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The Offensive Line

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Apr 22, 2006.

  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BACKGROUND

    The big questions are the health of Light and Koppen, and then there's Koppen's contract. My gut is that we can't count on Koppen.

    Many have said that we need one more stud to have an OL set until 2009.

    Extending Hochstein would help.
    =====================================
    OFFENSIVE TACKLE
    I like Kayzur and see no reason to believe that he isn't a starting tackle. If Light isn't ready, we have Gorin who started last year. Do we really have a need. I'm OK with a 1st or 2nd round stud, but anythin later could get beaten out by Britt. BTW, I wouldn't be surprised to see Light come back at RT. Kayzur is doing fine at LT, and there is no reason to have learn a second position.

    Bottom line, I think this position is a longshot to be drafted.

    GUARD
    We have Mankins and Neal for years.

    CENTER
    We could use a center. Nick Mangold is the man, a reach at 21, but fine for a trade down a few spots.
    ======================================

    BOTTOM LINE
    I think that Mangold should be on anyone's first round board. A second day center is also fine. Maybe Raiola from Wisconsin, Montgomery from Viginia Tech or even Pat Ross from BC.
  2. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Raiola suffers from short arm/slow foot syndrome. Montgomery was very good in the pulling drills and mirror drill at the Combine, Brandt gives him a good write-up for being well coached.

    I want another swing tackle candidate in the draft for depth and competition, preferably Winston or Colledge.
  3. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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    I think we have a great young line....if healthy
  4. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    I'd like to draft a center who can also play guard. That way if Koppen comes back healthy and/or is extended then the pick won't be a waste.
  5. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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    Good depth at the oline is never a waste ...we found that out last year...man we need to stay healthy and reach our full potential
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    The only reason I don't see Mangold as a frontrunner for our pick is Belichick probably thinks he can get a solid Center in the 3rd round or later. I wouldn't be a bit upset, though, if Mangold were our pick.
  7. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    I just think we have to many other more glaring needs to draft a pure center in the first round. If were talking about drafting the best player available then I don't think Mangold will be the pick.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  8. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    We have very few needs. We can fix our LB problem with a midround Ted Johnson type and a 2nd or 3rd round WR with Caldwell as the 2/3 WR will be better, IMO, than Givens and Andre Davis were (#2 weakened in 2006 but #3 better).
  9. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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    We have many needs fortunately the draft can fix most if not all of them..a center just seems like an uninformed stretch of a pick..oh and newbie no more!...and as a senior member I would like to welcome all newbies into our little club...you are wanted and loved here by us senior members.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  10. zippo59

    zippo59 Rookie

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    I just think it would be best if the Pats drafted a G/C (guy who can play both) so that if Koppen comes back in full force they can still use the new guy. Also if Koppen does not resign then that can be addressed when it happens. Koppen started as a rookie when Woody left and he was very good.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    It's actually very logical with Koppen still not recovered from his season ending surgery and also being a UFA in 10 months.
  12. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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    ummmmm...ya know what unh uh..its a stretch...its like mr.fantastic + elongated man+stretch armstrong.....as a matter of fact if that pick were a stretch armstrong doll you would have his gooey guts all over you....as one senior member to another I respect your opinion I just dont think you are thinking it through...sorry..I love you to death though..you are so cute in a simple kinda way
  13. Pats726

    Pats726 Rookie

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    I do think using a 21 is a bit too early for a center...there are others that can be found midround who also can play guard..and I think that is important. To be able to play there as well adds flexibility, which is so important!!
    Other than that, I would take Whitworth if one was looking at another lineman. Colledge, Winston?? Just think they may lack what is needed attitude wise.
  14. Julius

    Julius Rookie

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    I can't see drafting a pure center with 21. I can see moving down to late round one and then picking up a guy like Davin Joseph who can playC/G/T. He is a four year starter not a one year wonder and is one of the few sure starters to be had.
  15. wistahpatsfan

    wistahpatsfan Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    I like Ryan Cook from New Mexico. He's got all the things BB likes: Reminds me of a bigger Mankins with similar nasty on-field attitude, plays center but is projected to be a multi-position lineman. He was very durable for the Lobos and is said to have big potential for improvement with high intelligence and great work ethic. Looks like a Patriot already and is projected as a # 3-#5 lineman in the draft. When you think about the Pat's most valuable asset, Brady, and how important protecting him is, you have to secure the center spot and have a good back-up.
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I was on the side of adding a stud OL.
    With Light, Mankins, Kaczur and possibly Koppen, a perenniel all-pro type OL (and you could put him at almost any position because the guys here have position flexibility) would give us a tremendous, dominant OL. I think upgrading our OL to dominant is the area that could extend the dynsaty more than any other upgrade.
    However, with Neal being resigned, I dont see this as a possibility.
    We are set with Light, Mankins, Neal, Kaczur long term. I dont think stud center makes as much difference, so if Koppen goes, we can address that much more easily.
    To execute the plan I had in February would now mean putting one of the 4 guys we have signed long term and have high hopes for on the bench. We now have other areas that would be a bigger upgrade.

