The Senior Bowl-

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PushnPencils, Apr 1, 2007.

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  1. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    I don't know if the game was discussed here yet, and if it has my apology in advance.

    I'm a big believer in evaluating players from a scrimmage like this.

    Although it lacks underclassmen or guys that aren't willing to risk injury, it'sa great evaluator of effort, clutch play in an unfamilar environment and under scrutiny as well as overall comparison against peers.

    That being said Patrick Willis is a man amongst boys. From watching this game a couple of times (TIVO) and looking at the stats, I would trade both first rounders to move up and get him.

    I really believe his is a phenom and what he supposedly lacks in instinsts he well makes up for in speed.

    I'd also be happy with Merriweather and/or Griffin at safety.

    Stats are here:
  2. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    A brilliant observation. One other poster has advocated the same thing and he has been subject to mock and ridicule from others on this site.:cool:
  3. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

    LOL! I guess we're the three amigos.:D
  4. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    You've never needed to advocate trading for an unsuitable player to earn mock and ridicule. :D
  5. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Why? What do the "brains" of this board have against Willis?

    Lemme guess, he's too obvious to be good. They're all on board the David Harris bandwagon. A guy who probably had the greatest defensive supporting cast in all of college football.

    I guess the arguement is everybody else on Ole Miss stunk so it was easy for Willis to stand out.
  6. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    My dear fellow fan, you watched your Tivo of the Senior Bowl and found Willis to be very attractive, I watched my Tivo and saw an ideal 4-3 sideline-to-sideline MLB. As it happens, I would prefer Harris over Willis; however, my #1 Pats' prototypical 3-4 ILB is Stewart Bradley (Nebraska). I find it quite normal for Seb or Nut or yourself to prefer a candidate whom I believe to be a poor fit; sadly, I'd consider the appellation of "brains" to be in better taste if you'd left off the quotes and acknowledged those with different views as the truly charming souls we know ourselves to be.
  7. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Me no understand fancy talk. Me know this.

    Willis - big fast and make many people with ball fall down.

    Bradley -big white and slow as snail.
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Ah, this explains much.

    Willis - run around like bouncy rubber ball in box, meet big OL and fall down.

    Bradley - big white slow as hyper-snail led Nebraska in tackles from SLB, led north squad in tackles from SLB/WLB (half of what Willis had on considerably less playing time). Meet big OL and used long arms to keep them from knocking him down and keeping him out of the play. Also look good in coverage, jam TE, recognize routes quickly, showed nice instincts too.

    3-4 ILB needs to fight OL on nearly every play, big white slow as snail guy can make more plays staying on his feet, then speedy bouncy ball guy lying on turf.

    I hope this improved our communication efforts.
  9. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

    Well here are the knocks against Willis:
    - He is a sideline to sideline linebacker. What could we possibly do with that kind of guy? It would make a lot more sense to get someone with limited mobility.
    - He is undersized. Willis weighed only 237 lbs at his pro day, nevermind that his playing weight was actually around 242. Everybody knows it's impossible for him to put on 10 more lbs and play around 250. Who in their right mind would take this kind of PROJECT pick in the 1st?
    - He is too fast. Willis ran a 4.37 and 4.38 40 at his pro day. Obviously the only thing that kind of speed is good for is overruning the play! Too fast. Obviously not Patriots linebacker material.
    - He doesn't fit our system. Willis can ONLY play in the 4-3 system. It's pretty obvious to anyone with a brain that he couldn't possibly adapt to the 3-4 system. Who the hell drafts 4-3 linebackers when your system is obviously a 3-4 system! Picking Willis just doesn't make any sense.

    I hope that was as educational for you as it was for me. Thanks. :rolleyes:
  10. Remix 6

    Remix 6 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    he doesnt fit a 3-4 because hes too fast? WTF
  11. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    What a delightfully patronizing post, a refreshing change from fists pounding on the floor accompanied by shrill screams.

    To address your objections:

    Sideline-to-sideline is nice to have, it is very nice for a 4-3 team, much less so for a 3-4. That means it is "not" a major selling point for a 3-4.

    He "is" undersized, he's 6'1" and we'll take your claim of playing at 240 at face value (not a knock on you, but college roster's are notoriously exaggerated). I based my minimum profile on the starters who have been successful in the Pats' 3-4 system, the prototype is 6'2"-6'4" 250 for an ILB. I use 5'11" 240 as my minimum, then I try to assess whether the player has the frame to bulk up to 250 and maintain it over the course of a 23 game season. Willis was one of the players shown during his weigh-in at the Combine, the guy is ripped. His frame doesn't look as heavy as Bruschi's, the lone successful 6'1" starter in the Pats' system. I consider him to be undersized based on my efforts to measure him against the guys who have been successful in the Pats' system. I may be wrong, but it's not a blind prejudice.

    A player in a 4-3 needs to be projected for the 3-4, whichever measurables you choose to use tells you Willis is a perfect fit, I have explained my measurables. I have watched what little film I have of Willis, and I saw a prototype 4-3 MLB running all over the field to make plays, and getting knocked out of the play when a blocker got to him - that wasn't just 300 lb Josh Beekman, but little bitty 226 lb Brian Leonard, who blocked the OLB at the same time for a two for one deal. I don't see him holding up well inside in a 3-4 based on that effort dealing with blockers. 5'10" 239 lb Buster Davis put on a better show when engaged by blockers in the Senior Bowl, I don't consider him a good fit either.

