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Recent Patriots Drafts Bearing Fruit

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by VJCPatriot, Dec 1, 2010.

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  1. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Rookie

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    I know it's way early for draft grades but there is no denying that the youngsters taken from the 2009/2010 draft are making an impact in this season's edition of the 2010 Pats. Lets review the hits, misses, and incomplete grades.

    2009 Draft Class:

    Round 2A S Patrick Chung - Has really stepped up his game this season and is a leader on the defense. Physical player, supports the run game well. He's a keeper. Great pick. I remember the debate on whether to take Delmas or not, I was in favor of Chung because he was a true SS. Looks like the Pats picked wisely. A.

    Round 2B DT/DE Ron Brace - Initially declared widely as a bust by most knee-jerk reactionists after a forgettable rookie campaign, Brace has figured more and more into the Pats DL rotations and appears to be a solid guy who has helped make up for the loss of Ty Warren to injury. B.

    Round 2C CB Darius Butler - Showed flashes of promises his rookie year. Struggling in his second season. Grade - Incomplete.

    Round 2D T Sebastian Vollmer - Showed what a beast he could be his rookie season before tapering off a bit. Having a solid second season and shaping up to be the Pats future LT or RT for a long to come. A.

    Round 3 WR Brandon Tate - Rookie campaign was nonexistent due to injury. Second year has shown brilliance in the kick return game at times but has not shown much at the WR position outside of one great hookup with Brady on a broken play. Needs to improve more in the passing game, particularly since we took him over Mike Wallace. C+.

    Round 3 LB Tyrone McKenzie - never got it going after initial injury in TC. He's washed out of the league now. D.

    Round 4-6 Orhnberger, Bussey, Ingram - Washed out. Ingram had promise his rookie season but suffered intolerable regressions in year 2. D.

    6th rounder DT Myron Pryor is still with the team though and getting rotation minutes. That says something. C+.

    Round 7 WR Julian Edelman. Showed promise his rookie season filling in for Welker. Hasn't had much chance to show anything now that Welker is back. By all accounts teammates like him though. Nice but how about showing that on gameday? Grade - Incomplete.

    2010 Draft Class:

    Round 1. CB Devin McCourty. Widely vilified pick on draft day. A kid who I believed had all the tools to be a starting corner and has the same size as Ty Law. Too much was made of his ST abilities. I think fans were thinking this was Ted Ginn redux when that is far from the case. Filled in immediately the starting vacancy left by Bodden's unexpected season ending injury and having one of the finest rookie seasons by a CB in Pats history. Brilliant seeing eye pick by BB. Without McCourty our secondary is sunk this season. As usual BB even squeezed extra pick value by trading down to draft DMac. Have I mentioned that he looks way better than Kyle Wilson? :D A+.

    Round 2A. TE Rob Gronkowski. A solid all around tight end with great size, blocking, athleticism, and hands. Has the potential to be nearly as good as Coates receiving and nearly as good as Graham blocking. Really an ideal combo TE pick. A.

    Round 2B. OLB Jermaine Cunningham. He has continued to improve his game and had a game altering pressure on Peyton Manning that forced an interception to seal the game. Still he needs to show me more before I make up my mind about him. At least he is not being highlighted for 'bad plays' which is a good thing. Grade - Incomplete.

    Round 2C. ILB Brandon Spikes. Spikes has brought an attitude and a big stick to the interior of the Pats D, allowing Mayo to freelance and make more plays. He also brings leadership to the D and calls plays. This helps the Pats to one of the better young ILB tandems in the entire NFL and has made them a better tackling team up the middle. B+.

    Round 3. WR Taylor Price. Really hasn't shown anything. Can't even get on the field since he's been inactive. Grade - Incomplete.

    Round 4. TE Aaron Hernandez. He was really a steal in the 4th round and creates mismatches wherever you line him up. Seems good for at least one big play per game. Him and Gronkowski make for the best young TE duo in the NFL right now. Needs to improve in the blocking game. B+.

    Round 5. P Zoltan Mesko. A huge upgrade over Hanson who I'd liked to have seen gone years ago. Booming leg strength, has shown the ability to snare errant snaps and make a punt where there otherwise would have been a block. Doing just about as much as you can expect from a rookie punter. Really like this pick for our field position game but he's still a punter and has room to improve. B+.

    Round 6-7. Are any of these guys with us except for Brandon Deaderick? Well there you go. D.

    So if you count it up what have we got out of the last two drafts?

    On offense:
    Vollmer A, Gronk A, Hernandez B+, Tate C+, Edelman and Price Incomplete.

    On defense:
    McCourty A+, Chung A, Spikes B+, Brace B, Pryor C+, Cunningham and Butler Incomplete.

    On ST:
    Zoltan Mesko B+.

    That's 8 solid to excellent young players added to this Pats team over the past 2 years with a few more still waiting or on the way to proving themselves. I'd say that's a pretty good haul. The 2009/2010 drafts are bearing fruit and have a direct correlation to the Pats high level of success this season. Kudos to BB and the Pats scouting staff. We might have lost Pioli but it doesn't look like BB has lost his touch.
  2. ausbacker

    ausbacker Brady > Manning. PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #51 Jersey

    Mesko is an A.
  3. bogey888

    bogey888 Rookie

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    You should factor in what round the player was picked in to assess a final grade. A first rounder should be expected to have a higher likely hood of being a stud than a 7th rounder and so forth...Therefore giving a late rounder like Edelman for example just a B seems unfair since he really has outperformed his draft slot.
  4. PATRIOTSFANINPA

    PATRIOTSFANINPA Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Blocking or no blocking...you can't rate Hernandez below an A rating

    He is on pace for an 800 yard season and just a bit behind welker in receiving
  5. robertweathers

    robertweathers Rookie

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    Compared to the 2006-2008 drafts, Pats have reloaded quite nicely.
  6. DaBruinz

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

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    #50 Jersey


    Tyrone McKenzie is on Tampa's Practice Squad. That is hardly washed out of the league..

