As seen in our first “That Guy” draft preview from two months ago, New England tends to bring in certain types of players during draft weekend. With nine picks, the Super Bowl champs could fill some holes in a roster that – despite some big losses in free agency – remains solid overall.

Here’s our outlook on what types of players the Patriots will seek out this weekend, and some potential names who could fill those roles.

DAY ONE – Round One (One pick): 32nd Overall

First-Round, Solid-Bet Guy: Under Bill Belichick, New England has done well drafting in Round One (you can see our Round-by-Round column for a review of the past 15 drafts). From Richard Seymour (2001) to Nate Solder (2011), the Patriots tend to find players who not only contribute on a consistent level, but excel and end up starting.

Possible Pick: Carl Davis, Iowa Defensive Lineman (6-5, 320). We originally had Duke guard Lakinen Tomlinson here – and we find nothing wrong with that – but it seems that the Patriots could look to the defensive side of the line early. We’ll go back to where we were about three months ago: high on Davis after his Senior Bowl appearance. He only had 34 tackles and two sacks in 2014, but his position fails to rack up the stats. Davis’ size, speed (5.12-second 40-yard dash) and strength (28 bench reps, 33-inch vertical) could help him become part of the rotation this season.

DAY TWO – Rounds Two And Three (Three Picks): 64th, 96th, 97th (Compensatory)

The Who’s-That-Guy? Guy: You know this category. The type of player whose name sends pundits scrambling to the Internet for info. The ones who put an arch in draft experts’ eyebrows as they try to figure out the Foxboro front office’s way of thinking. Tavon Wilson, Sebastian Vollmer, and Duron Harmon come to mind in this area of the draft. (Ring-holders, all, for what it’s worth.)

Possible PIck: Michael Liedtke, Illinois State Offensive Lineman (6-4, 305). We liked LSU safety Ronald Martin here, but we’ve been on the Liedtke bandwagon for a while (as you can see in our previous Pats mock draft column). Liedtke tested very well at his pro day, running a 4.94-second 40 that would have placed him first for linemen at the NFL combine. He also had 28 bench reps and a 33-inch vertical. Plus, before starting at left tackle as a senior, Liedtke had two years of experience at left guard.

The Injured Guy: On Day Two, the Patriots tend to take some chances on players who fought injuries in college. This can end up working, big-time (Rob Gronkowski), or not so much (Ras-I Dowling). Again, considering that fielding most of a championship roster gives them some flexibility, look for New England to make a move on a player with a questionable injury history and high potential on Day Two.

Possible Pick: Anthony Harris, Virginia Free Safety (6-1, 183). In February we listed Texas defensive end Cedric Reed here (and he still qualifies as a solid pick), but – despite the fact that Harris comes from the same school as the infamous Dowling – we’re taking the free safety in this spot. Harris battled a shoulder injury since his junior year, playing through it as a senior. Getting necessary surgery this off-season has kept him out of combine and pro day testing, hurting his draft day stock. Last season, Harris tallied 108 tackles, two interceptions, and 10 pass breakups.

The Freakishly Athletic Guy: A new category, in honor of Patriots linebacker Jamie Collins. At the 2013 NFL Combine, Collins, who had just completed a winless senior season for Southern Mississippi, leapt 41.5 inches and had an 11-foot-7 broad jump. This year’s über-athlete, cornerback Byron Jones out of Connecticut (44.5-inch vertical, 12-foot-5 broad jump) could contend for this title, but he might get picked before New England has a shot.

Possible Pick: Davis Tull, Tennessee-Chattanooga Outside Linebacker (6-2, 246). Tull, who underwent shoulder surgery in March and was an outside contender as an Injured Guy, leapt an impressive 42.5-inch vertical (tied for third-best overall) and 11-foot broad jump (fourth best overall) at the combine, then ran a 4.57-second 40 at his pro day. At defensive end (the same position Collins played his senior year) for the Mocs, the three-time Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Year, All-American, and Academic All-American had 58 tackles, 18 tackles for loss, and 10.5 sacks in 2014.

