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Thoughts about this draft.

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by AndyJohnson, Jan 17, 2006.

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  1. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Belichick has had 6 years to build the franchise.
    If you look across the roster, it is entirely different than what he walked into.
    Prioriites are different (i.e. drafting big early rather than fast). Consider this:

    In BBs 6 drafts, his top picks in each draft has been

    OT
    DE/DT
    TE
    DT/DE
    NT, then TE also in the first
    OL

    As much as BB values the secondary, there is no corner (and we have gone through many elderly corners) no safety. As much as BB has focussed on Brady having the ball in his hands when the game is on the line, the is no WR.
    No LBs either.

    The 3 biggest guys on the field, OL, DL, TE are what he has drafted.

    I think its realistic to say we go into next year without a position that screams of first round need.
    DL doesnt. OL doesnt. We dont need to replace Dillon. WR is possible depending on FA. The secondary will only add players that were hurt, the LBs were the best in the NFL.

    Now when you look at it from the other side, a #1 could have impact at any position but QB TE, and DL. We could surely benefit from a mauler on the OL. We absolutely could find a starting job for a WR, CB, S, (At least until Harrison is ready) and could use youth at RB or LB.

    I think this draft becomes very interesting. We can fill all needs throughout the draft. Weve shown we can get winning players in later rounds. I think BB will see this draft as an opportunity. That is, in round 1, which may include trading up, he has an opportunity to add something special, but the risk is not severe. We can afford a first round bust.

    As I think about it, I think BB takes a step back, looks at his team that has won 3 of 5 SBs, then considers what other winning teams have that he does not.

    I dont think that has him thinking defense. The scheme we have, and talent we have has made us one of the few best defenses in the NFL for 4 years. (I count this year, because by Thanskgiving we were one of the very few best). Continuing the plan, adding where necessary, filling with later picks or cheaper FAs will work. Remember, we have young starters across the DL and throughut the secondary, and LBs that will keep youngsters off the field.

    I think this approach focusses on offense.

    What do top teams do, that we don't do? Or what do they have.
    And for this argument, lets use top offenses.

    To me, its mismatches.
    The Colts have enough weapons that a weaker defender is always covering a good receiver.
    The Chiefs offensive line is a mismatch vs most teams.
    The Broncos running game, and the Steeler running game are almost always effective, every game vs every opponent. (I think OL is the answer there too).
    SD has the mismatch of LT.

    We have not had a mismatch in our offense. Brady is a mismatch, but hasn't had that All-Pro WR or combination of RB and OL.

    This makes me consider 3 options:

    1) Offensive Line. Will BB take the opportunity to turn his OL into what he has turned his DL into?
    We go into next year with:
    A #1 pick (and where you were picked isnt exactly what you are, but its an easy assessment) who could play either G spot or either T spot
    A #2 pick at LT that has become IMO one of the best in the NFL.
    A 3rd rounder from last year that looks like a guy who will be very good for a long time
    A street FA who has started 2 years and is a FA now
    A late pick who has been a pretty good C. Not great, oir dominant but effective.
    And a unit filled out with players who didnt make it elsewhere early in their career, came here and became servicable guys.

    What if BB were to use his #1, trade up in round 2 (package one of the 3s and you move up maybe to the 40s) this year, and a 1 next year, to add to Light, Mankins and Kaczur and built an All-Pro OL????????
    How well would it fit with our defense that we have an OL that could dominate with any RB behind it? Couldnt we go the way of Denver and plug anyone in and be a dominant run team? I like what BB and Dante have gotten for very cheap out of borderline OL prospects, but is Dan Koppen a piece of what could be the best OL in the NFL? Brandon Gorin, Tom Ashwoth, Russ Hochstein?
    Could BB use this opportunity to build the NFLs best OL? And if he did, would it ensure the dynasty for a long time, given what you know he will do with the D, and having Tom Brady with an *****-kicking running game to support him?

    Is it possible to use the next 2 drafts to build the best OL in the NFL? Do Mankins, Light, and Kaczur qualify as guys good enough to be part of the best OL in the NFL? Personally, I think they do.

    2) A stud WR. A walking mismatch, a goto guy who can catch 100 balls every year, and make every play. What would Brady do with a guy like that? What would Brady do having a guy like that open up the rest of the field? That is something we have not had, and would give us another decided advantage.

    3) A 10 yr All-Pro RB. At 21 its questionable, but if we had Larry Johnson, or LT, or Shawn Alexander we would have something we havent (except for 04) and that top teams frequently have.

    I think I am in the camp that says if I am BB, I commit today to building the best OL in the NFL.

