Idle Thoughts - Day 1

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Apr 29, 2011.

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  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Oh I don't know, Its not like this wasn't my first Bill Bellichick draft. We've had enumerable threads talking about the EXPECTED WTF moments.. We all saw this coming....didn't we? So before I find the usual ray of sun shine that an optimist like myself seems to discover....I think I'd better vent.

    Even a full nights sleep hasn't gotten me to rid myself of the frustration and anger I have building since around 11:30 last night You almost have to feel that ALL that time you spent on the draft board, looking at mocks, and listening to podcasts were wasted I suspect only the catharsis of this missive will help ease the pain

    How do I begin.

    1. The draft couldn't have started out better. The run of over rated Qbs started at the top and didn't stop until 4 had come off the top and the NFL network hosts could get their bearings. Great we thought, more players we all liked coming into play.

    2. Soon it became apparent that even some players we had thought were beyond our reach began to fall, Sure we all had a twinge when JJ Watt was gone at 11, but look at the bounty, Quinn, the Prince, Kerrigan, and Jordan were all in play. Surely one of them would get to us, EVEN if we chose to stay at 17.

    3. Visions of the unbelievable defensive backfield with Boddin, McCourty and Akumara danced in my head. Jordon become the elephant LB we have been looking for since Willie left Kerrigan becoming the next Mike Vrabel or the 2nd coming of Clay Mathews. My God, even the “immortal” Robert Quinn was right there to grab for merely a 3rd round pick if we wanted him..

    4. Then it happened. Quinn goes to the St Louis. Then the freakin' Redskins, who already HAVE a great OLB/pass rusher in Orakbu, takes Kerrigan. What's that about. Since when do the Skins start making “value picks” Don't they need, like, Olmen, Dbs, Rbs. Instead EVEN THEY see the wisdom of improving their pass rush. Not just one, but NOW the Skins have TWO!!!!.

    5. But that's OK. Its our pick. Jordan and the Prince are right there for the taking. Either one will improve our Pass defense, Right?

    6. Well needless to say, ONCE AGAIN a rain of solid objects (hopefully soft) were flung at TV sets all across Patriot Nation as Nate Solder's name came off the board. The air went out of all our bubbles and heads were scratched in unison

    7. OK – Let it sink in and we will figure out the wisdom in all this. Clearly this kid was rated VERY highly. I hear that the Giants were REALY pissed. He;s got all pro OT written all over a few years. But what about NEXT YEAR! The kid has only been an OT for about 2 years. He is still has a lot of work to do to get NFL strong. So if we think optimistically and Dante works his magic, can we really expect him to be better than Matt Light next year. Sure maybe better in a year of two, but what about NEXT year. If he somehow managed to play just as well as Light did, it would be an awesome accomplishment his rookie year, but better?. Surely we didn't draft him at 17 to sit a year? So if we ask the question, are the Patriots a better team for NEXT year with this pick. Even a died in the wool optimistic homer like me, has to say NO!

    8. But that's OK! We still have #28. here are a lot options still left to get a Heywood, Wilkerson, or even the oft mentioned Robert Ingram. Maybe the best defensive move would be to get a “clock killin'” runner to keep the D off the field. But at this point I was running out of rationalizations Maybe, I thought to myself. Maybe BB will shock us all and make a small move up from 28 and pick up Jordan in the early 20's. How much could that cost, right

    9. And then what we all really expected in our hearts would happen, HAPPENED. We trade the pick. Sure we got a great deal. But realistically and hopefully, what exactly IS the value of 2 first round picks at the VERY BOTTOM of NEXT year's draft....if there is one.

    10. And speaking of the Saints. I found it very ironic that they wound up with the 2 picks MOST associated with Pats this mock draft season. How many times did you see the Pats winding up with Jordan and Ingram. Well now they are BOTH New Orleans Saints, and they are a better team NOW than they were a few hours ago. Some day after a draft, I'd like to feel like Saints fans feel today. THEY entered the draft with merely a late round first, and wound up with one of the top DE prospects in a draft rich with them, and the best running back in the draft. WE enter with 2 first round picks and wind up with a developmental OT project, albeit a very good one, but STILL, we CANNOT say we are a better team this morning....and NOTHING like what the Saints pulled off

    OK I said what I needed to say. Its off my chest. I feel better I'm sure many of you feel the same way. I'm sure this is just one of many posts that are either up on the board right now or will be by today, having similar thoughts.

