Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

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    Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    ael Buchanan, the Steal of the New England Patriots' 2013 Draft?

    The Illinois Defensive End Fell into Bill Belichick's Lap in Round 7

     

     

    COMMENTARY | The New England Patriots made seven selections in the 2013 NFL draft, yet the best choice may have come in Round 7.

     

    At pick No. 226, head coach Bill Belichick and his "braintrust" drafted Michael Buchanan, a touted defensive end from Illinois whose stock dropped in part due to "character concerns."

     

    Sounds familiar, doesn't it? New England's brass taking a chance on a top-flight talent marred by their own track record?

     

    Last year's draft saw a similar situation in the case of Nebraska cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, who was taken by New England in Round 7 following an untimely arrest. That move has panned out well for both sides. Franchises don't often acquire a starting-caliber player that late in the game.

     

    Nevertheless, no prospect is the same.

     

    Buchanan was arrested and subsequently suspended from the Illinois football team for suspicion of driving under the influence in 2010. He was also involved in an altercation -- one which left him with a broken jaw -- in 2012.

     

    And despite finishing off his Illini career with an underwhelming senior season where his sack total regressed to 4.5, Buchanan was still seen as a fourth- or fifth-rounder by the respected evaluators at CBSSports.com and Ourlads.com.

     

    In statistical contrast, Brigham Young's Ezekiel Ansah totaled 4.5 sacks last season and ended up going fifth overall to the Detroit Lions. By no means does Buchanan have the upside of Ansah, but his baseline could be far greater.

     

    He's no slouch athletically, either, especially as far as 6'5", 255-pounders are considered. Buchanan knows how to turn the corner, as evidenced by his 6.91 three-cone time -- third-best among defensive linemen at the NFL combine. He also provides good strength at the end spot, as suggested by his 22 reps of 225 pounds on the bench in Indianapolis.

     

    Those measurements reinforce what is already apparent on film: Buchanan is a dangerous pass-rusher. He explodes off the line and uses his hands to finagle offensive tackles.

     

    He looks too lean on some plays, getting shoved upright and out of position versus the run. Then at another glance, he looks mean on passing plays, often making violent tackles in the backfield.

     

    Through all of the assessing, however, his best trait is arguably his versatility. That's music to Belichick's ears.

     

    No. 99 can play outside linebacker in a 3-4 or a defensive end in a 4-3, which makes him an ideal "Elephant" in New England's hybrid fronts. Buchanan began playing the "Bandit" role -- a linebacker/safety hybrid -- as a sophomore in 2010.

     

    Which brings us to his experience: Buchanan has a lot of it.

     

    He saw work in 10 games as a true freshman in 2009, registering just one pass deflection. But in 2010, Buchanan started eight of 11 contests, totaling 40 tackles, two sacks, a fumble recovery and two pass deflections.

     

    Then in 2011, Buchanan started 12 of 13 games, racking up 64 tackles, 7.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and one pass deflection -- earning second-team All-Big Ten honors. He was, however, in tandem with future Houston Texans first-round pick Whitney Mercilus.

     

    So once his final season in Champaign, Ill., arrived, expectations were high. Unfortunately, a new coaching system was in the fold, Mercilus was not, and his production suffered.

     

    But while he didn't tally the sack numbers most anticipated, his 57 tackles, one forced fumble, five pass breakups and his first career interception weren't a bad consolation. He earned a second-team All-Big Ten nod once again, even garnering a Senior Bowl invite.

     

    Just imagine how high he could have gone if not for the baggage or the down senior year. Those two deductions dropped Buchanan from a late Day 2 pick to a late Day 3 pick. Which, in turn, made him a must-have prospect.

     

    That's probably not news to Belichick.

     

    During his post-draft press conference, Belichick vetted the selection of Buchanan. Albeit brief, he didn't mince words (via Patriots.com):

     

    "He's had a good, productive career at Illinois. He's played with a lot of good pass rushers up there. He's had production every year in a good conference, a steady player."

     

    Production. Good conference. Steady. Those are three descriptions that resonate.

     

    Is he this year's Chandler Jones? That'd probably be overly optimistic. But does he have the characteristics to develop into a very strong rotational end, or even potential starter for the Patriots?

     

    Absolutely.

