Ya might know, but only because I've mentioned it maybe just under 100 times for half a decade now- I LOVE The NFL Draft TWICE as much as ANY Superbowl...even a Pats Superbowl (yes). It's a 365 24-7 event that I avidly follow from Draft Day to the NEXT Draft Day...without stopping.
I KNOW My sh#t... You KNOW that I know my sh#t on evaluating these prospects. IF you don't, please feel free to speak up.
Redundants (not all) and accolades aside, IF you wanna know something about the type of player that Bill Belichick has targeted with his 1st 2 Selections here in Round #1, I'll break down in 1 sentence right here & now:
Bill Belichick has just nabbed 2 Defenders whom are FEROCIOUS, these 2 guys Punish People...and these 2 Defenders are RELENTLESS on the field, these 2 guys have exceptionally passionate, dedicated and offer a different level of hustle (they just WANT it)...and finally, these 2 Defenders are VERY good team guys- they are very versatile, have simply amazing instincts, play like psychopaths on the field yet have zero red flags off of it, and lastly They are REALLY coachable (both guys are Raw...Hightower less-so, but even with Hightower & just like Chandler Jones, Neither one of these guys have developed ANY sorta array of specialized skill-sets and techniques in order to add in to the quality of play currently each one utilizes within each's current arsenal of playing performance abilities).
There...that was a short "sentence"...
Look, You guys know that I rarely give such glowing analysises towards ANY-one. I just don't. You have to show me something pretty nice, for me to jump glowingly on board your ship. Last year? Gabe Carimi at Offensive Tackle took my breath away. RB Roy Helu was right here too, in terms of 100% Absolute LOVE. After that, Aldon Smith was raw...but he came pretty close. Year before? Devin McCourty...and you folks who've been on, Know This. This year? Devon Still and Chandler Jones=2 players that I HAVE written about individually, who DO- idk, just show me something that I believe in on Day 1 (this is a draft guy's version of "true love", I guess...ya know, something that'cha can't fully find the right vernacular for).
Here's some previous posts on some draftees along The Front 7, the 1st being about Coples (and the next one, as it relates to Chandler Jones):
"I gotta ask this, so I'll place it here on Captn's thread... Q: WhereInTH is Quinton Coples going to fall in this Draft? I've seen Coples as High as #11 Rd 1, anywhere in the middle Right around the 20 spot of Rd 1...and similarly, I've seen several mocks with Coples dropping as far as a third of the way into Rd 2...?
Lemme explain: This is the first time thus far that I've really taken a keen and close inspection of the higher regarded pass rushing DEs on film, in a comparative analysis...
Here's what I took home: Quinton Coples is a FREAK... He's a stud, plain and simple. Better- Than- ANY-one...in this draft @ that 4-3 DE spot (with 3-4 OLB potential). He is just a FREAK... Ask mbeaulieu, Last Draft I said Aldon Smith was far and away the purest force to be reckoned with as a pass-rushing 4-3 DE/3-4 OLB guy... I see the exact same deal with Coples...He simply looks like a Man amongst Pop Warner boys out there. He is- This guy simply FLINGS people around... Just SO powerful...and extremely fast. I see him getting double-teamed on EVERY SINGLE PLAY...more than any other situation with any other Pass-Rusher playing his position in this draft. 1 Difference between Coples and Aldon Smith: Smith was 6'3 and in the highest of the 260'slb range- Coples is SIX FOOT FIVE, and 280 even. I know that's on paper, just a bit too big for a 3-4 OLB (weight-wise)...This guy can do it though, He is FAST at that huge size. Quick lateral agility and body control- REALLY Good here. It's just his strength with that body control, and now Lawrence Taylor height.
Been high on Andre Branch...but I'm turning the majority of my allegiance to Coples now. Still believe Devon Still can do that 3-4 DE, 4-3 DT, leaps and bounds better than anyone else in this Draft (Derek Wolfe being my 2nd favorite). RB, still going with Vick Ballard (b/c Doug Martin's gonna go to high for me). And unless Casey Heyward, or Josh Norman slip down a bit (b/c I want these other guys), With CB, I'm still liking a few of those mid-rounders: Donnie Fletcher, and Maybe Ryan Stead or Keith Tandy (great potential finds in these Rds 4-5 Guys). Some ILB/4-3 Weakside 'tweener I'd like (Audie Cole, Miles Burris). 3 Safeties I like, No-one apparently has any clue where they'll fall...Markelle Martin, Brandon Taylor, Antonio Allen (in order).
