London Fletcher, Amobi Akoye Remain Possibilities for Patriots’ Defense and 19 Other NFL Thoughts
It really is trend week in the NFL. With Wes Welker‘s underwear business and Nike’s uniform launch, the biggest stories in recent days have not had much to do with factors on the area. But perhaps, in a weird type of way, it was a required evil to enable every person to take a breath after so considerably discussion about totally free agency and the draft.
Anyway, it is time to place the concentrate back on the area, and the Two-Minute Drill starts with a point I produced several times final season, but the numbers necessary some updating.
one. Patriots tight finish Rob Gronkowski is the most lethal red-zone target in the NFL, and the numbers show it. He has 25 touchdowns inside the twenty-yard line given that getting into the league in 2010, which is 2nd only to Texans operating back Arian Foster‘s 26. But Gronkowski has 6 far more red-zone scores than any other pass catcher.
2. In the identical span, Gronkowski also leads all non-working backs with 14 touchdowns within the 10-yard line. As a wonderful luxury for the Patriots, tight finish Aaron Hernandez is tied for the second most with eleven. What is a lot more, working back BenJarvus Green-Ellis was 2nd amongst all gamers with twenty touchdowns inside the 10-yard line.
three. As of Tuesday, the Patriots had 71 players on the roster, which includes broad receiver Wes Welker (franchise tag) and defensive tackle Kyle Adore (unique rights tender). Teams can carry 80 gamers into camp, though there will be a vote in May possibly at the owners meetings to expand that quantity to 90, which was the a single-time limit after the 2011 lockout.
4. Point is, the Patriots are not carried out signing gamers by any stretch of the imagination. As a point of reference, they signed four players in April 2010 ahead of the draft. That, of program, wasn’t applicable final year.
five. The Patriots have 6 draft picks in 2012. Only the Raiders and Saints (five each) have fewer, and 26 teams have far more. Of course, some draft-weekend trades could alter these numbers.
six. Interestingly, the Jets have 10 draft picks, and if all holds genuine, this will be the 1st time considering that 2005 the Jets have drafted much more players than the Patriots. The Pats drafted far more gamers than the Jets from 2007-eleven, and the two teams had the same amount of picks (ten) in 2006.
7. In a insane stat, the Patriots drafted 49 gamers from 2007-11, whilst the Jets only drafted 23. Just as insane, the Patriots had more draft picks in 2009 and 2010 (24) than the Jets had over that whole 5-yr span.
8. Time to throw out some other draft tidbits. The Patriots’ initial pick is at No. 27, which they’ve used before on defensive finish Julius Adams (1971), defensive tackle Lester Williams (1982) and cornerback Devin McCourty (2010).
9. The Patriots’ 2nd choose is at No. 31, where they’ve chosen halfback Ellis Johnson (1965 AFL draft) and linebacker Chris Slade (1993).
10. The Patriots’ third choose is at No. 48, in which they’ve selected defensive finish Garin Veris (1985) and left tackle Matt Light (2001).
eleven. The Patriots’ fourth select is at No. 62, the place they’ve picked defensive back Bernie McRae (1962 AFL draft), guard Rod Foster (1963 AFL draft), cornerback Terrence Wheatley (2008) and linebacker Brandon Spikes (2010).
twelve. The Patriots’ fifth choose is at No. 93, exactly where they’ve selected defensive back Darren Anderson (1992).
13. And their sixth pick is at No. 126, where they’ve picked guard Ken Byers (1962 AFL draft), tackle Wes Bryant (1963 AFL draft) and defensive finish Jarvis Green (2002).
14. As I was combing via the Patriots’ 685 draft picks of their 51-year existence, I was reminded of one thing that I only remember when I do factors like comb by way of five decades of draft picks. The Patriots actually chosen Hall of Fame quarterback Fran Tarkenton in the fifth round of the 1961 AFL draft, which was the very first in the background of the organization. However, a month later, the Vikings took Tarkenton in the 3rd round of the NFL draft, and he signed with them.
15. Center Dan Koppen‘s visit to the Titans, according to The Tennessean, furthers the notion that his nine-yr profession with the Patriots is more than. The Patriots paid Dan Connolly starting up income, and if they wanted to retain Koppen, it really is tough to envision they’d let him leave town.
16. The Patriots’ running backs have been a key focal point given that Green-Ellis left for Cincinnati final month, and whilst I’ve stated all along I believe Stevan Ridley will be the principal ball carrier, I never want to diminish yet another point. I actually consider Shane Vereen will be a entertaining player to view due to the fact he’s so electric in area. The Patriots’ passing game can be conducive to Vereen’s strengths, so hold him in mind as a breakout candidate subsequent season. I am also intrigued to see what he’s received as a runner in in between the tackles, even if it’s mainly out of passing sets.
17. Seeking ahead to 2013 for a moment, the Patriots have one particular draft choose in each and every round except for the fifth and sixth rounds. I noted final week the Patriots could trade down about ten-15 spots in the second or third round to pick up an extra fourth- or fifth-rounder. But they may also trade down in this year’s draft to stock up additional picks heading into up coming year. Because the trade worth increases by a round each year, let us say they had a probability to move from No. 48 to No. 58, and the inquiring crew would also send a fifth-round pick in this draft. The Patriots might consider their luck to turn that fifth-rounder into a fourth-rounder in 2013. Just a thought.
18. It is too straightforward to say the hysteria surrounding the unveiling of the league’s new uniforms was a credit to the electrical power of the NFL. That just does not inform the total story. Nike deserves a lot of credit, also, due to the fact if it hadn’t created so a lot of dramatic adjustments to its school football uniforms in recent many years, followers wouldn’t have been as anxious to see the new NFL uniforms.
19. I raised the point Tuesday in my post about Alshon Jeffery that the Patriots may well not be extremely inclined to draft a broad receiver who can not immediately help on special teams. With their depth at the place, it really is not really worth it to draft one more rookie and redshirt him at the expense of a proven veteran who could be far more of an asset. For that reason, if the Patriots have not identified a broad receiver in the early rounds who could make an rapid offensive impact, I feel it makes more sense to wait until the third round to get Arkansas’ Joe Adams, who has dynamite specific teams potential and could get on the field correct away.
20. The finest free agents, from a Patriots viewpoint, who are still on the industry are security O.J. Atogwe, linebacker London Fletcher and defensive linemen Luis Castillo and Amobi Akoye. The Patriots don’t necessarily need to have Fletcher, but he’s a truly solid football player who would supply high quality depth and leadership. You could throw Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb to the top of the list, but he’s a limited free agent who would expense a 1st-round choose and perhaps a $ 50 million contract.
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