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Building your own Patriots’ roster depth chart position by position - Week 4 TE

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  1. MalaysiaPatsFan

    MalaysiaPatsFan Rookie

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    Building your own Patriots’ roster depth chart position by position - Week 4 TE

    Current Roster: Daniel Graham, Garrett Mills, David Thomas, Benjamin Watson
    Some FA’s available: Zeron Flemister

    1. Daniel Graham
    2. Benjamin Watson
    3. David Thomas
    4. Garrett Mills

    I don’t think there will be much discussion about the roster depth at TE. I expect all 4 to make the roster and maybe even all 4 will be active most games if healthy. I am not sure that it makes much difference between Graham and Watson at #1 & #2. Graham is our best blocking TE and I expect Watson to get the most receptions as a TE. Flemister might be an option if one of our TEs goes on IR, but other than that I think we are set. I think Thomas will see some action on the offense, but Mills will likely spend most of his time on ST this year.

    TE discussion we can talk about.
    1. What does the drafting of Thomas and Mills mean for Graham’s future as a Patriot? I don’t think it necessarily means that this is Graham’s last year as a Patriot. I think BB likes the mismatches and defensive confusion that good TEs can bring. I could see the Pats keeping all 4 TEs provided that another team does not break the bank to sign Graham. I am not sure that another team will break the bank to get Graham. Most teams are focusing on TEs who are exceptional receivers. Graham has occasional outstanding plays as a receiver, but has not been consistent. That could work to our advantage to be able to keep him beyond this year.

    2. How much and in what situations will the Pats use multiple TE sets. This article is an interesting read (http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9473554). Even though the focus is on the Seahawks and Steelers, that can be forgiven if you just use it to discuss which offensive sets the Pats are likely to use.
  2. primetime

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    Graham is the best blocking TE in football, and hasn't dropped anything that I remember in a couple years. He may be a better blocker than Gorin. It is imperative that the Patriots lock him up to a long term deal.
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2006
  3. GoWhalers

    GoWhalers Rookie

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    Here's my prediction: If both Thomas and Mills make the team, and stay healthy, then you've seen the last of Seymour and Vrabel in the offensive goalline formation, which I think is a good thing.

    Although I'll miss Vrabel's TDs!
  4. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    No..Vrabel will be the 5th TE....
    I wonder who will be brought in??? Having 4 in camp is too few..last year, it was 6...not only the 3 but Weaver, NFLE's Jacobs and Draftee Stokes...
  5. Box_O_Rocks

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    My observation rated Graham the best blocker on the team. That was partially confirmed in a recent story quoting one of the linemen who made the same assessment, if Graham could put on 40 pounds of muscle (or 35 and some love handles) he'd be Light's primary competition. As to locking him up long term, I rate him a higher priority then Branch, which makes him my #1 now that Sey has been extended.
  6. PatsFanInVa

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    That would put him squarely in 'roids territory.

    Graham just plain brings too much to the table to ditch, unless, as stated, he breaks the bank in FA. I think we keep them all this year, and watch carefully for Patrick Pass's status next year. If Mills does what he's supposed to do (FB), and Thomas is as good as he looks in the Fauria role (with way more upside,) these four guys might all stick around for quite some time. Of course, if Grahambo does clean up, that leaves the Pats still stacked at the position.

    If we like all our current TEs (and we'll find out over the course of the season), including Mills, the fullback one, we should think about Patrick Pass' future.

    PFnV
  7. Box_O_Rocks

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    #1 Graham
    #2 Watson
    #3 Thomas/Vrabel (Vrabes in goal line situations for his blocking and receiving)
    #5 Hochstein (he has been a blocking TE any number of times, I wonder how his hands are? I already miss Ashworth.)

    Mills is an interesting challenge to peg, I'm almost inclined to list him as the #6 WR, onboard to be developed in the D-Giv possession role. I never saw any Tulsa games, so I don't know how often he was double/triple-teamed or had CBs working against him, but a guy playing from the TE slot who was a Gonzelez-like target for the team had to have plenty of attention, which suggests he could eventually be good enough in his routes and defensive reads to give Tommy a possession target again. He won't line up solo the way they use Branch, most likely they would line him up on the same side with one of the speedsters to force a S to come up and take him or put the D into a nickel to loosen things up for the running game with Mills in motion inside to block a LB from the slot...possibilities to ponder...

    As long as he is working with Coach Mangurian (TEs) and not Coach Fears (RBs), I don't see him threatening to take Pass' role on the team. Seems more likely he'll be asked to carve out his own role the way they did with Klecko (Klecko haters may now panic :) ).

    It sounds reasonable for BB to bring in at least one more TE for competition, but I'd think he'd have done it by now with the passing camps ongoing. I wonder how Maroney would do lining up for an occasional play at TE - imagine him and Watson hitting the after burners on seam routes. Stan, you'll have to keep an eye out to see if Evans takes any reps with the TEs too, he has decent hands and is almost as heavy as Thomas, even if he can't block for crap.
  8. PatsFan37

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    Interesting. I've always liked Graham, he's the ultimate company man. I wouldn't have put him above Branch, but when playing teams like the Colts and Steelers, that have a ferocious pass rush, Graham has always been BB's ace-in-the-hole. If the pocket collapses in less than 2 seconds, what good is an open receiver?