Honestly though w/ Coples: I have no idea his involvement (or non) in the North Carolina Suspension a year or two ago? Also, I ABSOLUTELY have issues with his refusal to move inside later on in this season upon the NC Coach asking him to do so... I'm even fairly certain I saw 1 or 2 bad inside takes, on his attitude in Individual Draftee Meetings with NFL Clubs(?)... In terms of where Coples is on the field at this pass-rushing end position...? ...He IS, right now, Better than ANY-one & EVERY-one else in this 2012 Draft Class. I just don't want a spend a 1st Rder on a exceptionally talented guy who plays by his own rules...I NEVER do." <from CaptnFoxboro's "Greg Cosell's Mock" thread/Page 6 on BDC Pats>
Next, here was my very recent pre-draft take on they guy whom was behind a veil forever apparently, Chandler Jones:
I Love this guy...I really do. He IS my #2 to Quinn... Many consensus rated guys are in between, but he's my #2. It's funny, after I saw the film and knowing he obviously plays for Syracuse, I actually said to myself, "Ya know what- I bet anything Jones is an original New York Native too." Answer was, Yes he is... Here's the thing that'chll both say is ridiculous and also say is treasoneous: You CAN SEE a sorta absolutely fearlessly unapologetic swagger to the top athletes in things like football and basketball, when they originally hail from New York as their home state... I'm sorry if ya don't believe, or if you can't...but you really ARE able to see this.
And when I watch this guy, Chandler Jones plays with it= Absolute & certain in his swagger... It's not simply like this guy just hustles or anything (he does-scary so)...but it's his instincts and absolute determination in his play...It's almost like IF I had to describe his play, it would be: Confident, Street Smart, and Ferocious... G'head watch Jones' tapes...THEN you can come back and say that I'm incorrect here, only then after seeing him.
It's almost like this guy broke football into 1 thought: "Go after football, try to get it- If man with it, kill him, THEN try to get ball..." Lmao, I'm serious- He's just an animal on the field... Not by power or force or talk or athleticism- Yea, he's got those...idk- Man, this guy WANTS that football...REAL Bad. Plays like James Harrison with Brandon Spikes uncanny recognition to see WHERE the play WILL go...oh, and he's got the 6'5 262lb size of Willie McGinest.
Lol...admittedly I passed over him, Liking only Coples...then a 1000 mile 2nd place, Whitney Mercilus (god I wanted to believe in Nick Perry though)...then a 1300 3rd place (and draft position playing a part here), was Andre Branch. And honestly, I don't actually really LOVE either Mercilus or Branch...I just don't DIS-like them as much as the others.
But this guy?!?
<Alright, so here I'm gonna tell'ya why the original snub on Jones here, o.k.? />
Blame Pete Carrol...Mid to 2/3rds down 1st Rounder on This Safety out of Syracuse, which actually was THE 1st Ostensible Prediction of A Superbowl TO, a unstoppable downturn to come under his regime.
It took Chandler Jones' film to convince me to take a look again at these guys (yes, I hold a grudge a long time...I'm currently holding onto a lesser but very real one w/ U of M for Merriweather).
People, this guy deserves your own film inspection of him, so just check him out=Very savy...Very Ferocious." <from ricky16284's, "Patriots really really love DE/OLB Chandler Jones"- thanx for the holla-back btw man, appreciate it>
The base similarities between Hightower's form of play and Jones' manner of playing, are EXACTLY the same as 1 another: Ferocious, Acutely Instinctual, VERY Passionate, and Absolutely Punishing... Lol, Is anyone here largely unhappy with that combo? Both of these guys Just...WANT...It. They simply do- you can see it palbably with each one's gametape. They play like their lives depend on it...and YOU can't say that about many. The notion of on-field fear based on your gladiatorial struggles down there on the gridiron against your opponent, taking not simply a backseat, BUT being removed entirely and chvcked in the trunk, Finally to be replaced Only By- The fear YOU have of simply allowing the other guy to succeed in any way... It's what you want. He!!, it's what you must pray at night for as an NFL Coach- The player who IS, THAT determined, and simply noticeably plays on the field, like there IS NO WAY...ZERO option allowed to let the oppossing guy succeed.
It's like getting a psychopath...and then getting A psychopath with a dedicated & loyal character...and then getting a psychopath with a dedicated and loyal character who hasn't reached anywhere NEAR neither their full physical or developed skill-set potential, or both...Lmao, and then realizing that the psychopath's scheme diverse... O.k., Now I'm getting 2 of THEM?!?!
