Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by The_Dragon, Jan 30, 2007.
Thanks for the link. I enjoyed Casale's opinions. Of course, we'll probably end up with a Center and a Tight End in Round One, but there you are ...
Agreed. The Pats are nothing if not mysterious...
If only we had I'm Ron Borges to consult...
What exactly is the Pats draft strategy? I've heard snippets about taking the best available player and not drafting for needs.
Does this mean that if Brady Quinn fell to the Pats and he was no 1 on their chart that they'd draft him despite having Tom Brady? I assume a certain amount of common sense also applies? Anyone got any ideas on this?
I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks that drafting Leonard would simply be bringing out his inner Flying Elvis. :rocker:
It's not best player available, it's best value available.
For example, if the best available player were a DL, the Pats would pass on him, because it's unlikely that he'd be better than the DL players they already have. [Why pay $1M+ a year to a rookie knowing he's going to be riding the pine 95% of the time?]
This is a piece Peter King wrote earlier in the year. I remembered reading about Leonard somewhere. See his reference to Brady and how much he'd like Leonard.
Cheers for that. That makes a little more sense.
From what I've seen they draft for future value and use FA for immediate need. For instance, taking Maroney in the 1st when the didn't need him but would in a year or two... Or moving up to take Chad Jackson when Branch has one year left, drafting two TE's because Graham's contract is running out. They picked two CB's (Wilson in the 2nd and Samuel in the 4th, I think) when Ty Law was coming up to a contract year...
With this in mind, I'd be looking at DB in anticipation of Samuel leaving due to contract issues or Rodney retiring in coming years. I'd also look for a role player LB who will be to the LB core what Jarvis Green is to the DL... a guy who doesn't start but plays as much as the starters by rotating in.
If it's that center from Fresno State, I wouldn't complain, that guy is awesome, and a great RUN blocker to boot. Maybe too high for a first rounder, but I think he might get picked in the 1st round by somebody.
Actually, everything I have seen is first rounders are likely immediate needs type of guys.
2006 - Maroney. There were some significant questions as to what Dillon had left. Even if Maroney was not going to be an immediate starter, the popular opinion was that carries would be split once Maroney's talent was obvious.
2005 - Mankins. Slided right into Andruzzi's spot.
2004 - Wilfork and Watson. Ted Washington's absence created a huge hole. It is now clear that NE has wanted to have two "starters" at TE and Fauria didn't have that much left. Watson actually started the Colt opener but got hurt.
2003 - Warren. DL was an obvious area that needed immediate talent. Warren didn't do much as a youngster, but the need was clear.
2002 - Graham. NE clearly needed real talent at the TE position.
Every single one of those players were at a position that NE had a clear opening. The only one that NE did not lose the starter prior to the draft was Maroney, but the need to get younger at RB was pretty clear.
For all the talk about NE taking the best player available and focusing on specific body types, this is one trend that gets overlooked.
First round draft picks tend to be "starters" (i.e. play majority of snaps), with Maroney being a reasonable exception. Rounds 2 through 4 or 5 they generally draft for roster spots, i.e. if they have the roster spot at that position, they define it as a need (thus the third and fourth TE's), but if they are full up, they'll pass even if they like the player.
Patriots Draft Strategy
Actually, my understanding of the Patriots' draft strategy disagrees with both of the last posts.
Belichick in one of those "under the radar" moments that occur occasionally in his press conferences made it clear that the Patriots would take the player that they liked best, although they "wouldn't take a quarterback in Round One" with Tom Brady in place.
As I understand it, Belichick's view is that you almost always have needs at every position and that it's much better to take a player whom you are confident will be a serious contributor on the team than one at a position you need about whom you are less confident. So far, it's worked out pretty well.
Case in point: the drafting of Watson. Some people thought that it showed a lack of confidence in Graham. Others that the team wanted a twin-tight-end strategy that required two top-class tight ends. The truth I think is more mundane. They were happy to have two first-round tight ends on the team and believed that they could use both. That is almost always the case.
I also think that the expectation that first rounders will start straight away isn't true. The most obvious example is Ty Warren who was being kept from starting by Bobby Hamilton if memory serves. And now look at him! The Patriots have had so many injuries that many rookies have been forced to start, but, by and large, they have been exceptionally patient about not forcing rookies to do too much too soon.
I agree here, best value in terms of player ability and team needs is important, and don't forget, when they are in a situation when they know they can get their guy a number of picks later, they will always trade out of the spot they're in and move down. That way they get the guy they want, but increase the value of the pick by either getting another pick in the same draft, or in a future draft (that was how they got Wilfork, right?).
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