Originally Posted by patfanken
Well congrats you improved an offense that already one of the best in the league and failed to araddress the the one critical area of immediate need in at the top of the draft.
BTW - I hear more and more questions about TSmith. Questions about his weight, his maturity, and his knees. He's 20 years old, never played LT in college, and was more inconsistent than you'd like at that high a pick.
No question he is the best athlete with the most upside in the OL position, but he probably won't be the impact player in 2012 as say Danny Watkins might be 20 picks later. Think of him as a lighter, slightly more athletic DBrick, a good LT to be sure, but it took him 3 years to get to his level, and that level isn't elite. IMHO He's still not as good a run blocker as say Matt light.
Ken--I agree that I do not like Smith at 17 either.
I also will not even be remotely shocked if we go offense. Of all the coach's in the league, ours could care less about what happened 'last year.' Our center of the team still lies around TFB, and we need to continue exploiting that aspect, and building around the strength. This supposed DE/OLB drafting frenzy that most envision will obviously revolve around whether or not Belichick sees the defense as a huge, glaring weakness like many do. He may very well see it as vastly improving, and needing One/Two more key parts. Where he sees value at those parts, and fits for our specific scheme is anyone's guess.
Moving forward, we will have many issues on offense too. There's obvious need and value at RB and OL, + WR is on the border depending on how Belichick is feeling out the future contract of Welker, and whether or not either Tate or Price is the 'answer.' Depending upon the answer to those questions, YES--wide receiver may very well be a 'need' if you are looking ahead and feel that someone in this draft may be worthy. Actually, AFTER this year the only spots I see on offense that are solid right now are QB and TE. Not sure why there are so many who don't see this?
Yes, we're driving a Porsche on offense, but we still need to upkeep the Porsche with maintenance and improvements over the years. If Belichick feels as though this may be the draft to make some possible improvements, then so be it...Besides Vollmer and the TE's, (not sure how hurt Hernandez' hip is, or how long it takes to come back from hip surgery etc) we haven't really guaranteed ourselves too many 'hits' on that side of the ball moving forward. In other words, I would not assume that we can come right out of the gate and lead the league in scoring again, although I am sure it will be up there, and incredibly competitive. The so-called and supposed 'needs' (depending upon opinion) lie somewhere between this season and next. All it takes is one man's opinion, and we all better get used to exploring all of the options and angles.
DE and front 7 need improved, but we really have no idea how Belichick is going to approach those issues. I truly feel as though he could add ONE DE and be just fine. Yes, I agree that the pick should likely be in the first 40 picks or so, but with BB, who knows? He may have his eye on a 3rd rounder, a projected 5th rounder, and some possible UFDA's. Or he could even have a free agency plan too. OLB needs at least a pick or 2 also, but again, we're not certain who he is high on. It could be the same way, maybe a 3rd rounder and a couple of mid-to-late rounders?
Like you, I am HOPING that we address the front 7 early, and I am pretty confident it will be taken care of, whether that be DE or OLB. I am certainly not assuming that either position will be taken with our first pick though. This is exactly what I was talking about in my 'Draft Meltdown' thread. Imagine the first pick being an OL or a RB, then the 2nd pick getting traded away. By Thursday night this place will be on fire, and that is unfortunate.
The bottom line is that I do agree with you that front 7 needs addressed early, but I am not sure that it will be as most envision, or as 'often' as some want/think.