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A bad year for DBs in both free agency and the draft?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Fencer, Mar 11, 2012.

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  1. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Reporting is suggesting that, in FA and the draft alike, this is a weak year for CBs and a lousy one for safeties. If that is correct, then it suggests that the Pats have to do some combination of:


    • Beat the odds.
    • Make do with what they have.
    • Strengthen the pass rush to protect a questionable secondary.

    In particular, absent good luck, the safety corps will consist of:

    • Chung
    • JAGs
    • Natural CBs
    That said, on nickel downs I don't see the harm in having the DB corps be:

    • Chung
    • 4 natural CBs
    And even in a base formation, I don't see why McCourty or Arrington couldn't play the safety role.

    What I do worry about is that safeties really need to avoid mental mistakes, and I'm not sure where that mental accuracy is supposed to come from in a new young guy, or in a moonlighting CB.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  2. woolster22

    woolster22 Rookie

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    Beat the odds? How about using some currency you are flush with, picks for example, and peering lose a player that would otherwise be locked up. A RFA, or just a player desired FAIK, think the lead up to 07. Poor year for an area of need, and we trade a second and fourth (and I think a late round throw in for Wes to calm the waters?) for a valued player and disgruntled locker room cancer with HOF talent. Why not go that route this year?

    Is Troy Palaumalu (doubt he'd get traded, but he was injured last year and that defense isn't getting any younger, they'd probably sniff out an excellent lb with the pick) the next Rodney? I don't know what his contract situation is. Could Leonard be the next Jests casualty?

    Maybe we look to beef up the front seven? Spikes seems to have a 2 cent head, also don't envision gin sticking around with free agency. Who plays Olb? DE? Pressure up front could do wonders for these kids.

    Finally, what I expect to enjoy a lot this season, where will Edelman see most his reps? Where will he make use of said reps well. I am no expert, but so remember thinking he showed zero fear to mix it up on defense, and obviously needs to work in his tackling. Maybe he breaks out at wr if he isn't being depended on fire the defensive secondary. I'd have to imagine after seeing some time on the other side of things last year must be an aid to reading a defense and getting on the same page as Brady? And didn't he hurt Fake LT last year or at least shake him up before someone else got his leg? That has to count for something...
  3. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agree and think there are 2 ways of attacking the weakness:

    1. We do what you said, and use a possibility of more "CB based" looks at FS. We already have 3 guys at CB that could possibly play the position, and are more of a versatile, hybrid role in McCourty, Moore, and Dowling. The possibility exists to add another specific player such as Richard Marshall, who has played both positions (CB and FS) in an effective manner. Or, we could also draft a more pure CB based player straight up in the draft, or in FA--and move one of the mentioned 3 (Moore, McCourty, Dowling) over to FS at least in sub packages.

    2. Draft, or add a FS such as Harrison Smith or Reggie Nelson through the off-season process.

    I think that it may take some creativity, as you say, but we should be in a better position than last year when it comes down to it.

    I think the answer lies in attacking the problem through BOTH the draft and FA process, even if that means choosing a lower level acquisition in free agency.
  4. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  5. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    The Draft is loaded at CB, as is FA. Not sure what you've been reading, but it's full of wrong.
  6. TomPatriot

    TomPatriot PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Remember that the Pats have already added a DB with Ras-I's return. He may be better than any player in the draft or free agency.
  7. Rob0729

    Rob0729 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, it is safeties where both the draft and free agency is deficient, not CB. I am no draftnick so I don't know the top prospects, but Courtland Finnegan, Brandon Carr, LaDarius Webb (RFA and will cost a first round), Carlos Rogers, and a few others are all solid to great CBs. In fact, you can argue that other than WR, CB is the most fertile position in free agency.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  8. BritPat

    BritPat Rookie

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    #54 Jersey

    You can add Tyrell Thomas, Tracy Porter and Richard Marshall to that.

    I'd love Thomas.
  9. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    Both these guys seem like good fits especially if Martin can really run 4.43; that would make him the fastest safety in the class. And Martin seems to have a Patriots work ethic.

