The New England Patriots took Miami safety Brandon Meriweather with the 23rd overall pick in the 2007 NFL Draft. He’s one of a handful of terrific athletes who fell because of “character” problems, including on-field thuggery and off-field gunplay.
What the Experts Say:
- Rick Gosselin’s Final Ranking: 30th overall
- Mel Kiper Final Ranking: 26th overall
- Scout.com Final Ranking: 50th Overall
Scout.com Profile: A talented defensive back with natural ball skills, Meriweatherâ€™s versatility is key. Has some character issues that teams must check out, but, if focused on the task at hand, offers starting potential.
Player Evaluation: A talented defensive back with natural ball skills, Meriweatherâ€™s versatility is key. Has some character issues that teams must check out, but, if focused on the task at hand, offers starting potential.
STRENGTHS: Backpedal Quickness, Burst Out Of Breaks, Coverage Awareness
AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Size, Tackling Ability
Biography: All-Conference selection as a senior after totaling 58/1/8. Led the team in tackles as a junior, finishing the year with 115/3/7.
Pos: Athletic secondary prospect who shows potential at safety and cornerback. Efficient, immediately diagnoses the action and takes good angles to the play. Fast to the sidelines, displays excellent range and possesses a sense of timing. Placed over the slot receiver and shows great ball skills. Very aware in coverage and has a burst of closing speed.
Neg: Bites on play-action passes, makes his first move up the field and will be caught out of position. Lacks strength at the point of attack.
New England has a reputation for not drafting players with character concerns. And with new commissioner Roger Goodell trying to clean up the league by getting tougher with players, we didn’t expect them to draft Meriweather. The Patriots take Meriweather who could be seen trying to stomp on players during the now infamous Miami-Florida International brawl. But the truth is this organization has taking risks on the past. The reason they haven’t been as criticized as some other teams is the players they bring in buy into the team philosophy and stay out of trouble. Don’t be surprised to see the same thing happen here. New England’s veterans should bring him into the fold and the fact that he should see plenty of playing time should help. The reason he should see the field so much is durability concerns surrounding the starters and he is too talented to keep on the sidelines. Meriweather has excellent instincts, he shows great range and he is an effective open field tackler.
- NFL Character Crackdown Affects Draft
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