The Alabama Guy: Alabama’s Nick Saban coached under Bill Belichick in Cleveland over 20 years ago. (If you get a chance to watch NFL Films’ “Cleveland ’95,” please do so.) Because they run similar types of defenses, former Alabama linebacker Dont’a Hightower was able to adapt to the Patriots’ game plans faster than most. We found a similar player to consider in this part of the draft, and we’re sticking with him from our first preview.

Possible Pick: Xzavier Dickson, Outside Linebacker (6-3, 260). Last season, Dickson had 42 tackles, nine sacks, and 10 QB hits. At the NFL Combine, he ran a 4.74 40-yard dash, comparable to the 6-2, 265 Hightower (4.68). Seeing how shallow the linebacker pool is in Foxboro after the impressive starting combo of Hightower, Collins and Jerod Mayo, the Patriots could use someone with system familiarity (and having a fellow alumnus on the roster to mentor him can’t hurt).

The Ohio State Guy: Coach Urban Meyer won the college football national championship this past year. He also has a longstanding relationship with Belichick. Wouldn’t be surprised to see a Buckeye in a different silver helmet this fall.

Possible Pick: Doran Grant, Cornerback (5-10, 200). Though offensive tackle Darryl Baldwin tempted us after a remarkable pro day, Grant’s five interceptions and nine pass break-ups in 2014 kept us in his corner. The senior took on a leadership role this past season as the only returning starter for OSU’s secondary and won the Iron Buckeye Award, given out by the team’s strength coach for dedication to the weight room. After a 4.44 40, Grant had 21 bench reps at the combine and showed off solid quickness times of 4.19 seconds in the 20-yard shuttle and 7.09 seconds in the 3-cone.

DAY THREE – Rounds Four Through Seven (Five Picks): Two Fourths, 101, 131; One Sixth, 177; Two Sevenths, 219, 257 (Compensatory)

The Other Offensive Line Guy: Kudos to the Patriots for hitting their targets on last year’s Round Four offensive line picks, nabbing starting center Bryan Stork and contributing backup Cameron Fleming early on Day Three. New England will probably take a long look at more offensive linemen here.

Possible Pick: Nick Easton, Harvard Center (6-3, 303). We’re switching from Louisville’s Jamon Brown to Easton, who helped lead the Crimson to an undefeated season in 2014. Easton, an Economics major, was named to the FCS North All-American First team and the Academic All-Ivy Team, so finding his way around a huddle shouldn’t pose too great a challenge. Just as importantly, he ran a 5.12 40-yard dash and benched 29 reps at his pro day, showing the type of athleticism and strength the middle of the O-line could use moving forward.

The Take-A-Shot-On-This-Receiver Guy: Is 2013 draftee Aaron Dobson going to figure out this offense? What about draft classmate Josh Boyce? We don’t know, and because of that, the Pats probably should look for some depth during Day Three. We’re considering a smaller, quicker, slot type, much like seventh-rounder Jeremy Gallon last year.

Possible Pick: Rannell Hall, Central Florida (6-0, 198). Had to let go of Matt Miller of Boise State after his rough 4.78-second 40-yard dash, which brought us back to Hall. We first noticed him during the Senior Bowl, where he made an impression with just a couple of catches. Though he lacks great speed (4.60 40), he has commendable quickness (6.86-second 3-cone) and hops (41-inch vertical, 11-foot broad jump). Hall did a little of everything for the Knights, with 49 catches for 500 yards, 25 rushes for 129 yards, and 12 kick returns for 330 yards (27.5 avg).

The Special Teams Guy: It’s worth going over the list again. Kicker Stephen Gostkowski (Fourth Round, 2006). Matthew Slater (Fifth Round, 2008). Punter Zoltan Mesko (Fifth Round, 2010). Longsnapper Jake Ingram (Sixth Round, 2009). Malcolm Williams (Seventh Round, 2011). Nate Ebner (Sixth Round, 2012). The Patriots started a trend with Slater that we think will continue this year: drafting a player for special teams first, offense or defense second.

