BOSTON (CBS) – Each week night leading up the 2015 NFL Draft, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Adam Jones and Rich Keefe break down the biggest needs of the New England Patriots.
On Monday night, the guys focused on wide receiver prospects. Tom Brady has proven he can be a successful quarterback no matter who he’s throwing to, whether that’s Doug Gabriel and Jabar Gaffney or Randy Moss and Wes Welker.READ MORE: Mass. Probation Department Under Scrutiny Again After Employees Report Structural Racism, Discrimination
Julian Edelman (under contract), Danny Amendola (restructured), and Brandon LaFell (under contract) are by no means the best receiving core in the NFL, but they proved this past February they’re good enough to win a Super Bowl with. It’s certainly not a glaring need on this Patriots team, but having said that, it never hurts when you can upgrade your roster and have more playmakers at the skill positions.
Jones and Keefe look at all the prospects and break them down into three groups:
Group 1: Off The Board – These players are the best of the best, prospects who the Patriots have no chance at picking 32nd overall.
Group 2: The Targets – These are prospects who could be available to the Patriots.
Group 3: The Pick Is In – Jones and Keefe each reveal who they want to see the Patriots pick.
Off The Board
WR Kevin White – West Virginia
Jones: Monster year last year as a junior. He’s sort of a one-year wonder if you want to call him that. He was a Combine warrior; put up huge numbers for the Mountaineers last year.
Keefe: He’s exceptional at catching the ball in traffic, going up and making plays. He’s also crazy fast. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash, which was tied for the third best at the Combine. He had over 100 catches last season, so he was very productive in college.
WR Amari Cooper – Alabama
Jones: He’ll probably go maybe fourth overall to the Raiders, maybe sixth to the Jets — certainly top 10. Most college football fans are probably familiar with him: 6-foot-1, 211 pounds out of Alabama. He’s more of a complete receiver, I would say, than Kevin White. He also did pretty well for himself at the Combine.
Keefe: Alabama was on TV every weekend and you probably thought, ‘They only throw to one guy and teams still can’t stop it.’ Amari Cooper was insane. He actually finished third in the Heisman as well. You normally don’t see a lot of receivers that high up in these Heisman votings. He’s great. He makes a ton of plays.
WR DeVante Parker – Louisville
Jones: Lot of buzz for him to the Rams at 10 or the Vikings at 11, where he played with Teddy Bridgewater at Louisville in college. He will be off the board by the time the Patriots pick no questions asked.
Keefe: Parker is a guy who compares more to an A.J. Green than say a Demaryius Thomas. He’s a taller, lankier type of guy with not much bulk. Very fast. He missed seven games with a foot injury, so I guess durability with him might be a little bit of a question.
WR Breshad Perriman – Central Florida
Jones: He’s a guy that’s shooting up draft boards. He’s 6-foot-2, 212 pounds. At his Pro Day, some had his 40-yard dash at sub-4.2 The question with him is can he catch it with his speed? I don’t think he’s going to be there at 32 for the Patriots to take.
Keefe: Mel Kiper Jr. had him ranked as the 15th best receiver when the season ended. They haven’t played any more games, and now all of a sudden he’s a mid-first round pick. He’s Brett Perriman’s kid, who had a nice NFL career. He’s a guy with elite size, elite speed. But does he run every route? He’s a guy that needs more polish than those first three names.
The TargetsREAD MORE: Former Celtics Player Jabari Bird Admits To Attacking, Choking Woman In 2018
WR Dorial Green-Beckham – Missouri
Jones: This guy has all kinds of question marks off the field; domestic violence, pushing a female down the stairs. He was kicked out of Missouri, wound up at Oklahoma last year and wasn’t cleared to play. I think his off-field issues rule him out for the Patriots specifically, but he’s 6-foot-5, 237 pounds, has good speed and was productive at Missouri. I think somebody will take him in the first round, or close to it. He’s a top 10 talent if you take away the question marks off the field.
Keefe: You’re talking a Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones type of receiver. The red flags are certainly there. He was arrested a couple times for weed, and you see that and don’t think it’s that bad. But the domestic violence scares you. Depending on what happens there he may even face some discipline from the league for that. That will be a concern. As far as freakish athleticism, he might be no. 1 on this list.
WR Jaelen Strong – Arizona State
Jones: He’s another big receiver. Not the most polished guy, but he can be a good outside threat.
Keefe: He had an ankle injury and also a concussion over the last two years, but still he only missed one game. He was playing through some of these injuries and was a guy that had over 1,000 yards each of the last two seasons. I read a comparison to Marques Colston, who has good size but maybe not that breakaway speed, but can still make plays.
WR Nelson Agholor – Southern California
Jones: He’s 6-foot, 198 pounds. He can play inside, outside and can also impact the kicking game. I think he’ll be there at 32. He’s an interesting name.
Keefe: Not just because they were teammates, but he reminds me of Robert Woods and Marqise Lee. He’s not overly physical — Nelson Agholor is a guy you can bring down, but he’s very shifty and I think the added element of being able to return punts and kicks is intriguing.
WR Devin Smith – Ohio State
Jones: Ridiculous yards per catch last season. He had like 28 yards per catch last year for the Buckeyes.
Keefe: I love these track guys. Smith also does the high jump. I think of him as like a rich man’s Brian Tyms. Right now he has just one route and that’s go deep. But you saw it time and time again at Ohio State getting behind the safeties. Devin Smith can do that.
The Pick Is In
To find out who Adam Jones and Rich Keefe desire most out of all the wide receiver prospects, listen below!
Later in the evening, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports checked in with Jones to look ahead to the NFL Draft, and discuss potential wide receivers the Patriots could be targeting in the early rounds.
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