Welcome to PatsFans.com

Ron Brace hypothetical

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mayoclinic, May 6, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    12,649
    Likes Received:
    169
    Ratings:
    +378 / 0 / -1

    Back in January, I posted a thread suggesting that the player in the 2009 draft who could have the greatest overall impact on our draft was BJ Raji from Boston College:

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england-patriots/messageboard/13/209694-bj-raji-hypothetical.html

    I suggested at the time that Raji could have value to the Pats in 3 primary ways:

    1. As a backup or insurance policy to Vince Wilfork - both to keep Wilfork fresh, and as insurance in case of injury or inability to resign him.

    2. Used along with Wilfork in a 4-3 front, similar to what the Ravens had 2000 with Sam Adams and Tony Siragusa, creating an "unbreakable" wall that no one could run against.

    3. Used similarly to have Baltimore currently uses 6'4" 340# Haloti Ngata, moving him around at both DT and DE, where he can collapse the pocked and suck up blockers to free up the other DLs to make plays.

    In the 3 months between posting that thread and the draft I repeated had Raji as my #1 guy for the Pats on my board, and also looked at mid-late round athletic DT prospects such as Chris Baker, Sammie Lee Hill, and Vaughn Martin as possible developmental guys with unusual size and athleticism who might eventually be able to play those roles. But during that time I never really thought about Ron Brace much, because I considered him purely a widebody 2 down run stuffer lacking the athleticism necessary to play those roles.

    So who does BB pick at #40? Ron Brace. Duh.

    So my question is, do people see Brace mainly as a 2-down run stuffing wide body backup to Wilfork, or do you see him as having the athleticism necessary for BB to use him like a Ngata moving him around at DE as well as DT, and changing up fronts? If the latter turns out to be the case, then he may end up being the most valuable pick out of this draft.

    Thoughts?
  2. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    18,025
    Likes Received:
    185
    Ratings:
    +420 / 5 / -6

    #75 Jersey

    Yes.

    Also future trade bait, perhaps. If we resign Wilfork, there are few things more valuable than a possible NT starter. They are born, not made. Well, maybe redesigned with a lot of cheeseburgers.:D
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  3. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,442
    Likes Received:
    95
    Ratings:
    +224 / 17 / -2

    Brace is v-e-r-y, v-e-r-y, s--l--o--w.

    He is a wide bodied backup for Wilfork, an extremely important position.
  4. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    17,243
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +20 / 3 / -0

    #91 Jersey

    I'm going with #1and #2 hypo Brace not only gives wilfork a break but is lined up next to him with seymour and warren as ends in certain situations.
    I've never seen him play but from what i've read he is a run stuffing wide body without much upfield burst.
    Last edited: May 6, 2009
  5. Jimke

    Jimke Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2006
    Messages:
    3,701
    Likes Received:
    11
    Ratings:
    +15 / 0 / -0

    He was the slowest of all the defensive tackles (5.52 40 yard dash).
  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    11,512
    Likes Received:
    269
    Ratings:
    +599 / 6 / -0

    Door #1 for me. Ngata's much more athletic:

    6-4 338 5.13/2.96/1.73 37 31.5" 09'02" 4.69 7.97
    vs.
    6-3 330 5.48/3.15/1.88 32 28.0" 08'03" 4.73 8.15

    On the principle of putting the players in the position to succeed given their strengths and weaknesses, I'd definitely keep Brace clogging the middlee.
  7. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,442
    Likes Received:
    95
    Ratings:
    +224 / 17 / -2

    There were fewer than a dozen of the 750 on draftscout's list that were slower than Brace.

  8. ALP

    ALP Rookie

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2007
    Messages:
    7,403
    Likes Received:
    9
    Ratings:
    +12 / 0 / -0

    id agree that Brace plays the same role as wilfork...hes not going to the be a DE

    and he can still be used next to wilfork in a 4-3 front, with seymour, brace, wilfork, warren

    its deadly, the problem is though that our run defense last yr when the opponent needed 2-3 yds was excellent....our pass defense is what sucked, and a 4-3 front will help the run D, not the pass D (unless one of the DE's or both of them can rush the passer)
  9. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    12,649
    Likes Received:
    169
    Ratings:
    +378 / 0 / -1

    That's what I thought too. Then I went back and watched some film, and he seemed much more athletic and disruptive on film than he looked at the combine. I saw several plays where he got good penetration into the backfield and broke down the pass protection.

    There's no doubt that Brace's 40 time is slow. But does that mean very much at his position? His short shuttle time of 4.73 was just behind Raji's time of 4.69, even though their 40 times were vastly different (5.12 vs. 5.48), suggesting much better lateral agility than linear speed. His broad jump was essential the same (8'3" vs. 8'7"), suggesting similar lower body power and leg drive. He looks much more chiseled and cut than Raji, though looks don't necessarily mean much.

    If Brace turns out to be a 2-down run stuffer and backup for Wilfork, then I think we could have done better taking one of the developmental guys I mentioned later in the draft and using #40 on another player (Connor Barwin would have been my choice; Clint Sintim was also available). But if he ends up being more than that and can be used in some of the ways I suggested in the OP, then he will be exceptional value for the #40 pick.
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    11,512
    Likes Received:
    269
    Ratings:
    +599 / 6 / -0

    And lest anybody be tempted by "but who asks a DL to run 40 yards?"...check out his 10-yard split.

