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Patriots NFL Draft Prospect: OLB Robert Quinn, UNC

Name: OLB Robert Quinn

School: UNC

Size: 6'4, 265 lbs

Expected Round: 1st, Top 10

3 Cone: 6.99s

40 Time: 4.60s

Career Stats: Click Here

Player Previews: CBS; Walter Football; NFL Combine [If you would like your website included, please e-mail me!]

Strengths: Prototypical size, speed, and power for a 3-4 pass rushing OLB. Elite quickness for his size. Tremendous upside. Fantastic stunting to the inside. Able to shed blockers to reach the ball carrier. Powerful enough to handle tackles, more than capable of destroying tight ends and running backs. Great first step and pursuit. Elite closing burst to the ball carrier or quarterback. Able to take solid angles and lever his body to get around taller tackles. Will be even better off the line where he can gain momentum against blockers. Looks to be athletic enough to cover in the flat in zone coverages, and some man.

Weaknesses: Sometimes loses his gap in order to get into the backfield, which leaves big running and passing lanes open. May not have the agility or fluidity to cover downfield. Suspended this past season for illegal benefits from agents. Had brain surgery for a tumor that needs to be further looked into while evaluating the prospect. Inexperienced with only two seasons of college production. Needs to improve his pass rushing tool set. His sacks came against lower quality teams.

Why and Why Not the Patriots after the jump, and my final verdict!

Why the Patriots?: Quinn is the premier pass rushing, run stuffing 3-4 OLB transition prospect in the draft and the Patriots need help with exactly that. They need a consistent pass rush, which Quinn can provide, while also helping stuff the run. He has tremendous athletic upside and could become an elite pass rusher in the NFL. He has the versatility to be an every down player for the Patriots.

Why Not the Patriots?: He missed a year and there are a lot of red flags surrounding him. Why didn't he rack up sacks, or even tackles, against top teams? What's his character like? How's his surgery history? How will he transition into the 3-4 OLB spot? Will he be more than just a pass rusher/run stuffer? If the Patriots are going to trade up into the top 10 for a player, it'll be one with fewer question marks.

Verdict: I don't see Quinn coming to the Patriots. No, it's actually not because of only two seasons of production and an off year (see: Rob Gronkowski). I actually see Quinn's upside as developing into some combination of Demarcus Ware and Tamba Hali. However, I see too many question marks and red flags surrounding Quinn for the Patriots to move up in a crucial draft. The Patriots' are in a position where they can address almost every hole on the team with a solid player, so sacrificing some of those holes to grab Question Mark Quinn is a big risk I don't think the Patriots will take.

Robert Quinn vs Virginia

Robert Quinn vs Boston College (Anthony Castonzo)