2017 Patriots Hopefuls

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Methods Patriots Used

Trades

Purchased

Patriots Own Free Agents

Predicted Free Agents

 

Pre Draft Draft Stuff

The Picks

Post Draft 19 Free Agent Signings

Future Free Agent Possibilities

Other Pat's Stuff

2017 Patriots Pre-Draft

2017 Patriots Current Depth Charts

2017 Patriots Top Positions Need

Trades

DE Ealy a 6í4, 275 pound  is 25 years old and was the Panthers 2nd round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots are sending the 64th overall pick to the Panthers in exchange for the 72nd overall pick in the third round, per ESPNís Field Yates. Play well in Super Bowl.

5/17 Panthers coach Rivera said key for him will be listening to coaches.
Cris Long and,Jabaal Sheard GONE

TE Dwayne Allen in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for an undisclosed draft selection.  Allen, 27, originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (64th overall) Pick 137, which went to Indianapolis in the deal for Dwayne Allen. 

Martellus Bennett GONE
 

WR Cook Pats send  send their No. 32 overall selection in this year's draft as well as their No. 103 choice to the Saints. In return, they'll acquire Cooks and the No. 118 pick from New Orleans.

Purchased

CB Stephon Gilmore Big Bucks

Ravens DT Lawrence Guy 

Suggestions to  antonw@ix.netcom.com

 

Predicted Free Agents

The Patriots' restricted free-agent signing of receiver Chris Hogan last offseason was a good example of the team identifying an undervalued asset in the marketplace and capitalizing. Hogan had been on my list of Patriots targets last year, so let's see if there can be a hit for a second year in a row with four low-to-moderate priced free agents at positions who caught the eye when assessing the initial market:

Benny Cunningham -- The 26-year-old Rams running back took a visit to Foxboro as a restricted free agent last year -- he could be a factor as a returner and in other special-teams areas-- and that naturally puts him on the radar this year on the unrestricted market.

Datone Jones -- The Packers' defensive end/linebacker is the type of hybrid defender with high-end physical traits that Bill Belichick seems to like to collect. The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Jones (26) is a 2013 first-round pick out of UCLA who hasn't panned out, but might benefit from a change of scenery.

Jarvis Jones -- Another 2013 first-round pick (Steelers) who hasn't met expectations, the 6-foot-3, 247-pound Jones (27) also falls into the hybrid category and had some pass-rushing skills coming out of Georgia that made him a top prospect. A fresh start elsewhere could bring out the best in him.

Robert Woods -- The 6-foot-0, 190-pound wide receiver (Bills) runs the type of precise routes that should catch the Patriots' eye, and teams that look beyond his mid-level production (more a result of middling quarterback play) and focus on his top physical traits could view him as a top value in free agency.

4. Two quotes from the past season that seem appropriate to revisit as the new league year approaches on March 9, and what to expect from the Patriots:

 

Patriots Own Free Agents LIKELY  BACK

Dont'a Hightower  Signed

By trading away Chandler Jones and Collins, along with the lack of depth at linebacker, the Patriots will likely do whatever it takes to keep the Alabama product in Foxboro.

The Jets really, really wanted Hightower ... before his physical. Their offer was $1.25 million per year better than what he wound up receiving from the Patriots. In the end, though, the Jets wouldn't have signed him because of their concerns about the physical.

 

Duron Harmon -- Signed

 It's also worth noting playing along side McCourty likely benefits him and would make it more appealing for him to re-sign with the team.

Chris Long -- GONE If Long wants to play another season, which he says he does, New England would be the perfect fit for him once again. Long seemed to enjoy his first year with the team this past year and he would be in a similar role again by being in a rotation at the defensive end spot. This seems like another one-year contract for Long with the hope of winning another championship.

LeGarrette Blount -- Based on Blount's production this past season and with the team in the past, New England would welcome him back for 2017 on another one-year deal. There hasn't been much of a market for Blount in the past, and even though he had a monster year this year, it's hard to see a team that would want to make a hard run at the 30-year-old, but you never know. Putting up 18 touchdowns this season could be enough for a team to give Blount a multi-year offer, and if that is the case, the Patriots likely would be out.

Editor's Note: 5/17/17

Patriots placing the ďMay 9 free-agent tenderĒwas  abou protecting their compensatory draft picks while potentially directing him outside of the AFC. Blountís signed with the Philadelphia Eagles  helped the Patriots keep the the currently expect fourth- and fifth-round compensatory draft picks. It could potentially improve them depending on how things unfold this season in the complex compensatory-pick formula.

James Develin -- The Brown product has built a great relationship with the organization over the years and appears likely to return on a one or two-year deal for short money. Develin's toughness is valued with the team and it was shown in 2015 just how valuable he is when it comes to the running game.

