This is a HUGE off season for the Pats
This is going to be a key off season for the Pats. Many of the core players from the dynasty are either getting old – McGinest, Bruschi, Vrabel, Dillon – or are free agents this year or next – Givens, Neal, Branch, Seymour. The team will need a strong draft to reload the team. Below is a list of the BB lead Pats drafts:
Rd, Pick Name Pos Comments
1, 32 Logan Mankins G Good pick that looks to be a fixture for the next 7-10 years
3, 20 Ellis Hobbs DB Played as well as can be expected for a rookie. At worst a great nickle
3, 36 Nick Kaczur G Great value pick and will be a fixture somewhere on the o-line
4, 32 James Sanders DB Played in 10 games making 2 starts. Too soon to judge.
5, 34 Ryan Claridge LB Went on IR with bad shoulder. Too soon to judge
7, 16 Matt Cassel QB Live arm but will need a lot of work. Good value
7, 41 Andy Stokes TE Never made the team
Rd, Pick Name Pos Comments
1, 21 Vince Wilfork DT Started out slow this year but was great down the stretch. Steal.
1, 32 Ben Watson TE Gifted athlete that could be a top TE if he improves his hands.
2, 31 Marquise Hill DE Played in 9 games in 2 years totaling 3 tackles. Bust (so far)
3, 32 Guss Scott DB Played well (21 tackles) when he started but got hurt again. Has missed 27 of 32 games due to injuries.
4, 17 Dexter Reid DB Cut after 1 year. Ok on special teams but awful on D. Bust
4, 32 Cedric Cobbs RB Cut after 1 year. Bust
5, 32 P.K. Sam WR On practice squad.
7, 32 Christian Morton DB Long shot, never made the team.
1, 13 Ty Warren DT Team “settled” for him and he has out performed other DTs from 2003 draft.
2, 4 Eugene Wilson DB Was great for 2 years but took a major step back this year
2, 13 Bethel Johnson WR Great speed, nice on special teams but overall a disappointment.
4, 20 Dan Klecko DT Undersized (5’11” 275) player that is too small for D-line and not good enough to be a FB/LB. Great hustle but little production.
4, 23 Asante Samuel DB Above average nickelback that lacks elite speed. Solid player.
5, 29 Dan Koppen C Steal. Smart tough player that will be in the league for years.
6, 28 Kliff Kingsbury QB Pop gun arm QB that is no longer on the team.
7, 20 Spencer Nead TE Long shot that never panned out.
7, 25 Tully Banta-Cain DE Decent special team player but nothing more as of yet.
7, 29 Ethan Kelley DT Stuck around for a few years but was cut in training camp this year because he showed up too fat.
1, 21 Dan Graham TE Has not produced (99 rec. – 1,158 yards) enough as a receiver but he is a great blocker.
2, 33 Deion Branch WR Been a great player whose only issue is his injury issues.
4, 19 Rohan Davey QB Never made it past the back-up role. No longer on team.
4, 28 Jarvis Green DE Solid back up that would start for a lot of teams.
7, 26 Antwoine Womack RB Long shot that never amounted to anything.
7, 33 David Givens WR Steal. Became a solid #2. Will look for a big raise this year.
1, 6 Richard Seymour DT Top DL in the NFL. Multiple All-Pro selection.
2, 17 Matt Light T Not a top LT but well above average.
3, 24 Brock Williams DB Never amounted to anything. Bust
4, 1 Kenyatta Jones T Was an OK back up that had maturity issues.
4, 24 Jabari Holloway TE Bust
5, 32 Hakim Akbar DB Bust
6, 17 Arther Love TE Bust
6, 37 Leonard Myers DB Bust
7, 16 Owen Pochman K Never a threat to Vinateri
7, 39 T.J. Turner LB Long shot that never made the team.
2, 15 Adrian Klemm T Never developed and had numerous injury issues
3, 14 J.R. Redmond RB Ok 3rd down back but nothing more.
4, 33 Greg R-Randall T Started for 2001 S.B team but moved on shortly after. Solid back up.
5, 12 Dave Stachelski TE Never made the team
5, 32 Jeff Marriott DT Bust
6, 21 Antwan Harris DB Special teamer that was a liability on D.
6, 33 Tom Brady QB Future Hall of Famer. Major steal.
6, 35 David Nugent DT Long shot that never made it .
7, 20 Casey Tisdale LB Long shot that never made it .
