2023 Draft Fits

SMU_Sox

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I’m wondering about Mazi Smith. Seems like a guy with his profile should be a first rounder. But his college stats seem a little underwhelming. Certainly not in the same zip code as someone like Wilfork. Is there some untapped potential there?
It’s not the deepest DT class but there are some good fits for the Pats. 2 guys I really like are very similar: Keeanu Benton and Mazi Smith. These are day 2 players.

Mazi is massive and super athletic. He is a freak of freaks with incredible power. He’s going to be an elite or near elite run defender. He has great length and violence - can two gap excellently or penetrate. Will dominate and control OL and rag doll them as a run defender. Is often late to get off the snap, pad level can be high, and while he flashes as a pass rusher it’s a work in progress. He needs to learn to anchor better against double teams but should be able to do that. He can play all over the formation. Really good burst and bend and is deadly on twists and stunts. Can bend like an edge rusher. When it comes to stacking and shedding or penetrating vs the run he is exceptional. Huge tackle radius and he can adjust to ball carriers at a high level. High floor as a run defender and high ceiling if he can get coached up with his pass rush technique, snap timing, and anchoring vs double teams. Has all-pro traits.

Keeanu Benton is similar to Mazi but he’s about 30 pounds lighter and not quite as good of an athlete (no holes in his game though athletically and he is an 8.86 RAS). Another guy with very good length and who excels as a run defender. Tremendous upper body strength and who also has work to do Vs double teams. His stack and shed and tackling are all top notch. Can two-gap or penetrate. Like Mazi he controls the point of attack 1:1. Also like Mazi he lacks refinement as a pass rusher but flashes a decent repertoire. He dominated as a pass rusher at the senior bowl. Both guys have super high motors, play a lot of snaps, and don’t get tired. Like Mazi has some pad level issues he needs to fix but very good burst and bend for a DT. Good on twists and stunts. When his pad level is right his long-arm swim combo is deadly.

Keeanu is more of a 3 tech but can also play base end and maybe nose tackle but he’s a tick light for that.

Both guys are tough as nails with pro bowl athletic traits and need work as pass rushers.
 

Shelterdog

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My running top thirty of guys I think the pats might pick
1. Nic Jones CB Ball State (apparently showed well at shrine game)
2. Jake Moody K Michigan (probably the best kicker in college this year?)
3. Brian Branch Alabama -- slow enough to be someone they might get in round two or three--replacing Trey Dean III S Florida who'd played well at the senior bowl but ran a 4.75 which won't cut it as a deep safety))
4. Mo Diabete LB Utah (his name makes me want to make a wilfred brimley joke)
5 Isiah Moore LB NC State
6. Eric Scott Jr CB Southern Miss (6'2" 192 per shrine bowl coverage Pats coaches liked his press coverage)
7. Jack Colletto FB Oregon State (sort of a H-back/TE type)
8. Jaxon Smith_Njigba WR OS (replaciingshorter)
9. Malik Heath WR Mississippi (fast 3 cone) replacing Jadakis Bonds WR Flordia, awesome name
10 Zay Flowers WR BC (why not)
11 Dalton Wagner OL Arkansas. Very tall and actually fairly nimble. They seem to like that.
12 Ricky Stromberg OL Arkansas IOL
13 Andrew Carter DE/OLB Army (testing very poorly might slip pretty late) replaces Brenton Cox Jr Edge Jr Florida (headcase, BB spent time with him)
13 Noah Seweell LB Oregon (replacing Truman Jones Edge Harvard)
14 Tyrus Wheat LB Miss State
15 Myles Brook CB Louisiana Tech
16 Jordan Howden S Minnesota
17 Michael Turk P Oklahoma
18 AF Finley S Ole Miss
19 Mekhi Garner CB LSU
20 Kei'Tri Clark CB Louisville
21 Malaesala Alumavae-Laulu G Oregon (replaces Luke Haggard OL Indiana); big guy who started a lot for oregon
22 Taon Vincent DT Ohio State
23 Masi Smith DL Michigan (replaces Jordan Addison WR USC who doesn't have a home, one USC WR enough)
24Payne Durham TE Purdue (FORMER LAX!) (replacing Blu Kelly stanford)
25 Bryce Ford Wheaton WR West virginia (replaces Elijah Higgins WR Stanford, seems like a potential gunner)
26 Michael Wilson WR Stanford (potential gunner! red flag for health problems)(a little slow to be a gunner at the combine)
27 Alex Forsyth Oregon C (replaces Blake Freeland)
28 Blake Freeland (replacing Matthew Bergeron)
29 Andrew Voorhes OL USC (tore his ACL at the combine so prefect for like a sixth round pick; replacing Olusegun Oluwatimi C Michigan. )
30 Jake Witt, OT Northern Michigan (replace Tyler Steen OT Alabama)