     

    The Patriots also nabbed Southern Mississippi outside linebacker Jamie Collins and Marshall wide receiver Aaron Dobson in Round 2, Rutgers cornerback Logan Ryan as well as Rutgers safety Duron Harmon in Round 3, Texas Christian wide receiver Josh Boyce in Round 4 and Rutgers inside linebacker Steve Beauharnais later on in Round 7. Just don't be surprised if Michael Buchanan ends up the best "value pick" in this draft class.

     

    New England's showed some pre-draft interest in Buchanan, as Christopher Price of WEEI.com first reported. It ended up not being just another example of due diligence. Instead, it came to fruition because Belichick and Co. found the risk to be worth the reward.

     

    Buchanan wouldn't be in Foxboro if that wasn't the case.

     

     

    Oliver Thomas is a Yahoo! contributor who also covers the NFL and the New England Patriots forBleacher Report and NEPatriotsDraft.

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Muzwell. Show Muzwell's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Maybe develops into a version of what Kiwanuka is with the NYG?

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from NYC. Show NYC's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    The review is glowing but the reporter is also a reporter for the NEPatriotsDraft! So, the source is hardly objective. Anyways, a good use of a 7th rounder!

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Well I think he is ten times the prospect Markell Carter was two years ago and everybody made a big deal out of that guy. Buchanan must be a nut job, because there is no way a guy that talented should last till the 7th round - he is no different (talent wise) than these tweener types that go somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds year after year....and yet he dropped to the 7th?

     
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  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from mbeaulieu07. Show mbeaulieu07's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    For what it's worth, I liked Buchanan better than Whitney Mercilus when reviewing 2011 Illinois tape... thought he was a more active and athletic player with more versatility and upside.  He def had a down 2012.

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from WazzuWheatfarmer. Show WazzuWheatfarmer's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Hey MB. Yeah I do remember you commenting about liking Buchanan during the draft read last year. hopefully he can regain his 2011 form and become an impact pass rusher for the pats. I like the high upside pick in the seventh round.

     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

     

    In response to mthurl's comment:

     

    Well I think he is ten times the prospect Markell Carter was two years ago and everybody made a big deal out of that guy. Buchanan must be a nut job, because there is no way a guy that talented should last till the 7th round - he is no different (talent wise) than these tweener types that go somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds year after year....and yet he dropped to the 7th?

     



    You've never seen either play in college, so how can you even make that comment? Each are late rd project type picks.

     

     

     




    Simple you moron, there is tape on the internet on both of these players. I'm basing this off my opinion of watching a guy like Markell Carter, who as soon as I saw him thought there was no way in blue hell that he would ever EVER play one single minute of professional football with feet like his. His feet moved as if they had bricks tied to them - he was going against a low level of competition and still he looked stiff. Buchanan on the other the other hand is a totally different story.

     

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from Tydog. Show Tydog's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to APpats21's comment:

    In response to mthurl's comment:

     

    Well I think he is ten times the prospect Markell Carter was two years ago and everybody made a big deal out of that guy. Buchanan must be a nut job, because there is no way a guy that talented should last till the 7th round - he is no different (talent wise) than these tweener types that go somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds year after year....and yet he dropped to the 7th?

     




    His production dropped because of an offseason fight where he broke his jaw. He had his jaw wired and was on a liquid diet where he lost 20+ pounds. Who knows how much of that was muscle. I think thats where more of his drop was from.

     



    Yeah, funny the article didnt mention that.  Im sure he would have had a much better senior season if not for the unwanted weight loss. 

     
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    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Grading the Draft: New England Patriots

    6MAY

    As has been the case under Bill Belichick, the New England Patriots were active on draft day, moving around and collecting extra selections.  The team traded away their first round pick to the Minnesota Vikings, receiving four choices in return.  New England filled several needs but as you’ll find out, not everyone was on the same page in their war room.

    Jamie Collins/OLB/Southern Mississippi (Round 2, pick #52): Collins was a feared sack artist the past two seasons and made an unusual number of plays behind the line of scrimmage.  He’s a terrific athlete who spent part of his college career at safety.  Yet Collins is a much better fit on the outside of a 3-4 alignment versus the 4-3 scheme run by the Patriots.  Our understanding is many of the Patriots scouts felt the same way and graded Collins as a last day pick. I’ve heard there was a lot of disagreement over this pick on Friday of the draft as many of the team’s scouts feel Collins is primarily a north defender and will need a lot of work playing in reverse.  He possesses the physical talent but does Collins have the fire and aptitude to play in a more complex defensive scheme?

