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Kevin O'Connell Why?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by cstjohn17, Jul 28, 2008.

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  1. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is driving me insane, I know BB & SP are not fools but why a QB in round 3? why? This has caused me to lose sleep.

    The O line seems like an obvious position of need, if not in 2008 definitely in 2009. I find it impossible to believe that the Patriots couldn't have found a player as good or better the Yates / Hochstein. I don't have a specific name but here is the list of O lineman drafted after O'Connell (pick 94)

    http://insider.espn.go.com/nfldraft...t/draft/tracker/position?id=46&draftyear=2008

    Tackles
    Anthony Collins OT KANSAS 4 13(112) Cincinnati
    Tony Hills OT TEXAS 4 31(130) Pittsburgh
    David Hale OT WEBER STATE 4 34(133) Baltimore
    Josh Sitton OT CENTRAL FLORIDA 4 36(135) Green Bay
    Breno Giacomini OT LOUISVILLE 5 15(150) Green Bay
    Carl Nicks OT NEBRASKA 5 29(164) New Orleans
    Barry Richardson OT CLEMSON 6 4(170) Kansas City
    Nate Garner OT ARKANSAS 7 4(211) New York
    Demetrius Bell OT NORTHWESTERN ST 7 12(219) Buffalo
    Brandon Keith OT NORTHERN IOWA 7 18(225) Arizona
    King Dunlap OT AUBURN 7 23(230) Philadelphia
    Corey Clark OT TEXAS A&M 7 27(234) San Diego
    Geoff Schwartz OT OREGON 7 34(241) Carolina
    Kirk Barton OT OHIO STATE 7 40(247) Chicago

    Guards
    Chad Rinehart OG NORTHERN IOWA 3 33(96) Washington
    Oniel Cousins OG UTEP 3 36(99) Baltimore
    Michael McGlynn OG PITTSBURGH 4 10(109) Philadelphia
    Shawn Murphy OG UTAH STATE 4 11(110) Miami
    Roy Schuening OG OREGON STATE 5 22(157) St. Louis
    Michael Gibson OG CALIFORNIA 6 18(184) Philadelphia
    Donald Thomas OG CONNECTICUT 6 29(195) Miami
    Chester Adams OG GEORGIA 7 15(222) Chicago
    Mackenzy Bernadeau OG BENTLEY 7 43(250) Carolina

    Centers
    Cody Wallace OC TEXAS A&M 4 8(107) San Francisco
    Kory Lichtensteiger OC BOWLING GREEN 4 9(108) Denver
    John Sullivan OC NOTRE DAME 6 21(187) Minnesota
    Steven Justice OC WAKE FOREST 6 35(201) Indianapolis
    Jamey Richard OC BUFFALO 7 29(236) Indianapolis
  2. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    There are maybe 30 people capable of becoming quality NFl Qbs, at any given time, on planet earth. The Pats just got one at the end of rd 3.

    IMO O'Connell has as much potential as Joe Flacco.

    Maybe Brady will never miss a game; maybe he will. maybe he'll decide to retire early; maybe he won't.

    It never hurts to prepare for all contigencies, especially at the most important position in sports.
  3. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    The NFL is a QB league, however we went into last year without much, if anything behind Brady. I tend to think that the poor play of Cassel (think Miami game) and his pending FA had BB thinking of upgrading the position. I do not know yet if O'Connell brings anything as far as passing goes to the table, but he can scrabble in a pinch and for a big guy, he ran all over the place last year.

    All that being said however, I really liked Collins of Kansas at ROT. He is nasty and we need nasty. At ROG I really liked McGlynn of Pitt, again, he is nasty and we need nasty.
  4. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Besides Collins & McGlynn, I was also intrigued by the physical potential of the still-raw Oniel Cousins. I was really PO'ed that Roy Schuening wasn't taken with our 4th-rounder or the 5th-rounder that was used to trade up for...Matt Slater. I even would've been OK if our 6th-rounder had been used on Steven Justice as Koppen's backup. Heck, if our 7th-rounder hadn't been thrown away for Slater, it could've been used to select Kirk Barton or Bentley College's first-ever NFL Draft choice, Mackenzy Bernadeau.