    Well, now the ray of light starts to shine through. Now I'm hoping for some sort of insight that will help me understand what BB has in mind with the big picture. Here's what I came up with.

    1. BB made a comment fairly early in the off season that could be very telling. He said, and I paraphrase, that this draft will be ultimately be judged on how well you have evaluated the deep DE class. I can only guess that AFTER Dareus, Kerrigan and Watt went off the board BB just didn't think that guys like Jordan, Heywood, and Wilkerson were worth the 17th pick or were ranked even close to where they had Solder. He had to know that it would be doubtful for any of them to be there at 28, though they passed on Wilkerson AGAIN.

    2. Could it be that BB didn't think any of them were better than Ron Brace, or Pryor, or Deadrick, at least not THAT much better, enough to make them a first round pick?

    3. Could it be that BB has some FA's in mind that he had evaluated to be as good if not better? Don't forget that I have said OVER and OVER that this will be the deepest and richest FA class in NFL history.... BY FAR. Great players will be there to be had, and not just the most hyped/expensive FA's Who is to say that BB has n't already identified some mid level OLB prospect who might come in an be the next Mike Vrabel. Some tweener DE who has spent the last 3 or 4 years getting the experience to make the conversion at SOMEONE ELSE'S expense, only to blossom here. Maybe its Matias Kiwanuka. Who knows, if the Pats aren't going to pay Matt Light, they will certainly have enough room to get even a big name, impact defensive player. Someone BETTER for next year, than who was available to us last night.

    4. And then there is TONIGHT. Three 2nd rounders (do we now expect any less). Last season that round produced no less than 3 starters for a 14-2 team. Would getting one be too much to hope for this year. And that just the 2nd round. The Pats will have FIVE picks on Friday. Who knows how many will translate into players, but I'm guessing at least 4.

    5. Have we considered that, in a very young defense, BB has determined that adding more rookies to that mix would make us TOO young. Would take reps away from guys already in development That he expects improvements out of guys like Ninko and Cunningham going into this year that made adding players there less of a urgent need than WE think.

    6. We all talk about having to improve the D, but just with the return of Boddin and Warren, plus the addition of Stroud, the D has been massively improved. That's not including the usual jump in effectiveness you see between player's first and 2nd years.

    7. I just had a thought on the OL. Perhaps, BB has this plan. Move Volmer to LT, while Solder interns on the right side. Then re-sign Light and have him make the long anticipated move to RG. I have always thought that he's be a better OG than LT and he's was a pretty damned good LT for a lot of years. Now THAT OL COULD end up being a better OL than than last year

    8. Bottom line here friends, there is a lot more to building a Championship team than picking in the first round. Also we don't have any idea what went on last night. Who knows. Maybe BB tried desperately to move up to get Quinn and couldn't find any takers at 10-13. Maybe Kerrigan was the target all along and Washington screwed us. We don't know and we WON'T ever know the real story., so why dwell on it.

    9. Regardless of who we pick in the next 2 days, and who we add in FA, the Pats will be in the mix. A favorite to go to the playoffs and have a shot to go all the way.. THAT wasn't going to change not matter who we got....or didn't get last night.

    OK, . Have I made you feel better? I didn't think so. :D, but that comes with the territory of being fans of the NFL. I mean, c'mon, the last 11 years haven't been so bad...have they? We'll all get over this minor disappointment. Of course not until we have kvetched about the next 2 days for a while ;)

    I hope you enjoyed. I know I did, and pardon me for any redundant comments. ;)
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  2. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I recall at some point that BB said that the league is moving back towards the running game. What did he do? He went out and got a mauler. I could see Solder and Mankins being like the LT/LG duo that Seattle had the year they went to the super bowl.

    Plus, having a guy to protect the Kraft Family Jewel doesn't hurt either. Brady will need heightened protection since pass rushers will be able to grab his hair from 5 yards away.
  3. yopats

    yopats Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I also could see now that Light is out of the picture getting Mankins signed to a lucrative long term deal once Free Agency starts on Monday..
  4. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    If you think about it in terms of scarcity, this wasn't a strong OT class. We took the #1 OT off the Pats draft board (which also started a RUN on offensive linemen).