    I think the plan is clear. We added 2 picks last year with big upside. We will continue to build depth through the OL development program with late picks/cuts from other teams/practice squad guys. That program did us well with Neal, Koppen, Gorin, Ashowrth, Hochstein. I think it continues.

    If I were in charge I would have let Neal walk and replace him with a superstud G or T(Moving Kaczur inside). But I am not, and BB makes better decisions than I would. Its clearly a cost/gain issue. We could have the best OL in the NFL if we chose to, but would have to sacrifice other areas. BB feels that having the OL we do, and upgrading other spots with the money (and picks) not spent there creates a better overall team than upgrading OL at the expense of other areas.

    With unlimited resources, Im sure BB would have gone and got the OL upgrades. It only makes sense, but HE must judge the cost of what that sacrifices, which is too complex for us to do under a cap.

    I have always felt no draft should not have an OL in it. Since they are prone to injury and since more than any other postion late picks become excellent players. So I would expect an OL selection on day 2, but probably not more than 1 because we are deep and young.
  17. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

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    What about Hochstein or whatever his name is. He can play center!

    I could see drafting a center/guard...later. But is Mangold really head and shoulders above everyone else? A first round pick for a center is kind of high.
  18. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    1) I wouldn't draft Mangold at 21, but with a trade down in the first.

    2) I don't know whether Mangold can play guard. The assumption is always that an NFL center can play guard.

    3) I do believe that there is a large dropoff from Mangold. The question is whether he is indeed an OL stud. If not, the 4th and 5th rounds are fine for looking for centers. There are solid prospects available there.

    4) I would feel less of a need if Hochstein were extended. His contract ends in 2006. As signing Neal reduced the need at guard, extending Koppen and/or Hochstein would reduce the need at center. Also, we are not talking OT until the 3rd because of Kayzcur play in 2005 and the fact that Gorin is signed through 2007. Contracts matter when one recognizes that the primary function of the draft is to build for 2007 and 2008. For example, wouldn't DE be much more important if Seymour hadn't extended?
  19. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    Look and ye shall find...

    Y'all are constantly neglecting the fact that we have a SuperBowl starting backup to Koppen in Russ Hochstein. IMO our running game actually improved with him at center, as he is a more accomplished run blocker than Kop.

    Russ has the strength to move a guy out while Koppen often just ended up in a stalemate. On Pass Blocking, Koppen is clearly better though, but not as much as before.

    Everyone is also forgetting a very great depth pickup.

    Ross Tucker from the Bills was signed late last year. When he was cut, many Bills players jumped on the Coach and GM saying they cut the wrong guy and should have cut Big Williams, the first round bust, but Donohoe's pride wouldn't let him admit a draft error. Bills fans agreed that Tucker took the blame for the O-line problems caused in part by Williams failure, and the lack of a competent QB. The new regime confirmed this opinion, when they dumped Williams almost immediately, and Marv Levy is no fool.

    Tucker is a Center/Guard with starting experience.

    Then there is a Dante project C Gene Mruczkowski, nearing the end of his project development.

    In short we are not hurting on the O-line in either starters or in depth. There is no where to put a high pick without cutting someone competent. However, that is not true at other positions. We also have the luxury of having not one but two startable LOTs.

    Many teams have none. For example, I predict that the lack of one will end up destroying Miami's chances this year, and may get their QB killed.

    For those looking to replace Gorin at ROT, if Kaczur can't, then Britt might, and in the final analysis Gorin started on two Superbowl winning clubs. He beat out Ashworth to whom another team paid a $14 million dollar contract.

    How bad can he be?

    Wesley Britt is a better ROT candidate than anyone we could draft outside of the first round in this draft, IMO. He played LOT at Alabama, showing the ability to pass block for Brody Croyle, but his claim to fame as a two time ALL-SEC tackle was as a very, very, good run blocker. That is the prescription for an outstanding ROT, acceptable pass blocking and devastating run blocking.
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2006
  20. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I, too, was for getting a stud OL early, but with Neal's resigning, Hoch, Britt, and Tucker available it doesn't seem so pressing. A push for Pope as a 3rd TE and insurance for Graham's possible defection and a late rd center project might make more sense.

    I was particularly impressed by Hochstein's work at center.

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