Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Seneschal2, Feb 4, 2008.
A handy reference from Draft Daddy:
thanks for the links. Looks like some decent LB free agents out there. In terms of CB help, if the Pats are going to look this way, there is not much there.
Agreed. A lot of big name LBer's.
decent list of LBs and 4-3 DTs who can play in a 3-4 such as Corey Williams, Randy Starks
Dansby/Chillar/Pace/Suggs/Hagans/Diggs/Lehman(wasnt this dude a beast rookie year until he got hurt next few years?)/Mitchell/Thompson
i'd give any of these guys a look
at CB, besides the the top 4 guys, i would also look @ Foxworth and Stanley Wilson might be worth a bid as well as FA Safety Madieu Williams of Bengals and maybe bringing him back to his natural CB spot, good size and hes been a productive player
offensively..Gross could be a great fit. Hes an athletic,smaller tackle whos a leader
Flozell is probably too big for zone blocking and hes 32 yrs old
Stacey Andrews a guard but hes huge but young. fit for ZBS? not sure but with Neal's status in question ..who knows. hes versatile though..as a tackle and guard
since were talking about Neal's status, Lilja/Scottcould be a fit from Colts. Faneca is gonna command too much money for a rapidly declining player or bid for Jason Brown, Ravens Guard
I bet Kawika Mitchell would be good in NE's system, and he'd probably come at a fairly decent price. He made some good plays in the SB. But again, I thought NE would look at him when he last came up for free agency. Although, I think he's matured as a LB since then, and he's developed a better understanding of the game.
Hobson is the other LB I believe could be effective in NE's system, that wouldn't come at a huge pricetag.
I have reasons for liking Dansby, but he won't come cheap, unless he's willing to sign a slightly below market deal to play for NE (See Thomas, AD).
Obviously I think Terrell Suggs could be a very good LB in NE's system, but I think the Ravens will tag him. They'd be complete morons if they didn't, and if he hits free agency a bunch of teams will be all over him. The guy is only 25 years old.
Teddy Lehman had 102 tackles in 2004, then played 5 games in 05, 4 games in 06, and all 16 games in 2007. He only recorded 27 tackles in 2007, so he hasn't really done anything the past three years. Also, he's 6'1" and 238lbs. Considering he's already been in the league for a while I doubt he'll get much bigger. So, that's two strikes against him.
If the cost of bringing in a more expensive ILB is cutting Rosey, I would think seriously about doing that. Cutting Rosey outright would save $5.5m on the cap (less over a restructure). I prefer Adalius at OLB, in rotation with Vrabel and Woods. I couldn't help but picture Mitchell in a Pats uniform during the game. I don't know that he'll leave NY though.
look at the wr's. Oh boy. Thats is a very weak bunch of names. That may raise the price tag for Moss and Gaffney. Hopefully the Pats wont low ball them to much and alienate them.
I think AD's a better OLB than ILB, as well. The problem is NE's LB corp was obviously better with Colvin, AD, and Vrabel all on the field together. And, I think over the second half of the season he was severely missed, especially in the playoffs where he usually comes up big. AD's also a good ILB so it's not like he has to play at OLB to be effective.
Also, you're talking about taking almost a $2M cap hit if you cut him outright. I'd rather spend another $2-2.5M in cap to keep him around. I think they'll be able to get something done, and it's what makes the most sense at this point.
What I'm thinking about at LB:
1) Extend Colvin
2) Sign Hobson
3) Sign Mitchell
4) Maybe draft a pass rushing OLB who can eventually take over for Vrabel or Colvin, and help fill in if another injury hits the unit.
5) Draft Jonathan Goff to develop at ILB. He also has some hybrid OLB ability.
6) Maybe bring one of Bruschi or Seau back. I expect at least one or both will retire, but who knows.
OK so we're looking at:
and maybe one of Seau or bruchi return.
That's ten or eleven LB's, and I think it's a better unit, especially if that OLB is an early selection.
Few questions for some of the other draft nuts.
Does anyone think Vernon Gholston has some hybrid ability? Meaning, could he possibly fill in at ILB if needed? He's fast enough, and has more than enough size, but does he have the coverage ability, leadership, and intellect needed? I've seen him drop into coverage, but he's still pretty raw so it's hard to completely judge what he could do with NE's coaching. On one hand I've thought of his rawness as a potential mark against his being taken in the top 10. But, on the other hand that rawness could mean the Patriots have more to work with, and could mold him into the player they want?
