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Post-FA: reading the wild, swirling tea leaves

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Mar 15, 2009.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Is this a classic Patriots draft set-up, or what? In preparation for a draft where they hold 4 of the top 60 picks and 6 of the top 100, BB & co. assemble a virtually 100% complete roster. Good luck, prognosticators: this team could do anything.

    They could move up, down, or out. They could toss away most of their picks from #58 on to focus on a few impact players, or sit back and take advantage of the draft's depth to nab "luxury" values at almost any position. And nobody's more willing than BB to trade away the present in favor of the future.

    So are there any tea leaves worth reading from the FA moves and the current state of the roster? Here's one feeble stab:

    OLB. This may be the only position on the whole roster that looks thinner than it did last August. Meanwhile, here on the draft forum we're happily squabbling about which of the many fine OLB prospects in the draft is the right binky. For once, we might be on the right track. :)
  2. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The FO has done a really masterful job in FA. Just over 2 weeks ago we had no cap room, a bunch of holes, and it looked like we were going to reload through the draft. Now almost all the holes have been plugged and the 2009 draft class may not need to contribute much at all. As you say, we could go in almost any direction.
  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well, the holes have been filled, but it's not necessarily a true "fix."

    Springs is nice, he's also a frequent injury concern - I expect at least one Day Two CB to be drafted.

    Fred Taylor is nice, he's in the same camp as Springs - I really don't want to draft a RB, but I don't see how it's avoidable, though targeting Josh Vaughn as a UDFA is one option.

    Galloway leaves me unmoved, I expect one Day One WR.

    ILB and productive pass rush remain glaring concerns. Jason Taylor leaves me with that peeling Galloway bandaid feeling. One top edge rushing tweener Day One and 2-4 ILB prospects Day Two/UDFA.

    Safety depth remains an open sore - and Shawn Springs isn't plugging that hole.

    Hochstein, Yates, Connelly, and Wendell...well, this draft offers some OL depth to ponder.
  4. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Despite the FA signings, some needs remain the same. LB, O-Line, SS, FB, QB.
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Absolutely. I'm not saying there's no room for improvement by any means. The point of this thread was to ask, "now that we've seen the FA moves, what inferences can we draw about draft directions?" And IMO it's mighty tricky.
  6. sg14

    sg14 Rookie

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    The tea leaves are telling me,,,

    first pick=who ever provides the best pass rush
    Second pick=best OL
    third pick= best LB or safety

    The signings for the defensive backfield were the best, but otherwise the free agent signings seem to be just for players that could help but not fix the main problem(s).

    I hope we do have a productive draft because as a rule it seems BB does better in free agency than on draft day,,,
  7. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I'm right there with you regarding the needs in order.
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    You're right but they also take up roster spaces - for example, Galloway isn't a "true fix" but with Moss, Welker, Galloway and Lewis we only have one likely spot for a WR; I know we could go with 6 but probably won't. Same at CB with Hobbs, Bodden, Springs, Wheatley, Wilhite.

    My areas of focus now are :

    - OL. Mankins is a UFA after 2009, Neal an injury waiting to happen and Kaczur mediocre.

    - DL. Seymour and Wilfork UFA after 2009.

    - ILB. Bru probably done after 2009, Guyton an uncertainty as a potential starter.

    - OLB. Depends on how they like Crable, Woods, Redd.

    - S. After Meriweather and Sanders there is little to nothing.

    - WR. A high upside #4/#5 guy for 2009 who could start in Galloway's spot in 2010.

    Anything else in the top three rounds will surprise me. CB and TE are areas I usually look at but they appear to be full.
  9. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    After al the fa signings it does make this draft very hard to predict. {Like anyone could predict a Patriots draft anyway}
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Inferences? That QB and TE are not as great a need as in seasons past. RB is reliant on three over 30 RBs to remain healthy. OL depth is not at all satisfactory with the status quo. S depth is in the same boat. ILB has one answer and more questions. OLB is as you said. WR is shallow. CB depth is questionable, especially in regards to the Practice Squad which has been tapped for help too often in recent years. Special Teams coverage needs an infusion. After QB and TE, DL is the only seemingly sound pool of players, and we both know that means nothing if the right big body is sitting there.

    I looked back at my last two mock draft contest entries and found none of the most recent moves were compelling enough to make me change direction - troubling that.
  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    If Crable comes to camp with about 20 more pounds of muscle and a thinker lower body, he could slide very nicely into the starter's role at OLB.
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