Possible Pick: Akeem King, San Jose State Strong Safety (6-1, 215). We went with Wyoming’s Mark Nzeocha back in February, a former safety who rang up 101 tackles for the Cowboys. Now we look to King, whom we mentioned in our Combine Snubs series. King caught our attention with a 4.43 40 and a 7.08 3-cone drill. He has good size for his position but he also has experience at free safety and on special teams. King rung up 71 tackles last year for the Spartans.

The Sixth-Round Small School Guy: We could call this the Zach Moore pick, after New England selected the defensive end from Concordia-St. Paul last year. Or the Markell Carter pick, after the defensive end from Central Arkansas in 2011. While most small school players make it to Foxboro via rookie free agency (such as, oh, Malcolm Butler), the team has mined the sixth to potentially deepen their roster.

Possible Pick: Tray Walker, Texas Southern Cornerback (6-2, 191). We liked (and still like) Newberry linebacker Edmond Robinson, but Walker gets the mention here due to his size and quickness. Walker’s 4.53 40 makes the cut, and his 6.80 3-cone could turn some heads at Gillette, especially for a taller DB. At Texas Southern, an FCS school, Walker had 41 tackles, three interceptions, and four pass breakups. You can see a brief highlight package of Walker here.

The Rutgers Guy: Do we even need to comment? No? Okay, then…

Possible Pick: Kevin Snyder, Inside Linebacker (6-2, 238). We had Tyler Kroft lined up here, but the signing of Scott Chandler puts two big, pass-catching tight ends already on the roster for 2015. That brings us to Snyder, whom we mentioned in our mid-April mock draft. Snyder wowed scouts with a 4.54-second 40, and displayed some quickness with a 7.07-second 3-cone drill. Bonus: he was a longsnapper in high school. The Loyal Knight Award winner notched 63 tackles, five pass breakups, and 1.5 sacks last season.

The “Now We Draft A Defensive Lineman?” Guy: While reviewing this category, we’re reminded of Brandon Deaderick from Alabama in the seventh in 2011, Kade Weston from Georgia in the seventh in 2010, and Myron Pryor from Kentucky in the sixth in 2009. Someone who could step in and contribute a few reps, maybe providing some pleasant surprises along the way.

Possible Pick: Deon Simon, Northwestern State (Lousiiana) (6-4, 321). Bypassing San Jose State’s Travis Raciti for now (despite his flexibility along the defensive line), we’ll go to Simon. The small-school product ran a 5.12 40 and benched 225 pounds 35 times. Combined with his size, he could become a pest in the middle of opposing offenses. A huge, immovable pest. Playing in only seven games this year due to a knee injury, Simon had 26 tackles (nine for loss), one sack, and two forced fumbles.

Patriots Trivia Bonus: Simon wrote in his combine blog about meeting with one Coach Belichick, calling it “an amazing experience.”

The 3-Cone Guy: Formerly the “Seventh-Round Slot Guy” category, we decided – with some coaxing from a previous column’s commenter  – to include the all-important 3-cone enthusiast. New England’s attention to quickness has been well-detailed (just ask WEEI.com’s Chris Price). It has resulted in such important jitterbugs as Julian Edelman, the original Seventh-Round Slot Guy.

Possible Pick: Damiere Byrd, South Carolina Wide Receiver (5-9, 179). Bye-bye, Christion Jones of Alabama, hello, little Byrd. At his pro day, Byrd completed a 6.59-second 3-cone, the fastest time we could find by any NFL hopeful this spring (for comparison, Edelman ran a 6.62). Add to that a cartoonish 4.27-second 40, plus a 42-inch vertical, and the Pats could get themselves one dynamic player for the offense. Byrd hauled in 20 passes for 308 yards and rushed seven times for 57 yards. For a fun highlight reel from Byrd’s junior year, click here.

