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I just counted, and realized that I've been hanging around this draft board for seven years now . I can't remember a draft with such a total lack of fan consensus. We're not even gathering into opposing armies, like Barwin vs. Matthews. We're just all over the place.
Jared Odrick is the one name that comes up again and again, but usually with a resigned sigh that he'd "make sense." For OLBs, there seem to be equal numbers in the Kindle, Graham, Hughes and trade-up-for-Morgan camps, with a fair bit of support for waiting or trading back for Dunlap, Misi, Wootton, or Sapp, or even Te'O-Nesheim, Hardy or Lane -- or some combination of those guys. There are also advocates of spending the #1 on a WR (Bryant), TE (Gresham), C (Pouncey), CB (Wilson), RB (Spiller or Matthews)...probably even more that I'm missing. I keep reading Pats mocks that are wildly different from one another and thinking "yeah, that's plausible."
On a personal level, I usually fuss over my last few picks for the draft contest until the last day. This time I haven't bothered, because I have absolutely no clue what's going to happen.
Does anybody feel differently? Want to offer some words of confidence and clarity?
As others have said, the depth of this draft is making it harder to peg one person as the guy we need. In the past, when we felt we needed to pick a certain position, there was only one or two guys that would even be available at our selection and after that there was a huge dropoff.
I think what is contributing to the uncertainty just as much is that we see the team as having more needs than usual. I think OLB is winning the vote for most pressing need this year but it's much less unanimous than one position would be in years past.
I think it's just a mixture of those two factors. As you said, it's "plausible" for us to pick one of possibly seven different positions in the 1st round and based on team needs, it'd be hard to call it a bad pick.
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I don't remember seeing Chung, Vollmer or Brace anywhere on these boards last year.
Chung was hard to miss -- he was a big favorite here. Vollmer had a few boosters, but nobody imagined round 2. Brace didn't get too much attention because he was projected as a 2nd rounder, and of course the Pats weren't going to take an NT in the 2nd, right?
I think it has a lot to do with the depth of the draft this year and the # of picks the Pats have in the first two rounds. Since there is a lot of depth at a position like OLB, people aren't so gung-ho about adding a pass rusher at 22 and feel it can addressed in the 2nd. If you miss out on Morgan or Kindle in the first, people feel you can go after a Sapp, Hardy, Misi, etc. in the 2nd without much dropoff. If you miss out on Odrick, people feel you can find a guy like Carrington in the 2nd without much dropoff.
Usually there is a decent drop off in talent at one point, but with so many talented guys in the first two rounds, I don't think there is as much urgency to get one guy b/c there are so many different scenarios that could play out and so many talented guys will inevitably be available in the first 53.
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MIAMIHURRICANES NEW ENGLANDPATRIOTS
John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, Eric Bledsoe, & Patrick Patterson
I don't think it is the depth of this draft that makes for little consensus as it is the lack of obvious great fits for the Patriots.
There is no great pass rusher in this draft at either the 3-4 DE spot or the Patriots OLB spots. If there was a DeMarcus Ware type in this draft scheduled to go around no.10, I think we'd see a lot of us clamoring to trade one of the 2nd rounders and make a move up.
The OLB's all have question marks: size, speed, character, and/or motor. I think we all disagree on these because some people are willing to overlook lack of size for production (Graham/Hughes) while others are willing to overlook character/motor questions (Dunlap/Griffen).
I feel like Odrick is exactly as Patchick described, most recognize he'd fit a need, but I think a lot of us have questions about whether he will be a difference maker.
So, nobody at OLB or DE that seems like an impact player, so move on to TE or WR?
TE: I think a lot of posters are negative on Gresham due to how the Pats have used the TE position recently and their frequent use of first round picks on TE's in the past. Throw in the fact that Gresham missed all of last year and has already had not one, but TWO ACL surgeries and he becomes a tough sell.
WR: There's basically two in Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas. I don't think you'd find fans of any team developing a consensus on either player. Bryant's character issues and time away from football due to his suspension are issue. Thomas played in a very simplified offense and there are real questions about his ability to contribute right away (not to mention his foot injury which prevented him from working out).