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Roster evaluations - need help grading a few players

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by BradyManny, Jan 24, 2009.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    So I'm in the midst of continuing to take a look at the needs of this team as April approaches and am now attempting to put some #s into it, handing out grades to the players on our roster, or our FAs, on a similar system as you see in the draft magazines. (1-10, 10 = HOF, 9 = Pro Bowler, 8 = above average starter, 7 = average starter...and so on). I try to take into account for playing time, health.

    There are a few positions and a few players that I would love to hear some opinions on...


    KELLEY WASHINGTON
    When originally signed, I thought this guy was going to be a receiving threat. in preseason, it looked like he was going to be 4th on the depth chart, but then he dealt with some injuries and was clearly surpassed by Aiken. He has 1 catch in 2 seasons as a Patriot. I know he is a special teams demon, but with Aiken, Slater and a few others falling into that category, I'm looking at Washington and wondering if he can keep a roster spot. I'm seeing WR as a high long term need, and a short term need for depth behind Moss, and/or a complement to Gaffney at #3.
    So how does K-Wash grade out? Is he on the bubble for a roster spot.

    NICK KACZUR
    When Neal was out, pretty much everybody on the line, except for Matt Light, looked worse. I graded Kaczur as falling in between an "adequate starter" and "above average" starter and truly have no idea if I was generous or harsh. He is probably the weakest player on the line, but its a pretty solid line, so thats not a real knock. I just wish I knew if I should consider RT either a long term need and/or an area in need of upgrade...

    JAMES SANDERS
    He's a sound tackler and generally I would describe his play as "solid". He's not a playmaker and he's taken a couple of bad angles. But he obviously has the trust of the coaching staff, and he can play either safety position. Like Kaczur, I'd put him in between "adequate" and "above average", but again, like the RT, I am not sure if this is an area in need of upgrade or not.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    KELLEY WASHINGTON - The Pats were scouting a Maryland LB who checked in at 228 lbs., I'd say they place a value on ST's aces. Kelly re-did his contract last offseason after his first year where he never caught a pass, I think cash value wise he's in the NE comfort zone.

    NICK KACZUR - Four year starter at either Tackle slot, if BB wants to upgrade him I'd say it would be next year when you can let him walk as a UFA (RFA in his case) and avoid having a 'potentially' soured former starter on your bench.

    JAMES SANDERS - Check Reiss' playing time analysis in his blog. I expect a strong effort to bring him back.
  3. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    James Sander: This guy would grade well for me. Valuable and Versatile and some pretty good bang for the buck. He reminds me of Gaffney - You could upgrade the position, but the value vs. cost probably won't be worthwhile.

    Nick Kaczur: I highly doubt he's the weakest link. He can play both OT spots well, and I think he's probably at this point playing his position better than Light is, especially if you account for consistency. Versatile OT who can "swing both ways" would be a good pick-up, but you may find yourself replacing Light first, imo. I also think if he declines noticeably, he could move to Guard and Levoir could take over RT pretty nicely.

    As an aside, I spoke with Mike Reiss about Nick and he agreed with me that people were being unjustifiably critical of his play, if you break down what he's doing.

    Washington: I always forget to key in on this guy, but as far as excellence on special teams and at a good cost/value ration, I get the sense he's a keeper and should grade very high (above average) as a pure STer. Be nice to hear from others on this guy, though.


    How do you guys feel about Hobbs? I would say value/cost he's a keeper and I think his corner play suffers from his returns (fatigue over the course of a game), but it's tough to argue that he shouldn't be playing STs. Depending on the look of the CB position by February '10 (heck yes we're playing!) I hope he resigns at a good price. Seems like a solid character guy with smarts and good instincts.
  4. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    My humble opinion is that all are solid, secure and keepers.

    All do their job above average. None is a star. None needs to be.

    Not everyone onthe Team can be a HOF player. The CAP wont let you do so. Only money differences could cause them to leave. :)
  5. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I'm not good with number grades but I will tell you what I see.

