Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Box_O_Rocks, Feb 6, 2010.
2010 NFL Draft Profiles - Bryan Bulaga, OT,Iowa - The Rivalry, Esq.
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Colonel lineman sets his sights on the NFL draft - Sports
I'd love to see this guy taken in the first round. Ship Light out for a 3rd. Vollmer and Bulaga at LT and RT respectively, kick Kaczur in to RG and retain Mankins at LG.
Hardman - 6'6", 305#, proj. 5.19 - got compliments from multiple sources for his solid play at guard in TvN. Might be a nice late-round pickup.
Four year starter, RG & LT, his TvN week went well from all reports. I like him as a late round 4-5 position player who is PSquad eligible.
I'd go for Saffold in the 2nd or 3rd (using one of the picks we're likely to get for a Franchised-and-uphappy Wilfork). Retain Light until we see how Saffold will work out. If he meets fairly high expectations in camp, then trade Light (and maybe a 2011 pick) to GB for Kampmann.
There is no need to trade Light for Kampman, NE just needs to have the most attractive Free Agency offer.
I concur that using a first round pick on Bulaga is unnecessary. Saffold is one of many college tackles whom NE might draft in later rounds who are nearly as good as Bulaga; Saffold's description reads remarkably like Mankins' and Kaczur's in terms of his grasp of technique, athleticism, power, and nasty disposition on the field. In short he's Scarnecchia material and not the only kid in later rounds whom Dante might like for his Big Man Dancing Academy.
Assuming Mankins is retained with an RFA tender:
--- LT - Light/Vollmer/Kaczur/LeVoir/Bussey - depth: Excellent.
--- LG - Mankins/Connolly/Wendell/Orhnberger/Bussey/Light/Kaczur - depth: Excellent.
--- C - Koppen/Connolly/Wendell/Orhnberger - depth: Excellent.
--- RG - Open/Connolly/Wendell/Orhnberger/Bussey/Kaczur/LeVoir - starter: Unidentified - depth: Excellent.
--- RT - Kaczur/Vollmer/LeVoir/Bussey - starter: Competitive - depth: Excellent.
--- And this is before any veterans signings or draft selections to create camp competition.
As of 12 Feb, NE's first round selection might better be directed at critical need areas such as Defensive Line, Outside Linebacker, or Wide Receiver.
That would be great if we could get a decent pick for Light, his best days are behind him, methinks.
They've been decent getting OL in the draft, hopefully they can get a good center to take over for Koppen soon too.
What is BB looking for in an OT?
Athletic, smart, mobile and big. (Not big like sloppy fat guys. Leave them for Dallas)
Natural knee bender. No waist benders allowed.
Excellent slide and mirror with a good punch.
Flat back run blockers.
Zone blocking experience preferred NOT required.
There are quite a few good OT's in this year's draft. A couple of them, like Okrung for instance, will be gone by the time we draft. However I think BB can get a quality OT a little later in the draft (4th, 5th or 6th round) that could develop into an excellent starting OT in a year or two.
I don't know much about Saffold, but I want to see an upgrade at T. Light's best days are behind him and I don't know how he would be at RT. I'm sick of seeing Kaczur getting blown by on the right side, I think he's a better fit moving inside to guard. I think Vollmer is currently our best tackle and has the ability to play LT very well. That leaves a hole at RT. Can Light play there? Will he even be kept? I'd rather get younger on the OL and add a guy like Bulaga who's been compared to Micahel Oher. I wouldn't mind seing a Pouncey taken either to possibly replce Koppen. Our OL let us down too many times this season IMO.
Lights best days may be behind him, but until Bill or Dante decree otherwise he's still the #1 option for LT and cheap at the price. He is not a RT, Bill has said so.
Kaczur gets a lot of fan vitriol, and he may not be everything people want at RT, but for now I still consider him the starting RT until we see otherwise (he's held the job for four seasons and not had BB or Dante too worried). If Neal does not re-sign and Kaczur slides inside, fine by me, I like the kid, he's done a better job than he's given credit for.
Vollmer is competitive at both tackle positions and I expect him to battle well for a starting job. If he gets one it's because he was the better player, not an argument that the loser sucked.
Saffold came out and kicked butt at LT in the Shrine game, including your binky Hardy. He's a kid I can see sliding inside at G like Mankins did, and being competitive with the NE Tackle pool, I like him better than Iupati in this draft because he's good enough to plug in right away. Interesting factoid: The last three OL drafted by NE in the first three rounds (all day one picks depending on the draft format at the time) all played in the Shrine game - Dante does his shopping at the budget stores, and he got good value.
Change on the OL is one of the things BB and Dante have worked to limit. They like a nice cohesive unit and trading Light if you've also got to replace Neal is just more change for change's sake. Now if someone makes a strong offer for Light I can see BB making that move with Vollmer or Kaczur (I'll bet that struck a nerve ) ready to step in, that's the joy of the depth they've built in this unit. If I'm BB, I don't initiate a trade; Light's a team leader and the leader of the OL, someone who is playing well enough to keep and brings stability to the OL and the team.