You WILL not (because there aren't 2 others)- Find 2 Front 7 Defenders in this Entire 2012 NFL Draft Class, who play the game in such a noticeably apparent and impactful way, As to simply want to make it understood on every play, THAT: They want the opposing guy with the ball, or who's getting the ball, to not really be to sure about trully wanting the actual football itself, in their own hands.
THAT is what NE just acquired.
No...and don't even say it. I WILL happily and willingly destroy you, IF and Whenever I feel that'chre not doing it as good as you should...or could. The fact of "fandom" and "loyalty" plays a FAR less role verses, Me wanting you to reach THE Best potential possible. I'm hard...I am (I don't keep many friends that way). Same goes towards The Singularly Favorite Aspect (NFL Draft), of the 1 Sport I follow (NFL), and the 1 team that I've loved my entire life as a birthright (NE Patriots).
I shredded Belichick in 2008 for his Draft...2007 was little better in my eyes (after Moss & Welker, Belichick mailed it in- And I don't care about those who'll say "Moss & Welker WERE ABSOLUTELY great enough to label this as a success"- No. When things still count, you NEVER let your foot off the clutch);
I got sh#t in 2009 for being disappointed again (sorry, when you have 27 Draft Picks- I expect THAT much more...I grade on a curve & I will ALWAYS regard 2009 as a "good draft", only in so much, that 2009 wasn't AS tragically pathetic as the previous 2 prior);
2010? Yup, I received the cr#p that I'm discussing that some of you ARE thinking, right here & now...thrown over the other shoulder, at me entitling a thread 1 day post draft, calling it- "2010 NE Patriots Draft=UN-doubtedly THE BEST Pats Draft in a decade...probably longer"; I believe I was called "A blind Pats homer" for that one;
2011? Regression...It was. ZERO maximizing of picks early on when he should've done so, in terms of target selection area on the big board verses actual NE draft selection used on any given individual prospect- Dowling, AND Solder <b/c ya had Carimi AND Solder...and then Castonzo...and finally Carpenter & Sherrod still VERY decent OT's in this order-you leap frog, and pick up picks along the way, seeing as how the only Tackle needy team didn't begin again until 3 or 4 picks after NE's Selection 17 spot). The absolutely GREAT value for Mallet and Cannon, Does NOT excuse what ANY even minorly Educated Draft guy can recognize: As Opportunities wasted for the talent Belichick could've acquired with his 2 1st rders, 2 2nd rders, 2 3rd rders, then 1 4th, 1 5th, and 1 6th...sheez (his best draft selection was fleecing NO's in a trade for their 1st here, and their 2nd that year).
/>So to make a long story -which you know I won't edit to make it shorter- Just now a tad bit longer in summation: Ya, you get the drift=No...this is NOT some 12 hour Post Rd 1, Blind act of !d!ot!c fandom on my behalf. Why? A: Because it never is...I despise playing favorites, and try to root this out almost fanatically.
Some Added Thoughts on Dont'a Hightower<>
>This guy was THE A#1 Top Dog LEADER (taking over from Rolando McClain 3 years ago), of the nation's most imposing #1 College Defense (yea, playing for a guy that might possibly share the closest similarity to Bill Belichick on Planet Earth, as it relates to Coaching & Teaching the game of Football).
>Just like Jones, Hightower IS raw... "What," you ask, "How can this guy EVER be regarded as 'Raw'?" He is...and here's how & why: Hightower IS "Raw", because he has SOooo much versatility and value on the playing field. He's not amazingly "quick-twitch" and "overly developed" in his ability...He's amazingly instinctual, fearless, and REALLY determined. Like Jones, This was the bread & butter of skill-set. But check this out: And the same goes for the same delusionals which labeled Brandon Spikes "bad in pass-coverage" due to his 5.00+ 40 time... Hightower is Real NICE playing Pass Defense- And as a 6'3 265lb head-bashing MLB??? If ya wanna do it comparatively by his true position, He's AWESOME. But there's 1 thing Hightower's better at than nearly ANY MLB on Earth... It's Rushing the passer and collapsing the pocket. The fact is: He's a 3 down MLB, whom CAN and DOES play both pass defense AND the pass-rush excellently granted his most natural position...BUT, whom hasn't needed to develop all those nice little added repertoire of pass-rushing skilled moves nor has he fully had to develop all that pass d recognitions of zone bubble schemes along with the eligible receiver route recognitions too.
