New England Pats 

Who had the best NFL Draft?

After a few too many weeks of hype, the 2006 NFL Draft is finally over, so I’ve decided to weigh in with my analysis on a few teams.

1. Detroit Lions — The Lions get a B for their draft, and mainly because they got jobbed by a few teams that snuck ahead of Detroit and snagged up some pretty good players.

Florida State linebacker Ernie Sims wasn’t a bad pick, but his health has been an issue. Though he didn’t miss any games with the Seminoles, the word concussion scares me.

I think the Lions could have traded down and received a few more picks, but not selecting Matt Leinart was the right thing to do.

I also like the selection of Wisconsin running back Brian Calhoun.

While the Lions are pretty solid with Kevin Jones, Artose Pinner and Shawn Bryson, Calhoun is a workhorse back from a predominantly strong running school.

2. Houston Texans — Interesting way of getting things done by taking Maryland defensive end Mario Williams with the first pick instead of USC’s all-everything Reggie Bush, but I don’t think it was a good selection, so they get a C-minus.

The Texans came into the league with a pretty strong defense, and though it’s wilted away over the last few years, one thing has never changed: David Carr gets sacked WAY too much.

That would be were you would take a promising offensive lineman with a great name, D’Brickashaw Ferguson.

Carr has been sacked more than any other quarterback over the last three years, so why wouldn’t you take the Brick?

If you’re not going to take the best player in the draft, i.e. Bush, at least help your quarterback earn a full year’s pay.

3. Arizona Cardinals — In my opinion, the best draft of any NFL team, so they get an A.

Getting Leinart at the 10 spot was a steal. He stays out west, he’s in a high-powered offense and he’s surrounded by great athletes in Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin and Edgerrin James.

That and the Cardinals also got a steal with Georgia tight end Leonard Pope, who will hopefully put to rest why analysts had him falling into the third round.

That’s all about offense, but the Cardinals also drafted a big man on defense with University of Michigan tackle Gabe Watson.

Watson’s work ethic and drive have been questioned by many, but if you can motivate him and keep him that way, he might be another Gilbert Brown.

5. New England Patriots — Bill Belichick is up to his old ways and is still trying to screw the Colts, so for this reason, the Pats get an A-minus.

Taking Minnesota running back Laurence Maroney was sheer genius, especially when he was high on Indy’s draft board.

You can have Adam Vinatieri Mr. Dungy.

The other steal came with Chad Jackson in the second round, a player that I think can be the best receiver of the bunch.

6. Cincinnati Bengals — A-plus plus plus. Why? They took Michigan State’s Domata Peko, the big-haired Spartan who can run like the wind. More like a slow-rolling fog.

Stevenson waited for a team to call his name

It's not a glamour job to be an offensive lineman.

For former Notre Dame offensive lineman Dan Stevenson, that's quite all right - he got his call to go to the NFL, anyway. The New England Patriots selected Stevenson Sunday in the sixth round of this weekend's NFL Draft with the 205th overall pick.

But Stevenson was torn deciding what to do in anticipation of his selection.

"I told myself I wasn't going to watch [the draft]," he said Monday. "But I found myself glued to the television, which I would have thought I never would do."

The Irish offensive lineman and Barrington, Ill. native called the draft "the longest process." But for Stevenson, who looks forward to going to New England, it was worth the wait.

"When the Patriots called me, that phone call, it's definitely hands down the team I wanted to go to," he said. "I couldn't have been more excited."

Irish coach Charlie Weis is a former offensive coordinator for Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, a connection not lost on Stevenson.

"The offensive system will be very similar to what we ran at Notre Dame," he said. "I think it's a great situation for myself and hopefully I can go in there and help out the Patriots as best I can."

Stevenson will start to develop his role on the team soon, as he leaves for New England in less than two weeks.

"It's going to get a little stressful," he said. "I found out [that on] May 12 I have to leave and I'm pretty much there for the next two months."

But he's saving worries for later.

"I'm trying to ride the wave of excitement right now," he said. "I couldn't be more excited about this."

The Patriots have won three of the past five Super Bowls and finished last season 11-7 with a loss to Denver in the second round of the playoffs. Despite his Chicago heritage, Stevenson thinks his friends and family will start to root for New England.

"When I came to Notre Dame everybody was all of a sudden a Notre Dame fan," he said. "I hope the same for the Patriots."

New England Pats

It's about time for LB Tully Banta-Cain to make an impact for the Patriots. The 6-2, 254-pound outside linebacker is going into his fourth season, and with Willie McGinest gone, there's finally a glimpse of opportunity for a rush end such as Banta-Cain. A former defensive end at Cal taken in the seventh round of the 2003 draft, Banta-Cain is looking to follow the same path blazed by Mike Vrabel, Rosevelt Colvin and McGinest -- going from college defensive end to pro outside linebacker. The difference is that those players all were better in college than Banta-Cain. He's smart, fast and strong but hasn't put it together yet. . . .

