Re: Several Pats Draft Grades From the Pros
posted at 5/2/2012 5:27 AM EDT
this is such a straight forward pick by pick analysis by walter football without any pro or anti patriot bias (or fear of calling something what it is).
happen to agree ebert and ebner could have been picked up in fa.
2012 NFL Offseason: New England Patriots New England Patriots (Last Year: 13-3) 2012 NFL Draft Grade: B- Goals Entering the 2012 NFL Draft:
Draft Grades, Season Previews, Offseason Needs, Free Agents
New England's needs are pretty obvious. The team couldn't get any pressure on the quarterback last year, which impacted an already-lackluster secondary. It should be mostly defense here, with the occasional receiver or offensive lineman. 2012 NFL Draft Accomplishments:
The Patriots were infamous for trading down and stockpiling picks. Until now. They've changed their ways apparently - and understandably so.
Tom Brady will be 35 in August. His Super Bowl window is quickly closing. Unlike the Broncos, the Patriots understand that they need to acquire as much immediate help for their aging quarterback as possible. For Brady, that was pass-rushing assistance on the defensive side of the ball because he has the appropriate amount of weapons to work with on offense.
So, New England's plan was a great one. Its execution, however, wasn't very good. I liked the Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower selections, and Alfonzo Dennard was a mega steal in Round 7, but Bill Belichick made far too many reaches. Tavon Wilson, selected at No. 48 overall, shouldn't have gone until at least the fourth round. Meanwhile, Nate Ebner, as mentioned below, wasn't ranked anywhere.
Having said that, the Patriots still improved their roster and gave themselves a better chance of actually winning the Super Bowl this year.
</SCRIPT> <NOSCRIPT> <A href="http://va.px.invitemedia.com/pixel?returnType=redirect&key=Click&b=ri241.ovq.wiz.cebq2&message=eJwdy7EOgCAMhOF3uZlBaCnQp3DtyOaAJgzGwfjuVrfLl_tvRCim9Wpzt82uFQEZGhungOSDAgTKmTm60E95qcmdPG0sIt4w9DjHcKTvIa2U5wX9OhT5&redirectURL=http://ad.doubleclick.net/jump/N5418.150290.3124120118421/B6374785.247;abr=!ie4;abr=!ie5;sz=300x250;pc=[TPAS_ID];ord=qYa8YqmYhYwP?">
BORDER=0 WIDTH=300 HEIGHT=250 ALT="Advertisement"></A> </NOSCRIPT> 2012 NFL Draft Individual Grades: 21. Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse: B+ Grade
The pass-rushers were flying off the board, so the Patriots made an unlikely move and moved up for Chandler Jones. I don't have much of a problem with this. In fact, I think this is a decent move because Chandler Jones could have gone as high as No. 12. Unfortunately for the Patriots, Bill Belichick's run of having two first-round picks will conclude in 2013. 25. Dont'a Hightower, ILB/DE/OLB, Alabama: B Grade
Dont'a Hightower is a really good football player who fits the range. I didn't think the Patriots would pick him, but it makes sense because Bill Belichick loves players with versatility. Hightower definitely has that; he can be used at inside linebacker or on the edge as a pass-rusher. Belichick will have lots of fun using Hightower all over the football field. If the Patriots didn't trade up, this might have been an A-. 48. Tavon Wilson, S, Illinois: D Grade
Whoa. Major reach. Tavon Wilson's rankings on various major draft boards: 254, 212, 216, 245, 182. Yeesh. I'd like to give Bill Belichick the benefit of the doubt, but it's not like he hasn't ever drafted a bust before. Why couldn't Belichick have traded down? He could have probably obtained Wilson in Round 3. 90. Jake Bequette, DE, Arkansas: C Grade
Another reach by Bill Belichick, though this one isn't nearly as drastic. Jake Bequette can play in multiple spots in Belichick's defense, so New England drafting him shouldn't be much of a surprise - though it would have been better served in Rounds 4 or 5. 197. Nate Ebner, DB, Ohio State: C- Grade
Nate Ebner was not ranked anywhere. Couldn't they have signed him on Sunday? 224. Alfonzo Dennard, CB, Nebraska: A+ Grade
Alfonzo Dennard was a first-round prospect in the fall. He looked bad at the Senior Bowl, so he fell to Round 2. Then, he allegedly punched a cop. This is the penalty for punching a cop. He's definitely worth the risk in Round 7. 235. Jeremy Ebert, WR, Northwestern: C Grade
Again, this is someone the Patriots could have obtained as a UDFA