Let's talk about Aaron Hernandez

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by ivanvamp, Jan 29, 2013.

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  1. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

    I would suspect that most Patriots fans tend to be fans of Aaron Hernandez. He's just a good football player. Very good receiver, good open-field runner, and is pretty exciting to watch. The thought of him and Gronk together for the next six seasons is, generally speaking, an encouraging one.

    But how good is Hernandez, really? Here are his stats the first three seasons:

    2010: 14 g, 64 tar, 45 rec, 70.3%, 563 yds, 12.5 ypc, 8.8 ypt, 6 td
    2011: 14 g, 113 tar, 79 rec, 69.9%, 910 yds, 11.5 ypc, 8.1 ypt, 7 td
    2012: 10 g, 84 tar, 51 rec, 60.7%, 483 yds, 9.5 ypc, 5.8 ypt, 5 td
    TOT: 38 g, 261 tar, 175 rec, 67.0%, 1956 yds, 11.2 ypc, 7.5 ypt, 18 td
    Per Game: 6.9 tar, 4.6 rec, 51.5 yds, 0.48 td

    So, combining what we observe with what the numbers tell us, just exactly how good is Aaron Hernandez?

    We know he's a bit of a Swiss Army knife - can play out wide, from the slot, on the line, or in the backfield. He abuses linebackers and is pretty big for corners (though there are plenty of WRs that are bigger than he is). For a TE he's pretty small and not a very good blocker. He is also not terribly durable. 38 games in 3 regular seasons means he misses, on average, slightly more than 3 games per year. And he often plays very banged up.

    He is signed to a reasonable contract through 2018. I wonder what he would fetch in terms of a trade. If the Pats are looking to upgrade their team, what kind of return would they get for Hernandez? I'm not advocating trading him; I'm just wondering.

    What is the feeling around here about Hernandez? Love him? Is he an absolute key to this team? Is he overrated? Should they consider moving him to improve elsewhere?
  2. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    1. It's a tough proposition to trade Hernandez when half the time Gronk isn't even on the field. The other issue is that our double TE offense creates mismatches and allows our running game to flourish at the same time. I don't see any point in getting rid of AH.

    2. If a redraft were done, I'm sure AH would be taken in the 1st round so a 1st round pick is the minimum compensation to expect in return. But considering the big contract plus signing bonus we just shelled out to him, a lot of dead money would hit the cap for the Pats so it would be cap suicide to make such a move right now.
  3. ivanvamp

    ivanvamp In the Starting Line-Up

    A lot of guys here know way more about how the cap stuff works than I do, so I'll trust what you say here on that.

    I like Hernandez a lot and think he's valuable. But if the Pats like him, you can bet that other teams like him too. When looking to improve your team, and if you're thinking about a trade (which, granted, maybe NE isn't considering at all), generally you have to give up something good to get something good. I'm trying to think through where the Pats could afford to give in order to get something they really need.

    Because I think Gronk + Ballard in a 2 TE set would still work very well, even though Hernandez brings a lot to the table.
  4. BrickPat

    BrickPat Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Trade AH...let Welker walk....who is going to catch the ball?:D
  5. RhodyPatriot

    RhodyPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

    Aaron Hernandez is very athletic. He's also overrated, overpaid and is very inconsistent.
    Never know what Hernandez is going to give you game to game.
    Pretty pathetic when the absence of Gronk is always referenced as the reason for AH's lack of performance especially since Aaron pulls a bigger paycheck from Bill Belichick than Gronk does.
    :eek: Believe it or not!!!! :eek:
  6. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    He's better than the numbers indicate. He's been slowed down by injuries the past 2 seasons and there are also guys like gronk and wes to share targets.

    Not sure i could even trade him for a high pick because that's hardly guaranteed.

    And AH is just 23.
  7. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Aaron Hernandez is better when Gronk is on the field, Gronk is better when Aaron Hernandez is on the field...

    Both make each other better...
  8. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    What do you mean lack of performance? His only issues so far have been some drops and injuries but when he is on the field he is constantly making plays.
  9. Gronkandez

    Gronkandez 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    His performance when healthly is good as long as he gets out of bounds at the end of halves.

