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Did Belichick miss on Taylor Price, the 3rd round pick?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PatsFanStnfrd, Nov 19, 2010.

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  1. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I know it is entirely too early to judge Price -- he has seldom shown himself on Sundays. But it is not too early to start thinking of the opportunity cost of this pick. In other words, were there other WRs on the board who have played for their teams at a high level (without being exhaustive):

    -- Mike Williams taken in round 4 by Tampa, 11 spots behind Price. Already a star receiver on the team. But we heard he had "character issues". Today, Mike Williams was arrested under suspicion of DUI. So?
    -- Riley Cooper taken by Eagles -- in round 5 , 159th player picked. Has performed well.
    -- Seyi Ajirotutu -- UDFA, who has come off the practice squad for the Chargers to catch every ball thrown his way and probably played himself into a gameday role.

    Of course, Price reported to camp late because of Ohio's late finals. He missed minicamps and he probably had to wait for reps behind Moss and now Branch. Price needs a chance to show he can be a field-stretcher, which he can only do if he can play. Nothing like being tossed into the long end of the swimming pool to discover how good you are. Yet, that almost never happens in NE. Players are always eased in. But how will Belichick know what he has in Price if he never gets a chance to play.

    What do you think?
     
  2. SEPatsFan

    SEPatsFan Practice Squad Player

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    Price was known coming out to have all of the ability to play at the NFL level, but none of the experience. Like Tate the year before, the coaching staff knew it would be a while before he could really be assessed, furthermore at the time of the draft, NE didn't need an immediate impact at the WR spot; they could afford to take the time and try and develop him.

    So nine games into his rookie season, a guy who was seen as a developmental pick, on a team that didn't really need WR help, hasn't made a dent int he starting lineup. He sounds like he is right where the team thought he would be.

    On top of that the three guys you rattled off? Look at their WR situations and see why they are playing, the Eagles are the only one with a decent corp.

    SSDD
     
  3. SirApropos

    SirApropos On the Game Day Roster

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    He will at least get untl next year. You are correct that he is deep on the depth chart and hasn't been active for any games this year. He is also having to learn an entirely different offense from the one he had in college. Ohio is mainly a run team that hardly ever passed the ball. When they did though Price was the guy. Even Mike Reiss has referred to this year as Price's Red-Shirt year in the NFL. They haven't needed him this season so far so it's a moot point on what to do with him. Learning behind Branch and Welker can't hurt.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2010
  4. jmt57

    jmt57 Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think it makes much more sense to be 'tossed into the deep end of the pool' if your team is not going to make the playoffs. However if your team is in the midst of a playoff race then why put a player in a game 'just to see what he can do'?

    Another very important thing to consider is this: we the fans view Price as an unknown because we haven't seen him play. However the same is not true for Belichick and the coaching staff; they've seen him in every practice since the first day of training camp. Of course practices are not the same as games, but still, that's about seventy practices that they have had a chance to evaluate Price, and compare him to other players on the roster. He gets his chances to show what he can do there.

    If Price gives the Pats a better chance to win Sunday he will play; if not, he won't. I don't want the Pats to be throwing their hands up in the air and saying 'I don't know, let's see what this guy can do' in the middle of the season against a team like the Colts.
     
  5. TealSox

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    Much a do about nothing in my opinion...

    The Fresno State kid had one good game for the Chargers and he gained the opportunity because there was (frankly) no one else to pass to. Jackson was suspended and the rest of the wide receivers were hurt. The juror is still out on him.

    Mike Williams had serious concerns, not about his talent, but his attitude. Did the Patriots really want to bring in a liability like that?

    You can go on and add names like Jacoby Ford (OAK) and Benn (TB) to the list, but the Pats aren't in a situation where they need their rookie WR to step up like the Raiders, Chargers, or Bucs. This conversation may not exist if Tate and Welker started the year on PUP, but if that was foreseen to be the case, I'm sure the Pats wouldn't had selected a "project" at the WR position in the first place.

