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OLB, DE, CB, RB, still top priorities

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by MrNathanDrake, Dec 16, 2010.

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  1. MrNathanDrake

    MrNathanDrake In the Starting Line-Up

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    #95 Jersey

    A lot of people would like to tell you the OLine needs upgrading. What games have you been watching this year? We have one of the best, if not, THE best Offensive Line in the NFL.

    We need to re-sign Light. It shouldnt be hard. He's a team captain and good personality. Seems to love playing for the Pats. Will probably take a home town discount.

    Vollmer on the other side has been amazing and could shift over to LT if Light somehow gets away.

    O Callahan has played well at both LG and RG.

    Mankins could still re-sign and I think he will. We have the money to re-sign him and are a perennial Playoff contender with a great coach and system that he's obviously thrived in. Worst case scenerio, he gets franchised and traded for a 1st-2nd rounder and we use that pick on the best OLineman available.

    If we keep our current group intact, then we don't need to touch the OLine.



    QB is fine.

    TE is fine.

    RB is fine right now but needs depth. I cant see Taylor in a Pats uniform next year. What happens if LawFirm gets injured? That's the issue we need to address. Unfortunately this isnt a good draft for RB's and has almost no 1st rd talent at the position. We'll need to look for another diamond in the rough somewhere in the mid-rounds. Afterall, our 1st rounder Maroney was a huge disappointment while our UDFA BJGE turned out to be a stud. I don't think BB is worrying about finding another RB with the first few 3 picks, but it's something they will take a close look at in the late-2nd to late 3rd.

    WR is fine. Welker, Branch, Tate are the main group. Edelman has barely even seen the field. Taylor Price cant even get activated for a game. Do we draft another WR in the early rounds when we can't even find opportunities for a 3rd rd pick from last year? I doubt it.


    Despite heavy Defensive drafting over the past few years, we still need to stock up.

    Richard Seymour was traded and never really replaced at RDE.
    Ty Warren is coming off a season ending injury and getting older. Who knows where his level of play will be when he comes back.
    Brace, Pryor, Deaderick, Wright, make for a very good rotation, but are any of them legitimate starters? We all know how much stock BB puts in the DLine as evident by all the previous 1st Rounders we used at the position. This draft is very 34 DE friendly. I dont think BB lets a stud DE pass him by. Marcel Dareus, Cameron Jordan, JJ Watts, Jared Crick, Ballard, etc. Dont be surprised if we add another DE in the 1st rd.


    CB is another issue in todays pass happy league. McCourty is already seeming like a Pro Bowler. However Bodden is coming off a bad injury and might not be his old self. Butler has been a disappointment and I just cant see him turning it around and being another more than a Nickle CB. Arrington has played well but could probably be upgraded.
    So what if a top notch CB falls in the draft and lands right in our hands? If Amukamara or Brandon Harris are still there when we pick, dont be surprised if BB pulls the trigger. We need lots of good CBs for elite passing teams like the Colts, Packers, Saints, etc.

    Safety is fine. Even if Meriweather if gone via Free Agency, we have enough depth that we probably won't need to draft another Safety.

    ILB is fine. 1 Pro Bowl caliber starter, a 2 down thumper, and a good coverage guy.


    OLB is possibly the biggest priority of them all. Cunningham has played well on his side. Ninkovich and TBC are better suited as back ups. Neither of them play the run particularly well, and neither can consistently pressure the QB every game. Cunningham showed how important pressure is in the Indy game. If he doesnt get to Peyton Manning and force a bad throw, we mightve lost that Colts game. We need another OLB on the other side that we can stick in on obvious pass situations and be confident he will pressure the QB every time.
     
  2. Taxed in Maine

    Taxed in Maine On the Game Day Roster

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    I am assuming you mean Connolly not O'Callahan.