    CB / Safety has to be a top need area for the Patriots so that means....they will draft a Center with the first pick or something equally surprising.
  10. rdf63

    rdf63 Rookie

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    The only 1st round value at safety is Barron but his health is questionable. I wouldn't be surpised to see the Pats go after either Smith, Martin or Iloka in the draft. They may also see if cb's like Leonard Johnson are available along with FA Webb from the Ravens. I wouldn't be surpised if the Pats draft more than one safety in the draft but FA's like Webb will cost a 1st rd pick and BB won't do it.
    My prediction, the Pats sign a FA cornerback, draft one safety in the second round and another safety in the third. I could see the Pats picking two of the three avaiable...Smith, Martin or Iloka. Chung is a good player but injury prone and even though the safety class is weak this year, they need at least one starting safety from the draft.
  11. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    It would be nice if we got Finnegan, but I cringe at the thought of what would happen when we face the Texans.
  12. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    No way Belichick pays that kind of money for Finnegan, in my opinion anyway.

    I think there are some more realistic options for less money, and they may be the better route for this team (or any team, for that matter) than Cortland Finnegan.

    We'll find out soon enough though.
  13. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Martin is fast, but I still wouldn't trust him back deep. Does not tackle well and is geometrically challenged.
  14. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Meriweather is going thru the draft process all over again? Interesting. :eek:
  15. Elijah

    Elijah PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    I might be crazy, but I think a CB corps of McCourty-Dowling-Arrington-Moore is fine and we don't need to spend a high round pick or a lot of money in FA at that position. However, safety should be a top priority. Preferably one who can cover.
  16. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    I think the most obvious need is a BALLHAWK. Chung is decent, McCorty is a decent tweener, and Arrington had 7 picks in the first 8 games or something. Arrington could be that guy but depth is an obvious issue. I would look deeper into the draft for a no name with marginal measurables but big play ability(INTs). Rambo out of GA is a possibility.
  17. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    You may not be as crazy as you think. It's certainly a possibility, as only a handful of coaches know their thoughts on this right now.

    The problem is, there are not a lot of decent options/fits at the traditional sense of FS in the draft/FA, so Belichick may resort to thinking outside of the box to handle it.

    I am guessing that they definitely take at least a top 3 round draft pick in the secondary position, and that they also bring in some other competition to battle for the right to play. I don't think they'll target anyone significant in the free agency signings, although I'd love a guy like R.Marshall who could possibly play both S and CB. Definitely not some of the names that people are throwing around though, and certainly not a guy who costs as much as Finnegan.
  18. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    This isn't so crazy if 3 things happen-
    1.D-Mac returns to his rookie form.
    2. Dowling can stay healthy
    3. Sterling Moore can start where he left off last year.

    If those happen we have a pretty damn good DB group
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  19. Christopher Patriot

    Christopher Patriot Rookie

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    Love Marshall
    He's the kind of signing this team makes he's a solid player in my eyes more than just a Jag not a liability on the field but not a shutdown corner in any sense of the word, In all honesty I think the secondary is fine, we need a pass rush, praying for a Mario Williams, if that doesn't happen a Nick Perry via draft, I don't want to spend 5 plus of our cap room on a Mark Anderson, he can go to the highest bidder, Washington, Tampa?

    I honestly think we may draft a defensive back but I don't see signing a big name in free agency, call me crazy I like our guys their young their gelling, they can only get better, I'd love to add a Gilmore in this draft but we'd have to take him at 31 and my hope is that's packaged with a bow to Pittsburgh for a Mike Wallace, cause I shudder to think of Belichick drafting a receiver high, but I love Quick in the third round, and may bring in Gonzalez for a work out if he is healthy.
  20. Joey007

    Joey007 Rookie

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    #95 Jersey

    Oh, and earlier today I was watching the Pats/Fins game from week 1 on NFLN; Dowling looked very good at times. Again if he just stays healthy. Also; maybe if McCourty stays at CB Dowling could possibly play FS??
  21. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    That may be what our coach has in mind. It would certainly make sense on many levels, at least until one of our likely draft picks (or THE draft pick) gets coached up and starts to earn reps and trust.

