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Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by BradyManny, Dec 17, 2008.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    Perhaps this position has been discussed enough that I won't generate much talk (I'm already skipping CB as that's been covered well by other threads...), but what the heck:

    TIGHT END (3), 2 signed, 1 unsigned

    TE - Watson (2009)
    TE - Thomas (2009)

    FA
    TE - DeVree

    LOCKS (2):
    Watson and Thomas are both under contract and are locks to make the roster.

    SPOTS UP FOR GRAB (1):
    With both Tight Ends hitting FA in 2009, the Patriots likely need to invest in a #1 TE for the future. The team might also consider investing in a blocking TE, but they seem unlikely to carry 4 TE next season, so that might be on hold.

    CURRENT COMPETITION FOR OPEN SPOTS (1):
    - DeVree doesn’t seem to be the answer to any of the Pats long term needs at TE.

    PLAN OF ACTION IN DRAFT/FREE AGENCY:
    Both Thomas and Watson have played pretty well when healthy, but it’s unknown whether either are the long term answer as the Pats #1 TE. With both hitting free agency in 2009, it would make sense to draft a Day 1 Tight End to groom as one of their replacements.

    Bottom Line: 1 players is needed. An impact Tight End with high upside. A quality blocking TE may be taken in the mid to later rounds.


    UPDATE: 12-17-08 (I wrote the above probably a month ago, some more things to ponder...)

    - Watson has not done much to prove himself as a #1 option, unfortunately. I will say that his blocking has continued to exceed my expectations, but that he's no Dan Graham in that sense. But when I do focus in on him as a blocker, he seems pretty good, not that I'm necessarily qualified at making said judgments. Perhaps the good news is that his lack of pass production and the fact that - as of yet - he doesn't have the same resume Graham had when he hit free agency should mean the Pats could retain him for less. I would be for it, but I think we have to a) see if Thomas can be an upgrade in the pass catching realm b) if we can upgrade via the draft.
    - As Reiss has made note of recently, with Cassel's remarkably swift improvements, most notably in his pocket presence, the team has gone back to using more 1 TE sets. If this continues, perhaps the need at TE is less. Is the mediocre production at TE a product of the system, or of the personnel, or of both? It's not as if there is much to complain about this offense once Brady is healthy (or with Cassel for that matter), it's explosive. Is there a TE in the draft who could make it even more deadly?
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Ben "Pizza Paddles" Watson has indeed been doing a good job with his blocking once he got past his usual early season shakes. If Cassel was staying he and Ben would work on their relationship and we'd see some improvement - with Tommy back in 2009 Ben will make a few more plays to counter the 'oh sugar' heartbreakers he can't seem to shake off. He's a known quantity at TE, his muffs will be more than countered by his overall play. I would have no problem with the team extending him.

    Thomas is the big question mark for me. Is his foot still bothering? Does it affect his base when he's blocking? Does it limit his ability to cut when running his route? Hopefully a healthy offseason will retune him for 2009.

    DeVree is obviously doing something the coaches like. Keep it up kid.

    Blocking TE can be addressed by the Reserve OL for short yardage situations. Watson, as noted, has improved his blocking, I wouldn't call TE a weak spot on the line anymore. Heath Evans fills part of the H-back blocking role. Thomas may or may not be back to full strength next season, but he surprised me with his blocking as a rookie so I'm holding out hope. DeVree has the size and I'm sure Mangurian and Scarnecchia can make him better.

    I was inclined towards a Day One TE back in September, now I think it's no more than a 'Best Patriots Value' pick if they take one on Day One. I'd be more inclined to look for a #3 WR and a replacement NT for Wright (assuming he's not extended).

    On a tangent: I've been catching up with some college games I recorded and I am very high on DE Connor Barwin (Cincinnati) as an OLB prospect and #3 TE - he shows a good awareness on passes to the flat and has checked his rush to run with RBs trying to sneak out into the pattern, he also gets used as a form of underneath Rover to vary where his pass rush is coming from, so he's already working up in a two-point stance. He looked good blocking in short yardage situations as a TE, his time as a DE will have helped him with hand use. Barwin has only one year at DE in college, as a converted TE he seems like a good prospect to make a more rapid adjustment to OLB and a solid Patriot "fit" with his TE skill set and his Special Teams background. 2008 Stats: 49 TT, 11 sacks, 14.5 TFL, 6 PD, 7 QBH, 3 BK, 1 TD (on offense), and 2 PR for an avg. of 10 yds. He's rapidly working towards being my "binky" for this draft.

    EDIT: I checked the sack masters who ranked higher than Barwin in 2008, some have as many as 3 PD - 6 PD speaks to Barwin's awareness in the passing game, allowing him to knock down twice as many passes as his peers. Of the top 25 sack masters, only DE Cody Brown (Connecticut) also has more than 3 PD (8 actually, OLB shoppers take note).
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2008
  3. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I will be very happy when Ben Watson and his Hands of Feet are no longer options in our offense. I will gladly take a tight end who is not an athletic freak and physical mismatch but who can consistently catch the routine pass. Witten and Carlson seem to be veritable weapons in their offenses, and they're not going to outrun anybody, ever. I'm almost willing to roll the dice with Usain Bolt. He'd be a mismatch too, and his hands might be better.
     
  4. kas

    kas Practice Squad Player

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    I have a growing suspicion that BB is gonna fall in love with TE Brandon Pettigrew from Oklahoma St. and take him in round 1. This kid has great size, excellent hands, and is supposedly the best blocking TE to come out in years. With the amount we spread the field, a TE who can beat a LB consistently and serve as a safety valve could be a huge asset, especially in the RZ. Although not as athletic as Watson, I think Pettigrew is a better all-around player.
     
