The 2011 Draft ~ Random Observations

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Off The Grid, May 7, 2011.

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  1. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    1 ~ The Good

    Despite the drafting of Ryan Mallett with #74 ~ which I am pretty much alone in considering an Atrocity ~ Coach Bill The Mad once again crushed it, securing tremendous Value throughout the Draft, particularly on his 2 Trade Backs.

    ~ LT Nate "Universal" Solder has nothing less than Super Star potential at an extremely vital position.

    ~ XB Shane "The Machine" Vereen is a magnificent Flex Back prospect who's exceptional physical talents are dwarfed by his diagnostic skills, processing speed, and instincts.

    ~ RG Marcus "Howitzer" Cannon's formidable fusion of power and extraordinary athleticism, for a man his size, offer legitimate Pro Bowl potential in Dante's Academy, making him a ridiculous steal in the 5th Round.

    ~ TE Lee "The Myth" Smith ~ a Binky of mine ~ brings absolutely ferocious run blocking prowess to the critical Tight End position. He had no peer among blocking Tight Ends in this Draft, and it is impossible to overstate just how vital his impact on our line up could be.

    2 ~ The Bad

    Despite this ~ and here we have the Duality of Coach Bill The Mad, the "riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma", to quote Winston Churchill ~ he once again left our team thin at positions of need: Defensive End + Flanker ~ OLB, to you Earthlings.

    Say what you will about In Bill We Trust, but the fact remains that for 6 years, Coach Bill The Mad has brazenly ignored ~ or taken only half measures ~ to address dramatic weaknesses at first MidFielder ~ ILB, to you Earthlings ~ then Flanker, and, the last 3 years, now, Defensive End.

    For 6 years, now, Fans such as myself, Reflex Blue, and others, who admire and even worship Coach Bill The Mad, but are willing to acknowledge that he is human and makes mistakes, have hollered loud and long for Coach Bill to address these grievous errors.

    And for 6 years, now, those of us who admire ~ and even revere ~ Coach Bill The Mad, but have seen fatal flaws in his approach...have been proven dead right.

    Even so, I believe ~ even with these hideous errors ~ that he remains far and away the best commander of the Draft...and I believe we are finally on the brink ~ good health willing ~ of an amazing 3-5 year run where it all pays off:
  2. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    3 ~ The D Line

    The D Line is not going to acquire the dominating aggregation of talent that I had wished it would...but it is, nevertheless, not exactly time to slit our throats:

    ~ NT Vince Wilfork is The Man, and still at his Peak.

    ~ DE Ty Warren should play very solidly this year, particularly after he's had a month or two to break himself back in.

    ~ DE Marcus Stroud is a guy who I'm actually quite jazzed we got, and who could very well provide superior play at the other End. What really excites me about him, most of all, is that ~ despite conflicting reports out of Beefalo ~ this is a guy who, unlike Gerard Warren, made his name stopping the Run. I think he's going to be a tremendous asset on 1st and 2nd downs.

    ~ DE Kade Weston was a Binky of mine, a year ago, and commands an exceptional skill set that could very well translate into an exciting, play making contributor this year: my early Dark Horse candidate.

    ~ DL Ron Brace had an inconsistent year, but that, need we forget, is to be expected. Coming into his 3rd year, there is actually very good reason to anticipate a significant improvement in both his consistency and his overall quality of play, this year.

    ~ UT Myron Pryor is a guy who I strongly suspect will make a nice move forward, this year, after a rough Sophomore season, mostly as a Sub Pack cat.

    ~ DE Brandon Deaderick I don't know about, after the sketchy way his season ended. But how wonderfull is it, to be able to go this far down the line, before bringing his name up?? That alone is testimony to the improved Quality of Depth over a year ago, wish more though I might. And if Deaderick straightens himself out, all the better.

    ~ UT Mike Wright. If he gradually gets himself healthy and takes it through the gears by Halloween or so, then we'll be sitting pretty, indeed.