    As far as drafting for the OL. Many think Light will come back, but only for a couple years. His replacement could be drafted now and given a chance to learn the position. Neal will likely retire. Noone knows anything about Kaczurs progress. Koppen is getting older and his replacement could be draaftes and played at OG until they need him to play OC. I don't think Mankins is coming back.

    The idea is to get good players in place before they are needed, not wait until it is too late.

    I can't imagine a 1st round CB even if one does fall to them. Wait till the late 2nd or 3rd round.

    I would like to see another FS brought in with a later pick, maybe the 4th or 5th round. The roster is loaded with SS types, but only one FS in Meriweather.

    I also see DE and OLB as the two biggest needs. Although I think DE is higher, it will depend on who is available when they pick.
     
  3. SirApropos

    SirApropos On the Game Day Roster

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    Agreed on the need to draft some O-Linemen before they are needed.

    Sanders is also a FS but I agree that they will probably trade Meriweather or at least let him go somewhere else in 2012 so a FS is needed. I like Quinton Carter in the 4th round. Here's my mock write up for him.

    4. Quinton Carter – FS Oklahoma (6-1/200)
    5th yr Senior, All Big-12 First Team. 92 Tackles, 4 Int in 2010. Carter is exactly the type of versatile defensive back the Patriots are looking for to slow down the pass-happy offenses in today's game. He has played strong and free safety in Bob Stoops' defense at Oklahoma because of his physicality and speed; his ability to make the big hit, support the run, play centerfielder, or even line up in man coverage is rare among college safeties. Exceptional leader on the field and in the locker room.


    As for the need for a DE I think they will take someone in the first 2 rounds but remember most of the guys that have been used this year are either Rookie's (Deaderick), 2nd year guys changing position (Brace) or veterans learning a new system (G.Warren). I think what they need is time to fully learn the system and get used to it.
     
  4. CTHuskies

    CTHuskies Practice Squad Player

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    I agree with much of what you say, however, I think we need offensive and defensive line picks in top 3 rounds.

    1. QB - I'd look for development prospect in late round
    2. RB - I'd look for power back in mid round [another diamond in the rough]
    3. TE - No need.
    4. WR - If Greg Little slips into mid rounds go for it, otherwise no need
    5. OL - 2nd priority for team - Need Tackle and Guard/Center
    6. DE34 - Top priority for team to replace G Warren
    7. NT - No need.
    8. OLB34 - 3rd highest need area because BB will not select one in first round, unless R. Quinn drops to them with Oakland's pick in the first round.
    9. ILB - No need.
    10. CB - 4th priority - Wilhite will not be back, so need another
    11. S - I hope the big bang clock is out of here, so we need a replacement.
     
  5. MrNathanDrake

    MrNathanDrake In the Starting Line-Up

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    #95 Jersey

    You dont draft OLinemen in the Top 33 to sit on the bench for a couple years.
     
  6. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So you are assuming that we are re-signing Light, re-signing Mankins and extending Koppen. That plan indeed gives us continuity at OL for a couple of years with Connolly/Neal at RG.

    Even if did ALL THREE of these transactions (IMHO, a good idea), we STILL could use a RG upgrade over Connolly.

    And our backups have shown zero: Wendell, Ojinnaka, Ohrnberger and LeVoir.

    My guess is that all THREE won't happen and we will be drafting an offensive lineman in the first two rounds.

     
  7. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    While we could upgrade is the best place to do that early on in the draft? I like Marcus Gilbert as a tackle in the late 2nd I think some other really good prospects could be had later on for cheap.
     
  8. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I agree with drafting an OL in the first 2 rounds. My preference is a top tier OG/ C that could learn Pats system at guard for one year then take over center the year after. In 2nd round one can usually find one who is top 3 at their position.

    But as far as saying backups have shown 0, that is being a bit harsh as none of us has been to the practices. Most of us (myself included) would have said the same thing about O'connel last year this time. They don't play because they are buried on the depth chart. Oconnel has proven he is a cabable starter - not outstanding but capable nonetheless. And offensive line play is as much about continuity as a group as it is about raw talent. If Kazur comes back that gives NEP alittle more flexability with the line next year (although I assume we will lose either Neal, Mankins or both).

