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Realistically, how many holes can be filled by the draft?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by furley, Mar 15, 2010.

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  1. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I write realistically in that it could take anywhere from one to three seasons for you to know what you've in a player.

    I remember listening to Felger and Maserati on the radio having a discussion about the possibility that the Patriots are in rebuilding mode and this turnaround could not show signs until at least after two more seasons.

    My question is, how many players can be drafted to fill in your holes, and will the needs that aren't addressed from the draft derail New England's season? That is, they fail to make the playoffs. Because the one issue that continues to bother me about the Patriots from recent seasons is the prevailing "what if" factor. What if this player pans out, what if he doesn't... For example, what if Shawn Crable plays, what if he doesn't... What if Tyrone McKenzie can play, what if he can't... What if Brandon Tate plays, what if he doesn't... What if Laurence Maroney has a breakout season, what if he doesn't...

    All of these what ifs are hurting this franchise. And if they Munson this draft this year. This could set them back three or five years.

    This is supposed to be one of the deepest drafts in years, so there's absolutely no room for excuses. Not to mention, Brady's in a contract year. This is such an important year for the Patriots for everything that you've no choice but to be very concern. I mean even the most optimistic Patriots fans can't spin this. You can't get anymore realer than this. And that's what concerns me... You bleep this up, you're dead. No resuscitation. No life-support. It's over for however long it takes to begin over to get back to being a perennial winning franchise again.

    And I haven't even mentioned the possible lockout in 2011.

    One thing I keep hearing is that the Patriots are re-signing their own players but they're the same players. Then it's asked, why not sign free agents outside of the team? I don't know the right answer to that, but I really don't want to rely on this year's draft to solve every hole. Instead, I would prefer for the draft to complement the efforts you make to improve the team next season. But, somehow, I don't have that impression about this year. I feel like everything is hinging on the draft. How does it go... Don't put all of your eggs in one basket.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2010
  2. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Maybe one hole? Based on past history the only rookie who has a starting chance is the 1st round pick. If the pats take a WR or DE/OLB they may help right away this season. I still think the only way to improve this year would be to sign some leadership in FA.
     
  3. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think its more likely that a player would be able to contribute on offense this year. For example if the Pats draft a Gronkowski or Pitta at TE or Golden Tate or Gilyard at WR or maybe Ben Tate or Dixon at RB I could see them contributing. Unfortunately I just don't see that happening on defense and more importantly at OLB although I desperately hope I'm wrong.
     
  4. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    There just aren't many key veterans left that could fit with the Patriots. I suppose they try to sign Keith Bulluck if they believe he could fit on this team and be a leader on the defense.
     
  5. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    I answered thinking the question was in reference to 2010. After actually reading what you said you didn't limit it to 2010. Although I hope the Pats load up on D, I think it will be a while before those players contribute probably at least a year. I agree this is a very important draft and that they can't afford too many mistakes. No excuses this year.
     
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The players being re-signed/extended (and we need to go back to extensions done last season, not just the Mar 5 re-signings to get the full scope) are players who have proven themselves reliable and sometimes integral parts on teams that were at worst 10-6 in the regular season. Faced with a truncated free agent class due too the final year rules of the CBA, NE made sure to keep their core players. √

    Free Agency: NE isn't known for going out and making a huge splash in free agency, so all the sore backsides over Peppers or any other free agent not signed is wasted handwringing. NE is running their offseason playbook the same way they've done since 2000, it is what it is and it is a winning formula - the horror. √

    The problem with free agency this offseason is the depth, more than half of the normally available players aren't true free agents, they are restricted and will cost draft compensation. That radically changes the dynamic and teams are being very cautious, not just NE.

    If you can't rely on Free Agency, that leaves trades and the draft. That former Browns and Ravens scout whom some of us have been following for his supposed inside knowledge of the process and access to friends still in the business twitted last week about all the trade discussions that ultimately fell through - according to him there was much more trade talk than normal. Seems like teams are still being cautious trying to test the market on trades before diving in. Why do we expect NE to be the first to break the logjam?

    Which brings us to the draft - part of this draft is last year's leftovers: Bussey, Ohrnberger, Tate, McKenzie, Richard, and Brace are all players who saw very limited, at best, playing time. All of them have been developing on IR or the PSquad as they rehabbed or marked time on the roster. With negligable impact from any of these kids, they get a chance to show us what they can do when healthy and/or coached up after a year - it's not unreasonable to expect one or two will find a role and contribute something. Then there is NE's 2010 draft, four picks in rounds one and two, perhaps another eight in the last four rounds...NE had something very similar in the 2009 draft, for the most part fans have been content with those results. No reason to think this draft class will not prove as effective - that means about five draft picks who contribute immediately, and as many who will require a bit more time.

    Then there's free agency part two and three: undrafted players, where NE usually gets at least one contributor, then the roster reshuffles that usually start during the May OTAs and continue into the first month of the regular season - NE always picks up some prospects there.

