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FAST OLBs and the 3-4

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by jeffbiologist, Feb 15, 2011.

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  1. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    I have been wanting to start this thread for a while because my binkies are always the too small/tweener OLBs who are seriously devalued by todays NFL. To me they are in a way similar to QBs on offense; fitting into a defensive scheme seems to be more important than letting the dog off the leash. I think we can agree that alot of QBs go undiscovered, just look at Brady and Warner. But I think alot of the athleticism and pass rushing abilities are ground off some guys to make them better all around players. This year my binky is Bruce Carter of UNC, 4.39, makes Guyton look pedestrian. He has a unique skill set and gets to the edge and takes down both QBs and kicks like no one in college. I think in a perfect world he is the definition of a luxury pick for the Pats, a pass rushing specialist with value on ST has got to get BB's attention right? Then again I look at my other binkies to see their progress....and while successful they certainly have limitations. Guyton should be a great cover LB and a decent backup but was forced to start and his problems holding his ground were glaring. Wesley Woodyard led the SEC in sacks I think a few years ago, also the fastest LB/tweener who went undrafted yet has started a few games for Denver. I dont have the time to go into a proper in depth post here but I wanted to open this up to discussion and see if others see the value of having such a specialist on the team. I dont think BB has ever drafted anyone close to him, yet our fan favorite Bruschi was such a tweener who worked out well we can all agree.
  2. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    We like our OLBs big & slow,

    Management
  3. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    I think there's a difference between "having such a guy on the roster" and drafting one. Bother Guyton and Woodyard (who was a binky of mine) were UDFA. According to current rankings, Bruce Carter could cost as much as a 2nd-round pick.
  4. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    Well with rosters possibly expanding and our plethora of picks I dont think it out of the question. With 6 picks in the top 100 we certainly dont have 6 major holes to fill do we? Ya, a 2nd round pick may be high compared to the FAs like Moore, Guyton and Woodyard but that could work for our advantage right??
  5. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    Well, here's the thing for me.

    The current status of the CBA is "unsigned". If this continues to be the situation on draft day.....

    On the O-line, we won't KNOW that we still have Light or Mankins. We may still have health question marks wrt Neal and Kaczur. That could be 2-3 high picks right there.

    At RB we have BGE and Woody and nothing much else. Using one of our top six picks isn't out of the question.

    For pass-catchers, we have a surplus of guys who are consistently effective in the short/intermediate zones between the numbers, but only Branch who's shown effectiveness along the sidelines and only Tate who's shown (modest) effectiveness in deeper zones. And we don't yet know what Price has to offer, if anything. A top-six pick isn't entirely out of the question here, either.

    With the D-line, we'll have Wilfork. We may still have health/productivity question marks wrt Ty Warren. Beyond that, we may have nothing but JAGs. We certainly don't appear, at this point, to have an adequate RDE mate for Ty Warren. At least we don't appear to have anyone who can shed and tackle. This seems likely to me to be one of our first three picks.

    At CB, we'll have McCourty, Bodden (older, and still a health question), an adequate sub in Arrington and possibly not much else. Many see this as a potential top-three pick.

    At Safety we'll have Chung. Meriweather and Sanders will both be in their contract years. AFAIK, the rest could be more-or-less JAGs.

    At OLB, we have a couple good versatile starters in Ninkovich and Cunningham (most others will certainly disagree very vigorously). We don't appear to have much versatile depth. While I would argue for a 2nd/3rd-round development prospect, many are calling for a "stud" pass rusher with our first overall pick. Not sure that Carter really qualifies there.

    So, yeah, my feeling is that we have at least six spots for which our top six picks would provide a greater return than a specialty OLB in the 2nd.

    But that's just me.
  6. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    I would agree with pretty much all of that -- there are plenty of holes on the roster. I'd be shocked if we didn't add at least one safety, one corner, one OL, one RB, one DE and one OLB in the draft. That's six picks right there.

    The one thing I would say is that I'd doubt we'd be spending three picks on the offensive line, and even two I'm not sure about. Let's say they retain Light for a year or two; Mankins is franchised. Beyond those two you have Vollmer, Koppen, Wendell, and Connolly coming back for sure, and maybe also Neal, and maybe also Kaczur, and maybe also LeVoir. I get the sense they like both Wendell and Connolly and don't want to get rid of them yet. You bring in two offensive linemen and suddenly there's a numbers game where they have to get rid of at least one pretty good/promising player in order to keep the draft picks.

