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They Key To BB Drafts

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Apr 24, 2006.

  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Forget about Round 1. He wont F it up, but you dont build dynasties in round 1.

    Where BBs plan in the draft fuels the dynasty is rounds 2-4 (and possibly hitting on something later than, maybe one a year from the 5th on)

    Why?
    The 2gap 3-4 system we play, and the way we play it is different than 90% of the NFL teams.
    The qualities BB values at DL, LB and also in the secondary are different than what most teams place emphasis on.
    Absolutely a stud player can play in any system. And every team will have a shot at one of them.

    Where BB separates himself is that there are many players available in rounds 2-4 that HAVE the SKILLS he values most, but LACK the skills other teams value most. OL and WR fit this also.

    Why does BB take DL and TE so often in round 1? Its clear to me. Those positions are the shining examples of the skillsets being very similar in BBs system and others teams, or at least that a player with that level of skill can do anything in any system. That is not true at many other postions, including WR, LB, OL, S. Corner seems to fit as much in the first group as the second but it seems that need has cause BB to use the 2nd-4th rather than the 1st because he has always had good veteran corners going into drafts.

    A good gauge of success in this draft is if BB is drafting the positions where the skills he values differently than most teams (Size vs speed at LB, smarts vs athleticism at S, versatility at OL, quickness and route running vs speed and size at WR) in the middle rounds and uses his #1 for a player that could be a stud in any system.
  2. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    as always, good stuff, AJ. Thanks for the good thoughts.
  3. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    You have some interesting points, but I'm not sure I agree with all aspects of what you are saying.

    First, the 1st round draft picks are the most important overall for the Pats. You only have to look at the players selected in rounds 1 thru 4. There are as many or more starters in the 1st round alone as there are altogether in rounds 2 thru 4.

    !st round: ALL 6 on the team and ALL starters: Seymour, Warren, Graham, Wilfork, Watson, Mankins.

    2nd round: ALL 5 on the team and 3 starters: Wilson, Branch, Light and Bethel Johnson and Marquise Hill.

    3rd round: Only 4 picks but 3 still on the team. Potentially two starters in the future: Hobbs, Kaczur, and Gus Scott. Obviously Hobbs and Kaczur were important contributors with the injuries last year. Brock Williams is gone.

    4th round: Gets MUCH more problematic. That's why I say rounds 1 thru 3 are so crucial. Only 4 out of 9 still on the roster - less than 50%. But, 4th round is still important. Jarvis Green and Asante Samuel are important players. Klecko and Sanders are perhaps borderline - but there have been any number of borderline players who became really important contributors later. Players who didn't work out: Davey, Cobb, Haloway, Kenyatta Jones

    .
    I'm not sure why you feel that Belichick looks for different skills in OL and WR than other teams do. Three teams have outbid the Patriots for OL and three or more teams have outbid the Pats for WR in recent years. Doesn't that mean that the Pats were just better at identifying the skills that were important to all teams ? The same sort of thing also seems to apply to DBs. Ty Law, Lawyer Milloy, even Tebucky Jones were snapped up by other teams.

    .
    You mention in one part that he drafts DL in the first round because the skill set he's looking for is what other teams look for, But then, you also mention that Belichick looks for different things in DL and LB. I pretty much agree with you that there are some differences in DL, mostly due to the 3-4 set. Vince Wilfork fell to the Pats probably because not very many teams were looking for a nose tackle. But a lot more teams than just 3-4 teams were probably deeply interested in the skill set of Seymour and probably Warren. And Washington and Traylor were valued more highly by other teams than the Pats were willing to pay. As for LB, it's almost not applicable to consider Belichick LBs as most teams regard LBs. The starting LBs for the Pats were ALL converted DEs - Bruschi, Vrabel, Colvin, and McGinest. Even Banta-Cain and Beisel are converted DEs. So you are probably right that Belichick is likely to look at lighter weight DEs than other teams.