    Kaczur - I don't think he is all that bad. Maybe I'm missing something, but I don't see him get beat too often. The Pats pass protection as a whole was good initially, it's just Cassel held onto the ball for way too long. There were plenty of times he could have taken a couple of steps out of the pocket and thrown the ball away instead of taking a sack. However, I'm always down for an upgrade if it's available. The verdict: I think Kaczur is a good starter.

    Washington - I knew coming in that Washington was not brought in to be a recieving threat. He was brought in to help out with special teams, which he has. I don't know his salary, but if it's managable, I would like to see him return. The verdict: Washington is a good special teamer, nothing else.

    Sanders - The guy everybody wants to pick on. Well, people pick on him for a reason because he's pretty much invisible during games. Sanders doesn't make much of an impact on the field, takes really poor angles and rarely makes any plays what so ever (int, big hit, fumble, fumble recovery). I just see Sanders as just another body on the field. The Pats need a major upgrade at this position and move Merriweather to FS. However, Sanders would be a good backup to rotate in to give the starters a breather. The verdict: Sanders is average at best.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  6. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    All he does is constantly be inserted by the Coaches; and quietly amass lots of tackles...
  7. JSn

    JSn Rookie

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    I'm wondering if Ear Chives got his Sanders' mixed up? Isn't Lew the one who's notorious for bad angles?
  8. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    Sanders was on the field by default. If the Pats have a chance to upgrade the position, they will be happy to say bye bye to the invisible Sanders. Just because you have a lot of tackles, doesn't make you a good player. There is a big difference between tackling a player after the initial catch and chasing him 10-20 yards after the catch. Sanders was that guy that would be chasing guys because he took poor angles.

    No, it's James Sanders. But yes, Lewis Sanders is invisible as well. And what's up with you calling me Ear Chives?



    You two are the minority when it's comes to thinking Sanders is a solid starter. Also, you two were probably those guys that thought Eugene Wilson and Randall Gay needed to be re-signed because of how valuable they were. Get over it, Sanders is either leaving or going to be a back up. Seriously, is there any starter on the team that you think needs an upgrade? It wouldn't surprise me if you said "of course not! This team is perfect, why change anything?"
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  9. mmasterkillah

    mmasterkillah Rookie

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    #11 Jersey

    Washington: Special teams ace who really takes pride in being the best on that unit. He has been giving us discounts, hopefully he is willing to continue to be cheap again.

    Kaczur: Obviously needed on the current squad and a pretty solid, finesse tackle. Aside from his drug habits, not much to be concerned about.

    Sanders: If the money fits, we could use him back. I wouldn't be shocked if he gets paid more than we feel he deserves, but he is a pretty solid cog in the defense. Not much of a playmaker, but he is adequate.

    I'd expect 2 or 3 of them back.
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup, James Sanders has occasionally taken poor angles, it happens and we know the other guy with the ball has no interest in avoiding a tackle. Where people are overlooking Sander's value is his role as a field general - unlike the departed Eugene Wilson - Sanders proved that he can step in for Rodney and organize and direct a defensive backfield that included 2 rookies, 2 second year players, and two veterans new to NE. If Sanders was merely the default, BB would have been running FA Safeties through Gillette the way he had Punters coming through.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  11. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I don't think Sanders is that bad and there wasn't anybody in FA during the season that was better than him. However, this year's offseason FA has better players. I would keep Sanders as a backup if the money's right, but not as a starter.
  12. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I never said he was a Star. But he is a lot better than many give him credit for being. He can be on my team anytime. And I'll always be looking for an upgrade, a decade later, when he retires. ;)
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I don't know that much about the various FA prospects, but Sanders is a two year starter whom BB has been grooming. Meriweather presumably could have started in his place, yet that 1st round draft pick was reserved for Nickel/Dime packages - don't undersell little Jimmy Sanders.
  14. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    Kaczur- Adequate NFL starter. Nothing about his play says he's above average at his position, he's neither a great pass blocker nor a road grader in the running game. His mistakes seem to get magnified more than others (Mankins might have been our worst lineman in "that game" and struggled early this year for example).

