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CB Deltha O'Neal - free agent after season
CB Hobbs - signed through 2009
Lewis Sanders - free agent after the season
Wheatley - signed through 2011
Wilhite - signed through 2011
Richardson (Practice Squad) - exclusive rights free agent
Hobbs is a slightly above average NFL corner followed by average to below average veterans working on one year deals. Behind the starters are two high drafts picks from 2008 (Wheatley, Wilhite), they are the future but more help is needed.
Hobbs should remain a solid option in 2009, but he is a free agent after 09. Wheatley and Wilhite should be the foundation of a solid base, the jury is out on whether either player is NFL starting caliber. Look for the Patriots to add a CB in the draft but maybe not on day 1, plus the usual vets on one year deals. History shows the Patriots do not put a premium on the position.
Potential Free agents
Chris Gamble - Carolina - 6’1 - 200 - Solid player coming out of Ohio State also contributes as punt returner. He is young (26) and athletic.. Good chance he hit’s a big payday, but a lineup of Hobbs, Gamble, Wheatley, Wlhite and JAG du jour looks pretty good.
Side note - he was born in Boston, maybe it could be a good old ‘boy comes home story’, sigh.. Chris Gamble
Dunta Robinson - 5’10 - 174 - Houston - Smallish (just the way the Pats like them), kind of an under achiever but he has also played on some real poor defenses. Dunta Robinson
Domonique Foxworth - Atlanta - Not much of a player but could be a stop gap. Domonique Foxworth
Unit has ok depth going into 2009, but lacks a true impact player. Patriots should draft a CB but there are more obvious needs that will likely be addressed firs.
College Players to watch
Bruce Johnson, Miami - 5’10-180 - smaller, quicker player, rounds 3 -4
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Good analysis, I like it. Maybe a little harsh on Hobbs, who may be a victim to BB's soft zone defense rather than his abilities.
In the draft I see a lot of people pining for Jenkins of OSU, but let's remember BB's preference in CBs.
After we get past the generics, high character, intelligent, dedicated to football, etc.
1.) Ball skills!
2.) Quick Twitch, super change of direction skills.
3.) Willingness to tackle
Based on that, it is hard to see Jenkins fitting into BB's defense. That is why my early favorite is Burnett of Central Florida. If he runs a decent 40 and cone drill, he could be an ideal fit for our defense; maybe not as a 1st rounder, probabbly a 2nd or 3rd rounder.
Ther are however a whole group of CB's that could fall in the 2nd, 3rd or 4th, that would also appeal to BB, but I think we need to let the season play out to see how many actually hold up before listing them.
We did the Miami-UNC game last week and a couple of those heralded Miami ypung secondary players got toasted a bit. I would not be surprised to see a couple of them on the bench next game.
Don't forget Hobbs is three games into his third season. IMO, he's ahead of where Samuel and even Law were at this stage in their careers.
Regardless, I like this, and look forward to the next one.
That is a good way to think about it, I never really thought of it that way. At the end of Samuel's 3rd season the Pats could have signed him cheap (15M for 4-5 years). They decided to gamble and let him play his final year, he got 10+ picks and then the franchise tag. Despite losing a top CB financially it was still a good move for the Pats.
Another plus for Hobbs is his ability as a returner. I bet $15M for 5 years would look pretty good to Hobbs right now.
Thank you I appreciate your insights. I thought I was fair with Hobbs, I described him as an above average NFL starter.
One more item to add to your list of CB requirements, small. He likes them small and quick.
I would be pretty surprised if the Pats used a 1st rounder on a CB, they have a lot of work in the trenches.
I am sure that iff BB ever found a tall CB with superior change of direction skills, BB would not let excessive height stand in the way of drafting the kid.
Has anybody noticed that Dwigt Lowery, who in college had the best ball skills as a CB that I had seen in the past dozen years, but only ran a 4.6, is starting for the Jets? Wow!
I think this year's draft will have a couple of super risers that come out of left field, ala Cromartie last year, at the CB position. But just as I was happy to see someone else take Cromartie, I am sure BB will pass on those types again this year.
BB is trending toward Big 12 CB's lately and I do not see any special ones yet this year.
Well, since we didn't pay Asante the big money and really never pay the big bucks to CBs, I have a hard time believing we would make a run at Asomugha in free agency, even though I think he is WELL worth the money. He doesn't get much press playing out in Oakland, but I'm telling you this guy is probably the best all around CB in the league, BY FAR. And yes even better than Bailey IMO. I see teams go after Bailey many times and he gets beat fairly often, however teams will simply avoid challenging Asomugha at all costs.
Chances are we'll address the CB position somewhere around the 3rd-5th rounds in the draft.
Last edited by Patriot80; 10-08-2008 at 08:39 PM..