The Third-Down Back Guy: New England seemed ready to audition pass-catching running backs last summer after taking James White in the fourth round and Roy Finch in rookie free agency. With Shane Vereen leaving for New York (Blue, not Green), that trend should continue this summer – if not during the draft, then right after it. Among smaller Patriots backs, White has zero career receptions; Dion Lewis has three. Only recent signee Travaris Cadet, with 45 career grabs (38 last season) has much experience.

Possible Pick/Rookie Free Agent: Raheem Mostert, Purdue (5-10, 195). Mostert displayed impressive athleticism at his pro day, with a 4.38-second 40-yard dash, a 40-inch vertical, 11-foot broad jump, and 6.90-second 3-cone drill (all of those numbers would have made top five for running backs at the combine). Not surprising for the school record-holder in the 60-meter dash (6.63 seconds). The former wide receiver joined a crowded Boilermaker backfield to average 5.7 yards per carry (93 attempts for 529) and 6.4 yards per reception (18 for 116). He also served as Purdue’s main kick returner throughout his career, leading the nation as a freshman with a 33.5-yard return average.

The Navy Guy: We don’t think the Patriots will draft a Navy guy due to each one’s pending two-year commitment (every service academy grad must serve two years. After that, he can apply for permission to opt out of the remaining three-year, full-time commitment by serving six years in the Reserve). Still, we’d be surprised if Belichick’s history with the Naval Academy doesn’t influence his thinking regarding rookie free agency.

Possible Pick/Rookie Free Agent: Joe Cardona, Long Snapper (6-2, 242). Cardona keeps this spot, also qualifying for the Special Teams Guy category. Cardona was tabbed the best longsnapper in the country this year and received the only invitation to the NFL Combine of anyone at the position. He put up an impressive, un-snapper-like 30 reps on the bench press. He can’t play until 2017 at the earliest, but, as confirmed by Scott Strasemeier, Senior Associate AD at the U. S. Naval Academy, players can take leave to spend time at camps.

Back in 2009, both running back Shun White and receiver Tyree Barnes signed contracts with the Patriots and were kept on the reserve/military list until 2013 and 2011, respectively. Fullback Eric Kettani, another 2009 signee, ended up on New England’s practice squad briefly in 2011 before shipping out for active duty. We won’t bet against New England calling for Cardona’s services – at least for a practice stint this spring.

Well, draftniks, whom did we miss? Let us know in the comments below.

Chris Warner tweets (probably a bit too often, in hindsight): @cwarn89

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32 thoughts on “Patriots Draft Preview (“That Guy” Edition 2.0)

    1. Thanks, JA. We’ll see what happens this weekend. Deep draft in a lot of areas, so I see lots of pick trades and a ton of UDFAs coming to Foxboro. Let’s do this!

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  1. Forgive the comment-thread hijack, but Commissioner Incompetent apparently just gave the Jets a slap on the wrist ($100K fine, no draft picks) for their blatant Revis tampering. Meanwhile, Curran wrote another terrifying column today about just how deep the “Wells Investigation” is going to try and unearth SOMETHING against the Patriots vis a vis the air pressure in footballs, even if they have to go back 10 years to find it and even if they’re basing their “findings” on hearsay and innuendo coming from other teams. This is disturbing, if true. I’m not one for conspiracy theories, but those Pats-fan message boards full of “Goodell is a Jets toady and the NFL is out to get the Patriots” threads may very well turn out to be on to something if the Pats end up getting penalized based on some testimony that Damon Huard gave to Wells about an alleged incident in 2003. I hope Sharks of Vegas is right and Curran is wrong, but I’m starting to get a bad feeling about this, because Commissioner Incompetent himself is on record as saying that the “burden of proof” in cases such as this is basically whatever he says it is. Meanwhile, the Jets just committed a blatant tampering offense, again (it’s not the first time they’ve done it), and got fined the equivalent of some sofa change for Woody Johnson (reminder: for the joke that was “Spygate”, the total fines ran to $750K, and the Pats were ludicrously docked a first round draft pick). GOODELL MUST GO. He’s making a mockery out of what was once the best-run sports league in the USA.

