Dragoon is my term for such End/Flanker Hybrids. "Mounted Infantry", don't you know.
There's a lot to like, here, so spending #52 seems about right, to me. He's got explosive Pass Rushing Potential. Indeed, his Talent Level is arguably at a 1st Round level, in that sense ~ he's got an explosive Burst off the Snap, tremendous Closing Speed for the Sack, and he's got a great Motor: A very intense FootBall Player, in phenomenally good shape, and extremely Sharp & Savvy.
On the downside, his Pass Rushing Repertoire is very raw & unrefined, and I've also got huge doubts about'is ability to Set The Edge as a Run Defender at Defensive End ~ Rob Ninkovich's Left End is where he'd project, in that sense...So it seems likely that he'll get most or all of'is Snaps as Left Flanker ~ that's "Left OutSide LineBacker" or "Sam" LineBacker to you Earthlings!! ~ which is Donta HighTower's Gig.
That, in turn, suggests that HighTower will bump inside to MidFielder ~ "Middle LineBacker", Earthlings!! ~ and that they're well on their way to phasing Brandon Spikes out ~ not only of the MidFielder Gig, but off the Team, altogether: He's got one Year left on'is Rookie Deal, and ~ unlike Hernandez & Gronkowski from that same 2010 Draft Class ~ he hasn't been extended. I expect that this's'is last Year, here.
Much as I love Spikes, both he and HighTower are ancients ~ "DownField" "LineBackers" who can't play Pass Defense for Shit. Personally, I think that ~ while HighTower's a good FootBall Player ~ burning a 1st Rounder on'm last Year was an enormous, stupid mistake.
But Collins is a strong step in the right direction, because he has the Fluidity to learn how to Flip Hips and race DownField in Pass Coverage.
What I'd really love to see, actually, is for HighTower to move to Defensive End, and bounce Rob Ninkovich into more of a utility Role, covering both Defensive End Gigs but also playing "Left OutSide LineBacker" ~ "Sam" ~ while mentoring Collins, who I strongly suspect won't need as much time to take over as most expect. That would actually make HighTower a tremendous strength ~ even though he's never played Defensive End, despite being perfectly suited for it, in my view ~ and we can always draft Spikes's replacement, next Year...
I'm pretty jazzed about Collins. I think he's gonna improve our Pass Coverage and our Pass Rush, this Year, and make some Huge Plays!!
Prospectus ~ Fair Value for #52 ~ When you start at #52, there are no "Safe" Picks, but if Collins develops into the explosive Pass Rusher and solid all around Player that I think he will, the combination of him and Chandler Jones, combined with a full Year of strong Press Man Coverage on the Flanks and with Devin McCourty finally getting a full Year to train at Free Safety could improve our Defense dramatically.
2 ~ SE Aaron Dobson. Mixed feelings on this one. I've been screaming for us to draft at least a couple young, talented Split Ends ~ the bigger, taller "Wide Recievers" who line up right on the Line of Scrimmage, if you recall. And Dobson combines awesome Size with outstanding Long Speed ~ a 4.37 on the 40 Yard Dash ~ and his Hands are absolutely phenomenal.
However, he's a Frankenstein, out there: there is no Fluidity or Agility to'im, whatsoever. If we need a guy to run fast in a straight line, then he's our man. But if we need a guy to run any sort of a complicated Route, where he needs to make hard, quick, decisive Cuts, then we might have a problem.
I'm actually wondering if Coach Bill's had enough of watching clowns like Joe Flacco of the Ravens just chuck the Ball up in the air and have his limited but big, fast ~ or at least: big ~ Wide Outs haul the ball down out'f the sky and beat us in Big Games.
The incredibly complicated nature of the Patriots Offense, ere the last several Years, has made us tough to Beat, but it's been so tough for new Wide Outs to learn this diabolical System and having almost every Wide Out fail ~ young or old ~ to master it has crippled our Offense.
Drafting Dobson ~ who is a pretty crappy Route Runner at this stage and who I have grave doubts will ever become a good one ~ makes me wonder if Coach Bill's had enough, and is about to simplify aspects of our Offense ~ add more "Chuck & Duck" bits to it!!
