Welcome to PatsFans.com

Needs Analysis: Offensive Line

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by BradyManny, Nov 15, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -0

    Let's move to the offensive side of the ball. Since Neal has come back, and Kaczur has come back strong after a slow start to the season, the OL is shored up. But there are still long term and depth needs:

    OFFENSIVE LINE (13), 7 signed, 6 unsigned


    LT - Light (2010)
    LG - Mankins (2009)
    C - Koppen (2011)
    RG - Neal (2009)
    RT - Kaczur (2009)

    OT - O’Cal (2009)
    OG - Yates (2009)

    FA
    OG/C - Hochstein
    OT - Wesley Britt (RFA)
    OT - Mark Levoir

    Practice Squad:
    OT - Jacob Bender
    OG/C - Dan Connolly
    C - Ryan Wendell

    LOCKS (5):
    Mankins, Light, Koppen, Kaczur & Neal are locks.

    SPOTS UP FOR GRABS (3):
    Backup C/utility, Backup/future starting G, Backup T/competition for RT

    CURRENT COMPETITION FOR OPEN SPOTS (8):
    - Kazcur has played well since coming back from an injury that kept him out only 2 weeks. But his offseason issues and ensuing struggles early in the season are of concern. In two games filling in for Kaczur, Levoir played quite well.
    - Yates has been inconsistent, but is signed for 09. Neal has had trouble staying healthy over the past few seasons, so a higher upside backup may be needed.
    - Hochstein has been a valuable backup at C/G, but could be beaten out as the unit goes younger, perhaps by Connolly.
    - O’Callaghan has looked good in limited time, but has had problems with injuries.
    - Bender is mildly intriguing but will struggle to get a roster spot, especially if the team adds via the draft.
    - Connolly has a decent chance of making the squad next year with Hochstein reaching free agency, unless the team opts for someone in the draft.
    - Britt has proven to be good depth and looked good in preseason, but may not return given Levoir’s strong play, and the fact he is a FFA at the end of the season.
    - Wendell does not have a good chance of making the 08 squad. He is PS eligible in 08.

    PLAN OF ACTION VIA DRAFT/FREE AGENCY:
    - If the opportunity presents itself, add a potential long term answer at starting OT through the day 1 of the draft or free agency. Need not be a polished OL, as the team has 1 year till Kaczur hits free agency, 2 until Light reaches the end of his contract. Otherwise draft a tackle in the mid rounds as depth at the position.
    - Select an OG between rounds 1-4 as a potential long term replacement for Neal. The depth behind Neal is OK, but Yates does not appear to have the upside as a long term answer as a starting.
    - Add at least one versatile utility OL to the current competition via the mid to late rounds of the draft.

    Bottom Line: 3 players needed.

    This unit could go either way in the draft. The team may feel they can fill the depth with players already in the organization. However, I'd personally love to see them add players via the draft, and use a Day 1 pick either on G or T.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2008
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -0

    Please throw out prospects you feel would be a fit for the Pats. I know Ochmed has mentioned Unger [Oregon] & Urbik [Wisconsin] among others.
  3. Taxed in Maine

    Taxed in Maine Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2007
    Messages:
    353
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I'm not so sure about an early pick on a OT. With Light, Kaczur and LeVoir we should be in decent shape. RG is actually more of a problem when Neal isn't in there. I think the opportunity to draft a replacement for Neal may actually be the way to go.

    The guy I like the most is Jonathon Luigs, he plays C, but can also play G. At 6'4 315, is also very quick and athletic, and could also serve as our backup center.

    Then of course the mid-round OT, developmental player is probably inevitable.
  4. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,981
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0

    given 3 of 4 are FA's after '09, don't be suprised to see 2 picks in the first 3 rounds to be OL's.......

    neal has been injury prone and may be gone after this year anyway although they may extend him for short dollars as he could be good depth as he ages

    I'd have no problems getting an athletic OT like jason smith with the first pick in round 2, and then herman johnson in round 3........gotta love a 6'7"/380lb guy who can run a 5.3/40..........this guys is a freaking monster
  5. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    5,032
    Likes Received:
    23
    Ratings:
    +39 / 11 / -4

    #54 Jersey

    This is the quandary at every draft position. Do you draft for two years down the road and 'waste' a high draft pick on a player who will likely not play in their first year? Tough call.