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    1. Fines are never about justice or even about money. They’re about power. Woody Johnson swiftly and sheepishly denounced his own stupid remarks by saying “sorry, I didn’t mean that”. Behind closed doors, he was surely even more accommodating to Goodell. With no threat to the authority of the ‘shield’, Goodell didn’t need more than 100K.
      Bill, on the other hand, refused to give Goodell the satisfaction by stonewalling the media and even splitting hairs with rulebook definitions, implying he was well within the letter of the rule, if not exactly the spirit (for the record, I agree with him). That was a powerplay that left Goodell with no other choice than to fine him into oblivion to establish the power balance.

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      1. I think the severity of the Spygate punishment was more about BB thumbing his nose at the league’s memo. THAT was his real crime. Of course, the severity of the punishment created the false impression (driven by the anti-BB media) that the crime of taping signals was an unprecedented, serious offense that enabled the Patriots to win Super Bowls, forever tainting the team’s accomplishments in the eyes of far too many idiots out there. It also gave rise to a media atmosphere where ANY accusation against the Pats, no matter how foolish or far-fetched, is taken seriously and reported on as a real story (e.g. — Kravitz and Deflategate; he came right out and said that “Belichick and the Pats don’t deserve the benefit of the doubt.”). This Jets punishment is too minor, if only because this is not the first time they’ve tampered. In fact, Johnson and the Jets have been warned about it before, and yet they did it again, and then got a slap on the wrist. Why do they get the “benefit of the doubt” in this case? Oh, that’s right, the media doesn’t hate Woody Johnson like they hate BB, and the league office, at this point, seems to be at war with the Patriots, even if it’s a non-shooting war (for now). I hope Kraft goes medieval on Commissioner Incompetent’s butt if the Wells report does anything other than completely exonerate the Pats. I hate to sound like such an irrational homer, because I’m usually very measured, but the slap on the wrist yesterday, combined with Curran’s latest article, really has me smelling a rat at this point.

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      2. I wished the NFL cared about tampering. If they did the Jets would have been docked a number of draft picks for tampering over the last five years. Sadly, the NFL, even pre-Goodell, has never really taking tampering seriously. I think that comes from the owners. They know they need the system to continue the way it is or they may lose out on getting someone to sign with them.

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    2. 50 years from now BB will be remembered as one of the top 5 most important people ever in the NFL. RG will be a foot note at best. The fact the BBS reputation is tarnished by this idiot not once but twice is shameful. 32 billionaires are killing the golden goose and the trashing of BB is just the tip of the iceberg.

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  2. Are any of ‘these guys’ Sousaphone players that can be paired with Jordan Devey in the burgeoning New England Patriots Orchestra?

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  3. Speaking of the draft, Boston.com had a slideshow on Belichick’s 20 biggest draft busts. It was completely devoid of any context just pics of the bust players. Before it was edited, Marquis Hill was ranked the 4th worst bust under Belichick’s watch. I think the fact that he died 2 years into his career may have impacted his ranking.

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  4. My “favorite” (part time) NFL writer, Hector Longo of the Eagle Tribune is at it again. Four pre-season games and some mop up duty was enough of Garrapolo, he’s clearly not the answer. Time to draft another qb high this year.

    Part of his logic is that the Pats can’t draft corners or wr’s. Except for the fact that they have drafted some players there who have played well in the league. He also denounces McCourty as a cb pick since he now plays safety. Longo fails to mention that the Pats couldn’t draft and develop linebackers until they drafted Mayo, Hightower, and Collins…and they couldn’t draft TE’s until they drafted Gronk and inmate #49807.

