Ian Rapoport notes that Bill Belichick expects everyone in the Patriots war room on Thursday to come with a complete knowledge of every single player -not just the players the Patriots are interested in.
"You need to know the whole board," Belichick said in a phone call last night. "That’s part of what has helped us in making trades and maneuvering on draft day, understanding what we think is the value on the board as it relates to us, and our perception of what it is in the league. It’s just doing your homework."
"If somebody’s interested in or you think they’re interested in a certain player, from your evaluations, you have some idea of whether that is or isn’t a possibility," Belichick said. "If you (evaluate) the guy and you say, ‘There’s no way this guy could go in the first round, here’s all the reasons why, I can’t imagine any team taking him,’ well, that might be good to know. Versus, if you haven’t done it at all, maybe the guy would go, maybe he wouldn’t. But you at least want to know what the player’s true value is."
"But you want to know what you’re trading away from or what somebody else might be trading into," he said. "Even though that might not be your guy, it’s still useful information."
Paul Perillo talks with Patriots director of college scouting Jon Robinson about the upcoming Draft. One topic discussed was how to evaluate pass rushers who will be able to make the transition to OLB in the NFL.
Belichick has often cited the parameters he targets for outside linebackers as players who are 6-4 and run in the neighborhood of 4.6 40s. With that in mind, Robinson was asked if there were any tell-tale physical attributes we might look for to tell us if and how such a player may be better-suited to make the switch in the Patriots system.
"I absolutely agree with Bill on that. If he’s a defensive end in college does he have the capability of standing up and playing outside linebacker? Or maybe an interior defensive tackle, is he big enough and strong enough to move over and play nose tackle in a 3-4 front? Those are some of the questions you have to ask yourself when you evaluate the player. Because if you think he can do it but in the end he really can’t, then you’re just trying to put a square peg in a round hole," Robinson said.
"With the amount of zone blitzes colleges do you’ll see enough examples of those defensive ends dropping into coverage and you try to ear mark those plays and pay particular attention to that because that’s something he’s going to be asked to do. Then when you ask the guy to rush the passer, well, rushing the passer is rushing the passer so if he can do it pretty good in college then you’d think it would translate to the NFL. Likewise, if he can hold up against tackles and not get knocked off the ball on the edge you would think that would be able to translate. Against good competition – not dominating against some lower level teams. Does he do it against the good teams on a consistent basis? That’s where you can kind of get a correlation."
"It is a bit like Christmas for us," Robinson said with a laugh, "but as long as the trades are in the best interests of the team it doesn’t matter to us."
- Jay Kelleher takes a look back at how the Patriots 2010 Draft unfolded and the impact the 2010 draft class made on the team.
- Andy Hart prepares a list of the top running backs available in next week's draft and the general order he'd select them if he could make the picks.
- Patriots Football Weekly writers break down wide receivers.
- Patriots Football Weekly writers break down offensive linemen.
- Patriots Today - 2011 Draft Preview: Defensive Line. (5.13 min. video)
- PFW in Progress (4/21/11): This edition includes discussions of the Draft and a wide variety of offseason topics. (2 hour program)
- Ian Rapoport sees the Patriots targeting an explosive wide receiver in this years draft.
- Ian Rapoport details the wide receivers in the draft that would likely be a good fit for the Patriots.
- Mark Farinella notes that while there are more pressing needs for the Patriots in the draft, it wouldn't hurt to see if they can upgrade the depth at inside linebacker.
- Karen Guregian looks back at the Patriots first rounders and says it will be interesting to see how they draft this year with a potential rookie wage scale in place.
- Karen Guregian looks at Maryland WR Torrey Smith as a player Bill Belichick would likely want to have on his team.
- Shalise Manza Young evaluates two players who will hit the NFL running: DL Marcell Dareus (Alabama) and DL Nick Fairley (Auburn).
- Tom E. Curran is told by Bill Belichick that this year's crop of defensive linemen is more talented than any "he can remember".
- Mike Reiss notes Bill Belichick made the point that evaluating outside linebackers for the 3-4 defense is one of the big challenges in the scouting process.
- Mike Reiss projects possible Patriots: DE/OLB Jabaal Sheard (Pittsburgh).
- Tom E. Curran profiles potential Patriots: OLB Akeem Ayers (UCLA) and OLB Justin Houston (Georgia).
- Tom E. Curran and Mike Giardi preview possible Patriots Draft picks: Offensive line (3.29 min. video).
- Christopher Price tells us the Rule of 26-27-60 and tries to apply it to this year's QB class.
- Ian Rapoport wonders if backup Brian Hoyer is the answer to replacing Tom Brady.
- Ian Rapoport gets Bill Belichick's explanation as to why the Patriots hosted QBs Ryan Mallett and Jake Locker.
- The Providence Journal profiles five lesser-known quarterbacks for the Patriots to keep an eye on come Draft day.
- Steve Silva reports Tom Brady was spotted in Disneyland with his son Jack and niece Jordan.
- Mike Reiss offers the transcript of his weekly online chat.
- Mike Reiss notes Matt Light was a guest on ESPNBoston radio promoting next Tuesday's "Lockout Breakfast", which will include Logan Mankins and Vince Wilfork.
- Jeff Howe reports fancy cars, freeloading family members and deceitful agents can quickly send NFL players deep into bankruptcy.
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Draft watch: AFC East.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Retired players will announce second-round draft picks.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) NFL has three-week cushion in schedule to allow for lost games.
- Andy Benoit (CBS Sports) NFL schedule suggests season could start Oct. 2.
- Luis DeLoureiro (Cold Hard Football Facts) A letter to GMs: Four big Draft-Day Don'ts.
- Russ Lande (Sporting News) Overrated, underrated: Projecting picks for 2011 NFL Draft.
- Peter King (SI) 2011 NFL Mock Draft. Patriots will select G/C Mike Pouncey (Florida) at 17, but should pick DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin) instead. They trade their #28 pick.
- Wes Bunting (Nat'l Football Post) Mid/late round wideouts with big-time talent.
- Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) Overriding the draft board.
- Peter Schrager (Fox Sports) Medical questions hurt players Draft stock.
- drafting defensive backs is critical. (Nat'l Football Post) Why
- John Mastroberardino (ESPN Magazine) Best-paid athletes in 30 sports.
- Eli Kaberon (Pro Football Weekly) Owners make the right call in demanding HGH testing.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Players may try to beat concussion tests.
- Gary Myers (NY Daily News) Who needs the 2011 NFL Draft? Ruling coming Monday on NFLPA's preliminary injunction to lift lockout.
- Judy Battista (NY Times) NFL argues against damages in TV case.
- Jim Corbett (USA Today) Lockout puts draft at forefront of NFL's crazy 2011 calendar.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) League declines to waive conflict of interest on possible intervention.
- Jon Saraceno (USA Today) Analyst 'surprised' potential NFLPA splinter group took this long to form.
- Dan Wetzel (Yahoo! Sports) Players show signs of cracking in labor dispute.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Goodell fears an NFL without a draft, free agency rules.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Kris Jenkins: Lockout is the owners' time to be greedy.
- Doug Farrar (Yahoo! Sports) Larry Fitzgerald: Veterans should help younger players financially.
- Michael David Smith (ProFootballTalk) Amani Toomer: Roger Goodell uses Gestapo-like tactics.