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Compiling the Evidence: Pats' target positions

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Apr 13, 2009.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Thanks to all the hard work in the visit-tracking thread, we have some useful data on what positions the Pats are actually targeting.

    I tallied up the visits and private workouts by position, then divided them into 4 rough draft tiers. Note that the low-tier entries are more likely to be fact-finding efforts about obscure players rather than genuine signs of draft interest.

    Tier 1: 1st-2nd
    Tier 2: 2nd-4th
    Tier 3: 4th-6th
    Tier 4: 6th-UDFA

    In the table below, some interesting patterns emerge. The way I read it:

    - Our focus on OLB is on target. A virtual certainty for day 1.
    - At CB & DE, there's little interest in depth. It's likely impact starter or bust.
    - FS is not considered a need, but like many of us, they do like Delmas.
    - SS & OG are solid targets in rounds 2-3.
    - Unlike some here, they're not thinking ILB or OT day 1.
    - They'll look at offensive skill players in the middle rounds.
    - Chris Hanson should be worried.
    - My cherished vision of Barwin-Gilbert-Wood-SS fits perfectly. :D

    [​IMG]
     
  2. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Your idea might be valid if you completely ignore the Reiss article that mentioned that the Patriots were putting in even more time than usual on the defensive side of the ball as a whole.

    Not only that, you seem to be basing this in the rankings of some draft site and not the rankings that the Patriots have for the players. So, to make the conclusion that, based on the players they've brought in, the Pats aren't thinking day 1 for a particular position is erroneous at bast.

    Others have done this sort of review in the past and have found that it really doesn't mean much because the Patriots have drafted players that they never brought in for private workouts while staying away from others whom they had.
     
  3. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Nice work, but how did you decide what tiers they were in? Names to the positions would also give us a better idea of what type of player they are interested in or might like.

    PS They've looked at 10 CBs total, so I think there's certainly an interest in drafting a young corner. Considering the vets we have, the young corner is likely a backup at best, but I don't think this necessarily rules out guys like Butler and Smith in round 2.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  4. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    This is a great idea and I do think it has some validity. It makes sense, as a team, to consider what the deepest spots are for different positions in the draft.

    As for DaBruinz points, I personally think the whole "smoke screen" thing is a little overplayed. We're talking about the team allocating considerable time, resources and money for these workouts, they wouldn't flippantly waste too many of them playing the fake-out game. Sure, they might be ruling players out, learning just enough to take them off their board, but I'm betting the vast majority of these visits are done with the intent of learning more about the player.
     
  5. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey


    That's some fantastic collection and analysis. And it makes me feel better about what I've been doing since February.
     
  6. bakes781

    bakes781 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey

    Not sure how Gilbert works into your theory?

    I would think at #34 they would target Delmas, but if he isn't there then they might reach for a Wood/Unger. Then target Chip Vaughn/Rashad Johnson at 47 or 58.
     
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Thanks, everybody. Obviously the visits/workouts are just a rough guide, but last year the Pats' first 3 picks were from the visit list, all at positions which were proportionally over-represented, so I think these particular tea leaves are worth reading. Smokescreens are always possible, but more likely to involve individual players than a concentration of visits at a particular position, which would be a significant waste of resources.

    The tiers were based on referencing a couple of deep ranking lists, with priority to the CBSSports/NFLDraftScout list. I purposely made the tiers broad and overlapping because I think we have enough information to meaningfully separate, say, CBs Malcom Jenkins, Joe Burnett and Terrail Lambert into different sectors of the draft, but not to decide who's a 5th rounder and who's a 6th. In general, I ranked a player as tier 1 if I've seen multiple mocks where they make the first round.

    I thought names would make the chart too hard to read, but you can cross-reference with this source post:
    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...ist-pre-draft-contacts-page8.html#post1342712
     
  8. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Well it pretty much confirms the general idea that the Pats are interested in a new 3-4 OLB, a safety or corner, and an offensive lineman (G or T). The disagreement has been over what individuals best fit those needs and when to take them, ie priorization.
     