    If you have different observations to share I'd be interested in reading your thoughts. I look forward to your educational response.

  12. mcsully

    mcsully In the Starting Line-Up

    Dude.. I totall agree with you.. To funny some of these posts..
    I love the one last week where we need to draft the Rutgers RB, Brian Leonard, in the first round and use him at FB.. He's 226 pounds.. What the hell is he going to block?
  13. mcsully

    mcsully In the Starting Line-Up

    Umm. Teddy bruschi is penciled in at 6"1.. And just to blow that theory out of the water even more.. Do you think of the Pats had a chance to obtain Zack Thomas they would pass because he is under 6 feet??

    Willis would be a great addition to the team. Is it going to happen. Not on your life. The guy has great college stats and blew away the competition on his pro day.. He could be a top 10 pick with some teams.. I don't see him going by # 18..
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  14. PushnPencils

    PushnPencils Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    You've presented your argument impeccably. I have no fault in any of your points other than one.

    Here is my question? How can you judge a linebacker's capabilties within the 3-4 when by no fault of his own, his college team plays the 4-3. How can you predict how he will fair when introduced into that system?

    Case in point. The finest strong side middle linebacker in Patriot history.

    Coming out of college he was a 4-3 defensive end/OLB tweener with 50+ career sacks to his credit. A dedicated pass rusher. Would you have ever drafted this guy as one of your 3-4 MLB's?

    If you said yes, you'd be lying.

    Is Bruschi the greatest run stuffing LB in the world. Nope. What makes him great are his ability to place in space, his leadership and his instincts which I would argue developed very late in his career. Early on I would venture to say Bruschi played very much out of control and with reckless abandon. That's what initially endeared him to the fans. Well that.....and the name.
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2007
  15. hobbsownscoles

    hobbsownscoles On the Game Day Roster

    haha thats what I was thinking
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    Tedy is the only LB who has started since 2001 who has been under 6'2" I'd take Zack in a heartbeat, he's a proven commodity. Tedy and Zack are very interesting when you watch them on film, they don't square up on an OL, instead they slide around the blocker. Further, is Zack the standard, or is he the exception? Seneschal2 has a measurables thread here with an article by Rick Gosselin, I'm not the only individual looking at measurables for this draft. Thanks for trying to blow the theory out of the water though. Here is a previous thread on linebackers, Tedy's 6'1" doesn't look too standard, his 245-247 does though...according to the roster link he's getting heavier the longer he starts, probably just middle-age spread.
  17. mcsully

    mcsully In the Starting Line-Up

    Okay I'll say Zack is the exception and yes Teddy is the only player at that position under 6"1 since 2001.. Of course he is really the only one who has played that position for the PATS since 2001.. So that doesn't matter.

    Willis has a nose for the football and can add weight. Players have done it for years.. The key is not to lose your game speed when you play with that new weight.

    If Willis is sitting there at #24, do you honestly think the pats would skip him? I don't.. But then again. we wn't find out for another couple of weeks..
  18. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    I've made an effort to discuss why I don't see Willis as a good projection in the 3-4, why do you believe he projects well in a 3-4?

    It's nice to talk about instincts and intangibles, but we both watched the Senior Bowl using Tivo with it's slow motion and frame advance, I saw Bradley, Harris, and McLee show instincts as good or better than Willis. Blades and Davis did too. Taylor was darned good. Willis wasn't alone showing skills out there. He used his speed to make plays around the field, he had 10 tackles (plus one STs), five of which went for first downs. Bradley was the leading tackler for the North, he had 4 tackles (plus one STs) one of which gained a first down. Willis - 50% of the tackles gained first downs, Bradley - 25%. Both had one forced fumble, Bradley made one tackle for loss. Harris also had 5 tackles (3 solo to Bradley's 4) with a TFL, none of his led to a first down. The North had a 37 minute & change time of possession, the South 22 minutes & change, Willis had many more opportunities to make plays, not to mention MLB usually gets in on more plays. The rest of the team makes a difference and the North D-lines dominated the South, but just using numbers there is food for thought.

    Bruschi was drafted in the third round because his measurables did not project him to be the best fit at DE in the NFL - if I was tracking the draft back then I'm sure I wouldn't have him in round one either. I believe Harris will be a better 3-4 ILB fit, and I don't want to draft him in the first. If you want to tell me Willis is available in the third like Tedy, I'll give him time to develop on STs the way Tedy did - but Tedy set an NCAA record in sacks, Willis is a good MLB with good numbers, but Griffin for Texas had nearly as many tackles at SS, Willis doesn't exactly parallel Tedy in that respect.

  19. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks Supporter Supporter

    If, by some circumstance Willis does fall to 24, he'd be very tempting bait for some team to trade up. I don't see Willis as a first round value for the Pats with his measurables and the limited time I've seen him on tape. If the rest of his tape was the same I'd expect the Pats to pass on him for a player more easily projected into the Pats system - Staley and Harrell both come to mind.
  20. sebman2112

    sebman2112 In the Starting Line-Up

    Here's the problem you've seen limited footage. Just the Senior Bowl, right? Recorded with TIVO? Thats not tape.
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