    This is the same Patriots team and had no use for Joey Galloway and Tory Holt, then traded Moss. They don't strike me as being desperate for additional WRs.
     
  6. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams pfadmins PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He maybe a much better reciever than Slater or Edelman, but he doesn't get the nod because of special teams play. Let's face it, Branch, Welker, Tate are your starting WRs with Edelman getting the occassional snap. Price obviously doesn't have the Special teams skills to surpass either Slater or Edelman to get on the active roster. Give the kid a year to see if he pans out, he is supposed to have blazing speed.....
     
  7. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    His offense in college was pretty much the exact opposite of a pro-style offense. Much like Tate (a third round receiver) needed a redshirt year for his knee, Price (a third round receiver) needed a redshirt year to acclimate himself to an NFL offense.
     
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hmm...there were 15 WRs selected after Price in the draft, and countless more signed as UDFAs. None of the 3 you named who happen to have started fast were suggested by ANYONE in place of Price in round 3. I think a more realistic comparison set would be:

    - Mardy Gilyard, drafted 9 spots after Price and a popular choice around here. Has played in 8 games, with 6 total catches.

    - Marcus Easley, a late riser from UConn whom some coveted, drafted in the middle of round 4. Was injured in camp and placed on IR before the season started.

    Price obviously has done nothing so far, but as others have noted he was a clear "project" so I haven't given up hope.
     
  9. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The fact he's done nothing endears the pick to more than if he'd been thrown onto the field. I was unimpressed with his Senior Bowl week and surprised when NE drafted him, but his inactivity, and Caserio's comments this Summer, reassure me that he was drafted with the long term in mind.
     
  10. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Full disclosure...Price was my top WR outside of the top tier guys. That being said, being a gameday inactive means that the Pats receivers are pretty much going according to plan.

    The Pats made a decision to get the TE more involved in the offense (with Hernandez being a hybrid guy) so it changes the WR requirements a bit. Moss/Branch, Welker and Tate will get most of the practice and game snaps with Edelperson getting whatever scraps he can. So as other people have mentioned, Price isn't going to displace the top 3 and Edelperson/Slater have entrenched themselves on ST.

    The reason I liked Price so much is that he was always able to get open in college, even against good defenses. While he does have nice straight line speed, his separation quickness will serve him well in this offense. His downside is that he doesn't have natural hands (which was evident during the preseason) so I would suspect he is hitting the Jugs machine after practice this year. If he can improve the reliability of his hands, his makeup is similar to Mike Wallace in Pittsburgh.
     
  11. D-Money

    D-Money In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think we will take another wr in the draft.I wouldnt mind Leonard Hankerson from miami I really like his game.
     
  12. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Price wasn't on my radar, I wanted Riley Copper in the 4th round.
     
  13. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Nothing against Price, but I had Ajirotutu and Blair White at about the same level as Price on my board. Both were signed by (or, flipside, both agreed to sign with) receiver-heavy teams with very good passers and are only getting a chance to show their NFL-readiness because of injuries. The point being that both are producing immediately. Long term, they may not end up being as good as Price, but that's far from a given at this point.

    So, I wish at least one of them had been signed by the Pats for the P/S.
     
  14. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Yup. Not a big fan of hating on picks the very moment they don't become Hall of Famers, and I do have faith in Price...But every year, there are talented Receivers available dirt cheap. Running Backs, too, of course.

    From a Salary Cap stand point, it's quite easy to build a formidable Offensive Line, behind which talented but dirt cheap Running Backs can pick up huge chunks of yardage, which in turn loosens up the Defense and allows the talented but dirt cheap Wide Receivers to fly around and make plays. My GOD, I wish I had a few Billion, to buy out Kraft!! :D
     
  15. TealSox

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    I have no faith that Price will do anything for the Patriots this year and that the Patriots have no expectations of him to perform. Despite that, I think they will grab a WR in next year's draft... which I would expect to block Price from getting a real shoot.
     
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Perhaps. There are certainly some good ones in this draft class, anyone watching Boise State drop kick Fresno State last night saw two of them.