    My guess is that they draft one center-guard type fairly high up, somebody like Pouncey or that kid from Penn State, and that'll be it for high picks. I suppose they could draft a tackle, too, but a guard-center seems more likely given that they have three interior linemen they need to think about replacing, assuming Mankins doesn't sign long-term.

    To me it's the same situation on the defensive line. If they draft two defensive linemen, then suddenly you're talking about parting with at least one pretty interesting player -- a Brace, a Deaderick, a Pryor or Wright. I'd rather see them take one athletic DE type fairly high, and give the rest of the guys on the roster a chance to improve. I still think both Brace and Deaderick can be valuable players. And it's sort of the same situation at wideout, where they could definitely use a playmaker, but adding anyone would probably mean parting with someone you'd rather keep (do we want to give up on Price or Edelman or Tate yet?).

    On the other hand, they could safely draft two running backs without displacing good players on the roster; same goes for outside linebacker. Those are two positions were they really need youth and speed, and you'd think they'd be smart to just throw numbers at the problem, the same way they did with the tight end spot last year. That said, Bruce Carter? I don't know. He's fast, but he's never been much of a pass-rusher, has he? I've only seen him play one game, so I'm honestly asking.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  7. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    Well, this was part of my point.

    If a CBA gets done before the draft so that there's no question that both Light and Mankins are staying, then, no, we probably don't invest as heavily in the O-line. However, with no CBA and no new contracts signed before the draft, is it really safe to assume that Light and Mankins will be staying and pass up the opportunity to draft potential replacements?


    IIRC, we started the 2010 regular season with 8 D-linemen on the active roster:
    Wilfork
    Wright
    Brace
    Pryor
    Deaderick
    Weston
    G. Warren
    Love

    If we stay with that number, one will have to go to make room for Ty Warren returning from IR. There's no absolute guarantee he returns of course and some legitimate doubt about Wright's health. Aside from Wilfork, from my perspective, all the rest are on the bubble and could be replaced by superior talent. Aside from 2nd-rounder Brace, we haven't invested much, pick-wise, in any of them.

    I wouldn't be at all surprised to see one of the 1sts spent on a DE to replace, for instance, G. Warren, plus a later pick to at least provide camp competition for the others. If there's a second, potentially very good 3-4 DE prospect available in round two, I'd only be mildly shocked to see us go that way, frankly.


    I'm nowhere near ready to "give up on" Edelman or Tate. With the D-line guys mentioned above, we've seen them play extensively and it might fairly be said that they performed as one might reasonably expect late-rounders/UDFAs and aging vets to do. With Price, only the coaches know.

    To me, one of the issues with the 2010 passing offense was that we had a surplus of guys who excel at working the same areas of the field. Welker, Edelman, Woody, Hernandez, Gronk and Branch were all consistently effective working the short/intermediate zones between the numbers. But only Branch was consistently effective working the sidelines and only Tate showed much effectiveness at all working the deep zones. An improvement, for me, would come in the form of swapping out (at least on the gameday roster) one of those "middle-only" guys for one who can, in addition, work the sidelines and/or deep zones. Maybe Price is that guy. If not, probably somebody has to go to make room for a new prospect with those capabilities.
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hold on...both of the guys you cited as positive examples play INSIDE linebacker in the NFL. Neither one is remotely a "pass-rushing specialist" as you're advocating.

    So I'm not sure I get where you're going with this. Are you suggesting Carter should be a pass-rushing ILB? Or that Guyton & Woodyard are being misused at ILB, and should have been pass-rushing OLBs? Because they tried Guyton in that role, and it wasn't pretty.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2011
  9. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    Well I also made the mistake about Woodyard, he led the SEC in tackles not sacks. I think what I am saying is that even though these fast LBs went undrafted they still are making themselves productive in the league while many who were drafted ahead of them did not. Carter is coming off a knee surgury which should definately see his value drop to where we might be comfortable taking him. Personally I would rather see a guy like him given a shot than another Crable clone. A tweener with speed, big nickel, what have you. Try something new to get to the QB because what BB has been using the last few years hasnt been working all that great. And I cant remember Guyton being used as a rush LB.....I did see him get run over repeatedly.
  10. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    Actually, Guyton rushed a lot this past season and got 3 sacks out of his effort. However, on at least three occasions, I saw him blow right by a chipping RB who subsequently caught a pass in the flat for good yardage in set-ups that were fairly obvious to me as they were happening.

    BTW - I mentioned that Woodyard was a binky of mine. Just wanted to be clear that I was viewing him as a potential SS in the Harrison mold at the time, not as an LB.
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