    Perhaps the best part of the article is that they crack staff at the ET added his Sunday piece to the end of this one. (The most Eagle Tribune thing ever.) It focuses on a high school pitcher from North Andover who has turned his life around a bit and is a terrific article. If nothing else, it shows that HL should stick to high school sports and leave the NFL to the big boys like Reiss and Curran.

    http://www.eagletribune.com/sports/national_sports/time-to-draft-the-next-brady/article_b4fece93-7f5e-552c-86f2-cd6d653ff08c.html

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    1. I do not understand why you would read anything Longo writes after Bruce completely exposed him last year. I did not understand why you would read any thing he wrote before then, but since then…the guy should not exist in your sports reading world.

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      1. I know I shouldn’t click his NFL stuff either…I’m just shocked that a paper who has had so many good MLB, NHL, college hockey, and high school writers can’t find someone. More competent to cover the NFL.

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        1. Don’t feel bad. I liked WEEI.com. I thought Bradford was doing a pretty good job with the talent he brought in and the quality of work they were doing. Then they bring in Tomasse and I had to stop reading the sight altogether. Management at times can be completely tone deaf. Case in point, Shalise Manza Young is still employed.

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  5. A couple of classic BB moments during the midnight presser:

    http://www.patriots.com/news/2015/05/01/bill-belichick-press-conference-transcript-430-he-can-run-plays-his-feet

    Q: How close were you to trading that pick?

    BB: We picked Brown.

    […]

    Q: When it came to your turn would you have been more prone to moving out if he wasn’t available?

    BB: I don’t know. He was there. We don’t sit there and have
    those discussions. If Phil Simms was there, would we take Phil Simms? I don’t know.

    Q: Phil Simms is way too old.

    BB: I’m just saying. Throw up a thousand hypothetical questions, I don’t know the answer to any of them.

    […]

    And he took a shot at Borges:

    Q: I understand college stats don’t translate to the NFL, but
    he had a lot of run stops and a lot of plays penetrating against the run. Is that reflective of an area that you needed to address?

    BB: We’re not – we’ve got to evaluate players based on what we see. We give them a grade based on what we think they’ll do for us. We can’t really control who they play against or what system they play in or anything. We just have to take what we see and try to project it forward. I know we took [Richard] Seymour, It was a big crisis because he only had half a sack in college and he couldn’t rush the passer. I don’t think that’s very accurate, but that was the big, couldn’t get over that. I worry more about they are when they get in our uniform and what they actually do. We take them based on what we think they can do.

    We’ve been right some, we’ve been wrong some, just like everybody else in the league. It’s nothing really…it is what it is.

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    1. When he deadpanned the “we took Brown” answer, I said out loud: “This is why the media hates him so much.” Of course, what would have been the point about him discussing trade talks that didn’t end up with a trade being made? I know it doesn’t fill out the sound bite or make good copy, but BB’s answer really is all that needed to be said at that point.

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      1. What gets me is that these reporters didn’t just start covering him. They know what questions he will answer and what he won’t but they ask anyway. EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I believe these guys could figure out a way to ask questions that he would answer.

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        1. I think some of them (like Breer and a few other antagonists) do it on purpose because they know the answer they get will make BB look like a jerk when the sound bite is played back. Don’t every underestimate just how petty a lot of these mediots can be.

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  6. It’s funny to listen to EEI take shots at Felger and Mazz by name for going out to radio row for Manny/Floyd.

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  7. We saw the effects of Twitter on media last night – several outlets shouting that the Patriots traded the pick (ahem, SMY…looking at you) and then Tom E. swoops in and says “hold yer horses, kids.” The race to be FIRST trumps the duty to be RIGHT. Curran is without peer in this town, IMO.

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    1. The main Globe Twitter feed was entertaining last night. First it ran an immediate correction for SMY botched scoop when Brown was picked. Then in another tweet it referred to him as Malcolm Butler.

      The Boston GlobeVerified account‏@BostonGlobe

      Correction: #Patriots have used the 32nd pick in the NFL Draft, not traded it as stated earlier http://ow.ly/MmCEN

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  8. Leaks starting to come out (Armen Williams of ESPN Radio 104.5, for example) that the Wells investigation is over, the report is all written except for the conclusion, and that it will be “available soon”.

