After an eventful and surprising first round of the draft for the Patriots, Round 2 will kick off tonight at 7 p.m.
After that wild and crazy Bill Belichick traded up twice six spots in the first round, who knows what the man is capable of tonight? He has picks 48 and 62, and that’s it for the draft. Does he have a golf game lined up on Saturday and none of us need to show up for the final day? We’ll have to see. I would guess they trade one of the picks to gain a few more.
Beat writer Shalise Manza Young is hearing the Patriots will be on the lookout for a defensive back – likely one with cornerback/safety versatility, would be my guess – and, surprisingly, a running back.
It sure seems strange that after taking Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley 56th and 73d, respectively, that the Patriots will be trolling for another second-round back.
Do they need one? Sure. They also have Danny Woodhead and Eric Kettani, but after the departure of BenJarvus Green-Ellis, the need is there for another back … you just figured they’d find a veteran to fill the role of tough, dependable runner. Maybe the Patriots were concerned with Ridley’s two fumbles. Maybe they didn’t like what they saw in Vereen’s injury-plagued rookie season. They’re also probably looking for some return ability, which Vereen was also supposed to bring.
Patriouts could also use some depth at WR, OG, jumbo DE and they really need a cover LB.
- Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati (5-10, 197, 4.47): Showed good vision and mobility in a one-back spread option offense. Operates well in space. Not a between-the-tackles, every-down runner. Could be solid complimentary piece. Maturity was questioned early in his career but that could be behind him. Senior Bowl MVP after returning two long punts.
- LaMichael James, Oregon (5-8, 194, 4.45): Outstanding speed and agility, but is small and not well-built. Will contribute as a kick returner. Had injury and character issues – including a domestic violence incident — dating back to high school. Those could push him down the draft board. But highly productive (5,082 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns) so a team will like something.
- Lamar Miller, Miami: (5-11, 212, 4.40): A redshirt-sophomore with only one year of starting experience. Tremendous speed to be a big-play threat, but didn’t always play to it. Played through a shoulder injury that limited his effectiveness. Can run inside or outside. Needs to develop physically to take NFL pounding. Wasn’t as effective late in the season.
- Chris Polk, Washington (5-10 ½, 215, 4.57): Solid all-around back who is built well to take a pounding, so he is well-suited for an every-down back role. Will not go down on first contact. Doesn’t have great speed and lacks the explosion of the better backs. Has shoulder and knee injuries. Will need to pass block better.
- Bernard Pierce, Temple (6-0 ¼ , 218, 4.49): Looks like a franchise running back with a very good size/speed package and has potential if he wants it. Runs high and does not run away from anybody despite his timed speed. Takes a while to get going. Doesn’t show a willingness to run inside. Will need to prove his toughness.
- Cyrus Gray, Texas A&M (5-10 ½, 206, 4.47): Another under-the-radar player who is well rounded. Returned kickoffs and caught more than 100 passes. Gets up to speed quickly. Showed great leadership and a team-first attitude by splitting time in the Aggies’ backfield. Very similar to former Patriots running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis in that he gets what’s blocked, but with more speed.
- Trumaine Johnson, CB-S, Montana (6-2, 204, 4.61): Entered school as a receiver. Has all the tools to be a top-flight cornerback. He has great size, fluidity in the hips and can play press coverage or off the receiver. Could switch to safety at some point. There are questions about his attitude. Patriots have interest.
- George Iloka, FS, Boise State (6-3 ½ , 225, 4.62): Rare size for the position and has room to get stronger. Perfect size to combat big tight ends. Plays fast, although at times he looks a bit slow in the hips. Can play free or strong safety, and has filled in at cornerback. Has not shown top ball skills. Will immediately contribute on special teams.
- Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia (5-9 ½ , 182, 4.45): Not the biggest player, but he makes up for it with his intensity and competitive streak. Very good going down the field against a receiver. Terrific athlete and looks the part. Rare leaping ability. Has terrific kick return skills.
- Josh Robinson, CB, Central Florida (5-10, 199, 4.33): Phenomenal timed speed in all the drills, but it doesn’t always translate to the field. Showed well in a matchup with 2011 first-round pick A.J. Green. Better playing off the receiver and breaking on the ball. Has returned punts, but shows inconsistent hands.
- Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama (5-9 ¾ , 193, 4.46): If you were just selecting players based on ability and performance, Jenkins would be near the top of this list. He has NFL-ready skills to play tight man coverage and to be a ballhawk. But there are a ton of red flags. Jenkins has had multiple run-ins with the law which led to his ouster at the University of Florida. Probably more troubling for teams is his four children with three different women. Could suffer a Ryan Mallett-like fall.
- Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt (5-11 ½ , 192, 4.57): Very good all-around athlete who is experienced and possesses excellent ball skills. Didn’t back down from the top receivers in the SEC. Has a lot of finesse to his game and hasn’t demonstrated an ability to be much of a help against the run. Special teams ability.