Thursday, April 28, 2005
THE HUB SPOTLIGHTS: THE NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS DRAFT PICKS
The Patriots' Drafted based upon need in 2005:
Round 1/32 -- Logan Mankins, OL, 6-4, 307, Fresno State
The Patriots look for position flexibility and found it in an offensive line prospect they may have taken too high, but one that fits what they were looking for up front. He will compete for playing time immediately at left guard or right tackle while providing much needed depth at left tackle, where he played in college.
Round 3/84 -- Ellis Hobbs III, CB, 5-9, 186, Iowa State
Needing more depth at corner, the Pats went with an intelligent, undersized corner who plays with solid instincts and ball skills. He will compete for time in the nickel and dime packages. He improved annually for Iowa State and has upside as a third rounder despite being a smaller corner who could have trouble with big receivers. Look for him to work in the slot for New England.
Round 3/100 -- Nick Kaczur, T, 6-5, 319, Toledo
A solid line prospect, Kaczur needs to work on his strength, but sustains blocks well, can drive defenders off the ball and has good quickness. He needs technique work, but may have the ability to play guard. He won't likely play much in 2005, but the Pats have the luxury to let him develop. His first season will be a redshirt-type year.
Round 4/133 -- James Sanders, SS, 5-11, 214, Fresno State
New England needs a young strong safety to learn behind aging veteran Rodney Harrison and may have landed their future starter in the fourth round with a player who is consistent and has good speed and tackling skills, but needs seasoning and refinement playing near the line of scrimmage. He'll get it in New England's secondary while he plays special teams. This was a good pick.
Round 5/170 -- Ryan Claridge, OLB, 6-2, 254, UNLV
NFLdraftscout.com labels Claridge as a natural leader who wants to coach when his playing days are over. He can play inside in the Pats 3-4 defense or rush the passer from the outside. He needs to get stronger and improve his technique, but he's aggressive and agile and not afraid to play in traffic. He's had injury problems but has shown the toughness to play through them.
Round 7/230 -- Matt Cassell, QB, 6-4, 222, USC
A backup at USC, Cassell had a strong workout in the spring in which he showed good velocity and accuracy on his throws. He will start camp fourth on the Patriots depth chart behind Tom Brady, Rohan Davey and Chris Redman, the latter two of whom are scheduled to be free agents after the 2005 season.
Round 7/255 - Andrew Stokes, TE, 6-4, 253, William Penn
Stokes has good hands and runs good routes, but is a long-shot prospect that will have a hard time making the roster. He is quick, but needs some bulk on his frame.
(Thanks PatriotsInsider.com) http://patriots.scout.com/2/374655.html
Next Time: The Hub will review recent Patriots draft history. -NF