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Players Who Might Slide in the First

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Ungeheuer, Apr 10, 2009.

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  1. Ungeheuer

    Ungeheuer Practice Squad Player

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    I was looking at a bunch of mocks the other day and it seems to me that New England is going to be in a unique spot in this draft. There are going to be a lot of highly-rated players who slide because of the way the draft order runs this year -- leaving the Patriots with a really interesting need-vs.-value dilemma.

    For one thing, it seems very likely that the best running back in the draft, Moreno, is going to be there. He's not going to go higher than 10, and between 10 and 23 there are only four teams with even a semi-obvious hole at running back -- Philadelphia (because Westbrook isn't durable), New Orleans (need a between-the-tackles back to go with Bush), Denver, and Tampa Bay (Cadillac is hurt again). Denver is probably going to take a quarterback with its first pick, though, and the second pick is almost sure to be on defense. The Saints pretty much have to take a DB up high. Philly, if it doesn't trade for or sign a veteran wideout, really has a bigger need for a receiver, and there will be some there. That leaves Tampa, but Tampa also has a pretty desperate need for a DT, and guys like Jerry and Hood and Tyson Jackson, all of whom fit their defense, might be there for them to take.

    So Moreno might be there. So might the best tight end (Pettigrew, and I know we already had a thread about this), the best center (Mack), the best guard (Duke Robinson maybe?) and -- and I know this sounds crazy -- the best defensive back, Michael Jenkins. If you look at the draft closely you can see a scenario where Jenkins falls. If New Orleans either doesn't pick a DB for whatever insane reason (one of those reasons being that they decide they can't pass on Moreno) or goes for a different corner like Davis or Butler instead of Jenkins, Jenkins could fall to NE pretty quickly. Detroit desperately needs DB help, but hey, they need everything -- and if they pick Stafford #1, they'll be likely to pick a tackle if a good one like Oher is there at #20.

    The question is, which if any of these players would NE grab if they fell? The Pats don't have a desperate need for a running back, but Moreno looks like he might be a great player -- so how do you pass on him if he's there? Then there are all the other guys who might fall for character concerns discussed in the other thread, guys like Raji, Harvin, Maualuga, Crabtree, etc. If any/all of these guys fell, which would the Pats take? And in general, is a good strategy for them to sit at 23 and snatch up whoever slides, just taking the best player there? Or do they go up and get a guy that they target who fits the need, someone like Matthews? It's an interesting question. Have to say, this is one of the more interesting drafts ever.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  2. DocE

    DocE Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Moreno's best 40 yard dash this offseason was over 4.55 and his vertical jump was one of the lowest of all combine invited RB's. He certainly could be a great player, but he's not a jump off the charts athlete with great speed or size.
     
  3. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Mike Mayock has said that he considers #22 the optimal spot in this draft in terms of cost/value. So I think your general point makes sense. A lot of players may get pushed down to #23 or certainly to within range of the Pats picks. However, how many of them are truly extraordinary values in terms of need, ability and fitting the Pats system remains to be seen. To take some of your examples:

    - OG: so the top OG will be available; none are 1st round values anyway. Big deal.
    - Alex Mack: terrific player, but Koppen is quite serviceable and there are several other terrific values at OG/C who should be available in the 2nd round.
    - Pettigrew: not clear what he adds above what Chris Baker is bringing.
    - Moreno: excellent back with great vision and moves but average speed. Pats could prefer Donald Brown. RB is not a position of need.

    The two most interesting players you mention are B.J. Raji and Malcolm Jenkins. I'm a huge Raji fan and have him as the #1 player on my board for the Pats. I'd take him in a second. Jenkins is more difficult, but could possibly be a steal if the Pats felt he fit in.
     
  4. Nestapats

    Nestapats Practice Squad Player

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    I actually hope teams picking before us grab these guys like Moreno and Pettigrew so that other defensive players drop. I think there will indeed be some very good players available when we're picking, but i wouldn't be surprised if we move up a couple of spots, just to get the guy we want, who has fallen a bit. I wouldnt be bummed with these guys, but i'd rather go defense.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  5. JoeShmoe

    JoeShmoe 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Raji will be long gone time we get to #23....if nothing else someone will trade up for him if he slides past say #15
     
  6. Ungeheuer

    Ungeheuer Practice Squad Player

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    I totally disagree there. Testing positive for weed at the combine is a big red flag for that kid. He'd already been busted for it, had the history, and then he tests positive at the Combine, when he knows the test is coming -- a lot of teams will take him off their board at that point, at least for the first round. Raji already has one strike against him, which means he's already in an NFL structured testing program, and his next positive test is a suspension. Plus he has some other character problems and he's not exactly in good shape. If you're someone like Green Bay and you need a nose tackle, are you really going to use the #9 pick on someone who couldn't avoid smoking weed when getting caught would cost him millions of dollars? It's not the pot that's the issue, it's the lack of self-control.