UDFA Prospects list

Brenton Cox LB/Heacase Floridia
Ryan Walk C Oregon
TJ Bass OG Oregon (might be draftable)
Trey Dean Safety Florida
Hunter Luepke FB/RE North Dakota State FUllback, former baseball player/track/state wrestling champ, possible ST dude
*David Durden, West Florida, WR. Putting an asterisk on this one because he's my designated "sixth round draft pick to play speical teams" guy of the year. Fast physical WR who was a baseball player and drafted by the sox years ago.
Shaka Heyward LB Duke ILB type. Might be draftable had a suprisingly fast 40 (4.53) at the combine)
 

j44thor

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If he makes it to the 107/117 range I think Rochon Johnson RB TX makes a lot of sense. Curious to see what SMU thinks after watching his tape but he checks a lot of boxes Bill usually looks for. Great size at 219, not a lot of mileage playing behind all-world Bijan, considered to be among best pass pro in class and has some unexpected wiggle with a high forced miss tackle rate and a key member of TX special teams. He is Rham lite and probably better on third down and ST. He also tested well but doesn't play as fast as he tested so not putting a lot of stock in that.
 

DJnVa

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30 Jake Witt, OT Northern Michigan (replace Tyler Steen OT Alabama)
The Athletic has a story on Witt:

The rapid rise of 2023 NFL Draft prospect Jake Witt: ‘He’s going to be drafted’

As Jake Witt sat at his locker during halftime of a game against eventual Division II national champion Ferris State, he saw his coach coming toward him with a new jersey: No. 65. An offensive lineman’s number. “Oh no,” Witt thought. Injuries had ravaged Northern Michigan’s O-line and, out of necessity, the Wildcats needed their 6-foot-7, 265-pound tight end to fill in at right tackle. Witt had never played or practiced on the offensive line, but his size made him the next man up.

“After 10 minutes of coaching Jake to play a whole new position, he allowed zero sacks or pressures against the best defensive line in the country,” former Northern Michigan offensive coordinator and interim coach Dylan Chmura later said, via WLUC.
 

SMU_Sox

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View: https://twitter.com/mightykaos41/status/1639490510267072515?s=20


I don't understand how anyone can watch Devon Witherspoon's tape (not the highlights, the tape, every snap from the All-22) and say he's the best CB in the draft.
He is not even in his top 5.

If you aren't following him you should be if you like the draft. He does Patriots fits. He is currently a D3 football coach. He specializes in DBs.

The long and the short of it is Devon Witherspoon might be best as a safety and is not a fit at all for the Patriots.
 

ehaz

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Looks like PFF has finally seen the light on Darnell Wright. After consistently having him outside the top 50, the newest edition of their big board has Wright at #20 overall and ahead of Anton Harrison and Broderick Jones.
 

SMU_Sox

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… took them long enough. /sigh. Btw I’m going to be on one of the Pats Nation pods this week talking draft fits. I’ll drop the details later.
 

SMU_Sox

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View: https://twitter.com/tkyles39/status/1640903118585229313?s=46&t=kvYWuq6n2wZg-KCGv0fpWg


Got to admit this really made my day. Being listed with folks like these is pretty damn cool. I honestly just do this stuff because I love it. So getting appreciation and recognition for it makes me humbled and truly happy. I think next year I’m going to either do YouTube’s or TikTok’s with more Patriots draft content. I hope I can then share those here because I think instead of just writing about players or posting Twitter highlights it would be more fun to engage with you all with more detailed content - but not too long. 2-3 minute shorts.
 

thehitcat

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That would be amazing. I always look like a genius among my friends when I use the information you have posted here. I'm willing to let my halo tarnish a little to let more folks have access to your efforts and insight.
 