    Unless NEP is going to spend a first round pick on the Oline - I don't see much of an upgrade -especially not in that rookies first year- as he needs to work together with the other OLinemen. No one is on an island - they work together in unison and that takes time to gell and learn the system. Pats Oline already are one of the best in the NFL of keeping our QB on his feet.

    On the other hand, a high draft pick (our 3 in top 33) could rather significantly upgrade other positions: RB (rookies usually can make an immediate impact), 5 tech DE, and a true 3-4 OLB, could all give immediate production to this current NEP squad.
     
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree tha most of us were down on O'Connell. But then, I presume that you talking about Connolly.

    While I agree that Connolly has performed reasonably, I still don't think he is a top guard. Surely, it would be reasonable to draft a center or guard (or both) with the idea of upgrading Connolly and/or Koppen in the next couple of years.

    I disagree that it will take a 1st rounder to find a player who can upgrade/replace Koppen or Connolly within two years. Consider that Vollmer was a late second.

     
  10. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    This is a tough year to uncover gems on the interior of the O line.

    But I think there are some college OT's that project as NFL OG's and very good ones at that.

    The best that I have seen with my own eyes is Boiling of Georgia. Big and nasty! Plays with a lot of "tude" and I like that. He needs to get stronger, but Woicik can make that happen.

    There are two centers in this draft that fit that Pats zone blocking scheme and project as smart enough to handle making line calls. First first is O'Dowd of USC and the other is Kirkpatrick of TCU. If either projects to be able to move over and play OG, then I would take that one.
     
  11. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

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    We do have Kaczur coming back next year. If Mankins and Light are re-upped, the only position that becomes urgent is a c/g type. S. Wisniewski might fill the bill there. Push Connelly at RG this year, and maybe start at C in 2012.
     
  12. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think this draft is going to be unique in several respects for the Pats:

    1) CBA

    If there is no CBA, there are no free agents. Without the ability to sign free agents before the draft, it is hard to assess your need in September.

    2) Slotted salary scale for rookies

    If there is no CBA by the time college players have to declare (about a month from now), I would assume there wouldn't be a salary scale in 2011. That should cause the top 20+ juniors to declare avoiding the salary scale in 2012.

    3) Draft is top-heavy but painfully shallow

    Assuming the expected juniors declare, the first round (or first 33 :D) should be filled with really top-notch prospects. The drop off in talent outside the top 30-40 is significant and after about 70 it is a cliff.

    4) Weak OL prospects

    This is the first draft I can remember where there isn't at least one stud tackle projected into the top half of the first round. Even the linemen in the bottom half of the 1st round will likely be overdrafted due to position scarcity.

    5) Lots of wildcards at the top

    Cam Newton rising. Jake Locker falling. What about Foles and Mallett? Top UNC guys either injured or suspended. Teams are going to have to make some serious judgement calls on guys with obvious 1st round talent but with some kind of questions or baggage. I know that happens every year but it seems like there are a handful of guys that could shake up the top 10 or slide forever.

    Given these factors, I can see the Pats sitting still with their picks and letting the draft come to them in the first 33. Then try to manipulate their late 2nd, both 3rds and their 4th into a couple of targeted guys in the 2nd round.

    The way the draft is set up combined with the way the Pats roster is currently constituted, this looks like the year to get elite talent (regardless of position) and stack the top of the roster. If that happens to be on defense (pass rush or coverage), great. If that happens to be on offense (WR or RB), that is fine as well. As long as whatever player they get has the right football IQ and skills significantly above what is currently on the roster. Outside of QB, TE, NT and ILB, all the other positions should be in play.
     
  13. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think people saying pick a interior lineman in the 1st or 2nd round expect them to be challenging connoly, koppen or the other G for their spot.

