1 ~ Defensive Tackles
I consider 3 Things to be about 80% of the Battle when pursuing Championships:
1 ~ The D Line.
2 ~ The O Line.
3 ~ QuarterBack.
If the the Defensive Tackles are sufficiently dominant ~ Example #1: Tony Siragusa + Sam Adams ~ then the offense can not run up the middle...
And when they can't run up the middle, every runner has to expose his Flank to the MidFielders who are speeding towards him...with often cataclysmic results.
The entire Defense is directly and dramatically affected by the success or failure of the Defensive Tackles.
If you can't run the ball up the middle, you are at the mercy of the Defense.
Just ask Ray Lewis, whose reputation was forged behind the dominance of Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa.
He'll tell you.
2 ~ Offensive Interior Line ~ Centers
By the same Principle, a team that boasts an Interior O Line of such Prowess that it consistently dominates the enemy D Line...can do anything it wants.
And it all starts with the Center.
2 ~ Interior O Line ~ The O Guards
And there can be no question about who the Driving Force behind Coach Vince Lombardi's 5 Championships with the Packers was...besides Coach Lombardi, himself, of course.
It wasn't Bart Starr.
It wasn't Paul Hornung.
And it wasn't Ray Nitschke.
It was that magnificent Packers Power Sweep.
That Power Sweep's sweet, pure, irresistible dominance...forged the way to 5 World Championships!!
And it was Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer who made that Immortal Sweep...magnificent.
Dominant Offensive Guards can take over an entire Game.
Far more importantly, though: They are the True Grizzlies who quietly and ferociously forge Championships.
3 ~ Depth of Talent
One of the most foolish notions I often read is the idea that you should ignore the pursuit of Depth of Talent, simply because your team has X number of NFL-worthy players hanging about.
No Patriots fan who has seen us come within inches of World Championships, only to lose them by the thinnest of margins, due to a lack of sufficient Depth of Talent...has any excuse for arrogantly ignoring the vital and perpetual need to relentlessly pursue Depth of Talent at all 53 positions!!
2005 ~ Might we'ave beat the Broncos ~ and won it all ~ with 1 more effective O Back?? Super Bowl.
2006 ~ Would we'ave beat the Colts ~ and won it all ~ with an actual Wide Receiver?? Super Bowl.
2007 ~ Would we'ave beat the Giants ~ and won it all ~ with a beastly back up for Neal?? Super Bowl.
2008 ~ Would we'ave won one more game ~ and made mincemeat of that pathetically weak PlayOffs field ~ if we'd had better Depth of Talent at Flanker or MidFielder?? Super Bowl.
2010 ~ Would we'ave destroyed the Jets ~ and won it all ~ if we'd had better Depth of Talent at O Back, Split End, O Guard, or Corner?? Super Bowl.
2011 ~ Would we'ave beat the Giants ~ and won it all ~ with a substantial back up for Gronk?? Super Bowl.
That's 6 Super Bowls we might've won, out'f the last 7 ~ 6 additional Super Bowls!! ~ if we'd had more substantial, impactfull Depth of Talent...And yet so many morons still bleat that they couldn't imagine where we could possibly improve this roster of Ryan Wendells, Bobby Carpenters, Steven Gregorys, and Sergio Browns!!
I'm not a Needs guy or a Best Player Available guy...I describe myself as an Impact guy, as in: The Most Impact Available, specific to our team, at a given slot. And I don't necessarily mean "immediate" Impact, though that weighs heavily. This is essentially an Hybrid approach, but unlike the others, it gives great weight to players whose Impact I sense might be a disruptive one.
This is a "What would I do if I took over today?" Mock Draft, so that can include laying waste to recent moves I hated, and that means Ryan Mallett. I say trade'm and take what the Market offers.
I'd also cash in Brian Hoyer. I like the kid, but why give up the chance to get an earlier 3rd Rounder and change ~ which is what I believe we can get for'm ~ for one single year of back up duty, plus a Day 3 2014 Draft Pick...when there's a Prospect with far greater upside available in this very Draft??
One of my Pet Notions is trolling the late rounds ~ and beyond ~ for Field Generals, and this year would be no exception. As detailed elsewhere, this is where I believe the real gems lie.
I consider Center to be the 3rd most important position on the entire field, behind QuarterBack and Defensive Tackle, and it is a major priority for me, because a position of such vital importance to the Championship Quest should have at least an All Pro level Grizzly manning the position, if possible.
But I simply don't see such a Prospect available, this year.
A major priority for me, as well, regardless of what Brian Waters does. Frankly, I'm not worried about Waters. I think he may just be trying to weedle Coach Bill out'f another Million or two on top of his bargain basement 1.5.
In any case, Waters has a long history of skipping voluntary workouts, and I suspect he is taking this approach to save everyone face, while getting his beauty sleep.
But that's no reason not to seize some serious Depth of Talent, considering what a ridiculously deep, talented O Guard Draft Class we have before us, this year.
I should note, by the way, that were I running things ~ again: the theme of this Mock and all my Mocks ~ Marcus Cannon would be a low priority. He is indeed very relatively athletic, but that does not convince me that his frame can hold up under the rigors of flying around all over the field every day, and I have no desire for a stationary O Guard.
He might be a useful Swing Reserve between O Tackle and O Guard, but I wouldn't be interested in projecting him as anything more than that, though of course Coach Bill very well might.
I am ecstatic that we stole Robert Gallery from the Scrap Heap, and would be even happier if we would tie him up for a few years, before his Stock takes off. I think he's still got what it takes to be a tremendous O Tackle, and that we have just the guy ~ Donte The Great ~ to help him find his way back to Glory and Success.
I have absolutely no interest in seeing him return to O Guard.
I'd also love to draft and develop an High Ceiling O Tackle Prospect from this barren, desolate O Tackle Draft Class, if we can find one or two.
Having a substantial, quality back up for Rob Gronkowski is a major priority of mine.
And I think that Daniel Fells fits the bill perfectly, so that isn't a Draft Priority.
But of course I'm always on the lookout for developmental talent.
As I've been shouting for the last couple of years, this is where I believe we can wreak HAVOC on the faster, smaller Defenses of this era ~ not with a single Wing Back, but with multiple Wing Back formations, if we can bring in the right guys for the job!! Priority!!
We are deathly short on big, tall, athletic Split Ends, and I'd really like to see us grab a couple.
