BOSTON (CBS) – Each week night leading up to 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, Jones and Keefe focused on safety prospects. Even though they just signed Devin McCourty to a long-term deal, you could make the case the Patriots need some help at safety. Patrick Chung had a pretty good year last season, but you can’t help but wonder how much his improved play can be attributed to the presence of Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, who we know left via free agency.READ MORE: 4 People, 2 Dogs Rescued From Sinking Boat Off Chatham
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 the prospects who could be available for the Patriots.
Group 3: The Pick Is In – Jones and Keefe each reveal who they want to see the Patriots pick.
Off The Board
Landon Collins – Alabama
Jones: 6-foot 228 pounds. Early on in mock draft season you’re reading this guy is a top 10 pick, or certainly in the top half of the first round, but now there’s a chance he could slide out of the first round altogether. But I would project him to be off the board by the time the Patriots pick at No. 32. If he is there, given the Nick Saban connection, perhaps he would be too much to resist [for Bill Belichick].
Keefe: Wherever you read he’s definitely the first safety off the board. I don’t see it. To me, I saw him play more than any other guy on this list and I just didn’t think he was that hard of a hitter for a safety; he didn’t seem to make a ton of plays, or at least in the games that I saw. You read comparisons to T.J. Ward, and I for one don’t see it.
Damarious Randall – Arizona State
Jones: He’s much more of a free safety. He’s also a guy that’s played some corner. Belichick has been around that program at ASU and head coach Todd Graham. I think he’s certainly a name to keep an eye on. If not at No. 32, then certainly later in the draft.
Keefe: His stock is rising the most out of anyone on this list. He’s really fast and good in coverage, so that’s why I wonder how he would fit in here, because you already have a Devin McCourty to do a lot of the same thing.
Cody Prewitt – Ole Miss
Jones: He had a million interceptions there. 6-foot-2, 208 pounds.
Keefe: He was productive. Playing in the SEC you know he’s going up against good competition. He was a two-time First Team All SEC. He’s not as hard of a hitter as he looks, but that’s less his game. He’s definitely more of a free safety.
James Sample – Louisville
Keefe: He played in a good secondary. He kind of bounced around a bit. He started at Washington, then went to junior college and ended up at Louisville. I’m not a huge James Sample fan.
Anthony Harris – Virginia
Keefe: He’s about 20 pounds less than [Prewitt and Sample]. He’s a smaller guy compared to the others, maybe more of a combo safety. Something to like about him is he’s never missed a game in college. He played four years, and while a lot of guys come into the NFL with an injury history, Anthony Harris is not one of those guys.
Ibraheim Campbell – Northwestern
Jones: 6-foot 208 pounds and we know he visited the Patriots in the draft process.
Keefe: He was a four-year starter and a captain, which we know the Patriots seem to like a lot. He played both [safety] spots. He’s also jacked. Hypothetically, if they all walked in the studio with their shirts off we’d be most impressed with Campbell.
Jaquiski Tartt – Samford
Jones: He’s probably considered the biggest hitter at the safety position in the draft.
Keefe: I’m looking for a hitter. Based on what the personnel of the Patriots is right now I think they could use that hitter. I don’t think there are many of them in the draft, and Tartt is one of them. He’s a former basketball player and he didn’t make that switch until late in high school. He’s huge and he also has that speed and size. He’s not great in coverage, but I would give that up on this team for what he can do as far as laying guys out.
The Pick Is In
To find out who Adam Jones and Rich Keefe desire most out of all the safety prospects, listen below!
Later in the show, Adam spoke to head scout and editor of NEPatriotsDraft.com Mike Loyko to preview this week’s NFL Draft. The guys discussed the Patriots’ most pressing needs, and whether this will be a good year for the Patriots to trade up.
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