    4 ~ The Flankers

    ~ Jermaine Cunningham gave us a lot of reason to hope for an enormous jump in production, this year. As we all know, learning the Flanker gig in this Defense is one of the most complicated, complex, and difficult undertakings out there, as Willie McGinest, himself, discussed just a couple of days ago, when the stunning move of Mario Williams was brought up. Now that he's done the heavy lifting, so to speak, I expect that a young man with his tremendous physical skills and cerebral powers will start playing light years more instinctively than he did last year...with explosive results.

    ~ Rob Ninkovich. See Above. Although he doesn't command the composite skill set of Mister Cunningham, it says here that Mister Ninkovich's skill set is vastly under rated by the vast majority. It bears repeating that that position of theirs is extremely complicated, and for the two of them to come in with about 5 minutes of combined experience, get thrust into starting roles, and play as well as they did, last year...was astonishing. Ninkovich's physical skill set is not Cunningham's equal, but his instincts are his superior's, and he is a scrappy, wily, disciplined opportunist ~ jumbo shrimp?? ~ who I expect to take an enormous leap forward, this year. Again: the heavy lifting, like that of Cunningham' behind him. NOW...instinct takes over. And I strongly suspect that most fans are going to be shocked at how well these two play.

    I will append, however, that I would absolutely love to see us haul in Mathias Kiwanuka and/or Manny Lawson, when Free Agency returns: We are far better off than 1 year ago, but I would still love to see us improve our Depth of Talent, here: There's far too precipitous a drop off, behind our current top guys, for such an important position, though I am a fan of Eric Moore.

    5 ~ The Defense

    I presume nothing ~ and I sure as hell would've preferred that we'd acquired more Depth of Talent, because injuries happen and I don't believe in taking unneeded chances ~ but my prognosis remains utterly unchanged from what it was a year ago, and throughout this past season:

    This is a young Defense of exceptional aggregate talent and skill, and one that has put all the worst of its growing pains behind it. It is better coached than any D in the Game, and with so many young, talented, and vital players about to reap the rewards of intensive study and hard work, and launch their Games to a far more instinctive, and far more effective and impactfull level ~

    ~ DL Ron Brace
    ~ DF Jermaine Cunningham
    ~ DF Rob Ninkovich
    ~ MF Brandon Spikes
    ~ CB Devin McCourty

    ~ and with the immense impact that their improvement should have on the more seasoned players, who'll now be able to focus far more on their core responsibilities...the impact of simple experience ~ to say nothing of the return of injured key players ~ could be seismic.

    I cannot wait to see this crew go back to work.

    6 ~ The O Line

    Oh, man, am I JACKED about Bill The Mad's O Line moves!! :rocker:

    With the accession of Nate "Universal" Solder, Marcus "Howitzer" Cannon, and Lee "The Myth" Smith, our O Line is prepared ~ come Halloween, or so, once these guys are more or less clicking ~ to launch into CRUSHING...SMASHING...DEMOLISHING...DOMINANCE. :eek:

    No joke: Coach Bill has finally answered my prayers ~ and that of many others ~ and assembled 5/6ths ~ including Tight End ~ of a MURDERERS ROW of TERROR. :rocker:

    We are simply going to DESTROY people.

    7 ~ The Running Game

    While I was appalled that we burned a 3rd Rounder on Stevan Ridley, I was delighted at the notion that we are now either going to be 4 Deep with young, strong, healthy Running Backs ~ an unprecedented situation that I have long prayed for ~ or are going to be 3 deep ~ still pretty damned good and unprecedented ~ with the added bonus of extracting a probable 2nd Rounder for BenJarvus Green.

    Far more importantly, though, is the advent of Shane "The Machine" Vereen.

    For my money, he is Mark Ingram's clear superior, lady and gentlemen, and the fact that we traded Ingram for him and a 1st Rounder is just ridiculous.

