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The WTF Picks

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Don Kipines, May 3, 2011.

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  1. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    It wouldn't be a BB draft without WTF picks. To review:

    STEVAN RIDLEY: Not a true Belichickian WTF pick, in the sense that most fans had actually heard of Ridley, were readily able to find information about him after the pick, and could in fact picture a place on the roster for the player. The WTF elements were really three: one, BB had just drafted a running back with the last pick, two, Ridley seemingly was rated much lower, and three, we seem to have exactly the same player on the roster in Green-Ellis. Also, he wasn't a pass-rusher. WTF score (on a scale of 1-10): 5. NOTE: The higher the round, the higher the WTF score, so Ridley's relatively rich selection adds to his score.

    RYAN MALLETT: Debatable whether this is a WTF pick or not. The only thing that makes it a candidate is the fact of our already having a pretty good quarterback signed for four more years and a good backup on the roster as well. Plus, again, he can't rush the passer (from hereon in I'm going to shorthand this point simply by adding an asterisk). I'm old enough to remember a WTF? reaction to the Tom Brady pick -- where was he going to play, with Michael Bishop on the roster? But I don't think the Mallet pick really qualifies; this value grab made sense almost immediately. WTF score: 2.

    LEE SMITH: This is an interesting one. Before the draft I was certain the only positions the Pats would not spend high picks on were QB and TE. They picked both, although not in the first round or anything. Belichick has a history of spending draft choices on positions that seem completely filled on the roster: the Brady pick was actually one, as were Owen Pochman and maybe also Garrett Mills (who also recalls the Ridley pick -- the second tight end taken in a row that draft). Also, *. The WTF elements this year had a lot more to do with who we didn't take with the respective choices than we did. Score: 4.

    MARKELL CARTER: More of a true WTF pick in the sense that he hailed from the Central Liechtenstein School of Nursing and was unknown to virtually all fans. But upon further examination, he was actually a prospect with some buzz, and * thankfully didn't apply. Given the round taken, I think that makes him less of a WTF pick than Smith. Score: 2.

    MALCOLM WILLIAMS: Now we're talking! Ranks up there with Matt Slater and Matt Cassel on the all-time WTF list, and may be the greatest ever. This player:

    1) Did not even start on his own college team;
    2) Was genuinely surprised to have been drafted (I even got the sense he disagreed with Belichick's decision to take him!);
    3) Was not even really a position player in college;
    4) Was unknown even to many fans of TCU;
    5) Barely exists on the internet;
    6) Could not possibly have been on any other team's radar for a 7th-round choice.
    7) *

    It's picks like this that make you wonder what Belichick is up to. Now with the Cassel pick we later found out that Norm Chow was sniffing around him. And Slater at least was a legacy pick -- he was surely known to NFL executives. But Williams? How reasonable is it to think that Belichick was actually afraid someone else might draft this player? It's possible, but it doesn't seem terribly likely. This has the feel of the 193-194 Andy Reid trade, where BB is seemingly just screwing with the media and the fans for some reason. If that's the case, it's actually sort of funny. It will be even funnier if Williams ends up being a player. He looks like he's got at least as much athleticism as guys like Willie Andrews, so who knows?
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  2. RussFrancis

    RussFrancis Rookie

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    Nice stuff, Don. As always, we have a few quality WTFers to examine, but Im only really stumped by the last 2. I love Ridley, though like you said going back to back with he and Vereen could clearly be considered puzzling. Think they were staying with their board there, and we obviously need the bodies at the position.

    Smith? Well, we draft a TE every year, so this one can only be but so surprising. What'll suck is if we cant squeeze him on the 53, and lose him trying to slide him to the practice squad. But we'll see.

    Carter has the #s and the potential, and from the sounds of it, the work ethic and attitude. But he's about as far off the radar as they come......

    Short of this next kid, that is. Malcolm Williams?? Wow. Even this kid's own mom doesnt know who he is. This is just the special teams junkie in Belichick coming out here, and I imagine his want to get a gunner/return teams player that we can squirrel away on the practice squad for a couple of years without anyone in the CFL even being interested. This one was the definition of a WTF for me.