    Given that this is a very deep D-line and OLB draft, shouldn't it stand to reason that there are still several quality players we can take in round 2 or 3?

    To use an analogy, one reason why shortstops are drafted high in fantasy baseball drafts is because there are so few power hitting shortstops compared to power hitting 1st basemen (for example). Taking a certain position earlier doesn't mean you don't think there's good talent still out there.
  5. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start


    It could have been a choice between an OL with a grade of A and a DE with a grade of B vs a DE with a grade of A and an OL with a grade of C. In that case it's hard to take the DE first.
  6. patriot lifer

    patriot lifer In the Starting Line-Up

    #87 Jersey

    Vollmer and Solder on either side, accompanied by Crump and Gronk. And now for that RB. [salivating] Which way we'll they run? That's for BB to know and the other team to find out.

    Psyche! Pass to Hernandez.
  7. Don_the_patfan

    Don_the_patfan On the Game Day Roster

    #12 Jersey

    That was my thought as well Ken until BB said this:

    New England Patriots Blog - ESPN Boston

    That's very clear that he will be starting at LT not RT. Which tells me they think the world of him and he can handle it.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  8. xmarkd400x

    xmarkd400x 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    I love how BB words things. Basically, BB is using the media to tell Solder 'Get ready to get coached and work hard'. I love reading between the lines of BB's statements.
  9. mgdouche

    mgdouche Rookie

    #15 Jersey

    Patient - Doctor, doctor, it hurts when I do this!

    Doctor - Well, then don't do that!

  10. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    BTW - I meant to put this into the original post, put I forgot. I was really impressed by the Job Rich Gosslen did on his mock. When I originally saw it, I thought some of his picks were just insane, yet he remarkably was perhaps the best predictor of real events out there. On the draft board Borg put this together (thanks Borg). It will give you an idea of how well he did.

    Its not just that he got 14 right on the money, but against all current wisdom he correctly predicted BOTH Robert Quinn and Prince Amukamara's slide. He correctly got Solder as the 2nd OT off the board. He put Aldon Smith MUCH higher than most had him and correctly predicted Ponder and Locker's early picks.

    About the only glaring misses were JJ Watt going at 28 and Marvin Austin into the first round. I think it was an amazing job.
  11. NE_Paddy

    NE_Paddy Practice Squad Player

    The last time I felt like that was 2006; we nailed Maroney, Jackson, and Thomas - 3 top players at positions of need that seemed like an instant upgrade. As we all know, it did't work out well.

    The day I feel satisfied after a draft is the day I get worried - for one simple reason: I know nothing about assessing football talent and my picks are almost always wrong.

    Nate Solder is a boring pick. I'm not satisfied. So naturally, and paradoxically, I'm thrilled.
  12. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 In the Starting Line-Up

    Awesome post. I was having the same thoughts as you last night.

    O.K., two huge and talented bookend tackles for the next 10 years may end up making us all happy.

    However, the fact that arguably the best 3-4 Five Technique DE fell to us, along with arguably the best RB later in round one, and the Pats didn't take them is somehow a larger bummer.

    Dozens on here have said it, many times, but shouldn't BB Finally cash in his chips and draft in the thick of the talent? We'll read write-up after write-up about how "again, nobody worked the draft like Belichick", referring to picking up the extra one. So what? He had an extra one this year, and predictably traded it for value.

    Value every year. Keep the value. I want a Super Bowl before Brady retires.

    So what Round 1 would have made the team better this year? A converted TE to OT, that may not be ready yet, or the best DE and RB in the entire draft, upgrading two huge need areas?
  13. DW Toys

    DW Toys In the Starting Line-Up

    Here is my issue Cousins,
    I feel exactly like Cousin Ken. We had the opportunity to pull the trigger and yet again we go for quantity, not quality. And Yes, with one good Draft in the last five years and all this trading around that has netted more trading around, I and many other Cousins in this forum could have done as well if not better without millions of dollar of scouts. Poke fun if you like but then you would be wrong then, wouldn't you.

    One solid Draft and BB is the Jim Jones of the NFL Draft. Cousins his last five years have been mediocre at best but for last year. I am sorry to all you died in the wool "Bill knows best...ers". Don't give me a "you should be GM then stuff". It's a crap shoot and he will admit it. He has more resources but for every good Pats pick I will show you two who might have been better. Well if the "Bills Used Cars" could not pull off a better day than yesterday, I stand by my statement that he is a mediocre Drafter.

