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Addressing the Safety position

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by VJCPatriot, Apr 18, 2012.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    So the Pats have put a lot of JAGS out there at safety in 2011 and it is one of their big weaknesses on defense. Besides Chung, who out there do we count on as a reliable safety? Are we really going to convert McCourty to safety or do we let him play his natural position and draft a safety to put back there?

    There's really only one 1st rank graded safety in this year's draft - Mark Barron of Alabama. I don't know if he will last until #27 since poor safety play is such an issue in the NFL. So that means we are likely looking at options after Barron.

    Those would be:

    Harrison Smith, Notre Dame

    Trumaine Johnson, Montana

    Markelle Martin, Oklahoma St

    etc.

    WalterFootball.com: 2012 NFL Draft: Safety Rankings

    The guy who piques my interest in the second tier is Harrison Smith. He doesn't have off the charts athleticism but appears to have good ball skills and be a good leader on the field. Could be the kind of solid player the Pats target in round 2 of the draft. He's also a physical player who supports the run well and covers enough to project to FS for us.

    Share your thoughts on how you see the Pats solve the need at safety.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  2. Ivan

    Ivan On the Roster

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm not sure how they are going to do it but I can't imagine Belichick not addressing it significantly between now and opening day. Gregory is an average starter at best and they have to add at least 2 quality player's unless they plan on using McCourty or I-Dowling there. I like Smith in the 2nd but not as a 1st, but i would be fine with Martin or Iloka after the 2nd.

    My pipedream is Lavonte David as a safety conversion but i rarely see such ideas happen.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  3. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    well, I think Smith is the most overrated player in the draft. I'd take Martin over him in a heartbeat (disclaimer - limited viewings of both).

    I think the key here is Dowling. If he's healthy, he seems the natural choice to slide back to safety. If he's unhealthy, I think Will Allen or Gregory gets first crack at it.
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012
  4. manxman2601

    manxman2601 On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    I'm not sure the value is there on Harrison Smith (he's not a first or high second rounder) and I doubt Trumaine Johnson will be the pick (small school, character concerns). If I was a betting man, I'd be betting pretty heavily on Brandon Taylor (LSU) being our pick. Along with his teammate Ron Brooks, he's one of the picks I'm most certain the Patriots are making this draft.
  5. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Even with Taylor's very poor 3 cone and shuttle ? Not questioning you, just asking, his combine numbers were just about at the bottom of the Safeties for both.
  6. manxman2601

    manxman2601 On the Roster

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    #24 Jersey

    That's a fair point - hadn't seen that. Was really going on value - he seems to represent the best possibility to offer a meaningful contribution without over-reaching too much on draft position.
  7. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Select either cornerback Alfonzo Dennard or cornerback Jamell Fleming with the #62 overall draft selection, and convert one of the two aforementioned cornerbacks to safety.
  8. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Agree with Dennard as a slot CB and option at S if Gregory and Barrett flame out or are injured. I'm thinking it would be good to get a safety like Antonio Allen. He is slipping since he hasn't tested overly well but he has lots of good tape in the SEC to draw from.
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Casserly addresses this tonight. He likes Taylor, especially his physicality and competitiveness. He said Taylor did look a bit tight in his movements at the combine so he may not be a great man cover guy but he has enough straight line speed to cover the field as a Safety.
  10. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    I think a lot of posters are sleeping on Dowling. He's got the size and speed and he also has the play book in hand. While not practicing during his injury, I'm sure he was a participant in meeting and walk throughs which makes him one step above any one they bring in imo. Provided he stays healthy, gets in on the otas and training camp, I think we can all hope for good things from him this coming season.

    For all we know safety is not a need on BB's radar right now and may be happy with the backfield the way it is with the addition of Gregory and Dowling returning healthy. I doubt it but you never know?

    Btw, is there anyone that can show me any footage of Harrison Smith that can convince me the Pats should draft this guy in the 1st or 2nd? After a long search I have found nothing. Most of the decent footage I see are against horrible QB's making terrible decision with poor throws. This guy is late to the ball a good majority of the time and seems to play chase the guy with the ball too much for my liking. These last few weeks I am on the anti-Harrison Smith bandwagon.
  11. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    Harrison Smith has the size and the pedigree. BB loves to collect team captains with leadership skills. On top of that he is a very physical player who can support in the box as well as blitz. A lot of scouting reports have Smith listed as one of the top safeties in the draft. Although he is not quite as highly rated as Barron as noted before.

    NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles - Harrison Smith

    Sideline Scouting - Harrison Smith Scouting Report

    WalterFootball.com: 2012 NFL Draft Scouting Report: Harrison Smith

    NFL's Future » Blog Archive Harrison Smith Scouting Report
  12. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    First determine if the problem lies with the Safety position only, or the DB unit. Mental errors? Lack of ball skills? Both?

    Evaluate performances of the entire DB personnel. Determine where everyone fits best, who the versatile players are, where an upgrade is wanted. Once that task is accomplished, explore the draft options at both CB and Safety.

    Obviously, the OP is seeking a name...while I thing Belichick will address the entire DB unit by possibly adding two draftees. Ball skills and smarts added to the roster combined with a shift of current personnel -- may be the solution.
  13. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    He isn't even in Barron's class remotely and to me that's a problem. I've read all the scouting reports mentioned but every thing I see with my limited access to film is that Smith looks kind of extremely average at best. Is he getting a second round grade because the safety crop is so weak this year? I'm all for drafting for need but the product available says we'd be settling if they pick this guy. Truth be told I'd rather draft a Wr or Guard where the value is better than take a chance on Harrison. Right now if I had to choose someone other than Barron to play safety for the Pats it would be Trumaine Johnson.
  14. manxman2601

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    #24 Jersey

    You are spot on in your eval of Harrison smith. He does everything OK but nothing outstanding. That's fine for a third rounder but Smith will probably go late first, early second and there is no way in Heaven he's worth that.
  15. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    Sign as many undrafted free agent collegiate safeties as possible, pray for the best.
  16. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    That's certainly an outside the box idea, but it just may be worth it.

    I still think there's potential success in using either McCourty, Moore, or Allen (likely the latter two) as our version of a 'FS.' Left/Right--how ever you want to look at it. Opposite Chung.

    That would likely be just fine to get through the year with making the defense at least slightly improved in that area. After all, I am still expecting that side of the ball to give up 18-19 points on average per game. Something in that area, close to what we saw in the last 4-5 games of the season should be enough to allow the offense to do its thing, and win about 75-80% of the games.

    Then when the safety class improves and is deeper in 2013, take a high one.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2012
  17. patriotscpfc

    patriotscpfc Rookie

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    I'd strongly look at DaQuan Menzie as a Safety project in the 3rd/4th round.

    He'd be another one that could be a Slot CB but also able to play Safety.

    Not to mention he's from the Saban pipeline
  18. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Rookie

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    The New England Patriots will need additional bodies in training camp.

    My latest mock draft resolves the issue. Jamell Fleming is a strong candidate for a cornerback to safety conversion.

    Pass rush, pass rush, pass rush! Who will provide the pass rush for the New England Patriots defense during the 2012 NFL Season?

    First round
  19. Leemo

    Leemo Rookie

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    My binky, I would agree with this sentiment 100%. I'd happily take him with our first 2nd round pick on the day.
  20. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I like Matt Daniel of Duke as an UDFA for the Pats to sign. Every time you watxch Duke tape, you see Daniel all over the field making plays in run support and pass coverage, plus he plays ST.

    Not the fastest and not the biggest, but a player who could excel with better coaching.
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