WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Arie Kouandjio (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

There are concerns about Arie Kouandjio’s duability, especially after he had multiple knee surgeries while at Alabama. (Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)


Position: Guard

School: Alabama

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 315 pounds

Achievements: 2014 AP All-America second team, 2014 All-SEC first team

What he brings: Kouandjio has the right body type to be an NFL guard, and scouts generally like his ability to move defenders out of the way in the run game. The main concerns have to do with his durability and athleticism. He has had multiple surgeries in both knees, and has trouble moving to make blocks. He is expected to have trouble when matching up against more athletic linemen and when asked to leave the line of scrimmage.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 5-7

Notes: Kouandjio had multiple knee surgeries prior to the 2012 season. His brother Cyrus also played for Alabama and currently is on offensive linemen for the Bills. ESPN.com ranks him as the sixth guard and 156th overall in the draft.

Related articles:

Alabama.com: Kouandjio not concerned about knees after surgeries

Alabama.com: Kouandjio on recovery and return from injury

Video: Here’s Kouandjio (77) and the Alabama offensive line against Texas A&M in 2013.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler
Greg and Chris talk with Mike Reiss from ESPN Boston in hour 2 of NFL Sunday to discuss a variety of offseason happenings with the Pats and throughout the league. Greg and Chris also get into the NFL Draft and where Mariota and Winston will go.

[0:05:02] ... went when he talked with Jim Jones you're talking about a you Rob Ninkovich I think few few really good about where you wars defense affront wanna be able to get a little bit moral affront. ...
[0:17:35] ... So does the name that stand out to meet Chris would beat Dan Connolly their captains starting left guard last season. Still on the free agent market and I look at you know their their guard ...
[0:18:38] ... a lot of fighting between now and then outside of that media Dan Connolly are neck guard position. And then you go to the draft you feel about the draft if you look at how the ...

Mike Reiss calls the guys to talk about the offseason news for the Pats. He talks about the Pats/Jets tampoering fiasco, free agency, where he sees Ridley and Connolly ending up, if the Patriots would be interested in Reggie Wayne and more.

[0:08:51] ... lines. See I wonder if his future is tied to that'd be Julian Peterson and I think if if he is Peter Peterson heads of going to doubt restaurants of sticking in Minnesota. I think he's ...
[0:10:28] ... Ridley. And Mike we talked about Chris and I just talked about Reggie Wayne. Last hour and his availability a free agent market and the fact that the patriots have kicked the tires on some wide receivers. What sort of interest do you think there would be from the patriots and Belichick and Reggie Wayne. Well that we know Belichick has looked him in the past I think the one thing that I think about with him ...
[0:12:13] ... So that the names that stand out to meet Chris would be Dan Connolly their captain starting left guard that last season. Still on the free agent market and I look at you know their their guard position right now and to me that's sort of done screamed out as one that. Wolf will be addressed whether it's with Dan Connolly you're in the draft going forward so. That would be probably the one at the top of the list the last question ...
[0:13:15] ... a lot of fighting between now and then outside of the media Dan Connolly are neck guard position. And then you go to the draft you fill out the draft if you look at how the ...

In the first hour of the show, Greg and Chris discuss the news coming out of the owners' meetings this week and rule changes. Belichick's blow-up over the league not wanting to spend on endzone cameras was well documented and the guys react. They also talk about the Jets ridiculous tampering charges, free agents still lingering out there, where Stevan Ridley will land and the RB position in New England. Dickerson and Price briefly discuss the adventures of Tom Brady before being joined by WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia to talk all things Pats in the offseason.

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Mario Edwards (Harry How/Getty Images)

Mario Edwards had the fifth-best score at the combine for defensive linemen in the broad jump. (Harry How/Getty Images)


Position: Defensive end

School: Florida State

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 279 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-ACC first team, 2013 All-ACC third team

What he brings: Edwards demonstrates an “impressive combination of athleticism, strength and instincts,” according to CBS Sports and also uses his “long arms and strong hands” to keep blockers away, “maintaining vision, awareness and patience when engaged with taller opponents.” He also has good acceleration, and per Derek Stephens of CBS Sports, that helps translate into power on contact. An AFC West scout told NFL.com, though, that “conditioning and desire are a big problem for him and they go hand in hand. He just looks content to stay blocked by lesser players, and it is so frustrating to watch because you know he has the talent to be so much better.”