Also, does anyone think Keith Rivers could be a nice LB for NE?
I can not project Rivers thriving in our defense.
I have not seen enough of Gholston to know if he could play inside or not.
Hobson? The dude didnt look good in the system closest to ours in NY, what makes you think it'll be better here?Harris was the only 1 playing the scheme properly there
i think Thomas inside brings us much better coverage. Were basically cover 3 and our ILBs with Seau and Bruschi are too slow to cover well enough and react fast enough. Thats why Thomas inside..we looked very good during that time in coverage..he was unheralded but Thomas was doing very well in coverage. You put him on outside to get a good pass rush..he started doing better as he got accustomed there but at same time, ILBs werent very good in coverage.
So either way..if Thomas stays outside, you need an ILB that is fast and can cover. I would even take Vilma if hes released or traded and have him in the Bruschi role (weakside inside). I know hes had struggles and hes on the lighter side but he covers well and with a better front 3 ahead of him, it'll make his job easier than in NY. If we keep put Thomas back inside, we'll get significantly better zone coverage in the short zones and hopefully, Vrabel and Colvin or a rookie could dominate as rushers. Since OLB is probably easier to find in draft, id like to see Vrabel shift inside if we dont resign Bruschi or Seau and have Colvin and a rookie outside..such as Gholston.
I think Hobson could do a nice job in NE's system, and I believe BB would use him different than Mangini used him. I don't expect him to cost very much, and expect there could be some upside, which is the reason for my interest. Even if he's just a rotational player in NE's system, I think he could contribute. I was talking about keeping AD at one ILB spot, and having Mitchell, Hobson, Goff, and Lua audition for the other spot, and sharing time. Sorry for not really explaining this. This would also allow AD to switch back and fourth between ILB and OLB when needed.
I completely agree where AD is concerned. His coverage went unmentioned by a number of fans earlier in the year. I remember posting threads where I talked about just watching him every play and realizing he was doing a very good job in coverage, and that the Redskins (the game where I watched him pre and post) were actually avoiding him, and his man rarely got open. Having him at ILB with Colvin (who also has some coverage ability) at OLB would have been huge during the playoffs.
AD's speed and coverage ability would serve us better inside with the return of Colvin on the edge. In addition, adding more speed to the OLB position via the draft would immediately improve the overall team speed of our front seven and sub-packages.
Updated rankings - 2/16/08
The problem with Vilma is size at 6'1, 230.
That's considered almost anorexic for a Pats linebacker.
However if he is used as a cover LB specialist on 3rd downs, much like Phifer, it might be workable. How is Vilma in space, covering TE's and slot receivers?
Ranking Samuel ahead of Asomugha is laughable, but we can let everyone else think that is right. Then someone can overspend for the largely useless Samuel. There's a reason nobody throws to Asomugha's side, and it isn't because they feel bad for him.
I'm not gung ho on keeping Colvin. He is solid, but I think we can do better. We need speed on the outside and if we have Colvin and Vrabel on the outside we have two kind of fast guys who are more described as wiley verterans than punished pass rushers. We could probably get close to what Colvin is for far less money, and I'm willing to risk that since the real issue when Colvin left was that Bruschi and Seau had to play more, not that Colvin wasn't in.
The recently cut Derek Smith seems like a typical Belichick low-cost, veteran signing.
Not ranking Samuel ahead of Asomugha is laughable. Asomugha usually shows up on the "most underrated" list, not to be confused with the "best" list. Samuel probably had the best season of any CB in the league (until the 4th Q of the Super Bowl) last year, and he had a slow start.
QBs throw plenty to Asomugha's side. And when they throw away from him, it's because the opposite corner should be in NFL Europe, not because they're afraid of Nambdi. For what it's worth, my opinion of cornerbacks in the NFL, based on the last two years:
6. Dunta Robinson
10. Al Harris
Hon Mention: Trufant, Sheldon Brown, Rod Hood, Finnegan, McAllister
I don't see the other corners enough to truly rank them above or below Asante, but my issue with calling Asante the #1 corner in the league is that b/c he won't switch sides of the field, teams can avoid him if they want. This to me diminishes his value and prevents him from being a shutdown corner. Hobbs ended up with the tougher matchups every week. It'd be like calling KG one of the best defenders in the NBA if the C's put him on the second or third best offensive player every game. If you want to be the best defender, you have to face the best off the offense, you have to be counted on to neutralize their weapon. Instead, teams can neutralize Asante's value by avoiding him.
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