    It may be Dowling, as you suggested, although I have a tendancy to believe that starting/playing Dowling at safety would be a bit of a risk; especially due to his being injured this yr and losing out on many gained lessons and valuable live game reps.

    It could also be a return to McCourty, but just in sub packages again; with the rookie or another FA taking over FS in the base defense. Or, maybe McCourty moves there full-time, who knows?

    Sterling Moore could also certainly be a candidate for FS. They all have shown the ability to be able to play with positions of versatility, with the exception of Dowling--who everyone assumed may take over; but Dowling does have the size to give it a try.

    For all we know, Belichick may be very excited with his prospects at FS this yr. It's all a guessing game from a fan's standpoint.
  22. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    The Patriots likely feel that they have 4 of their 5 "starters" in the backfield already:

    RCB - Dowling
    LCB - McCourty
    CB3 - Arrington
    S1 - Chung

    They're going to be looking for CB4, CB5, S2 and S3.
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2012
  23. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I suspect that the team is also fine with Moore and Molden as CB4 and CB5, although one is always looking for an upgrade.
    ======================
    For me, the issue is finding a starting free safety. I would expect to see Ihedigbo (or another JAG) and Barrett at S3 and S4 (or S3 and S4).
    ======================
    The one HUGE hole is starting free safety (S2 in your nomenclature). I don't see us filling that through the draft, although we could draft a safety to develop for the future.
    =======================

    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  24. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    CB #1 Arrington,
    CB #2 Moore,
    CB #3 Dowling,
    SS Chung,
    FS McCourty,

    re-sign Carter and Anderson and Draft or sign a pass rushing DT and add dept through the Draft and FA, they wont be a top 5 defense but if they bring back the same core that was playing much better in the playoffs they should be ok
  25. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm guessing on a DT myself too.

    Then hopefully a DE too at some point in the first 100.

    Or vice versa, of course.
  26. NEboiTB

    NEboiTB Rookie

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    I think the main position that we need to address in the secondary is the starting FS. Ihedigbo looked just awful last season and if we move Ras-I or McCourty to safety it would mean starting Arrington. Although I like Arrington, I think his skills are much better suited for the CB3 and nickle CB spots. I think drafting either Mark Barron or Harrison Smith could potentially solve the problem, but the lack of Safety prospects this year could mean that this problem goes without resolve for a year.
  27. Fencer

    Fencer Rookie

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    Why does nobody seriously consider moving Arrington to safety? What does he lack that he doesn't also lack as seriously at CB? Play-reading instincts?

    If a guy can rush the passer, even as a gimmick, he's probably big/tough enough to be a safety.

    According to Wikipedia, Arrington gives up 4 pounds and 1 inch to Ed Reed. I.e., he's in the same range as a player BB would surely make room for ... and also as McCourty and Wilson, who BB DID put at safety. They're all listed in the 5'10-11", 190-200 pound range.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  28. supafly

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    #24 Jersey

    That's a good question, Fencer. I guess the only reasonable answer that I'd have would be that we've already seen Belichick use both Moore and McCourty at safety, and Arrington seemed to be an okay fit (at the correct CB position, which I agree is slot or 'star') where he was--even playing on the outside, although I think he's best used as a slot CB. Dowling has been projected by many to have the skillset to eventually move there over time, so that's now 3 of our CB's (Moore, McCourty, and Dowling) that have the potential to play some FS. I do find it interesting that Arrington is actually the only one that no one seems to bring up, including myself.

    Anything's possible, of course. You just never know what BB is going to try and do. For all we know, they may have already tried it and it didn't work. Or, maybe they'll try it in the future camps and practices.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2012
  29. Sciz

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    Arrington seems to be at his best closer to the line of scrimmage, when he can jam guys. The longer the ball takes to come out and the further the WR gets, the less I trust Arrington. He seems to play the the most physically of any CB on the roster, but I don't think it's a kind of physicality that translates to the safety position too well.
  30. patsfan-1982

    patsfan-1982 Rookie

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    Arrington has been the starting CB for the pats the last two years starting 28 games IMO he's the best CB on the team right now
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