As far as getting younger: Mankins, Vollmer, LeVoir, Connolly, Wendell, Ohrnberger, Bussey - there's a fair bit of youth there. Light, Koppen, and Kaczur are the only "old men." :confused2:
WR, DL, and OLB (maybe CB too) need the help more than the OL, that's why I don't get excited about Bulaga or any other projected round one OL - the true value for NE lies later.
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Hope so, but I thought it was still possible that the Packers could slap a tag on him.
BTW - As a follow-on to your factoid, I think that if Vollmer wins the LT job, the entire starting O-line would be Shrine Game alums.
A completely agree with this. To take it further, if Odrick or JPP aren't there, I don't think there's any value at #22 and would move back.
Notwithstanding the fact that the combine could affect assessment of the talent at 22. But at this point, I don't see another DE, OLB or WR that would be worth taking over what we could add in the second round while adding an extra pick.
It could happen.
Only if they draft Saffold and move him to RG.
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IMO, we are better off with Vollmer at LT. I think he's surpassed Light at this point. If Light is not a RT, then maybe he can play some guard, and if not then he could be traded. OLB has been a need for a few years now and we haven't see Belichick take one early. He's taken one LB in total in the first round ever since he's been here. It seems like he likes to add those guys later on. WR is a need as well but there is really no one worthy of being drafted at 22. We've never used a 1st on a WR and I don't think we will now.
Based on the starting o-line from last year, Neal, Light, Kaczur, Koppen can all be considered "old." That leaves Mankins and Vollmer as the only two guys who are "young." LeVoir, Connolly, etc have not shown they are capable of being good starters. If you add a guy like Bulaga, you could have two very good tackles for the next 10 years. The O-Line let us down quite a few times this year and had trouble giving Brady adequate time to throw.
Kaczur will be 31 next season. It's not like he's going to get any better. If anything he's only going to get worse (that's a scary thought). Light will be 32, which is starting to get up there for a LT. Neal is likely to retire. Vollmer is the LT of the future. But what are the plans for RT? LeVoir is a 28 year old who went undrafted and has been a backup his whole career. Vollmer got a shot at starting before him. We have good depth as you have said. But we don't have anyone to step in and take over at tackle for the next 5-10 years to keep that consistency you've talked about. It might not be the "sexy" pick and Mayo has been good for us, but how nice would Clady and Vollmer look for the next 7 years? I don't think Bill is going to want to spend a 1st rounder on a conversion project and wants more of a sure thing. Bulaga is the type of guy who can step in and pretty much contribute from day one. A guy like Dunlap or Pierre-Paul most likely won't do that. They're going to need time to adjust and develop, unlike a Bulaga who can step in and take over at RT for the next 5-10 years.
Why would BB plug Light back into the line-up if Vollmer was the better player?
I'd consider Light at Guard, the question in my mind is he better at LG or RG? If he's stronger at LG can Mankins flip to RG okay? Even if Light is fine at RG, would it better to flip Mankins to play alongside Kaczur? What is the best "blend" of players on the O-line? Vollmer may be the best LT, or the best RT, I think he's pretty good too, but there's more to putting an OL together then just plugging in one hot kid.
Yep, but we said that about LB until he did draft Mayo, so though I'm not expecting it, I am not going to dismiss it out of hand until after the Combine, Pro-Days, and medical issues are in - especially before Free Agency starts.
Again, reasoning ahead of the data.
Unlike Runningbacks and speed rushers "30" is not an automatic cutoff for Offensive Linemen.
BB said Connolly was playing well enough to be competitive for starting time. LeVoir did get bumped down by Vollmer, then again LeVoir also missed Training Camp and started the season on PUP, so he hasn't yet competed for a starting job in camp.
Sure, but NE has one first round draft pick. Are you rating OL as the highest priority?
I saw Brady and the Wide Receivers let the O-line down too, maybe we should draft a QB instead?
Neal said he'd have to assess how he felt after he healed up, we've had Bruschi and others explain how that works so until he announces his retirement it's premature.
I suspect so, but again we're dealing with that blending of talent needed to put together the most effective O-line. Some have advocated Vollmer at RT, which is a possibility even if I do like Kaczur. Let's see how Vollmer does in Training Camp and who he beats out.
Well, Kaczur and LeVoir were extended to start the season, so BB must think they offer something for the future - and they were extended after BB and Dante had gotten a good look at Vollmer. As things stand I see this as a very deep Tackle draft class, there looks to be kids who will be signed as UDFAs who are likely to be competitive in NFL camps. Bulaga may be everything you say he is, and he may be the best choice in the first round, I'd still trade back if he was the best choice for NE - the extra picks can be used to good advantage and there just may be another Vollmer you aren't counting on waiting for BB.
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