Tag Archives: New England Patriots Offense

PATRIOTS 7 ROUND MOCK DRAFT 2 .0

The 2018 NFL Draft is just over a week away and the Patriots still have some holes and needs on the roster that they will look to address in the draft. After a surprising trade that sent wide receiver Brandin Cooks to the Los Angeles Rams, the Patriots now own two picks in the first and second rounds and own five of the first 95 picks in the draft.

This seven-round mock draft was conducted on FanSpeak.com using their mock draft simulator. I used the ‘Big Board’ rankings done by Matt Miller of Bleacher Report, with ‘NFL Mock’ for team needs, on the difficult draft setting.  Some players may be ranked higher in other rankings and projections then were taken in this mock draft.

via hogshaven.com

Round 1 Pick 23: Rashaan Evans, Linebacker, Alabama

The Patriots linebacking core was terrible in 2017. The Patriots will benefit heavily from getting Dont’a Hightower back from injury in 2018, but is someone the Patriots can not rely on to stay healthy and even with Hightower returning and healthy the Pats could use an upgrade at the position. The Pats select another Alabama linebacker in Evans to pair with Hightower. Evans is extremely versatile and has the ability to play both inside and outside in the pros, as well as get after the quarterback and drop into coverage. Selecting Evans gives a great complimentary piece to Hightower, as well as gives the Patriots insurance if Hightower misses time again in the future. Evans had an official visit with the Patriots last week and is someone who is definitely on the Patriots radar.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 14 UCLA at Arizona
via dailynews.com

Round 1 Pick 31: Kolton Miller, Offensive Tackle, UCLA

I had the Patriots selecting Miller here in the first version of my mock draft and stick with him again here. Following the departure of left tackle Nate Solder tackle immediately becomes one of the biggest needs for the Patriots, despite the team re-signing LaAdrian Waddle in free agency. Waddle filled in nicely last year at right tackle for Marcus Cannon, but is not a full-time starter. Miller can step in right away and protect the blindside of quarterback Tom Brady. Miller has good size and arm length similar to Solder which will help him defend speed rushers off the edge. 2017 third-round pick Tony Garcia is reported to be getting healthier after missing all of the 2017 season due to having blood clots in his lungs and the Patriots could defer to take a tackle later on in the draft if they believe in Garcia, but I have them taking Miller here who can step in and start right away. Miller visited with the Patriots last week and wouldn’t be surprising to see his name called by the Patriots on Day One of the NFL Draft.

via mlive.com

Round 2 Pick 43: Maurice Hurst, Defensive Line, Michigan

Let me start off by saying that I do not think Hurst will be available at this pick, hell I don’t even think Hurst be around at 23 if were being honest but it’s the way the simulator goes and if for some reason Hurst was available here the Patriots should run up the stage with the draft card with his name on it. As a Michigan fan I’ve watched a lot of Hurst over the past few years and he is an absolute monster on the defensive line. His speed and explosiveness allows him to go through an offensive line with ease and disrupt plays in the backfield. Hurst also has the ability to play inside or outside due to his combination of size and speed. Would be small for a true interior defensive lineman listed at 6’2 282 pounds, but has size flexibility to gain weight to his frame to become more of an interior player or stay where he’s at or slim down and play primarily on the outside and move inside on third down and passing situations. Hurst did have a medical condition for an irregular heartbeat at the NFL Combine but was cleared medically prior to his pro day.

via fullpresscoverage.com

Round 2 Pick 63: Mike Gesicki, Tight End, Penn State

While I believe that Rob Gronkowski will return to the Patriots for 2018 his status is currently unknown. Even if Gronkowski returns, Gesicki is an improvement from Jacob Hollister and Dwayne Allen, the latter who still could be released from the Patriots and save the team $5 million in cap space, as well as be a nice compliment to Gronkowski in the passing game. Gesicki has good size listed at 6’5 247 pounds, and had a great combine running a 4.54 40-yard dash. While Gesicki isn’t polished as a blocker he has great hands and route running ability, which could allow the Patriots to draft Gesicki and still keep Allen, who was used primarily as a blocker last season.

via hogshaven.com

Round 3 Pick 95: Kyle Lauletta, Quarterback, Richmond

The big question of who is going to be Tom Brady’s successor has finally been answered in Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta. Lauletta could end up going earlier than this due to the need of quarterbacks around the league, and the reported Patriots interest in Lauletta earlier in the draft process and offseason. Lauletta was the MVP of the Senior Bowl and has drawn comparisons to Jimmy Garoppolo, primarily due to the two both being quarterbacks from the FCS and some similarities in their play style. If Belichick sees Lauletta as a similar player to Garoppolo you could see the Patriots, and other teams attempt to move up earlier in the draft to select him. There were reports that the Patriots were the team most interested in Lamar Jackson, and while I think Jackson is a great player do not want the Patriots selecting a quarterback too early in the draft, especially with the team likely having to move up in the first round to select Jackson.

