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Mankins and Light

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by cstjohn17, Apr 9, 2011.

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  1. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I am losing sleep over this one. With the CBA uncertainity all my pretty little dreams about two first rounders for the front seven are slipping away.

    The possibility of losing two probowl offensive lineman is very real. This dramatically changes the teams needs and creates tremendous uncertainity.

    I am interested in thoughts and opinions on how this will play out both predraft and post draft.
  2. FreeTedWilliams

    FreeTedWilliams Moderator PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Either way this turns out you are pretty much assured that Mankins will back. If it comes to a new CBA, I can guarantee that the Franchise tag will still be in place. If the court orders an end to the lockout then last year’s rules would go into effect and Mankins would be a restricted free agent, and if the owners win and they implement the "last, best, offer", that too had the franchise tag in it.

    As for Light, it may be difficult to go to another team it all depends on when free agency happens. Most teams that NEEDE a LT are going to draft one (Patriots included) because nobody knows when the lockout will end, and if it ends in September, nobody wants to be without a LT. So Light might find it hard looking for a job and might have to stay where he is at.

    Either way, I fully expect Mankins to stay, and most likely get some sort of extension once the labor mess is figured out. With 3 of the first 33 picks, I expect that Light's replacement is coming via the draft.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011
  3. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Great answer, I feel the same way. Mankins will be back (one way or the other) but Light is less of a known, he is at the age where the Patriots typically cut bait. I could see him going to Indy.

    With Mankins in the fold, and a strong possibility that Vollmer would move to the left side, Right Tackle becomes a draft priority. This scenario is very manageable as right tackles are much easier to find than LTs.
  4. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    Really nicely put.

    I presume nothing, but I'd be surprised if either of them aren't back, even if "back" for Mankins means yet another truncated season.
  5. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't see the problem.
    -- If Light is not re-signed, Vollmer or Kaczur slide in as starting LT, even if LeVoir plays at RT the downside isn't major.
    ---- Scar prepared by kidnapping a TE to OT conversion from Houston and developing him, there's early indications of progress which may translate into reserve depth if not more.
    ---- Scar & BB held onto LeVoir all last season even after Ojinnaka went ahead of him, prior planning prevents etc.

    -- If Mankins is not re-signed, NE has a greater challenge. That said, they have been preparing for this for a couple seasons now:
    ---- I believe Orhnberger has been grooming to be Neal's heir at RG. He's developed slower than people might like, but Scar hasn't cut ties with him. The kid reminds me a little of Andruzzi.
    ---- Connolly and Wendell proved adequate as reserves, and Connolly a plug & play starter. We can get through a season with one or the other.
    ---- Levoir is primarily in the OT mix, but he was a LG for Notre Dame before being kicked out to RT.
    ---- Kaczur is in the mix for everything but C.
    ---- Austin was groomed on the PSquad, he was a solid OG in college.

    The big anxiety is where is the equivalent or greater talent to replace these two players, yet time and again we see NE plugging in a Scar recycling program kid and rolling right along at the same speed. Let's take a worst case scenario, Light is signed elsewhere and Mankins wins in court to remove the franchise tag. NE's left side is kaput!

    Left Tackle:
    -- Kaczur started 11 games for Light as a rookie playing next to another rookie on a team which made it to the divisional round before melting down and handing the game over. For all the hand wringing over his back, I give you Gronkowski - let's not borrow trouble until it arrives.
    -- Vollmer, 'nuff said.
    -- Two adequate options before the draft, what me worry?

    Left Guard:
    -- Connolly.
    -- Wendell played pretty well last season. I think he can, at minimum, get NE through a season okay.
    -- LeVoir, it's one of his old college starting positions from Notre Dame.
    -- Kaczur, Neal's retirement shut down the budget cut whispers, he's in the mix.
    -- Ohrnberger and Austin could get a chance to step up.
    -- It's a downgrade anyway you slice it before the draft, but not so much of one as some seem to think.
    -- The draft, forget the Pouncey bouncy top Guards, who are the second and third tier Left Tackles? Need I remind people Logan Mankins was a projected third round pick from a mid-major school in 2005 with the expectation he was moving inside to G? Do the same thing NE did in 2005 to replace Andruzzi, draft one LT conversion early and one later, then let them compete. Scar got two starters out of those moves. There is one small school All-American and two SEC kids projected from as high as late first to early third who apparently have sufficient athleticism to play on NE's O-line. All have LT experience. Life is good in Patriot Nation. :cool:

    Worst case scenario O-line, before the draft:

    Kaczur - Connolly - Koppen - Ohrnberger - Vollmer

    I start Big O over Wendy because the latter is a better plug & play option for all three interior slots, I also think Big O needs a little more position stability to get his best out of him.