    20 DTs were invited to the combine. The other 19 clocked their first 10 yards between 1.62-1.78; Brace ran a 1.88.

    That would be s...l...o...*yawn*...w. :)
  11. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    12,649
    Likes Received:
    169
    Ratings:
    +378 / 0 / -1

    I would agree with you based on the numbers. That's why I never really considered Brace, and was a bit dumbstruck when we took him there, especially with guys with much more athletic numbers being available much later on in the draft. So I am wondering whether BB sees something in him which is not reflected in the numbers to justify using such a high pick on him? If we just wanted a big 2 down run stuffing backup to Wilfork I think we could have gotten one much cheaper than the #40 pick.
  12. reflexblue

    reflexblue PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Messages:
    17,243
    Likes Received:
    13
    Ratings:
    +20 / 3 / -0

    #91 Jersey

    I don't put a lot of stock in the 40 for for D-lineman or even LB's if the front 7 has to run forty yards something very bad happend. I go with off the ball burst, the first 10 yards, and lateral agility. I just finished reading something about Brace, that this year he improved his upfield quickness,and has good agility. Only time will tell.
  13. CanadianPat'sFan

    CanadianPat'sFan Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    1,025
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    He is a NT you know:D:D:D

    Well after we drafted him I went back to watch some more film of him and Raji working the middle and wow those to were dominate together. I hope that Wilfork and him can do the same thing for us when we go with a 4 man front at times. While watching tape I noticed that he was more athletic then I first though making plays in the backfield and hitting a few gaps. Now trust me when you are paired inside with another great DT you do get some one on one match ups even if you are playing the NT in the 4-3. I was just surprised as I really thought he was going to be strictly a NT for us but do see him bumping out on a guard at times but I would rather have Wilfork do that and keep Brace anchoring the middle pushing the pocket.
  14. Patriotic Fervor

    Patriotic Fervor Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2005
    Messages:
    1,416
    Likes Received:
    2
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    I agree.

    Given the slot where he was taken, and the availability of more athletic types at other positions of perceived need or interest, there must be something there that we don't see or are unaware of.

    And while the Pats and 2nd round picks haven't exactly gone together like soup and sandwich (!), how often does BB get it wrong with a guy like this at a position akin to this?

    No, I think there's something there. What? Dunno. Just like everyone else, I'll have to wait and see.
  15. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    I don't think the Pats know what Brace can or can't do...
    But on film he projects well as a NT and SHOULD be able to play that role at minimum.

    All of our big guys can play all 3 DL positions... Seymour, Wright, Warren have all been used as a nose before. And Vince has also played some end back when Trailor was here.

    So the question is... Can Brace play end... we will find out.
    Playing end his role would serve more as a guy that bull rushes tackles and eats up blockers for the OLBs.

    But even if he can't, he should be able to play nose and allow Wilfork to play the Monster 3-4 DE who eats up 2 blockers, collapses pockets, and gives our OLBs 1 on 1's with TE/RB which any 3-4 OLB should defeat.

    So all in all, Brace provides depth at nose with the potential to play end.
    The question is, how effective will he be in this capacity?
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    20,442
    Likes Received:
    95
    Ratings:
    +224 / 17 / -2

    Don't get wrong, I think Brace was a great pick, a great value. We need a backup NT and a 2nd DT for goal-line and short yardage situations.

    But Brace is one of the slowest players in the combine. It is really difficult to find very many that are slower. My reaction is to want to project Brace to DE, and to have the slowest DE in football on the field.

  17. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    I think it all depends on the objective of the DE.
    If it's to rush the passer than Brace does not fit the mold.
    If it's to eat up blockers and collapse the pocket, his 5.48 40 will not matter.
  18. Thumper27

    Thumper27 Rookie

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    I may have missed something here but why are opinions being gauged on Brace's times versus all DT's. I realize they're all big dudes but wouldn't it make a lot more sense to compare him to NT's outside of Raji, who was a beast and accordingly went in the top 10. I don't really see the value of combine speed numbers when comparing a 2-gap 3-4 NT to the kind of 3-technique pass-rushers that you see in a lot of 4-3's.

    How many races did Ted Washington win?

    In any case, I trust the Patriots' strength and conditioning coaches to help Brace's speed numbers over the summer and next couple seasons.
  19. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2007
    Messages:
    446
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +2 / 0 / -0

    Agreed, all he needs to work are his short area quickness and speed.
    I'm sure they measure body fat %, and will turn him into a Wilfork lile fire hydrant.

    (There was a story a while back about how Wilfork and his wife got him on this diet, and cut his body fat % down, but his weight stayed the same = MORE muscle)
  20. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Messages:
    18,025
    Likes Received:
    185
    Ratings:
    +420 / 5 / -6

    #75 Jersey

    I don't think anyone addressed my point of his future trade value, if someone needs a NT in the 3-4.

    Remember how we were going to use "technique" instead of bulk with either Jarvis Green, Rick Lyle, or Klecko.

    Then we decide to get a 400 lb. monster instead.:D Technique went out the window (though Ted had the whole package).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>