Patriots draft positional preview: Defensive ends
PATRIOTS DRAFT POSITIONAL PREVIEW: DEFENSIVE ENDS
By Tom E. Curran
CSN Patriots Insider
The Patriots have been neutered at the top of the 2016 NFL Draft but they aren’t wholly impotent with 11 total picks including four in the first 100 picks. Enjoy this Patriot-centric look at the team’s positional status, the best available players at each position and which direction the Patriots may be inclined to go when they are on the clock.
PATRIOTS NEED LEVEL
Joey Bosa, Ohio State, 6-5, 269 pounds
Easily the best prospect in this draft class, he’s an edge guy in a 4-3 or could play covered up at defensive end in a 3-4. Very good run-stopper, understands scheme, has good hand-fighting technique and is going to be a three-down factor for some team in the Top 10.
Shaq Lawson, Clemson, 6-3, 269
Nice, complete player who has productivity against the run and the pass. Good worker from snap to whistle and has outstanding power. Would be the kind of player New England would like but he’s a first-rounder and the Pats ain’t got one of those picks.
Leonard Floyd, 6-6, 244
Way different build than anything the Patriots have normally been attracted to but he has the flexibility that could intrigue them as he can play on the edge, at linebacker or in coverage. Explodes off the ball (4.6 40 and 39.5 vertical). Also bound to be gone before the end of the first round.
Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State, 6-4, 251
Can play in two or three-point stance and on either side, great arm length and burst to get upfield and into gaps. Not as refined in the running game in terms of being disciplined setting the edge and consistently wrapping up. One-trick ponyish.
Noah Spence, Eastern Kentucky, 6-2, 251
Good player whose substance abuse issues cost him a spot with Ohio State and banishment from the Big 10. Seems to be on the right track but the Patriots should run like hell from any former Urban Meyer player that has even the slightest off-field concerns. Pass rush is his forte. Doesn’t wow with his ability to stop the run.
Carl Nassib, Penn State, 6-7, 277 pounds
Cool story. Former walk-on who had a tremendous 2015 season for Penn State with 15.5 sacks, 19 tackles for loss and six forced fumbles. Obviously, when you look at the dimensions, this is a player who’d be a nuisance to deal with. Also plays very hard. He didn’t have long-term production with the Nittany Lions, making the team as a walk-on.
Kevin Dodd, Clemson, 6-5, 277
Very good run-stopper who would have the ability to move inside as well. Productive in pass rush but a lot of that production came against right tackles. Hasn’t been a consistently productive player at Clemson and there is a question as to whether or not he was the beneficiary of excellent players around him.