    Ohrnberger is currently on the Pats roster. Again, hardly washed out of the league.
  7. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I agree. He's the second leading receiver on the team and he was a 4th round pick.

    - Although he's not good in coverage, I still think Chung would've had a monster year had he stayed healthy. I'm talking well over 100 tackles.

    - As far as taking Tate over Wallace, it happens. Or how about taking Price over Mike Williams? He's arguably the biggest steal of the draft.

    - In addition, I wonder if Cleveland fans believe they should've taken McCourty over Haden?

    - An interesting stat to consider is how many passes does a CB defense. As of right now McCourty has 17.

    Revis had 17 at the end of his rookie season.

    Just something to think about.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  8. NewFeep

    NewFeep Rookie

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    Pretty good summary overall.......

    Can't wait to see what BB does with 2 first rounders, 2 second rounders (one being Carolina which is really a 1, 33rd right now and 2 third rounders....

    The rich get richer! Can we draft a stud pass-rusher BB? Just this once?
  9. NewFeep

    NewFeep Rookie

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    All excellent points...... Especially Hernandez' rating an A
  10. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    It's not that he doesn't want to. The problem was he had to trade up in order to get them.

    And they would've been conversion projects.

    But I agree. This team is missing a stud pass rusher. In fact, I've always thought BB's scheme would be almost impossible to score on if they had a pass rusher.
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2010
  11. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I just wanted to point out one more thing.

    Imagine if this team would've had one draft like this between 2005-2009? I included 2009 because most of their rookies didn't contribute like this class has.

    Had they had one draft like this, they could've at least won one more super bowl.
  12. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not disagreeing with you, but I want to add a bit of perspective.

    The past two drafts may go down as BB's top two best overall drafts of all-time. Drafting 4 or 5 potential starters and several key contributors in each of those drafts is unbelievable. So clearly BB is on a roll.

    But I don't think he'd have done so well without learning from mistakes made in 2006 to 2008, and no doubt there were many. We sometimes forget that even the genius in the hoodie makes mistakes, has to learn new things, adapt, change. And he is never content, always trying to improve, stay one step ahead, and sometimes he does outsmart himself or make mistakes.

    It's easy to look back on the obvious mistakes and wish they turned out different, but it's clear he learned something from those experiences and has improved dramatically. And maybe these drafts aren't so amazing without those mistakes. Maybe we could have won another SB with one of these amazing draft classes. But he's opened up another huge window to pursue several more championships.

    It's all just a long way of saying it is what it is.
  13. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Pryor and Deaderick are B+ considering where they were drafted, great value.
  14. PatsFan2

    PatsFan2 Rookie

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    What i have liked about our last two Drafts unlike some of the Pioli drafts that had hits and misses. Our last two Drafts have hit across the board not in any one area. I really hope Brandon Tate develops imagine if we had taken Mike Wallace instead of him what a super Draft that would have been.
  15. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    Not to be a simple contrarian, but lets not forget who this year's class is competing against in camp vs the past years. In past years the rookies had to compete for time with established vets and fared poorly. This year we have seen more use of the rookies because vets werent here to compete as much. More spots were more or less "given" to rookies than ever before(there werent 3 vet TEs in camp for example) and they are flourishing. Now you can say that this class is special or you can also say that Belichick is doing his best coaching job. Both? Or is it timing? Could it be a simple cost cutting measure?? There are still alot of questions but it will be a good problem to have moving forward with all the extra picks due us in '11.
  16. brown sand turf

    brown sand turf Rookie

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    If everyone remembers the 2003 draft was pretty good too. Warren, Wilson, Samuel, Koppen and Banta-Cain. Unfortunately, what the 2002, 2008 and 2009 seasons have in common is very short or no playoff runs. I'm sure that gave BB more time to work on the draft. Here hoping BB can overcome that trend this year!
  17. nabwong

    nabwong PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Mesko is A++++++

    It's been a while since we had a punter thread... and that's a good thing.
  18. JerseyDevil26

    JerseyDevil26 Rookie

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    Totally agree. There was a stretch of time there I was wondering what the Pats were attempting to do through the draft.
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree, and would add Edelman. All three have provided production for when they were picked.


  20. Patriot_in_NY

    Patriot_in_NY Rookie

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    True, but a lot of the veterans not being here is by design. BB is retooling on the fly. Part of the genius of Belichick is that he's able to do it.

    This post seems to imply that some of these guys wouldn't be on the field if there were more veterans here. In the short run, that makes sense, but in the longer run...... it's by design. Some of these player that are okay right now or in that lower grade range, could develop into very solid competitors in coming years and will only get better.

    As for Mesko...... He's a friggen A at this point.

    Also..... Let's not forget Hoyer...... sure, some would say he's probably an incomplete at this point, but for an undrafted guy to come in and earn not only the back up spot to Brady, but also be pegged as HIS ONLY BACKUP......... has to be counted as a win and a solid pick-up from the 2009 Draft scrap-heap.
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2010
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