This position is an extremely low priority for me, as I am looking to reduce its Role, in favor of rolling out multiple Wing Backs, who I strongly believe offer far less predictable and thus deadlier advantages.
I'm pretty ecstatic at our current Depth of Talent, here, so this is not a priority at all.
If it were up to me, we'd have nothing but Flex Backs, here: O Backs who are dangerous both in the Running and Passing Games and who can lay down a Block, as well. I want to draft at least one such Flex Back to go with Shane Vereen, who I still consider, far and away, the greatest BackField talent, hereabouts.
I'm extremely concerned about the possibility of Vince Wilfork having sustained so much workload, the last two years, that an injury is inevitable, but with Kyle Love around to step in if needs be ~ and, preferably, to immediately contribute to a substantial reduction of Big Vince's workload ~ I can sleep.
What I'd love to see, though, is for us to make some moves to bring in some high upside Depth of Talent in terms of enormous, athletic Beasts ~ about 6.4 or so ~ who can develop as D Tackles in the "43" as well as 5 Tech Defensive Ends in the "34"...And I'd sure love to see us do some serious sniffing around for smaller, spry guys with substantial Core Strength to go with the Fluidity and Burst to split some Gaps inside and mess people's lives up!!
Most of all, I want us to draft a Super Beast who can team up with Big Vince to create an evil, mauling, marauding NightMare for OC's, Centers, O Guards, and QuarterBacks...But I just don't see one in this Draft Class.
"34" Defensive End
We've finally stabilized, here, with that brilliant signing of Jon Fanene and with Brandon Deaderick playing solidly, down the stretch, last year...But that's a far cry from where I want to be at this vital position.
There's absolutely no Depth of Talent, here, either. I would make it a major priority to get some raw, extremely talented Depth of Talent developing, here, and I know just who to get!!
"43" Defensive End
Having let Mark Anderson slip away for naught ~ I bet we could've extended him at the Bye for HALF of what Beefalo gave'm!! ~ we've scored a coup in stealing yet another Force from the same scrap heap whence young Anderson issued, in one Trevor Scott. Here's hoping Coach Bill doesn't let this one slip away, if he, too, starts kicking @$$ and making an Impact, early this year!!
Fanene and Deaderick are of such a size that they can do a job as "43" Defensive Ends ~ and God knows our System is far more complex and convoluted than breaking things down into simple matters of "34" and "43" would purport it to be!! ~ but I'd really like to see us draft and develop some traditionally sized "43" End talent, behind Scott and Jermaine Cunningham ~ who I haven't even come close to giving up on ~ and Andre Carter, who I'm not counting on any more than I am on Cunningham!!
Some overlap with the "43" Ends, of course, and I would love to see us draft and develop some Impact talent, here.
As usual, we are dangerously thin at this vital position.
This is a major priority in my Book, as I see us playing a lot of "43", "425", and, far more interesting, "245" in the near future!! The Game is changing, Mad Bill is changing with it ~ and often ahead of it!! ~ and I couldn't be happier: Less Space Eaters and More Athletes, I say!!
With my boys Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, and Dane Fletcher kicking @$$ and all looking poised to take huge steps forward, this year, we're looking pretty strong at MidFielder...But I consider this an intensely vital position, and I'm the look out for a Fourth.
As far as I'm concerned, Pat Chung ~ who I think is about to have a terrific year ~ is the only Safety we need. I say we go with him ~ call'm a Rover Back and take'm out on Passing Downs ~ and a sea of CornerBacks. Call them what you will ~ call them Free Safeties, if you like ~ but I say cut out the middle man and just develop a deep crew of big, strong, athletic, talented Corner Backs...and let them roam the back half!! Send out 5 at a time!! Why not??
Obviously, that makes CornerBack a priority for me. However, as they are furthest away from the Ball at the time of the Snap, I'm not looking to break the bank on'm. We've got a couple of All Pro Potential Talents In House. I'd like to see us draft and develop a couple more, and maybe a Moon Shot Project, too!!
1 ~ I believe that there are a great number of positions that can and should be upgraded.
2 ~ I treasure quality Veteran Depth...but despise the acceptance of "reliable" Mediocrity.
3 ~ I believe that if you select the right Rookies, Coach Bill The Mad (Genius) and his crew will have them rocking and rolling by the time December comes ~ if not far earlier ~ and that even if their youth and inexperience go so far as to cost us a game or two in September...I find that to be a small price to pay for Excellence in January.
4 ~ Ultimately, it comes down to reliable mediocrity or the painfull but ultimately richly rewarding Quest for Excellence. And I believe that it is those who take the pain in September who will attain Excellence in January...and bring home the Lion's Share of Championships.
My Projected 50 Man Roster ~ with UpGradables + Tradables!!
01 ~ QB Tom Brady
02 ~ QB Brian Hoyer
03 ~ QB Ryan Mallett
04 ~ OC Dan KoppenHaggen
05 ~ OC Dan Connolly
06 ~ OG Logan Mankins
07 ~ OG Brian Waters
08 ~ OG Nick McDonald
09 ~ OG Donald Thomas
10 ~ OT Nate Solder
11 ~ OT Sebastian The Cruel
12 ~ OT Robert Gallery
13 ~ OT Marcus Cannon
14 ~ TE Rob Gronkowski
15 ~ TE Daniel Fells
16 ~ XE Aaron The Navigator
17 ~ SB Wes Welker
18 ~ SB Julian Edelman
19 ~ SB Anthony Gonzalez
20 ~ FB Brandon Lloyd
21 ~ FB Donte Stallworth
22 ~ FB Deion Branch
23 ~ PB Stevan Ridley
24 ~ SB Danny WoodHead
25 ~ SB Shane Vereen
26 ~ NT Vince Wilfork
27 ~ NT Kyle Love
28 ~ DT Ron Brace
29 ~ DT Myron Pryor
30 ~ WT Jon Fanene
31 ~ LE Brandon Deaderick
32 ~ DE Trevor Scott
33 ~ DE Jermaine Cunningham
34 ~ DE Rob Ninkovich
35 ~ MF Jerod Mayo
36 ~ MF Brandon Spikes
37 ~ MF Dane Fletcher
38 ~ MF Bobby Carpenter
39 ~ MF Niko Koutouvides
40 ~ DB Devin McCourty
41 ~ DB Ras I Dowling
42 ~ DB Pat Chung
43 ~ DB Kyle Arrington
44 ~ DB Steve Gregory
45 ~ DB Sterling Moore
46 ~ DB Will Allen
47 ~ DB Sergio Brown
48 ~ XT Matt Slater
49 ~ XT Tracy White
50 ~ XT Jeff Tarpinian
That's no less than 21!!