>Lastly (and I've made mention of this within the past year), I swore by this at the time: Bill Belichick WANTED Martez Wilson in 2011... Lmao, I have no proof, and I have ZERO tangible evidence. He did though...bet'cha anything. NE traded down from Rd #2 last year... At the time, -something like an 11 or 12 spot difference between that traded NE pick at the bottom of Rd 2, to NE's spot in Early Rd 3- Belichick's looking at the Big Board, and seeing that these guys were still on the Overall Board: Nate Irving <Weakside ILB, then 4-3 WOLB too>, Kelvin Sheppard ILB <strongside 3-4/MLB 4-3>, Mason Foster <4-3 OLB, then MLB>, Greg Jones <WILB>, Quan Sturdivant <WILB, 4-3 MLB>, AND (insanely)- Martez Wilson <Time at BOTH 4-3 OLB spots, PLUS 4-3 MLB and SILB 3-4>= Each and Every ONE of these guys were still on The Big Board...
By the time NE's pick 12 or spots later? Jones and Sturdivant remained. That's it- 2 guys who would not work for Bill Belichick's purposes... What's "Belichick's Purposes" actually mean? I said then, and I'll say it now- Just as I wanted some massive ILB/OLB tweener, like Audie Cole or Miles Burris this year, Bill Belichick wants and SEES All of the crazy potentials which he can do with the same- These are MASSIVE Sized ILBs who are NOT simply standard archetypal MLB run defending head-smashers... These types are now BOTH- Pass-Rushing Threats In their own right...good enough to collapse the pocket as a VERY real threat in between the Tackles...AND they're smash-mouth run defenders too...AND (but only if you get lucky- which would be guys like Dont'a Hightower & Martez Wilson last year)- These guys have already seen, and have proven capable at BOTH OLB AND ILB- only IF you're lucky can you add in this scheme diversity experienced factor into these type of guy's skill-sets.
We got lucky...NE got Sooo lucky that we were even lucky that we were actually lucky that Martez Wilson didn't even fall to us last year... This should explain the "luck" of nabbing Hightower: We got SO lucky with Dont'a Hightower, that many of Us big NE Draft guys, simply stopped regarding Hightower as a possibility of getting him in any non-fiction sense, that we just began looking at lesser guys seein' as though for about an entire 1 1/2 year's span- Dont'a Hightower moved anywhere from a Top 10 pick to a Top 12, and a Top 15, or at worst a Top 20 (and anywhere moving all over in between).
Trust me, you'll see the crazy interior pocket collapsing potential and wild schemes that Belichick's gonna do with this type of guy.
Some Added Thoughts on Chandler Jones<>
>This guy's crazy... (lol, I already discussed him- So I'll save you guys the added "book" here). But I DO, very much need you to understand that Jones is REALLY capable of making that leap into playing in space as a 3-4 Weakside OLB. Really, REALLY aware...and simply plays so fast & forceful- really excellent upper and lower body control at once for such a raw player in both his skill-set repertoire, and even in Jones' case, fully maximizing the potentials of his huge frame. I've often discussed the plain madness of nabbing a 4-3 Collegiate DE in Rd #1, and praying that he makes that 3-4 OLB switch... When your base is the 3-4, over and over, and over- It's just st#p#d in Rd #1... But NE runs more and more sub-packages and more and more 4-3's and variations now therein...and IF ya gotta make a bet on a guy who can do both- Chandler Jones with his size, speed, ferocity, dedication, and excellent instincts & awareness=Is a pretty nice gamble to make (no...I hated Jermaine Cunningham- still do in fact- He shies from contact and his instincts are sh#t imho).
What I'd LOVE out of Rd #2...
NE has 2 picks, right? 48th and 67th Selection... Quick Math- Rd 2 starts at 33=15 Teams are selecting players before NE's up.
You need Devon Still... Shoot, you WANT Devon Still. They d#mn well should... I've said many times (especially based on his Senior Bowl play), that I REALLY like Derek Wolfe. Alot... I think he'd be just a perfect compliment as a 3-4 DE (in particular...as a weakside 3-4 DE...he can get into the pocket pretty nice, so I'd rather place a Gerrard Warren type on the opposite side of Wilfork in order to maximize Wolfe best). But Still?!? Devon Still IS The ONLY Player which I can see potential for THIS very same quality of skill (and actually better) at 3-4 DE AND as a 4-3 Defensive Tackle=Just...As...Good. BOTH spots. Still's 1st step is NASTY fast. Nasty quick at a 6 Foot 5 and 305 Pound Body?!? Yikes... And in a very similiar (albeit a bit less-so) manner, I SEE- I palpably see the very same crazy on-field pure determination from Devon Still, as I did in Jones and have done through Hightower.
