04-30-2011, 10:33 AM
On the Roster
Join Date: Apr 2009
People forgot there are 4 more rounds today - and FA!
Seems like the vast majority of the patriots fan base, and the media, are ready to write this draft off as a total bust.
Yes, everyone says we have needs at DL and OLB.
The DL need I think was overhyped -- we've got depth there. If not for a rash of injuries, we'd have had MUCH better play there last year.
On the other hand, the need for a pass rusher CANNOT be denied. You don't have to look further than the stats to see that.
But when you draft for need, you tend to OVERdraft, depending on how the board looks. At 33 I'd say Sheard was the only guy worth taking, and I would have preferred him over Dowling.
Yet, Sheard never played on his feet in college. Like most guys projecting as 3-4 OLBs, he's a conversion project. Day 1 and Day 2 are NOT the days to be taking conversion projects. At 33, Sheard probably would have been a slight reach.
More importantly, there's still quite a few Front 7 guys who can contribute left on the board.
Christian Ballard had a first round grade by some "experts" as a 4-3 tackle or 3-4 DE, but is sliding because he tested positive for marijuana. Oh no. Sounds to me like an Aaron Hernandez situation.
Chris Carter was a pass-rush specialist at Fresno State, and is being trained by Willie McGinest. He's about 2" shorter and 15 lbs lighter than you'd want at 3-4 OLB. But he played on his feet in college, and could easily add weight. Sounds like a great 4th or 5th round pick.
Greg Romeus also had a first round grade, but multiple injuries in 2010 made him drop. If he checks out medically, I'd love to see what he can do for us. Like everyone we'd have taken on Day 1 or Day 2, he'd be a project -- we don't know how he'd play standing up in a 3-4. Day 3 is the day you're supposed to take project players.
(you also have Sam Acho, a highly athletic DE to OLB conversion project, who was expected to go in Round 2 or 3, and KJ Wright, an athletic guy who plays great in space as an OLB).
As free agents, Mathias Kiwanuka, Ray Edwards, and Manny Lawson all appear to be available. They could also help the pass rush for the right price.
So yes. I'll admit my immediate reaction to this draft was "HUH!?!?!?" I felt the same way after we took McCourty, Cunningham (who I had never heard of...like Ridley), and Gronkowski (really? a guy who didn't play last year?).
But after going back and reading about the guys, and looking at their film, I felt a lot better about it. I think this draft is going to look much the same -- just really solid players, guys who can contribute almost right away (with the exception of Mallett).
Last edited by zgotts; 04-30-2011 at 10:38 AM..