    With the age / pending free agents I expect two lineman to be drafted. A player with RT/G flexibility taken in rounds 3 or 4 and a developmental player in rounds 5-7.

    All the starters return next year, it is a tough call. Who knows maybe they try to extend Kaczur for cheap money lessening the need or give Mankins a boatload of money..

    Here is a good breakdown from NationalFootballPost:
    The National Football Post | NFL Draft: Top Offensive Linemen
  6. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    4,981
    Likes Received:
    7
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0

    why would you draft for 2 years down the road? I could see anyone drafted in the 2nd or 3rd rounds pushing kaczur and neal.........neal is injured half the time anyway

    mankins, koppen, light, and kaczur were all major contributors in their rookie year.........
  7. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -0

    A month ago I would've said I could see someone pushing Kaczur, but he seems to do a lot better with Neal on his side. We know he can play LT well, he did it in his rookie year. My only concern would be his off field issues, not the legal standpoint, but the addiction standpoint of it. I think that probably had an effect on his preseason and early season play and preparation.

    Neal hasn't proven he can stay healthy, so I agree there that we should invest in a guard either way. The bummer is he's a Pro Bowl caliber guard when healthy, so you'd love to be able to just count on him being there 16 games, but not sure we can.

    But as for tackle, I think we should simply invest in it since Light has two years left, Kaczur has one - sure, we'd hope to wrap up Kaczur long term. But we would have the luxury of drafting someone in round 1-3 that is considered high upside but a "project". Duane Brown comes to mind last year, but I think he's already doing well as it is. Maybe round 1 is too high at this stage. But even round 2 or 3 you can definitely justify drafting a guy that is a high upside backup for a couple years and than potentially a starter.
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,750
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ratings:
    +14 / 2 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    First let me say that I think our two biggest needs in the offseason are, a pass rushing 3-4 demon off the edge and a playmaker in the secondary (UFA Asingwoh [spelling] of Oakland is perfect). After that however, I would like 3 new OL in this draft to replace Yates, Britt and O'Callghan.

    1.) I like OT Jason Smith of Baylor in the second round.
    2.) I like C/OT Unger of Oregon in the 4th or 5th round
    3.) I like OG Urbik of Wisconsin in the 5th round

    That leaves us plenty of picks to get a pass rushing demon (1st) [Since there are none in this draft, I will happily take NT Mount Cody of Alabama]; TE (2nd) and CB (3rd) and FS/SS (3rd)
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2008
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,593
    Likes Received:
    106
    Ratings:
    +270 / 17 / -2

    First, I would note that we almost always carry nine offensive linemen, 5 starters, 2 backup interior linemen and 2 backup tackles. In the four backups, we need two Game Day backups, one interior (who must be a backup center) and one tackle.

    I agree that the five starters are locks. I would also consider LeVoir a lock. He is an inexpensive ERFA and has been playing well when needed. In any case, he is an inexpensive prospect. Hochstein is the best utility backup lineman in a decade. I expect that Hochstein will be extended and would be a lock for me. This locks up my Game Day seven.

    Obviously, we always look for a player who is a future stud all-pro starter. If anyone can figure out how to do that, they should be working for the team. Of course, we would sign one if we see him. As has been posted, Neal and Mankins are signed through 2009, so the need is at OG.

    OPEN SPOTS (2)
    O'Callaghan is still on the roster for 2009, although I would be more comfortable if we would just sign an injury settlement and send him on his way. His history of concussions is a serious problem. So, I have Britt (with a level 2 tender) and Yates as the incumbants. If they can be upgraded, fine. If not, we are ready for the 2009 season today at OL.

    DRAFT NEED - BOTTOM LINE
    I don't see a need. I expect the usual 5th and/or 6th round prospects.

  10. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2005
    Messages:
    24,200
    Likes Received:
    164
    Ratings:
    +278 / 18 / -43

    #50 Jersey


    I don't see the Pats offering Britt a contract unless O'Callaghan just can't recover from his injury issues.. LaVoir has passed Britt on the depth chart for RT.

    The Pats just lost Bender to the 49ers, as he was signed to their 53 man roster.

