Other than the Bengals, no team received higher draft grades than the Patriots after what Bill Belichick did to shore up the pass rush. The Patriots took the player they coveted in Syracuse defensive end Chandler Jones and then traded ahead of the Baltimore Ravens for Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower. The Patriots needed defense and Belichick spent the first four picks on just that. All the new arrivals should get on the field this season. New England had only 40 sacks in 2011, and 10 of them were by Mark Anderson, who signed with the Bills. Andre Carter, who also had 10, remains unsigned. The rookies better perform.
Christopher Price reports Syracuse coach Tim Daoust, who worked with Chandler Jones, believes his "best football is ahead of him."
“He’s a perimeter player, a guy that lines up on the end of the line, whether you want to call him a linebacker or defensive end, but he’s an end-of-the-line player,’’ Patriots coach Bill Belichick told Sirius XM Radio shortly after the pick was made. “He’s got great length — height, arm length — [and] very athletic. He came out early, missed part of the season last year with an injury, but the opportunity he’s had to play he’s been very productive against a lot of good players in his conference, so we thought that he’d be able to work against NFL-type tackles.
“We played both odd and even front last year, I think we’ll continue to be multiple that way, but he’s more of an end-of-the-line player.”
“I know that the Patriots have a track record of taking versatile players who are also high-IQ guys, and Chandler fits that mold. He’s an extremely coachable kid who is also very intelligent,” Daoust said. “He’s able to take coaching very quickly when he gets out there on the football field. “
Another thing with Chandler is that a lot of people see the pass-rushing ability, and that’s very important. But at 6-foot-5 with those arms, he’s a long kid when it comes to coverage. I’m not saying he’s ready to drop into coverage now, but he’s a tough target to throw around, and eventually, in a 3-4 scheme, if he’s playing end, I think he can drop into coverage.”
- Erik Scalavino talks about this week's Sports Illustrated cover story about Junior Seau.
- Patriots Today - Gallery looks to earn a spot. (3.19 min. video)
- Tom E. Curran reports Nate Ebner has the athleticism to flourish in the NFL. says
- Field Yates wonders how the team plans to use its stable of running backs, and if they'll look to the Saints as a model.
- Steve Silva reports Patriots owner Robert Kraft is a finalist for the Pro Football Writers of America Halas award.
- Mike Reiss takes a closer look at the two-year contract signed by receiver Jabar Gaffney and what it might mean for the Patriots.
- Michael Felger and Steve DeOssie discuss if Joseph Addai is the ideal successor to Kevin Faulk as a third down back. (1.25 min. clip)
- annual football clinic May 19-20 to benefit the Wes Welker Foundation. will be holding his
- James Walker (ESPN) Wes Welker can't beat the Patriots.
- NFL Total Access (NFL.com) Biggest threat to the Patriots in the AFC East? Two out of three pick the Bills, Jamie Dukes picks the Jets. (6.27 min. video)
- NFL32 (ESPN) Talking Patriots with Mike Reiss, Chris Mortensen, Tim Hasslebeck and Cris Carter. (2.38 min. video)
- James Walker (ESPN) Poll: Second place in AFC East. Walker concedes first place to the Patriots.
- Josh Alper (ProFootballTalk) Jets still in the mix for Hard Knocks.
- The NOC: World's longest tennis match? New England Patriot Brandon Lloyd and Baltimore Raven Bryant McKinnie battle through an epic 77-years long tennis match. (2.37 min. video)
- MJD (Yahoo! Sports) Rob Gronkowski, Ndamukong Suh and Warren Sapp will woo young ladies on a Fox celebrity dating show.
- Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) NFL makes plans for replacement officials.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) One week after Seau's death, the wrong questions are being asked.
- Mike Florio (ProFootballTalk) Fouts, Harrison, Tomlinson among speakers at Seau event.
- Jack Bechta (Nat'l Football Post) NFL is in need of a better exit plan for its players.
- Matt Bowen (Nat'l Football Post) One way to ease the transition from the NFL.
- Mark Maske (Washington Post) Redskins, Cowboys set hearing Thursday in challenge to salary cap penalties.
- Punishment demands evidence.' (USA Today) NFL Players Association: '