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New England Patriots Draft Pick Analysis


Surprise, surprise, the New England Patriots decided to stand pat and not move any of their draft picks on the second night of the 2013 NFL Draft. The team took linebacker Jamie Collins, wide receiver Aaron Dobson, cornerback Logan Ryan, and strong safety Duran Harmon.

Wait, who is Duran Harmon? Yup, the Patriots decided to take a no namer with their 91st pick in the NFL Draft. Keep reading and I go in depth on each player, including the unknown Duran Harmon.

New England Patriots Draft Picks

Round 2, Pick 52: Jamie Collins LB, Southern Miss
---Jamie Collins is easily the most athletic linebacker in the draft. He was a standout at the NFL combine, excelling in virtually every single drill. He's a flexible player that fits the Patriots system considering he has experience at defensive end, outside linebacker and middle linebacker. He's played on all four units on special teams which bodes well for his potential to play this season.

As a pass rusher, Collins has loads of potential off the edge due to his speed and strength. He had ten sacks in his final season with Southern Miss and showed a myriad of different pass rushing moves. He isn't quite elite considering he doesn't have the size to beat some tackles, but the potential is there once he bulks up in the NFL.

Collins is very good in run support as he makes the read quickly and has good closing speed in getting to the ball carrier. Jamie's athleticism bodes well for his potential when it comes to his pass defense as he has the ability to stay with tight ends and some wide receivers.

The main knock on Collins is that he has a motor that sometimes runs cold but part of that might be due to the fact he played on one of the worst teams in college football that was out of games by the second half more often than not. If Collins is used in spurts and is able to put it all out on the field, he should be an extremely effective player.

Collins is the type of player that can substitute in on pass rushing situations and go after the quarterback. Down the line he could become a full time player but with Rob Ninkovich on the weak side, Collins will be better suited to being a star on special teams and coming in with a "Mark Anderson" type of role as a third-down pass rusher.

Round 2, Pick 59: Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
---New England finally gets a tall and physical wide receiver in Dobson. At 6'3", with 33" arms, Dobson has the ability to catch balls that not a lot of players can come close to catching. Dobson has made some of the most incredible catches in the history of college football, such as this one from 2011. He not only makes highlight reel catches but due to his long arms, height and leaping ability, he has probably the widest catch radius out of any players in the draft. At the least, he should have a long career as a possession wide receiver, but with his physical tools he has potential to be a great player in the NFL.

For a player his size, Aaron Dobson has surprisingly good route running abilities at all levels of the field. He does a good job of beating the press but also has very good footwork 10-20 yards down the field. Check out this video from the senior bowl practices to see what I mean. In that clip, Dobson shows off his very subtle movements that he makes to make up for his lack of breakaway speed. He high-steps his route to keep the defensive back wondering and makes a beautiful head fake to his right to create just enough room between them. The ball was underthrown but there was enough room for Dobson to go in for a touchdown if the pass was perfect.

In the red-zone, Dobson could potentially develop to be one of Tom Brady's favorite targets; he can get physical when he has to and will be able to find the open space. Dobson is also quite a smart route runner and is able to find the first down marker when he has to.

Dobson doesn't have speed to burn past many cornerbacks or safeties, which could hurt his ability to get open versus some teams. However, if the ball is thrown up to him down the field he is terrific at tracking the ball and leaping up to grab it which means he could have an immediate role in the Pats red-zone offense.

If Dobson can get the playbook down, he already has the physical skills to jump right in as the starting X-receiver. Even if he doesn't become the starter on day one, Dobson should have a role in New England's red-zone offense due to his size and physicality.

Round 3, Pick 83: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
---Logan Ryan is an extremely physical cornerback that had four interceptions and 21 passes defended in his senior year with Rutgers. Ryan is very good in both man and zone coverage and has the ability to press because of his physical style.

Logan Ryan doesn't have exceptional straight line speed but he excelled at the combine in three drills that New England puts a lot of value in: the 3-cone drill, 20 yard shuttle, and 60 yard shuttle. He led all cornerbacks in each of those drills, which shows his fantastic speed in space.

When the ball is in the air, Ryan does a fantastic job at tracking the ball. His 21 passes defended statistic is a pretty good representation of how well he's able to find the ball. However, he can sometimes get beat because he will jump on pump fakes. Smart quarterbacks may be able to take advantage of them

Ryan was a star on special teams, which adds to his value for New England. Bill Belichick drafts players that can play on special teams at a high frequency and Ryan could have a role as a gunner on this team. With that said, I doubt that he'll have much of a role with Aqib Talib, Alfonzo Dennard and Kyle Arrington ahead of him on the depth chart. Ryan could get some time ahead of Marquice Cole in the dime-package.

Round 3, Pick 91: Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
---New England decides to double dip with two players from Rutgers. This is an "out of nowhere" selection that will disappoint a lot of fans; I had no idea who he was before this selection, I won't deny it and act like I know everything about the kid. However, from what I can find: He's a smart kid, on and off the field; he won a lot of collegiate awards at school, he's a hard hitter and pretty good in run support. Harmon was also a standout on special teams and a co-captain in his senior year.

Check out his tape against Arkansas and it's obvious that Harmon is a hard hitter and has potential to be an "in-the-box safety." Check out this huge hit at the 1:10 mark of this video. He shows good play recognition, good technique and strength. He destroyed the receiver on that play and later in the game had a similar hit, though he didn't knock the ball loose. You can see that hit at the 3:25 mark.

Despite those two positives, I really don't like many of the angles that I'm seeing him take on the ball carrier or receiver. He made two great plays on the receiver in the two prior clips but throughout this game he takes too long to read the player. After Adrian Wilson, both Duron Harmon and Tavon Wilson will have potential to be the third safety in sub-packages. But right now, Harmon will likely be put on special teams.


Here are the remaining selections New England has:
Round 4, Pick 5 (102 overall)
Round 7, Pick 20 (226 overall)
Round 7, Pick 23 (229 overall)
Round 7, Pick 29 (235 overall)

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