    Brother Maine has expounded with exquisite eloquence about how crippling Green's limitations are to our overall Offense: in a word, his limited ability to create on his own often necessitated our leaving in additional blockers. Even worse, this being a known problem, his presence in the backfield went a ways towards tipping our hand as to what we would be doing with our Tight Ends, thus obviating the explosive ~ and potentially dominant ~ advantage that the exciting hybrid skill sets our Tight End crew brings.

    None of which is to say that Green ~ or Ridley ~ don't play important roles in this Offense.

    But the ability to bring a potentially elite caliber Flex Back ~ yes: elite caliber ~ such as Shane Vereen, could very well produce a spectacular impact on our Run Game: This is a guy who is equally adept between the Tackles and Outside, and who's patience, diagnostic skills, processing speed, and vision suggest that he will be both unpredictable to the enemy, and often devastating.

    8 ~ The Offense

    The Ripple Effect of bringing in these 4 guys ~ Solder, Cannon, Smith, and Vereen ~ should, frankly, once they're all clicking with the rest of the boys, produce a profound affect on our ability to run the ball:

    When we want.

    Where we want.

    And against whomever we want.

    And the combination of a suddenly dominant Running Game, combined with a deadly Passing Game, behind the greatest QuaterBack of this or any era...could wreak utter, screaming HAVOC on the rest of the League.

    9 ~ 3 - 5 Year Prognosis

    This may sound like Crazy Talk, but ~ my misgivings about our Depth of Talent in the Defensive Front 7 not withstanding ~ Coach Bill The Mad has assembled a team that is capable of going on a 3 to 5 year run that Legends are made of: an epic run that could quite possibly include a 19-0 Season...and even a ThreePeat.
  3. reflexblue

    reflexblue Supporter Supporter

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    I started looking at next years prospects at OLB and DE, and suddenly thought why bother, none of them will fit the scheme.
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  4. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    That's very evocative of "How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love the Bomb", Brother Blue!! [​IMG]

    I'm sure you and I diverge on Coach Bill's current level of effectiveness, but it is gratifying to know that we can so civilly, as men of lofty intellect!! :D

    And of course we do share grave concerns with many of his recent moves...I, for one, will be sacrificing many goats and yaks ~ none of my own, of course ~ as a prayer to Baal to protect the health of General Brady, our still somewhat thin Defensive Front 7, and, frankly, anyone who comes within a MILE of that roster!! :eek:
  5. Dufflebagz

    Dufflebagz 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    The rest of your obsevations are great and all but this one is by far my favorite :D
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  6. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

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    Says HI!
  7. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Hi, Kyle.

    Your assumption that I forgot him is wrong.

    I didn't forget about Kyle Love: I almost put him in, in fact, but just didn't see the purpose in listing every last fringe player: I was targeting guys who I think will probably make the roster. I consider him a borderline roster player, who'll probably need someone else to screw up or get hurt to make the roster...Even so, he's a good young player who might have a future, here. :cool:
  8. Hercules Rockefeller

    Hercules Rockefeller Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Off The Grid, very happy to see you back, with your usual brand of wordsmithing and eternal enthusiasm. Though we certainly disagreed in your draft day thread, let it be known that I took exception to your draft day stance because of your esteem as a poster of intelligence, whose opinion I enjoy reading. I'm glad to see you back at it, and I share many of your concerns, but I share your enthusiasm. Go Pats! This team is going to be very good, and a few free agents---Kiwanuka and Lawson top my list---could go a long way to making things dominant on the defensive side of the ball.
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  9. Mike the Brit

    Mike the Brit Minuteman Target Supporter

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    It looked like an account of the roster, to me.

    Anyway, it's the fate of UDFAs to be underestimated (see under BJGE). Kyle made the roster last year against strong competition and I don't see why that's less likely in his second year.

    Not least because (I regret to say) I can't share your expectations of Mike Wright. From everything I hear (and what I know about brain damage) I think that Mike's career is over -- and so it should be.

    Add to that that, if (heaven forfend!) Vince has to miss time, who, if not Kyle, is going to be the big man on the nose?

    Still, carry on ...
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Your assumption that it was an account of the roster ~ even though I omitted a couple other guys besides Love ~ was a reasonable one.

