2 Things I think I have learned about the Patriots Draft Philosophy

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by midwestpatsfan, Feb 5, 2007.

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  1. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #95 Jersey

    I think we have all learned that it is near impossible to really figure out which way the Patriots are going to go when it comes to the draft. That being said, I went back to analyze the 1st round picks of the BB/SP era and have found 2 trends that I think can help narrow the possiblities of who the Patriots might pick.

    1. In the first round, The Patriots do not take players that will be forced to be "the guy" right off the bat. What that means is that they usually have an aging veteran that is probably in his last year or so but can offer some guidance to the rookie. In turn, the rookie can get some solid playing time and learn the system while not having all the pressure put on him.
    Mankins-Light (I know that Mankins did indeed start from day one, but IIRC there were some injuries on the line, and with O-line it is better to get all the guys playing together from day one if possible.

    Ty Warren-Bobby Hamilton, Anthony Pleasent, Richard Seymour
    Daniel Graham-Christian Fauria

    2. The Patriots do not take players that project to play at another position. With the amount of money invested and the relatively short time that the rookies first contract is, the Patriots cannot and do not risk taking someone who has to learn a new position. The players that the Patriots take do not necessarily have to make a huge impact their rookie season, but they do need to step in and play a role, and by their second season they should be a major contibutor in the system. Guys who have to learn a new position and the complicated system the patriots run just isnt what they are looking for in a player in the 1st round.

    I realize that this could completely change this year, so please take this as a grain of salt. What do you think? Am I reaching here or is there some pattern here.
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Interesting, but a bit off.

    - Mankins was a LT who was moved inside to LG, he never played G before the Shrine Game.
    - While Seymour, Warren, and Wilfork had all played DT, they all learned a radically different method.

    - Where your hypothesis seems to match up...all four made sideways moves, the mentoring was there (Mankins/Hochstein, Seymour & Warren/Hamilton & Pleasant, Wilfork/Trailor, Graham & Watson/Fauria).

    I agree that drafting a DE in the first round to make the move to LB would be out of character due to the severity of the move. Drafting a small LB for a move to SS is another area unlikely to occur in the first round.
  3. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #95 Jersey

    You make good points there Box that I really didnt think about.
  4. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #54 Jersey

    I think you are reaching, not because what you wrote was inaccurate but because the sample size is so small and the roster development process is so fluid. I will join you in the "reaching" club.

    My latest thinking is that the entire roster is driven off competition. I think it comes down to their "board" and how to increase the competition level across all units. All the picks they make and FAs they sign are to increase "competition" at the various positions, they want every position to have some uncertainly as training camp rolls along. Some of the competition ends up being for backup roles or special teams duty but every player is fighting for a roster spot (save some locks Brady, Seymour, etc.).

    I think every position except QB, K, P could be selected in round 1. Whatever player is selected will be thrown into a competition for a starting position, even if they don't end up starting the environment helps create depth.

    Some spots will be more up for grabs than others, and it is likely more players will be brought in to slug it out at ILB, FS and CB (especially if Samuel leaves).

    When they say it takes a complementary game "ST, Offense and Defense" to win they really mean it, some units will be stronger than others but an overall balance is what they are striving for. At least that is what I think....
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Honestly, I think it's a bit of a reach too. Mankins alone is a perfect contradiction of both rules: he was a pure LT in college who was drafted to fill the wide-open LG slot left by Joe Andruzzi. To support the idea that the Pats don't draft to fill day-one starter holes, you'd have to find such a hole that wasn't filled. I can't think of one.

    Heading into 2006, where could a rookie have expected to get the most reps with the Patriots? The OL, DL QB, P and TE starting positions seemed solid. Safety depth looked good at the time with Wilson, Harrison, Jones and Sanders. Samuel and Hobbs had the clear inside track at CB, but a good rookie could have made some an impact as a nickel. K was a pure open slot, WR was up for grabs and Dillon was ready for a platoon partner. So that's:
    CB, K, WR, RB
    Sure enough, the Pats drafted to 3 of those 4 positions in the first 4 rounds. So I'm inclined to think that the Pats do indeed draft for need, and that what you see as a mentorship trend is simply drafting one year ahead of a roster hole.

    Edit: WHOOPS, forgot LB! But I'll still stand by the principle of the thing.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  6. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #95 Jersey

    Okay, Okay,
    So maybe I was reaching a little bit. It is probably more to the fact that the overall roster is solid, so there really is never a need to have a player come in and be "the guy" right away.
  7. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    I think if someone asked BB about his draft trends and strategies, he would answer something to the effect that he has no hard and fast riules, that each draft is different and each year his team is in a different situation.

    This year most of us are concerned about the back eight on defense and the WR situation.

    BB is currently examining individual player reviews for the past year. He may not see the glaring need on the back eight that we see. His defense was second best in the NFL in points allowed and that was with minimal depth, due to injuries, and marginal talent at half the positions. (Seau, Hawkins, Sanders and Hobbs)
    He has said publicly that sacks are over rated and he appears to prefer a efense that is stout against the run. It also appears that he prefers a defense that is assignment disciplined versus a loosy goosy faster recovery speed defense that gang tackles. (This is probably why he has to have tacklers on the defense. He is going to put you in position and you have to make the play.)