via standard.net

Round 6 Pick 198: Taron Johnson, Cornerback, Weber State

Cornerback looked to be a big need for the Patriots after Malcolm Butler signed with the Tennessee Titans and the Patriots missed out on top guys on the market such as Aqib Talib and Richard Sherman. The Patriots then made a call to their farm system the Cleveland Browns to acquire Jason McCourty, which doesn’t make corner as big an area of need for the Patriots. Johnson player both outside and in the slot during his time at Weber State, but projects as more of an inside corner in the pros due to his size. Johnson has good ball skills having 42 passes broken up during his time at Weber State and could push Cyrus Jones for a roster spot if the former second-round pick doesn’t show signs of improvement.

via azcentral.com

Round 6 Pick 210: Christian Sam, Linebacker, Arizona State

Patriots go linebacker again in the sixth round taking Christian Sam, who is a slightly undersized linebacker but has the ability to play inside and outside linebacker. Sam is a good coverage linebacker which is something the Patriots lacked last season and can help fill a role on defense and is someone who always seems to be around the ball. Sam is another player who has had an official visit with the Patriots prior to the draft.

edmonds
via emny.com

Round 7 Pick 216: Chase Edmonds, Running Back, Fordham

The Patriots lost Dion Lewis in free agency but retained Rex Burkhead as well as signed Jeremy Hill in the offseason which doesn’t make running back a huge need. Edmonds was an extremely productive four year starter at the FCS level but dealt with some injuries during his time in college. The Patriots could take a flyer on him late to see how he translates from the FCS.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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New England Patriots Player Profiles: Is Danny Amendola Set For a Career Season?

In March of 2013, the New England Patriots acquired Danny Amendola via free agency after the departure of long-time, and extremely productive receiver Wes Welker. Patriots fans were irate with the decision, seeing how Welker had fought through injury throughout his six-year Patriots career and hardly missed any time.

On the other hand, Amendola had missed a total of twenty-two games in four seasons with the St. Louis Rams for various injuries, including a serious collar bone injury that could have taken his life. Amendola entered Foxborough the same way he entered Texas Tech, taking over for a record breaking Wes Welker at slot receiver.

Amendola’s first year and a half in Foxborough was tough and frustrating for himself and the fans. Not only did he struggle to stay healthy, which was his biggest question mark heading in, he also could not get on the same page as Tom Brady. He was the polar opposite of Wes Welker at the beginning.

Amendola’s career really jump started in week seven of last season against the New York Jets on a rainy Thursday night at Gillette Stadium. The score was 20-19 in the fourth quarter, and the Patriots were hanging on to the lead by the skin of their teeth. On a third and nineteen play, Tom Brady rolled out of the pocket to his left side and looked as if he was just firing the ball into the back of the end zone, when out of nowhere Amendola snagged the ball out of the air while getting hit by Jets safety Antonio Allen, for a touchdown. The Patriots prevailed in the end with a 27-25 victory.

musketfire.com
musketfire.com

That single play helped carry Amendola throughout the season, and particularly into the postseason. In three playoff games Amendola finished with eleven receptions, for 137 yards, and three touchdowns. The divisional round against the Baltimore Ravens is where Amendola contributed the most.

In the fourth quarter the Patriots faced a huge third down play while trailing 31-28. Brady fired a quick out-route to Amendola, and he then shook off Baltimore defenders to dive over the first-down marker, setting up a fresh set of downs. The Patriots would later score on a touchdown reception from Brandon LaFell, which gave the team the lead 35-31, the score they would win by.

 Of course Amendola’s most notable moments came in the end zone. His second touchdown of the Baltimore game from Julian Edelman which tied the game up at twenty-eight.His second touchdown of the Baltimore game from Julian Edelman which tied the game up at twenty-eight. Then about three weeks later, Amendola helped bring the Patriots back into Super Bowl XLIX, finding the end zone to narrow the Seattle lead to 24-21 in the fourth quarter.

bostonglobe.com
bostonglobe.com

Going into the 2015 season, Amendola looked set to be the number three receiver on the Patriots roster. However, with Brandon LaFell still on the physically unable to perform list, and Julian Edelman fighting injuries, Amendola has received more first team reps and targets from Tom Brady than any other Patriots wide receiver.

This increased amount of reps and comfort with the starting quarterback could very well lead to Danny Amendola’s first full season where he is a productive player on the Patriots roster. He brings a lot to the table. He has the ability to play in the slot, and also at times catch the ball outside of the numbers. In addition, his most underrated trait is his ability to run block. Last season, Josh McDaniels called a lot of sweep plays to the outside where Amendola would come down and stalk block on a defensive back.

Furthermore, Amendola was without a doubt the Patriots best kick returner in 2014. He came onto the scene in week twelve against Detroit where he had two very solid returns that helped jump start the Patriots offense.

In conclusion, now that Danny Amendola is a, “made-man” in the Patriots offense, he can now be apart of a plethora of targets that should be one of the league’s best offenses. With the contributions of All-Pro Rob Gronkowski, and the reliable Julian Edelman and Brandon LaFell, and now you can throw in Amendola who could bring in about sixty receptions, the Patriots offense should be lethal.