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Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, May 1, 2007.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Just musing on how two of the top teams in the league go about their savvy bargain hunting...

    San Diego has taken to targeting big-time players with serious injury flags: Antonio Cromartie, Marcus McNeill, Anthony Waters. New England has developed a fondness for guys who got stuck on the depth chart behind special players: Matt Cassel, Oscar Lua, Matt Gutierrez. I can't think of any other teams that have taken either approach so aggressively. (Granted, SD's approach is more aggressive, since it requires higher picks.)

    Rolling the dice on these risky players makes sense if you're picking at the end of every round...there are fewer sure things available, and you have fewer definite needs to fill. The interesting thing is that Indianapolis hasn't been rolling those boom-or-bust dice. They tend to collect players with strong skills but worrisome measurables (tiny safeties, slow corners), trusting that their system will exploit the players' strengths and cover their weaknesses.

    In the end...I have no conclusion to make at all. :bricks: But maybe some tendencies to consider in the next draft.
     
  2. Pats726

    Pats726 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    and their approach to UDFAs......NE has signed a few while SD has over 20..
     
  3. stinkypete

    stinkypete In the Starting Line-Up

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    #24 Jersey

    I think that is more a reflection of each team's roster depth than its style.
     
  4. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Good observation. I'm a big fan of taking a chance on the injured player whose stock has fallen. Sometimes you get Antoine Womack, sometimes Marcus McNeil. The other good aspect is that a good team with few open roster slots can put a guy like Waters on PUP/IR, and let him rehab at his own pace. There is less pressure for an immediate contribution from a pick.
     
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    Well, Oakland hasn't signed many UDFAs either...

    Perhaps it's more a reflection of the 6 picks the Pats had in the last 2 rounds of the draft compared to 1 for SD. The Patriots simply drafted all their priority UDFA targets.
     
  6. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Oui, touche.
     
  7. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #75 Jersey

    I suppose we should mention Denver's strategy of picking up players who fall do to character concerns (Clarett, Thomas), which differs from Cincinnatti only in Shanahan's willingness to jettison them early.
     
  8. marty

    marty In the Starting Line-Up

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    Thought provoking thread patchick. One of the reasons I love this board!
     
  9. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    Good teams (Pats, Indy, SD, Pitt., Bears) are built through the draft, you add Randall Gay to yoiur list of burried players. He started as junior but was beaten out as a senior (I think by Travis Daniels).

    Just looking quickly SD has a lot of starters that are not first day picks, way more than the Patriots (Neal, Parker, Gates, Dielman, Olivea, Cooper, Joe, McGree).

    I maintain my stance that 2nd day picks are sexy but are generally relagated to Special Teams and backup roles. Winning teams hit with their Day 1 picks.


     
  10. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Disable Jersey

    I remember reading that the Colts make a point of trying to pick up players from small schools. Any data? Another question: any observed tendencies in the Ravens' drafting (they seem to have been very successful everywhere except at QB).

    Nice post.

    The conclusion is that everyone is looking for an edge and that one kind of edge is where the negative factors are over-rated by the rest of the market (injuries, perceived poor character), another is where ability isn't matched by visibility (not getting a lot of starting time/playing for a small school). Of course, you have to be a good judge of players not to get burned even if you find an edge.
     
  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Scouting is such an inexact science, that it's really hard to see San Diego saying let's target the second day hard.
    I think San Diego's scouting staff had a really good idea of what kinds of players they wanted and did a very nice job of finding players with a wart or two that projected very nicely into their scheme.

    Quick personal story.

    When the Dolts picked me up and brought me to mini camp after my senior season, Tedy M. said the scouts watched a ton of film on me and they thought I could be a Roger Craig type FB , because I caught the ball well and ran really well.
    In college I had 3 balls thrown to me and I caught 1, on a deflection off a LBers helmet. I considered myself more like a Lorenzo Neal type FB than a Roger Craig type FB. It was the worst 3 days of my football life.

    The only thing I could think of was that the Dolts scouts were stoners.
     
  12. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Aren't those the same Colts that drafted Steve Emtman and Quentin Coryatt with high first round picks? I'm not entirely surprised. Drafting really can be a crapshoot because it's hard to project college players to the next level. A guy can be very productive in college and make a poor pro, or have not that much production in college but turn out to be a very solid pro.
     
  13. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Yes same team.

    I just think that at the end of the day, the better the scouts and personnel guys do of projecting a guy into their scheme, the better the draft results.
     
  14. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    #12 Jersey

    If you can draft a guy with talent, productivity and work ethic, you do... and it will cost you a 1st rounder, usually. You're unlikely to find those guys on Day Two. Any Day Two pick has to have some kind of warts.

    If you cant get a prospect with everything, it's usually sufficient to draft players with upside and work ethic. That combination almost as good as the real deal, if you're willing to be patient.

    Better to take a shot at a guy with potential who hasn't had the chance (like the rook RB from Central Connecticut) because he's been buried on the depth chart (behind Rice and Leonard at Rutgers prior to xferring), than to spend the pick on a guy who played a lot, but was mediocre. The choice is between a sure-thing JAG who belongs in the NFL, or a high risk guy who could be a starter with some coaching but might flame out entirely.

    In 2000, 2001, 2002, BB would have drafted the JAG, because the team needed JAGs to fill the roster out. Guys like Antwan Harris and Leonard Myers were decent contributors, safe picks, but were never going to make the pro-bowl. UFAs like Patten and Marc Edwards fit the bill, too. Not flashy, but reliable. Servicable. That's all we could afford.

    In 2005, 2006, 2007, any draft pick is a longshot to unseat an incumbant veteran who's already been blooded with the scheme. Only chance to truly improve the team in the late rounds is to strike gold, or uncover a forgotten diamond in the muck. That's where drafting good players who haven't had a shot at success comes into play. The rookie RB from Central Connecticut is a perfect example: transferred from Rutgers, because he was playing behind Leonard and Rice. Never had his shot. Made the most of what he had. He's a boom or bust option for us. But at least he has a shot.

    Same thinking applies earlier in the draft and in FA. That's where Stallworth, Moss and Meriweather come in. BB knows the only way to improve a deep and talented team is to add truly elite, top-end potential, and accept and address the downside that scared the rest of the NFL away from them (like the attitude, the "bad decisions", etc.) Those are the things which make them affordable/attainable in the first place. But, solve that, and the upside is enormous. How else are you going to improve an already strong team in the 4th round?

    BB/SP are still bargain hunting for talent. That, at least, is no different than 2001. Difference is, now, they have the luxury of a roster that is already solid and deep at every position. So, they can afford to take a chance on the boom or bust players, who would be differentiators. Those high risk, high return players couldn't be considered in 2001 because BB needed those picks to land some warm bodies. In those days, we were building the core fabric of the team, and there was no competition. Now, we're adding glitter and trim... but still, as ever, at bargain prices.
     
  15. patsfan55

    patsfan55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #95 Jersey

    well yeah
    but, womack was a seventh rounder
    mcneil was a second
     
  16. patsfan55

    patsfan55 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #95 Jersey

    wait
    what?!?!?!?
     
  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #50 Jersey

    I guess you could extend this line of thinking to passing up on a serviceable David Harris to take a chance at landing one of the elite, top-of-the draft talents who the Pats never get a shot at.
     
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