    I do think that he has exhibited one draft day trend for sure, he will stay true to his draft board, even if it means drafting a Brock Williams in the third round. Or appearing to reach for a Logan Mankins in the first round or a Steve Gotkowski in the fourth round.
  8. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    All I need to know and all I care about is the following track record for 1st round picks:


    They know what they're doing. Hopefully the two #1's this year will be LB/DB, but if they're not, one thing we'll know for sure - they'll be good players. This team is in such good position and nobody seems to know it.
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    I've given up trying. I've had many guy feelings on how they think over the years but they usually get proven wrong.
  10. makoute

    makoute In the Starting Line-Up

    Going by that, it would be D in the first round.
  11. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    With that said who do you think they draft or what position? I'd have to guess safety.........THere are 4 top flight safeties in this years draft. I can't see the Patriots passing up on one of those guys. I'm talking, Landry, Nelson, Griffin and Merriweather.
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2007
  12. bosfan

    bosfan On the Game Day Roster

    #12 Jersey

    It has to be a safety, that is a strong position as well as a need and chances are one of those top guys will be available. Probably a 50/50 possibility we trade one of our #1s for picks this year and in 2008.
  13. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

    Yes. Strength of position certainly will influence round one. But we must be prepared for BB selecting his highest valued player.

    Hypothetically, let's say the Safety position is considered our greatest need (according to BB). Two of those 4 Safeties are off the board when we're up, leaving 2 Safeties to select from. But our highest valued ones were the one's selected...what do you think BB will do? He'll draft a different position that's based on value first, and try to address the Safety issue later on.

    By now, most fans know BB doesn't draft exclusively for need -- but value first. The Pats do consider team needs with each pick -- but not as the sole reason for that pick. Instead, the Pats will factor need into the selection process based on the Pats draft board. If prospect A and prospect B have the same grade, and A has a chance of being a future starter but B will be a role player, then prospect A would be the higher valued player and the selected player, etc.
  14. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams I'm no Mona Lisa Vito.... PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    One thing you can look to is that the Patriots in the first round have filled "glaring" needs when the right player dropped to them.

    In 2004, Ted Washington left in free agency for Oakland, he was an absolute staple in the Pats run defense. And when WIlfork, (who nobody thought would be around at #21), dropped to the Pats, they scooped him up. He was slotted as and has been the starter ever since. They then used their 2 first rd pick, on an explosive offensive player (Watson) but they clearly were drafting the BPA, and not for need with that pick.

    In 2005, Andruzzi left in free agency, and the Pats had a glaring need at Guard, I for one, stated that their would be "No way" that BB would draft a Guard in the first round (I sited Yates, Andruzzi, and Neal, as proof that BB believes that he can find a starting guard in the later round, or even as an undrafted free agent. It was a sound arguement at the time). But drafting at 32, they picked up Mankins, (who at the time, people said was a bit of a reach, but later has been ranked the "best vaule pick" in the draft. He was slotted as and has been the starter ever since.

    So now comes the 2007 draft, and the Pats do not have a starting Middle Linebacker. If we assume that Asante gets franchised and Wilson, Rodney, and Tebucky are all healthy, that LB is the one position where the Pats have a "glaring" need. (I think that they would have drafted Carpenter, Greenway, WImbley if any of them were still their at 21 last year. When they were gone they went for the BPA and grabbed Maroney. So I'm going to say thay if WIllis or Timmons is around at 24, the Pats will grab them, other than that, I say they go for the BPA.
  15. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

    According to BB's attempted draft trade-up for WR Mark Clayton, the anticipated loss of WRs Branch and/or Givens, along with the ranking of Clayton was the first option in round one -- not the drafting of Mankins to replace Andruzzi.

    Obviously both Clayton and Mankins were highly valued prospects or we wouldn't have considered them. Coincidentally, both had impressive Senior Bowl weeks -- Clayton lit it up there.

    Both players are good examples of the need/value philosophy which was alluded to in this thread. Both were needs...and both were valued players. But Clayton was going to be the selection. A win win scenario we could all live with...:)

    Bruschi and Seau haven't left yet.
  16. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    Not to be facetious, but the Pats use inside LBs for the 3-4, not MLBs for the 4-3.
  17. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Although not pertinent to a discussion of first round draft choices, my argument has been that Chad Jackson was essentially "red shirted" this year and we all should wait until next year. Heard Richard Seymour speak about this before, all of them learned from a senior member, not only how to play but how to behave if you are to be a member of this team.

    Based on this last year Dillon taught Maroney, I expected that Branch was to mentor Jackson(which was a failure) and this year I expect Teddy and Rodney to play the mentor role.
  18. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    The Pats draft based on value. The value does take into consideration need, but it also considers the player's skill set and intangibles.
  19. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

    Well is this is true, then we are drafting a safety at #1 as Rodney's replacement, and another #1 as Bruschi's replacement.
  20. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I think you are correct in your observations. However I think Belichick hates to put all his eggs in a single basket. He will do both; sign a FA and draft a player for a position that needs upgrade.

    Most of all Bill does not reach in the first round. He takes only relatively sure things. Some will swing for the boom or busters; Bill won't. As to why, I think he really prefers not having too many superstars who distort the team.

    They play "too big"; crowd other player's play space. But most of all they are impossible to find an adequate reserve to take their place when the go away or go down. By not missing on players, the roster get deeper and stronger, he can just crush you by the sheer weight of better players everywhere. It's the most reliable way to win, in his view. :cool:
    Last edited: Feb 6, 2007
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