    I still think Raji goes in the first round, but my bet would be on a 3-4 team with two picks, like Detroit or Denver. Same goes with Harvin. It's just such a huge risk to hang your whole draft on a guy with one strike already.
     
  7. Clonamery

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    Did he test positive?
     
  8. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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  9. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Wow. If that is all true, then the only player that the Pats would consider drafting is Raji. At least he has shown improvement in his maturity in his senior year. Crabtree, Harvin and Davis sound like they should be avoided like the plague.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  10. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I see what you're saying, but I think the term "value" gets misapplied when discussing how the Patriots draft. In the early rounds at least, the Patriots tend to draft the player they feel will add the most value over the life of the contract, given that adding a player at one position requires cutting another player either at that position or another one. So, for example, how much of an improvement does Moreno make, given that signing him would probably require cutting one of the other RBs?
     
  11. The_Riddler

    The_Riddler 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    As crazy as this sounds, I think Brian Cushing is going to be there at 23. Clay Matthews and Rey will be chosen ahead of Cushing.

    He's my round one rock in water.

    I still think BB swings a deal to trade up in front of the Chargers at 16 to land Maualuga if he's there and that trade up team would be the Skins at 13.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  12. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Crabtree has the brain of, more or less your average NFL receiver. They're all nutty.
     
  13. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Well no. There's nutty and then there's TO nutty. Those are completely different levels.
     
  14. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Fair enough. I think the red flag for me is being demeaning towards coaching stuff. The ego is par for the course, I agree.
     
  15. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    With New Orleans sitting at #14 and not having a second or third, you have to think BB can trade into that spot with ease, if he so desires.

    If BB is sold on Cushings and wants to leapfrog Houston for Cushings, then trading with New Orleans makes perfect sense.
     
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    The trickle down to all this is that because of the large number of red chippers in this draft, there should be some extremely high quality players on the board when the Pats come up at #34. This is prime territory for getting a 2010 1st rounder via the trade route.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  17. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Oh please no. Don't trade up for one of those overrated USC linebackers. If you're going to blow a 1st day pick on one of those risky guys that might not even fit our 3-4 D, or has character issues, or drug issues, or all of the above, that's one thing. However blowing two picks at once to draft one is even worse.
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2009
  18. apple strudel

    apple strudel Banned

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    I'd rather trade one of our other 2 picks in the second and something else for a future first rounder than trade 34. I think we can draft a quality starter at that spot. I keep thinking that it's about where the Giants grabbed Chris Snee, and where we got Mankins. I wouldn't give up a player like that.
     
  19. Maroney TD

    Maroney TD On the Game Day Roster

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    Raji’s representatives dispute failed test
     
  20. Ungeheuer

    Ungeheuer Practice Squad Player

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    I saw that. If Raji didn't test positive, then there's no way he falls, you're right.

    I still think someone unexpected is going to drop to the Pats. Like everyone else I'd prefer they drafted defense up high, but I'm kinda getting that sinking feeling that BB is going to go counterintuitive on us again. He seems to sense when Pats fans are panicked about some position group on the team and then blows off the problem, almost on purpose it seems, just to show that he thinks the guys he has are okay, that he can figure it out somehow. Remember how long he went before he solved the nose tackle problem that one crazy summer, when he tried to stick Jarvis Green and Dan Klecko in there? How he blew off the corner position last year, the wide receiver group the Reche Caldwell year, the running back position before that (remember Mike Cloud?), or his continual refusal to draft outside linebackers?

    It's Belichick's one noticeably weird quality. On the one hand it's probably a good thing, because his insistence on sticking with unlikely, no-name solutions has produced some of his greatest coups -- Cassel, Brady, Vrabel, Randall Gay, Eugene Wilson (remember how no one thought he could replace Milloy?), etc. But on the other hand he seems so reluctant to admit that conventional wisdom could ever be right that he overcompensates sometimes. And I really worry that's going to happen this time. When the whole world is screaming for him to draft an outside or inside linebacker, that's exactly the time when Bill Belichick drafts a tight end or a guard. And it just so happens that the best tight end and the best guard in the draft will probably still be there at #23.
     
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