    The probem is when Gronk is out he can't fill Gronk's role. He just can't block well enough IMO.
  10. randomk1

    randomk1 In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey

    Yeah? Who can fill Gronk's role?
  11. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #32 Jersey

    That's a damn good question.
  12. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

    Given that the Patriots believe there are two types of tight ends (F and Y) and Gronk is a prototypical Y tight end, and Hernandez is a prototypical F tight end, it is not surprising that Hernandez is not able to fill a role that has him playing significantly out of position.
  13. Get it shawtaay

    Get it shawtaay Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    #32 Jersey

    Gronk is not a prototypical anything. He is the only tight end in the NFL with his blend of skills.
  14. Marqui

    Marqui In the Starting Line-Up

    They're not trading Hernandez.
  15. JackBauer

    JackBauer Pro Bowl Player

    My thoughts? He's young, awesome, and will only get better.
  16. Frisbetarian

    Frisbetarian Rookie

    Hernandez definitely did not have as good a season in 2012 as he did in 2011. He caught a lower percentage of passes thrown his way (60.7% vs. 69.9%), as ivan detailed in the opening post, and also dropped 10 passes, the 2nd highest total in the NFL (to Graham's 15) among TE's, but the highest drop percentage among the 21 TE's targeted 50%+ of the time, 16.4%. This compares to only 5 drops and a 5.9% drop percentage in 2011.

    The question is, how much of Sweet Leaf's drop off can be attributed to injury, how much to skill, and how much to not having Gronkowski on the field? My sense, although there is no way to definitively prove this, is that injury played a huge role in Hernandez' 2012 down season.

    In 2011 he was ranked very highly by all of the available advanced football metrics. Football Outsiders placed him as the 9th best TE in football according to Defense Adjusted Yards Against Replacement (DYAR - explanation here), while Pro Football Focus rated him the 5th best TE in the game (their rating system can be found here). Whether you believe these metrics or not, and there is good reason to be skeptical (although it is worth noting that one Rob Gronkowski was by far the best TE according to both sites in 2011), it still is clear that Aaron Hernandez had a great 2011 season at the age of 21/22. He caught 76.5% of the passes thrown his way in the slot in 2011, 2nd best among TE's, and gained 1.9 yards per route run, the 4th highest total for a TE. His 2012 ratings on both advanced stat sites were way down (Gronk was first on both again, although not by as great a margin), as were his reception percentage and drop percentage, but, again, he was dealing with injuries all season.

    Hernandez is versatile player who has accomplished much at the age of 23, and has, imo, tons of untapped potential. There is no way I would consider trading him
  17. fester

    fester On the Game Day Roster

    Disagree --- every scout, every coach, every GM will be looking at draftable tight-ends who can play the F position as compared against Gronk.

    Player Z has the in-line blocking and the hands of Gronk BUT not the down the seam explosiveness.

    Player X has the down the seam explosiveness as Gronk but will get rag dolled on the edge.

  18. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #3 Jersey

    Actually, Player Z usually provides crappy in-line Blocking and tremendous down the seam explosiveness, while Player X tends to have considerably less explosiveness and is far less likely to get rag dolled than Player Z...[​IMG]

    But I see what you're saying. ;)
  19. Palm Beach Pats Fan

    Palm Beach Pats Fan In the Starting Line-Up

    #12 Jersey


    Calvin Johnson is arguably one, at 6'5" 236, vs. Aaron 6'1" 245.

    Vincent Jackson is listed at 6'5', 230.

    Plaxico Burress was listed at 6'5", 232.

    Several WRs top Aaron in height but I am not aware of any at all that are listed at both a higher height and a higher weight.

    Aaron would be one of the largest WRs in the NFL if he played there full time.
  20. Sicilian

    Sicilian Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    Hernandez's value isn't really measured by stats alone (though his stats for a TE are still well above average). Offense in the NFL is all about finding mismatches, and AH provides some damn good ones. If he's lined up tight to the line, you can't put a corner on him or he'll get bowled over in the running game (not necessarily by AH, but because that's where the big boys play). And if he's covered by a safety or linebacker, he's got the quickness and route running ability to get open more often than not.

    Combine that with his ability to make people miss and get YAC, and he's a weapon that defenses have to account for. That's his true value.
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