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 2-3

Notes: Edwards finished the year with 44 tackles, 11 for loss, and recorded three sacks on the season, good for second on the team. In his career at FSU, Edwards had 89 total tackles, 23 for loss and eight sacks. A 10-foot broad jump at the scouting combine put him fifth among defensive linemen, and he also ran a 4.84 40-yard dash, had 32 reps on the bench press and posted a 32.5 inch vertical jump. Edwards’ father also played football at Florida State, though he was a cornerback, and then spent five seasons in the NFL. According to NFL.com, Edwards did not meet expectations while at Florida State and “ended his career as a core defender rather than a dominant force.” The perception of Edwards its that there is more to his ability level than he shows in his current level of play and that he needs to find “more passion and effort from snap to snap,” according to NFL.com.

Related articles:

Sports Illustrated: Mario Edwards Jr. makes impact at Florida State beyond his sack total

Orlando Sentinel: FSU DE Mario Edwards Jr. was always on the three-year plan 

DetroitLions.com: FSU defensive lineman Mario Edwards Jr. values father’s NFL experience 

Video: Here is a package of Edwards’ 2014 highlights.

Blog Author: 
Judy Cohen
Stevan Ridley is still unsigned to this point in the offseason. (Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

Stevan Ridley is still unsigned to this point in the offseason. (Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)

1. The sight of Stevan Ridley at LSU’s pro day on Friday was another reminder that the running back remains one of the most intriguing free-agent options still on the market. The 26-year-old Ridley, who is coming off a season-ending knee injury he suffered in a win over the Bills last October, is ranked as the top available free agent running back out there. The 5-foot-11, 220-pounder been linked to the Cowboys and Vikings at this point, and could simply be waiting for the Adrian Peterson situation to sort itself out before he ends up signing with a team. (Ridley could end up with whatever teams eventually lands Peterson.) The analytical site Number Fire has a nice stats-driven profile on Ridley — they believe he’s “the perfect low-cost, high-upside signing.” While he’ll likely have to take a one-year, “prove-it” deal to show that he’s completely over the knee issue, he’s certainly one of the players to watch as the second wave of free agency rolls through the spring.

2. The NFLPA released some of the financial numbers related to free agency over the first two weeks, and there were some interesting revelations. According to their numbers, through Tuesday at 2 p.m., there were 153 total signings with $788,491,999 in guaranteed money and $1,802,821,620 in total contract value.

That includes:
— 97 unrestricted free agents signing with new teams (guaranteed: $644,104,999; total value: $1,413,501,620)
— 56 unrestricted free agents re-signing with current teams (guaranteed: $144,387,000; total value: $389,320,000)

Per the Collective Bargaining Agreement, each club must average an 89 percent cash spend of the salary cap from 2013-2016. Per the NFLPA, the four teams that spent the least during the two-year period from 2013-2014 were the Raiders (80.16 percent), Jets (80.97 percent), Jaguars (82.24 percent) and Patriots (82.82 percent). Things have been very different for those four teams through the first two weeks of free agency. Again, per the NFLPA, those same four teams have spent the following in free agency thus far:

— 30 percent of all guaranteed money
— 27 percent of total contracts
— 24 percent of first-year cash

3. It’s hard to believe — technically, the Super Bowl was only last month — but the 2015 league year is now in full swing. One of the things to keep an eye out for over the next few weeks will be the announcements for three key dates on the calendar: the offseason workout program, the preseason schedule and the regular season schedule. The last two years, the offseason program has been announced at this time of year (last year the announcement came on April 3, and in 2013, it was on March 28). Workouts usually begin the middle of April, with OTAs set for mid- to late-May and early June. Then, there’s the reveal of the preseason schedule and the regular-season slate. The last four years, the preseason schedule has been released between April 4 and April 17. Meanwhile, the announcement for the regular-season schedule the last three seasons has come between April 17 and 19.

4. With an additional compensatory pick awarded to the Patriots, they now have five picks in the top 101 selections of this year’s NFL draft. If New England holds with those five selections — admittedly, given Bill Belichick‘s trade history on draft weekend, that’s a long shot — the Patriots would be the first defending Super Bowl champion to hold five picks in the top 101 since the 1999 Broncos won Super Bowl XXXIII and then had five picks in the top 93 the following spring. (As alert Tweeter “Deeep Threat” also pointed out, they’d be the first defending champion since the most recent round of expansion to pull off the feat.) Since the Broncos won, three other defending champions have had four picks in the top 101 the following year — the 2009 Steelers, 2007 Colts and 2004 Patriots.