I'm not impressed with the kid ~ I gave'm a 6th Round Grade!! ~ but Coach Bill will always have access to 10 times more information than I, until I amass my Fortune, of course!! I strongly suspect that he's going to prove to be one of those guys who makes a few Big Plays, but is unreliable, from Down to Down, Moving The Chains, and whose chief contribution will be in the Red Zone. Hopefully, I'm wrong!!
Prospectus ~ Highly OverRated at #59 ~ Hopefully, this Pick either signals a change in Philosophy that'll allow more Duck & Chuck Plays and simpler Routes, or hopefully Dobson will prove much more Agile than I've judged'm to be. I sure's hell wouldn't've drafted'm at all, much less in the 2nd freaking Round, but hopefully this will prove foolish on my part. To be sure, there's physical Talent to work with, here.
3 ~ CB Logan Ryan ~ I like this kid: He's could use a little more meat on'm, but he's close to about the perfect size for CornerBack. His Game ~ Technique and such ~ is pretty raw, and his "40" Time is mediocre, but he's got outstanding Agility, which is far more important than "40" Time, so he has at least the Potential to rapidly Flips Hips and Turn & Burrn in Pass Coverage. What I really like about'm is that he's a very physical Press Man Corner ~ those're the CornerBacks who line up directly in the face of the "Wide Receiver", as opposed to starting off 5 Yards back and reading the Play ~ which is exactly what kind of Coverage we successfully switched to, midway through last Year, and which Alfonzo Dennard & Aqib Talib are both good at. That finally gives us decent Depth of Talent at CornerBack, if Ryan develops.
He's a really nasty Beast in Run Defense, too. We'll love'm, I think. I didn't write a Report on'm, but I'd've given'm a solid 3rd Round Grade.
Prospectus ~ Fair Value at #83 ~ We've been pretty horrible at developing CornerBacks, the last several Years, but Alfonzo Dennard came along nicely, last Year. Ryan has tremendous Agility and outstanding Physicality. I'd be shocked if he didn't earn a spot on the Team and get significant Playing Time in his very first Year. He's raw, but has Potential to rapidly become a strong CornerBack and remain one for Years.
4 ~ FS Duron Harmon. Never heard'f this kid in my Life. Just watched some Tape of'm against Arkansas, and wasn't too impressed. He and Ryan were actually TeamMates in the Secondary at Rutgers, as you may've heard. One tries to give Coach Bill the Benefit of the Doubt, but I've found that when a Pick looks stupid to me, it's usually proved to be precisely that.
Prospectus ~ Dumb Ass Pick at #91 ~ I hate to jump in with the Mediots, but I wouldn't've liked this Pick in the 6th Round, much less the 3rd. What's more, the fact that Coach Bill spent good Draft Capital on this guy just one year after burning a freaking 2nd Round Pick on an equally obscure Safety in Tavon Wilson strongly suggests that Coach Bill has already realized that he was wrong and the rest of the world ~ except for the In Bill We Trust Sheep ~ were right. It looked like a stupid Pick, and it was a stupid Pick, as does this one, I fear.
5 ~ FL Josh Boyce. Not big enough to call a Split End ~ though he may play there some ~ Boyce is raw, but is a tough, beefy kid who can flat out fly ~ he ran the "40" at 4.38 with a broken pinkie toe!! This is actually pretty freaking startling: For the Patriots to have two guys who burned the "40" in less than 4.40 each is unprecedented in Coach Bill's Era, as he's focused almost exclusively on Agility over Long Speed...And to have two meaty big guys who can manage that Long Speed is astounding. This may truly signal a change in Offensive Philosophy. Radio Fools and Pats Fans are always talking about drafting Wide Outs who can "tear the top off the Defense."
Well...here they are.
