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The Clay Matthews effect makes me a bit nervous

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Crazy Patriot Guy, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I've been reading reports that say the Pats have learned their lesson a bit by passing on Clay back in 2009 and that they're probably more willing to take a risk on a player that doesn't exactly fit what they're looking for from a physical standpoint.

    Clearly the Pats are not going to simply ignore the height and weight of a prospect and only look at their production. Anyone they draft will have been scouted very well. But with the 1st round being so good for the Patriots, (even the "busts" made contributions in their time here) I'm afraid of the Pats picking someone up that turns out to truly not be right for the team.

    It reminds me of something Mike Leach said a few years back when he was still at Texas Tech. Ever since Welker was there, he was constantly having high school coaches call him saying they had the next Wes Welker. Leach said occasionally they would turn out to be good players but the majority of them were just short, slow, small WRs.

    Again, I know how smart the Pats are. I just don't want them to make a mistake in the 1st round considering what it's produced for us, and I don't want Clay Matthews to be the reason they miss.
     
  2. TriplecHamp

    TriplecHamp Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Id rather the Pats take a chance on a guy that they think might make an impact in the pass rush than go with TBC, Cunningham and Ninko next season.
     
  3. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ------------- PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think Ninko is a valuable role player on this team who they tried to use in areas he is not able to cover. Ninko is still a valuable up the middle pass rusher ... along with Wright ... we still need that outside rusher who can also seal the edge when needed which TBC definitely is not. Cunningham may not be that either ... but he has another 2 years here I think.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  4. Ron Sellers

    Ron Sellers 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    It has been clearly documented previously that the Pats took in quite a haul as the end result for passing on Matthews. I don't know what reports you are referring to, but I seriously doubt the Pats are the type of organization that does things because some armchair GM is second guessing their previous drafts. At the very least the jury is still out in regards to passing on Matthews versus getting the four other players they ended up with.

    The Pats will draft a player that they feel gives them the best chance to succeed - not one who will get them the highest approval rating or the best day-after draft grades.
     
  5. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Where are these reports you speak of? Passing on Matthews was 100% the right choice. He got completely dominated by Gronk and Crump in the run game. There's no room on the roster for somebody like that, and especially not in the first round.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  6. alvinnf

    alvinnf In the Starting Line-Up

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    I don't know? Let's flip a friggin coin. Is it better to get washed out at end in our scheme or field an "undersized" OLB pass rusher. It's easy to stick to your guns when you have guys like Seymour and Willie Mac on your roster. When you have neither, just get somebody who can make plays.....
     
  7. patsinthesnow

    patsinthesnow PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #87 Jersey

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  8. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I agree with you. I don't think the Pats are disappointed with what they got instead. I know I'm not. 2522 total yards and 16 TDs from Tate, Edelman and Gronk this season. If Butler can develop into a solid nickel or dime CB, it's a slam dunk. However, that doesn't mean the Pats can't look back and say they were wrong in their evaluation of Matthews. Hypothetically speaking, let's say the Pats decided they didn't like Troy Polamalu and that's the reason they took Ty Warren. I'm certain they wouldn't look back and regret taking Warren but it doesn't mean they can't look back and realize they were wrong in not liking Polamalu.

    As for those that are wondering where I heard this, it's in the Patriots Extra Points blog at boston.com. (couldn't get link to work but it's in the latest report from the Senior Bowl, talking about Von Miller) I also read something similar when I was searching through mock drafts but I can't remember where.

    Let me again say that I'm very, very, very happy with what we got in the trade for Clay Matthews and don't think it was a mistake whatsoever. Again, it doesn't mean it can't make the Pats re-think their scouting going forward. And I don't want it to affect their scouting negatively.
     
  9. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    BB is certainly smart enough to know, in the face of overwhelming evidence, when it is time to change their strategy. Maybe they are starting to realize that you're not going to get many 6'5 255lb linebackers who can run 4.5 40 "set the edge" and also rush the passer while picking in the low 20's and 30's. Their current crop of OLB's produce almost zero pass rush and maybe just maybe they need to pay attention to players who have the ability to pressure the QB as well as "setting the edge"

    A one dimensional player is OK if he can play the run but not OK if he can't rush the passer? If they need to draft different players with different strengths than that's what they need to do. If Von Miller or Aldon Smith are available at 17, I would hope they would seriously consider them even if they play only on passing downs for a couple of years. The staus quo (lack of a pass rush of any kind) is not working, in fact it is holding back a potentially great team. Think how much better this defense would be with the ability to pressure the QB
     
  10. BPF

    BPF In the Starting Line-Up

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    I agree with most of what you said but Aldon Smith is simply not ready to be an NFL player at this point. That kid should have stayed in school.
     
  11. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A one dimensional player who can only rush the passer (i.e. Von Miller) is fine as long as he's not a high pick. As Bill has said, early round linebackers need to be able to play 3 downs, and Miller projects as a player who will never be able to do that.