17 UpGradables, 2 Tradables ~ Hoyer + Mallett ~ and 2 perpetual IR guys ~ Gonzalez and Pryor.
So much for the notion the we can't possibly find room for more than 4 or 5 guys on this team!!
He boasts a very impressive Pass Rushing Repertoire, and is a Beast in the Run Game!!
He's even showing rapidly developing Verticity ~ Fluidity + Speed, Dropping Into Coverage, to you Earthlings!! ~ despite being virtually new to the concept of Pass Defense.
That, in itself, is invaluable, as most Flankers have a very tough time with that.
It is rare, indeed, to see such a combination of Power, Strength, Athleticism in all directions, as well as such impressive Intelligence and relentless Work Ethic in one Prospect!!
This guy has "Patriots" stamped all over'm!!
I see McClellin contributing substantially as a Flanker in the "34", an End in the "43" and "425", and as an Elephant in the "245"...And he is so damned versatile ~ and effective ~ that he could even play MidFielder in either the "245", the "425", or the "34"!!
Above all, he is remarkably instinctive, will reliably stick to his assignments, and has the Passion, Intelligence, and Drive to convince me that will get better every single year.
And it seems to me that he will, above all, be the kind of player who busts his @$$ every single play of his career, hold an entire Defense together at times, sniff out the enemy's weaknesses at the most critical points in games...and make those plays, every once in a while...that decide Championships.
Trade: #31 to the Miners for #61 + 2013 1st Rounder
Trade: QB Ryan Mallett to the Fish for #42 + #196
But his aggregate Skill Set is outstanding: powerfull Core Strength meets a truly intoxicating athletic fusion of exceptional Fluidity, Lateral Agility, and Range.
There is true All Pro Potential, here.
Amini Silatolu commands a rare combination of Power, Strength, and Athleticism.
He boasts the Power and Strength to be an All Pro Right Guard, and the Athleticism to be an All Pro Left Guard.
For the Patriots, I could easily see him becoming an invaluable Swing Man if needs be, but his Potential is so immense that I would expect him to take over at one of the Guard spots by end of his Rookie year...
And under the extraordinary tutelage of Dante The Great, I envision multiple Pro Bowls for a young Stud who is clearly equipped not only to defend Tom Brady against the most ferocious Pass Rushers in the Game...but to repeatedly and relentlessly tear holes for our O Backs against the best Run Defenders in the Game!!
Amini Silatolu is the caliber of O Guard talent who is essential to forging multiple World Championships.
...Just like Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, in Days of Yore!!
As usual, those cattle are dead wrong.
LaVonte David commands an astonishing fusion of frightening Launch Velocity, powerfull, coiled Core Strength, incredibly explosive Burst out'f's breaks, sweet Fluidity in navigating the Field, tremendous Lateral Agility, and absolutely mesmerizing Verticity ~ Turn + Burn Acuity, to you Earthlings!! ~ as a Pass Defender.
But all that pales in comparison to his exceptional Diagnostic Acuity and absolutely stunning Processing Speed.
He so often knows what going to happen before it happens that it is unnerving.
Young Mister David projects, in my book, as a Master of the Game.
Other'n that, he's a real Bum. Hah!!
This guy has "How the hell did such a short, small, slow guy forge such an amazing career??" written all over'm.
You can throw out the Height + Weight nonsense with David.
Hey, nobody is more of an Height and Weight Nazi than I, Your Humble Servant...
But when one commands the Core Strength and Anticipation ~ that's Processing Speed or Rapid Read + React Acuity, to you Earthlings!! ~ that David commands, combined with his incredible Diagnostic Acuity, his brilliant understanding of Leverage, Angles, and Timing, and his diligent and passionate application of Game Tape Study and Training...we end up with a guy who is going to consistently ~ relentlessly ~ out think, out tackle, and out hit men 20 pounds heavier.
LaVonte David is a Force...and his is a name that will be remembered.
Jamell Fleming brings absolutely outstanding Verticity ~ Turn + Burn Acuity ~ to the table.
His Lateral Agility, his Fluidity, and his Torsion ~ Burst out of Breaks ~ are all excellent.
Mind you: there were academic issues.
But his FootBall IQ is all that I care about, and he commands exceptional Diagnostic Acuity and Processing Speed, in Reading and Reacting to Routes. He's a former Split End who can Read the Field, and rapidly.
Jamell Fleming commands tremendous Potential, one of the best Corner Values of this entire Class.
Fleming strikes me as being not only an outstanding Press Man Coverage Corner, but as an Hybrid who can morph effectively into the role of Free Safety, if asked to.
If it were up to me, we'd do away with both the Strong Safety and the Free Safety, and simply develop and field a deep group of big, strong, athletic CornerBacks who can Turn + Burn on a dime...so Fleming would be perfect.
I think he's got unquestionable Pro Bowl potential, and could be extraordinary.
As a former Receiver, he commands highly impressive Instincts for the Passing Game.
He boasts an extraordinary blend of Athleticism, Power, and Size, and while he has little experience in Press Coverage, his potential there ~ or in Zone, if you please!! ~ is immense.
Trumaine Johnson is raw, much rawer that Jamell Fleming...But the his upside is awesome.
He's got the raw tools to become a dominant Corner Back...But what I like, just as much, is his potential as a Corner/Safety Hybrid is the amorphous Zone Secondary that I'd love to see us to develop: A Secondary where ~ in precisely the manner of the famous Steeler Zone Blitz that the brilliant mind of Coach Dick LeBeau brought to prominence ~ there is simply no telling what roles the 4 or 5 D Backs are going to take on, on any given play!!
The disruptive possibilities of such a Secondary...are vast.
And Trumaine Johnson commands precisely the fusion of Size, Speed, and Skills to become an integral and vital part of such a disruptive and revolutionary scheme!!
Trade: QB Brian Hoyer to the Browns for #67 + #211
Trade: #67 to the Cards for #80 + #112
Trade: #80 to the Hoostens for #99 + #121 + #161
Trade: #93 to the Bears for #111 + #150 + #184
There's something to work with, here.
