Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
dhunt2402

Patriots Draft Focus: Linebacker

Recommended Posts

Day 3 and perhaps the most glaring need on the team...

Linebacker

For a position that on paper looked pretty solid heading into the season, what happened in 2017 really can't be classified as any sort of surprise. Dont'a Hightower is an all-time Patriots great, in large part thanks to his postseason heroics, but counting on him to finish the season healthy, let alone play all 16 games plus the playoffs, just isn't realistic at this point. And not that Shea McClellin was anything to write home about to begin with, but he probably would've been better than the players we had to roll with through the playoffs. Guys like Marquis Flowers and Elandon Roberts are fine as situational players, but asking them to start and/or play away from their strengths will once again absolutely kill this team when it counts. So no better time than the draft for an infusion of talent!

-- 

Early target: Rashaan Evans, Alabama

With Roquan Smith likely off the board well before we have a chance to pick, the only other guy I'd even think about tomorrow night is Rashaan Evans. Saban (and I'm sure Daboll) will have definitely clued Belichick in on the type of player he is. If it's anything close to the player he looked like last season in the middle of college football's best defense, he'll be close to the top of our board. Plays like a smaller Hightower, excellent instincts in the run game, quicker and better able to stay with guys in coverage, and a nose for the QB rushing the passer. Pretty close to a sure thing, and a no-brainer to me with either of our 1st round picks.


Player(s) to avoid: Malik Jefferson, Texas

There are a few players I'd be hesitant investing a high pick in but ultimately OK with drafting. Vander Esch's medical issues, Darius Leonard making the jump from South Carolina State. Malik Jefferson though, I gotta pass. The athletic numbers say he should be an animal, but he never really put it together on the field at Texas. Then you have reports questioning his desire and happiness playing football, the weaknesses in his game (leverage, coverage technique) are all correctible by NFL coaching staffs, but not wanting to live and breathe the game is another thing altogether. Let someone else take that gamble.
 

Late round sleeper: Josey Jewell, Iowa

Jewell has been moving up boards lately, wouldn't be surprised to see him off the board as early as Round 3. Wherever he goes, I think he's gonna be a really effective linebacker at the next level. Always around the football, really agile (one of the fastest 3 cone times at the combine), and insanely productive his last three seasons at Iowa, averaging 127 tackles a season playing in one of the best conferences in college football. Definitely a guy who I'd feel comfortable slotting in there immediately ahead of some of the guys we went with last year.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Great insight and write-up. The 40 time for Jewell has been made out to be a big deal, so the 3 come time is very encouraging and I’m hoping teams sleep on him if we miss out on LVE and Evans. I would have no issue taking him in the late 2nd/early 3rd range, depending on how our draft turns out player/pick wise, as well as how the board shakes out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Darius Leonard. Seems people are really high or really low on him, doesn’t seem to be a middle ground on the guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, DaPatsKid98 said:

Great insight and write-up. The 40 time for Jewell has been made out to be a big deal, so the 3 come time is very encouraging and I’m hoping teams sleep on him if we miss out on LVE and Evans. I would have no issue taking him in the late 2nd/early 3rd range, depending on how our draft turns out player/pick wise, as well as how the board shakes out.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on Darius Leonard. Seems people are really high or really low on him, doesn’t seem to be a middle ground on the guy.

I like Leonard, I think he's definitely gonna have a steep learning curve but he plays with a ton of hustle and definitely has the athleticism to cut it if he can swing the mental side. I think 2nd round might be a bit rich but if we trade back a bit I think he could be a great value pick.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One guy I really like is Genard Avery from Memphis.  Little short but he's built well 6-0 248. He's athletic and moves well.  Pretty athletic and takes good angles and covers well.  Needs to improve his tackling technique and he used next to no technique rushingup middle and can teach him to use his hands better. 

I also like jewell and after the combine it was really surprising for a lot of guys how athletic he really is. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  



×