    Was Solder O.K. probably. Is he telling stories when he says Solder was a "best on the board pick"? Maybe bored pick for Bill.

    OK, Let me get this straight. We swap a six time Pro Bowl DE with superb pass rush and run stuff ability, for a project left side offensive tackle? There is a little old man from the Bronx laughing his ass off in Oakland. Oh yes...and we have the opportunity to move up but we want to keep our ammunition so we have more picks to swap into next year so that we can generate more swaps to get into the years after etc, etc, etc. Who wants to make book with me right now that the Pats will swap one of the two first next year to the year after????

    So the M.O. is gain a top pick to swap that top pick into another top pick the following year and so forth and so on? Yet the sheep both on this forum and the media throw flowers at his feet......... Ain't love grand?

    Solder better become an All Pro quickly!

    Now the #28 pick which made people like Curran and Reiss giddy when we swapped it for a first round 2012 pick that we will never keep.....perfect!

    Now we have one shot to get a pass rusher at #33 because Lord knows there are the Bengals, Browns, Cardinals, Titans and Bears looking for a pass rusher behind us.

    I only hope that the phones in Foxborough fail this evening so no one can call Bill so he can get another hit of "Oxytradeocaine".
    Brooks Reed
    Jabal Sheard (meh!)
    I's even settle for two that I never would want, Ayers or Houston (same herbius weedius dealer as Tate from what I hear).
    Greg Romeus a little later as a consultation price might work.

    But unless you are B.S. ing us when you say you go by the board, One time guaranteed first round pick Bowers and his 15 sacks is sitting there staring at you. Yes he has injury issues (see Gronk, Tate) and you have taken people with issues (Hernandez, Tate...again..what the...), Would not 15 sacks give Bowers a little credibility for the pick at #33 as some place on your board to help ones pass rush? Or is this "best on board" stuff crapola? Or......does the Trade devil get the best of you once again? Just think...three first rounders to trade out of in 2012! It might be too much for one man to take!

    I do think BB has a plan. Most posters hate this because "You build through the Draft".....yes if we did pick once in a while for quality not quantity that has cred, but seriously I think he has Sidney Rice and perhaps Manny Lawson who can rush, cover and is only 26 or Matt Roth are in his sites.

    In retrospect this was a crappy Draft year. Top end studs, third round type QBs taken in the first round, too short OLB/DE options and many players with warts that were all exploited by way too much time with no Free Agency or other football this spring, was the result. I predict a busy Free Agency by the Pats because we are not "Building" so far. It's a good thing TB said he'd like to play till he is 40. We have seven more years of trade outs we can do.
    DW Toys
  14. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    That's key point in your quote is "arguably". This is what the draftnicks have told us. We all know that BB's boards aren't like others. Dan Shonka of Ourlads, a guy with 39 year of professional coaching and scouting HATED Aldon Smith, even though he saw all his college games. He had him in his 3rd round as a developmental project.....yet someone else obviously saw him as a top 10 talent.

    Maybe didn't see Jordan as a first rounder "in the Pats system". Or maybe he saw Solder as being more than a great OT "project". I mean BB's never drafted a OLman close to this high. Either this kid was too good, or those other choices were too bad to pick in this slot. Clearly they wanted HIM If they just wanted a good OT they could have traded down and gotten one that everyone here would have been happy with. Instead they valued Solder much higher than the other OTs and Jordan, Wilkerson, etc.
  15. borg

    borg In the Starting Line-Up

    Nice job.....Here are my idle thoughts

    Belichick: Football ECONOMICS and creating ADVANTAGES

    First the Economics and how the Patriots are winners already.