  5. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    Yeah, that sounds about right - like I said, I'm not quite sure how to evaluate the need at that position. While production from the position might not be as good as we'd hoped, it might also not be much of an issue given the way the Brady/Cassel+McD+Moss+Welker+Faulk centered offense is clicking, especially with Brady.

    Again, this sounds pretty good to me.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2008
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    Will he be around when we pick in the middle of rd 2 w the Chargers pick?
     
  7. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    What do you think of Coffman? He might fit that description based on what I've seen and read about him?
     
  8. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I'm 100% on board taking Coffman in the 2nd.
     
  9. kas

    kas Practice Squad Player

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    Doubtful IMO unless he runs a terrible 40. His lack of pure game breaking speed should leave him until around the 25ish range. There are three other influencing factors:
    1) junior TE Jermaine Gresham from Oklahoma could come out and he would be the #1 TE based on his athleticism. I like him too but he's a 15-20 type round 1 pick. He could knock Pettigrew down though.
    2) Chase Coffman from Miss could be a TE who impresses in the post season and jumps Pettigrew due to his potential as a pass catcher.
    3) Pettigrew had a DUI I believe over the summer. I don't think it's such a big deal, but you never know.

    Just for the record, as of now and despite our defensive needs, I think he would be an amazing pick and help particularly our power running game and RZ/short yardage offense.
     
  10. DaBruinz

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

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    Its highly unlikely that Pettigrew will be around when the Patriots pick in the 1st round, let alone with the Chargers pick in the 2nd.
     
  11. DaBruinz

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

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    I can't find any information on the draft sites about a DUI, but I did find this on NFLDraftscout.com:

    [/SIZE][/FONT]

    If that did happen, then its much less likely that he's an option for the Patriots.
     
  12. BradyManny

    BradyManny Pro Bowl Player

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    That's unfortunate. As I said in another thread, its one thing to take a gamble on a guy w character flags in the mid rounds, but not Day 1.

    I like that our last two first rounders have proven to be dedicated to football and hard workers. Mayo came in right away with that attitude, maybe it took Meriweather a little bit longer, but he's there now.
     
  13. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Another option might be Tebow of Florida. We draft him and move him into a receiving TE type spot/H-back and he gives BB a ton of options as far as running, receiving or throwing.

    Tebow will never be a anything resembling a blocker, but you can't over look the versatility he can deliver on simple playss like a toss sweep. Does the defense come up to stop the run only to see him throw it, or do they lay back and give Tebow the 8-10 yards on the ground?
    If BB gives Tebow 1 primary and 1 secondary read, the Pats could have a field day designing simple pass/run option plays for Tebow.
    If Tebow executes it properly and the defensive ends bite hard down the line to stop him, we run a reverse.

    Lots of options with a guy like Tebow and BB likes versatility.
     
  14. Synovia

    Synovia In the Starting Line-Up

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    A tight end who can't block can't really be described as versatile.
     
  15. DaBruinz

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

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    Versatility is good. However, when was the last time the Pats ran a toss sweep?
     
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    When is the last time the Pats had an athlete versatile enough to provide as many options as Tebow does?
     
  17. DaBruinz

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

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    Sorry Ochmed, but that is just BS. BB doesn't have the toss sweep in his offensive play-book because its too easy to fumble the ball on the exchange. I am fairly certain that, if they ran it AT ALL, you could count the number of toss sweeps that he's run in 9 years as a Pats coach on 1 hand.

    Tebow's versatility doesn't mean sh!t when it comes to that particular play. Nice way to totally avoid the question asked of you. Why is that? Maybe because Tebow is a binky of yours and you would love to see the Pats grab him. I don't care either way. I was pointing out that one of the plays you envision him in is a play the Pats don't use.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  18. TealSox

    TealSox Guest

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    COULDN'T be a better year for the Pats to draft a tight end. I'm almost willing to suggest that they can't go wrong with any of the top 5 tight ends and they should be able to find some value late at tight end.

    I liked Pettigrew at 6'5", 260, but I didn't like his run in with the police (being charged with assaulting a police officer) and his public intoxication. I don't know if they resolved the case yet, but there was talk of him going to jail. Prior to Plaxico, I would had said he wouldn't serve time, but who knows now (esp. since it was a cop).

    Travis Beckum seemed to fall off the radar this year and I would be wary of him on the Pats. Then again, he kinda reminds me of Jason Witten.

    Then there is Coffman and Ingram, but I'm kinda facinated with Bear Pascoe from Fresno. I see him being a very decent blocker and able to snag the ball couple times a game for decent yards. He isn't your "Gates" or "Clark", but more of a Daniel Graham.

    Later in the draft, I think Shawn Nelson from Southern Miss deserves a look as well. Could get bigger and would probably make him a better blocker, but otherwise he appears to get down the field fairly well to block and can learn to run more crisp routes.
     
  19. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Come on, with the glaring issues we've had defensively this season, realisticallty we wont look at a TE until the 3rd at the earliest. I would say OL is a bigger need than TE as well, esp as in our offense they are predominantly blockers

    Who if anyone is value in the later rounds?
     
  20. Taxed in Maine

    Taxed in Maine On the Game Day Roster

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    What about Bear Pascoe?

    He should be a 3rd or 4th round possibility out of Fresno State.
     
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