2012 Positional Needs

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by fester, Jul 20, 2011.

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  1. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

    Instead of pissing each other off about the strengths/weaknesses/wisdom/follies of the 2011 draft, I want to take a look at the position groups that the Patriots may have needs to draft in 2012. I know this is early as there is no CBA and there is no free agency period where an area of current need could be filled by a vet who gets a six year contract next week. But let's take a look anyways as I am waiting for a massive process to complete at work. I am assuming no rookie Gus Scott contract situations.

    QB: Minimal need, perhaps a late round flyer but with Brady signed for several more years, Hoyer a solid back-up and Mallet as the potential QB of the Future, there is minimal need.

    RB: Minimal need, perhaps a late round flyer. Woodhead, Ridley and Vereen are all signed for 2012.

    TE: Minimal need. Gronk and Hernandez are both signed for two more years and should hold the #1 and #2 slots/playing time by the end of 2011.

    WR: Significant need. Branch and Welker are getting older, and so far Tate, Price and Edelman are question marks. Could see a 2nd round pick used here.

    OT: Modest need, could see a Day 3 pick here. Vollmer and hopefully Solder are the long term bookends, but depth is a bit questionable.

    Interior OL: Major need --- Connelly could concievably be the only Day 1 2011 starter back. Koppen is getting older and as 3-4 defenses proliferate, he has noticable trouble with big NTs. There are two many IFs here.

    Offense, the interior line and the wide receivers have the greatest need given age/contract situations.

    NT: Minimal, although if an athletic 340 pound freak falls into the Pats lap, they will never complain as they spring to the podium.

    3-4 DE: Moderate --- Half of the rotation is old or getting to be old, and the other half have not proven they can be every down/every game players.

    ILB: Minimal --- Mayo, Spikes, Guyton are all signed for a couple more seasons.

    OLB: Significant --- Only Cunningham is on the upside of his career. TBC and Moore are both old for a position that relies on both power and speed, while Ninkovich is solid, he is not spectacular.

    CB: Minimal --- Bodden, McCourty are signed for a couple more seasons, Wilhite is the only FA from the current group IIRC, and he is replacable.

    Safety: Significant --- Meriweather will be a FA, Sanders is starting to get old. Will Chung and Dowling be the combo of the future?
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #3 Jersey

    I think this is why some people were suggesting that the Pats might try Cannon out on the DL. I'm not at all in favor of the idea, but I can at least understand the sentiment.
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    So we need help at OG, C, WR, DE and OLB (and a late round OT).

    This analysis could have been written before the 2010 draft and again before the 2011 draft.

    Obviously, we had other needs that were filled, but these needs were there.
  4. OldEngland

    OldEngland On the Roster

    Very true. It would undoubtedly appear the draft hasn't fallen the way of BB using quality resources on those positions in recent drafts.

    It does lead me to ask a question though. Would you swap our starters and depth at any of the other position groups QB, OT, TE, CB, ILB, NT, S or RB with their equivalent position group from any team in the league right now in terms of this year or the potential for future years?
  5. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

    S Yes. RB Yes. CB Yes (Debatable). S Steelers, RB Vikings. CB GreenBay
  6. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

    As Far as positional needs for the draft.

    I think a lot depends on the development of Price and Cannon. Also on the resigning of Mankins. I see Price to replace branch and cannon to step in at RG in a perfect world

    My personal needs go:

    C - Basically due to Koppen's age: 1st/2nd/3rd depending on the talent pool available.

    FS - once again depending on the talent available in the draft, both for depth and as a possible Merriweather replacement.

    The other picks for me are really just BPA for the team and hopefully continue to trade picks into the future to keep the draft picks coming.
  7. Frick

    Frick Practice Squad Player

    1) Koppen passes to 1st round pick Mike Brewster C Ohio ST. (young Mangold)
    2) Vinny Curry nasty DE from Marshall

    These two guys will cost around two firsts and two seconds. We take what is left and take them for future picks.

    We almost have to sign Mankins because, first and most importantly, our new tackle, Nate Solder, is going to need all the help he can get next to him.

    Hopefully we can score a good 5 technique by picking up UDFA Brandon Bair, plus there's some nice looking offensive linemen.

    We'll be in great shape if we only need to fill a couple of holes. And, there's always UDFA's next year.
  8. Defsoul

    Defsoul On the Game Day Roster

    Right now, my guess at the biggest positional needs would be C/G and OLB. I don't see Mankins staying longterm in New England and Koppen is set to become an 32 year old UFA in 2012. Marcus Cannon could become Mankins successor at LG, but they would still need someone to play center unless Wendell or Ohrnberger can step in. The Patriots could move Connolly over to center, but then they would need someone to play RG. So it's either center or guard for me.