  9. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nice job, when you overlay this with what many of believe the perceived needs of this team are.. makes even more sense.. bet BB was a tad embarassed this team did so poorly in the Red Zone D and willing to bet it will not happen again.

    OLB, DE, CB and FS are all needs identified in making this team stronger... but how many times have we all spent time figuring this stuff out, only to have us say why did he do that??? Pretty confident with the long offseason that no stone has been unturned and they are very prepared..

    BB has to distance himself from SP and show that this franchise will go on without him.. he also wants to reload in the advent for some crazy scenario post collective bargaining agreement.
     
  10. Feep50

    Feep50 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    That proves they will go TE...... Book it! LOL

    Impressive work, Patchick........:cool:
     
  11. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Very good work. I also tend to think the whole "smokescreen" thing can be overblown. I think that most/all of the visits are legitimate interest and a desire to find out more about the player. They only get 30 of them, so it would not make too much sense to spend them on players they are not interested in drafting.
     
  12. Blizzzard

    Blizzzard Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    #54 Jersey

    My thoughts are that they do use the smokescreen.... but they only employ that tactic on 1-2 players that they want to inflate, to improve their draft position.

    using it on 10 CB's seems a bit overblown :rolleyes: lol
     
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    The CBs are definitely interesting. It's hard to know what to make of that distribution -- almost all 1st-rounders or UDFA candidates. I guess the latter could suggest a little fatalism: expect more injuries and keep the practice squad well-stocked.:rolleyes:
     
  14. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    I look at it this way, they are looking at CB at round 1 b/c there is room for potential upgrade in terms of upside over Wilhite or Wheatley...after round 1/2, there isn't anyone who really will provide such a possibility (and even on Day 1, its not a really inspiring CB group).

    So from rounds 3-6, why bother drafting a redundant CB. When you get to round 7 and UDFAs, you are talking about guys destined for the PS who are merely there for depth.
     
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2009
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    One quibble for you to ponder: Free Safety as it pertains to CB... Using Private Workouts & Visits: Anderson, Cary, Cox, Jenkins, Toler, Lambert, and Underwood are potential tweener considerations, Burnett was noted for his hitting/tackling, and since BB has also used Hobbs as a FS/Nickel Safety at times, it's not unreasonable to look at Smith, Burnett, and Carter and consider their applicability to Safety coverage assignments. I fully expect Richardson to be in consideration as a FS/Tweener once the CB roster starts to take shape. SS sized kids Day One do look to be in the mix, but coverage tweeners Day Two has a certain "certainty" look to it.
     
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    I completely agree, though I'd dearly love to come up with an argument for Joe Burnett (who is on the workout list, BTW). I think that argument would be based on return skills.
     
  17. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I believe the former are Best Value looks in the event a trade out is unlikely.
     
  18. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Bingo! I think this is spot on. BB anticipates how the draft will fall, but if an unforseen opportunity presents itself, he will not hestate to act.
     
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Of course! There's absolutely nothing in this chart to suggest rigidity, specific player attachments, or even how the Patriots rank player values. That's fine, because it's not supposed to serve those functions. It's simply a visualization of the way the team has allotted its visits and private workouts.

    In the past, that has proven to be an interesting advance signal of the way their draft is likely to play out. It's not prescriptive; it's more like the way cows sitting down in the pasture points to rain. If it snows instead, you'd hardly run to the cows and shout "but you promised!!" :)
     
  20. reamer

    reamer Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Great, great series of posts. I really enjoyed reading through this thread, and it only confirms the suspicions I'd already entertained in re our draft needs. Excellent work, Patchick! I'm thoroughly impressed.

    My own attempts at charting the Patriots' interest in players has been much more rudimentary and arbitrary, so I'm so glad you provided this analysis. I had become dimly aware of the positional groupings in our pre-draft visits, but I hadn't synthesized the information this way. Very cool.

    Also, how do you create a chart like that? Did you code it, or just use a feature I haven't yet discovered on this board? Thanks.
     
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