7, 33 Patrick Pass RB Developed into a better than average runner/receiver. Not much of a blocker.
Looking back the Pats have made a lot of good moves. Brady, Seymour, Light, Branch, Givens, Graham, Warren, Wilson, Samuel, Koppen, Wilfork, Mankins, Kazur and Hobbs have all been productive starters. Many of them at or near Pro-Bowl level. That being said there have still been a lot of misses. The majority of the picks made in rounds 1-4 need to be productive so a team can restock as players leave in free agency. While the first rounders – and several 6th and 7th rounders - have worked out there have been a number of mid round picks that were bust. Bethel Johnson has been – outside of a few key plays – a bust. Hill, Reid and Cobbs have to all have to be considered busts. This draft will go a long way to determining the future of the franchise.
This is an interesting persepecive. Of course, all offseasons are critical. But. curiously, I think this offseason is the least critical in recent memory.
Let's presume that Poteat and Hawkins or replacments are re-signed. Is this a lot to expect? We already have several IR's coming back, hopefully including Harrison.
We could give Vinatieri another 20% raise, or we could negotiate another incredicble contract with his agent, soon to be allowed back to work.
We need to sign a wide receiver, or two (again), and couple of backup OL's. Let's presume the re-signing of Davis and Dwight.
We need to sign a wide receiver or two or three or four. Otherwise, this off-season is not critical in any sense. Sure we COULD sign future starters at almost any position, but IMHO there is no overwhelming need.
The most important part of this off-season is that the players on IR are brought back to health, and that a reasonable percentage of the youngsters improve.
The critical part isn't filling holes for next season as much as it is drafting the continuation of the dynasty.
We're fine for next year. We could lose Givens, Neal and Ashworth but we can fill those holes easily enough - no disrespect intended, especially to Givens, but it's just not a lot to replace. However the next two offseasons introduce a lot of FA, including Seymour, Branch and Graham. Assuming we spend a lot of money on Seymour and Branch, some FA will be getting away. This draft, strong and deep, is the one that determines if our run lasts 1-2 more years or 5-6 more years IMO. We have traded into extra picks and, unfortunately, aren't picking #32. This draft is IT.
I agree with the premise that this offseason is huge... not so much for next year, but with the understanding that we need to draft guys now who are can be ready to fill some VERY big shoes in 2007, 2008 etc.
One need only look at other teams to see what happens when age suddenly catches up to their LBs
On offense I'm pleased to see that we have quality depth on the O-Line and have some great short to mid range options for Brady
What we've never given our own Joe Montana is his Jerry Rice, and I'm not sure that we're going to find one in the draft or in FA any time soon (that is, a tall, stretch the field reciever)
After espousing a "less is more" attidue last year I think it wise for BB and SP to fish with a very broad net this year to see if they can find a gem among the chafe of the draft
Additionally I'd be open to them working some trades to bring players here, knowing that it will be difficult to address our needs in FA alone
...whatever the hell that means. :D
For whatever reason, Adam V. has had more than his share of missed kicks in Denver - another reason why I preferred to play Indy last week
Sure this draft is important. My point is that they all are. All off-seasons help us continue the dynasty through trades, extensions, free agency and the draft. The draft is the place to get inexpensive talent, and is therefore especially important for that reason.
Posters point to the future need at linebacker. That position is simply this year's perceived future need that MUST be met in the draft. It MUST be, unless the team chooses to met the need through free agency or trades. In in the past few years we have dealt with the need at linebacker (to add to the core of Bruschi and McGinist) by
1) signing free agents Vrabel, Colvin, Brown and Beisel
2) drafting Banta-Cain,Chatham and Claridge
I trust the management to find the proper mix at this position. But the position certainly isn't being ignored.
Why is this year any more critical than any of these? Also note that NOT included is the trade of draft choices that for example yielded Dillon.
2000 Brady, Pass
2001 Seymour, Light
2002 Graham,Branch,Green and Givens
2003 Warren,Wilson,Samuel,Koppen,Banta-Cain (also Klecko and Johnson)
2004 Wilfork,Watson,Hill,Scott, (Sam)
The future might be served as well by extending Seymour, Givens, Graham, Branch, Samuel and Koppen. If we don't, then future holes will be created.
My bottom line is
1) that we've been doing well at meeting the need at LB
2) that future needs can be made in many ways in addition to the draft, most notably by contract extensions (as we recently have done with Brady, Light, Green and Vrabel).
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