5. It’s becoming increasingly evident that Scott O’Brien will be taking the same route that Dante Scarnecchia took in his first year after retirement. O’Brien, who has been New England’s special teams coach the last six seasons (he’s spent 24 seasons as a coach in the NFL), decided to step down as the Patriots special teams coach following the season. But he traveled to the combine with the rest of the coaching staff to take part in the combine evaluation process. And according to Belichick at the league meetings this week, he’s been “huge” when it comes to assisting with the turnover on the coaching staff. “Scott’s had a great career,” Belichick said at the AFC Coaches Breakfast on Tuesday. “Nobody’s done more for the game or special teams than he has on a number of levels. I certainly appreciate everything he’s done. I’ve learned an awful lot from him. We were together for five years in Cleveland, and he’s brought a lot to our football program in New England.” Scarnecchia retired as the offensive line coach after the 2013 season, but has popped up in an unofficial role from time to time since them. (That includes working out offensive line prospects this spring.) It wouldn’t be a surprise to see O’Brien serve as a special teams coach emeritus in 2015.

6. Here’s the upcoming pro day schedule for the next week-plus. It’ll be a big week for some New England prospects, including Connecticut defensive back Byron Jones, who had a terrific combine performance. In addition, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see show up in Florida this week on Twitter, as FSU and Miami are two of the bigger pro days in the Sunshine State: Monday: Indiana, UMass. Tuesday: Florida State, Notre Dame, UConn, Yale. Wednesday: Miami, Florida International, South Carolina, Ball State. Thursday: Maryland, Washington, Florida Atlantic.

7. One free-agent acquisition for the Patriots that has kind of gone under the radar over the last couple of weeks was wide receiver Brandon Gibson. The 27-year-old, who has 233 receptions for 2,711 yards and 13 touchdowns in his six years in the league, does have some connections with offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, who was with him for a year in St. Louis. (He had two 50-plus catch seasons with the Rams, finishing with 53 receptions in 2010 and 51 in 2012.) In the slot mostly the last two years with the Dolphins, he could provide some depth and competition at that spot going forward for New England if he shows that he’s over the knee and hamstring issues that dogged him in recent years. One note that stood out for us when looking closer at Gibson was funneled to us by our friend Scott Kacsmar at Football Outsiders, who noted that it was no surprise that the Patriots went after Gibson when he became available. Per Kacsmar’s numbers, Gibson has the third-highest wide receiver catch-rate among active wide receivers — he has 233 catches on 338 targets in his career, which is 68.9 percent, trailing only Randall Cobb (73.4 percent) and Wes Welker (71 percent). Some other familiar names pop up on the list, including Julian Edelman (67.5 percent) and Danny Amendola (66 percent). In hindsight, with that history of dependability in the passing game, it was no surprise that he was a target of the Patriots when he was cut loose by Miami.

8. It’s setting up to be an interesting year in Indianapolis. The Colts went after a couple of high-profile offensive skill position players in wide receiver Andre Johnson and running back Frank Gore, two players who have put up phenomenal numbers over the course of their careers, but appear to be slightly past their born-on date. While there’s still more team-building to do — the draft, waiver wire moves, etc. — to this point in the offseason, they did nothing to address a leaky run defense, other than adding linebacker Trent Cole, another player who is on the north side of 30. In the context of that news comes this week’s revelation that the franchise will not extend the contract of coach Chuck Pagano (at least at this point), who is going into the last year of his current deal. From this viewpoint, it all adds up to a win-now philosophy, a real gamble for young GM Ryan Grigson. Grigson, who is also faced with the prospect of quarterback Andrew Luck heading into the final year of his deal, has done well in the draft over the course of his career in the Indy front office. (The guys in Vegas like the Colts offseason — after free agency, some in Vegas had them as the odds-on favorite to win Super Bowl 50.) Regardless, it’s a key offseason for a franchise that has done well taking gradual steps forward the last few seasons — the Colts have advanced one round further in the playoffs in each of Andrew Luck‘s three NFL seasons. If they can take another step forward, it’ll be a gamble that will likely pay off handsomely for Grigson, Pagano, Luck and the rest of the Colts. Only time will tell if the franchise will be able to pull it off.

9. There are some surprising revelations coming out of a deposition presented by former Patriots defensive lineman Armond Amstead in his pending lawsuit against USC. Amstead alleges that the Trojans prescription of the painkiller Toradol led to a heart attack that ultimately deprived him from playing professional football, and in his statement, he lays out a series of events that includes his time with the Patriots. According to Amstead, he signed a three-year deal worth $655,000 guaranteed with New England in January 2013 after a stint in the CFL. That deal included a stipulation that he had to have surgery to repair a hole in his heart before he could play. He had the surgery, and recovered in time for offseason workouts in April; however, he had surgery to treat an undisclosed infection that July which sidelined him for the 2013 season. The next year, he suffered another heart attack, according to documents filed in his lawsuit, and on July 16, 2014, the Patriots announced his medical retirement before he ever took a single meaningful snap with New England. He was just 23. For more on Armstead’s story and what could be a precedent-setting lawsuit, check out his story here.