    Sanders- Adequate NFL starter. Like Kaczur, nothing about his play says he's above average at his position. He doesn't excel in coverage or run support though he (normally) does a good job of staying deeper than the deepest in pass coverage. I'd like to see our starting S opposite Merriweather excel at something either being a ballhawk, being a great cover guy, or being a feared hitter. We won't lose games because of Sanders starting at safety, but he won't be the reason we win either.

    Washington- Above average NFL special teamer. I don't think he's among the elite ST's in the league, but he made a lot of big plays for the Pats in 07, but less so in '08. The fact that he was once considered a rising player at WR with the Bengals means that teams atleast have to respect him if he does get a snap or two to spell one of the wideouts.
  15. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Yeah, good point. Bill doesn't play guys for shyts and giggles. If they aren't performing, they don't reach the field. Still, I wish I could see Sanders make a few more plays out there.
  16. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    I essentially agree. It's just that I see us drafting a wideout or two in April as we need to get some talent in the pipeline at that position. Maybe its just my mindset and I should just consider Washington a "special teamer" only and not include him w the wide receivers when tallying the roster.
  17. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Kaczur was getting beat a lot in preseason and early in the year, but since then, he wasn't getting beat at all in pass blocking. I agree he's no road grader in the running game.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  18. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Interesting comments re: Reiss on Kaczur.

    I agree about Sanders - the Gaffney comparison sounds spot on.

    Thanks to all for the input. For those that care, I may post some of my grades just for the heck of it, if it will stir any debate or discussion.
  19. BradyManny

    BradyManny Rookie

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    Okay, a few other players worthy of discussion...

    Again the scale is...

    10 - HOF/Franchise player
    9 - Pro Bowl
    8 - Above average starter
    7 - Adequate starter or solid rotational player
    6 - Depth
    5 - Special teamer/below average starter
    4 and below - Training camp fodder

    MIKE WRIGHT. He gets a 7.2 on my scale, 7 being adequate starter or solid situational player and 8 being above average starter.

    PIERRE WOODS. Gave him a 7.4. He looked good against the run and solid in coverage. Ironically, the thing we all thought was his best asset, his pass rushing, was not much of a factor. I consider him a solid starter as an OLB in this system, which makes him very valuable depth.

    BRUSCHI. 7 on the scale. Just at the cusp of adequate starter. He gets demerits for being limited to the base 3-4 at this point in his career, and I didn't think his play at SILB was overwhelming this year anyway.

    HOBBS. The much maligned Hobbs got a 8.0 from me on my scale, putting him just on the edge of above average starter. I think he had a very good season in what was the first year in a while he wasn't playing through tough injuries.

    VRABEL. All the talk about Vrabel's downfall is a little premature. I gave him an 8.4. He still sets the edge well. His pass rushing left something to be desired this year, but let's blame it on the injury for now.

    AD. The most versatile player on this defense, I thought he was playing at a Pro Bowl level before going down, thus I gave him a 9.1

    SEYMOUR. Probably folks think this is too high, but I gave him a 9.4. He was dominant this season in both the run defense and as a pass rusher.
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2009
  20. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Washington was brought in to be a player, and was paid commensurate with that intention. He was beaten out, however, and has seemingly settled down into a career special teamer. Like most special teamers, his job will always be in danger, but he's probably going to keep coming back until someone takes his job.

    The weakest link on an excellent offensive line. I have no problem with his game at all, and I'd like to see him stick around for a while. I'm hoping the Patriots find a tackle, but I"m thinking of the left side, not the right.

    To me, Sanders is the mystery man. He's clearly got brains enough for the position, but he's not a big hitter, he's not great against the run and he's not great against the pass. Jack-of-all-trades and master of none is fine, but you have to wonder if he'll

    a.) go elsewhere for more money

    b.) be willing to play in a 3-4 man rotation rather than being a starter with a staked claim.
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