Josh Norman offers serious 1st Round Talent.
It's no secret that I discount the Value of Corners, relative to the rest of the Draft World...But the Opportunity in this particular Draft Class is extraordinary, simply because there is a lot of Corner Talent, this year...
As such, I think it behooves the Patriots to Strike While The Iron Is Hot!!
Norman actually projects as a 4th Rounder at this point!!
Seize The Day, I say.
In 2009, he switched to O Guard and won the starting gig, there...only to be asked to switch to O Tackle in 2010!! And of course he projects best to swing back to O Guard in the Majors...So, considering how often they've bounced this guy around, obviously his Mechanics are a bit raw.
But this Cross Training is invaluable...And so is his proven ability to pick up a new position ~ and a big jump in competition ~ and quickly enough to start ~ and for a major team ~ and to do so no less than 3 years in a row!!!
A lesser man would be driven to drink!!
But what's most impressive about this young man is his truly amazing constellation of skills: Outstanding Core Strength, exceptional Launch Velocity, impressive Burst out'f's Breaks when he changes directions, and tremendous Athleticism: Incredible Fluidity, excellent Lateral Agility, and extraordinary Range on Pulls and Traps!!
Just an astounding aggregation of Skills, all under the command of a Scrapper with an astonishing Work Ethic and insatiable Passion for this great Game!!
There is undeniable Pro Bowl potential, here!!
Senio Kelemete will be one of the most outlandish steals in this entire Draft, if his current Market Value of 4th Round holds true. I have'm ranked 3rd amongst O Guards, right behind Amini Silatolu, who I'm crazy about, and I'd be hard pressed to choose between the two!!
Kelemete has multiple Pro Bowl potential as a Right Guard, and phenomenal potential as a Left Guard.
And, like Silatolu, I could easily see him winning a starting gig by the end of his Rookie year.
And considering the dubious status of both of our starting O Guards, it would be well, indeed, to pull both of these multiple All Pro potential O Guards out'f this Draft!!
Behind these two, the Patriots could blaze a path to unprecedented Championship Glory...Just like...
And of all potential Flanker Convertibles, he boasts very impressive Verticity when asked to Turn + Burn in Pass Coverage. That, alone, was startling.
Yet I can't help feeling that there's more than meets the eye, here.
To be sure, he's an hard worker, an exceptional teammate, and extremely reliable.
Hell...Maybe that's it.
God knows: The History of the NFL is replete with this kind of guy: the kind of guy who quietly and intensely goes about doing the grunt work that makes winning Championships possible...while other guys get the accolades.
And that makes him...invaluable.
Cam Johnson is my kind of Prospect: Under the Radar, not especially flashy, and will certainly need work, but blessed with tremendous Savvy, outstanding Work Ethic, impressive Attention to Detail, and underrated Athleticism.
I believe he would become an essential part of our rotations, not only as "43" End and a "34" Flanker, but as a "245" and "425" Elephant ~ that's Hybrid End/Flanker, to you Earthlings!!
Trade: #121 + #211 to Beefalo for #144 + #147
Trade: #162 to the Saints for #162 + #179
The Long Arms are a pretty sweet bonus, too.
Raw?? Oh, hell, yeah.
He needs a lot of work.
But so do Michael Brockers and Dontari Poe, who are looking at 1st Round Market Value.
Hicks has a dubious resume and needs to answer some questions.
But with upside the equal of those two, he has a shot at being The Steal of the Draft.
It would take some time to coach'm up, but Hicks offers the potential to develop ~ and probably far faster than most would expect ~ into a mauling, destructive Force at Defensive Tackle ~ an immovable Beast who would help Vince Wilfork annihilate the Inside Run, and a marauding, penetrating nightmare in the Passing Game!!
He could man the middle in the "43", "425", and "245", and swing out to Right End in the "34", where he could set the Edge on Running Downs and crush the Line on Passing Downs!!
I absolutely love this guy.
Evan Rodriguez is the best Blocking Wing Back in this Class, and it isn't even close.
He commands terrific Core Strength, he explodes off the Snap, and he's especially deadly on the move, diagnosing his target, quickly engaging, and consistently hitting hard and effectively.
He's a former Safety and a former Quarter Back.
Mind you: I admit that I'm a sucker for a Cross Training Resume ~ especially if "Quarter Back" or "Point Guard" is on there!! ~ but the cerebral and athletic development that these suggest can be absolutely invaluable.
As a Receiver, he commands remarkable Navigational prowess, Fluidity, and Instincts.
Rodriguez offers a particular blend of attributes that no other player in this Class offers: a powerfull, slashing Motion Blocker and a smooth, effective, and dangerous Receiver.
If someone's smart enough to make full use of all elements of'is Game, he could make an enormous immediate impact.
E Rod ~ Hah!! ~ could, despite flying light years Under the Radar, have one of the most explosive and fascinating Impacts of all Rookies on the NFL, this year!!
His fusion of talents ~ ferocious, brutal Blocking, combined with crisp Receiving and impressive Navigational powers ~ makes for a potential Impact that few can conceive.
The reality is that when he's out there, he's just as likely and able to deliver a devastating block that springs an O Back for a 15 Yard Gain...as to snatch a Catch out'f the thin air...and roll up 15 yards, himself!!
Oh, I don't know...
What I do know, is that this is the kind of guy who's simple powers make it impossible to key off of...and who can whittle the opponent to death...15 Yards at a time.
And that ~ need I say it?? ~ is precisely the sort of thing that forges Championships.
At his size, Daniels isn't exactly your first choice to stuff the Run, let's be clear about that.
But he brings a truly astounding fusion of Core Strength, explosive Burst off the Snap, astonishing Fluidity, frightening Lateral Agility, and relentless Tenacity to the table!!
As a Passing Rushing Under Tackle, he could and should become a FORCE.
I love this kid, and while his role will most likely be specialized, I believe that he will not only prove to be a far tougher Run Defender than you might expect, but will be an outstanding Interior Pass Rusher who can also man End when he needs to. And I'm absolutely certain that fans will fall in love with this disruptive, destructive Force!!
He's a force in Run Defense, an effective Pass Rusher, and he commands impressive Verticity when he needs to Turn + Burn in Pass Defense.
His Market Value has ascended from UFA to Day 3, but even now he's a incredible bargain!!