    OTOH, if Graham is gone, they still have depth at TE along with a rising star, and the OLine is better than it was, with the two rookies entering their second year, and a couple of real threats in the backfield to slow the pass rush. With the lack of depth at WR and all the mis-hits at trading, finding, and keeping WR's (Terrell, Davis, Mason), I'd have to think Branch remains the top priority.
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 11, 2005
  9. Box_O_Rocks

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    The news reports all suggest Deon is the current priority, he just wouldn't be if I was running the show - a thought to even horrify me! :D
  10. mgteich

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    I agree that Graham is the best blocking TE in the league. And we all know that we know how crucial the 6th lineman is to the patriots (hopefully less criticial in the future).

    There are many open questions with regard to Graham.
    How much is bb willing to pay?
    How much will Graham accept? and
    How much does Graham want to go to a team that will use him more as a receiver?

    I have no reason to believe that Graham will be locked up before the season, and no reason to believe that he will not want to check out free agency.

    And yes, I would put re-signing on a higher priority than Branch, but matters little; both negotiations can happen at the same time.
  11. PatsFanInVa

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    Feels good to be sorting through which of next year's problems to solve. Seymour is signed... and all the rest is commentary. Not to get blithe here, but Branch has had one very good (not great) season. Our "three number two receivers" any given (no pun intended) year, are among the "interchangeables" in the BB universe... Seymour and Brady only thus far have risen above that model.

    That said, I would love them to git er done regarding both Graham and Branch... they both deserve decent deals.

    By the way - how does the Graham equation change if the Pats win XLI? Not in terms of exploiting him, but in terms of testing the waters, even with a decent deal likely? I'd think this well-loved, QB-trusted, team guy might actually move on only with a big tear in the corner of his eye. Or maybe I'm just naive.

    PFnV
  12. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I wonder what a "decent deal" would be for Graham. I go out of my way to watch for his blocks because I love that aspect of football, but its undervalued and underappreciated, and I don't think commands top dollar on the open market.

    Right now Graham counts $1.5 million against the cap coming toward the end of a 5 year $6.5 million contract.

    Has he been underpaid? Overpaid? Just right? Should he be given a raise and signficant guranteed money? What does HE think he's deserving of?

    Right now Graham isn't anywhere near the top ten salaries of TEs in the league? Does he deserve to be with his next contract? Is he in the same talent and salary league as Kyle Brady ($3.1 mil), Alge Crumpler $2.3 million Jim Kleinsasser, ($2,350,000); Eric Johnson, S.F. ($2,200,000); or Jerame Tuman, Pitt. ($2,142,500)?

    The 2006 Franchise tag value is $3,327,000 and the Transition tag is $2,718,000 ... would you devote this much to Graham even for one year?

    Or, if you are the Patriots front office do you determine that you have other guys who are decent enough blockers and pass catchers to justify filling that gap with a cheaper option and using $2-3 million a year elsewhere?

    Ultimately it all comes down to what Graham demands and how our other TEs develop. I don't expect he gets a contract extension this season.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2006
  13. PatsFanInVa

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    Kyle Brady at 3.1, then Crumpler (almost) tied with Kleinsasser at 2.3??? And Eric "one good year then get me a stretcher" johnson at 2.2? Jerame Tuman, "The guy who is not Heath Miller", right in there with them? I think you see where the bizarro world of comparative salaries comes up short here. Now I will mention that I think the Crumplers of the world might have some extra oomph in the form of bonuses in their contracts. But yeah, I could make the leap to 2.something for Graham, if it were me. He just brings too much proven talent and dedication to the table to piss him away for a cap diff of 600k-800k, especially since that 5 year deal was his rookie deal. Hellz YEAH, I sign him for average of 2.1-2.3/year!

    When you start to get into the 2.7 category I get antsy, but in my crazy world I would go that high, at least in theory. Just keep in mind that Watson is going to be the beast between these two guys, and his deal will come up too. 6M/annum (in 06 dollars) for the two of them would be 5% of the cap (1/20)... not horrendous or anything, but getting into "who do we lose to keep these guys?" territory. This isn't like paying 3M instead of 1M for a kicker, mind you... these guys are in on most offensive plays, every-down guys, and (I believe) among the best in the league, for how the Pats use them. Yeah, they are both top-10 talents (!) but might not look like it on the open market (or might.)

    The old embarassment of riches dilemma. The league's best blocking TE (Graham)? Yeah that puts you in the top 10, in general.... but wait, there's more! He can catch! He's great in the red zone! And we're supposed to act like he's "middle of the pack," because the other starter's got this huge upside (which is starting to show up in game situations?) Hell, I'd keep both these guys on just to stop interception returns. (Oh, not really.)

    The beauty part is that Mills and Thomas have 3 more years to wow us before they become a real issue, if this is indeed an issue. Carrying 3 true TEs is fine, and a 4th who is converted to a FB isn't out of the realm of possibility. This assumes, of course, no busts.

    Actually, I think it would disappoint BB if nobody stinks up the joint... that would mean he couldn't draft another TE some day ;)

    PFnV
  14. PATRIOTS-80

    PATRIOTS-80 Rookie

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    Branch, Caldwell, Brown, Jackson, Childress
  15. PatsFanInVa

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    And dump Graham, Watson, Mills and Thomas?

    Then who are you gonna use at wideout?

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