    I keep Vollmer at RT for stability, this puts three "regular" starters back on the line to smooth out any wrinkles. Connolly has more experience playing inside Kaczur from Kac's RT days. The two 2010 starters bookend the new RG.

    With Wendell and LeVoir as primary reserves it may not be the strongest O-line NE has had, but it will get the job done.
  6. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    Expect both back for the following reasons:

    1. Mankins - there will be no "truncated" season - Mankins isn't stupid, He'll take the 10MM and play great, if only to set himself up for true FA in 2012. The pats don't "serial" franchise players. Like Samuel, if he comes in and does well the Pats will let him go next season

    2. Light - Light is more complex. You have to consider that he's been here since 2001. He is pretty embedded in the NE community. His off season income and business contacts are connected to his identity of being a Patriot. Now while the Krafts aren't known for paying TOP dollar, they aren't unfair, So I can see Light taking a good 2 year deal in the 10-12MM range to stay and end his career with the Pats. Any money Light leaves on the table, he'd more than make up in the off season. Light is a sharp guy, and is smart enough to see the LT benefits of retiring as a patriot.

    He was never an elite LT, but he has always been better than average....and still is.
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    LEVOIR
    Are you really saying the downside from Vollmer to Levoir at RT isn't major? I STRONGLY disagree.

    OHRNBERGER
    Did Ohrnberger even make the 53 last year? As I recall, we started with Neal, Mankins, Koppen, Connolly and Wendell. To think that Scar has been grooming Ohrnberger as Neal's heir is simply nonsense, or wishful thinking. One COULD say that for Connolly or Wendell. You ahve Ohrnberger as a starter. He has shown absolutely NOTHING to support such a leap. Why do you believe that he is now ahead of Wendell?

    BOTTOM LINE
    I agree with your overall position that things would not be bleak, even if Light and Mankins didn't play.

  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Mankins is expected to back and Light is expected to be gone, then I would draft a LT at 17. There would almost no disruption to the 2010, except for a top rookie and Kaczur splitting time at LT.

    rookie/Kaczur, Mankins, Koppen, Connolly/Wendell, Vollmer

    This line is better than moving Vollmer and expecting Connolly and a rookie to protect on the right side.

    The underlying advantage is that we would be drafting a better talent at LT at 17 than we would if we looked for a RT at 50 or 60.

    Of course, we could always draft a RT at 17, as Dallas is considering doing.

  9. Box_O_Rocks

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    You are getting hung up on qualifiers and ignoring history - LeVoir is at least as good as Gorin if not better, if he's NE's RT they can get to the playoffs again. From there the skies the limit. In my book a major downgrade would be asking Koppen to play RT in place of Vollmer, I'd have doubts about getting to the playoffs in that case.

    Orhnberger was waived and signed to the PSquad, then re-signed to the roster. I did not say he was ahead of Wendell, I looked at the worst case scenario if NE has to put together an O-line to play tomorrow without a draft, Light, or Mankins. Starting Big O at RG is an attempt to create stability on the line. O reminds me of Andruzzi a bit, limited athletically but giving you his all. In preseason he played his best at RG, I don't want him at C - no way, no how. Connolly at LG is another stability decision and an improvement on O at LG. The most stable O-line looks like Kac - Con - Kop - O - Vol using just the players on the roster and presuming NE's left side is gone.

    Wendell, after Connolly, is the most versatile of the interior reserves based on 2009 and 2010 preseasons (my lying eyes again). I don't want to be in a position mid-season to slide Wendell over from RG to cover for an injured Koppen or Connolly. You'll pardon my eccentricity in this case because the image that comes back to me is watching the streak-busting Pittsburgh game in 2004 with Gorin flipped to LT and Hochstein playing RT. Scar tries to prevent major reshuffles on the line with good reason.

    If O's plugged in from day one he gets a chance to grow into the job while Koppen and Vollmer help him. Wendell is available to pull him for some coaching up by Scar. Different players are more adaptable, wearing my personnel manager's hat here I see O as a kid who needs continuity to play his best, Wendy is less restricted about moving around.
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You are free to your opinion that LeVoir is not a major downgrade from Vollmer.

    I disagree with you worst case. I believe that Scar would start
    Kaczur, Connolly, Koppen, Wendell and Vollmer
    with Ohrnberger and LeVoir as the Game Day backups.

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