I couldn't care less about Davis's size: With his extremely impressive Core Strength, Burst, Athleticism, and incredible anticipatory Processing Speed, he will bring far more of an Impact than the vast majority of men 10 or even 20 pounds heavier...and he will be a Force in both Run and Pass Defense.
Davis is a mauling, marauding, and destructive Run Defender who flies all over the field and blasts people...And he also happens to command exceptional Pass Defense skills!!
Were we to acquire his services, he would bring an enormous impact to our "43", "425", and "245" Sets!!
Kellen Moore is the story of this Draft Class, as far as I'm concerned. His Diagnostic Acuity, his Processing Speed, his insatiable Work Ethic...his Vision, his Confidence, his complete and utter Command of the Huddle...his Third Eye, his Instincts, his ability to see where the play's going before it happens...are magnificent.
If I needed to drive the length of the field to score the winning TouchDown in the final two minutes of the Super Bowl, and I had only the Quarter Backs of the 2012 Draft Class to choose from, to lead my team, I would certainly choose Andrew Luck, the greatest QB prospect in the last decade or more...
...unless Kellen Moore was available.
Laugh, if you like!! It's all right!!
But under pressure ~ when it counts most ~ it's an easy decision for me.
I laugh my @$$ off when I read Reports comparing Moore to Drew Brees "except for the Arm."!!
For those who's memories don't go back 10 years ~ and that is evidently a vast majority ~ the overwhelming consensus on Drew Brees, 11 years ago, was that he was good on the Dink and Dunk stuff...but just don't ask him to sling it downfield!!
NFL Draft Scout's appropriately well-respected Dave Te Thomas had this to say about Brees, back in 2001:
"Lacks accuracy and touch on his long throws... Seems more comfortable in the short/intermediate passing attack...Does not possess the ideal height you look for in a pro passer..."
"Brees has put up impressive enough numbers to generate first round consideration...but I am not convinced that he will come anywhere close to matching his lofty collegiate figures at the pro level."
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I couldn't care less about a QuarterBack's Arm or his "40" time.
All I care about is how he projects to perform under pressure in the biggest games of his career.
If we had to rely on Brian Hoyer to come off the bench in January...or February...I think we'd have a pretty decent shot at it: I like Hoyer.
But if we had to rely on Kellen Moore to come off the bench in depths of Winter...I'd be ecstatic.
Trade: #179 to the Colts for #208 + 214
Trade: #184 to the Packers for #224 + #235
But this guy came out of nowhere to rack up 61 Catches, 949 Yards, and 6 Touch Downs in his first season ever!!!
Not shocking enough???
How about racking up a 632 in the 3 Cone and a 408 in the Short Shuttle???
If he were 5.9/175, those numbers would be phenomenal.
At 6.3/220, those numbers are preposterous.
Add a ridiculous 415 in the Vertical to that, if you please, and it's clear that ~ raw or not ~ this guy's Raw Fluidity, his Lateral Agility, Core Strength and Core Power, to say nothing of his blazing Long Speed ~ that 438 in the "40" doesn't exactly break my heart!! ~ his raw skill set offers upside beyond any Wide Out in this entire Draft!!
And I repeat: 61/949/6 after dropping from the SKY.
Route Running?? His comments at the Pro Day make it clear that that is an area of intense focus for'm. And let me say: 4 full years of BasketBall at College ~ plus the years of his earlier youth ~ go a long way in refining the nuances of Route Running, to say nothing of shedding Corners at the Line.
Blocking?? I don't know...But that long career in BasketBall ~ he racked up impressive Rebounding Stats ~ tells me he's not exactly contact-retardant.
This is no Work Out Warrior, Ladies and Gentlemen.
This is Force of Nature.
And a focused one.
61/949/6 after dropping from the SKY...and then he produces that one-man Typhoon at his Pro Day!!
Seems to me that this young man is about Business.
Optimally, I'd love to develop Moss on the Taxi Squad for a little while, to let him develop his Route Running, his Blocking, and such...But there's no way in Hell I'd risk that!!
And, frankly, he's such a demonstrably quick learner that I could see him making an impact in his very first year...perhaps a substantial one.
But, my GOD...
Outstanding Lateral Agility.
Phenomenally explosive Burst out'f's Breaks.
I have no idea if he can Block, but he's certainly built for it, and his astonishing numbers at his Pro Day ~ which included a 40 inch Vertical!!! ~ leave no question that, at the very least, he commands the Core Strength and Core Power ~ the Potential ~ to PANCAKE people!!
And he is a proven threat in the Passing Game.
Wouldn't it be remarkable if the 2 best O Backs in this entire Class ended up being the first guy taken...and the last??
Given my Druthers, we'd have nothing but Flex Backs in our BackField ~ guys who are adept at both Running the Ball and Receiving it...and Blocking.
As it is, we have two such guys ~ Shane Vereen and Danny WoodHead ~ with the jury still out on Steven Ridley, and with the scrappy but horribly limited BeJarvus Green having sought greener pastures, for which event I thank the Gods, no lack of appreciation for Brother Green intended.
Michael Smith offers potentially explosive possibilities as a truly dynamic 2 Way Threat whose presence in our BackField would not only threaten the Defense on every Front...but would do absolutely nothing to tip our hand as to what our intentions are!!
And that...is why we should exclusively field Flex Backs back there!!
His Core Strength needs a lot of work, but the impressive Core Flexibility and the big, broad frame are there to build on. The same can be said ofMatt Kalil, who's going Top 10.
He's a bit raw, coming from a small School, but his upside is immense, and his 7th Round Market Value is shocking to me, considering this weak, wasted, O Tackle Class!
McCants needs a lot of work, being a Small School kid who was playing the TUBA 5 years ago...But who better to refine and develop his tremendous raw skills than Dante The Great?? I'd take McCants over Jon Martin, who might go in the 1st Round, and over Cody Glenn, who certainly will!!
McCants has undeniable starting potential, and he might even become exceptional.
The recent Top 15 Candidate has seen his Market Value collapse, and it's all his own fault!!
Burfict brings a mesmerizing set of skills to the table: He commands outstanding Core Strength, phenomenal Burst off the Snap, and a Ferocity that is his, alone.
He boasts superior Fluidity and Lateral Agility, as well, though his Verticity in Pass Defense needs work.
In short, he could become a phenomenal MidFielder, and perhaps an even better Flanker, where his dubious Pass Defense chops would be less of a liability.