    .
    You indicate that he would be looking for the same skills in TE as other teams. I'd have to ask you if he isn't actually looking for something a little different in that he seems to look for TEs who can block very very well. Don't you think most other teams are looking for TEs who are foremost big pass receivers ?

    Just some thoughts.
  4. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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  5. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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  6. BradyBirdYazOrr

    BradyBirdYazOrr Banned

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    no your right...I was just saying those late picks can be real gems
  7. 14thDragon

    14thDragon Rookie

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    I think what you see is that with his first 2 picks in a draft BB looks to get solid contributers. Which is why his top two picks are usually very good player in the Patriots system. After that, he seems to go into boom-or-bust type players. Interesting projeects that can turn into solid contributors or simply fizzle. But he gets enough of them right from round 2-7 that he looks very smart, even though only getting ~30% right.
  8. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    This applies to every NFL team,doesn't it? Are there any teams who do not look to get solid contributors?

    I think boom or bust applies more to round one than round 7, and anyway, players that can contribute solidly or simply fizzle can be had in any round. Generally, second day picks neither boom or bust, but merely become journeymen players, career backups and STers.

    I guess I don't see what you are driving at.

    If you could tell me fromlast year's draft what would make Hobbs, Kaczur, Sanders, Claridge, Cassel an Stokes lilkely to boom maybe I could understand. The only one I can see here that at the time of the draft I thought would be great was Cassel, but you have to remember I was Casselite #1, and absorbed a LOT of ridicule over him.

    My reason for thinking he could boom was that he almost beat out Leinart for the starting USC job, and his lack of palying time was atributable to playing bhind Leinart and Carson, not lack of ability.

    So what made you think back on draft day the others could boom?
  9. 14thDragon

    14thDragon Rookie

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    For round 1 players, I do not see how you could apply boom-or-bust to our selections, in each case it was a safe pick. Some would say they were reaches, but in the end they were safe picks.

    But starting with the third picks, i.e Kazcur, Hill, Johnson, Davey they start going for guys that have the physical tools, but not proven. They are not looking for a guy that can produce as an average 5th rounder, but a guy who could potentially be a starter.

    some turn out to be great ... Brady, Givens

    some are good as backup/ special teams ... Green, Cain

    some fizzle away ... Johnson, Kelko

    some are DOA ... Love, Nead

    Now as for other teams taking the same approach, I wouldn't doubt it. But some seem to start out that way... Leaf, Couch, Brown. They gamble in rounds one and two.
  10. Burgess

    Burgess Rookie

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    This point makes me chuckle at why everyone has the Pats taking Carpenter or Greenway or any other college LB.

    I think a more likely pick is Lawson or Kiwanuka. With Kiwanuka falling I think he'd be a real possibility for the Pats (perhaps after they trade down a couple of picks) as his ability to pass rush would be valuable in the Pats scheme. As an immediate replacement for some of McGinest's duties he'd be an asset.

    Lawson's speed would be nice to have but the Pats would probably have to move up and I think they need all their premium (1-4 rd) picks to rebuild depth (and unfortunately add starters).

    Belioli haven't had much luck drafting TE's outside of the first round which is why I wouldn't be surprised if he took someone like Pope in the first round. They still need a good 3rd TE for this year and they need to protect themselves against Graham walking before next year.

    Boy the Patriots really need to hit this draft to maintain their current level. From my perspective they need a starting and a backup WR, a backup/starting C (to protect Koppen first from injury and then from FA), a backup/starting S (to protect Harrison first from injury and then from age), a DE/LB to replace McGinest, a backup/starting RB, a backup TE, and to be safe a backup DT/NT. That's alot for just one draft. I think realistically we're looking at a two offseason reload before we're ready to seriously feel confident about winning another SB.
  11. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Much has been made of bb's late round picks. But the franchise has been built on early picks, with luck late just like everyone else. The key is that the player fits the system. Our starting DL is four firsts. No first as LB's, but Willie was a 1st.

    bb is probably worse in the third, and better in the fourth than most.