    It doesn't matter if you as a fan see 1 hole or 53, NE has barely begun the process of addressing the holes the "experts" have identified. We fans can dissect them as they happen, it is what it is and it won't be over for a long time yet. Take some motion sickness tablets and enjoy the ride.
     
  7. the wrothbroughterer

    the wrothbroughterer On the Game Day Roster

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    If the time frame is 1-3 years, and there aren't any huge trades up or down with the 1st round pick, then I think they could easily find 4-5 starters in this draft. I've been mocking their draft and I have them taking Jared Odrick, Ricky Sapp, Demaryius Thomas, and Rob Gronkowski. Odrick and Sapp have a very good chance to start this year, Gronkowski a little less so but still should see a good amount of playing time. Thomas is the wildcard in that group with the critics/scouts mentioning his sloppy routes but he is at the very least a legitimate deep ball threat and outstanding athlete. The Thomas pick is also interchangeable with Benn/Gilyard/Tate depending on how the chips fall.

    They have a good chance to hit with that 4th round pick if they go TE or the G position collectively slips in the draft.

    They have 7 picks between the 6th and 7th rounds. If they hit on 1 of them then this could be the offseason that turns this team around going into the twilight of the Bellichick-Brady duo.
     
  8. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If we are discussing 2010 holes, I would think that up to three could have considerable contributions this year.

    I certainly could see significant contributions from the following in their rookie years.
    a running back
    a linebacker and a
    tight end
    ===========================

    As box pointed out, we also have youngsters who have not yet contributed much. I think my list is a bit different then his (I don't focus on just last year), but we certainly could have significant contributions from some of these players.

    Tate
    McKenzie
    Brace
    Chung
    Pryor
    Ohrnberger
    Wheately
    Crable
     
  9. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    Looking at which teams own what... San Francisco, Seattle and New England are in the most advantageous positions in the first two or three rounds.

    However, since all of the teams listed below are in optimal positions, they won't get the benefit of the doubt from their fans if the worst possible scenarios happen.

    So far...


    San Francisco - 1, 1, 2, 3
    Seattle - 1, 1, 2
    New England - 1, 2, 2, 2
    Tampa Bay - 1, 2, 2, 3
    Kansas City - 1, 2, 2, 3
    Cleveland - 1, 2, 3, 3, 3
    Philadelphia - 1, 2, 3, 3
    Arizona - 1, 2, 3, 3


    Actually, I can't speak for those fans. But, as a Patriots fan, I can say that I would be totally baffled by any miscues. I mean I would think people are hired and getting paid a good salary to scout enough of these players to have the foresight on who to draft if you're New England. However, I do understand that one can't always predict suckability. But if there's even a hint of a red flag in a player's character or skills and abilities as a player, or if there's a history of injuries. Then that mistake is on you, not the player. Don't pick him... Skepticism means that there's a concern, and thus you need to back away. Belichick deserves all accountability if he has the final say in the draft room.
     
  10. Feep50

    Feep50 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    By all accounts this is a singularly deep draft.

    Optimally for me. A player picked at #22 will produce this year. Odrick? Hughes?

    The 3 2nd rounders should be impact players by year two. Two starters from that group would be awesome next year.

    Of all the rookies that haven't seen any playing time, I am most interested McKensie (sp).........I have high hopes for this kid.
     
  11. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    The draft is a crapshoot, and even the best in the business admit that. Kudos to the FO for trading for Welker, though they passed on him (as did everyone else) in the draft. Tony Romo was undrafted. Brady was a great find, yet everyone passed on him numerous times before we finally took him. Scouts are not perfect.

    As for the hint of a red flag, that means passing on Moss or Dillon. Or not drafting McKenzie, who had question marks because of his constant transferring of schools. As it turned out, there was a legit reason for it. Then there are those who want us to give up the 1st for Marshall, or who wish we drafted that blockhead Rey last season. Should we or shouldn't we? Who knows? A hint of a red flag is tough to figure out, but shouldn't be ignored completely. Proper follow-up and investigation can make it into a worthwhile risk.

    It is an important draft, I agree with you. But 4/4 on those picks would be unbelievable.
     
  12. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    I see three gaping holes on this team. RDE, OLB, and X receiver. I see depth needed at RB, ILB, OG, TE and WR.

    RDE - I think this is filled either early in the draft, trade up for Suh, maybe Odrick in round one or on day three of the draft, Deaderick or Washington.

    OLB - Lots of guys again this year could fill the role, but all have warts. Really hard to figure out where BB is going with this position. Dunlap? Sapp? Kindle? Lane? Te'o is very intriguing with super intangibles, BB likes those type guys.

    X receiver- Lots of guys to fill this position. Tate sits atop my board and I would not be upset if BB took him at #22. I really like Blair White of Michigan State as a possession type receiver and Ford of Clemson as a flyer.
     