10. For those of you who are WWE fans, you’re familiar with the fact that Sunday night marks Wrestlemania 31, with a main event showdown between Brock Lesnar and Roman Reigns. What you may not know is the fact that there’s a Patriots connection with Lesnar. The current WWE champ was a college wrestler for Minnesota in the late 1990s, and he met Stephen Neal of Cal-State Bakersfield in the 1999 NCAA championships. Neal, who would go on to play offensive line for New England for eight seasons, defeated Lesnar for the heavyweight title in a memorable match. “He was just this big, strong, powerful man the wrestling world hadn’t seen,” Neal recalled of Lesnar in 2008. “He was so big and strong, you didn’t want to make a mistake against him.” Neal would go on to win the 1999 World Wrestling Championships before being signed by the Patriots and becoming a three-time Super Bowl champ. Lesnar gave football a shot, but has gained greater fame as a UFC and WWE champ. (For you Reigns’ fans, the only New England angle we could find was the fact that he was a college teammate of former Patriots linebacker Gary Guyton when the two played at Georgia Tech in 2006.) Check out the video of the Neal-Lesnar matchup below:

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

Tom Brady isn’t just jumping off cliffs lately. Video and pictures surfaced Saturday of the Patriots quarterback (in black shirt with khakis and backwards hat) playing pickup basketball with Michael Jordan and golfer Keegan Bradley in the Bahamas. Bradley also tweeted about Brady also playing golf with him earlier in the day.

Click here to see photos from the game courtesy of Barstool.

Blog Author: 
Ryan Hannable

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

Ben Koyack (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Ben Koyack is known more for his run-blocking ability, although he caught 30 passes in 2014. (Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)


Position: Tight end

School: Notre Dame

Height: 6-foot-5

Weight: 254 pounds

Achievements: 2014 Mackey Award semifinalist for best tight end, 2014 FBS All-Independent team, 2013 Mackey Award watch list

What he brings: Scouts are impressed with Koyack’s ability as a run blocker but would like to see some improvement when he’s asked to move across the line to make a block in the passing game. He is big and athletic, which is expected to help him become an asset to whichever team he joins. There are concerns about his ability to make big plays and make defenders miss after the catch.

Where the Patriots could get him: Rounds 5-7

Notes: ESPN.com ranks Koyack as the sixth tight end and 146th overall in the draft. He finished the 2014 season with 30 receptions for 317 yards and two touchdowns. 2014 was his only season as a full-time starter for Notre Dame.

Related articles:

Chicago Tribune: Koyack looks to impress with football sense, leadership

Video: Koyack tallies three catches for 51 yards against Rice in the first game of the 2014 season.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler

What sort of reaction do you think this video got at Gillette Stadium?

Never doing that again! #AirBrady

Posted by Tom Brady on Saturday, March 28, 2015

Blog Author: 
Christopher Price

WEEI.com will continue to offer daily insight and analysis regarding options that may be available to the Patriots when it comes to the 2015 NFL draft. Here is one in a series of profiles of players who could be on the board when it’s time for the Patriots to make a selection.

DeVante Parker (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

DeVante Parker tied the Louisville career record with 33 touchdown receptions. (Grant Halverson/Getty Images)


Position: Wide receiver

School: Louisville

Height: 6-foot-3

Weight: 211 pounds

Achievements: 2014 All-ACC coaches second team, Schellenberger Award for MVP of Louisville-Kentucky game, 2012 All-Big East

What he brings: Height and wingspan (80 inches) make him an attractive target as a big receiver. He drops very few balls and is considered by many scouts to be above average at making catches while receiving hands and bumps from defenders. There are some concerns about his speed and quickness, especially after he broke his foot at the beginning of the 2014 season. Because of this, he is expected to have more contested balls and will have to use his size to make big plays.

Where the Patriots could get him: Round 1

Notes: Parker finished the 2014 season with 43 receptions for 855 yards and five touchdowns despite missing the first seven games with a foot injury. In 2013 he made 55 catches for 885 yards and 12 TDs. He had 10 100-yard receiving games in his career and tied the school record with 33 touchdown receptions. His father, Anthony Shelman, was a running back at Louisville in the early 1990s.

Related articles:

Bleacher Report: Parker belongs in discussion for top WR

ESPN.com: Why Parker deserves first-team All-ACC selection

Video: Here is Parker catching eight passes for 214 yards against FSU in October 2014.

Blog Author: 
Nik Beimler