Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by NE39, Apr 19, 2009.
This note was in Pro Football Weekly's Whispers column:
I agree with this. I think they find the next LT in this draft. If they re-sign Mankins, it will be big bucks. Light may be a cap casualty after 2009.
There is a lot of O-line talent in this draft and the Pats have a lot of picks. They will take a T to at least replace Kaczur and they will take a G to take over for Neal, or even MAnkins, after this year.
This must mean late-round draft picks: the last three first-day lineman have just strolled into the starting lineup, two of them penciled in from game one.
And the spot of the other, Kaczur, isn't even considered a first-day pick anymore.
Makes a lot of sense. Much as bolstering the defense is a priority, protecting TB has to be the #1 priority for this team. The OL is solid, but there are some issues with aging, injury, and expiring contracts.
I think the Pats have been fairly low key about the OL in terms of openly scouting players/player visits, etc. But I assume that the interest is there. Andre Smith being brought in for a visit is one such indicator. BB's pro day visit to Connecticut is another.
Here's the way I look at it.
I. The OT's
1. If either of the "big 2" (Jason Smith/Eugene Monroe) slid to within trade-up range (23 + 58 getting us to around 14) they would easily be worth it as a value. But this is extremely unlikely. Monroe is reported to be slipping a bit due to injury concerns, but I can't see him getting by Cincinnati at #6.
2. Michael Oher and Andre Smith are wild cards. They could go top 10, or could slip as low as 20. I favor the former assumption - OT's tend to rise, not slide. There's also an issue as to whether they would fit for the Pats.
3. William Beatty and Ebon Britton are the likely late 1st/early 2nd round guys, with Beatty more of a pure LT and a bit more raw (but greater upside) and Britton more of a RT/swing tackle with a pit more development but lesser growth potential. I still like Beatty at 23 or 34.
4. Jamon Meredith and Philip Loadholt are the solid 2nd round guys. Loadholt is a pure RT or guard and more of a road grader than I would expect for the Pats. Meredith is very versatile but gets pushed around a bit much for an OT.
5. Troy Kropog is a solid 3rd round option with nice feet who could develop into a starting LT. Box's guy Sebastian Vollmer is reportedly rising fast and could be a 3rd rounder as well. Gerald Cadogan from Penn St. has slow feet but nice intangibles. There's lots of others potentially worth a flyer, but with no clear indications that they will succeed.
II. The Interior Lineman
1. This draft is much stronger in OG/C candidates than in pure OG's. I don't think Duke Robinson or Hermann Johnson are good fits for the Pats. Alex Mack, Eric Wood, and Max Unger are all excellent candidates in the 2nd round. They've all been discussed a fair amount on this board. Wood is said to be rising and could go #32 to Pittsburgh.
2. TJ Lang, Andy Levitre and Trevor Canfield are all reasonable 3rd-4th round possibilities. They've all been discussed a fair amount on this board.
3. The sleeper guy I like is Brandon Walker from Oklahoma - my favorite OU lineman by far coming out this year. He's much closer to the Pats mold than either Philip Loadholt or Duke Robinson. He'll probably go 5th round or later, so if we are looking for a possible successor to Stephen Neal around the #170 pick he would be my guy.
Personally, I think that good interior lineman can be had in the mid to late rounds of this draft, so I would rather get a Brandon Walker in the 5th-6th round of Trevor Canfield in the late 3rd/4th than spend a 1st day pick on an OG. Dan Koppen is generally quite adequate at center and is one of the few lineman under long term contract. His troubles with bigger DTs notwithstanding, I don't think it is a priority to upgrade him.
OT is another issue. Although the tackles are adequate, there is definitely long term room to upgrade. The question is how whether the need justifies the usually high cost of getting a potential franchise OT. If Andre Smith or Oher falls and the FO thinks they are the real deal that could be an option. Otherwise it depends on where Beatty and Britton end up going, and how the FO evaluates them.
mayoclinic, you never cease to amaze me......Wow! You should be paid for analysis like this! It's a privilege and a pleasure to read your posts.....