    McCourty is a superstar...fact. He plays a position where superstars get $10-$15 million/year contracts. Patriots cost: low 1st rounder, $2.6 mill/year thru 2014.
    Solder is an unknown, but the economics of LT are 4 premium paid position in NFL with 8 figure salaries common. Light averaged $4.5 mill/year over 6 years. Pick #17 in 2010 earns approx $3.8 mill/ year.
    Gronkowski: future superstar, red zone machine, cost...$1.1 mill/year thru 2013. Redraft 2010 and see where the Gronk ends up....mid 1st rd pick easily which would be paid $3-4 mill yearly...and his production verses veteran TEs would result in mid to high 7 figures. My point...Economically speaking...BB is getting premium production at low cost for two 2010 draft picks and hopefully the economics/talent of Solder will again be seen as excellent value. Assuming Solder is a stud, veteran replacement costs/ year for these 3 would be $30-$35 mill. Patriots cost: $7-8 mill

    Advantages BB creates in the draft:
    Forget the marquis names that the crappy teams scoop up. Focus on what the 2010 playoff teams are accomplishing in this draft and how the Patriots compare.
    Fact: Going into Day 2, the Patriots will draft before every playoff team in rounds 1,2, and 3.
    Fact: Patriots have 6 picks thru round 3, ....only KC and New Orleans have more than the standard 1 pick/round....KC..1,2,3,3.....NO..1,1,3,3 (no 2012 #1). Jets, Sea, ATL(minus 2012 #1) have 2 picks in top 3 rounds
    My point: BB created advantages in slotting and volume of picks verses the 11 other playoff teams. Being able to draft in front of similar needs team is huge. This year Solder, last year Gronkowski ahead of Baltimore... McCourty ahead of the Jets.

    Bottom line: BB is building a very deep team, targeting high ticket positions through the draft, while ensuring advantages in future years.
  16. reflexblue

    reflexblue Supporter Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    I felt/feel a lot like you Ken, i'll only add that while i thought we needed help on the Oline, its much easier to develop an O-lineman than it is a D-lineman. That the team was in a unique position last night, the pats were within just just a few drafts spots from having some great D-line prospects. I don't think it would have cost that much to move up three or four places. Even though i think the teams greatest need is a pass rusher i would have been happy taking the Prince also. I hope we can address the pass rushing situation today or in free agencey, although the FA pass rushers braught in haven't panned out as well as we have hoped.
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  17. PatriotWarrior

    PatriotWarrior On the Roster

    i like the pick. solder is gonna be a beast. i read he used to play te. he can bring some versatility to the offense because of that. what if we re-sign light and use solder as a secret weapon as TE as a blocker. It will be like having 6 OL's blocking for you. I know we still need to address who will play G next year. imo i would use solder as a lineman only if injuries happen or if the game is out of reach. other than that i would just let him learn under dante with no pressure. Use him in situations where he will lineup as a TE as a blocker. The Jets D-line would be :eek: if we did that. ;)
  18. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    BB has completely rebuilt a multi-time Super bowl club without a less than 10 game winning season! He did it, without mirrors, and with deft magical drafting and draft positioning.

    Stop with the nonsense of "one good draft".
  19. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Nice Vent, but I'm I think you might be a bit harsh with you comments about BB being a mediocre drafter. I think when you compare him to others he does a remarkable job. Maybe his penchant to add draft picks comes from his acknowledgment that he KNOWS he's going to miss on his fair share of picks, and given that, doesn't it make sense to have enough to overcome the misses.

    I think he's currently 18 of 24 in the last 2 years (and one of the 6 "misses" ended up being a starter in TB) But the bottom line is the end results. A 10 year reign where your LOW point is a single 9 win season (2002). That must say something about his team building skills

    This is patently unfair. We gave up ONE year of Seymour services for the right to this 17th pick in the draft.He WASN'T going to re-sign past 2009, When are people going to start making that distinction. How quickly people forget how averagely Seymour was playing in his last 2 years. Still better than most, but certainly not at his superbowl years level. Maybe it was because of injuries or whatever, but in later years he wasn't always our best Dlineman. Plus the money that we DIDN'T spend on Seymour helped us sign Wilfolk and Brady. Lets not be so narrowly focused.

    Last edited: Apr 29, 2011
  20. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    It still doesn't obviate the need to improve the pass rush, Borg. And its not about getting to the playoffs here. Its about getting deep in the playoffs to THE game. That's not going to likely happen without getting much better on defense.

    That being said, who knows what today will bring and more importantly FA. Plus we don't know if Cunningham and Ninko will dramatically improve after their first full year of play, and what the additions of Ty Warren, Boddin, and Stroud make.

    Think about how everyone's attitude would change if Manny Lawson or Mathias Kiwanuka come to Foxboro. More likely it will be a couple of guys we've never heard of, but still one of them MIGHT be the next Mike Vrabel. The problem is we don't know, and won't know until we see what they put out on the field.
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