you still be praising them for accurately reading the board but not being able to execute to get their player? I doubt it, and I wouldn’t be either. It’s also much easier to read what other teams might do earlier in the draft than it is at the end of the third round. Bottom line here is if the Patriots liked Harmon then they were right to pick him. I’m skeptical just like you because I’m not sure he was worthy of such a selection, but I don’t question the method.
My question is with this draft and the free agents we have signed do you see us going back to running a 3-4 as our primary defense next year? Do you think a 3-4 would do a good job of hiding how bad Brandon Spikes is against the pass?
Anytime Belichick is involved I can always see schemes changing on both sides of the ball. We’ve seen him use the 4-3 and the 3-4 and at times both within the same game and season. I don’t think they’ll be totally a 3-4 next season but we may see more of those looks than we did last year given the addition of Jamie Collins, depending on how quickly he can contribute. I’m not sure the scheme does anything to help Spikes in coverage – either way he’ll be inside whether it’s the middle linebacker in the 4-3 or an inside guy in a 3-4. He likely will not be asked to cover as much depending on how other players, such as
Please, do NOT even consider signing Tim Tebow. He is way more trouble than he is worth. I can't believe Andy even brought the idea up again in his article on Monday!
So ... can we now bring in Tim Tebow as a multi-dimensional fullback?
I obviously put these two together if for no other reason than to showcase the polarizing nature of Tebow. These were not the only posts we received on Tebow this week – and the others were pretty much split down the middle in terms of pros and cons. Personally, I want no part of Tebow because I’m not sure he offers much. People assume he can contribute as a fullback or H-back type but have we seen him catch the ball or block? Does he have the durability to hold up in that role? I know he showed he could run as a quarterback as a member of the Broncos so I think he could add something in that department. Otherwise, he can’t throw so he offers little as a dual threat and as I mentioned, he hasn’t been asked to do the things that would make him “multi-dimensional.” By all accounts Tebow is a great teammate and person, but I’ll pass on Tebow the football player.
I know everyone will be asking about the draft picks so I'll skip to what I think is the best pickup so far in
I liked the Blount trade if only because the Patriots gave up nothing to get him. Jeff Demps wasn’t going to be part of the Patriots plans after declaring his intentions of participating in football and track. So getting something in return for him was wise. But Blount hasn’t been leaping anyone in the open field for a while and basically found himself glued to the bench last year while Doug Martin ran wild. Blount looks slow and plodding to me and he strikes me as the type of back who needs a lot of carries to get in a rhythm. He’s not likely going to be that guy in New England with
Hey long time reader from Auburn, California. Love your work. I have a few questions. 1) What are the odds of the Pats keeping LeGarrette Blount and what role would he likely play? 2) With the additions of Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce what is likely going to happen with
As I just mentioned, I believe Blount has a chance to earn a role on the roster if he can beat out Brandon Bolden but I don’t expect his role to be significant. As for the wideouts, I think Jones will likely make the cut while Jenkins is sent packing. Jones is younger and has the versatility to play inside and outside. I don’t think he’s a difference-maker, but as a third or fourth option he could provide value. Jenkins is slow and has had trouble getting open. Unless he fits in perfectly with Brady and the offense I don’t see him making much of an impact. In terms of cap space, the Patriots have plenty of room to sign someone like Abraham. In fact, I’d be stunned if he or another veteran pass rusher is not signed. Many reports have indicated that Abraham is pretty much set to join the team and I’d be surprised at this point if that didn’t happen.
Why is everyone OK with trading away
Based on the feedback we receive from fans, I’d say you are pretty much alone. Mallett has never played a meaningful snap so there’s no way to know just how good he is. But the Patriots watch him every day in practice and they have an idea of his talent level. When Brady retires the Patriots will obviously suffer a drop-off at quarterback whether it’s Mallett or anyone else. If New England can get a mid-round draft pick for him, I’d say that’s a trade they should make.
No new QBs for the Patriots from, either, the draft, or from any of the UFA QBs out there?
This is a topic I’ve never quite understood. John’s feelings are no different from a lot of people who worry about the backup quarterback. First, Ryan Mallett and
I assume you’re talking about the concussion Ridley suffered in the AFC Championship Game loss to Baltimore. As far as I know he hasn’t been dealing with any lingering effects from the hit but if he were there’s no reason to believe the media would know about it. The Patriots do a good job of keeping that stuff under wraps, and I would think that would be especially true with a head injury. But even if Ridley is dealing with some problems, I don’t expect Blount to have a huge role. I think Belichick thought he had a chance to add a player for a fair price and he did so with the thought of seeing what Blount could provide. Nothing more, nothing less. If Blount pans out, perhaps he’ll take some time away from Ridley and the other backs but I’m not counting on that.
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