Things are changing fast....

Discussion in ' - Patriots Fan Forum' started by patfanken, Mar 2, 2007.

  1. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    .... and for the better.

    I think this entire AThomas signing (your lips to god's ear, if its true) is just one thing that could change the entire focus of what we are looking for in the draft. The other things that seem to be happening are the many cuts and tenders that have occurred in the last few days.

    LB- If we do sign Thomas that will upgrade the LB corps immensely. It will immediately become deeper and more talented. It will allow scheming flexibility that we haven't been able to accomplish since Willie left. It will ALSO negate the need to draft a LB/Tweener in the first round. We also will still have enough money to sign a Seau or Edwards for depth an situational packages

    Remember, unless you are a Lawrence Taylor type freak athlete, it takes 2-4 years for a LB to be ready play a significant role in our defense. To be more than a situational pass rusher, for example. According to most analysts, there is going to be little difference athletically between the players you are going to draft at the end of the first round and those in the 3rd and 4th rounds, especially of the LB/tweener & WR type. Don't forget, we are getting gitty about a guy who didn't do much his first 2-3 years, while he was learning. Even the AThomas' of the world take time to develop. I would propose that the Pats will take one of these 2 strategies.

    Disclaimer: This assumes we sign Thomas and some vet WR like a Joe Horn who can take some immediate pressure off our WRs.

    1. You want your first round pick to make an immediate impact. I don't think anyone the Pats draft at 24 & 28 WILL make an immediate impact. So in lieu of that the Pats package those 2 picks and get to the 8th pick (which I am told is what those 2 picks will get you) and draft one of the few guys who is concidered an IMMEDIATE IMPACT PLAYER - Leron Landry.

    This makes a lot of sense in a couple of ways. First, there was a time where the Safety position was a poor relation to the CBs as far as worth goes. However with more and more teams (including the Pats) playing complex zones, and less true man to man, the safety position is becoming more and more important to the success of your overall defense. Just look at the impact that Sanders and Troy P, have had on the Colts and Steeler D's. It also gets us an impact safety who will be there when Rodney hangs them up (which will be VERY soon).

    Here is the trade off. By moving up the Pats loose the opportunity to draft 2 good players who, in all llikelihood will EVENTUALLY become productive starters, in order to get a single player who will become an immediate starter at a key position. (BTW- a positon MUCH more important that WR to the ultimate success of the team - Thank you Deon ;) )

    This strategy will STILL leave the Pats with two picks on the first day to get a developmental LB, CB or WR, filling those other needs & depth. Yes the Pats can stand pat and probably pick up either Merriweather or Griffin late in that round, but while good, they aren't the player the Landry is, and I'll bet in 3 years there will be a couple of safeties playing in the league that are just as good if not better than those 2, who were gotten by some team in the 3 round or lower. Didn't Rodney go in the 4th round? So sure we MIGHT be able to fill that Safety need later in the draft, but clearly from past experience of drafting several safeties that DIDN'T help us, it would be more a matter of luck than design. By following THIS strategy we eliminate the risk.

    2. The other Strategy is do just the opposite and move down in the draft. With immediate needs at WR and LB taken care of, we drop down in the draft and wind up with 5 first day picks and a 2 4th rounders and stock up on good young talent, hoping that at least 4, and more llikely 5 of those first 7 picks eventually wind up being productive starters on your team. Supposedly, this is a draft that is thin at the top, but very deep beyond the elite players. This strategy not only answers the need to develop a deep reserve of quality players, it makes sense economically. Those 7 picks would cost together SIGNIFICANTLY less that a single contract at the 8th pick.

    When I was starting my first year as a HS HC, an old vet coach pulled me aside and told me a bit of advice that was true then as it is now; that football is numbers game. You need depth, not just high end talent to win consistantly. The Pats have proven for 6 year how important that adage is even in the pro game. A career can be over in a single play, so teams CANNOT tie up TOO much money on individual great talents. So while putting many fans to sleep with a slew of "no name" draft picks the Pats just keep on, keepin' on, building the roster from the middle out, just like they built their teams, from the OL/DL out.

    I think both strategies are viable, but they are mutually exclusive. As a fan, I'd love the first one, because we'd get very excited having a talent like Landry on the team, hopefully healthy and long term. On the other hand, if we went the second way, there would be a lot less to talk about, BUT in the long term, the team will still prosper.

    Remember we were 66 seconds away from another superbowl with a team that was battered almost beyond recognition, and a WR corps universally dismissed. Think about a season where we upgraded our frontline talent and added significantly to our depth. Kind of makes you wish it was September already....doesn't it. :D
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  2. Seymour93

    Seymour93 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I'm all for trading our two #1's for LaRon Landry, however I'm not sure the Texans would go for that. At #8, Quinn falls into their lap, even Peterson may drop. If both are gone, I don't think anybody else is worth two first rounders from a Texans' perspective. We can do with a stud safety, they cannot considering their much more pressing needs.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  3. ChoWZa

    ChoWZa Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    If you could say all that in a few less words.

    But I think I agree :)
  4. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Ken, I really don't see this changing the draft strategy as much as you say. Look at these statements in your post...

    If it takes 2-4 years to groom a Patriots LB, drafting day-1 LB talent was never about the 2007 season to begin with. From the start, it's been virtually certain that the Patriots would sign a vet FA for this year's starting lineup, whether it's Thomas or a lesser name. But even assuming Thomas, you're talking about 4 starting LBs all over the age of 30, with currently only UDFAs to back them up!

