In-Depth Look At The Draft with Scott Wright

If you missed out Insider's Q&A with Scott Wright of NFLDraftCountdown.com, here's your chance to do some catch-up work. Scott helped us figure out who we should be looking for as the Patriots worked out players and brought others in for a visit. The Q&A was made Free for our friends

1) It seems every year more teams are committing to the 3-4 defense. Obviously there are different versions and emphasizes in those schemes with some relying more heavily on the line, while others use the linebackers as pass rushers. When you look at this year’s Draft class, tell us some of the name of the players who you see fitting the 3-4 defense as:

OLB (similar to Willie McGinest, Mike Vrabel)
DE (Richard Seymour)
NT (Vince Wilfork)

3-4 Outside Linebackers

Jason Pierre-Paul, South Florida
Sergio Kindle, Texas
Brandon Graham, Michigan
Ricky Sapp, Clemson
Eric Norwood, South Carolina
Greg Hardy, Ole Miss
Jerry Hughes, T.C.U.
Koa Misi, Utah
Jermaine Cunningham, Florida
Lindsey Witten, Connecticut
Jason Worilds, Virginia Tech
Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State
George Selvie, South Florida
Justin Cole, San Jose St.
Willie Young, North CarolinaSt.
O’Brien Schofield, Wisconsin
Brandon Lang, Troy
Cameron Sheffield, Troy
Jammie Kirlew, Indiana
Antonio Coleman, Auburn
Junior Galette, Stillman

3-4 Defensive Ends

Jared Odrick, Penn St.
Corey Wootton, Northwestern
Tyson Alualu, California
Lamarr Houston Texas
Alex Carrington, Arkansas St.
Arthur Jones, Syracuse
D’Anthony Smith, Louisiana Tech
Brandon Deaderick, Alabama
Hall Davis, Louisiana-Lafayette
Jeffrey Fitzgerald, Kansas St.
C.J. Wilson, East Carolina
Lorenzo Washington, Alabama
Clifton Geathers, South Carolina
Malcolm Sheppard, Arkansas

3-4 Nose Tackles

Dan Williams, Tennessee
Terrence Cody, Alabama
Cam Thomas, North Carolina
Torrell Troup, Central Florida
Linval Joseph, East Carolina
Kade Weston, Georgia

2) You mentioned (On prime sports network) this year’s running back class s made op of different types of backs and has plenty of depth because of that. The Patriots haven’t had a decent ground game since Corey Dillon was on the team. Obviously Fred Taylor (34), Sammy Morris (33) and Kevin Faulk (33) are getting older now and will need to be replaced. When New England drafted Maroney, many (including me) thought they were getting that shifty/workhorse back who could be the guy. It now looks like they whiffed on Maroney and will draft another back in round 1 or 2.

Who do you see as a good fit to be a back like:
a) Dillon – big power back with decent speed/moves
b) Faulk- shifty 3rd down specialist who is a good receiver

Wright: One guy to really keep an eye on at running back for the Patriots of Ryan Mathews of Fresno St. Bill Belichick is close with Bulldogs head coach Pat Hill and Mathews could be the workhorse they’ve been searching for. Here are a list of names for each of those categories:

Big:

Ryan Mathews, Fresno St.
Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech
Toby Gerhart, Stanford
Ben Tate, Auburn
LeGarrette Blount, Oregon
Charles Scott, L.S.U.
Anthony Dixon, Mississippi St.
Lonyae Miller, Fresno St.

Situational:

C.J. Spiller, Clemson
Jahvid Best, California
Dexter McCluster, Ole Miss
Joe McKnight, USC

 

3) Last year when New England needed linebackers in the worst way, they traded down twice giving up the chance to land some real talent. Namely Clay Matthews III. Who is someone – maybe like Mathews -- who could help the Patriots solve part of the linebacker problems? (They still have Shawn Crable, but injuries killed his 1ast 2 seasons).


Wright: The guys to look out for in the latter part of Round 1 are Sergio Kindle from Texas, Brandon Graham from Michigan and Ricky Sapp from Clemson.


4) New England has three 2nd round picks this year and they need a WR. With Wes Welker likely out for the first part of the season, who could they get to compliment Randy Moss, a guy who can be a legit #2. They need a big bodied receiver, they also need a speed guy (like Joey Galloway and Donte Stallworth) to stretch the field. They have Brandon Tate, but not much else aside from Julian Edelman who proved he could be a poor man’s Welker if need be.


Wright: I think the guy who would be a perfect fit for New England at wideout is Notre Dame’s Golden Tate. Last year the Pats were enamored with Percy Harvin but missed out on him but Tate brings a similar skillset to the table. Plus he is well-versed in the Charlie Weis / Patriots offense.


4) Tight end has been an enigma for New England. At one point they had Both Dan Graham and Ben Watson on the roster. When Graham left, they drafted David Thomas, who they subsequently traded to New Orleans (funny how he gets the ring). It appears the Patriots want a guy like Chris Baker to block, and a complimentary TE who can be their Fullback (aka Heath Evans), and a pass catcher or line up on the line and block if needed.


Dennis Pitta (BYU) seemed to have a decent Shrine game performance. And I know the basketball player from Miami showed good well in the Senior Bowl. Who do you think would be a good fit for the a team like New England in the 2nd or later rounds of the Draft?


Wright: Well, I assume they would be looking for more of a pass catching threat to replace Watson so here are some of the names I think would be a good fit:

Jermaine Gresham, Oklahoma
Jimmy Grahan, Miami (FL)
Ed Dickson, Oregon
Dennis Pitta, BYU

If they wanted more of an H-Back type then Florida’s Aaron Hernandez, Wisconsin’s Garrett Graham or perhaps even Florida’s Tim Tebow could be good fits.

5) The Draft is full of defensive ends who have played various spots on the line in college. A reader asked me about these guys and I wanted to get your take what position in the pros do you see these guys fitting:
Arthur Jones, Geno Atkins, Mike Neal

Wright: In the Patriots scheme I think both Jones and Neal are technically capable of playing the five-technique, although they may not be ideal fits. As for Atkins, he is a pass rushing, penetrating three-technique in a 4-3 and would be miscast in a “30” front.

This interview was conducted a few weeks ago Exclusively for our Insider Lounge members. If you were a subscriber you may have already seen this Q&A. If not, be sure to take advantage of our current promo to get access to some of the best content on the web.


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