    If he were a 3rd or 4th round pick who could play on special teams, he'd be fine. Gary Guyton and Dane Fletcher are guys who Bill saw as subpackage linebackers and special teamers, but not 3 down guys (ideally). No coincidence that both of them were UDFAs rather than high picks. I feel like Miller is the OLB equivalent of Gary Guyton, and that's not worth a 1st round pick.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2011
  12. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    So another year without a pass rush because of value? IMO improving the pass rush should be priority #1 whether or not you have to deviate from the value based pick. Sometimes you have to overpay.
     
  13. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The willingness of Belichick to wait rather than reach for guys is one reason the Pats have stayed competitive year after year. If Pats fans had their way, Bill would've taken Hughes in the first last year. Even if Hughes was a 8-sack guy, that still would've come at the price of missing out on a player of better value in McCourty. Bill is going to draft the player who he thinks will make the team the best team possible. It if involves passing up on an undersized pass-rusher who will never be able to play in the base package in order to take a better player at a position of less need, then he won't hesitate. It's how he does things, and in the long term interest of the team, it works out very well.

    Random off-topic comment: McCourty had more interceptions (7) than Hughes had tackles (6) this season. PoLOLian much? :lol2:
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2011
  14. condon84

    condon84 In the Starting Line-Up

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  15. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback In the Starting Line-Up

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    They don't always turn into a McCourty, sometimes they turn into a Maroney.
     
  16. Crazy Patriot Guy

    Crazy Patriot Guy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    That's the point. I hope the success of Clay Matthews doesn't change how the team values that position enough to make a bad decision in the draft.

    Going into the 2009 draft, Pat White's stock had gone way up because of the Wildcat formation spreading so quickly in the NFL. It turned out the Dolphins valued that position WAAAAAAAYYYYYY too much, took White in the 2nd round and he was gone before the 2010 season opener.

    I honestly wonder if we see more Danny Woodhead-type RBs picked up late in the draft this year. Guys that might have never been anything more than a UDFA might now be 6th or 7th round picks because of Woodhead's success this season. That's how it goes.

    Does the success of Matthews cause Belichick to re-evaluate how he looks at the OLB position early in the draft? It's very possible. Again, I hope it doesn't change how they value it enough for them to draft someone that proves the very strict requirements he's always placed on the position were right all along.
     
  17. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There are several related questions

    QUESTION 1 - IS THERE ROOM ON OUR ROSTER FOR A DESIGNATED PASS RUSHER?
    Would such a player fit in to our schemes? Is is useful to use an active roster spot for such a player.

    QUESTION 2 - IS SUCH A PLAYER IMPORTANT TO OUR TEAM, OR JUST A MINOR LUXURY?
    Even if we thought such a player is useful, it still isn't clear whether this role player would be a top contributer.

    QUESTION 3 - HOW MUCH IS IT WORTH IN TIS DRAFT TO SECURE SUCH A PROSPECT?
    If this position is important enough to our 3rd down effort, then this resource is worth as much as our 17. After all, for some this position has the potential to have more impact that any other player we could draft. Even if the position has the potential to have amjor effect (although not the most, the position would be worth a top 40 pick.

    QUESTION 4 - WHO IS AVAILABLE TO MEET THIS NEED AND AT WHAT COST?

    =============

    BOTTOM LINE
    This has been discussed for years. As another thread asks "Is A Designated Pass-Rusher Worth a Top 40 Pick?"

    Belichick has thought not for years, although he traded a 3rd and 5th once to try to get such a player.

    The season just ended. The draft is far away. There will much time for analysis. I think that the key will be how much the position is valued. After all, if we were absolutely sure than we need a top guard to start, then we would draft one, even if the fit weren't perfect. There are many OLBs and passrushers. The open question is whether Belichick will again look for a perfect fit and value the position as not being worth a first rounder.
     
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An impact level pass rusher is not likely to be relaibly available in late 3rd or 4th rounds. I understand that you think that a pass rushing specialist is only worth as much as Guyton or a 4th rounder.

    That is indeed the issue before us. Is an impact level pass rusher worth a 4th rounder, a 3rd rounder, a 2nd rounder, or a 1st rounder.

    Considering that we were DEAD LAST in defending on third down, this position might be more valuable than you indicate.

     
  19. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think one of the issues at play here is that maybe there just aren't that many guys like he wants walking around these days. Oh there are players built like he wants but rarely do they have the complete skill set he wants. Often they are conversion projects and those often do not work.

    If there is an adjustment on BB's part I think it comes from that angle, not the "we should have drafted Clay Matthews" angle.

    Regardless, of the current OLBs we know exactly what we've got with Ninko and TBC. The only player with any upside left to explore is Cunningham. More bodies needed.
     
  20. jsull87

    jsull87 In the Starting Line-Up

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    you wouldn't take clay mathews with a 1st round pick... you are outside your mind
     
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