Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Box_O_Rocks, Jan 5, 2006.
http://www.boston.com/sports/footba...ss_id=Boston.com -- New England Patriots news
These two, plus Hobbs, headline the 2005 draft class. And while the 2003 class got a lot of hype in the media for being so solid, I think 2005 is another one for the history books.
Sanders and Cassel are both quality Day Two picks, and if Claridge is anything more than a zero in his redshirt season... well, the staff pulled another rabbit out of the hat.
All those good players, plus trading out for a 3rd, 4th and 5th in 2006... very special draft results.
People seem to forget, that for the misses with the free agent (and trade, in Starks' case) class this year, that this team is built through the draft, and the success there has been extraordinary during the current regime's tenure. Free agency has always been about filling holes and trying to stock talent cheaply, it's not where the team is built. The 2001 Superbowl win skewed the perception of this somewhat, because of the tremendous success with signing castoffs that year, but that team wasn't even supposed to win in the minds of the coaching staff. The plan was to shed the dead money initially and restock the roster (after Grier's bungling) to prepare for runs further down the line, when fate (and Mo Lewis) intervened. Any draft where you get 2 starters has to be considered a success, if you look at the average NFL team. That the Patriots have had multiple years of stocking the team with 3, 4 and 5 starting or contributing quality players during this run is nothing short of amazing. After the Brady draft (which also netted Pass, along with Redmond and Robinson-Randall who were both important contributors at various points during their time with the Pats), there was the Seymour-Light-Jones draft, the Graham-Branch-Green-Givens draft, the much heralded 2003 class, the Wilfork-Watson-Hill class and this year's terrific rookie class. That's tremendous success at identifying talent. The Pats haven't always hit with their picks (what team does?), but they hit often and consistently find 2 or 3 starters and 4 or 5 contributors total. When you consider the 45 man gameday roster, that's 10 or 11% of the talent being improved each year. Not to mention success in stocking the practice squad and filling out the 53 man roster admirably. Makes it a lot easier to deal with the occasional Donald Hayes or Monty Beisel when there is sustained drafting success every year, and this year's class looks to be no exception.
At worst 2005's draft class is looking very competent - and it has the chance to be brilliant. This makes up some for the most lousy class of 2004 (outside of the first round).
2006 should be a super draft as the draft has enough depth to stretch into the middle rounds where we have double picks.
a classic belichick draft
BB/SP have certainly put their mark on the franchise. except for bruschi, brady, and mcginest, i believe all their starters are now BB/SP people.
they seem to have certain common traits. look thru the 2006 draft picks--you'll see it again.
the scouting reports on these draftees for the '03, '04, and '05 drafts have the same TERMS:
known as a tough player, a little mean.
leader, team captain or tri-captain
steady player, doesn't take play off.
and they go and get them. some are more talented (wilfork & givens) than others (kaczur or ethan kelly), but they all have these attributes.
it reflects systematic thinking. what a surprise.
Agreed. The recipe to success in the NFL is a winning draft. Its nice to polish that off with 1-2 solid FAs a year, but to consistently win, you have to draft starting caliber players, lock them up for 5-6 years and get your highest ROI on the backend of those contracts.
When you can have 4-5 quality starters (Koppen, Graham, Hobbs, Kaczur, Mankins) who are only taking up 500-600k each bc they are on the last few years of their rookie deals, that's a winning program. Sure, your superstars that you draft you need to extend early to avoid losing them, but its those above average starters who you can get cheap that is the secret.
Having players like the ones above contributing at an above-average-but-below-All-Pro level obviates the need to roll the dice on a big FA, whose contract is going to be bloated every year.
I'll admit to being very concerned when Kaczur and Mankins were thrown into starting positions. OL line play has been surprisingly good considering the shuffling. At least to me.
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