    Again, nice piece.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  3. patfanken

    patfanken On the Roster

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    I too found this to be my WTF pick - Initially thought he was picked too high, didn't rush the passer and was redundant. I'm not sure I feet to differently now, though we DO need a "big RB type" and he fits the bill. He's also some leverage on BJGE. I'm pretty law firm will be back, but now at a very reasonable price

    I BB's world this was probably the pick that made the most sense in the draft. Here was a kid with first round talent deep in the 3rd round. In BB's world you HAVE to pick him. That being said I was and AM still against picking ANY QB in the draft. Baring something unforeseen that shortens Brady's career by about 6 years, this pick will never help us on the field.
    WTF was my initial reaction too, but when you found out he was the best blocking TE in the draft he makes a lot more sense given Alge's age. The only thing you could possibly say against this pick was perhaps it was a year too soon. But Smith also brings so special teams skills that mitigates even that small criticism.

    WTF? how cares. He rushes the passer. BY this point ANY player whose bio included that skill is welcome welcome WELCOME!

    Well given the company you compare him to, if he wides up like either of them, he's a steal. However, I would have rather used the pick to grab some PUP/IR candidate like Romeus or Herzlig than pick up a no name. But that's just an opinion and in the 7th round everyone has one, and its rare that any of them matter. ;)
  4. Belgian Patriot Fan

    Belgian Patriot Fan Rookie

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    STEVAN RIDLEY: had only a 6th round grade because people expected him to stay another year in college. Had only 310 carries in college, which actually is a positive because you don't want your running backs to have taken too many hits in college. Not a playmaker, but will decisively hit the hole instead of dancing behind the line, which is a positive too.

    Look at it this way: if he would have stayed in college for his senior year, he probably would have been an mid-round pick in next year's draft. So in the end the Patriots just took him one year earlier, and can use him to their own benefit instead of another year of 250+ carries in college.


    RYAN MALLETT:

    too much value to pass up. We'll see how it works out. Can't blame BB for taking him.

    LEE SMITH:

    Best blocking TE in the draft, really liked the pick. Fans hate it when a team spend a draft pick on a kicker, a punter, a long snapper or even a blocking tight end, but you need this guys as well. Gronk+Hernandez+Smith will set the TE positon up nice for the future.

    MARKELL CARTER:

    averaged almost 10 TFL per season in college, so he knows how to get in the backfield. Also interesting is that he played some snaps as a DE in a 30-front in college, so can rush the passer in sub-formations. Maybe BB envisions him in the role Jarvis Geen had for several seasons.

    MALCOLM WILLIAMS:

    the only reason I can come up with why BB drafted Williams while he could easily have brought him in as a rookie free agent is to make sure Williams stays committed to the NFL and in football shape in the next couple of months. With the uncertainty of the CBA/lockout there's a chance Williams would have seeked a job away from football or in the CFL or Arena Football. With players like Herzlich, Romeus,... you know these players will be in the best possible shape when training camp opens, because they know they have a shot at a roster spot somewhere. But Williams, I don't think he would have thought to land on a NFL-roster somewhere when the new NFL year opens. So this might be just BB's way of saying: "make sure you are in the best possbile condition when training camp opens, we believe in you" , I guess ;)
  5. sbpatfan

    sbpatfan Banned

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    Williams was definitely a special teamer pick. His selection might have been aided by him being versatile in the secondary. He might not be particularly good at either at corner or safety, but having experience in both might be useful in a pinch situation. He also seems to accept his ST role, which is good. Probably brought in to compete with guys like Barnett and Lockett who both went without a year of football. Also, the corner that started in front of Williams went undrafted.
  6. Sciz

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    Belichick's thought process before the Williams pick:
    "No offensive or defensive player here has any chance of helping the team ever. I'll try to at least upgrade the gunner spot!"
  7. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    You know, while that's kind of a joke it's not crazy. Look at Slater -- for all the grousing about that pick, the guy has been on the active 45 every single game of his career except for injuries. That makes for a much bigger contributor than a position player who sits inactive, just in case.

    Williams is unquestionably a WTF pick, but he's a hell of a raw athlete. Believe it or not, his combo of VJ, BJ and 10-yd split seems to be the best of anybody in the entire draft.
  8. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    I'm actually pretty high on Slater as a player -- BB was definitely right about the kid's size-speed ratio and he has been a consistently effective special teams player in the mold of a David Tyree or a poor man's Kasim Osgood (or even Tebucky Jones back in the day). On the other hand, I can't believe we couldn't have gotten him in the sixth or seventh round. But he's a much better pick than a Rich Ohrnberger -- he's even a better pick than Darius Butler, to date.

