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Pats need to address LB in this Draft

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by shatch62, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. shatch62

    shatch62 Practice Squad Player

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    The Pats starting 4 – if they are all back – are great. Colvin, Bruschi, Vrabel and McGinest form on of the better corps in the league. One could even argue that Colvin, Bruschi and Vrabel will all be better next year than this year. Colvin and Bruschi – who will never be what he was pre-stroke – will be year further away from their injuries. Vrabel will have a train camp as well as this years experience at ILB behind him. McGinest on the other had – while still good – has already had his best years and it would be nice to get a player that could spell him during some games to keep his legs fresh.

    The problem with the LB corp is that the starters are all older players and the back-ups are nothing more then that. Don Davis, Larry Izzo and Matt Chatham have all been good special team players but that’s it. Davis and Izzo are older and Chatham, well if they didn’t play him when Beisel and Brown were getting killed inside they are never going to play him. Chad Brown is 36 (?) and his best days are well in the past. Beisel looks the part but has no field awareness and Banta-Cain… who knows. Claridge spent the year on IR so maybe he will be the young gun they lack.

    I am not saying the Pats need to use the #1 pick on Bobby Carpenter but I do think they need to invest some #2s and #3s on a Lance Briggs or a Bradie James type. They can play special teams for a year and then take over in a year or so.
     
  2. Mulehead

    Mulehead Moderator

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    It's a great year for that position. Besides Bobby Carpenter, a guy I really like is Kai Parham from Virginia. He's played both inside and outside LB in a 3-4, is perfectly sized (6'3", 253#), he finished his degree in 3 years (so he's intelligent), very good hitter, and his college page says off the field he's a good guy.

    I'm hoping he may last till our 3a pick.

    Plus, there's a ton of good DE/OLB tweeners this year: Manny Lawson (NC St.), Darryl Tapp (VaTech), Kamerion Wimbley (FSU), Elvis Dumervil (Louisville), Parys Haralson (Tennessee), Frostee Rucker (USC), and many more.
     
  3. sieglo

    sieglo In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think there is a tendency to underrate Bisel. I know, he was the guy we loved to hate last year. But he showed improvement at the end of the year (especially in the Panthers game) and I think BB has always looked at him as a multi-year project. I predict he will be back next year to provide some solid depth behind the starting four.
     
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Linebacking improvements


    I concur that we should take LBs when great LBs are to be had. As for Beisel he looked a whole lot better when he was playing in the Miami game next to someone else who was calling the plays. And a year's worth of experience was taking hold. In any case, I think the Patriots have accomplished a lot with respect to their linebacking this year.

    1) Tedy came back;
    2) Vrabel showed himseld to be the heir apparent in calling the plays if Tedy is unavailable or ages.
    3) Colvin proved he's back;
    4) Willie showed he hasn't lost it, yet.
    5) Chatham showed in the Miami game he can backup and play inside as well. He'll never be someone you want to start but now we know he can fill in for a while at ILB, just like he proved he could at OLB a few years ago.
    6) We have survived the retirements of TJ and Phife.
    7) Chad Brown showed he can provide a blow to Willie when used as a rotation OLB.

    The 2006 Draft can provide the youngsters to groom as future starters at both OLB and at ILB, without needing them to necessarily start next year, sink or swim.
     
  5. big mike

    big mike Practice Squad Player

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    Personally, I'd like to see them use the 1 pick and one of the 3s on LBs. Guys like Chad Greenway in the first round look great. It's a GREAT year for LBs, there will be many very very good ones in the first round, and so good ones in later rounds. Why not take advantage of that and get a great one in the first?
     
  6. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    You Bet

    Amen brother! An OLB/DE/Elephant candidate in the first and an ILB "TJ" type in the early third...
     
  7. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey

    People Talk about Beisel, yet they constantly over-look Ryan Claridge, who was put on the IR this year. Kinda like being Red-Shirted.

    Claridge is describes as a TJ type player. Granted, he needs to show what he can do on the field, but he was good/very good at UNLV. He;s played both ILB and OLB. And is supposedly above average in coverage.
    This is what was said about him last year on NFLDraftScout.Com



    The 2 weaknesses he has listed here are ones that a LB Coach such as Pees and Pepper Johnson can help overcome


     
  8. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    Best 3 OLB/DE elephant types available in the draft that fit the Pats profile.

    Lawson of NC State
    Johnson of Louisville
    Wyche of Syracuse

    Lawson is kind of interesting. I lot of people think his game was inflated by having Williams with him. So wouldn't his game stay inflated if he was surrounded by the likes of Seymour, Colvin and Vrabel??????

    I still like Wyche. He was a solid player on a miserable team. He'll be drafted second day at best, and he'll need a couple of years seasoning. If he runs well and he can play ST, then he could work for us.
     
  9. broadwayjoe

    broadwayjoe In the Starting Line-Up

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    I like this forum you certainly know your stuff and provide very good info.
     
