Five days until the draft and still no clear indication as to who the first overall pick will be in the 2014 NFL draft.
New England Patriots fans know that feeling all to well, as the team has always veered off the beaten path. Picking players no one in the media has suggested, it's what makes them different from the rest. Evaluating the fit as a player and not just the talent.
I can't pretend to know what Bill Belichick is thinking, but I sure can try. Today I will take a look at the potential "outside the box" picks and some names that might be called during the draft this coming week or steal that might be available after.
Deandre Coleman (California) - I see potential in this big man. He has Durability and played in all 37 games over the past three seasons. Coleman's bread and butter in the NFL will come in the form of clogging up the middle. With his skill already in place, I see Vince Wilfork as a mentor, teaching this young man the next step in his game.
Rakim Cox (Villanova) - No media coverage may provide a steal for the Patriots after the draft. Rakim has a slow 40 time, but moves quickly on his first few steps. I would consider Cox a project that is worthy of a look in training camp. The Potential is there although it's raw talent that needs to be shown technique.
Joe Don Duncan, (Dixie State) - His talent is enough to get him drafted, but an injury and the fact he is just 6’2 instead of 6’4 or 6’5 might keep him out of the top end on draft day. He may be considered a steal in the lower half of the draft. Duncan did well last year, catching 71 passes for 1,045 yards and 13 touchdowns in just 10 games in 2013, but playing division II level football can hurt his stock.
Rob Blanchflower (Massachusetts) - A tough, scrappy and competitive tight end. Right in the New England Patriots backyard. The outstanding size at 6'4" 256lbs and being considered a competitive run blocker and functional pass protector. Makes this fit virtually a no brainer, because of injury, Blanchflowers stock has plummeted. Remind you of anyone acouple years ago ?
Jimmy Garoppolo (Eastern Illinois) - If you complete completed 66% of your passes and throw for 5,050 yards, you deserve more of coverage then Garoppolo is earning. With the depth at the quarterback position in this coming draft, I would consider Garoppolo a steal in the late rounds.
Seth Lobato (Northern Colorado) - After the draft, this physically gifted NFL prototype quarterback will be likely available. At 6’5 3/8, 229 pounds and a rocket arm, he deserves a look following the draft, or maybe even a late round pick.
De'Anthony Thomas (Oregon) - My favorite consideration of a late round pick by the Patriots. I truely feel Thomas could be that perfect combination between Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen. I invision him to be what Jeff Demps was supposed to be for the Patriots acouple years ago. The only difference is that Thomas wants to play football. His versatility to play several roles is something that might draw the eye of Bill Belichick.
Dominick Pierre (Dartmouth) - Likely available after the draft, Pierre reminds me of Benjarvus Green-Ellis. Quietly doing his job without much notice. He is not flashy but provides substance and stability to the run game. The Patriots can always use a reliable and consistant running game.
The 2014 NFL draft starts on Thursday, May 8th and concludes on Saturday, May 10th. Until then, there will be plenty to discuss before and after the draft. Make sure to stay tuned to CLNSradio.com for all your New England Patriots news.