    Also, Goodell was on Mike & Mike this morning and explicitly said there will be no apology for NE even if the report absolves NE of any wrongdoing.

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    1. I guess I can understand why he wouldn’t apologize. It would set a precedent that every time he messed up he would have to apologize and frankly he doesn’t have enough time in the day to apologize for every mistake he makes.

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      1. Watching that a$$clown get booed mercilessly every time he stepped to the podium to announce a pick last night was almost as good as having to watch him award the Lombardi to Kraft and Belichick three months ago. Chicago fans, really, have no reason to hate the guy, yet they seem to hate him, too. At this point, you’d have to say that only Jets fans like him; everyone else (those with brains in their heads, which pretty much eliminates most if not all Jets fans) realizes that he’s the worst commissioner in sports, that he’s incompetent, he’s a liar, and that he has to go. When will the NFL owners come to that same conclusion? I don’t buy the “he makes them a boatload of money” argument. As that player rep. for Carolina said a few months ago, if you put the worst bartender in the world behind the bar during spring break on Daytona Beach, by the end of March he’d still have money bursting out of his pockets. It’s the NFL. Making money is what it does. It doesn’t take any kind of special ability to generate obscene profits when you’re running the world’s most popular sports league (OK, aside from a couple of European soccer leagues, maybe).

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        1. I am sick of the money argument too and don’t believe Goodell has done anything groundbreaking to make the owners oodles of cash. Another common argument for Goodell is that he is supposed to be the owners punching bag. Well, to a point I agree. When the owners do something stupid yeah, he could step in and try to deflect the media. However, when has that happened? Drug addict Irsay had some issues but did Goodell really take hits for that? Every single issue Goodell has dealt with has turned into a big freaking mess and they didn’t have to be. spygate, bountygate, referee lockout, ray rice, etc etc.

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          1. You might be sick of the “money argument” but that’s all that matters.

            Remember the Ray Rice thing? When did serious action occur? When Pepsi and other large sponsors rattled their saber.

            Only other thing is TV ratings but the NFL will be last with its popularity to ever dip. Look at baseball, where they’ve got bad ratings and they’ve done nothing but decline, and the sport still acts like it’s 1998, except a few tweaks.

            I hate it, as well, but that’s when stuff starts to happen.

            On Irsay: Unless the guy screws up again, or the people in the state he rips off for the stadium start asking questions, he’ll continue to be their (inept) owner.

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          2. Don’t misunderstand me. I am not saying money doesn’t matter. It does. If revenues dipped or sponsors were lost he would be the first to go.

            My rant is directed towards those who think Goodell is good at what he does and point to revenue growth as the reason why. I believe anyone in Goodell’s seat would have experienced the same amount of revenue growth.

            The other point in my rant of why he sucks at his job is his complete failure to handle seemingly minor league issues without turning them into a BFD and then turning around and take pretty serious league issues and treat them like the player jaywalked. The owners have given him a long leash to date but there will be a point where the owners will become tired of the stains his failures put on the NFL and the health of the leagues finances will not be enough to save him.

            Side note to Irsay. I don’t care about what Irsay does. I was just using his issues as an example of an owner screwing up and the commissioner not being able to take heat off of him. As far as I am concerned having Irsay as an owner is great for the competition.

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          3. BFD and then turning around and take pretty serious league issues and treat them like the player jaywalked

            Completely agree. It’s just that up till those shares on Sunday dip, the owners won’t do squat.

            Trout out some dumbass that looks inept but takes all the arrows, and you’re fine.. till the money/ratings/etc. stop.

            We’re not there yet. Will we ever? Have to think it’s coming.

            Can’t keep peddling some idiot like Goodell out there forever..

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    2. If there was anything damning in the report we’d know about it by now. What are they going to do, fine us/them and strip draft picks for NEXT year?

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