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Filling holes

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Apr 30, 2011.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Contemplating the focus on offense, I had a little moment of something that feels like clarity.

    We know that Belichick always fills gaping roster holes in the draft. Usually he uses free agency to do that in order to approach the draft without absolute needs tying his hands, so that he can take advantage of opportunities as they come. But in the rare case that a job was just sitting open -- Mankins, Gostkowski -- he aggressively fills it.

    For all that we wanted to see upgrades at DL & OLB, those positions are at least filled. What's more, the talent there is young enough that they should be able to at least modestly upgrade themselves. But with Neal retiring and Light, Faulk, Taylor and Morris all unsigned and aging, OL and RB had multiple, genuine gaping holes. And now the team has two new o-linemen and 2 new RBs.

    There's been a lot of grousing on the board that BB got cute playing with value and ignored need. What if it's the reverse?
     
  2. tricktak

    tricktak Banned

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    I read today that Belichick is very high on Eric Moore and would like to see how he progresses with a full offseason with the team. This could've been a factor to why they didn't target outside linebackers as early as we though they would. Moore looked great in the few games he played in down the stretch and concistently made big plays.
     
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'd add safety to that list. We have a 2012 need at safety. It takes a year to learn the position. So one could argue that OT, S, RB, RB, and OG were ALL needs picks.

    Even Mallett and Smith fill 2012 needs, when Hoyer is an RFA and Crumpler will likely be gone.

    I WOULD argue that, from Belichick's perspective, these were all likely to be needs before DE and OLB.

     
  4. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where was this? I'd love to be able to link to it every time somebody complains about the pass rush!
     
  5. tricktak

    tricktak Banned

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  6. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Pro Bowl Player

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    #12 Jersey

    That title sounds more like the title of an adult film :eek:
     
  7. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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  8. MaineMan

    MaineMan 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Well, I'd say that Moore at least challenges TBC for the sub-package OLB/edge-rusher role, but he's also 30 yrs old and only 6 months younger than TBC, so it's not like he's a long term solution either.
     
  9. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Good link. I think this quote sums up why we didn't draft a DE or OLB in the early rounds:

    "The draft fell in a way that shifted the Patriots away from certain players. There were early runs on OLBs and DEs that forced OLBs with less value up the draft board. Belichick does not overdraft a player and thought their value was not worth the pick and didn't trade up to beat the inflation. (my thoughts: Implied that he did not have a first round grade on Muhammad Wilkerson and Cameron Heyward). There were some players he had his eyes on, but the players were unavailable because the teams were unwilling to trade. (my thoughts: Aldon Smith). The draft fell so that players were drafted higher than they were valued. In response, the Patriots drafted players who dropped because less valued players were rising up the board."
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2011
  10. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I think most would agree that Solder fits both criteria.

    Dowling, for them not to trade out of 33 when you know there must have been some great offers means they simply love this kid so there was certainly value. If he hadn't been hurt his senior year we could have been talking about a top 20 pick. Need? If philosophically they are going to press with McCorty, Dowling and Boddin and what the depth to do so in case of injury then there's a need. If they plan on auditioning Boddin and\or (and I think it's both) at FS that certainly creates a need with Sanders and Meriweather being free agents in a year. Personally I think Sanders for all the board's lust to get rid of him is resigned and Meriweather is allowed to walk so this is certainly a need. Not to steal the thread and get off topic but Sanders is such a perfect Patriot. He's not flashy, not perfect but he has a great attitude, DOES HIS JOB and understand the scheme and team goals. /rant

    Vereen need to replace Faulk. I hope Faulk does one more year to tutor him and then gets a job with the organization in some capacity if not coaching.

    Ridley is a replacement for Morris/Taylor and some young depth. They obviously saw something they liked about him and perhaps they took him this early because the Steelers had showed a lot of interest. I think most people saw him going a round or two later. Interestingly his 40 and short shuttle are both .05 slower than Ingram but his 3 cone is .35 faster indicating has better short area speed and agility which should make him an ideal banger. I've wanted a kid like this for a while for our offense.

    Mallet. I don't think there's any other take than this is pure value and risk\reward at a time in the draft where you can gamble on the upside. Personally I think Hoyer has shown more than Cassel ever did to this point so I think Mallet is going to have to want it because Hoyer will fight for it. I think it was a great pick even if he never makes it. Side note on Cassel. His two big years 2008 and 2010 he played the NFC and AFC West. Obviously he's in the west now but look at his big games. None of them come against a great defense, ever. Great defenses obviously slow down great QBs but great QBs will have a day against them at least periodically. Cassel has a much tougher schedule this year and will not repeat last year's performance.

    Cannon upside since he may not be ready this year or at least start on the pup.

    Smith, Carter and Williams are all competition.
     
  11. convertedpatsfan

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    I agree, I think I'm drinking too much Kool Aid but I wonder if Moore could be the answer.

