02-21-2009, 11:30 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
There seems to be about a dozen players who are blue-chippers and should be expected to be serious contributers after a couple of games of experience. These players won't ALL get drafted in the top 12, but all should be gone long before we pick.
SOLID DRAFT CHOICES
There are no guarantees here, but all should be expected to be given at least two seasons to develop, if they don't develop immediately. The crunch time for these players is in Training Camp of their third season. These players are drafted 15-100, from the mid-first through the third round. One hopes that a late first rounder or early second will make some contribution in their rookie season. These picks are the sweet spot in a good draft like this one. As we all know, the patriots have five picks in this range, and could get another.
THE 50%-50% HOPES
I don't expect a 4th or an early 5th rounder to have a more than 50% to contribute. A 4th usually makes the roster, as a developmental player if necessary. Wilhite was a fine pick, great value.
DIAMONDS IN THE RUFF
Any position player who contributes who is drafted in the mid-fifth or later or as an UDFA is a bonus and great find. This is the time for specialty players. Punters, kickers, returners, special teamers and backup quarterbacks are the ones taken this late who are more likely to become contributers.
The draft is a crapshoot. Certain positions give you a better chance for immediate contribution if that is what is needed. Certain positions are very risky propositions, especially early; for example, wide receiver.
That being said, when Aiken is your number 3 wide receiver, there are severe wide receiver issues. The team tries to be prepared well for one injury at a position, and be somewhat prepared for two injuries. We are not prepared at all at wide receiver.