Sal Wilcox not kind to Patriots
Was listening to NFL Sirius Radio yesterday. When talking about the Patriots trading up to get Chad Jackson, Wilcox said the Patriots got the worse of the trade. He said WR Greg Jennings and ILB Hodge were taken with those two picks.
He said Chad Jackson didn't shoot up the draft chart because of any body of work. He shot up because of his combine workouts. He said if you watch film of Jackson, he puts way to "many balls on the ground".
Then he said, Jennings is a better football player than Jackson.
Every bit I've ever seen of Jackson, he's had glue for hands. Can any Florida Gator reader comment please? Or, anybody else for that matter.
I saw him put on a show at the combine, catching almost twice as many balls a anyone else. My understanding is that his weakness is route-running.
That said, going by the trade chart, the Pats got screwed.
In a couple different BB interviews,press conferences, you can fugure out what happened.
BB said he tried a couple times to trade up, but couldn't get a partner.
He also said Chad wouldn't have lasted on one or more picks in his opinion.
Immediately after we traded up and picked Jackson, the Broncos traded for Walker.
BB tried to trade up for Jackson. No takers. Green Bay,picking before Denver, played the Pats and Broncos against each other. RIght down to the wire. Remember also that BB said the trade was so late in the pick he almost didn't get the pick in on time.
GB had the Pats and Broncos bidding against each other for the pick. The Pats outbid Denver. Perhaps Denver didn't need Jackson as much because they had a backup plan - the trade with GB for Walker.
Pats had to go high with trade offer to consumate hte trade. Immediately after trade they picked Jackson and Denver immediately traded for Walker.
The team that "won" pick wise was Green Bay GOt more than value for their pick fromNE and for Walker from DEN. I'm certainly biased, but I think NE improved themselves the most. They got the best college prospect since the drafted Glenn.The Brncos got a WR, but now their other WR says he won't play. Net gain for Denver: an improved WR situation. But gaining walker and losing Lelie didn't help them as much as gaining Jackson helped us.
Yeah, the Pats lost more accoding to the chart than GB. But that just showed how much the Pats wanted Jackson. The chart is a negotiating tool. GB had us where they wanted us and took advantage. We did the sme to Baltimore a few years ago (here's hoping Jackson works out better than Boller). It all depends on who makes the intial call and how badly one party wants to trade.
I am pleased we made the trade. I am pleased BB did what had to be done to get Jackson. And I would rather have Jackson than Jennings and Hodge.
This guy Wilcox feels differently. Maybe he's right. Maybe Jennings is the better WR. But I'll bet BB/SP spent more time and effort trying to find out than Wilcox did.
IMHO, the Pats got the better of the deal than the Donks. The contract to sign Walker is going to cost and not sure of Walker's attitude. But GB was smart in how they played both against each other. That happens a lot on draft day, especially in the early rounds.
In fact, it's obvious to me that the chart overrates the value of some picks (particularly those right at the top of the draft). I suppose the reason is that trades there are quite rare and the few "block-buster" trades came when teams were desperate to move up right to the top of the board because there was one player they wanted above all others. So they tended to "overpay" to move up.
If the Jackson trade is a good trade for us, who cares if we offered more than the chart says we should? If Chad becomes a starting WR for us, we'll be happy with whatever we paid.
BB has personally spent a significant portion of the last 2 off seasons in FLA.
Jackson has been playing in Urban Meyers spread offense so he already comes with some experience about the system.
He's wrong. The picks that Pats gave up were #52 and #75. That would be WR Greg Jennings and OG Jason Spitz. Hodge was taken by GB with their own 3rd rounder #67 overall.
The question of whether Jackson is better than Jennings is one for debate. Prior to the draft, I would have agreed with him. I didn't have Jackson on my draft board at all, based on the same reasons-- not enough experience, possible attitude problems, a reputation built mostly at the Combine.
That said... BB always does his homework. Jackson is bigger, taller and faster than Jennings, and has incredible hands. That was never in question. My questions are all about attitude, work ethic and professionalism. The difference between Branch and Bethel is less about athletic ability and more about mental readiness and commitment.
The fact that BB interviewed him multiple times, and gave Jackson mental reps with the playbook... they were feeling him out. There may not be evidence of "it" in his playing history, but he may have "it" in latent form-- untapped. BB and Coach Meyer are pretty tight, and I'm sure they've swapped notes. Overall, I trust that the staff has a pretty close read on the type of person and player they drafted.
Jackson is undoubtedly a high risk/high reward draft proposition, and the team knows it-- which explains the multiple interviews. The high risk factor probably contributed to the fact why they chose not to take him at #21. But when he came into range in the 2nd, the reward factor was too good to overlook. Note that the Pats traded ahead of the Broncos to pick Jackson. That was not a mistake.
If Jackson brings an Eric Moulds or Marvin Harrison professionalism to the game, he will easily be that calibre player in the NFL. And he could also be a huge bust. Hopefully, Brady can be a developmental force on him.
As for the LB, Hodge would have been off the board at #75, but we could have had Anthony Schlegel who the Jets took at #76 or Clint Ingram who went to the Panthers at #80 with that pick. Niether of those LB really turned my head.
Personally, I'm just fine trading up for a great player, assuming he's the right one. Jackson may be the best pure WR we've had on the roster since Terry Glenn left, with all his baggage. But especially at WR, great talent to too often tied to great big ego, the aptness of the Terry Glenn comparison may always be a source of concern. Jackson openly admires T.O. and sees him as a role model. I found that a bit unsettling.
I dont think anyone can say whether it was a good pick, with what we know today. If he's a star in two years, we will call it the most brilliant move in Pats draft history. If he's a washout lockerroom cancer... well, obviously it's a bust. He may be a great receiver and a lockerroom cancer, in which case the debate will continue. All will be made clear.
Whip out your crystal balls. Everyone is entitled to his best guess. For sure, everyone in the media has an opinion that they're willing to spout, but they're just pandering to the public. Fact is, as of today, it's impossible to know.
I would have rather kept the picks or trade 3a for a #2 next year...but hindsight is 20/20 and if Belichick gave up much to get him...I'll drink the Kool-Aid.
Do you mean Solomon Wilcots?
The idea that the value chart exists as anything more than a guideline is absurd. Ditto for the idea that subjective value evaluations should take a back seat to "The Chart."
Personally I would rather have a once-in-a-draft talent like Jackson, than 2 mediocre talents like Hodge and Jennings.
Also, 800 yds/year with 8 touchdowns/year is quality production at the college level, especially in a spread offense that uses 3 and 4 receivers, so I don't know what this guy is talking about in re "lack of body of work."
The "puts too many balls on the ground" comment is dubious. Every other evaluation says that his hands are excellent and the strongest part of his game.
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