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2014 NFL Draft Profile: Ra’Shede Hageman

By on April 22, 2014 at 7:43am
Minnesota DL Ra'Shede Hageman (Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports) The Patriots could target Minnesota DL Ra'Shede Hageman with the 29th pick (Jesse Johnson, USA Today Sports)

Many Patriots fans and pundits, including yours truly, believe that the Patriots should look to address the defensive line in the first round. The days of the Seymour, Wilfork, Warren trio seem like centuries ago, and the team could use some improved physicality and athleticism upfront. The Patriots defense is constantly adapting, having gone from a 3-4 in years past to what is now primarily a 4-3, or even 4-2-5 base defense. Because of this, Belichick and the front office may be looking for different skill sets on the defensive line than in years past.

Minnesote DL Ra’Shede Hageman would appear to be an interesting prospect for the Patriots. Some scouts say that he has the potential to be a Richard Seymour-type player, but his game film shows constant inconsistency. Hageman is a tremendous athlete, and measured in at 6’6″ 310 lbs at the combine in Indianapolis. He figures to be a perfect fit as a 3-4 defensive end, but the question is how would he fit into a New England defense that is now primarily an even-front? Continue reading 2014 NFL Draft Profile: Ra’Shede Hageman »

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Iowa TE C.J. Fiedorowicz (Andrew Weber, USA Today Sports)

Continuing with the theme of profiling potential Patriot tight end targets, we shift our focus to Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz. Like Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas, Fiedorowicz has the make-up of a more traditional tight end. As a skilled blocker who excels on the line, Fiedorowicz isn’t a guy who is ever going to catch 80 passes or 12 touchdowns in a given season.

However, he has the potential to be a longtime NFL player who can do a lot of good things for an offense like the Patriots who are seeking a tight end to be a supporting piece to an already potent attack. Fiedorowicz is likely to go in the third round, but a team (like the Patriots) might be enticed to select him in round two. If you’re a fan (like me) who would prefer that the Patriots address other needs in the first round, like defensive line or safety, then Fiedorowicz might be a prospect to keep an eye on. Continue reading 2014 NFL Draft Profile: C.J. Fiedorowicz »

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Tuitt would be an intriguing pick for the Pats since he's so versatile, cbssports.com

With draft day just under 25 days away, the actual NFL draft and not the Kevin Costner film, speculation about which player a team is going to take are heating up. With the Patriots being one of the most exciting teams to watch in the draft, whether it be trading high picks for multiple lower round picks or drafting punters in the fifth round, New England never fails to surprise. And thus begins the speculation of “experts” and amateurs alike.

Heading into the 2014 season there are a few areas that New England could address. The offensive line could always use more depth, the wide receiver corps has been heavily criticized this past season, the tight end position has not been the same since ol’ what’shisname became one of the most notorious people in New England, and the defensive line could use a little overhaul. Continue reading 2014 NFL Draft Profile: Stephon Tuitt, DL, Notre Dame »

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New York Jets Running Back Chris Johnson

Multiple news outlets are reporting Wednesday that the New York Jets and former Titans running back Chris Johnson have agreed to a two-year deal. Johnson was released by the Titans last week. The deal is reportedly worth $8 million over two years with $1 million in incentives. Johnson joins ex-Broncos wide receiver Eric Decker as the top Jets off-season signings. Since rushing for 2,006 yards in 2009, Johnson has been underwhelming by his standards. He’s averaged 4.5 YPC just once since his breakout season, and last season he was extremely mediocre averaging just 3.9 YPC. Johnson will join Chris Ivory and Bilal Powell in the Jets backfield, which figures to be one of the deeper rushing attacks in the AFC. Continue reading Jets Sign Running Back Chris Johnson »

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Notre Dame's Troy Niklas (Joe Camporeale, USA Today Sports)

Rather than chase after the next Aaron Hernandez, many Patriots pundits believe that the team would be better off selecting a more traditional tight end in the draft. The idea that the Patriots could play smash-mouth football using 22 personnel with Gronkowski, TE X, Ridley, and Vereen is an intriguing proposition. This year’s draft class is fairly deep at the tight end spot, and there are a few options that the Patriots might consider. Perhaps the best traditional tight end in the draft is Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas.

Gronkowski-Lite

One player Niklas has been compared to (thanks to his size and athleticism) is Rob Gronkowski. Niklas replaced Cinciniati Bengal Tyler Eifert in the Notre Dame starting offense last season and caught 32 balls for 498 yards and five touchdowns. Continue reading 2014 NFL Draft Profile: Troy Niklas »

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Former Patriot, Aaron Hernandez is under investigation for allegedly threatening to kill a guard and his family.

Looks like former Patriot Aaron Hernandez just cannot keep himself out of the rumor mill. According to reports from TMZ Sports, Hernandez is currently under investigation for allegedly threatening to shoot and kill a guard at Bristol County Jail. This incident allegedly occurred sometime late last year when the guard put a stop of Hernandez’s antics of attempting to get more food.

According to the reports, the guard and Hernandez definitely were not friends. According to a former inmate who was cell neighbors with Hernandez, Hernandez was noticeably loosing weight and had been scheming for a while different ways to obtain more food. Apparently, Hernandez had pulled his schemes one too many times and the guard was fed up with his antics and finally put a stop to Hernandez’s schemes. This must have pissed Hernandez off as he supposedly threatened the guard. Continue reading Aaron Hernandez Allegedly Threatened to Kill Guard »

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Texas Tech's Jace Amaro (Matthew Emmons, USA Today Sports)

In 2010 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots struck gold at the tight end position by selecting both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. The two revolutionized the Pats offense, and it appeared that the two would be staples of the New England offense for years to come. However, with Hernandez behind bars and Gronkowski being chronically injured, the position has become a huge need for the Patriots.

A Position of Need

With the 2014 NFL Draft less than a month away, and Gronkowski’s Week 1 status still in doubt, it’s time to start seriously looking at tight ends that the Patriots might try to land during the first two days of the draft. One name that was commonly linked to the Patriots around the time of the combine was Jace Amaro. The 6’5″ TE out of Texas Tech was a common named displayed next to the Patriots in mock drafts a couple months ago. Since then, however, he has sort of dropped off the radar. Mainly because most believe the Patriots should focus their attention on the defensive line. There is also the fact that this draft is fairly deep at the tight end position, and good value can be found on days two or three. Nevertheless, Amaro is the real deal, and should be considered a real option at #29, or as a candidate to trade up for in the early-to-mid second round.

Potential Hernandez Replacement

One thing that is intriguing about Amaro possibly joining the Patriots is his similarity to Aaron Hernandez. Like Hernandez, Amaro has the potential to play the “Joker” role in the Patriots offense. While Amaro’s combine numbers represent that he may be a step slower than Hernandez, he put together a very impressive combine overall. Unlike Hernandez, who was small for a tight end, Amaro has prototypical tight end size at 6’5″ and 265lbs. At Texas Tech he demonstrated impressive route running ability, a good release off the line, and superb body control. One knock on him, however, is that he struggles to catch contested balls. This may be due to his small hand size. His hands measured at just 9″ at the combine, which is shockingly low for a player his size.

Amaro has also shown improvement as a blocker during his time at Texas Tech, and has become a better all-around player each and every season. While he certainly could play the Joker role that Hernandez has left vacant, he also has the size needed to play as a traditional tight end. Amaro certainly makes sense as a scheme fit next to Rob Gronkowski, but with Gronk’s injury problems, Bill Belichick and company may look to select a more traditional tight end like Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas or Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz in the upcoming draft.

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