  13. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    After the very top of the draft, every single player has red flags on skills or abilities or character or injuries. By the later rounds, you're guaranteed multiple red flags.

    If you didn't draft anybody you have concerns about, you'd have to sit out the draft. The reality is to weigh your risks and hope to hit on as many as possible -- never, ever all.
     
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This pretty much wraps it up for me, too. For day-3 DEs, Sean Lissemore seems like a Mike Wright type, coming from a small school and showing awesome speed for his size. I like C.J. Wilson, too, though he's on the short side.
     
  15. ctpatsfan77

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    FWIW, though, at that point, the Patriots still had a Welker-like player in Brown.

    If Brown had retired before the 2004 season, though, who knows?
     
  16. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey

    No scout/coach/GM can measure what is in a kid's heart. No one can measure a kid's passion, dedication or determination.

    And remember for every test or ploy that scouts come up with to try and measure those things, the agents on the other side of the table are coming up with just as many things to beat it.

    For example, when I was coming out of college, Ted Marchibroda sat across the table from me and looked me in the eyes and asked me how bad do I want to play football. Now I hear that agents are hiring acting coaches to teach the kids how to look a coach in the eyes and say "more than anything in the world" with so much heart and conviction that some head coaches are actually falling for it.

    Which is why I love that BB has gone to the video. No agent or acting coach in the world can help a kid fake his way through explaining what he sees on tape. As long as no one leaks what film BB has, the kid is on his own and BB can measure a lot from the answers he hears.

    Every draft pick is a projection selection and the best any coach can do is to try and limit the amount of projection needed based on film, interviews and background checks. Sometimes you get it right, sometimes you hit a home run and sometimes you flame out.
     
  17. convertedpatsfan

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    Maybe. But we drafted PK Sam with a 6th in 2004. Again, everyone missed on Welker, and I'm not trying to criticize. But I wonder how many guys like Welker do slip through the cracks, potential pro bowlers dismissed for their size and measurables.

    I agree 100%. Just saying that it's unrealistic to expect even pro scouts to hit on every single pick they make, or to claim that they'd be baffled at any miscue made by the team. It's a lot like poker, where you have to assess risk vs. reward and make calculated bets, with no guarantees you'll win or lose on any given pick. Like you said, it's about projection and the best you can do is to limit the amount of projection needed.
     
  18. furley

    furley Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    In my opinion, New England needs a defensive end to start opposite Warren, a wide receiver to start opposite Moss, a starting tight end, an inside linebacker to start opposite Mayo, a corner back to start opposite Bodden, a starting running back, two starting outside linebackers, and one or two offensive linemen.


    DE - If neither of Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle or Jared Odrick are available, then I suspect Belichick trades down or the pick is for an offensive lineman.

    WR - I see Edelman as more of a third option, and Brandon Tate as a special teams threat in the kicking game. Also, I question whether or not they're durable players.

    TE - I see the Patriots drafting a tight end, maybe Dennis Pitta or Jimmy Graham.

    ILB - Like with Tate, it remains to be seen what exactly the team has in Tyrone McKenzie. New England would be wise to draft for depth.

    CB - If Butler emerges as a legitimate starter, then I become less concern about this position. Depends. Regardless, you might want to draft for depth.

    RB - I'm of the opinion that Maroney isn't the answer going forward. Like with tight end, I see the Patriots drafting a running back, maybe Montario Hardesty or Ben Tate.

    OLB - Besides, Tate and McKenzie, the biggest unknown on the roster may indeed be Crable. I wouldn't be surprised if he's waived. And I think Adalius Thomas will be released or traded at some point eventually this off-season. Again, you draft for need here as well.

    OL - Like Thomas, I wonder if trading Light could get you another draft pick and save some money.
     
  19. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    In an exact science -- I would agree. But in the crapshoot draft, where the human brain, heart, and cojones doesn't show up on film, I'd give Belichick & Co. some slack.

    Belichick tells his scouts to find the football players. And from those football players, he tells the coaches, "Find those who can play for us."

    With specific prospects, the decision to draft (or not), is a risk/reward quandary. It's all relative to the round and need. Some may say, 'Never be afraid to take a chance on greatness' -- and I would agree. After all, it's only a draft pick.
     
  20. bakes781

    bakes781 In the Starting Line-Up

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    #12 Jersey


    DE - Jared Odrick 1st round(if not available trade back for a 2nd and 3rd selecting Alualu w/ 2nd)

    WR - Marcus Easley 5th round

    TE - Nate Byham 7th round

    ILB - Kirk Morrison via trade of a 3rd in 2011

    CB - A.J. Jefferson 6th round

    RB - Dexter McCluster 2nd round

    OLB - Austen Lane 2nd round (or Brandon Lang 3rd round via trade back) & Arthur Moats 4th round

    OL - Kyle Calloway 2nd round
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2010
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