    The second big need in my eyes is OLB. They have only two guys signed through 2012 (unless you're sure that Markell Carter will make the team), Cunningham and Banta-Cain and Banta-Cain hasn't lived up to the big contract he signed in 2010. OLB is a position where the Patriots lack quality and quantity, so drafting a guy would make sense, wouldn't it? :D
  9. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

    And when was the last time the Patriots went all in to grab a blue chipper?

    I think your scenario is very unlikely. I could see a scenario where the Pats use both firsts and a second or a third to move around to grab two guys they love, but not 80% of their draft capital on just two guys.
  10. Defsoul

    Defsoul On the Game Day Roster

    FWIW, NFL Draft Scout has given Mike Brewster a 3rd round grade and he is their second best center among seniors, behind Georgia's Ben Jones who holds a 2nd round grade.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2011
  11. s3antana5757

    s3antana5757 On the Game Day Roster

    Well that's just not accurate. Go look at just about every draft site, Brewster is a top 25 pick and that's where he'll be drafted.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    You believe that our running backs are the best in the league?

  13. Defsoul

    Defsoul On the Game Day Roster

    I'd rather wait and see how he performs in his senior year before I would make such an assumption. :)
  14. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Without the benefit of a more recent season, I'll reserve judgment on Brewster. All I know is that I'm not the biggest fan, especially not for his draft slot. I'd spend a third on him, but that's all. The center I particularly like is Peter Konz. He's just monstrous.

    At guard: David DeCastro. He's fantastic. In his recent matchup against Cameron Jordan--a player many on here wanted, though I did not--DeCastro absolutely obliterated Jordan. It was complete and utter domination. He reminds me a lot of Mankins, actually. I think he could potentially be even better.

    Yes, I realize both are juniors, and as such, it's unlikely both declare. Nonetheless, I would love to see the Patriots draft both of them.

    At WR, I say it's all about targets of opportunity. I'd love to see a big, physical pass-catcher who can block well on the perimeter, but I don't think we need a receiver like that in order to win.

    Ditto corner. I don't think we need to add another corner, but if an opportunity arises, I won't complain.

    Safety could go either way for me. By all accounts, Meriweather is working his hardest this offseason to improve, and he's added weight and explosiveness. With a new (better?) safeties coach, and another year playing free safety instead of strong, I think he ascends to take his place among the elite safeties in the league. Just my opinion. Of the safeties available this year, I think that Delano Howell most closely fits the profile of our last few drafted safeties. He reminds me a lot of Meriweather, Brown, and Chung.

    At OLB and DE? Who knows. I think Brace and Warren will be effective starters this season--same with Cunningham and Ninkovich. I'd love to see us add someone like Okafor or Curry (or even Taylor or Massaquoi) at the OLB position, but we'll be fine with what we have, too. As for defensive lineman, I like Devon Still, Jonathan Jenkins, Kheeston Randall, and potentially Dontari Poe.

    We'll know a lot more in a couple more months. Fun times. :)
  15. OldEngland

    OldEngland On the Roster

    I know you were only being nice and listing a few and probably could have added many more options, but that's a small list considering there is 31 other options for each position group and there was a large list of QB, OT, TE, RB, NT, ILB, CB and S to choose from.

    S - Steelers - Polamalu, Clark, Mundy and Allen
    Ravens - Reed, Landry, Zbikowski, Nakamura
    - Pats - Meriweather, Chung, Sanders, Page, Brown, ?Dowling?

    CB - Green Bay - Woodson, Williams, Shields, Bush, Lee, Bell,
    Jets - Revis, Wilson, Colemen, Lowery....
    - Pats Bodden, McCourty, Arrington, Butler, Wilhite, Dowling

    Cardinals aren't too bad as a secondary unit either if Peterson turns out to be a stud...

    I am very aware we are comparing the 30th ranked secondary against the pass in 2010 with some of the best units in the business here complete with All-Pro starters, but when looking at the overall picture of starters, depth and potential how does the pats secondary stack up against the best units in the business?

    Not at all. Homer glasses that big wouldn't fit through my front door. I was merely listing the positions that hadn't been originally discussed as positions of need. It would have been easy to leave out S, RB and several other positions, but I am asking about overall team needs here not just where the strengths are.

    As other knowledgeable posters have been saying over this offseason. Half our RB rotation as of this post have yet to set foot in an NFL building and are mere potential in BB's eye. The other half have one year of production each. The RB position is still a large question mark and has a lot to prove, yet they are young and there is the potential there to be a good group. Plus as soon as I saw Vereen or read anything about him he just screamed Pats at me so I'm rooting for the kid :).

    I am looking at the parts of the machine, and in my own very flawed way attempting to analyse them according to my limited knowledge and reasoning. What I see is that many of the position groups can be put in a conversation with the better groupings in the league, some with the elite groups, and some are the elite group. Some still need improvement in talent, some need time and coaching.

