While Bill Belichick has been knocking it out of the park with high draft picks recently (Chandler Jones, Rob Gronkowski, Dont'a Hightower, Jamie Collins etc), you can't forget contributions from likes of Brandon Bolden, Julian Edelman and Malcolm Butler whom once considered to be nobodies in draft process.
I always enjoy watching clips of potential late rounders / UDFAs more than I do with those of blue chip prospects, probably because I am more of skewed "that guy" who wants to feel superior by knowing what others don't know...then act like an expert when it once gains more publicity.
While our fellow freeland1787 continues to do his awesome scouting reports on guys who have already been oft-discussed, I'd like to introduce guys who are more unheralded, yet can potentially help Patriots and turn into next hidden gems BB discovers from a scrap heap.
You need to understand these prospects are projected in lower rounds for a reason and are by no means Khalil Macks or Odell Beckham Jrs, who would wow you on tape and turn into immediate stars as soon as they enter the league. But those who have been following BB shall be aware that being a solid depth / rotational player is nothing to be frowned upon here.
With the departure of Vince Wilfork, age concern with Alan Branch, and health concern with Sealver Siliga, Patriots can certainly use more depth in "big bodies" to beef up the trench. Thus, for this particular entry, I want to focus on a DT/NT from University of Houston, Joey Mbu.
He has very ideal body make up for a NT. There's nothing I else can say, really.
#Houston DT Joey Mbu came in at 6'3", 313 lbs with 35" arms. Longest arms of the DL group.— RTRC (@RoadToRadioCity) February 20, 2015
RT @Alex_Kozora: Look at how big Joey Mbu's legs are. You could land a plane on those things. pic.twitter.com/KuwdsxE5KQ— 5More (@NotoriousMbu) February 22, 2015
And Mike Mayock decided to channel his inner Sir Mix a Lot
"Prototypical nose tackle. I like him in a 3-4 or 4-3. Big bubble butt, big trunk. He's a 2-down run stuffer." - Mike Mayock on Joey Mbu— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 22, 2015
There were two Houston games I could find online. (AND YES, I made scouting clips out of full games, all by myself. Only for you Pulpit, only for you. Follow cursors & #92 on vids, y'all)
I consider his game against Pitt to be "better" since he was facing a pro style, run-first offense featuring James Conner, one of the best RBs in college football nowadays.
JM vs Pitt 1stQt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Pitt 2ndQt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Pitt 3rdQt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Pitt 4thQt by KenDisChargeman
Now this game against Cincinnati. He didn't play bad by any means. But a shot gun exclusive, simple read, very college-esque spread offence is just a bad match up for a big run stopping NT.
JM vs Cincinatti 1stQt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Cincinnati 2nd Qt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Cincinnati 3rdQt by KenDisChargeman
JM vs Cincinnati 4thQt by KenDisChargeman
If you've watch tapes (above), read the scouting report from Rob Rang (below) and thought, "Man, this is dead on!" then you are on the same exact boat as I am.
STRENGTHS: Boasts the prototypical frame for a run-stuffer with broad shoulders, long arms and a massive lower half, including a big butt and tree trunks for thighs. Good upper-body strength to lock out and anchors well, holding up nicely at the point of attack.Shows good balance and lateral agility to slide down the line and force the action wide. Effective swim move to penetrate as a pass rusher and has enough short-area quickness to close.Good awareness. Gets his hands up in the passing game (eight career passes broken up, including two interceptions) and recognizes screens quickly, peeling off to locate the potential receiver rather than rushing the quarterback. Voted a team captain as a junior and senior.
WEAKNESSES: Heavy-footed. Struggles to make plays outside of the tackle box and isn't much of a threat as a rusher (four career sacks). Often among the last off the ball and does not possess the quickness or speed to offer much in pursuit (though he does show good effort in this area).Pad level rises as he tires and Houston frequently subbed him out, raising concerns about his conditioning. Weight needs to be monitored as he has weighed as much as 350 pounds in the past.
Mbu isn't the quick-twitch pass rusher so en vogue in today's NFL. He has the frame, strength and awareness that scouts are looking for in an interior run-plugger, however, which will attract attention from 3-4 and 4-3 clubs, alike.
Other scouting Reports
http://www.nfl.com/draft/2015/profiles/joey-mbu?id=2552284 (Note: I don't agree he can't two-gap)
Re-watching lesser-known draft prospects, and Houston DT Joey Mbu stands out. Great strength, good speed, shoots gaps, splits double teams.— Doug Farrar (@SI_DougFarrar) February 16, 2015
It is not very common to see terms "smart" or "good character" being used as mere space fillers for less heralded prospects (because, you know, they run out of positive things to write about). However, that's certainly not the case with this son of a gun.
From Zierlein's scouting report:Football and personal character are sky-high, according to regional scouts.
Sources Tell Us: "The coaches at Houston can't stop talking about how good the kid is and what kind of leader he is." -- AFC defensive line coach
More from aforementioned scouting reports:
Voted a team captain as a junior and senior.
"Though it seems like he just got here, he’s become a leader for us in such a short amount of time. When you’re elected team captain by your peers after being here only four semesters, that speaks volumes about what his teammates think about him. He’s a man … who has great quickness for an athlete that size, uses outstanding technique and fundamentals and has great off-the-field work ethic. He’s a player who will have the opportunity to play this game a long time if he chooses to." – Houston head coach Tony Levine.
I asked Houston DE Joey Mbu about new coach (ex-OSU OC) Tom Herman. "Every teammate I’ve talked to, they’re really impressed with him."— Bill Rabinowitz (@brdispatch) February 20, 2015
I could almost smell too much Belichick from his character.
Asked 6-2, 315-pound Joey Mbu his best NFL position. "Slot receiver."— Doug Farrar (@SI_DougFarrar) February 20, 2015
Solid sense of humor. That helps too.
Patriots may be leaning toward more aggressive and penetrating D#, which may lead them to draft DTs like Carl Davis in earlier rounds. With needs at other position, this would force them to find depth run stopper in later rounds if they elect to draft one. Mbu is currently projected to be a sixth rounder according to CBS and would present a great value as a potential core rotation player / fringe starter.
In fact, Patriots did talk to him at the Combine.
Houston DL Joey Mbu met with the Patriots last night. Joked that his best position is slot receiver.— Doug Kyed (@DougKyedNESN) February 20, 2015
Don't be surprised if he turns to be another late round gem for Bill, a la Kyle Love (a former UDFA).
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