Prospectus ~ SemiSteal at #102!! ~ Unlike Dobson, Boyce commands exceptional Agility. Unfortunately, he doesn't have much experience at all in running more than the simplest Routes, but he certainly has the Athletic capacity to do so extraordinarily well. Whether he has the Brains to do so, we'll have to see ~ unless, of course, these two Picks signal a significant change in our Passing Game, and, frankly, I believe that that is precisely the case. I have a strong feeling we're going to see a lot more Hurry Up, combined with a simpler Menu. And that might just be precisely what we need to do to bust out of this shell that we've been in, the last several Seasons!!
6 ~ DR Michael Buchanon. An extremely interesting Pick. He's got the perfect Frame to win a starting Gig at Left End, opposite Jones, and showed a lot of Fluidity & Explosiveness as a Pass Rusher as a Junior, one Year ago. He had high expectations going into'is Senior Year ~ he was projected as a 1st Round Pick ~ but got hurt, lost weight, and struggled mightily, which sent him tumbling down to the 3rd Day of the Draft. He's all better, now, though, and could quite possibly be one of the greatest Steals of the entire Draft!!
Prospectus ~ Super Steal at #226!! ~ Between Jamie Collins, Michael Buchanon, and the 2nd Year developments of Jake Bequette, Justin Francis, and, above all, future Star Chandler Jones, our Pass Rush could make a spectacular improvement, this Year!!
7 ~ MF Steve Beauharnais. I'm jazzed about this Pick!! Knowing Coach Bill, he'll probably piss me off and relegate this kid to Special Teams, but he is an extremely mobile MidFielder with extraordinary Agility & Fluidity. He covers a lot of ground rapidly, and also shows outstanding Potential in Pass Coverage, which we desperately, desperately need in the middle of the Field!!
Prospectus ~ Sleeper at #235 ~ Couldn't find much Tape on'm ~ just HighLights, which are hardly objective ~ but he's certainly an explosive Player with awesome Lateral Agility & Range. The question is if he can stand up to Grizzlies and stuff the run ~ we'll see!!
TE Zach SudFeld of Nevada ~ Injury History, but enough Talent to potentially Start at the Next Level!!
SE Kenbrell Thompkins of Cincinnati ~ Excellent Athlete, sharp Router & terrific Work Ethic ~ tremendous UpSide!!
XE Mark Harrison of Rutgers ~ Raw Router, but excellent Long Speed & Tremendous Ball Skills ~ big UpSide!!
Drafting Harmon was an asinine move, in my view ~ though I pray to be proven wrong ~ and drafting Dobson was an awful mistake that will also hopefully prove to be a moronic Call on my part. To think that we could've snagged TE Travis Kelce & DT Brandon Williams with those Picks sucks, but that's why they pay Bill the Big Bucks.
The best part of the draft, in my mind, was absolutely ROBBING the Vikings for those 4 Picks!!
We traded #29 and got back Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, Josh Boyce, and Michael Buchanon!!
All told, a decent Draft Class, with the crappy 2nd & 3rd Round Picks compensated for by the brilliant Trade, the excellent Picks made with those 4 heisted Picks, and a superior UFA Class, as well!! I'd give'r a B-, I think...
New EngLand Patriots ~ B-
Buffalo Bills ~ A
Miami Dolphins ~ D
New York Jets ~ C
PittsBurgh Steelers ~ D-
CleveLand Browns ~ B+
Cincinnati Bengals ~ B+
Baltimore Ravens ~ A
OakLand Raiders ~ A+
San Diego Chargers ~ D
Kansas City Chiefs ~ B
Denver Broncos ~ D
Planet Hoosten ~ B
JacksonVille Jaguars ~ B+
Tennessee Titans ~ C
Indianapolis Colts ~ A+
Philadelphia Eagles ~ D-
Washington RedSkins ~ B+
Dallas CowBoys ~ C
New York Giants ~ D
Detroit Lions ~ B+
Minnesota Vikings ~ D-
Chicago Bears ~ B
Green Bay Packers ~ A
Seattle SeaHawks ~ A
San Fransisco Miners ~ A+
Saint Louis Rams ~ A-
Arizona Cardinals ~ B
Atlanta Falcons ~ C+
Carolina Panthers ~ C-
New Orleans Saints ~ A-
Tampa Bay Buccaneers ~ C-