    I see Price as the "next" David Givens; he came out of a run first, second, and third offense where he was required to develop his blocking skill set and not his route tree/defense reading skill set. He's in the system now hopefully improving his weaknesses and working on being more sudden and explosive in his route running, he'll have a significant head start on any new WR.

    NE may not need to draft another WR once they've had a chance to reevaluate the two Reserve/Military receivers they stashed last year after the draft - both have some decent wheels. White may be another Woodhead/Edelman hybrid RB/slot WR, while Barnes may be more Tate-like. The question may be whether they will get a chance to see them in the offseason program before the draft, or will have to wait until May/June when it's too late.
     
  17. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Y'know, I often wonder how the scouting department is organized. First of all, how many scouts do they employ? Are their scouting duties divided by region of the country (which makes sense from a travel standpoint)? Pro vs. college? Or are they divided positionally (which makes the most sense to me)?

    I mean, it's pretty clear that Dante scouts for the O-line (though certainly not by himself) and probably has the final input for BB - turns in the prioritized "wish list" for BB to incorporate in the team draft board. I'd guess BB is primarily concerned with evaluating defensive prospects with input from Matt, Pepper and the rest of the defensive coaches.

    But who scouts/evaluates WRs? And who has been over the years? Has there ever been anyone specifically assigned to scouting WRs?

    Since Branch and Givens in 2002, we've drafted Bethel Johnson ('03) and Chad Jackson ('06) and now Taylor Price.

    We "missed" UDFAs Welker & Malcolm Floyd ('04), Lance Moore & Nate Washington ('05), Miles Austin ('06), Davone Bess ('08), Ajirotutu and Blair White ('10) - while picking up guys like Bam Childress, PK Sam, Buddy Farnham, etc.

    In veteran pickups, we've had:
    Patten ('01)
    Donald Hayes ('02)
    JJ Stokes & Dedric Ward ('03)
    Kevin Kasper ('04)
    Andre Davis & Tim Dwight ('05)
    Gaffney, Caldwell, Gabriel & Kight ('06)
    Welker, Moss, Stallworth & Washington ('07)
    Aiken ('08)
    Galloway & Lewis ('09)
    Holt ('10).

    I'll be the first to note that several of the above "WRs" were actually picked up for their return/special teams abilities, which is fine. Even so, the "misses" significantly outnumber the "hits" and the result has often been a lack of real depth at WR (which really hurt us in '09).

    Now, I'm not trying to build a "hate case" here by any means. Just noting the pattern and trying to figure out whether the results are due to poor evaluation or a lack of focus/priority on WR scouting.
     
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    ...and Julian Edelman and Brandon Tate, no?

    That said, WR & RB have clearly been this team's draft weak spots. That makes them the easy positions for us fans to jump up and down shouting "I told you so."

    How about this: the player the Patriots drafted after Price has 34 receptions for 436 yards and 2 TDs. The ONLY other player drafted or signed after Price who matches that production is Mike Williams, who was a character scratch. Cooper and Ajirotutu have combined for a whopping 13 catches. So where are these "opportunity costs"?
     
    Last edited: Nov 20, 2010
  19. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    1a) If Price needs a lot of time to get up to speed then the opportunity cost is not having a guy who might be able to produce now.

    1b) If I can get Ajirotutu (we desperately need a nickname for this guy, his name is too damn complicated) for a 7th round pick or no pick at all then we have that pick to get another player with.

    2) I think those stats need to be viewed in context, just because a guy isn't getting the ball doesn't mean he's not competant. Brent Celek has much lower numbers this year than last year but I rather doubt that there's a corresponding drop in his skill level.
     
  20. KontradictioN

    KontradictioN Do you even lift? PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Price wasn't drafted with the ability to contribute immediately in mind. He came from a run-first system at Ohio to a complicated offensive passing system in New England. His route running was spotty and, as a result, he hasn't seen time in the line-up this season. I expect him to work on it and contribute when needed next season.
     
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