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Are the Bills targeting Willis?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PATSNUTme, Mar 27, 2007.

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  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They lost Fletcher-Baker. They just traded Spikes. They do have one or two good young LB's. But, these moves seem to point that they are targeting Willis. I have seen several mocks lately that have the Bills taking Willis.

    So should we trade #24 & #28 to the 49ers for #11 and a third #79? We might have to throw in one of our 6th. Too much of a price for our ILB of the future and for many years, I think not.

    Am just being paranoid?
     
  2. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson In the Starting Line-Up

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    You never know. Buffalo has a lot of holes to fill. They need an RB, CB and LB. They may be targeting Marshawn Lynch or Leon Hall. If Chicago trades Briggs to Washington and get's a 6th pick, they may be in the mix for Willis as well. I know its sacrilege to many to trade two first rounders to move up, but in this draft, I would consider it.
     
  3. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think you make that trade for a player that is:
    • A "can't miss" prospect (or as close as you can get given all the uncertainty)
    • A "special" player that has skills/intelligence/intangibles that you need and otherwise can't get in the near future

    I don't think Willis qualifies on either count, but I do believe that the Pats FO could see him this way. I get the feeling that the FO has a definite plan they are executing this offseason and Willis might be a key part of the plan. I'm leaning towards the Pats keeping both picks, maybe trading up a little and bolstering the secondary with playmakers to combat the Colts, Broncos and Chargers...which also prepares them to lose both Samuel and Wilson next year if that becomes necessary.
     
  4. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I am actually more worried about that rascal Mangini. I can see Willis slipping to us, only to have the Jets trade from #25 to #23 and steal him from us.
     
  5. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    MC Shay's new mock has Willis going to Buffalo.

    And I agree, you don't trade up that high unless the player has a chance to be special in your system. I do view Willis in that way. He's the only player I view that way, maybe Landry but you can get a Safety that is almost as good by staying put.
     
  6. MrTibbs

    MrTibbs Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    If anybody saw the Senior Bowl you would know there is no way in hell Willis falls to us at #24. The guy can flat out play and everybody knows it. He was a tackling machine in that game and when he wasn't making tackles he was right where the action was on pass and run plays. If the Patriots want him they will have to trade up to get him.
     
  7. carolinatony

    carolinatony In the Starting Line-Up

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    I doubt we do it BUT; would you be upset if we traded up for Willis?
     
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Let's think about the ILB's froma different angle.

    Willis of Ole Miss

    He's undersized for what BB likes to do.
    He has zero 3-4 experience. Projects much better in a 4-3.
    He's had multiple injuries in college (which he played through).
    SEC game experience.
    Warm weather school


    Harris of Michigan

    A little bigger and thicker than Willis, but still not as big a mike as BB likes.
    Has experience in the 3-4. And projects as a 2 down LB in the 3-4.
    Has been relatively injury free his JR. and Sr., Year.
    Big 10 game and tons of big game experience.
    Cold weather school.
     
  9. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Harris has been somewhat injury free, since his ACL tear in '03, second knee injury in '04, and an ankle sprain in '05.

    Harris has short arms (only 30in, all other LB prospects are longer), needs to work on his hand technique, is slower than Willis, and doesn't really have the size advantage some on here seem to think. Harris is 6'2, Willis 6'1". Harris played at 239lbs in college, and Willis 240lbs in College. Willis has better coverage skills, and seems tougher since he plays through injuries, when Harris sat out with lessor injuries.

    I like Harris, but at SILB, and I like Willis at WILB, they are different backers, and their size is pretty simular, although Willis seems to have better size at WILB, than Harris does at SILB....
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  10. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    In Tedy's spot Willis would project as a better fit. But there is no way he could be ready to start and make all the calls by 2008.

    So which one projects better on special teams next year?
     
  11. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think you have nailed it. I would take Willis if he fell to us or above 20.

    Willis IS the beat MLB. But he is not that incomparably great as a 3-4 ILB. Harris is his equal as a SILB, if not a little bit better as a SILB. Harris is a better run-stuffer with the ability to carry more size as he is a "thicker" body type, and at least an inch taller. Although Willis has more talent that is not really applicable at that position.

    Willis might be a pretty good as a WILB, but he hasn't demonstrated the blitzing ability that you would like at that position, so he isn't perfect there. He has all the other perquisites though. His competition in this draft is Posluzny as a WILB and its close, IMO.

    In summary, Willis is a better MLB hands down than either Harris or Poz; but that is not what the Patriots are looking to draft. They are looking for a SILB, for TJ who they haven't replaced; and Harris is better candidate than TJ was as a SILB,because his pass coverage ability is superior. The Patriots are looking for a guy to groom to take Tedy's job at WILB, and Willis has the talent to excel, but he isn't as good as Tedy in Blitzing pass rush. Nor is Posluzny either, bu t both are above average, to go with other superlatives.

    In summary, I wouldn't move up much at all for Willis over the other two,although I'd choose him first amongst the three. All in all, I'd rather have two picks than one Willis. If the Patriots were a 4-3 team my decision might be different, though.

    Once again, I don't give a damn what 4-3 scouts think about Willis; its what 3-4 scouts think, that counts.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
  12. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    I gotta agree here. Those who are trying to sell Willis as undersized and Harris as bigger... Umm I'm not buying it. Both guys are about the same size, Harris is an inch taller. I don't see Harris as a better fit for the Pats than Willis and I think most Harris boosters would concede that Willis is more talented and athletic overall. I also disagree with the notion that SILB is more valuable to us than WILB. The WILB has the responsibility to drop back in coverage and cover tight ends/slot receivers. Guess where we got burnt against the Colts? That's right, by tight ends and slot receivers.

    I doubt the Patriots move up for Willis, although I like him very much. I think they can get a decent linebacker prospect by trading down from #28. However if a stud offensive guy like Lynch/Meachem is there at 28, I'm gonna take em without thinking twice. A number of quality 2 down SILB types can be had on the second day, if run stuffing is ALL that you're looking for. I also am in FAVOR of drafting DeOssie although by all accounts he projects to OLB.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2007
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