The problem, of course, is that he's a lunatic.
Even worse: he took absolutely no responsibility for his awful Senior Season at the Combine Interviews, and then he graded out hideously in all the Drills. I can't help but wonder if there's something physiological going on with him.
Frankly, watching his Market Value collapse might turn out to be the best thing for'm ~ a Wake Up Call.
But I wouldn't want to count on it.
You never know.
He has many questions to answer.
And most folks no longer care to ask.
He is Persona Non Grata.
And if I were running things and took a Late Round Flyer out on the guy, it would be only if he interviewed well, finally cluing in to how destructive his Path has been, what was behind this horror show, and, above all, laid out a believable Game Plan is for getting his Career ~ and his Life ~ back on track.
But were that to transpire...I'd be delighted to give the kid a chance.
Because if he does wake up, and takes full command of his Life and his Career...we are talking about a seismic Force ~ a raging, roaring NightMare for Offenses!!
If he turns it all around ~ and it's just a little too early for me to write the kid off ~ he could be one of the most feared Defenders in the entire Game for a long, long time.
But he does command exceptional Fluidity for his size, to which you can add an impressive Burst out'f's Breaks, as well as superior Diagnostics and Processing Speed.
And with that Frame, the Core Strength could become exceptional, given the right training regimen.
He is raw as raw can be, but if he can ever harness his considerable skills, he could not only eventually earn a starting gig at the next level, he could become an All Pro. And his combination of Size, Athleticism, and Strength make him a very intriguing possibility as a potential Corner/Safety Hybrid in that Total Zone Coverage that I'm thinking about!!
Given the right coaching and some patience, he seems to have legitimate Starter potential.
I'd prefer to send Corp to the Taxi Squad, if we can slip'm there, because I like to stash our 3rd QB there, at least for now, but there's a lot of Potential to work with, here!!
Yet he seems to be flying 10 miles under the radar!!
And it's not like nobody's heard of Texas!!!
I see this guy as a Starter in the NFL, and I give him a very good chance at being an exceptional one.
I'd try to slip him onto the Taxi Squad, of course, if I had to...a wonderfull problem to have!!
But if we could manage a little FoxBorough Flu...
Furthermore, he navigates well in on the move, boasting tremendous Diagnostic Acuity and Processing Speed as he seeks out targets, and he is relentless!!
He's raw as Hell, but Wayne Tribue has outstanding Potential at the next level, and I could easily see multiple All Pro selections in his future!!
In the unlikely event of everyone getting through Camp healthy, we'd have one hell of a problem on our hands, I think...But as that problem is 8 million times better than having a shortage of talent, I think I'd get over it!!
Hopefully, we'd be able to find a spot for this remarkable talent on either the 53 man Roster, the Taxi Squad, or Sick Bay!! FoxBorough Flu!! Cough, Cough!!
This is a recent Convertible from the D Line who's only got two years on the O Line, so he's very raw...
But that is precisely the kind of Profile I'm looking for, when I'm scouring the UFA's for potential All Pro Talent.
Nick Mondek brings an exhilarating fusion of Raw Fluidity, Lateral Agility, Core Strength, and Burst to the O Tackle position ~ exactly the 4 attributes that ~ in my Book ~ are most vital to potential success at the next level!!
I don't know a thing about his Character and Work Ethic at this point, but if he possesses the Drive and the Intelligence to make the most of his exceptional gifts, his Upside at the next level is nothing short of All Pro!!
He is a terrific Taxi Squad candidate, one who is so raw that we might realistically hope to stash there for a while, anyway...And yet one with tantalizing Upside!!
He ran a 699 3 Cone, and that ~ especially at 256 Pounds ~ is impressive.
He launched a 355 Vertical, and that is impressive.
That's not much to go on, but it's enough to tell me that if he happens to be the kind of guy who's willing to bust his ass to make the most of his skills, he commands enough raw Athleticism and Core Strength to have a chance at not only earn a living at the NFL level, but perhaps becoming an exceptional Flex End.
Veldman's a prime Taxi Squad candidate, in my Book, to begin with...and perhaps a bit more.
I don't know much at all about this kid.
But I know he cranked out startling numbers on his Pro Day ~ a 666 3 Cone, 408 Short Shuttle, and a 380 Vertical!!
I take Pro Days with a grain of salt, but all of those would've beat every Tight End at the Combine!!
That, alone ~ that revelation of phenomenal Raw Fluidity, Lateral Agility, and Core Power ~ warrants a Priority Free Agent grade, at the very least!!
I'm not too fond of this year's Wing Back Crop, but Carrier shows real raw Potential!!
Carrier was a college Split End, but I think his potential as a Wing Back might be enormous.
It's far too early to tell, but if his Navigational skills and overall Game match his ridiculous raw athletic talents, the sky is the limit, with this kid.
But the kid commands absolutely phenomenal Raw Fluidity, Raw Lateral Agility, and all around Route Running Potential: His 660 3 Cone and his 399 Short Shuttle at the Combine were better than any Wide Out, and most of these guys are 20 or 30 pounds lighter than'm!!!
Add that raging Raw Athleticism to a guy with outstanding Core Strength, who is brutally physical, working his way through Traffic, and Instinctive in Navigating, and I believe that the raw material is there to eventually become a formidable weapon in the Passing Game!!
Hemingway is a vicious Run Blocker, as well, which really jacks him up in my estimation.
I think we cold slip'm onto the Taxi Squad, and I'd love to see what he might become, if we can get him some good coaching to convert that incredible fusion of outstanding Core Strength, phenomenal Athleticism, ferocious Run Blocking Tenacity, and impressive Navigational Instincts into an NFL Caliber Split End. He could become extraordinary.
He is very raw, of course, and is much better against the Run than the Pass, but there's no question in my mind that he commands remarkable upside.
As with Akiem Hicks, I would place his Upside right up there with Michael Brockers and Dontari Poe, who are both projected to go in the 1st Round!!
When all is said and done, Anunoby could be an even more spectacular Steal than Hicks!!
There's nothing I would like better than to see us steal this raw gem, and put him to work.
Anunoby has the Potential to evolve into a brutal, crushing FORCE against the Run, both as a D Tackle in the "43", "245", and "425", and as a Left End in the "34".
And I suspect that he would become a far greater threat on Passing downs than most expect.
That cut his Texas Tech career in half, as he is also a JuCo Transfer.