    Thats a lotta missed chances there. The FO better be right this year, because it sure wasn't right last year.
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2008
  5. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, that's funny, because pretty much everyone at camp is raving about Slater right now. . . .
  6. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Raving about Slater as a return guy, let's hope he can play defensive special teams, otherwise where is the versatility that BB craves?
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Slater has shown well (according to reports) in various aspects of ST (and has flashed as a WR too), but if he ends up being a great returner he's well worth the pick - both for production and keeping starters like Hobbs and Maroney off ST. As of this moment, and a game hasn't been played yet, I am very happy with the Slater pick.
  8. pats_premi

    pats_premi Rookie

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    I guess lots of people are raving about Hester for his kick/punt return ability. If I remember correctly, Hester was taken in the second round and he did not have a true position in college (similar to Slater). So if Slater is half as good as Hester in the return game then I think using fifth round pick on him is worth it ?
    One other thing, Patriots used 3 low round picks on the offensive linemen last year and non of them made the team.. so who knows.
  9. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Drafting Slater is fine, once you get past the first 3 rounds a draft picks chances of having any impact are about 10%.

    What about drafting O'Connell? this why I am losing sleep. Neal is likely to start on the PUP and now the Patriots are bringing in guys like Barry 'frickin' Stokes.
  10. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    The right side of the OL is very, very muddled right now.

    Will Barry Stokes be tried at G or T, or both? Is he any good at either one?
    Can O'Cal establish himself at RT?
    Will Kaczur suffer from withdrawl symptoms, and will we notice the difference?
    Is McMahon just TC fodder, or can he become the backup RG/RT?
    Can Connolly provide quality versatility, incl. Center, in addition to youth & size?
    Will we again have to suffer Hochstein's impersonations of a turnstile?
    Can Yates stay healthy, and will it matter?
    And most importanly, how badly hurt is Neal?

    The FO is playing with fire, and Brady's health, by not having been more pro-active during the off-season.
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2008
  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Two of those three are on other teams rosters though.

    If Slater is half as good as Hester that will mean something like 5 or 6 return TD's in the next two seasons. I would take that.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yes, I would have drafted a guard, rather than pass the pick forward to 2009. However, it must be noted that Belichick is absolutely fine with one of the very top left sides in the business (Light, Mankins and Koppen). There are four OT's competing for RT reps. Is the a problem at RG. The FO knows. We do not.

    OT
    Let's have a reality check. We have five OT's that have started in this league. Light, Kaycur, O'Callaghan and Britt have all started for us, and Ross has been a starter.

    OG
    Hochstein and Yates are acceptable backups to Belichick and Dante. Neal's health is the key issue on the OL, which is why we have had a procession of free agent OL's including Stokes.


  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm a little confused about the premise of this thread, linking O'Connell and the OL. People are concerned about the right side of the OL, fine. But the Pats had plenty of draft picks and somehow it's because of Kevin O'Connell that they chose to spend NONE of them on o-linemen?

    Personally I think it was a canny pick, a combination of luxury and value that only a very good team can afford. You just don't see that many guys with 100% of the building blocks: an ideal NFL frame, exceptional athleticism, terrific arm strength, high intelligence and strong leadership ability. Yes, O'Connell played for a lousy program, had lousy coaching and has a lot to learn (and unlearn). But he'll have time to do that in New England, where there is zero pressure for him to do anything but learn. (Imagine him at Jets training camp, with the fans desperately waiting for a savior to unseat Pennington and Clemens!) Of course he's a risk, but at the bottom of the 3rd, who isn't?

    Every year fans grumble about the Pats lacking a "real" backup QB, but when they spend a mid-round pick on a QB we scream "why?" I'm happy to wait and see on this guy.
  14. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ---- JAG ----- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    When we get a draft pick for Cassell nobody will complain that we took O'Connell.
  15. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    I don't include Stokes or Ross as players, just camp bodies. I am concerned that there is now a noticable drop off when Hochstien comes in for the oft injured Neal, and career to date, Yates has not proven he can play a full season.

    I would love to see O'Callaghan or Britt win the ROT spot and move Kazcur to ROG in Neal can not come back from injury.
  16. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess I feel better with an 80 year veteran (Flutie, Vinnie) than paying someone's tuition at the end of bench. I don't really view the NFL as a developmental league, roster spots are important. I picked the 3rd round pick for two reasons, drafting a QB didn't and still doesn't make any sense to me and drafting a O Line would improve an area of weakness. A 3rd round G should be able to perform at the same level as Yates in year 1 with more upside.