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm drawing a blank on Johnson and will have to look him up, but the other two showed promise. Lawson will need to become Woicik's favorite toy if he's going to make the transition, I watched two practice plays for the senior bowl where the TE owned him. I'll be looking to see how he does in the actual game, but he'll need to get stronger to handle blockers. Wyche looked quite capable in the Shrine Game, I love his hustle.

    A late second day/UDFA prospect I'd consider is Federkeil of Calgary. He struggled in his pass rush against Levery, did okay against Whitworth, but what was interesting was the third scoring drive by the East, every running play went to the right - whether Levery's run blocking was suspect or Federkeil's run stopping was an issue I couldn't say, but they never ran at him on that drive. And I know he fought off Whitworth for a run stop in the 1st half. The kid hustled too. He might be worth a 5th round or later pick, especially if there is a comp pick to burn.
     
  11. Rene Vallieres

    Rene Vallieres On the Roster

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    Pats need to get top MLB

    BB does a great job evaluating talent, as everyone knows. But this year he needs to get a first round franchise MLB. Vrabel is a great OLB, but not real good inside. Same with Chad Johnson. Monty just hasn't shown much inside. I think BB made a mistake not drafting Channing Crowder with the last pick in the 2nd round last year. Yes, he was only coming out as a soph and he had a knee operation and hindsight is 20/20. But, living in Miami, I was able to see him every game this past year and he played all 16 games as a rookie. He got better and better. They didn't ask him to rush QB much, but he is good at that and improved his coverage. He's a hard worker and is faster than his combine times. Another interesting option is Lavarr Arrington. For some reason Washington wants to dump him.
     
  12. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The only thing I wonder about with Claridge is that Dan Pires said that once he was IRed he was never seen again. He specifically said that he has no reason to think that's inherently a problem but he said it was just a little strange.

    Just something that made me go "hmmmm".
     
  13. Rene Vallieres

    Rene Vallieres On the Roster

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    Just being realistic

    Someone just p-messaged me wondering why (being a huge Miami Hurricane fan, which I am) I'm diss'in the 'Cane players in the draft. I'm not, really. I think people outside Miami basically have the wrong impression of our players. They're not the gangsters they used to be in the 80's and 90's. My post on Devin Hester (I think) was accurate. He knows he should come back for his senior year, but his family has had big financial problems. As far as the rest of the players, Eric Winston may be a good RT in the NFL, but I just don't think he can make it where he's projected at LT. Even though he has a Robert Gallery-type body. He's a former TE and never played guard, so he'd be a project there. He also had a major knee repair in 2004. Certainly not worthy of a 1st rd pick. Orien Harris is a good DT but he's a couple years away from starting and may only be a back-up throughout his career. Again, not worth a #1. Roger (Rocky) Macintosh is no Jon Vilma, D.J. Williams, or Dan Morgan. He couldn't even get on the field when Vilma and Williams were in the game 2 seasons ago. So, he's a backup/special teams guy. I have no idea why Kelly Jennings is rated so highly at CB. He may develop down the road because he has good size and speed, but in the 2005 game against FSU this past year, Miami was down 10-7 late in the game and Weatherford threw one at his numbers on the FSU 15 yard line and he could have picked it and walked into the end-zone, but, immediately dropped it. Game over. Also, he got beat for 5 TD's of over 50 yards last year. He is a legendary poor tackler. He bounces off WR's and RB's. He throws his shoulder into everyone and doesn't wrap up. This may be poor coaching. Anyway, it is what it is for Miami. They just don't have any real legitimate first rounder's this year, in my humble opinion. However, next year will be a different story.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
  14. Mulehead

    Mulehead Moderator

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    Rene, what can you tell me about LB Rocky Mcintosh? He looked decent in the 1 or 2 Miami games I saw this year, but I didn't see as much of him as I would have liked.
     
  15. Rene Vallieres

    Rene Vallieres On the Roster

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    Roger Macintosh is an interesting player

    When Roger wrote to the NFL to see where they projected him to go, they said 4th round. This is about where everyone is placing him. As with most non-1st/2nd rd players, where he goes will all depend on the combine. He has been invited and will show up. He was not invited to the senior bowl, even though I know Larry Coker tried hard to get him a spot. His true height is slightly under 6'3" and he weighed 236 before the Peach Bowl. He came from Gaffney, SC and projected as a MLB out of High School in 2001. He redshirted in 2001 because he was undersized. He hurt his shoulder in 2003 and again in 2004. He played all but 2 games in 2005. He played OLB his whole UM career, except toward the end of 2005 they tried him inside and he got pushed around a little. So, back to OLB. He's a great special teams guy and a great kid. Never got in trouble and is a very hard worker. He's best playing sideline to sideline and is faster than the times I've seen him listed at on the net. He can cover pretty well and hits like a truck. They didn't ask him to rush the QB, but he can get there in a hurry. He had a couple sacks this year. If his shoulder is healed and he passes the physical at the combine, he will do very well in the 40 and with the weights. Randy Shannon said he could develop into a Joey Porter-type, but that would be absolute best case senario for him, and probably a little overly optimistic. It's really hard to say, since he's been hurt a lot over the years. As far as the Pats go, they normally like their OLB's on the large size. They have converted DE's mostly. But, Roger could easily fill-in and play great special teams. He's a BB type, because he'll do anything you ask him and say yes sir, no sir. If he ever becomes a star, it will be because he stays healthy and plays within a good system. Hope this helps.
     