    And yes, he has been great about finding late picks, but that has nothing to do with strategy: Brady, Givens, Pass.
  12. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I dont disagree, but have a different slant on it.
    The first round isnt what is so critical to me, because we will get good players. BB won't F it up. Most teams get good players in round 1.

    But we have done better in rounds 2-4 than anyone. Particularly in getting immediate impact.
    What team can rattle off names like Light, Koppen (he was a 5), Kaczur, Branch, Johnson (at least as a KR) Green, Samuel, Hobbs, Wilson, Klemm, RR (these guys get forgotten but they contributed to titles) etc that made not only a big, but an immediate impact.
    Extend to the 6th and 7th and you add the likes of Brady, Pass, Givens and so on.

    The first rounders are the best players but we wouldnt be winning SBs with them alone (every team can name a half dozen star #1s) we win them because the backbone of the team is the rest of those picks.
  13. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    A lot of that also has to do with the Patriots' scouting system. In particular:

    1) They employ their own scouts and don't have any assoications with the National scouting services, and that leads into
    2) Their scouting department is perfectly aligned with the coaching stuff in terms of how to evaluate players, what intagnibles carry more importance, what attributes to look for in specific positions, etc.

    Not a lot of teams can say they have #2 in order.

    As far as BB's drafting strategy, I think it's fairly simple. The higher in the draft you are, the less risk averse the pick. So in the 1st round, they take the guy with the highes floor, regardless of what his ceiling is. But as the draft goes on, you're more likely to see some boom or bust type picks.
  14. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Fascinating thread
  15. patsox23

    patsox23 Rookie

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    The Patriots don't have to retool the entire roster via the draft, Burgess, and I think you may be panicking a bit with this "won't get back to the Super Bowl" line. The Patriots could DEFINITELY have gotten there last year, despite a ton of injuries. It's not at all inconceivable that they will be better this year, and I expect that chip on their shoulder of a wake-up call will serve them well also.
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Rookie

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    I agree... but of course that's not to say Round 1 isn't important. Round 1 rookies have a high cap hit - so its important that they not be busts... but given the economics of Free Agency, some rookies at different positions offer more value than others.

    If you are fortunate enough to select a top tier rookie at a position that would cost you twice as much to fill in free agency, you are allowing your team to spread out its cap on middle class quality players that will help you continue your dynasty
  17. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    You hit an interesting nail on the head. Do you trade a low 4th and some other lower pick(s) for one higher pick in the top of the 4th or bottom of the 3rd ?? or do you think you are better off using a number of low picks in order to pick up one gem ? Low 3rd is probably less than 50% to get a contributor and high 4th is probably less than 25%. It looks like a pretty tough call.

    My guess ? Since the Pats already have 5 picks thru the top of the 4th, that's quite a few new rookies to be carrying on the roster this year. So I think if there is anybody Belichick/Pioli see a real possibility for at the 3rd/4th boundary, they will try to trade their low 4th, 5th, and 6th to get that player. Just a WAG. Especially since they have a couple 6th rounders that they can't trade and have to use. Or if there is nobody they want this year, maybe they trade for a 3rd round pick next year.

    Round 1 -- 21st -- 800 'value' points
    Round 2 -- 20th -- 380
    Round 3 -- 11th -- 215
    Round 3 -- 22nd -- 160
    Round 4 -- 9th -- 84
    Round 4 -- 21st -- 60
    Round 5 -- 3rd -- 39.5
    Round 5 -- 20th -- 32.2 gone
    Round 6 -- 22nd -- 18.6
    Round 6 -- 36th -- 14.6 - untradeable
    Round 6 -- 37th -- 14.6 - untradeable
    Round 7 -- 21st -- 6.2
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2006
  18. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    It's the System

    I don't think BB and/or Pioli are different from any other decision makers on any other team. They have a system( scheme, whatever you want to call it.) That system requires players with certain skill sets. BB's job is to find the best players he can that fit that skill set. I don't think he cares where the players come from, FA, the draft, trades, Canada, Europe or even college wrestlers. All he cares about is finding the right player (at the right price of course) Pretty much the same thing the other 31 teams are trying to do.

