Patriots 2009 Rookie Free Agent Signings

Marcus McClinton, S, Kentucky

Solid build and size.  Is fast and aggresive.  Has good instincts and is always around the ball.  Reads the quarterback well and makes frequent breaks for the ball in coverage.  Is a natural playmaker and a hard hitter.  Can take bad angles and sometimes goes for the big hit and misses.  He also has some off the field concerns, and has been ravaged with injuries throughout his collegiate career.  This looks to be a solid pickup for the Patriots, as McClinton could have been drafted.  McClinton actually has a high celing, although he could bust just as easily as he could boom.  If McClinton can prove himself on special teams, he will have a chance to make the roster.

Brian Hoyer, QB, Michigan State

On my draft board, I had Brian Hoyer as the sixth best quarterback in this draft, and getting him in rookie free agency is a steal.  Hoyer will compete with Matt Gutierrez for third string quarterback, and could develop into a quality player down the road.  He has above average arm strength and can make all the throws, and shows great accuracy in the intermediate range.  He has decent height at 6-2, but isn’t mobile.  He makes good reads and has a nice release.  However, he doesn’t really stand out as a special player in any one particular area.

Jamar Love, CB, Arkansas

Has signed, according to the HogBlog.  Love has great size, at just over six feet tall and 191 pounds.  He ran a 4.39 and a 4.35 at his pro day, so he obviously has great straight line speed.  He also showed good agility and overall athleticism. Love is a raw prospect, he never recorded an interception in limited playing time during his career at Arkansas.  Still, he looks to be a very intriguing prospect to watch, because of his physical tools.

Antonio Appleby

Appleby was a guy, along with Frantz Joseph, whom I wanted to see the Patriots take a flier on as a developmental inside linebacker late in the draft.  However, the Patriots drafted Tyrone McKenzie in the 3rd round, so the Patriots look like they have their Tedy Bruschi replacement.  However, they did go out and sign Antonio Appleby, a 6-4, 245 pound inside linebacker who played in the 3-4 under Al Groh in Virginia.  Antonio Appleby has excellent size and strength.  He is a very physical player and square up and make big hits.  He is willing to take on any block, and won’t get pushed back, although he sometimes has trouble disengaging from blocks.  He also might be a little bit raw in coverage, as he doesn’t have great speed (4.7) or lateral fluidity.  Ultimately, if Appleby gets it all together, he could be a steal as a rookie free agent, and could develop into an excellent four man rotation down the line with Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, and McKenzie.


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