The Patriots have a lot of safeties but not a lot of proven depth, which is a concern as the draft looms. Eugene Wilson and Rodney Harrison are the starters, and it can be assumed that second-year man James Sanders will be the third-man in. Sanders is followed by Guss Scott, a third-year player who had his first two seasons end at the beginning with knee blowouts. After that, they have second-year man Ray Ventrone, an explosive hitter trying to gain an NFL toehold, and Artrell Hawkins, a veteran corner who played safety well out of necessity last season. So does the team attack the season with this group or add another player through the draft who will have even less NFL experience than this group?

The Patriots are working to get a new deal done with DE Richard Seymour, and the Pro Bowl player is holding all the cards at this point. With Willie McGinest, Adam Vinatieri and David Givens leading a mass exodus from Foxboro this offseason, the Pats are taking hits for not being proactive enough in negotiations. And the ownership is hearing every criticism. Football-wise, the Patriots don't want Seymour going anywhere; P.R. wise, his departure would be a disaster. Meanwhile, the ongoing NFL spending spree has driven up the price tag for a player many feel is the best defensive lineman in football. Seymour, who's entering the last year of his rookie deal, will make the Pats ante up to keep him around.

SCOUTING REPORT: NT Vince Wilfork had a strange 2005. He started out terribly, getting manhandled and moved at the point of attack, bottoming out in a home loss against the Chargers when LaDainian Tomlinson gained a ton of yards up the middle. Then Wilfork's season turned around. By the end of the year, he was holding the point and letting the linebackers do their work. He was one of the most consistently solid defenders during the second half of the year. Entering his third year, look for him to put it all together for a full season. He admitted he didn't stick to the scheme and tried to do too much early last year. Now the Pats will have buy-in from a tremendous worker and athlete entering his prime years.

DRAFT BUZZ: The Patriots are all about production. Given a choice between a prospect who appears capable of great things in the NFL but hasn't produced in college and a prospect who's merely solid but has shown he can produce, the Pats generally take the guy who's proven he can do it. So when considering who New England may target at running back, for instance, look at a guy like UCLA's Maurice Drew, who put up 4,688 all-purpose yards in three seasons with the Bruins. Iowa ILB Abdul Hodge is another guy; he made 158 tackles for the Hawkeyes last year in 12 starts. The Patriots love those numbers.

New England Pats

Super Bowl Champions: (3)
XXXVI (2001), XXXVIII (2003), XXXIX (2004)

AFL Champions (pre 1966):

Super Bowls Appearances: (5)
XX (1985), XXXI (1996),
XXXVI (2001), XXXVIII (2003), XXXIX (2005)

AFL Championship Games (Pre-1966): (1)

AFL/AFC Championship
Games: (5)
1985, 1996, 2001, 2003, 2004

Division Champions: (9)
1963, 1978, 1986, 1996, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2003, 2004

Playoff Appearences: (12)
1963, 1976, 1978, 1982, 1985, 1986, 1994, 1996, 1997, 2001, 2003, 2004

Record in Playoff Games:
15-9 .625

New England Pats

New England Patriots tickets are without a doubt the top NFL ticket on the market. With three Super Bowl wins in the last four years, the Patriots are well on their way toward cementing their claim as an NFL football dynasty. In 2005, the Patriots face some challenges, but if they can pull of the first Super Bow threepeat in NFL history, it's a chance for lifetime memories in Gillette Stadium if you're one of the lucky few to get New England Patriots tickets.
The Patriots are well stocked with their share of top notch NFL players. Pro Bowl quarterback Tom Brady will once again be under center, with wide receiver Deion Branch leading the list of targets. Running back Corey Dillon pounded out 1635 yards on the ground in the 2004 NFL season, and enters 2005 fit and ready to go. Kicker Adam Vinatieri is a proven winner, and one of the NFL's best under pressure.
Like all Super Bowl winners, the Patriots lost some players to the NFL free agent market. Topping the list was the loss of offensive linemen Joe Andruzzi to the Cleveland Brown and Adrian Klemm, who signed with the Green Bay Packers, but those position were quickly filled in the NFL draft when the Patriots took Logan Mankins of Fresno State in the first round, and followed up with Toledo's Nick Kaczur in the third.
The Patriots couldn't have punched their Super Bowl tickets without a solid defense, and that unit remains in good shape. Although the future of linebacker Teddy Bruschi is in doubt, New England signed former Pro Bowl linebacker Chad Brown as insurance after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks in a salary cap move.

  1 - 5 of 5 articles  

On This Site

  • About this site
  • Main Page
  • Most Recent Comments
  • Complete Article List
  • Sponsors

Search This Site

Syndicate this blog site

Powered by BlogEasy

Free Blog Hosting