    Though I wouldn't put too much stock into anything BB says to the media. He rarely says anything bad about anyone in the media. If I tried out for QB, he'd probably say I was a hard worker, improving all the time, accepts coaching and we'll see where it goes, we'll do what's best for the team...

    Then again, he kept repeating himself about the great value at RB and no one took that seriously, then he drafted two, and we all acted surprised.
     
  12. Bigfatcat999

    Bigfatcat999 On the Roster

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    This draft is heavy with DE's and DT's prime targets for teams to pick up and fill their systems. Other teams to pick up and fill their systems. One thing I kept hearing this whole draft is how hard it is to convert a college DE to OLB which Belicheck needs to do to improve the Patriots. Why draft a guy and dedicate your resources , time, and coaching talents to ONE player when you can pick up a trained veteran who's just lost his job because of a draft pick that was just picked up who's not quote as good as the vet but will be better, later?
    Belicheck drafted knowing that if you can't fill a roster need you can fill an age need. You can't guarentee that a draft pick will be an all-star but you can guarentee that the age of the roster will get younger and fill spots of the 10 oldest players you have on the roster. The 10 oldest players are; Brady, Koppen, Branch, Light, Kazcur, Crumpler, G. Warren, Morris, Faulk, Taylor.
    Vereen and Ridley cover Morris, Faulk, and Taylor. Mallett covers Brady, Solder and Cannon cover Light and Kazcur, Smith covers Crumpler. All the age was in the offense and the youth is on defense. So, all the draft picks were on the offensive side of the team and all of the UFAs will add age to the defensive side of the team. The only two players this doesn't cover are Branch and Koppen. but there is also a possible shift in the offensive play next year.
    Before the draft started I asked myself 'Why do the Patriots need a WR when Hernandez is a long threat like Shannon Sharpe?' the answer is to switch to a 2 TE set, beef up the RB position and then draft a road paver TE. Smith fills that role. Vereen filles this role. Ridley fills this role. The Pats switch from 5 RBs with age to 4RBs with youth creating a roster spot for Mallett. Brady's 4 main receivers will be Gronkowski, Welker, Branch, Hernandez. Everyone is switching to a 3-4, what does that mean for a rushing offense? Big TEs to block rushing LBs, the offensive line dedicated solely to the D-line, Which leaves the middle LBs back to tackle RBs or back in zone to help the secondary. Which means the LB's will be playing guessing games when the middle is rushed by a TE, Welker and Branch. Do they defend the WRs or the RB in a play action? Is the shift in offense a move to counter the shift in defense?
     
  13. DaBruinz

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    Moore turned 30 in February. He's a short term answer, not a long term solution. Though I agree that he did look pretty good when he was on the field.
     
  14. DaBruinz

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

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    Not sure how it could be the reverse when need is part of the value equation.
     
  15. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    I'd argue safety is one of the strongest positions on the team between Chung, Merriweather, Page, Sanders, etc. Yes, they're coming up on the ends of their contracts next year (BMW,Sanders, and Page), but they're all young enough that they'll probably be signed again. This isn't like Light where you're afraid hes going to fall apart during the contract.
     
  16. DaBruinz

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    Page is an RFA. His status could be changed to UFA if the CBA changes when a player can become a free agent.

    The Pats were impressed enough with Page to offer him a 2nd round tender.

    I'm not sure that the Pats would Franchise Meriweather next year. I believe that we could see Meriweather traded once player transactions are allowed again in the NFL. Though, maybe they'll re-sign him to a decent long term offer...

    I like Sanders, but I'm not sure we'll see him re-signed. It will depend on how Chung, Page, Brown and Dowling have progressed. If those 4 have surpassed Sanders by a wide enough margin, I could see the Pats letting Sanders go. But, on the other hand, I could see the Pats keeping Sanders if he agreed to a vet min deal plus incentives. And he just might..
     
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You know, Nut recently posted how he was fed up with the word "value" because everybody uses it to mean something different to justify their own positions. I'm going to attempt to follow his example and expunge the word from my own draft vocabulary. (It had nothing to do with the point of this thread anyway.) So let's rephrase...

    "There have been a lot of complaints here that BB got cute playing the draft board as if the guy with the most trade-chart points at the end of the decade wins, and lost focus on current team needs. What if this was, in fact, a highly needs-focused draft -- with the needs being defined by holes in the roster rather than by teamwide statistical deficiencies?"
     
  18. DaBruinz

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

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    So, you're saying that in the Pats rating of players (tangibles/Intangibles/team need) that they weighted "NEED" more heavily than they have in the past.. That is something that could have happened. I can give it a Mythbusters "Plausible" grade.. :D
     
  19. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    It seems the only difference is that you'd be looking at it from a player specific as opposed to group deficiency: our OLB corp is weak as opposed to TBC being weak. Is that what you're getting at? If so, the solution is the same, by upgrading an individual, by default, you upgrade the group.
     
  20. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Nope, I'm tossing out the idea that they're weighing need exactly as they've always done, but that the lack of free agency to fill holes with plausible bodies makes the results more pronounced this year.
     
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