    Aaron Dobson/WR/Marshall (Round 2, pick #59): Dobson was one of the highest rated senior receivers entering the season and possesses the size and pass catching skill to develop into a starter.  Despite his forty time from the combine (4.44s) Dobson never presented himself as a vertical threat.  Nor did he really distinguish himself at the Senior Bowl.  Dobson comes with a good degree of upside potential but considering some of the other receivers available to the Patriots (Terrence Williams/Baylor, Markus Wheaton/Oregon State) we feel the 59th pick was a slight reach for his talents.

    Logan Ryan/CB/Rutgers (Round 3, pick #83): If Dobson was a reach then Ryan was great value.  For months detractors picked his game apart and pointed to his poor forty time but the game film tells a different story.  Ryan possesses terrific ball skills, instincts and overall football ability.  Looking at the state of the cornerback position for the Patriots and the recent woes of Alfonzo Dennard, expect Ryan to see productive playing time as a rookie.

    Duron Harmon/S/Rutgers (Round 3, pick #91): Harmon was another selection that had some in the Patriots war room scratching their heads.  From what I’ve been told this was a situation where scouts were overruled and the brain trust made the choice.  I was alerted in the weeks prior to the draft Harmon would likely be selected yet no one I spoke with thought he would be a top 100 choice.

    Josh Boyce/WR/TCU (Round 4, pick #102): While we ranked Boyce as a 5th round choice, its easy to understand why the Patriots grabbed him in the opening round of the draft’s final day.  Boyce offers terrific size/speed numbers and is very natural catching the ball.  He needs to play at a high level on a consistent basis and polish his game.  If that happens Boyce could develop into a very good third receiver for the Patriots.

    Michael Buchanan/DE-OLB/Illinois (Round 7, pick #226):Buchanan performed poorly as a senior and as a result, dropped down draft boards. Though we liked him better as a 3-4 outside linebacker, he’s a good fit for the Patriots as a one-gap end.  Its a matter of getting Buchanan to play to his level of ability but it was worth a roll of the dice in round seven.

    Steve Beauharnais/LB/Rutgers (Round 7, pick #235): In our opinion Beauharnais is probably the most underrated linebacker in this draft.  He’s not a sensational play maker rather a hard-working, versatile linebacker who can fill several back-up roles and play special teams.  Considering the limited depth the Patriots have at linebacker, it would be a surprise if Beauharnais does not make the final roster.

    Grade: C-. The Patriots traded out of round one and passed up on some of the better cornerbacks in the draft who could’ve made an immediate impact.  When they were finally announced on the clock they chose a linebacker who may struggle breaking into the starting line-up.  Many from the organization are mumbling about several of the head scratching choices from this collection of picks.  It will be interesting to see the final result of how these prospects stack-up against the players New England bypassed.

     
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  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from wozzy. Show wozzy's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Another tall lanky under weight pass rusher who fell in the draft, Jason Taylor, which might be overly optimistic but if he doesn't start in his first season many here will be labeling him a bust even though OLB is the deepest position and hardest to crack on the whole team.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from Philskiw1. Show Philskiw1's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Another tall lanky under weight pass rusher who fell in the draft, Jason Taylor, which might be overly optimistic but if he doesn't start in his first season many here will be labeling him a bust even though OLB is the deepest position and hardest to crack on the whole team.



    Been a long time since we could say that about OLB depth.  

     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from seattlepat70. Show seattlepat70's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to wozzy's comment:

    Another tall lanky under weight pass rusher who fell in the draft, Jason Taylor, which might be overly optimistic but if he doesn't start in his first season many here will be labeling him a bust even though OLB is the deepest position and hardest to crack on the whole team.



    To me, I look for burst off the snap as well as rapid leveraged strides (versus longer strides). Based on what I saw on youtube, he did not really demonstrate burst and he looks like a long strider. I don't expect much from him, but would be delighted if he emerges to be a great contributor. 

