FOXBOROUGH -- Some nuggets and thoughts on the Patriots' final two picks in the 2013 draft:
Michael Buchanan, DE/OLB, Illinois
6-5 3/8, 255 pounds, 4.78 in 40
- 34-inch arms, 9 7/8-inch hands, 22 bench, 33 vertical, 6.91 three-cone (outstanding)
- Obviously a very long frame with some versatility. Has played with his hand on the ground and standing up.
- Has some pass rush skills that need some development. Tremendous foot speed for his size.
- Needs to work on his strength to hold the point of attack against the run.
- Weighed only 247 at his pro day after 255 at the combine. Some concern that he won't be able to gain weight.
- Had some issues off the field, with a DUI arrest and an altercation that led to his jaw being broken.
What the "experts" are saying:
OurLads scouting: "Project to an outside 3-4 linebacker who can drop into coverage. ... An active player who can slip a block, burst to the quarterback, and get his hands up in the throwing lane. Moved around the defense to take advantage of matchups. Needs more core strength. Fifth/sixth round."
Pro Football Weekly: "Positives: Long-limbed, athletic body with a projectable frame and room for increased bulk. Highly athletic. Long first two steps. Nice bend, body control, flexibility. Can turn the corner and shows good closing burst to QB. Plays hard. Negatives: Underdeveloped frame -- lacks ideal bulk. Not a creative pass rusher with a plan. Can be run at. Flashes too infrequently. Bit immature. Third/fourth round pick."
Mel Kiper Jr.: "Despite having the skill set you look for, Buchanan was very average in 2012. He has added weight and strength, and he looks the part of a 4-3 DE, but his production doesn't equal his talent. If you can coach him up and handle him properly, Buchanan has potential. Maybe the light goes on for him at the pro level, but right now he's an underachiever. Grade slipped noticeably after underwhelming final season. Fifth/sixth round."
Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers
- 6-0 7/8, 240, 4.87
- 32 3/4 arms, 9 1/8 hands, 19 bench, 4.20 short shuttle, 33 vertical, 6.99 three-cone
- The undisputed leader of a Rutgers defense that was one of the best in the country;
- Is a four-down linebacker, meaning that in addition to playing on first and second downs, he can cover and stand out on special teams;
- Decent in coverage;
- Despite being a small player, he takes on blocks well and takes good angles;
- He is a lot smaller than the type of players the Patriots like to have on defense. He is almost the same size as former special teams standout Tracy White, who remains unsigned. Could be eyeing Beauharnais as White's replacement.
What the "experts" are saying:
OurLads Scouting: "Active and productive. Collected 268 career tackles and 16 sacks, which is rare for a MLB. Needs more core strength to take on the big linemen and backs. Quick to fit the hole. Normally takes good angles in pursuit. Tracks well moving downhill but will waste steps at times. Fifth/sixth round."
Pro Football Weekly: "A good, functional player with field smarts, toughness and competitiveness to fight his way into a starting lineup. Ability to play multiple positions will allow to minimally stick as a quality backup and contribute on special teams. Could prove to be a solid value selection. Fourth/fifth round."
Mel Kiper Jr.: "Generally an inside-the-box guy who understands the defense. Weight fluctuated so he needs to figure out at which weight he'll be most effective playing. He's a picture-perfect form tackler, but he'll also deliver bone-jarring hits. When this kids hits you, he hurts you. He's only average in coverage, otherwise his grade might be higher. Third-fourth round."