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Targeting TE

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by rookBoston, Apr 20, 2013.

  1. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Everyone is talking about Secondary and Wideout for the Pats in the upcoming draft. But I really believe BB is interested in adding a top rated TE to the team.

    To start, remember BB has a history of taking TE early in the draft. Daniel Graham, Ben Watson, Gronk. A talented TE that can block and catch is a rare animal, and worth spending a premium draft pick on. This draft is not all that strong, but it does have two pretty historic TE prospects in Eifert, Ertz, either of which should be around in the late-20s.

    Even with Gronk and Hernandez on the roster, under long term deals, BB has been trying to bring a top tier TE onto the roster as a third option for over a year. Dallas Clark was courted last season. Visanthe Siancoe. Kellen Winslow. These are not JAG options. Plus he tapped Ballard and re-signed Hoomanawanui. He's clearly willing to spend money at the position.

    I've always wondered why he's made such an effort to add more talent at TE, when he's got better talent at the position now than he ever has in the last decade. Contrary to popular opinion, I dont think injury risk is enough of an explanation-- the guys he's looking at are high upside prospects.

    I think the real reason is something that BB always talks about, which is about creating mismatches.

    BB is thinker, a strategist and an innovator. He's made the 2 TE offense into the latest trendy formation that the rest of the league is trying to emulate, and trying to learn to defend. And teams are starting to bring the quick LB/SSs onto their rosters to adjust for multiple athletic TEs that can get downfield... enough to match up with the roster we had in 2012.

    But what if you add another TE into your base attack? Who can match up with that? Go into a dime defense, and we'll run the ball down your throat. Play your 250# LBs and we'll pass over the top of them. The key to innovation is to stay one step ahead of your competition. Do we really want to add the traditional outside receiver, when every team has already game planned for Julio Jones, Larry Fitzgerald and Percy Harvin? Instead of drafting a receiver that we hope can beat an elite CB, why not force the elite CB to cover someone that is a physical mismatch. As a defensive coordinator, how do you handle 250 lbs of Zach Ertz running at your shutdown corner for 20 snaps/game? That guy is going to get beat up.

    Bottom line, I love the power run&pass concept, and I think BB is trying to assemble a roster than can play it. Imagine Ridley or Bolden in the backfield with Gronkowski, Hernandez and a 3rd TE in line, plus Amendola on the outside. Is this a traditional 3 TE power running formation (crowd the box), or is this a passing formation (add another DB)? However you decide to defend it, you will get beat. We run at the dime, and pass at the base. All about creating mismatches.

    This is my long way of saying, in the first round I think BB is going to target
    1) Tyler Eifert, TE Notre Dame, or
    2) Zach Ertz, TE Stanford
    Outstanding measurables. Productive players against top competition. And likely to be there in the late 20s.

    And somehow if they're both gone, maybe the kid from San Diego in the 2nd... but I'm not sold on him. This is the pendulum swinging the other way from the 5-wide offense that we ran under Charlie. The competition retooled their depth charts to solve for that. Now, with their rosters stocked up on nickel and dime corners, the Pats are going to come at them with something bigger and stronger.

    The media will say drafting another TE early means BB is concerned about the health of his young star TEs. But no, this is 100% about tactics and value. Creating an offense that no NFL team is structured to defend... except maybe Seattle.

    (Not to mention, this is the perfect offense for Brady: making the calls at the line based on the players on D... and his deep ball is really not his strong suit)
  2. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If Ballard is healthy - and an article in the Herald about a week ago sounded like he was expected to be - then we don't need to draft another one. Gronk and Ballard as true TE with Hernandez as a pseudo TE with the others as backups is plenty. Without Ballard I would be intrigued as I like the idea of the three TE offense with Hernandez as the third "TE".
  3. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    I'm counting Ballard as gravy. But, hell, let's say it all works out. Then, the power run/pass formation could be Ridley with Gronk, Ballard, Eifert and Hernandez. It looks like a short yardage power formation, but we can pass out of it (and really facking well!)

    It's so cool, on paper. I would pay serious money to see a team play this offense, and then watch the rest of the league scramble to find ways to defend it.
  4. VrabelJr

    VrabelJr Rookie

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    I feel like I'm being trolled.
  5. manxman2601

    manxman2601 On the Roster

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    I posted in another thread evidence that BB tends to have significant pre-draft contacts with prospects that play the position he's targeting and those prospects that match up with the right draft value that he's targeting. so when they drafted Solder, they had contacts with the likes of Tyron Smith and Costanzo. When they drafted Chandler Jones, they looked at a bunch of first round worthy DE's. the same pattern was there for the McCourty, Gronk, Cunningham and Vereen picks. The same pattern was there for Hightower and Tavon Wilson albeit to a lesser extent. To date, the only draftable TE we know they've contacted was Travis Kelce so the available evidence suggests that they're not looking at TE this year although because of some off-field issues, Kelce would be of interesting value anytime from the late second onwards. But in summary, it doesn't look like Eifert, Ertz or any other top three round TE is on the radar (although nothing would surprise me).

    I wouldn't be at all disappointed with Kelce, Escobar or Kasa, I just think we should grab a quality WR before we think of going TE.
  6. Big-T

    Big-T On the Roster

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    Joseph Fauria in the 7th - good bloodline and plays more like a giant WR than a traditional TE.
  7. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    The Pats just resigned Hooowaaniineini and hopefully Ballard is healthy this season.

    Hard to see the Pats going TE in this draft, but given that Gronkowski and Hernandez have trouble staying healthy, you have to think that at some point, BB going to need to reevaluate this position.
  8. State

    State Rookie

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