    If Neal is able to take some snaps in the preseason I might feel better, if he goes on the PUP list and misses the first 6 games then the QB pick looks foolish and self-gratifying, IMO.
  17. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    Good point, who starts at ROG if Neal goes PUP? Hochstein?" Yates? Neither makes me feel very comfortable.
    If I am KC, I stunt Dorsey to Yates' side on every passing play.
  18. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This is a good article on the O Line by Ross Tucker, by his estimation the RG receives the most 1:1 matchups.
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/ross_tucker/04/02/oline.rankings/index.html

    One of the cat and mouse games I am interested in is how teams attack the Patriots right side and what the Patriots do about it. Do they play the TE over the right tackle? Run the ball at the rush, run the ball away form the rush? Throws screens to the right?

    It reminds me of the Princess Bride... "So you think that I know you think my right side is weak?"
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with that, and IF the Pats had concerns about Neal's health then that position clearly should have been more of a priority. If not, though, then we're in the odd position of saying "why did they waste a pick on a backup QB when they could have had a backup RG?"

    Honestly, I was looking OT in the draft too. But after that crazy run on the position in the early rounds, I figured it wasn't in the cards. When a guy like John Greco goes at #65 overall, that's not a great sign for value. Oniel Cousins and Anthony Collins, ironically, remind me of O'Connell: impressive physical specimens with little experience who need a lot of work on their technique. Not guys you'd want to put in front of Brady to start the season -- and for that matter, not guys who match the classic Pats OL draft profile.
  20. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BTW, I should say that the name I was shouting at the screen at #94 was Red Bryant. I think the lack of an NT draftee was at least as surprising as the the lack of OL.
  21. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    That'll work for me; I love acquiring draft picks.

    I just don't think that we'll get a 3rd, or even a 4th, for Cassell.
  22. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I agree, on all counts.
  23. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    If I am any team's DC, I attack the right side of our OL on every passing play.
  24. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Bryant would have been a good value pick for us at #94: one of the better players available & at a position of need.

    I personally was rooting for UConn DB Tyvon Branch. I'm tired of seeing the FO acquire injury-prone midgets at CB.

    OLmen Cousins & McGlynn, and DE/DT Dre Moore also would've been better value picks than O'Connell.

    I too am concerned about the lack of a quality backup NT. LeKevin Smith appears to be taking more snaps at DE than at NT so far, and Steven Fifita isn't the answer. My solution would have been to sign UFA Grady Jackson, who was available as late as last week before Tom Dimitroff in Atlanta signed him, and/or draft Ahtyba Rubin with our 5th-rounder.
  25. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    I think the lack of a NT draftee is the result of the Steve Martin (2002) experience. Not saying Steve Martin is a NT (or a good player for that matter), just saying that screwing up the middle of the DL for this defense can destroy the whole scheme. Instead of "doing your job", people start compensating and the house of cards collapses.

    If Wilfork goes down for any amount of time (that sound you hear is me knocking on all available wood for his health), I think you will see the scheme compensate rather than a player step in to replace him. More 4-3. Slide Seymour inside and play AD more on the LOS. Stuff like that.

    If a technically sound vet NT is available as a FA or if a stud NT slips within range of the Pats in the draft, I think they would pounce. It just doesn't seem like a position that can be developed with a great success rate. In other words, the Pats need the "best", not the "best available", at NT.

    On a side note, I really hope people understand just how valuable Wilfork really is and how important it is that he is re-signed. Seeing the Casey Hampton situation in Pittsburgh (Google "Casey Hampton Fat" for related information) just drives that point home even further. I think the Steelers are one cheeseburger away from missing the playoffs.
  26. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    Instead of "why a QB in round 3"...how about "why THAT QB in round 3".

    In the last 16 years (AKA, the free agency era), the Super Bowl winner has had at QB either:
    • A high 1st round draft pick (Aikman, Young, Elway, Dilfer, Meathead, Goober and Goober Jr.)
    • A low round/undrafted player (Warner, Brady, B.Johnson)
    • Brett Favre

    Since the Pats hope to never be in position to draft that high in the 1st round (or pay that money for a QB to develop), you have to think the Pats would have to strike gold again in finding their post-Brady QB. So Kingsbury, Cassel and Gutierrez shouldn't be a surprise.