JM3

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I enjoy some good TikTok NFL content - assuming the government doesn't steal it.
 

dirtynine

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I just found this thread and given the title, I'm very disappointed it's not 7 pages of speculation about draft night fashion.
 

Grogan's NeckRol

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View: https://twitter.com/tkyles39/status/1640903118585229313?s=46&t=kvYWuq6n2wZg-KCGv0fpWg


Got to admit this really made my day. Being listed with folks like these is pretty damn cool. I honestly just do this stuff because I love it. So getting appreciation and recognition for it makes me humbled and truly happy. I think next year I’m going to either do YouTube’s or TikTok’s with more Patriots draft content. I hope I can then share those here because I think instead of just writing about players or posting Twitter highlights it would be more fun to engage with you all with more detailed content - but not too long. 2-3 minute shorts.
Congrats, this is awesome and you deserve it. Love reading your analysis and the conversation it generates among the posters with my more knowledge than myself. Already loved the draft and I feel much more informed observing it after your takes. And love rooting for the guys you ID early on (looking at you Rhamondre).
 

ehaz

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So news out that Patriots are hosting Emmanuel Forbes on a visit.

I think this one is a little more notable since they already had a meeting with Forbes at the combine.

Some of the best ball skills among DBs in this class, ran a 4.35, and he’s 6’1, but only 166 pounds(!).
 

SMU_Sox

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With Jack Jones and now having Forbes visit you wonder if they are shifting to a more let’s get turnovers strategy and we will live with some big gains when their gambles don’t pay off and corners who aren’t good in run support.
 

Jimbodandy

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With Jack Jones and now having Forbes visit you wonder if they are shifting to a more let’s get turnovers strategy and we will live with some big gains when their gambles don’t pay off and corners who aren’t good in run support.
Probably need some guys who can put real heat on the QB if you're going that route. Maybe they grab someone like that early, if you're right.
 

SMU_Sox

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Probably need some guys who can put real heat on the QB if you're going that route. Maybe they grab someone like that early, if you're right.
With their roster now I think they are closer to a more pass rush, zone, and ball hawking approach vs a shit ton of press-man but you never know. Probably mix coverages up a lot anyway.
 

ehaz

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Apparently Chris Simms ranked DJ Turner as his CB #2. I don’t know much about Turner other than he ran the fastest 40, but I know no one else has him nearly that high.
 

SMU_Sox

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His tape is full of flashes of a high level shutdown man slot or shutdown man outside guy on smaller faster receivers. The problem is he also is super raw and his tape is littered with mistakes too. Corner is such a hard position to project. Half of these guys when I’m done I sit there thinking ok so what do I do with this guy.
 

wasabisam

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Aug 2, 2006
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Mike Reiss made an interesting observation today: the team seems to regard Gesicki as more of a receiver. Perhaps this suggests they’re more likely to draft a TE. We are one of the few teams with the power running game to suit Darnell Washington’s unique skills. I’d love to see him drafted in the 3rd round or later.

here’s Reiss’ quote
 

BaseballJones

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View: https://twitter.com/tkyles39/status/1640903118585229313?s=46&t=kvYWuq6n2wZg-KCGv0fpWg


Got to admit this really made my day. Being listed with folks like these is pretty damn cool. I honestly just do this stuff because I love it. So getting appreciation and recognition for it makes me humbled and truly happy. I think next year I’m going to either do YouTube’s or TikTok’s with more Patriots draft content. I hope I can then share those here because I think instead of just writing about players or posting Twitter highlights it would be more fun to engage with you all with more detailed content - but not too long. 2-3 minute shorts.
Dude I just want to say that you’re AMAZING at this stuff. It’s so great seeing your work and I’m so happy that you’re getting recognized for it. Way to go brother.
 

jk333

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We are one of the few teams with the power running game to suit Darnell Washington’s unique skills. I’d love to see him drafted in the 3rd round or later.
He’s largely predicted to go in the first 60 picks with some mocks even have him going in the 30s.

So it’s really a question of if you value him enough to pick him at 46.
 

SMU_Sox

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Dude I just want to say that you’re AMAZING at this stuff. It’s so great seeing your work and I’m so happy that you’re getting recognized for it. Way to go brother.
Thank you. I am going to finish up corners today and drop in some of my favorites.