    The more position groups we have that have a multitude of talent, experience and depth the better the overall units will be, the more the opposing teams will struggle to adapt to them, more luck the they will seem to have, the more resistant to the inevitable injuries they will be, the better the whole team and squad will be, probably the more wins they will have, and the better they will be if they get to the pressure cooker of the playoffs. I am merely asking how many position groups have capacity for improvement next year.

    Anyway I will stop rambling and go back to my cave and enjoy reading and learning from the knowledge and insight of the fantastic posters at patsfans.

    So what is BB going to spend his highest 1st round, 3 second rounds and 2 third round picks on again? OLB, DE, WR, OG and C? :D
  16. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    Already zeroed in on my guys for the 2013 draft:

    C Ben Jones, Georgia 6'3" 320 - Just a nasty SOB that seems to win every one-on-one matchup. Can play low (needed against 3-4 NTs) without losing lateral quickness.

    OLB Andre Branch, Clemson 6'4" 255 - Has experience playing on his feet, which is the biggest concern with college conversions. Not an elite athlete (not chopped liver either) but he arrives in the backfield with an abundance of malice and a complete lack of compassion.

    WR Dwight Jones, UNC 6'4" 220 - Can run all the routes, is physical with strong/reliable hands. Isn't a burner but has an amazing 2nd gear (if he's even, he's leavin). Has played everywhere on the line and isn't afraid to battle over the middle.

    I can see all these guys coming off the board in the 2nd round. Once the Pats trade the NO pick back into the 2nd round and keep their own pick at #32 (see what I did there?), they should all be in the Pats drafting sweet spot.
  17. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #32 Jersey

    Yes, Konz, Jones, and Brewster are all quality centers in the next draft. Any of the 3 would be just fine, at least at this early point 9 months ahead of time ;) I love the thread idea, and think any type of 'real' football talk is much needed right now, as we're all more than frustrated with the current labor problems.

    I respect your thinking and apprehensiveness, but Brewster has been a starter at the position since his freshman year, and a team like OSU has plenty of depth at just about every position. In my opinion, I would agree that Brewster will be a 1st rd pick--no doubt about that.

    By the April draft, he'll have been a high-quality 4 yr starter with tremendous upside. I haven't heard one bad thing in regards to him. Konz has been injured (obviously not his fault) and Jones has not been a starter since day one like Brewster. I agree that Nick Mangold comparisons seem quite appropriate, at least 3 yrs in to his career. Any of the 3 listed would be great additions, but I also would not be surprised to see Koppen stay for another 2-3 yrs. (I still think that the team will draft a C, but maybe not as high as we think right now). Bill Belichick is a pretty big Dan Koppen fan, while many of us agree that he has regressed in many areas, the coach may still feel as though he is the best option for another 2 yrs or so. Anything's possible, but I think some of us are writing off any chance of Koppen staying next yr, and I wouldn't take that to the bank just yet.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    It's awfully hard to project when we don't even know which positions some of the rookies will play. Remember how when Ron Brace was drafted we all "knew" he was an NT -- and how some folks were convinced that Edelman was drafted as a wildcat QB? Dowling is the clearest wildcard, but even with Cannon we're all just assuming the Pats will move him inside to guard based on the state of the roster. Maybe he's still a tackle in their eyes.

    Anyway...in addition to the positions already mentioned I'm on the lookout for NT talent behind Vince.
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2011
  19. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    One of the reasons why I'm leaning towards Jones is his ability to win the leverage battle by staying low. Konz and Brewster are both slightly taller and (in the case of Brewster at least...haven't seen Konz as much) play more upright. The Pats play against a lot of 3-4 NTs that likely make up more than half the schedule every year. That requires a lot of sand (or concrete) in your pants and the ability to get under the pads of fireplugs like Raji and Hampton.

    Yep, he looks to be Pouncey III. I expect him to go before the Pats pick and I also expect Konz to go back to school.

    Maybe but the game against the Packers last year scared me. At times, Koppen looked confused and at other times, he just got overwhelmed by Raji. That seemed to inspire the Jets to focus on the middle of the Pats line in the playoffs. Unless Koppen has a resurgence against the bigger bodies, it just may be his time. With the Jets, Steelers, Chargers, Chiefs and Texans all running the 3-4, it is likely the road to the Super Bowl will go though one or more huge NT's. And with Dallas and Green Bay also running it, may not get any easier then.

    In an ideal world (Mankins re-signs, Cannon healthy, Solder plays to potential and Vollmer continues progression), the Pats would be a top OC from putting an OL like the 90's Cowboys in front of Brady for his golden years. Belichick seems to prefer making changes a little too early rather than waiting a little too late.
  20. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Apparently the Bills are going to use Michael Jasper, the largest Guard ever, as a DT, which kinda makes sense, DT's are much more valuable and he doesnt need to slim down as much.

    Regarding Cannon, if they are thinking of him as a tackle then he's not going to get much use with Vollmer and Solder on the field. Aside from having Cannon as RT with Vollmer in as an eligable to potentially act as a TE, he's just depth.
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