    I am hoping that the 1st two picks of this draft are used on the Lines. The Pats need more talent there.
  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2004
    Messages:
    5,750
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ratings:
    +14 / 2 / -0

    #12 Jersey

    Why do you consider Levior a lock? I don't see anything mpressive there and I don't see a lot of athletism or upside.
  12. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,593
    Likes Received:
    106
    Ratings:
    +270 / 17 / -2

    I consider anyone who costs $300K or so and has started as a lock one of the three backups. As of now, Levior is our #3 OT. While he could be cut, it would take finding and signing or drafting two tackles who would beat out Levoir. You say that he hasn't looked impressive. How amy bad plays do you recall when he played. People are always posting bad plays from the starters.

  13. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -0

    Like w LeKevin in the other thread - LeVoir's status on the team depends heavily on the draft.
  14. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,593
    Likes Received:
    106
    Ratings:
    +270 / 17 / -2

    The future of almost every backup on the team depends on the draft. Of course we might draft two OT's who will both beat out LeVoir. It does seem unlikely. And we could draft two DL's who push out LeKevin. I think that this too is unlikely.

    As I stated elsewhere, we should definitely be looking at the lines in the early draft, as we always do. This time, unless we have extended someone, the DL need is severe, and the OL need is not so much.

  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    I concur, though I'd downgrade your severe to potentially significant with the post 2009 re-signings to be considered. Like many I'd love to see a reserve NT who can beat out Mike Wright for the job.
  16. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    9,755
    Likes Received:
    31
    Ratings:
    +75 / 3 / -0

    Good call on the heads up about Bender. That's too bad, he would've been an interesting developmental prospect. But, we'll probably grab a few of those via the draft and UDFAs anyway.
  17. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2006
    Messages:
    2,221
    Likes Received:
    3
    Ratings:
    +3 / 0 / -0

    One player I'm very high on is C/G Jonathan Luigs, Arkansas. I won't do a profile on him, but he's one of my top 5 Pats prospects in this draft. Obviously he's a good enough C to have won the Rimington award last year, but he also has the ability to play OG as well. He can fill in for Koppen immediately, and hopefully replace Neal when the time arrives. BTW, is Mankins an automatic to re-up?

    This is a very smart player who makes all the line calls. Excells in the run game, and this season has faired well in Arkansas' passing offense. Currently, Luigs has a round two ranking, as there are two C's ranked higher -- but that may change. BB likes versatility and solid intangibles in his players. IMO, Luigs is an upgrade from Hoch, w/ starter potential at two positions.

    Regardless of Kaczur's improved play, the OT position could still use an upgrade if there's an opportunity. I do believe the Pats will address the OL early w/ one player, and later on with another.

    JMO.
  18. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2006
    Messages:
    12,354
    Likes Received:
    28
    Ratings:
    +46 / 1 / -4

    If he can play Guard and if he's as good as you think he is, might be worth a 2nd round pick. This line looks horrid when Neal is out and we have to plug in Yates.
  19. sg14

    sg14 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2007
    Messages:
    462
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    If the Pats are looking for a center I would think they want one with more power than Koppen.

    Going by the draft ratings from these site, which I do not trust, the only center that can handle bull rushers is Mack. But doubt we would spend that high a draft pick.

    Unger fits the Pats profile for being able to handle any spot on the line.

    I saw very little of Luigs, whom did not look overly powerful.

    Anybody know the ranking of A. Caldwel center from Alabama?? 300 lber, He looks road hoggish.
  20. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,593
    Likes Received:
    106
    Ratings:
    +270 / 17 / -2

    We're not looking for a center. Pro-bowler Koppen is locked up through 2011. HOWEVER, one of the backup guards will need to be the backup center, and the backup long-snapper.

    Hochstein should be re-signed to meet these two backup roles. We have Levoir as an inexpensive backup tackle for at least through 2010. This gives us our Gameday 7 (the same as now). We have room for two developmental backups (plus a couple on the Practice Squad). It is time for Dante's Academy to be back in session.

    Of course, we could look for upgrades. In any case, as of now, we have EXACTLY ZERO guards signed past 2009. For me, this is our #2 draft need, #1 if we re-sign James Sanders.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>