Also when I know the exact day I’ll post it but I should be going on the Pats Pulpit pod this week talk about the draft with Matt and Pat. Might end up doing a mock. Not sure of the format.
 

Average Game James

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Thank you. I am going to finish up corners today and drop in some of my favorites.

Also when I know the exact day I’ll post it but I should be going on the Pats Pulpit pod this week talk about the draft with Matt and Pat. Might end up doing a mock. Not sure of the format.
Are you planning to post your full board like last year? That was really cool to have when thinking about fit. And also if not for your board I may not have known who Cole Strange was!
 

BaseballJones

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Thank you. I am going to finish up corners today and drop in some of my favorites.

Also when I know the exact day I’ll post it but I should be going on the Pats Pulpit pod this week talk about the draft with Matt and Pat. Might end up doing a mock. Not sure of the format.
Nice. I’m still trying to get on that podcast.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
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Are you planning to post your full board like last year? That was really cool to have when thinking about fit. And also if not for your board I may not have known who Cole Strange was!
I am going to post it. I have to wrap up safety, running backs, and then go back and sweep up the leftovers from the other positions. Should have it done along with an article about superlatives in the next 2-3 weeks.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I am going to post it. I have to wrap up safety, running backs, and then go back and sweep up the leftovers from the other positions. Should have it done along with an article about superlatives in the next 2-3 weeks.
Looking forward to your RB analysis.
I have always advocated for drafting RB's in the later rounds but if the Patriots have the opportunity to draft Bijan Robinson at 14, I'd like to see them take him there. He is a powerful runner, very athletic and an accomplished route runner with soft hands. Rham has been great but he is entering his third year and will need to be extended soon. Robinson would reduce Rham's workload, give the Pats a true 3 down running back and provide some insurance by having Rham's replacement ready to go if he decides to test FA. A pass catching RB also could be a better solution for Mac's development than a WR from this draft class. I don't believe a team should draft someone to keep that player away from another team, but I'll be pissed off if Robinson falls to the Bills.
Strengths
  • Three-down back with exceptional talent in all phases.
  • Owns a variety of footwork tools to alter pace, direction and power.
  • Feet are fast and fully connected with his vision for optimal results.
  • Resets run track with sudden jump-cuts against penetration.
  • Runs low to the ground and possesses rare contact balance.
  • Ability to stack moves adds a level of unpredictability to his carries.
  • Pinballs off of angle strikes and can rip through leg tackles.
  • Pairs instant burst with solid top-end speed.
  • Finishes runs with authority.
  • Soft hands and a nightmare to deal with on wheel routes.
 

ehaz

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It's looking more and more like the OT options outside of the 1st round are going to look a bit ugly. I've seen the 2nd/3rd round corners discussed like Brents and Forbes, but who do people like at WR in day 2?

FWIW, I heard that Matt Waldman was pretty high on Xavier Hutchinson, Cedric Tillman, and Jayden Reed (at least in comparison to wherever they are on PFF's board). Reed in particular seems like someone who can add a dimension to the offense we don't really have. Same with Marvin Mims who I've seen a bit of hype about.
 

Cellar-Door

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It's looking more and more like the OT options outside of the 1st round are going to look a bit ugly. I've seen the 2nd/3rd round corners discussed like Brents and Forbes, but who do people like at WR in day 2?

FWIW, I heard that Matt Waldman was pretty high on Xavier Hutchinson, Cedric Tillman, and Jayden Reed (at least in comparison to wherever they are on PFF's board). Reed in particular seems like someone who can add a dimension to the offense we don't really have. Same with Marvin Mims who I've seen a bit of hype about.
Depends where on day 2.
One of the top 4 probably falls to early day 2, I like Flowers (doubt he's the one, it'll probably be Addison)
Late day 2 or early day 3 I like A.T. Perry.

I also think people should be looking at TE as much if not more than WR on day 2, chance some guys fall there... like Washington or Kincaid
 

pappymojo

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A question for the group: from a position perspective ( OL, WR, CB/S, DL) what other teams would look for similar player types as the Patriots?

