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Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by tricktak, Mar 14, 2011.

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  1. tricktak

    tricktak Banned

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    Would the Patriots hold off on a wide receiver in the early rounds and take someone like Jeremy Kerley or Greg Little in the later rounds. I think they're still pretty high on Tate as a receiver. He has definately shown a lot of flashes of being a great receiver but he is still developing. Could Tate be one of the reasons they don't select a big receiver early.
  2. Sciz

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    Yes. Because of Tate and Price, they're not picking a receiver. There's just no room on the roster.
  3. tricktak

    tricktak Banned

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    I could see them taking someone like Little in the 3rd or 4th if he's there though, he's just too talented to pass up and I would take him over Price in a heartbeat, Even in college Price has never done anything that has really jumped out at you, at least Tate has shown some flashes.
  4. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Price was a third round pick a year ago. The Pats aren't going to go out of their way to add a huge character concern to knock Price off the roster.

    And never showing anything in college was why Price was a 3rd round pick. He had a horrible QB and was in a run-first offense. He was obviously deemed a better WR than he showed in college.
  5. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    The Patriots have a ton of young receiving targets in Tate, Edelman, Price, Gronkowski, and Hernandez. I think it's safe to assume that the second year tight ends will continue to grow and have a bigger role in the offense. Will one of the three receivers be able to break out? Some people say the third year (Tate / Edelman) is the sweet spot for that.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To date, NE appears to be shopping around late round WR prospects from 6'5" outside receivers to slot receiver skitterbugs. The implied intent suggests depth and roster competition rather then any great desire to replace current receivers or even create significant diversity of talents.
  7. CTHuskies

    CTHuskies Rookie

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    I concur with your assessment.
  8. letekro

    letekro Rookie

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    Chad Johnson or Steve Smith for reasonable dollars makes much more sense than drafting another WR.
  9. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    IMO, Tate was drafted primarily as a KR and did a pretty decent job (in, effectively, his rookie season) contributing as the #4WR (most often as the token "deep guy"), and really as the #6 or #7 passing target. Edelman is a reserve slot guy who has developed into a very good PR (by Pats historical standards, anyway) and can fill in as the #5 WR/slot guy. So, they're both "good to stay" as far as I'm concerned, for their overall contributions.

    So, for me, questions wrt WR come down to Welker, Branch and Price. Including all pass-catchers, it comes down to Hernandez, Gronk and Woody as well.

    Price is a complete unknown at this point.

    Welker had been the premier slot guy in the NFL (maybe even in the history of the league) for three consecutive seasons. He had a down year (by HIS lofty standards) in 2010, probably attributable to his injury comeback. However, he is limited wrt what areas of the field he works to optimum effectiveness - namely, short/intermediate and between the numbers.

    Branch can work the same areas as Welker (not nearly as well, but that's not as critical as it sounds). However, he also works very well outside the numbers, better than pretty much every other pass-catcher on the roster. He just isn't extremely effective beyond the intermediate zone.

    Ultimately, Hernandez, Gronk and Woody all work the same areas as Welker with some variations that can create mis-matches (Gronk, Hernandez) or at least incur some defensive pre-snap decision-making based on where they line up.

    But, therein is the problem, as I see it. With most of our pass-catchers, the defense knows roughly where they're going to end up. So, the passing game, in 2010, was somewhat predictable.

    So, for me, if we're going to add a WR, height and/or speed wouldn't matter to me quite as much as "unpredictability" - IOW, I'd like a guy who can run ALL the routes (inside/outside, long/short/middle) with more or less equal effectiveness. The Packers receivers are all pretty much like that - each might end up anywhere, anytime.

    Now, Price MAY be that guy no way to know, at this point. It's also possible that, in their second seasons, Gronk and Hernandez start working outside the numbers more often with greater effectiveness - which might actually add more tactical effectiveness to the passing game than a new guy who can only go long (since that's pretty predictable, too - see: Randy Moss). It's also possible that Tate, in his second year, can become fairly proficient running underneath routes and/or quick outs (which would make HIM that much less "predictable").

    So, as to "who gets bumped off the roster" for a new WR:

    Price - if the coaches have determined (unbeknownst to us) that he's a "bust".

    Branch - if the new guy can run the same routes but is significantly faster and/or taller.

    Welker - if the new guy can very effectively work the edges and deep and is decent over the middle, almost regardless of height or speed (I said, "almost" regardless).
  10. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    NE runs a ball control offense. We look at 2007 and think of that offense as the pinnacle of offensive effectiveness, but there was also a reason Welker collected 112 receptions - ball control - taking the higher percentage throws to use the passing game as an extension of the running game.

    Healthy Moss' distraction to defenses was a treat, but let's face it, NE's passing game still ran through the short routes. Even with Moss here gathering 69-98 passes/season, Welker was the heart beat of the offense. Welker didn't fall below 100 in 2010 because of injury, teams schemed to take him away, enter Hernandez, Gronkowski, and NE's first 1000 yd rusher in years. Ball control and 14-2.

    Every season going back to 2001, the leading receiver was a Brown or Branch or Givens or Welker. It took a Randy Moss to get the deep threat receiver totals above 50. Teams know what area of the field NE is targeting, but NE has to beat themselves to stop that game.

    If Tommy gets Tate on the same page, or Price, or both, or BB finds a deep threat rookei to create match-up issues, NE will be just as productive as ever. If the defense matures, the kicking game remains strong, and the coverage units limit the damage, it's just another winning season headed into the playoffs.
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2011
  11. Sciz

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    This is a big key for next year. Tate has gotten open. Brady just seemed a little unwilling to throw him the ball. Get that trust up there and Tate will be very effective.
  12. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 Rookie

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    MaineMan & Box -- excellent posts to describe the WR situation.:eat1:
  13. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    Amen, it times like these that I'm grateful that guys like you are around to school me.

    That said, Randall Cobb v. Leonard Hankerson, which one would be a better fit for our offense?
  14. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    I'm pretty much in agreement with this, especially, the bolded part. And I've always admired the "This is what we're going to do; try and stop us" attitude. But I also believe that broadening the passing game will help enforce that moving forward. And I mean "broadening" literally. I think stretching the field more horizontally, by working more outside the numbers (and not mainly with screens), works just as well as stretching the field vertically.
  15. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Hernandez was helping with that up until his injury slowed him, Branch is filling part of that role too. Tate and Brady on the same page will also improve this aspect, and we'll know more about Price soon enough. A rookie isn't a quick fix; not that I think one is needed beyond what NE already has in development.
  16. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Who is the backup to Branch if he were injured?
  17. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    I would assume Edleman would take pickup that role.
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2011
  18. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Rookie

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    That's easy. Hankerson is the best fit for this team besides Green and Jones. His size, hands and separation skills are just what this team needed.

    I'm not so sure they would pick Hankerson that early though. It would have to be 28,33 or trade up between 34 and 50 to land him. Also they have Tate who has decent size at 6-1 195 and played well at times. I question his hands though. Seen him drop a couple of easy one last season. Taylor Price has good size to 6'0 205. He's an enigma to me though. I have no idea what the coaches feels about him.

    Again, his separation he made in the senior bowl week is what really sticks out to me about Hankerson though. He was fun to watch. His strength vs physical cornerbacks would also come in handy. Certainly on my wish list.
  19. BradyBranch39

    BradyBranch39 Rookie

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    ok first of all, nobody is going to step in and run Branch's routes better than Branch.

    I think Tate/Price have to step up because any WR we draft would be similar to them anyways... so we'll just stick with the two of them.
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