    In addition to showing how beneficial financially it can be to build a team around a QB picked outside the top half of the 1st round, Brady also provided a prototype for what the Pats should be looking for. Brady, Cassel, Gutierrez and O'Connell could probably share clothes. That isn't by accident.

    But Cassel and Gutierrez were late round flyers. Why pick O'Connell? He fits the prototype and is a superior athlete, but is technically raw. If the Pats can coach him up and get his footwork and release correct and consistent, he will be a starting caliber QB in the NFL. If the Pats have guessed right and he has the intangibles necessary to process information quickly and make good decisions, he will be a Pro Bowl caliber QB in the NFL. Those are pretty big "if's" and that is why he didn't go on the 1st day of the draft.

    Why the 3rd round when he was projected to go in the 5th? Simple. That is the spot the Pats knew they had to take O'Connell to minimize the risk someone else would trump them. That says the Pats feel good about their ability to coach him up and O'Connell's ability to take good coaching and apply it on the field.

    If they are wrong, they blew a 3rd round pick. Is that a disaster? Two words...Brock Williams. Two more...Guss Scott. Both of those players were drafted in years the Pats won the Super Bowl.

    If they are right about O'Connell, they will have a gem at the most important position in football. His rookie contract will be up right around the time Brady may be starting to think about his life in politics. Or judging beauty contests around the world. Regardless, O'Connell is an investment that could pay off big in the future.
  27. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Sounds like the musings of someone bored at work, believe I have been there.

    Sorry, I am not buying. I don't expect all their draft picks to stick, in fact I put the percentages to be an NFL starter something like:
    round 1 - 80%
    round 2 -60%
    round 3 - 40%
    round 4 - 30%
    round 5+ - 10%

    I don't see the value in picking a development project, outside of Brady the Patriots have developed exactly 0 QBs. Brady was a 1 in million, not a blueprint.

    Why not give Dante some tools to work with? He has had 1 first rounder (Mankins - Probowl), a 2nd rounder (Matt Light - Probowl). I think a 3rd round pick of OL is higher % than a QB, especially when your QB is in his prime. O'Connell is signed for 4 years, what are the odds he throws more than 30 passes as a Patriot? 15:1
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2008
  28. Metaphors

    Metaphors Rookie

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    You are missing my point. The Pats didn't take O'Connell in the 3rd round because he was the highest QB on their list and they wanted just any QB to develop. The Pats took O'Connell in the 3rd round because they wanted to get O'Connell specifically and they guessed that it would take pick 94 to be sure of getting him. They see something in O'Connell that you don't see.

    As far as Brady not being a blueprint, you really think it is just happenstance that all 4 Patriot QBs are almost precisely the same height/weight profile? They aren't looking for another Brady (as you mention that would be a foolish expectation). They have seen the physical attributes and intangibles in Brady that have made him successful. That gives them something to start with during evaluations. It would be equally foolish for them to look for a 6'2" mobile QB with a sidearm throwing motion with a gambling attitude.

    A point that has been mentioned countless time (now countless + 1), the Pats had any number of opportunities to get a lineman. They chose not to. I don't know why and with the current injuries I'm not sure if they already regret the decision. Pick #94 was not their only or even best opportunity for bringing in some OLine help. They just didn't want anyone available at the positions where they selected.

    As for the number of passes O'Connell makes in the next 4 years, hopefully he only makes 30 passes in mop-up duty and collects 4 championships along the way. The real point will be in 2011, what will the Pats have in O'Connell. A solid QB that has been Brady's backup for a year or two? That is worth a 3rd. Then the Pats can chose whether to re-sign him long term to try to trade his rights.

    Anything more than a reliable backup and the Pats have a steal. If he never rises to 2nd string then he is a bust and you move on. Either way it will be interesting to see his progression.
  29. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But he has his 3rd-round OT too -- Kaczur. The days when Dante was expected to piece together an OL out of UDFAs, spit and string are long gone.
  30. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    What about warm bodies walking the streets in August?

    Kaczur is an adequate NFL starter, that is more than what is expected from a 3rd rounder.

    1:17 AM? You must have kids or something.
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