    Your assessment of our no need for OL is that we have to sign our starting LT LG and our RG Neal doesn't retire. If mankins and Light resign... great but we still need another interior lineman to compete with Koppen and connoly for the Centre anf RG possition
     
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm with most of you in feeling that the OP made a lot of good points, but seemed to gloss over the OL in relation to other positions.

    E.g. the team's top 5 cornerbacks are all returning, but the fact that one of them was injured back in training camp makes that a draft priority. Meanwhile, 3 of the starting 5 o-linemen are unsigned, but that's easily taken care of?

    IMO the offensive line is the #1 priority at this point, and given an unusually weak OL draft class it may get tricky to square away. You'll read a lot of hand-waving references to "picking up an OG in in the 2nd" as if they're commodities. In a year like this one, you have to name names. And remember, nobody who played guard in college has ever started as a rookie or even 2nd-year player under Belichick.
     
  15. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

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    Totally agree, so let's name some names:

    Mike Pouncey, Florida - I guess he's OK, just not where he will be drafted
    Rodney Hudson, FSU - Just too small and looks maxed out already
    Stefen Wisniewski, Penn St - Looks like the best fit. Start at OG and transition to OC.
    Kristofer O'Dowd, USC - Production has never matched the USC hype
    Stephen Schilling, Michigan - Plays too upright and lacks functional strength

    How about some tackles conversions...
    Ben Ijalana, Villanova - Small school competition (see Ducasse, Vlad inactive for Jets)
    Clint Boling, Georgia - Looks like a RT in the pros
    Marcus Cannon, TCU - Too big and lumbering, not a scheme fit

    I've probably forgot a couple, but Wisniewski looks like the best target for the Pats and wouldn't be too much of a reach at #33. I'm warming to the idea of targeting the interior line in the middle rounds and put them through Camp Scar. A couple I like...

    Danny Watkins, Baylor - Tackle that projects to OG. Strong and nasty. Technique needs refining but reminds me of Mankins when he locks on.

    Ryan Bartholomew, Syracuse - OC that has played OG. Needs to get bigger (and may not be able to) but is very strong and plays low. Quick and nimble when he pulls or gets out to the 2nd level.
     
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    OT: (Day One) Nate Solder.
    OG/OT: (Day Two) Jason Pinkston, Clint Boling, Danny Watkins.
    OG/OC: (Day Two) Maybe Wisniewski and Tim Barnes.
     
  17. Peachhead

    Peachhead PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    OC Tim Barnes, Missouri is my favorite interior OL prospect right now. But Auburn's (OC) Ryan Pugh is right up there too. Both should last till the mid rounds, maybe even later.

    For RT prospects I really like Gabe Carimi, Wisconsin. But we'd probably have to take him at 2a (if he even lasted that long). And I'm not all that eager to take a RT that high. Other college LTs that I think are better at RT conversions for us are: Lee Ziemba, Auburn and Joseph Barksdale, LSU (although I'm not sure of the schematic fit). Both should last till the mid-rounds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 17, 2010
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Some excellent OL discussion here. A trend I see above: most of us have our eye on prospects from center over to right tackle, but the left side of the line is a lot less promising.
     
  19. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hopefully either Mankins and/or Light is signed, that only leaves one open spot, likely at RG or RT.

    Possible combos

    No Light - Vollmer, Mankins, Koppen, Connolly, Body X

    No Mankins - Light, Connolly, Koppen, Body X, Vollmer

    Same old same old - Light, Mankins, Koppen, Connolly, Vollmer
     
  20. Taxed in Maine

    Taxed in Maine On the Game Day Roster

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    If they can sign Light, OT doesn't look too bad with Vollmer, LeVoir, Maneri, and a possible Draft pick.

    That would leave Kaczur to play OG if Mankins goes. I think he could do well at RG.

    A line of -Light, Connolly, Koppen, Kaczur, Vollmer- could be quite good for a couple years as Dante grooms the next generation.
     
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