In response to moskk's comment:
In response to PatsEng's comment:
In response to moskk's comment:
It could be argued that the majority of contributors here would strongly consider the Pats drafting a DL in the first round...providing that we get good value at that pick. Questions continue to be raised about the potential contributions of CFL DL Armond Armstead, a surprising late season acquisition.
So what are the positives about Armstead? As a USC 2008 recruit he was considered a 4-star acquision having been rated the 10th best football player in California as well as the 10 best DL nationally. Much was expected of this 6'4", 287lb wonder.
Armond saw only sporatic PT in his freshman and sophomore seasons but started to flash in his junior year. His quickness at both DE and DT seemed to justify his recruitment and suggested potential stardom. His untimely heart attack changed his future when doctors banned him from football. His heart attack was later blamed on medical doctors injecting him with Toradol, a pain killer. He was not drafted by the NFL for similar concerns.
Armstead was signed in the CFL a year later and restarted his football career. Having risen to the distinction of an ALL-STAR as a DL he drew the attention of teams in the NFL. Statistically his performance could only be considered AVERAGE but he appeared to be both athletic and fast when compared to his peers. He appeared to be operating at a higher gear but what could be his NFL position? His 6'4" size and excellent reach along with 287lb weight suggested DE yet his speed in the 40 (5.0+) was too slow for the NFL where speeds of 4.7 are considered desireable.
No, the Pats interest in Armstead was as a situational inside pass rusher where his 5.0 forty speed would be considered fast relative to the OL he would face. Already having demonstrated a quick first step and excellent lateral movement he could be expected to penetrate. His 6'4" frame and excellent reach along with very admirable jumping ability could block passing lanes ala Watt. He could supply the missing element in passing situations. As such, his ceiling could be considerable.
Armstead appeared "fast" in college and the CFL as a DE because the level of competition did not compare with the NFL. His statistics in college and the CFL did not indicate dominance. Yet he did show improvement and flashes of what could be a higher ceiling. As such he was signed with about as much promise as a 7th round draft choice that could make the grade.
The thing I'm consistently cautioning people against, when it comes to Armstead, is that he never lived up to his potential in college. He showed flashes but it didn't look like the effort was always there. Now things could have change, admittedly didn't watch him in the CFL, but the Pats among a number of teams worked him out last April as a potential UDFA. Even with the heart attack many teams would be willing to take a red shirt year on a 4 star kid unless there were other concerns, such as on field effort, work ethic, and aquired moves beyond physical dominance. The Pats clearly decided that Forston was a better option then Amstead and the Pats are one of the teams who have in the past taken red shirt kids with high upside just to stash them for next year. If what they saw wasn't enough and they wanted to see what he had after another year then it was more then just health concerns involved. Now I see him as a camp body and potential Pryor/Deadrick replacement but until he proves what he has against top NFL talent I don't consider him a solution to any problem. The other telling thing is the contract he signs barely puts him in the top 51 contract territory so if he doesn't even qualify for the top 53 at the end of camp he can be released during camp with no penalities. If he has the potential most believe he does then I'd have to believe he'd get a better offer from another team with more space to take the hit. There is just to much out there that says to me they view him as nothing more then a high upside talent type of player who help remove enough red flags to warrent a look in camp. But, BB doesn't streak me as a person who puts all his eggs into one basket and to me will still target DL early in the draft or FA and if Amstead works out then great we built tremendous depth at little cost, if he doesn't then you weren't counting on him to begin with so no issues.
The bottom line is that the acquisition of Armond Armstead should not influence our drafting priorities. His level of predictability as to a successful NFL transition remains low. Had his performance statistics at college and in the CFL been remarkable by showing a high degree of dominance one might feel otherwise.
I think most would agree.