COULD GO EITHER WAY

Martellus Bennett GONE -- Bennett had a great first season in New England, especially when it came to displaying toughness. It's hard to predict what the market will be like for the 29-year-old, but our best guess would be he will have a good amount of money thrown his way. He certainly has value to the Patriots, but if it costs them anymore than $5 million, which he got paid this year, they likely are out.

Logan Ryan Gone Signed with Tenn -- This will be interesting, as Ryan is one of the most underrated defenders in the NFL. The Patriots would love to have their No. 2 cornerback back in 2017, but the 26-year-old will likely have a good amount of money thrown his way from other teams and it might be hard to refuse. If Ryan gets paid like a top cornerback then he will be gone, but if he doesn't get offered as much as many expect him to, he likely will come back to New England, a place he loves.

Michael Floyd -- By all accounts, Floyd was a good member of the team for his two month stay, but was it enough to get him a contract from the team for 2017? It was noteworthy that he wasn't active for the final two playoff games. That, along with spending 120 days in jail for his DUI arrest, could play a role in whether or not the Patriots re-sign him. As of now, don't expect Floyd to return to the Patriots next season.

Alan Branch Back-- This one depends on how much money Branch can get on the open market. The team would love to have him return, but it certainly won't be willing to give the 32-year-old a big-money deal. The defensive tackle also appears to like playing in New England, so he would likely welcome a return, as well. If the price is right, Branch certainly will be back.

Brandon Bolden -- Bolden is an interesting one, as he seemed to lose his value as a running back this past season and how many strictly special teams players can a team have? The 27-year-old could find himself on another team next season just because of his lack of value to the Patriots besides on special teams. Although it wouldn't be a complete shock to see him return just because of how much Bill Belichick values the unit.

LIKELY WILL BE GONE
 

Jabaal Sheard GONE -- The defensive end will be a free agent after his two-year deal with the Patriots that certainly had its ups and downs. Overall, it was a productive two seasons as he was used in a rotation at the defensive end spot. For Sheard, he likely will want to play for a team where he wouldn't be part of a rotation and thus get more playing time. For that reason, he likely will be playing elsewhere in 2017.

Barkevious Mingo Special Teams GONE -- Mingo was strictly just a contributor on special teams after coming over via trade from the Browns this year. It would seem the former first-round pick will want to play somewhere else so he can be more than just a special teams player. Being 26 years old, there will likely a few teams out there that still believe they can get something out of the former No. 6 overall pick.

Sebastian Vollmer -- Released The right tackle missed the entire 2016 season due to injury and being 32 years old, it seems likely he will be retiring. It's also worth nothing he was seen during Super Bowl week and he lost a signifiant amount of weight, another sign that he intends on retiring.

Greg Scruggs -- Coming off a season-ending knee injury, it doesn't seem likely the Patriots, or any team or that matter, will want to offer him a contract until he can prove he's fully healthy.

Pre Draft Draft Stuff

Daftr Related Trades

 

WR Cook  pats send  send their No. 32 overall selection in this year's draft as well as their No. 103 choice to the Saints. In return, they'll acquire Cooks and the No. 118 pick from New Orleans.

DE Ealy a 6í4, 275 pound  is 25 years old and was the Panthers 2nd round pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots are sending the 64th overall pick to the Panthers in exchange for the 72nd overall pick in the third round, per ESPNís Field Yates. Play well in Super Bowl.They They added an experienced pass-rusher at the bargain-basement salary of $803,660 in exchange for an eight-spot move down the draft board.
Chris Long -- GONE, Jabaal Sheard GONE

 

TE Dwayne Allen in a trade with the Indianapolis Colts in exchange for an undisclosed draft selection.  Allen, 27, originally entered the NFL as a third-round draft pick (64th overall) Pick 137, which went to Indianapolis in the deal for Dwayne Allen. 

Martellus Bennett GONE

 

2/18/17 comments

Mayock praised the overall defensive back class ai deep, saying starting-caliber cornerbacks will be available into the fourth round. As for safeties, he said it's not "sexy" to talk about the position (Malik Hooker or Jamal Adams could be top 10 picks), but there are a lot of quality "matchup" players at that position, as well. a guy that would have to be interesting to New England is Obi Melifonwu from Connecticut. He's 6-foot-4, 219 [pounds], and he's probably going to run sub-4.5, and if he runs in that range.  Lorenzo Jerome of Saint Francis. And what he runs this week is going to be important. But I think he can play both safety positions, and he's really, really a good football player.  Des King, a corner from Iowa that I think is going to be a nickel or safety.  I like Kevin King from Washington, a corner that can play some free safety and I like Chidobe Awuzie from Colorado also a corner that who might be better off as a safety."