For example, if the Colts could be expected to look for similar traits in a WR, and if the Ravens could be expected to look for similar traits in DL, I could look on their team discussion pages to identify players that they have visited with or that their beat reporters are hearing about to identify players that might also be fits for the Patriots.
 
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SMU_Sox

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I mean It’s his unofficial time and it’s a pro day so add 0.05 to 0.1 to that time. Let’s see what the official number comes in as and add 0.05 to it.
 

SMU_Sox

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Btw scouts had said Eli Ricks ran a 4.3 at his pro day and it came out a 4.6 official time fwiw.
 

SMU_Sox

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It’s possible Witherspoon’s backpedal issues are what’s causing him to get beat deep - it’s an upright pedal and he’s clunky and off-balance coming out of it. Perhaps if he fixes that he’s faster than it appears and that’s the primary issue.
 

Jake Peavy's Demons

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View: https://twitter.com/plane_pats/status/1644117811315212291?s=20


If anyone wants to watch me talk about the draft and the Patriots live now. Don’t blame you for skipping
Watched the whole vid! Fun watch, thanks for sharing!

With talks of reports of Zay Flowers learning the playbook, I'm now dreaming of a trade down a few spots to nab Flowers + an extra 2nd/3rd, then using that draft capital to go Zay Flowers/Mazi Smith/Jack Campbell as a 3 Top 50 triumvirate.
 

SMU_Sox

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Watched the whole vid! Fun watch, thanks for sharing!

With talks of reports of Zay Flowers learning the playbook, I'm now dreaming of a trade down a few spots to nab Flowers + an extra 2nd/3rd, then using that draft capital to go Zay Flowers/Mazi Smith/Jack Campbell as a 3 Top 50 triumvirate.
I can’t believe my internet crapped out. Yeah this feels like a year they might trade down and then trade up because there are a bunch of guys they want from 20-40.
 

ehaz

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View: https://twitter.com/adamschefter/status/1646196619971379235?s=46&t=kvYWuq6n2wZg-KCGv0fpWg


My #1 offensive player in the draft grade wise and a fantastic fit for the Patriots, Dalton Kincaid is visiting next week.
Looking at just the potential Day 1/Day 2 guys to see if we can read any tea leaves for their top 100 picks. They've met with almost as many pass catchers as they have for the other positions combined.

TE (4):
- Kincaid (Top 30)
- Mayer (Combine)
- Kraft (Combine + BOB connection)
- Schoonmaker (Shrine Bowl)

WR (8):
- Jordan Addison (Top 30 + Combine)
- Zay Flowers (Top 30 + Shrine Bowl)
- JSN (Combine + Pro Day)
- Quentin Johnston (Combine)
- Josh Downs (Pro Day)
- Jonathan Mingo (Top 30)
- Tyler Scott (Combine)
- Michael Wilson (Top 30)

OT (3):
- Broderick Jones (Top 30)
- Paris Johnson (Combine + Pro Day)
- Anton Harrison (Combine)

OG (1):
- Cody Mauch (Top 30)

EDGE (3):
- Nolan Smith (Top 30)
- Tyree Wilson (Top 30)
- Van Ness (Combine)

S (2):
- Branch (Combine)
- Jammie Robinson (Top 30)

DL (1):
- Adebawore (Combine)

CB (4):
- Gonzalez (Combine)
- Porter (Combine)
- Cam Smith (Combine)
- Forbes (Combine + top 30)
 

Jed Zeppelin

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Cellar-Door

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I basically do not follow the pre-draft process at all aside from reading these threads here. My ears couldn't help but perk up at discovering the top tight end is a Pac-12 guy with back issues.
I think Mayer is generally considered the top TE...

Gronk is a pretty terrible comp for Kincaid aside from Pac-12 back injuries. Gronk was big, strong and a good blocker who had receiving chops.

Kincaid is a much closer comp to the other TE we drafted that year.
 

Justthetippett

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I think Mayer is generally considered the top TE...

Gronk is a pretty terrible comp for Kincaid aside from Pac-12 back injuries. Gronk was big, strong and a good blocker who had receiving chops.

Kincaid is a much closer comp to the other TE we drafted that year.
Isn't he also a comp for Kelce? That's pretty attractive. I still have love for JSN, but Kincaid would also be a very interesting fit if they go skill in R1.