    Matt Light at LT will never be the reason it isnt. He is a good pass blocker, and one of the best, most mobile run blocking LTs.
    I think you can put Mankins at any spot on the OL, and very soon have a dominating run blocker. Kaczur seems real to me, and I think he can grow into a very good run and pass blocker, and could also play anywhere across the line.
    If we added the best, non-LT OL in this draft, plus Koppen back at C to those 3, I think we already would have a top 10 OL, and a top 10 running game. Add an All-pro caliber C to that, and we could well develop the best OL in the NFL.

    Consider a BB/Brady team with the best running game in the NFL. THAT is freightening.

    We can get that with a healthy Dillon now, and bring in a 3rd-4th round pick to groom as the replacement (like Denver does) or hit Free Agency later.


    When we had Richard Seymour, Bobby Hamilton, Anthony Pleasant, Rick Lyle, Steve Martin, etc as our DL, it was hard to envision having the best and most talented DL in the NFL. That was 3 years ago. We had ONE piece. We filled in with Ted Washington, and we drafted heavily on the DL. Green, Warren, Klecko, Wilfork, Hill. Some worked out, some havent yet, but BB committed to having a DL that was a dominant force.

    IMO, we have 3 of the pieces we need for such an OL. If there is one characteristic we have not had, that I think would be a perfect element in BBs system, it would be a great OL.

    We have done the Adrian Klemms, Robinson-Randalls, Kenyatta Jones', late round pick route, and development of street free agents.

    If Klemm had worked out to be the "#1 quality" that was expected, and instead of Randall, Jones and Koppen, we drafted OL in the first round those years, is their any doubt we'd have a dominant OL?
    We couldnt afford to then, because we needed the playmakers at TE, we needed the DL players.
    I think we can afford to now.

    Overall I would say we have won Championships with average OLs built from spending what would bring below average players, as a group.

    If you look across the roster, we have developed the best QB in the NFL from a 6th round pick. We have quality starting WRs drafted in the 2nd and 7th. We have good corners drafted in the 3rd and 4th. Our LBs didnt come from the draft. We have found our way to RBs in FA that have gotten us rings.

    I see evidence that any need this team has can be effectively filled without using 1st or 2nd round picks (the one in question is DL but it is stocked). We can continue to go cheap on the OL and hope to win with an average unit. I endorse spending heavy on it, and ramping it up to best in the NFL level.

    By the way, that can partly be achieved in FA too, but the cost is higher and the players are older.
  2. KDPpatsfan

    KDPpatsfan Rookie

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    There is not a dominant Wr IMO in this draft that warrants a #1 pick. And no I am not in the Santonio camp. I like OL/LB/CB with the #1
    pick
  3. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I only mention 'game breaking WR' because its something we havent had, and the premise was to go get something we havent had. (I think BB thinks that way, by the way. Look at the TE picks and the commitment to move from grizzled veteran cheap 2 gap DL to a unit full of athletic #1 picks)

    I have convinced myself that going after the plan of building the NFLs best OL would be genius by BB.

    Look at it this way. If you hand BB Pittsburrghs or Denvers traditional strong running game, with Brady at QB, (which means we dont have to be a 3 yard and a cloud of dust team, but CAN be whenever we want) I think it extends the dynasty 7 more years.
  4. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well we did fine with Mankins & Kaczur this year, In BB's world Guards & C are easier to fine than LT, Given the # of picks we have in this draft we could go after OT (as we did this year and convert them to C/G's. I sense BB thinks the best OL athleres are the OT's.

    SInce we have the #21 pick, I see that pick going to a spot where the elite athlete is hard to find. Willie MAc is getting on in years and we have an opportunity to draft a player to replace him in another year or 2. The D is based on having a dominating front 7. THe DL is in place (mostly, questions about Hill & backup NT), The LB corp has a great starting group but they are getting old.

    Tamba Hali, 6-3 267 DE from PSU or Mathias Kiwanuka, 6-7 262 fDE rom BC would look good in a Pats uniform getting mentored by Willie McGinest.
  5. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I like the OL line route because the total pay-out is less than going for a skill position. Also, a great OL increases the value of every other O-player, whether by run-blocking or giving Tommy an extra second to get rid of the ball. The present group, while not allowing that many sacks, allowed too many hits. (I, frankly, thought the low # of late hit calls was terrible.) A better O-line wiould allow the TE's to get into the passing game as well. We have a wealth of untapped talent there. Trent Green, a journeyman on any other team, is a good example of what a top O-line can do for a QB.
  6. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Should we pay #21 money for an OL? Not sure about that.

    Can we get better value drafting an OT like Kaczur in RD 2-3 and converting him and let Dante develop him in to an elite OG or C?