    I think the reason he has picked so many DL players so early in the draft is because they are the building blocks of his defense, and they are very hard to find. And these last couple of drafts have afforded him the opportunity to get the type of DL players he wants. If the players weren't there, he would have moved on to other positions. At the end of the day, a lot of DT's can play in a 4 man line, however very few DT's can play NT in a 3 man line, or DE in a 3 man line.

    I believe that BB would love to run the double TE offense as much as possible, in order to do that he needs 3 TE's that can block a little and get open in the seams. He's not there yet, but I think he'll keep drafting one or two in every draft until he hits with 3 that can do the job.

    The one thing that I think BB and/or Pioli do that is so different from other teams is that they actually DO stay true to their draft board. All the teams say they do it, but very few actually do. (Pittsburgh stays true also.) BB has the courage to take a player regardless of what anybody else thinks (I think he could care less what the "draftniks" or ESPN commentators say.) How else do you explain some his odd selections. (overdrafting some would say) Brock Wiliams in the third. Hobbs in the third, Branch and Bethel in the second, etc, etc. etc.

    In contrast to what others think, I think he values every pick in every round as an asset, an asset that has value and is versatile. It can be cashed for a player, or traded for other teams players, or even traded for future draft picks. His job is to get the best possible return for each asset. Sometimes that requires him to to perform a risk/reward analysis on players. (The asset is worth "X". If BB takes player "Y" and player "Y" performs in the system as expected, the return worth more than "X" therefore it is justified. - Givens and Cassels for example. If the player doesn't work out, the cost of "X" is forfieted on lost potential, Turner for example.)

    The key to understanding how BB drafts is in understanding his system. What is required assignment wise on each position dictates what types of skill sets are needed from a player to best fill that position. In looking at the defense, I think I can predict the assignements of the DL on any given play with about 95% accuracy. Except for Big Mike, I think most anybody on this board could as well. At the LB level my percent drops to 65% and in the secondary, maybe 40% on a good day. Throw in nickel and dime backs and the percents drop even further. The point he is that BB knows what he needs for those assignments and we don't. When he scouts a player, he tries to project that player into the skill sets he desires. We can take the bit of knowledge we've gleamed from observation and project based on that also. But that didn't help any of us get Mankins in the first round last year. And even back a few years, 90% of us were howling for WR David Terrel, few were howling for "the beast" (Seymour).

    I'll throw in one more variable. The oddball who doesn't meet a lot of the skill sets that BB desires, but somehow has that certain something that is so valuable, that it causes BB to toss the skil set required sheet aside for that player. Two perfect examples are Brady and Bruschi. Impossible to predict until you get them in your clubhouse.

    The bottom line is the past years of actual games and drafts have afforded us a glimspe into how BB thinks. We use that knowledge to shrink the pool of potential draftees. I think every year we are getting better. How many times this year did someone put a player on thier mock only to have someone else say that that player was not a BB type player. As long as BB stays in New England, we'll get better and better at it. Why? Because BB he has to stay true to his draft board, which is based on his sytem, which we see on display for 3 plus hous every Sunday for 16 plus weeks every year.
  19. arrellbee

    arrellbee Rookie

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    By the way, while we are talking about low draft picks - specifically 6th and 7th round picks, we only have out of those rounds Brady, Pass, and Banta-Cain - plus question marks of Cassell and Claridge.

    And from the undrafted rookies, we have
    Paxton, Neal, and Gay.
    Except for QBs (which is huge), arguably we do about as well with undrafted rookies as we do with 6th/7th rounders. Still to be determined as undrafted rookies are
    Mruczkowski, Alexander, Wright, Ventrone, and Thomas
  20. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    :nono: Naughty, your "plays well with others" gets the goose egg today! :rofl:

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