    It was your presumption of correcting my perceived error, based on your own incorrect assumption, that I...corrected. ;)


    Heaven forbid, indeed!!

    But if Vince missed some time, Myron Pryor is every bit as big as Kyle Love. And more experienced.

    And Ron Brace is bigger.

    Frankly, we don't have a back up Nose Tackle that I'm really happy with, which is one reason why I was so fired up to snag Kenrick Ellis.
  11. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Thank you, Brother Rock!! I enjoy your fine and intelligent work, as well!! :D

    Yes, it's been 7 delightfull, delicious days, and it seems as if it's been a month!!

    Obviously, we're entering a quiet part of the FootBall Year, particularly with the Celts and Bruins fighting glorious Campaigns, and the Sox ramping up...

    But my vacation from The Draft is over!! Loved the vacay, and I love getting back AT it!! :rocker:
  12. mgteich

    mgteich Veteran Supporter

    The discussion and perhaps disagreement is about the #7 player if Wright is not able to play. I agree that we have plenty of backup nose tackles likely to be as good as Love.

    That being said, I still have Love higher on my depth chart than Weston or Richard. You choose Weston.
    Starters: Warren, Wilfork, Stroud
    Backups: Brace, Pryor, Deaderick

  13. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    He said, himself, that he thought it looked like an account of the roster, which it was not.

  14. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan Supporter Supporter

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    The DL, I can live with not drafting someone. None of the elite guys were available or too expensive to trade up for. The one within range might have been Fairley, but there were character concerns. The guys at the back sounded a lot like what we already have, bulky guys who can stop the run but not much in terms of pass rush, so they didn't seem like huge upgrades over Brace or Deaderick.

    The OLB thing concerns me. I think our OLB will be better this year anyways simply because of experience. Cunningham was a rookie who showed a lot of potential. People will point to the single sack, but OLB is about more than sacks, and he did a very solid all-around job.

    And Ninko really only has 2 years of experience, with last season being his first as a part-time starter. But I don't see him as a long-term answer. I'd love to see another high draft pick competing to take over, with Ninko turning into more of a role player.
  15. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Excellent evaluations and I could spend a long time pointing out areas of agreement, but you don't need people patting you on the back for obvious reasons.

    1. Autrocious was my intial reaction to picking Mallet. I was really against picking any QB before round 7. BUT the more I think on it the more I am warming up to it for the following reasons.

    a. On a pure talent/value basis it might have been the easiest pick BB had all night.

    b. I think, although he isn't going to effect the team in any way on the field for the next 2 years, the long term flexibility of the pick could make it worth it for a couple of reasons.

    c. Mallet wound up in the absolute best situation he could have. He has the luxury of learning from a coaching staff that made NFL QBs out of the likes of Matt Cassell and Bryan Hoyer. Plus he has the advantage of sitting for a couple of years without the pressure of carrying a team. PLUS when he does get a chance to play it will be on for a team with very good offense around him.

    d. NOW the Pats have a legitimate franchise QB talent without having to spend the draft capitol one normally associates with the acquisition of getting one.

    e. When he came in for his visit, clearly BB didn't see the entitled, surly, uncooperative personality that was reported about endlessly this off season. So on the "character" issue I have to side with BB's assessment. He doesn't suffer fools.

    f. Now if Brady decides he wants to end his career on the westcoast as the face of the new LA franchise, the Pats will be the position to replace him and accept the boatload of picks that kind of trade would engender, knowing they had an acceptable replacement ready.

    g. The Pats can trade him at anytime over the next 4 years, for anything from a 3rd to a first and get some value from the deal.

    h. And for the first time the Pats have a better alternative if lightning DOES strike twice and Brady gets hurt.