    Especially when one considers that we had to give up a draft pick for a ST ace like Tracy White last year, it's definitely not a waste if the kid really turns out to be an above-average gunner. But I just find it hard to believe we couldn't have signed him as an UDFA, and used the pick instead on a reclamation project like Romeus or a productive college end like Cliff Matthews.
  9. NFLroughdraft

    NFLroughdraft Rookie

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    The only one of these picks that I had a problem with was Ridley. It makes no sense after the Vereen pick.
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I couldn't picture Matthews in the Pats defense, but I was shocked Romeus fell so far. All I can think is that he failed a ton of teams' physicals.
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Apparently, you like running a 4-5 running back system with 3 running backs. Ridley is the backup for Green-Ellis and the replacement for Morris as a blocker and short yardage back.

    I would have drafted an OG at 73 and hoped to get a Ridley at 138. So, Belichick did it "backwards" for me. However, the players are fine. If the picks had been reversed, there would have been little whining. Oops! I guess there would always be whining.

    So, my cure for the whiners is to make believe that Belichick drafted Connon at 73 and Ridlwy at 138. Both would have been bargains at those spots and fit needs.
    -----------------------

    Curiously mediots liek Gosselin, PFW and SI have no problems understanding that it is the players picked that are relevant, rather than where they were picked. Some of us think it awesome that we drafted a fullback type running back and the #2 guard in the draft with our #73 and #138.

    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  12. jagkho

    jagkho Rookie

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    I agree. The thing about any draft choice is that they will only be valuable if they make the team, which means they have to be better than one of the 53 already on the roster. By the time you get to the 7th round that is increasingly unlikely, so what I think Belichick does is he thinks about in what area might a 7th rounder beat out someone already on the team. If it is a ST player, then that is whom he will draft.
    Last edited: May 3, 2011
  13. eom

    eom Rookie

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    haha...number 5 is the best.
    didn't williams go to the same school as cannon, and apparently he had a great pro day, so it's no stretch that they scouted him up and maybe got some chitchat in with his coaches -- anyway, I'm sure you'd be surprised how many guys their scouting program accounts for.
    I don't think you draft a guy in the 7th at all because you're afraid of other teams --- that's why you take them in early rounds.
    leaving him for udfa only opens the door for every other team to make him an offer, and at this point they don't even have fa.
    a lot of these guys who were actually starters at anything other than tiny schools only last this long because they tend to be jags -- so why take a jag when you can possibly take a top flight special teams contributor, or some guy's back up who went in the 7th 'cuz he simply lacks exposure?

    I don't think there's any such thing as a wtf pick late, but the 2 guys before him seem to make sense, mallet wasn't expected to fall that far, so that's situational, and while ridley surprised me, he was graded pretty highly, and we clearly needed bodies at the position --- I just figured they'd take a stab later, or in eventual fa, but I have no idea how rb talent stacks up on their board
  14. ZoisKing

    ZoisKing Rookie

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    Any pick after Cannon shouldn't even be considered. Those picks are shots in the dark.

    Ridley's redundancy was a WTF moment for me too. I've had a few days to recoup and study the two. Without homerism, I'd say that Ridley and Vereen is a smart option for the future.

    Mallett was a WTF moment because of the available talent. However, I trust he turns into a 2nd or even a 1st in the near future. Looking forward to that:)
  15. Criptonite

    Criptonite Rookie

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    Great job on this! I don't understand the Ridley pick. My best copout is, 'well he only had like 300 carries, so maybe there's more about him that we don't know'. Mallett was crazy, but if you actually believe the nonsense that he's a "1st round talent who slipped to the 3rd" then it makes sense. I consider myself a draftnik. I have like 50 UDFAs that I'm high on. Yet I never even heard of Carter or Williams. Williams was a big time high school recruit and Carter at least has some good measurables, so maybe we'll get lucky. Seems like no matter how much you prepare for a draft, BB will find a way to surprise you! :)

