Saturday, March 5, 2016

2016 Foxborough Free Press Big Board

NFL rosters top out at 53 players for the regulars season, so why not limit our 2016 Big Board of the top offseason targets to the same number?

The New England Patriots are unique in the way they approach their team building process in that they value tenured free agents who can fill holes and contribute right away over rookies who have proven nothing at the professional level.

This is not to mean that rookies can't or won't fill holes and contribute right away, but Patriots' head ball coach favors filling as many holes as he can with veterans so as not to have to approach the draft with immediate needs to lay on a kid just coming out of college, instead allowing himself time to ease said kid in gradually.
Vikings tackle Mike Harris could be effective swing tackle or more

Therefore, our 2016 Big Board includes tenured free agents whom the Patriots could target to fill needs before the draft, allowing Belichick the enviable task of drafting the best athlete available rather than perhaps reaching for a rookie in order to fill that need.

Akiem Hicks, DT, Free Agent - New England
   Patriots don't have many free agents hitting the market, but Hicks is an absolute must-sign
Mike Harris, OT/OG, Free Agent - Minnesota
   Harris is under-valued by the Vikes, who offered him a 2 year, $3.5 million contract
Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama
   Huge and fast back who enjoys running folks over. If available in 2nd round, Pats should jump
Jermaine Gresham, TE, Free Agent - Arizona
   Vet "move" tight end who had five good seasons with Cincy before signing with Arizona
Austin Hooper, TE, Stanford
   Junior "move" tight end whom we rate the best in class
Matt Forte, RB, Free Agent - Chicago
   Cagey vet nearing the end, great in both run and pass games
Joshua Perry, OLB, Ohio State
   Undersized weak sider who compares himself with Steelers' Ryan Shazier
Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
   Electric speed, great hands and terrific route runner. Our top WR in class
Kyler Fackrell, OLB, Utah State
   Long pass rusher with cover ability and maturity beyond years
Chris Ivory, RB, Free Agent - New York Jets
   Violent runner, and Belichick loves guys who have given him problems in the past
Kentrell Brothers, ILB, Missouri
   Elite vision and instincts, best play action-aware inside linebacker in class
Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
   Elite acceleration and separation, 4.32 speed to take top off of defenses
Travis Benjamin, WR, Free Agent - Cleveland
   Explosive slot receiver and kick returner, 4.36 speed but just one good season of production
Tyler Boyd, WR, Pitt
   Good-sized, reliable possession receiver with vice-like hands
Scooby Wright, ILB, Arizona
   A man possessed, non-stop motor and hits like a freight train
Jerald Hawkins, OT, LSU
   Lean prospect that needs a year or two, but could become elite left tackle
Germaine Ifedl, OT, Texas A&M
   Massive swing tackle prospect that has versatility at right guard as well
Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
   Ball hawking risk-taking press corner with good instincts and coordination
Anquan Boldin, WR, Free Agent - San Francisco
   A pro's pro in the twilight of career - needs no build up
Jordan Howard, RB, Indiana
   Violent running three-down back who would contribute right away
La'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
   Best left tackle prospect in reach of Pats, could need a year
Su'a Cravens, OLB, USC
   Playmaking weak-sider, excellent processing and playing speed
LaDarius Green, TE, Free Agent - San Diego
   Underused "move" tight end that has fresh legs and good speed
Charone Peake, WR, Clemson
   Latest in a long line of excellent Clemson pass catchers
Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas
   Projects to be another Chris Ivory, one-speed downhill runner
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
   Elusive burner who has played only one year at position - mid-round steal
Patrick Robinson, CB, Free Agent - San Diego
   Former bust that found his stride on year deal with Chargers
Keyarris Garrett, WR, Tulsa
   Great leaper with solid hands - good sized possession receiver
Pharoh Cooper, WR, South Carolina
   Elite "get off" from the line with speed to get over the top
Cedric Thornton, DT/DE, Free Agent - Philadelphia
   Stout three-tech who can play some end - excellent run stuffer
Mark Barron, OLB, Free Agent - Los Angeles
   Bust as a safety, found his position fit as a violent weakside linebacker
Morgan Burns, CB, Kansas State
   Under the radar prospect - reminds many of Malcolm Butler
Dominique Alexander, OLB, Oklahoma
   Former insider who got pushed around, is fast enough for the outside
Harlan Miller, CB, Southeast Louisiana
   More quick than fast, but an athletic press corner that competes
Yannick Ngakoue, OLB, Maryland
   Edge-setter with good burst in pass rush - a project
Chris Long, DE, Free Agent - Los Angeles
   Elderly edge rusher seeking last big paycheck - situational pass rusher only
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
   Focused hands-catcher that needs route work
Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
   Has issues with penalties, but one of the better corners at timing his look back and leaps
Brandon Boykin, CB, Free Agent - Pittsburgh
   Looking for a more consistent role in someone's secondary, played well in a limited role in '15
Thomas Duarte, TE/WR, UCLA
   Is he a "move" tight end or a big wide out? Either way, he's a versatile weapon
Kenneth Dixon, RB, Louisiana Tech
   Not big on pass protection, but beastly between the tackles with good change of direction skill
Tyler Higbee, TE, Western Kentucky
   Pure pass catcher with exciting separation speed
C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
   Speedy big back with untapped potential. Perhaps a bit of a project, but the tools are there
Leonte Caroo, WR, Rutgers
   Excellent blocker though still trying to sharpen route running
Kenny Lawlor, WR, California
   Thin, tall slot receiver - not a deep threat but a solid possession type
Tahir Whitehead, LB, Free Agent - Detroit
   Run stuffer only, but an ascending talent
Zach Brown, LB, Free Agent - Tennessee
   weaksider with speed to burn - good size and decent edge setter
Kamalel Correa, OLB, Boise State
   College defensive end that could be an edge-setting outside backer in the pros - a project
Derrick Shelby, DE, Free Agent - Miami
   Strong side, run plugging defensive end that was underutilized in Miami
Joe Barksdale, OT, Free Agent - San Diego
   Young tackle with plenty of experience - could be a nice swing tackle
Eric Murray, CB, Minnesota
   speedy but slight corner that fits best in a zone scheme or in the slot
Tyler Matakevich, ILB, Temple
   weaksider with plus intelligence and excellent work ethic
Deondre' Hall, CB, Northern Iowa
   A candidate for transition to safety, length and impressive wingspan are pluses
Rashard Robinson, CB, LSU
   Best press corner in the draft but character concerns limit his stock
Nick Vigil, OLB, Utah State
   Project for a team that has patience - needs weight room work and may redshirt

No comments:

Post a Comment