    There is plenty of room for linebackers on this team. TBC, Gardner, Seau, Izzo and Davis are all FAs. I wouldn't be surprised to see the team sign two significant vets AND draft two significant rookie LBs if they see the talent available.

    As for Landry, he's a terrific prospect but there are at leaast half a dozen excellent safety prospects in this draft class, it's one of the draft's few real bright spots. I don't think I'd pull the trigger.
  5. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #37 Jersey

    PFK, one issue is that high picks cost so much more and the draft is a crap shoot that the risk/reward often isn't there. It's often better to spend in FA on proven talent than on high picks. I'd much rather roll the dice twice at 24 and 28, for a lower total sum.
  6. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    I agree with paragraph 1.

    I agree with paragraph 2.

    I probably agree with paragraph 3, but if someone asked me, "Would you give me #24 and #28 if I give you Laron Landry?", I would have to think about it...a lot.
  7. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Rather than thinking picks, think of who we might get with the picks and how that would help the team.

    It depends on how much better Landy is than Reggie Nelson, whom we could grab at #24 easily.

    Would we be better off as a team with just landry, or with Reggie Nelson and WR Gonslaez?

    Better with Landry, or better with Nelson and Willis, or Nelson and a CB (Ross or Hughes)

    That is always the problem for me with trading two #1's for one. It is a rarre player that will make a team better than two other players. Yeah, Landry is better than Nelson, but THAT much better?
  8. maverick4

    maverick4 Banned

    I completely disagree. The Pats have drafted guys like Warren and Watson who took years to develop. And packaging 2 1st rounders just to take 1 guy? NO THANKS! Plus, it contradicts your previous point about going for depth instead of a few superstars. Your suggestion is using short-sighted thinking.
  9. PatsWorldChamps

    PatsWorldChamps Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    the only guy id trade both picks for is okoye... but, obviously, we dont have a need there.
  10. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

    What he said. Trading up like that for one player is rarely a good idea. Plus, if we manage to land a couple key free agents (Thomas and a WR), we will really need to use the draft for depth, so two low first round picks would be much more ideal, given that they will be cheaper and, obviously, more plentiful. Trading down for even more picks is possible, but I kinda like where we are.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  11. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

    Fine post Ken, but I can't agree at all about trading BOTH firsts. I'd trade down or out from #'s 24 or 28, and even make a slight trade up, but in no way would I consider trading both for Landry.

    Your scenario for Landry states he'd be an "IMMEDIATE IMPACT PLAYER". How could he make an impact this season with Rodney on board? Seems to me that most of the round one prospects won't make a significant contribution until year two. If this is true, draft a lesser rated Safety later on, save both firsts, while that rookie Safety has a chance to learn from one of the best in Harrison. As was mentioned previously, Safety is an extremely deep and talented crop this draft -- at both SS and FS. IMO it's stonger than WR (for the Pats). And this is nothing against Landry, who coincidentally was an early round one favorite of mine for the Pats last draft...until that is he decided not to declare.

    Age is only one factor for seeking replacements for Rodney, Bruschi, Seau and others on defense. The performance of Wilson is another factor, along with the potential loss of Samuel. Then we have the eventual departure of Troy Brown, and the uncertainty surrounding CJ's development. TBC offers quality depth -- but he may go elsewhere soon. So there's lots of potential holes to fill in the next couple of seasons -- the more picks the merrier. And as they say...the future is now.
  12. patfanken

    patfanken Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #91 Jersey

    Seneschal, first this assumes that Rodney will be ready to come back next season, but assume he does. Landry would be the free safety, vastly improving our coverage back there. It would also have the benefit of moving Wilson back to CB. This would greatly increase our depth at THAT position, again allowing more scheming flexibility because the talent would be better than it has been. This filters down to special teams as well. Now we would have Landry and Hawkins playing playing FS, and Harrison and Sanders at SS. That is a huge upgrade over what almost got us to a Championship.

    Like I said, I agree with you that there is good depth at the safety and CB positions this year, and YES, I think there will be a couple of guys picked after round 2 that will be great safeties in the league. The problem is there will ALSO be a few that will remind us of a few of the guys we that already drafted in rounds 3-4 who have already failed. My position is by trading down, we are taking large risks in finding the great safety, by trading up to get Landry, we eliminate the risk. Remember for every Rodney Harrison that emerges from round 4, there are 10 guys selected that no ever hears of again. Also I think Landry is good enough to be an INSTANT starter, or at least after the first few games, while anyother S you pick later, would need an apprenticeship of a year or so. Thus his value increases, sort of like the time value of money. You have the time value of the player.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  13. patsox23

    patsox23 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I agree. Counting on Rodney as a sure-fire starter at ALL is never going to happen again. I love the guy but we are drafting his replacement - NOW, imo.
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2007
  14. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    No Jersey Selected

    I agree with PFK here; that's why trading #s 24 and 28 for Landry is so tempting.

    I would still like to wait until we are on the clock, before pulling the trigger.
    (Drafting someone for another team, then swapping selections, happens sometimes during the NBA draft. The Smelltics and Grizzlies did it in 2003. Maybe we could start a new trend here, too.)

    P.S.: Damn the Seahawks, they should have gone 7-9 (the zebras gave them the win vs. GB, e.g.), and we would be sitting at #11.

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