    I think Dante's ability to develop OLmen is a big factor here. He took castoffs and developed them into good OL, perhaps taking good OL (2-4 the rnd) he can develop them into elite OLmen?

    My point here is that a Mankins is easier to find than a McGinest, athletically.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2006
  7. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    Firstly, good post.

    I could definitely see us taking OL, but there is no great guards that have first round value, let alone pick #21 value. IMO, we are solidified at OT, which is where first round picks on OL are spent. Light is great and Kaczur looks to be promising on the other side plus we'll have the depth of one or both of Ashworth and Gorin. If Neal walks, we have a hole at RG, but Hochstein can take over. If Neal and Koppen walk, which is unlikely, then we have a glaring hole.

    We have 5 good, young starters (if they all stay) in Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, and Kaczur. Plus we have depth in Hochstein, Gorin, Ashworth, and Mruc.

    So IMO, the only instance which would make us go OL, would be if we lose one of Neal/Koppen, and then we trade down and take an OG at the end of Round 1, IF BB and Pioli find a guy they like for that value.

    To sum it up though... I just don't see us going the OL route Round 1.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2006
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I dont agree.
    The fact that not a ton of OL get drafted in round 1, tells you the value of a guy who does.

    I do agree that we can do just fine working with an average OL, building castoffs and late picks into decent players.

    I think however, those players will never become a stud group. And I think we can get a ton of value from a stud OL.
    Jonathon Ogden, Orlando Pace, Boselli before he got hurt, Willie roaf, etc, etc were high picks DESPITE the fact that you can find pretty good OL for cheap. Why? Because they have unique talent. Id like an OL of highly physical talented, cant miss studs. As was said above, they make eveyone around them better.

    Can you name the last team with a great OL that didn't go to the playoffs?
  9. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with aj that one or two additional stud linemen may the best use of two of our Day One picks (a C/G and a RT/RG.

    We would still have one or two others for our DE/LB or DB or even RB.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2006
  10. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    We have the 25th pick. Spots 21 through 25 are for the teams knocked out in the Wild Card Round. We have the worst record of tghe four losers in the Division round (Spots 25 thorugh 28) and so we get #25.
  11. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    Incorrect. It is tabulated at the start of the playoffs who drafts where, with each team being bumped forward or back depending on which 2 teams make the Super Bowl, with those 2 teams being 31 and 32.
  12. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Another big reason for high O-line picks is they can be done with the least cap impact. Keeping Seymour, which should be done this year in view of the unresoved CBA(?), Givens, if possible, and the fact that the cap only goes up $7 milin '06 puts a limit to how much can be devoted to signing bonuses. IMO, this season can be characterized as one of under-used offensive talent and a stronger O-line is the single biggest improvement to correct that.
  13. Miguel

    Miguel Patriots Salary Cap Guru PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    This is simply not true. If you can prove this, please do so.
  14. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    My question is...

    What exactly do you mean go OL Round 1?

    Would we take a top tackle that would be around at that time like Jon Scott, Winston Justice or maybe Winston if he fell? And then, Kaczur is a backup? He looked pretty good in his rookie year, and will only get better.

    Neal and Koppen are good young starters, but I agree neither will likely ever be elite OLmen. YET, who is there to take who can play guard or center at # 21?! There isn't anybody. I really like Nick Mangold, who is versatile as both a guard or center, but he should go around mid Round 2 to early Round 3.

    There just isn't a guard or center worth pick # 21 value, and if we did find a suitor to trade down with to take a G or C at # 30-32, we'd have so many picks in the draft, it's kind of a waste unless we reload for next year AGAIN.

    I just don't see the OL thing happening, not in the first round.
  15. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    http://www.sportsline.com/nfl/draft/update

    If you can disprove this, please do so.

    Seriously.

    I would love for the chart and accompanying article to be wrong. Picking 21 would be awesome.
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2006
  16. drew4008

    drew4008 Rookie

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    Sportsline must have their head up their a**, because that's wrong. Check Kiper's latest mock, who is regarded as ESPN's draft expert. We're at pick #21.
  17. spacecrime

    spacecrime Rookie

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    Well, it wouldn't be the first time the Sportsline was wrong, but I would feel better if Kiper didn't have Indianapolis picking 32nd in his ESPN Draft Order
  18. SoonerPatriot

    SoonerPatriot Rookie

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    This thread officially jumped the shark when Koppen was all but labeled a stiff.
  19. jczxohn1

    jczxohn1 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    He is no stiff, but he's probably not going for a hometown discount, either. Talk last spring was he wanted to go home to Philly.
  20. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rookie

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    Very good post.

    Quite persuasive.

    Fires the imagination.

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