As a result, while he has been explosive in the two seasonal segments he's played in, he is flying miles under the radar, and with "Character" concerns, to boot.
But he commands an outstanding Burst off the Snap, excellent Core Flexibility ~ albeit raw Core Strength, at this point ~ and an absolutely tremendous Work Ethic.
Here's the thing:
I get the distinct impression that we're looking at a Past that shows Bad Judgment, not Bad Character.
He's also a former BasketBall standout, which speaks volumes, not only about his Athleticism, but about his experience in Hand to Hand Combat!! Cross Training, baby!!
To be sure, he's a Boom or Bust Prospect, but that's tremendous Value for a UFA!!
There is much that is unknown to me about this kid, but it seems clear that his upside is phenomenal.
Let's get this kid into Camp and see if he's got the fiber to scratch and claw his way into the NFL!!
One thing is certain: the raw material is there for spectacular success.
He is flying 8 million miles Under the Radar...but watch out.
Nash would be targeted for the Taxi Squad, but he has definite Starter potential, this UFA.
He could potentially excel at any MidFielder position ~ Sam, Ted, Mike, or Will ~ in either the "43" or the "34", and if Opportunity presents itself, could surprise a lot of people.
Goal #1 ~ Beef Up The Defensive Front 7
I think this Mock takes enormous strides in that direction:
1 ~ Our "34" D Line is currently destitute. But by bringing in ~ by thieving ~ the phenomenal athletic and Beastly talents of Akiem Hicks and Chibgo Anunoby to attack and pillage on both flanks of Vince Wilork ~ 1000 Pounds of savage, unforgiving EVIL!! ~ I believe that we could, by the end of 2012, develop such an unprecedented amalgamation of mauling, raving Front Wall Mayhem...that we could become the Terror of the AFC!!
2 ~ In the "43", "425", and "245" Sets, the introduction of Hicks and Anunoby ~ raw though they be ~ will, come the second half of the season ~ which is our strength, because Coach Bill and his crew know better than anyone how to guide young players Through the Gears ~ not only enable Wilfork and Kyle Love to stay fresh, but, more to the point, will finally allow us to deploy a 4 Man Rotation that could usher in a long and delightfully nightmarish Reign of Interior Fear: Both these young Beasts have the capacity to consume Double Teams, to collapse Pockets, to disrupt, and to wreak Havoc...And I believe that, by year's end, they could be doing just that.
3 ~ Continuing with the "43", "425", and "245" Sets, Shea McClellin is precisely the kind of Animal to make an immediate Impact, and to make it all over the field. I see him as a classic Hybrid, developing into a Flanker in the "34" and an End in the "43" or our crazy-@$$ "425" and tearing it up, thanks to a ridiculous fusion of Athleticism, Power, Brains, and PASSION...And Cam Johnson is Johny Lunch Bucket: A guy who can and will do it all, and, I strongly suspect, amaze the vast majority with how extensive his expertise is, and how persistently relentless and reliable he is.
4 ~ Also, regarding the "43" Ends, I expect a tremendous recovery from the Much Maligned Jermaine Cunningham, and an explosive Impact by Trevor Scott, Dark Horse.
5 ~ The greatest Impact, though, might be that of LaVonte David.
Our Defense could be simply transformed by his arrival.
~ David will be a disruptive, destructive "43" Will Flanker.
~ David may well become an legendary "43" Will Flanker.
~ David will be a phenomenal "245" and "425" Mid Fielder, in Space.
~ David will be an abusive "34" MidFielder, if he's asked to.
~ Hell, David will be an outstanding "425" Rover, if he's asked to!!
Those with any doubts about his coming impact on the GridIron need a remedial Physics 101 Class.
How does the expression go??
With him and the ferocious DeMario Davis joining Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Dane Fletcher, and Rob Ninkovich ~ with Shae McClellin, Cam Johnson, Trevor Scott and the resurgent Jermaine Cunningham joining in on "34" Sets ~ our MidFielder crew could become a Run-Crashing, Pass-Thrashing BEAST!!
6 ~ And of course: McClellin, Johnson, Cunningham, and Scott would join Ninkovich to form a young, talented, and shockingly deep Flanker crew in our "34" alignments!! At last ~ at long last ~ we could boast of tremendous Depth of Talent at every position in our Front 7, in any alignment!!
7 ~ Needless to say, Vontaze Burfict is a Moon Shot.
And I'd be the last one to tell you that he is likely or not to succeed.
But I'll say two things:
One: He is a raving lunatic...which is not always such a bad thing.
Two: IF ~ I say, again ~ IF...we are able to get an harness on this raving lunatic...Vontaze Burfict has multiple Pro Bowl capacity as a raging, marauding MidFielder!!
He's been pretty much written off as a Lost Cause.
But as a Student of Human Behavior...I see a unique Opportunity, here.
Burfict is staring straight into the Abyss.
And that...if he has the Heart...might be exactly what saves him.
And if we can actually harness...and then unleash this guy???
Goal #1 Continued ~ The Pass Rush + The Secondary
8 ~ Bringing in brutal, mauling Beasts like Hicks and Anunoby, who could be crushing Offensive Lines and collapsing Pockets by December, could go a long way towards opening up things for the entire Defense. Rotating with Wilfork and Love on the interior, the four of them should pretty much destroy any remnant of a Comfort Zone any opposing QB might hope for, regardless of our Defensive Set.
9 ~ The Ripple Effect of this, combined with the potentially explosive influx of David, Davis, and Burfict, and the ascensions of Fletcher and Spikes, who I expect to combine with Mayo to form one of the finest MidFielder crews in ALL the Land...could produce cataclysmic affects on Offenses trying to flee from our marauding Front 7!!
10 ~ If all that falls together, frankly, then my Aunt, my Sister, and my Nieces could man the Back 4!! Even so, with Ras I Dowling coming back to join Jamell Fleming and Trumaine Johnson, the influx of High Caliber, All Pro Potential Secondary talent would be IMMENSE. I believe that Devin McCourty is about to launch a multiple Pro Bowl career, and that Pat Chung is about to have a terrific year. God help the rest of the league, if we put all these guys together!!
Goal #2 ~ Beef Up the Offensive Front 7
1 ~ To give yourself the best chance of winning The Grim Games of Deep Winter ~ of winning Championships ~ it is essential to not only develop great Front 7's on both sides of the ball, but to develop exceptional Depth of Talent at these positions.