    I have 2 points of contention though. I loved Lee Smith coming into the draft and thought we may take a shot on him. Perfect replacement for Crumpler. I'm hoping we can sneak him on the PS and we don't lose him like what happened last year. He also could be converted to OT which would be interesting. The other thing is I consider Cannon a big WTF pick. I think Cannon's great. I had him highly rated. Taking him in the 5th is perfect considering the cancer risk. But he is the complete opposite of what we look for in a guard. We always target the same type of guys. They're lighter, about 290-310 and extremely athletic. We've always stayed away from road graders. I'm not putting the pick down, but when I heard it, I definitely said WTF. I didn't even consider him being on the Pats board regardless of how far he dropped. Should be interesting to see how he fits in.
  16. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    I think the thing about Cannon is, he's big, but he's not slow. The Pats like lighter, more athletic guards because they like their linemen to move a lot on draws, traps, screens, etc. Cannon is very athletic and measured out very well agility-wise for a man his size. I doubt there's a lot that Joe Andruzzi or Mike Compton could do that Cannon can't. He's just bigger than the other guys, which isn't a disadvantage if he's moving just as well. In fact I get the impression he's not really a classic road-grader type; he's more of a get-in-the-way kind of lineman, who relies more on his feet than his mass.

    Also, don't forget, he's not necessarily a guard. He played left tackle in college and could be a right tackle for us. BB has brought in some big tackles -- O'Callaghan, for instance.
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  17. Mike the Brit

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    Great post, DK -- and thanks.

    Of course, for me the "W" in "WTF" stands mostly for "Who?" but I think you've got your finger on the right buttons. The WTF this year was mostly about picks NOT made.

    It's generally agreed that the Pats' pass rush has been between mediocre and terrible and that attempts to strengthen it by drafting (the Crab), UDFAs (Pierre Woods) or trades (Derek Burgess) haven't been a great success. (The less said about the throw-a-boatload-of-money-at-a-marquee-free-agent strategy (ADT) the better!)

    Some people say that the Pats will never draft an outside linebacker high/spend a high pick on a college DE to convert. But that's what they said about ILB too before they took Mayo (and then Spikes). And this year, it was agreed, the one area where the draft was really strong was in front-seven players. Surely there'd be one or two that was worth a pick, if only in rounds 2 and 3.

    Yet Mr Contrarian says "if everyone else is picking OLBs and DEs, we'll concentrate on other positions". That makes sense if the pool at a position is small and there's a run on them so it gets fished out, but in this case it's the reverse: the very reason why people were picking OLBs and DEs this year is that the pool was big and strong. Yup, BB knows what he's doing and the guys he's taken look fine to me but still, WTF ...

    And then there's not picking Ingram at 28. We heard from Foxborough that the Pats didn't have Ingram rated as their top running back, so I guess I was prepared. I only had my WTF when I looked at some YouTube of him rolling over -- running past or just straight through -- the Arkansas defense. To my simple British eyes he looked about unstoppable. Still, I'm the guy who wanted the Pats to take Marcus Allen over Ken Sims so WTF do I know?

    Finally, you're spot-on right about Malcolm Williams. That's the only pick you have at the end of the draft and there's no way of contacting (legally) -- let alone signing -- UDFAs. And the only potential pass-rusher you have drafted is from the bright lights of Central Arkansas. Surely to goodness there must be at least one UDFA with a chance of making a squad whose OLBs are Tully Banta-Cain, Rob Ninkovich, Jermaine Cunningham and Marques Murrell whom it would make sense to get hold of.

    I've got to say, though, that I went "yeah, right on!" when I saw the Mallett pick (on pure talent, looks above Sam Bradford to me) and I love the draft overall. It's just that it's been taking me some time to find out why I love it. :rolleyes:
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  18. VJCPatriot

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    BINGO. His medicals must be truly horrific. Every NFL team passed on him at least 6 times before he was finally taken in the 7th by the Saints.

    As for Malcolm Williams. Here's an interesting article on his journey to the NFL.
    TCU Daily Skiff
    Last edited: May 4, 2011
  19. Mike the Brit

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    Mr Almost-Irrelevant. Good luck to him! I can't help thinking he'll need it.
  20. Sciz

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    New response to this thread:

    There are no WTF picks, just WTF reactions.
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