Patriots Draft Q&A with NFL Insider Part 2

Adam Caplan of SIRIUS NFL Radio and senior NFL Analyst for Scout.com agreed to answered more of your questions. Topics: Which Draft prospects fit the Patriots 3-4 system; Which WRs have the best shot to get picked by the Pats; What AFC East team should be the favorite, when should we expect to see Welker on the field and more...

11) Who are the 3 best centers in the draft and of the three who can start right away?

Adam Caplan: Only one, Maurkice Pouncey (Florida). Matt Tennant (Boston College) has an outside chance of starting depending who drafts him.

12) Who are the 3 best MLB in the draft and who can play/start right away?

Caplan: Rolando McClain (Alabama), Brandon Spikes (Florida). That’s probably it. There are some good developmental ILBs such as Jamar Chaney (Mississippi St.) and Sean Lee (Penn St. ) who are worth looking at in the third round.

13) TNPatsFan: Would the Pats consider drafting LeGarrette Blount if he was available in round 4 or later? Or do you think he is not even on their board?

Caplan: He had the one obvious issue, but I think his situation isn’t too bad. He would be a nice value in that area as a rotational power back.

14) GinoC Do you see that Pats drafting a WR? Which WR is best suited to them and likely to be available?

Caplan: I’d think probably two when you look at their lack of depth at the position. With Welker’s injury and Moss’s age, they have to add a few developmental receivers. Damian Williams (USC), Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech), Taylor Price (Ohio U.), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), Jacoby Ford (Clemson) are some receivers that they could look at who would fit in with their scheme.

15) chrism: A few weeks back the National Football Post published some of the "10 yard split" data for OLBs at the Combine. Sergio Kindle (who is otherwise highly rated) had one of the lowest at 1.65, raising questions about his ability to rush the passer. Is there much to be made of this? Will Kindle be able to consistently get to the QB from the rush OLB position in the NFL?

Caplan: You’d his 10-time to be a little faster (overall time of 1.70), probably closer to 1.65. But you’re just looking at two timed runs at the combine. He plays much faster than that. The 10-time shows short area quickness, and it’s important, but he’s more fluid than his 10-time.

16) Do you expect Wes Welker to Start the Season on the PUP list, and will his status affect where they place drafting a WR on their list?

Caplan: I have to think so based on his injuries. I think Julian Edelman will handle most his slot role. That’s really where Welker lines up almost exclusively. But the Patriots need to probably add two outside receivers in this year’s draft.

17) With all of the WR visits, what are your thoughts on the team’s interest in Dez Bryant (visit), Arrelious Benn (visit), Demaryrius Thomas (workout on the 18th), Eric Decker (visit), Damian Williams (workout). Which one would be the best fit?

Caplan: Visits are not an indication that a team will draft a player. In most cases, they are trying to gather more information on the player. Thomas is an interesting player. He may drop a bit because of his injury, but he has great size and moves fairly well. All would be able to offer something to New England’s passing game, but Thomas and Williams probably offer the most upside of that group.

18) There was some talk by Randy Moss that he didn't think he'd be back in 2011 (contract expires). Is it a given that NE may allow Moss to hit the open market in 2011?

Caplan: I don’t know how much of a choice they will have. They don’t have anyone who is ready to take his place. They do like Brandon Tate, but he has yet to show he’s over his knee problems. I’d expect them to address receiver within the first two rounds of this year’s draft.

19) The Patriots are looking at DT's this year. Do you think they're concerned with the progress (or lack thereof) with Ron Brace? What's Brace's deal (not playing much)?

Caplan: They probably need to add one defensive lineman in this year’s draft. Brace had a nagging ankle injury which lingered a bit late last season, but there wasn’t much of an opportunity for him to play as a rookie. I’d expect him to get into the rotation on the defensive line this season.

20) What do you see as the order of the AFC East in terms of best to worst?

Caplan: Pre-draft, NYJ, NWE, MIA, BUF.

Buffalo is very far away from competing for a playoff spot.

The Jets have the least amount of needs of the four teams.

The Patriots are poised to fill a lot of their needs in this year’s draft.

The Dolphins probably are looking like a .500 team at this point.

21) Which AFC East team has the best chance to improve their team this year, including what they've done so far and what they can do via the Draft?

Caplan: The Jets probably filled a few big needs (WR, CB) in free agency via the trade route. Because of that, they would have to figure to be the favorite. However, Santonio Holmes is suspended for the first four games of the regular season and CB Antonio Cromartie hasn’t played particularly well the past few seasons.

22) TNPatsFan: There is a shortage of players in this draft that can play DE in the 3-4. The Pats are in need of someone at this position. Many mocks have them taking Jared Odrick to fill that role. Are there any other round 2 guys that could play that position and contribute as a rookie?

Caplan: I don’t see any of note that would potentially go off the board that early. They could add a developmental DE later on. They also may add a veteran or two as we get closer to the start of training camp.

23) Specifically do you think Corey Wooton could add some weight and be a 3-4 DE?

Caplan: He weighed 270 at the combine, so he would have to probably add at least another 20 pounds to pull that off. Because he’s so tall (6’6), it wouldn’t be a shock if some team considered drafting him to play in that scheme.

24) What are the chances the Pats make another draft-day trade with Oakland, this time for Kirk Morrison?

Caplan: He didn’t have one of his better seasons last year, and the Patriots aren’t opposed to trading for players who might be on the outs with another team. Morrison is a talented player, but is on a one-year deal.

25) GinoC: Do you see that Pats drafting a WR? Which WR is best suited to them and likely to be available?

Caplan: I’d think probably two when you look at their lack of depth at the position. With Welker’s injury and Moss’s age, they have to add a few developmental receivers. Damian Williams (USC), Demaryius Thomas (Georgia Tech), Taylor Price (Ohio U.), Mardy Gilyard (Cincinnati), Jacoby Ford (Clemson) are some receivers that they could look at who would fit in with their scheme.

Did you miss Part 1.


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