Any Patriot fan who watched Super Bowl 42 should need no convincing of that.
2 ~ Dante The Great has worked miracles with Debris and Detritus for the last decade...But that's only enough to get us to The Big Game ~ not to give us the best chance of actually winning The Big Game. And with terrific talents annually available on the cheap at all O Line positions, neglecting the development of deep Depth of Talent at these critical, vital positions is such an obvious, egregious mistake that I should never have to explain it to an intelligent man.
3 ~ The moves I propose would render us 10 Deep with serious Grizzly Talent on our O Line, and by Winter ~ when we start playing for keeps ~ the likes of Amini Silatolu, Senio Kelemete, Robert Gallery, and Matt McCants should be ready not only to step in and compete...but to batter and bludgeon even the strongest of Defensive Lines!!
And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you stop competing for Championships...
...And start winning them.
Goal #2 Continued ~ The Tight Ends
4 ~ The potential Impact of Evan Rodriguez ~ who I understand most've never heard of ~ could be the most devastating of them all. Honestly, I cannot name any player in this Draft Class who offers such a disruptive fusion of Lead-Blocking brutality with such a sweet, deadly touch in the Passing Game. He is Battle Ready, and prepared to wreak Havoc on the 31 teams foolish enough to pass on'm.
Goal #3 ~ Playing It Forward
1 ~ I mentioned that I'm a student of Human Nature?? I have a funny feeling that San Fran ~ even though I think they are absolutely for real ~ are a strong candidate for a Sophomore Slump, this year...and that their 1st Rounder could drop to the Mid Teens. In fact...I expect that.
2 ~ Much as I tried to convince myself otherwise, I simply couldn't find that phenomenal Defensive Tackle Impact Prospect that I've always longed for, in this Draft Class, to join Vince Wilfork in the "43", "425", and, above all, in the "245", in terrorizing the center of the Board!!
But 2013 is another matter.
Star Lotulelei beckons.
And he ain't the only one.
My Game Plan was to dramatically Beef Up both the Defensive Front 7 and the Offensive Front 7 ~ because I believe that that's the best way to forge a team that will not only compete in The Grim Games of Darkest Winter, but win them!! ~ and I believe I have done so!! Here's hoping that Coach Bil The Mad (Genius) has a somewhat similar Game Plan, and implements it to its fullest possible success!!
What follows is my notion of how I'd love to see the Top 53 ~ and the Taxi Squad/Shadow Roster/FoxBorough Flu Crew ~ play out, with Contingencies and Back Up Plans woven in.
Violet ~ Starter with Pro Bowl Potential or More
Blue ~ Solid Starter
Green ~ Reserve with Pro Bowl Potential!!
Black ~ Veteran or Rookie Reserve
Red ~ Rookie with Pro Bowl Potential!!
1 ~ Tom Brady
2 ~ Kellen Moore
3 ~ Dan Connolly
4 ~ Dan KoppenHagen
5 ~ Logan Mankins
6 ~ Brian Waters
7 ~ Amini Silatolu
8 ~ Senio Kelemete
9 ~ Nate Solder
10 ~ Sebastian Vollmer
11 ~ Robert Gallery
12 ~ Matt McCants
13 ~ Rob Gronkowski
14 ~ Daniel Fells
15 ~ Aaron Hernandez
16 ~ Evan Rodriguez
17 ~ Jabar Gaffney
18 ~ Dale Moss
19 ~ Wes Welker
20 ~ Brandon Lloyd
21 ~ Donte Stallworth
23 ~ Stevan Ridley
24 ~ Shane Vereen
25 ~ Michael Smith
26 ~ Danny WoodHead
27 ~ Vince Wilfork
D Tackle/Reserve Nose
28 ~ Kyle Love
D Tackle/"34" End Hybrid
29 ~ Akiem Hicks
30 ~ Chigbo Anunoby
Tweener End/Under Tackle
31 ~ Jon Fanene
32 ~ Mike Daniels
"43" End/ "34" Flanker "Elephant" Hybrid!!
33 ~ Trevor Scott
34 ~ Jermaine Cunningham
35 ~ Shea McClellin
36 ~ Cam Johnson
Universal Flanker + Random End!!
37 ~ Rob Ninkovich
"43" Flanker/"34" MidFielder Hybrid
38 ~ Jerod Mayo
39 ~ Brandon Spikes
40 ~ LaVonte David
41 ~ DeMario Davis
Super MidFielder + Occasional Flanker!!
42 ~ Dane Fletcher
Strong Safety + Rover Back
43 ~ Pat Chung
Free Safety/CornerBack Hybrid
44 ~ Devin McCourty
45 ~ Ras I Dowling
46 ~ Jamell Fleming
47 ~ Trumaine Johnson
48 ~ Josh Norman
49 ~ Kyle Arrington
50 ~ Julian Edelman
51 ~ Steven GostKowksi
52 ~ Zoltan Mesko
53 ~ Danny Aiken
Lunatic "Call Option"
54 ~ MF Vontaze Burfict
If Injury or Opportunity don't carve out a spot in the Top 53 for these guys, then stomp on their big toes and send them to the PUP for a couple months!! In any case, it's far wiser to plan for contingencies than to pray!! Some of the top 53 could fail or get hurt, and it is a virtual dead certainty that some of them will do just that.
In any case: Under NO circumstances do I let these guys go!!
55 ~ OG Wayne Tribue
56 ~ DE Scott Smith
57 ~ CB Desmond Marrow
Special Teams Freaks I Love!!
58 ~ Tracy White
59 ~ Matt Slater
60 ~ QB Aaron Corp
61 ~ OC David Snow
62 ~ OT Nick Mondek
63 ~ TE Kyle Fiedorowicz
64 ~ XE Derek Carrier
65 ~ SE Junior Hemingway
66 ~ MF Zach Nash
Potential Shadow Roster/PUP Cats Yet Possible Top 53
67 ~ OL Marcus Cannon
68 ~ FB Deion Branch
69 ~ SB Anthony Gonzalez
70 ~ DL Ron Brace
71 ~ DT Gerard Warren
72 ~ MF Markell Carter
73 ~ DE Alex Silvestro
74 ~ MF Jeff Tarpinian
75 ~ CF Steve Gregory
76 ~ WT Myron Pryor
77 ~ LE Brandon Deaderick