|Passes Broken Up
Travis Long is not as athletic as many of the other linebackers in the draft, but like all the other greats that were less athletic, he makes up for it with relentless effort and solid technique. His injury has clearly dropped him on the overall board, but he still shows a 3rd/4th round grade on many team boards. If he goes lower than that he’ll be an absolute steal, and honestly he may be an afterthought on the first and second days.
Other players at his position look more athletic on tape and are going to be a more “sexy” pick to a team who didn’t get to evaluate Long in person. He’s a player that really could have used a Combine appearance to secure a spot in the early to mid 3rd round if healthy, but such is life sometimes. Somebody will understand what he brings to the table once NFL camps roll around, at the very least. For now he’ll just be hoping that he doesn’t slip past the 4th.
New England Patriots
Sept. 30, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; A general view of of a helmet used by a New England Patriots player before a game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
Stacked Against the Pick:
The New England Patriots are in a little bit of a jam when it comes to draft picks this season. They only have 4 draft picks currently. They have many needs that have to be addressed either through the draft or free agency.
This is a bit of a concern for Patriot fans as their defense is far from where they want it to be. The secondary is a huge concern especially with the fact that they may lose Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard for at least a limited amount of time.
The Perfect Storm:
The chances of an ideal situation for Travis Long going to New England could be fairly low but it isn’t impossible. The Patriots need to address their pass rushing this off-season and Long could definitely help them with that whether it’s at linebacker or on the defensive line. It wouldn’t be too difficult for them to put him there because of his experience playing both positions.
Ideally if he drops in the draft, he’s someone I would want on my team because of his combination of talent, leadership, and high motor. Belichick loves those types of guys on his defense, but he also seems to like a more athletic type of player than Long is in his linebackers.
Likelihood of Getting Drafted by New England:
C+ (5th round and on)