  16. Mulehead

    Mulehead Moderator

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    Thanks for the info, Rene.
     
  17. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I liked his play in the Shrine game, but he didn't look like a typical Pat LB.

    What was interesting in the Shrine game was the West Team's nickel package at LB:

    - Keith Ellison (Oregon State) was the coverage LB on the RBs, reportedly the Pats' scout spoke with him.
    - Kevin Schimmelmann (Stanford) was the coverage LB on the TEs. He is a former S and his name didn't get called until the end of the game when he made two big plays, one to knock the ball away from TE Matt Henshaw (Florida State), and the other was taking on the FB at the goal line, fighting off the block and getting the first hit on the RB to hold him up for the posse to arrive. I don't know if his name wasn't called because he blanketed the TEs or if he just disappeared during the game. The announcers were too busy name dropping to discuss the play on the field and of course the camera work was atrocious.

    For ILB DE-conversion candidates, I'd take a look at Eric Henderson (Georgia Tech) who is really fast considering the foot speed of the QBs he chased on scrambles and bootlegs. Chris Gocong (Cal Poly) was also quick and had a good game speed. They remind me of Beisel for size and athletic ability, maybe getting them before KC does would help?

    Anthony Schlegel (Ohio State) and Oliver Hoyte (NC State) are 250 pounders who looked okay in the Shrine game, I think we already have that in Claridge, and I never really saw them take on the Gs.

    I disagree that Vrabes is doing that poorly at ILB. He plays it differently from Ted or Tedy, but he was consistently getting better with his reads and fighting off the Gs as the season went along. Beisel also improved dramatically from his rocky start, he's still a project, but as a back-up to Tedy I don't think he's too bad. I've still got to go back and watch the Miami tape to look at Chatham, I see him being someone who would pleasantly surprise us with his improvement if he had to take over and play regularly.
     
  18. dhamz

    dhamz In the Starting Line-Up

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    I agree with your disagreement. i just wanted to type that.

    I would say he played well but he is not as good inside as he is outside. I'd like to see us somehow have another ILB to play with Tedy and Vrabel so that would allow us to rotate those 3 guys at ILB and rotate Willie, Vrabel, and Colvin at OLB. Vrabel's versatility would essentially make for a 6 man rotation at LB with only 5 players.
     
  19. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    I thought Vrabel played very well at ILB as a run stuffer, and really came on nicely as a coverage guy as the season wound down. His coverage skills aren't Bruschi like, but they were better than Johnson's.
    I would not be disappointed if Vrabel played ILB next year.
    I have major problems with the play of Beisel and I'm hoping that a year in the Pats S&C program will have him functionaly strong enough to play next year. But that will not solve his inability to diagnose, react and fill proerly.
     
  20. Rene Vallieres

    Rene Vallieres On the Roster

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    Someone real good will fall

    As happens every year, lots of players will have a better combine than expected and the order at the top will reshuffle. That combined with the number of good under classmen coming out will certainly mean someone real good will fall. So that leads me to believe the pats won't trade up. It seemed BB was going to grab Steven Jackson when he fell a couple of years ago, but Vince dropped too. I think that was a good decision, especially when corey ran for 1600 yds. It doesn't seem that too many people here like the idea of taking Maroney at #21, since White & Williams will probably be gone by then. From what I am gathering off the threads, most of the senior members here don't view RB as a big draft need. Maybe they're right, but I think that we need to get someone solid, if not through the draft, then through a trade. Living here in Miami, (and I know many will think I'm crazy) I watched Ricky Williams have more than a decent year, sharing duties with Ronnie Brown. I know he's been a major head case in the past, but he definitely still has skills. (Ditka traded his entire draft for him) He played for the veterans minimum last year and if he quits before his contract runs out (2 more years) he has to pay the dolphins millions prorated from his prior signing bonus of 8 million. He now knows that at his young age, he can't afford to quit. The dolphins are trying to dump him because there are still a lot of hard feelings amoung the current Miami players because he decided to quit when he did. Peter King wrote that he could be had for a 4th rd pick. The fans here still like him. He's changed 100%. He was the most heavily drug-tested dolphin last season and never had a problem. He said in an interview that he just wanted a chance to play for a good team and prove himself again. He's a quiet kid in the clubhouse and for a 4th rounder and the little money he'll play for, he's worth the shot. BB should be able to handle him, as he did quite well corey. I know there are many other options if we're talking trade. But having watched the guy all of last season on TV, he really looks like his old self (ability-wise). He can run over and around people.
     
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