    Bottomline, from fourth round and out, I don't really think there are steals. It's only a steal if they demonstrate enough to stick around and be on the field.

     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from mthurl. Show mthurl's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

    In response to mthurl's comment:

     

    In response to BassFishingII's comment:

     

    In response to mthurl's comment:

     

    Well I think he is ten times the prospect Markell Carter was two years ago and everybody made a big deal out of that guy. Buchanan must be a nut job, because there is no way a guy that talented should last till the 7th round - he is no different (talent wise) than these tweener types that go somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds year after year....and yet he dropped to the 7th?

     



    You've never seen either play in college, so how can you even make that comment? Each are late rd project type picks.

     

     

     




    Simple you moron, there is tape on the internet on both of these players. I'm basing this off my opinion of watching a guy like Markell Carter, who as soon as I saw him thought there was no way in blue hell that he would ever EVER play one single minute of professional football with feet like his. His feet moved as if they had bricks tied to them - he was going against a low level of competition and still he looked stiff. Buchanan on the other the other hand is a totally different story.

     

     



    Yes, your analysis is utterly horrendous. You think you're a football scout or coach. It's quite comical.

     

    lol



    Awww, you're still mad that I bet you that Markell would never play one single minute of NFL football for this team after you peed your pants when they paid him an extra ten grand to stay on the practice squad...aren't you? Don't fret...you have more and many other embarrassing football projections to fall back on.

     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Buchanan is an interesting prospect...if he can regain his 2011 form. Good athlete, great size, can't coach that. 

    I don't see him as a 4-3 de in the nfl unless he puts on 15-20lbs or so. I hope bb finds some use for him as a 3-4 olb. I would be interested in seeing he and jones/Hightower on the outside with mayo and Collins lining inside, or flip Collins and Hightower...

    all of a sudden we have a deep and athletic lb crew. Collins and Buchanan arE plus athletes with good speed ans quickness foe their size..

     
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  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbruu. Show bredbruu's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to APpats21's comment:

    In response to mthurl's comment:

     

    Well I think he is ten times the prospect Markell Carter was two years ago and everybody made a big deal out of that guy. Buchanan must be a nut job, because there is no way a guy that talented should last till the 7th round - he is no different (talent wise) than these tweener types that go somewhere between the 2nd and 3rd rounds year after year....and yet he dropped to the 7th?

     




    His production dropped because of an offseason fight where he broke his jaw. He had his jaw wired and was on a liquid diet where he lost 20+ pounds. Who knows how much of that was muscle. I think thats where more of his drop was from.

     



    i can tell you, you are losing lean tissue in a sit like that.

     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from bredbruu. Show bredbruu's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to mbeaulieu07's comment:

    For what it's worth, I liked Buchanan better than Whitney Mercilus when reviewing 2011 Illinois tape... thought he was a more active and athletic player with more versatility and upside.  He def had a down 2012.



    have said since i saw film since day of the draft. in llimited film i saw, he looke dmore relentless than c jones in colege pursuingthe qb.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from dustcover. Show dustcover's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    In response to APpats21's comment:

    His production dropped because of an offseason fight where he broke his jaw. He had his jaw wired and was on a liquid diet where he lost 20+ pounds.




    What I want to see is more on the guy who broke his jaw.

     
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    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Production fell. Could still be a situational player which would not be bad for a 7th round pick.

     
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    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Project from the film I've seen. If he makes team, he'll have to work hard, on and off the field. Part of the process. I bet Pats are going to see how good he is in coverage, more than rushing the QB. Thats not easy.
    In todays NFL, if you can hold-up or disrupt the Big TE's at the line, then do a good job at coverage, this has Huge value. Next John Abraham, dont see it at this point, as an impact Pass Rusher.
    Actually built more like McGuiness, or Phifer. He becomes a Phifer even way more value than a Pass Rusher.
    There is also another thing you need to play like those 2, a brain. 2 of the smartest Football players, that I've seen.

     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from pcmIV. Show pcmIV's posts

    Re: Bleacher Report Thinks Buchanan is a Steal.

    Ridiculous athleticism and a good motor, but the film I saw shows a player who plays too high at times.  I think a red shirt year is in order so that he can be coached up to play lower and with better leverage more consistently.  I hope he makes the team because I'm not sure he can make it to the PS.

     
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