Linebacker Zach Cunningham is one of Vanderbiltís top prospects, along with offensive tackle Will Holden.

Strength of Draft

Here is how some evaluators view this year's draft crop:

Strong: Corner, running back, wide receiver

Weak: Offensive line, defensive tackle

Meanwhile, quarterback falls closer to the "weak" category, while defensive end/outside linebackers are closer to the "strong."

Editor's Note: Did Pat's trade up because line OL and DT positions were weak?

See

Patriots Draft Primer

Meet Patriots 2017 Draft Class

 

The Picks from patriots.com

1. DE Derek Rivers, Youngstown St.

Round 3, Pick 19 (83) (from Titans)

PAUL PERILLO, PATRIOTS FOOTBALL WEEKLY

"The 6-4, 248-pounder fills what many believed to be one of the teamís rare needs as a pass rusher, and his speed could be welcome addition on the edge if he develops." "... Rivers also performed well at the Senior Bowl, which allowed talent evaluators to assess his abilities against solid competition."   More

2. OT Antonio Garcia, Troy

Round 3, Pick 21 (85) (From Lions)

MIKE REISS, ESPN

"It was easy to see why the Patriots would see some desirable traits in Garcia, who has length (6-foot-6 1/4), is athletic and plays with a nasty mean streak. Left tackle is a premium position, and that also explains why the Patriots would give up a late third-round pick (96) and fourth-rounder (124) to move up to the 85th spot to select him. Garcia is another small-school prospect who benefited from playing in the Senior Bowl, similar to Rivers, whom the Patriots selected two picks before him." More

 

"Dan Feeney, a guard/center from Indiana, went to Los Angeles with the 71st overall pick in the draft. According to Mike Reiss of ESPN, the Patriots were set to take Feeney with the 72nd overall pick.

With Feeney off the board, the Patriots traded down, sending the 72nd pick to Tennessee for the 83rd and 124th overall picks."

3. DE Deatrich Wise, Arkansas

Round 4, Pick 25 (131) (From Seattle)

 

Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema visited  five years ago, the club  selectrd fourth rounders James White (2014) and defensive end Trey Flowers (2015). CIn 2017 Arkansas defensive end Deatrich Wise (fourth round, No. 113) was added to the mix. Trey is a little more of an every-down thing. Deatrich, as a pure pass-rusher, is as good as Iíve been around. Both of those guys would have been straight-A students in football  classes

 

Arkansas coach Bielmien interview. Hurt game one of senior year not whole for about six games. Long arms helped rush. Did not red shirt as with Trey Flowers and James White. LB Brook Ellis very bright,.TE Cody Holisterl has a brother connected to Biemien.

JOSH LISKIEWITZ, PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

"Deatrich Wise isnít a top athlete, but still cracked our top 100 prospects due to his play against the run. He ranked second among draft-eligible SEC 4-3 defensive ends in run-stop percentage, and 6his 82.4 run-defense grade ranked fifth among SEC edge defenders." More

 

OT Conor McDermott, UCLA

Round 6, Pick 28 (211) (From Cowboys)

JOSH LISKIEWITZ, PRO FOOTBALL FOCUS

"Conor McDermott is a massive offensive tackle who measured over 6-foot-8 at the combine and has 343/4-inch arms. His 97.4 overall pass-blocking efficiency score ranked just 18th in the tackle class last year, but he gave up zero pressures on 7-step drops." More

Post Draft

Free Agent Signings
Team average was 14

Offense

WR Cody Hollister (Arkansas)

WR Austin Carr (Northwestern)

RB LeShun Daniels (Iowa)

TE Jacob Hollister (Wyoming)

OT Cole Croston (Iowa)

OT Andrew Jelks (Vanderbilt)

OT Max Rich (Harvard)

G Jason King (Purdue)

Mel Kiper's top 25 free agents in Green

Later
WR
Andrew Hawkins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Defense

DE Corey Vereen (Tennessee)

DT Adam Butler (Vanderbilt

DB Dwayne Thomas (Louisiana State)


DB Jason Thompson (Utah)


DB
 Damarius Travis (Minnesota)

DB Kenny Moore (Valdosta State)

DB David Jones (Richmond)

LB Ellis Brooks (Arkansas)

LB Harvey Langi (BYU)  $100,000 base salary, and $15,000 signing bonus

CB D.J. Killings (Central Florida)

 
   
   

Future Free Agent Possibilitie

Pats could look at E. Dumervil a  pass-rusher, V Walker had a ACL last summer and missed the 2016 season. Darrelle Revis. Sam Shields are still possible as of 5/16 .