    I'm not really knowledgeable about who was available when the Pats did pick Mallet, but Im doubting that it would have been a player who would have been any more likely to impact the near future of the Pats any more than Mallet

    2. I think you contradict yourself on the issue of the lack of a DE pick in the draft. First you complain about it, and then you list the skill and depth that the Pats already have at the positiion.. Despite not picking a DE the Pats will have the deepest, and most talented DL line up they've had for the last 3 years. One that should excell at stopping the run and be better (how could they not be) at rushing the passer

    I think you underestimate the return of a healthy Ty Warren, since we haven't really seen him be healthy for the last 3 seasons. I'm also taking the right to infer that one of the reasons BB didn't draft a DE because he feels Mike Wright IS going to be healthy this season. And he was a guy to had 5.5 sacks in 7 games, which BTW is pretty good, and goes widely unreported or appreciated.

    Looking back at it, BB MIGHT have taken Watt if he were available, but the more I think about it, the odds are he was targetting Solder all along and got the guy he wanted.

    Speaking of Solder I'm surprised at all the talk about his supposed lack of strength, and how he won't be a great run blocker. Guys he's 20 pounds heavier than Light RIGHT now, AND has much quicker feet. How does that NOT translate into a more powerful run blocker. And that is NOW, how much better will it be when he's 335 with under 10% body fat in a couple of years

    This will go down as one of BB's best picks ever and its easy to trust BB when you consider his past picks on the OL

    3.On the OLB we agree. I think Cunningham had a very remarkable rookie season, especially when you consider, as you said, the difficulty of playing the position, and the fact he missed most of training camp. Regardless of the results, he definitely showed some exciting flashes of the skills we all hope for in a OLB, and because he got all those snaps, his progression was accellerated vastly. Although I doubt you will see a finished product this season, but it WILL be greatly improved.

    I also agree that Ninko is being unjustly downgraded. While he has been in the league 6 years, his functional playing time has been really limited. I thought he did a really good job given the low expectations we had. He showed some surprising coverage abilities, and riushed the passer actually better than I expected . Don't forget that Vrabel had more years with 4 or 5 sacks than he did with 12. Its the nature of the system

    Add TBC as a situational rusher (although an over paid one), and the surprising Moore, OLB, while still a weakness, isn't really the black hole some represent it to be.

    Of course all that being said, adding a Kiwanuka or Lawson wouldn't hurt. ;)

    4. I'm coming to grips with getting TWO RBs that early. Clearly BB is gearing up the Rats to become able to produce a "clock killin' " aspect to their offense. I also love the comparisons of Vereen to Ray Rice. I hope they are true.

    5. I love the Smith pick too. Adding a guy with THAT particular skill set is critical to the overall effectiveness of the TE position. I believe the Pats are looking for 3 skill sets. One elite bocker (check) One elite move TE ie Dallas Clark type (check) One all round guy (double check) Although it might be a year too soon for him, better a year too soon than not at all. This is probably Alge's last season, so who better to mentor another critical factor to the Pats offense. His special teams skills will offset the burden of carrying 4 TEs on the roster.

    Its ikind of funny how one's intial reaction to a pick can change when you actually find out about the individual's specific skill set and how it fits into the greater team profile. So your reaction can go from "Why another TE :mad:, to....."cool pick, I get it now" Also another reason to be glad that "WE" aren't doing the picking.

    BTW- thanks for the read, you know that I always appreciate a post that takes two posts to get on the board. ;)
  16. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Makes sense. I was praying for us to draft Justin Watt or Kenrick Ellis ~ or both. I would've preferred for us to add that enormous influx of talent and push Deaderick and somebody else off the bottom of the depth chart. But given that we didn't make either move, I, too, saw absolutely nobody who's skill set wouldn't've been redundant.

    I'm from the same school of thought.

    Depth of Talent is something that is blithely ignored by most fans in here, but there's absolutely no reason why we can't go 4 deep at Flanker and Defensive End, and make similar moves to develop a continuous stream of deep talent at all positions: We clearly have the wherewithal to do so, as I highlighted in my radical but ultimately logical Mock Draft.

    I think Rob Ninkovich will do a damned fine job, this year, and surprise one hell of a lot of people.

