60 Max reviews all of the Patriots 2011 draft picks. Not exactly what most envisioned, but when the smoke cleared, the realization is that they're a pretty solid bunch. Forget about the "we needed to address the pass rush, blah, blah, blah" people. Remember, we have some pretty good year-2 guys that just might fit the bill in that area...
Former college tight-end. Prototypical left tackle, hard-worker who needs to gain some weight. With his work ethic, he should be able to do that. Great feet, moves well both horizontally and down field. Very intelligent player who should only get better since he has only two years at the position. Was top offensive tackle at Senior Bowl.
People are going to dog this pick, but Dowling has all the measurables, and playing time, starting 35 of 37 games before an injury shortened his 2010 season. However, the reaction to this kid is going to be the same as Devin McCourty last year. An unknown, Belichick has gone underground and his post-Scott Pioli scouting department has been improving every year. We think he's on to something with this pick. Dowling's size, 6'1 ,195 and exceptional wing span shows Belichick is confronting the future of the game on defense early in it's stages, as he starts to move toward the 6 plus CB's to cover the Power Fowards masquerading as WR's. He reminds us of Dominque Cromartie-Rogers.
Yes, he's related to Ben Vereen, but lets hope he doesn't have a penchant for dancing like a certain RB we shipped out to Denver last year. He has a small and compact build that fits to the running back spot. Has good lateral ability and balance to evade and is a good north-south runner who attacks and explodes to the second level. Looks for the cutback lanes as he gets to the second level and an elusive ball carrier with a burst to power through and gain yardage in chunks. More powerful than his size would indicate and low pad level in short-yardage situations makes him ideal. Stout as a pass blocker and willing to take on linebackers with good hands and can be utilized. Similar to Danny Woodhead's role, which fits the Patriots system. Vereen is also a great receiver who can be a dual threat on the field.
Perfect for giving out maximum thrusts as an inside runner and powers through the line of scrimmage, showing an explosive burst to the next level. Breaks through arm-tackles and good vision. Willing to take on linebackers and shows good technique to cut the edge blitzers. High motor player and voted permanent team captain in 2010. Recorded 25 special teams tackles over his first two seasons.
Mallet is this years wildcard QB. Only if he didn't have reports of a history of drug issues, he'd be the clear cut number one on our list. Having him this high is a testament of his skill set, however, we could justify putting him higher if he didn't have question marks. Another spread offense QB, Mallets arm is the seperating factor. He's got a gun, the best of the top five, and he can throw all the routes. Another knock is well, he's a Arkansaw QB. When was the last time you spotted one of those in the NFL? Belichick liked him enough to draft him then trade out his other 3rd round pick. As we said, he's the best talent of the bunch. Now he'll get the best in support. If he can't make it in NE... He'll be trade bait... BPA (Best Player Available), and Bill will get his pick back.
Cannon is a mammoth guard who will most likely miss the 2011 season due to a non-life threatening form of cancer. However, this pick makes good sense in going with Belichick's usual value system. A projected second round pick, Cannon is a great find if he can recover from his ailment. His size would suggest he's not as mobile as a lineman in the Belichick and Scarnecchia mold, but truth be told, he's quite light on his feet for his considerable size. The Patriots have to protect Brady, and Cannon projects possibly at guard, where we think he would excel as Logan Mankins’ eventual replacement. He will need to work on his technique and initial quickness out of his stance. We love this pick with one eye on the future.
Smith is a huge inline blocking TE and we're seeing a trend going on at the OL position. Cannon is huge and so is Smith for his position, and we think he could be a candidate to be moved to offensive line. That makes sense, since both Vollmer and now Solder are both very athletic, We think he's a project and perfect for the practice squad. Good upper body strength only supports this theory. The other spot we can see him at is Alge Crumpler's eventual replacement.
This guy isn't in the media guide (we can't even find a good photo to use above), which only furthers our discovery that the scouting department had plenty time to spare this year to unturn every stone they could. Once we found film on him, we saw flashes of the OLB Belichick likes. In watching Carter, the first thing that pops is that he's impactful, quick to key and diagnose play's and force hurries or tackles in the backfield. A solid wrap up tackler, Carter runs very good and pursues hard, making the ball carrier pay. His pass rush also looks solid as he has good hand technique shedding the Tackle and flashed a very good bull rush. His level of completion isn't what we like, but we do like good skill sets and Carter has them.
Below is the only video on this kid. He's wasn't a starter for TCU either, but he has good speed 4.49 and was rated 74 out of 182 by NFL Draft Scouting. Belichick likes players from winning programs and undefeated TCU is loaded with good players. It leads us to think that the deep digging on players is from the Patriots extensive scouting. Belichick loves special teams demons, and giving the strategy they employed this year, they've grabbed another practice squad type player.