Yes, the patriots will draft 2-4 OL's. That isn't exactly a scoop. We almost always do. The question is when in the draft this is done. Many think it is reasonable to expect starters in Round 4 or 5. Yes, this does indeed happen on the interior line as well as at other positions. Koppen was such a player. Neal was a wrestler and not even drafted, so it seems reasonable to wait. Or does it?
How much better is the early talent than the late talent? THIS YEAR, I would argue that the difference is large. This is a great year to be looking for offensive linemen.
There are eight OT's that will likely be drafted in the first two rounds of this draft. For interior linemen, we have OG/C 's Mack, Wood and Unger who should also be drafted in that range in addition to the pure road grading top OG Duke Robinson.
Seriously. How does Mel Kiper qualify as a draft guru when people this knowledgeable post on our messageboard?
Predicting Light's demise is a yearly game on this board. At some point people will be right. Doubtful it will be after this season though. I am willing to bet he finishes out his current contract at least and possibly his career with the Pats. His cap hit is $4.7 million next year and assuming there is actually a cap next year isn't all that high for a starting tackle.
As for drafting an o-lineman, I can see them drafting one in the first three rounds if they keep at least 5 of their first six picks.
Four or less and I don't know if they will in the first three rounds. I think the Pats will target LB and safety early with at least two to three picks. If they use three, it is crap shoot that they use the fourth on an o-lineman, d-lineman, TE, or even RB or WR.
I'm no expert in this area however why is Alex Mack just looked upon as a center? Some smart team will draft him and also use him as a guard ... perhaps Belichick will have a chance at him in the 40's area ... I hope so. It's not so much that he's an elite athlete as it is he is above average in the physical department and outstanding in the intelligence department ... like a Vrabel of the O-Line in terms of mistakes.
I think there is a very real possibility that Mankins moves on as a free agent. The top offensive guards are getting 7 million a year contracts, and I don't see the Patriots paying the going rate at that position. In my opinion, Mankins will have to take a "Patriot discount" to stay.
Xavier Fulton is a later round prospect not already listed by Mayo who may be a good target. He's a former Dlineman from Illinois who has very good athletic ability for a T, but needs technique work.
Also, Dante went to Florida to workout both of Florida's senior OT's who both project as 5th round or later types.
Amen! Brother Tatepatsfan, Amen!
We are blessed with outstanding posters here, to many to mention and excellent Mods..... It's humbling to be allowed to post here. I love this board!
First of all, Light will not be a cap casualty unless he stinks up the joint. Second, the only way Mankins leaves in free agency is if it is capped. If not, expect the Pats to sign or re-sign whoever the hell they want. With that said, I see the Pats taking a tackle or guard in the second round.
I think this is especially true given the expiring CBA, which makes Mankins a restricted FA. I believe they can put the high-tender on him (or 110% of his prior year cap number, whichever is greater) and retain the option to match any offer or receive 1st and 3rd round picks in return.
I also agree Light isn't going anywhere. First, he is a consummate Patriot player. Second, even if they struck gold and landed a top OT, Light is good enough to move to OT or OG if need be and play at a high level.
I had Jamon Meredith and Andy Levitre going to the Pats in one of my later mocks. There will be good linemen available to the Pats in the late 2nd and 3rd round range. I don't see this as a huge need but added depth to develop could be helpful.
I was correct in predicting the demise of Larry Izzo. I predicted it for 3 years and was proven right. BB just took 3 years to acknowlege my brilliance.
Some brilliance, if you'd put the right postage on the envelope in the first place.... :explative
Alex Mack would be a pick I would like, personally.
Fulton has only been playing OT for two seasons after coming over from defense. He had postseason surgery on both shoulders.
He copied off mgteich's paper.
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