New England Patriots Need To Steer Clear of Akeem Ayers, Jon Baldwin, Others
We're looking at some players whose names have appeared on many mock drafts, but with whom we have some issues. New England needs pass rushers, offensive linemen, a running back, and a wide receiver. Most of these choices listed have some merit, but for whatever reason (size, athleticism, pedigree), they don’t fit Foxboro's requirements.
Note: This first appeared on www.patriotsdaily.com.
Anthony Castonzo, Boston College OT
Mike Pouncey or Derek Sherrod or Gabe Carimi. As much as we enjoy watching BC football—although “enjoy” is stretching it of late—we’re not looking to bring tackle Anthony Castonzo to Gillette. After his workouts he doesn't inspire confidence that he can start right away as an NFL tackle.
Jake Locker, Washington QB
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We’ve seen Jake Locker mock-selected by prospective Pats fans in the first or early second round. Except for trade scenarios, we don’t want to see any QBs picked until at least round five. I mean, come on.
Aldon Smith, Missouri OLB
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Aldon Smith has good size (6-4, 263), but not-all-that-great strength (20 bench reps of 225) or quickness (4.5 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle). Declaring early for the draft after his sophomore year, he’s also greener than Kermit. No thank you, Mizzou.
Dontay Moch, Nevada OLB
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Dontay Moch has tremendous speed (4.4 40) and production (22 tackles for loss in 2010), but at 6'1" and 248 pounds, it’s hard to imagine him setting the edge in New England’s 3-4 defense.
Akeem Ayers, UCLA OLB
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While we like the leverage of Akeem Ayers of UCLA (6'3", 254), he failed to impress at the combine. A slow 40 (4.81) and a weak bench (18 reps) take him off our list.
Daniel Thomas, Kansas State RB
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Daniel Thomas has left our draft boards due in part to a slow 40 (4.63), but mostly because of nagging injuries that have prevented him from displaying his quickness. While he remains on our radar, his current rank as a second-rounder looks too risky right now.
Ryan Williams, Virginia Tech RB
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Ryan Williams has been positioned as a first or early second-round pick. He has solid quickness (4.18 in the shuttle), but only so-so speed (4.63 40); he’s also a smaller guy at 5-9, 212 pounds. At times this year he looked impressive, but we wonder how well his game will translate from the ACC to the NFL.
Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh WR
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The Brobdingnagian ballplayer (6'4", 228 pounds) failed to impress scouts at the combine; running dull routes, showing little quickness, and missing too many catches. While Baldwin's athleticism intrigues, his lack of fundamentals frightens.
Tandon Doss, Indiana WR
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Tandon Doss (6'2", 200) was unable to participate in the combine due to double groin surgery (good gracious: two groins?). He looks like a solid, versatile receiver; however, so does Julian Edelman. If Doss puts up the kind of 40 time that makes him a downfield option, that’s just fine. If not, New England needs to look beyond what they already have.
Greg Little, North Carolina WR
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Greg Little looks better on paper than a winning lottery ticket. At 6'2", 230 pounds, he runs a 4.5-second 40, has a 41-inch vertical, and sprints a 6.80-second 3-cone drill. But don’t the Pats already have a gifted, raw receiver out of UNC in Brandon Tate? As a third-rounder, there’s more than a little temptation here, but the team needs to stay away from another project and look for a pass-catcher who can contribute from day one.