    But I'd much rather see him as the 3rd or even 4th Flanker on the Depth Chart, much as I'd rather see Ty Warren and Marcus Stroud as the 3rd and 4th Defensive Ends ~ after the youngster would've broken in ~ and have young, cheap, and talented back ups for Danny WoodHead and Shane Vereen...and everybody else.
  17. BritPat

    BritPat In the Starting Line-Up

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    It's not that, I think it's the fact that Bill simply doesn't think OLB is worth the effort of a first round pick. There were some tremendous fits this year - Smith and Quinn were everything we value and more - but BB obviously is not a believer in the position being worth first round value.

    Which is a huge shame.

    I look at Quinton Coples next year and have a hard on already - but we'll never draft him.
    Last edited: May 8, 2011
  18. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

    Smith and Quinn were good talents... that went 5 and 9 spots ahead of our pick... maybe they would have been the top rated players on our board. But i see no reason to be crying over them when they went so far ahead of our pick. Are you suggesting you would have liked us to trade up and get them at 8 or 12? If so then you would have to weigh up Quinn/smith vs Solder and what we would have to give up for the trade. (Ras-I? Vereen? the ability to get Oaklands 2nd?)

    ROHAN KLEMM Rookie

    just wanted to throw in my two cents on the pats draft.

    In spite of all i've read about schemes, fits, kool-aid etc, here is the picks i would have liked.

    #1 cameron jordan - i can live with solder (left tackle and other teams supposedly salivating to draft), but i preferred dline help. (if solder and volmmer switch uniforms will we know it?)

    #1a mark ingram - although if jordan gone saints most likely take him at 24 in that case trade down (cincy) or cb smith or carimi. Ingram is perfect patriot back. No need to draft two backs) besides woodhead is like a wes welker in the backfield.

    #2a brooks reed - edge rusher - if no ingram williams from va tech

    #2b leonard hankerson - we need a receiver with size who can get open. (i also liked donte moche)

    #3a i can live with mallet - worth a shot. If not mallet - rackley lehigh or trade.

    #3b quinton carter db - boling or sam acho

    cannon was a great calculated gamble in the 5th round.

    Of course 1 pick effects the rest of the draft and it is a lot easier knowing where everybody went.

    I thought the draft fell the pats way and they missed the opportunities to upgrade weak spots and also trade for next year. I was disapointed with the draft last year - prove wrong and i hope i'm wrong again this year.

    I think we have been getting away with lesser talent at wr, rb and d-line/edge rush and could have shored up those areas and also helped our o-line. This year i thought need and value was there.

    A couple more general draft observations - i did not think baldwin was a first round player. From oklahoma - demarco murray went too late and what happened to jeremy beal - early on i saw him mentioned as solid 2nd rounder. Prince akumurah let receivers get on top of him in the clips i saw and had to illegally chuck often. Fairley is a gamble but detroit was a great spot for him to land. Cincy had a good draft but should have traded 4th spot to atlanta instead of cleveland - if the offer was there. Buffalo had good draft, playing catch up for previous years.

    One thing i can count on every year - the pats picks are always a suprise.
  20. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Well, in the end this is the reason BB probably passed on taking a 5-technique DE. He's literally got 12 of them already!! With all the guys returning from IR, and young players entering their 2nd and 3rd years, he's got a deep roster already. If a guy like Kyle Love, who played pretty well in spots, is unlikely to make the roster, then adding even more rookies is not going to help.

    I'm really not as bent out of shape about failing to draft an outside pass rusher as many others. We have youth at OLB already, and plenty of "potential". I could agree, if the feeling is that we need to add disruptive, top-end talent at the OLB position. But that said, I certainly didn't see it our guy in the draft class.

    I think we got good value and good talent in the draft. I also don't think BB had quite finished assembling his 2011 roster. We could play with the team we have right now and be very competitive. But, this team is young and the addition of a key free agent, like Alge Crumpler last year, is not out of the question. BB always likes to bring a few vets into camp, but the lockout has gotten in the way.
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