Still's hustle, his scheme diversity- Incredible potential here... I see a really unique ability in the amount & manner of differences w/ Still when he's using the low bursting pad level he uses on film when he's playing the interior as a 4-3 DT, Just as you can see Still's length and width and brute size and force when he's being double teammed on the edge of that Penn State D-Line... With Still, you have the EXACT same room for unreal potential- Still's greatest weakness right now, is building up more natural pure strength in the weight room in order to fully be NASTY as a 3-4 DE too...not just good=Nasty good. THIS is something which is VERY trainable & pretty quickly fixed.
So wadd'ya do?
Here's what I would do... If Wolfe falls-great...But this imho, is such a secondary & a bit less ideal option, which in and of itself would be beyond my control If NE stays put at #48. St. Louis is going first...let 'em. They're getting CRAZY offers this 1st year where Coaches are recognizing that Talent is Now Paramount...No longer are massize rookie 1st rd wages factoring so heavily into the equation. Lol, No...this doesn't mean (like I heard stated elsewhere) that NE packaging picks & moving further up into Rd #1, Is an actual "Bad-Thing." Lol, Just the opposite in fact- Highest Picks ARE worth- THAT much more- I would expect teams to readily begin recognizing this, upon such crazy 1st & earliest of 2nd Rd rookie salaries to be now, lesser. You wanna move up, and now there's FAR more incentive to do so in order to acquire this better quality of talent, at a lesser Salary Cap price than ever before. Therefore, in a trade, You ARE paying more...you WILL be giving up slightly better late Rd picks, and/or slightly more later rd picks...
Anyway, ya gotta move up to select Still... St. Louis's first spot of Rd 2 is gonna get some pretty nice trade offers imo (too bad teams weren't as savy to realize this a year ago when NE was @ 33...they WILL be now). St. Louis=Nope. Indy=LOL! They ain't givin' up Fleener to pair with a new franchise QB IF Irsay's son's life depended on it...good luck, don't waste your time. Then ya got Ravens...and THAT is a concern. But I believe they're headed elsewhere- But the next 4, Are your real nice hopes that'cha can nab Still...
Here's your "sell": You're trading BOTH 2nd Rders to one of these guys. In return you'd like their 2nd rder here, plus their 2nd rd pick next year...OR their 2nd rder plus maybe a 3rd...at worst (gulp) a 4th. You want the team that gives you their 2nd here and their 2nd next year (not a real hard sale) in place of both NE's 2nd rders right now (you WANT to start setting yourself up in some manner for next year's draft...ya thought having a slew of picks for NE was important in the past? Now, it's critical with this rookie set wage scale in Rd 1).
Denver- Didn't pick in Rd 1... But they have two 2nd rders, one 3rd rder, AND three 4th rders... If you're any sorta creative GM (not sure Elway applies though), Idk- Lmao, I can this day's show AND set myself up come next year, with the ammo of now- THREE 2nd rders, ONE 3rd Rder, and THREE 4th rders= 7 Selections in the next 3 Rounds?!? This is a team which desperately needs a solid fundamental full core of personell on their club.
Cleveland- These guys are #1 hopefuls imo- They just got a QB AND a nasty RB in Rd 1...they want a WR; BUT...hmm, Mohammed Sanu, Stephen Hill, Alshon Jefferies...sheez-Reuben Randle- GOOD number of WRs still there- Tradin' down a 10 spot and STILL landing a quality WR PLUS some other guy RIGHT Now...that could be really tempting if your The Browns Coach (plus, Belichick seems to have been in tight with this organization forever).
Jacksonville- Ya got 1 STUD Wide Receiver...but'chre team's still so shallow. This year, you have a 2, a 3, a 5, a 6, and a 7 left=5 Picks, no supplementals, no 4th rder=Then your day's over...odds are if you have any brains in Jaguar Land, ya might realize that maybe this won't be enough to put 1 fan back in your stadium's seats, or to keep the few remaining fans you have from finally giving up their own seats...
St. Louis- Now they're prime. St Louis just got Brockers, THEN the 1st pick of Rd 2 here... They still have 1 2nd rder remaining, a 3rd, a 4th, a 5th, plus 2 7ths... Crazy. WhyTH NOT move down less than 10 spots, and either give up a 3rd right now (getting 2 more 2nds), or giving up 1 2nd next year? How many new guys do ya wanna deal with?!? Rams were crazy active in FA too. You could use these mass of picks to trade up for a much higher quality of pick come next year, OR a higher quality of prospect at the end of Rd 2 or Rd 3.
(other than the responses which say in affect, "I don't like to read...Or Learn anything new when it's longer than 1 sentence, But I will actually go to the trouble of making a comment that this was in fact, too long...")