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Thoughts after Day 2

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by DocE, Apr 24, 2010.

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  1. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    I didn't post specific thoughts after round 1, but I agreed with much of what Albert Breer wrote in his piece for the Globe.

    I really liked the Pats first move to trade up from 44, surrendering a 6th rounder, to grab the consensus 2nd best TE in Rob Gronkowski. My only concern with this pick is Gronkowski's back. Todd McShay reported that he knew of 7 teams that failed him medically.

    The trade down from 47 to 58 was great value for the Pats, but I have to wonder if we just missed out on Linval Joseph who went one pick earlier at 46 to the Giants. I would have loved to see Joseph at 47, but with him off the board, the trade down made sense to me.

    The pick at 53 has been a favorite of mine for a long time. I remember watching a bunch of Florida clips prior to the '08 draft when it looked like Derrick Harvey could be a potential Patriot. Instead of Harvey, it was Cunningham who consistenly looked great on tape. I had to look up no.49 on the Gators roster and was surprised he was not even draft eligible yet A couple things on Cunningham: at his pro day he had a 10 yard time of 1.57 which was better than all the top DE/OLB's except Jason Worilds and his 35 inch vertical and 10'5 broad jump also were at or near the top of the class as well. The 4.92 forty is somewhat concerning, but he got injured running it and his 10 yard time and vertical jump suggest he's signifcantly faster than a 4.9 guy. Cunningham also was a captain at Florida for a year which brings me to the next pick.

    The trade back from 58 to 62 was not good value on the trade chart, but it still made sense considering who the Patriots were targeting. Brandon Spikes was a team captain, and is the rare 6'3 250lb ILB that many have been looking for to play next to Mayo. I love his instincts, I love his ability to make plays, I love that a team as talented as Florida would still put him down on some passing downs to get after the QB. I worry about his speed. I have no doubt that his instincts will allow him to play quicker than that 5.03 forty time, but what happens in a 2-3 years when he runs a 5.10 or 5.15 forty? At some point you are too slow to play and Spikes comes in to the league with a lot of teams already believing that. I still think it was a pick worth making and I wouldn't be surprised if Spikes steps in from day 1 and has a big effect on our run defense.

    Trading 89 to Carolina is a great move on paper. Turning a late 3rd rounder in to what likely will be a top half of the 2nd round pick in 2011 makes a lot of sense.

    My biggest issue with the draft so far was the unwillingness(or inability) to get ahead of Denver late in the 3rd round to take Eric Decker. The only reason Decker was still on the board was his foot injury and the Patriots had a great opportunity to jump up and get a guy who could help this year at WR. I have read a lot of conflicting reports on Price and the most I've seen of him was at the Senior Bowl. It's not really a dig on Price as much as a small trade up ahead of the Broncos for Decker would have had me jumping off my couch.

    The rest of the draft will probably determine whether this is a B or B plus draft in my mind, it's been pretty solid. I would have liked a WR I felt more confident in (Benn, Decker, Sanders, Williams) and I struggle with taking a CB in the first round. The ability to move around the draft to pick up additional picks and the dreaded (by some) "value" was a positive in my mind. I hope that at some point "value" means a big trade up for a difference maker, but I am not sure that guy was out there this year.

    I think the theme of the draft has been character on defense. We've heard about the locker room problems and all the talk has been that the issues were on defense not offense. The 3 guys we took on defense have all been team leader types (I know Cunningham had an off field issue and Spikes gouged somones eye) who appear to make football a priority.
  2. AzPatsFan

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    Think, the team needed to replace Springs 34, Seau 40, and Vrabel 34. If Belichick were an ordinary talent, we would have used our alloted three picks for a replacement CB, SILB and SOLB, respectively, and we would have been happy or not.

    But Belichick is not ordinary. The Offensive help secured was pure gravy, IMO.
  3. Box_O_Rocks

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    Devin McCourty -- Good addition, a classic Belichick selection of a two-way player.

    Rob Gronkowski -- It was certainly easy to see how this kid fits into NE's offense, 6'6" 260, another twenty pounds and he's Kyle Brady blocking stud. He never made my short list since NE's interest was missed by reporters, and there was some doubt for a player who missed a full season for back surgery. Another classic Belichick choice of a player undervalued due to prior injury, we will need to wait and see how things turn out once he's again engaged in car wrecks in the trenches.

    Jermaine Cunningham -- I could find no information of how he looked in space. I've been digging, but his delayed Pro-Day came after the media circus that surrounds Florida had followed Tebow elsewhere. He's exactly the type of hybrid DE/OLB I was expecting NE to target and I'm pleased with his addition.

    Brandon Spikes -- This one is a head scratcher, unless there is injury information which was suppressed in the media, he doesn't fit with NE's stated desire to get faster on defense. He's also not known to be any better at shedding blocks than Mayo or Guyton, his play making skills are unquestioned, but his need/fit for NE's defense is more uncertain. He's on the wait and see list with Gronkowski.

    Taylor Price -- This is one where NE was certain to have better information, he was on my short list, but only due to the workout NE had with him. I was unimpressed with his overall Senior Bowl week which was the only time he caught my eye. I can see the size/speed attraction, and if he'd been drafted along with another WR known for good routes and big plays I'd have been content, but for now I'll need to wait and see how he develops (tools are there, he just started with a bad first impression).

    Grade that two I'm excited for, and three whom I'll need to see on the field.

    With eight picks remaining NE should be able to add some depth to the DL (though what they have in mind for the defense is foggier than it has been), pick up another DE/OLB, and add depth all over.
  4. MaineMan

    MaineMan Rookie

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    The Gronkowski pick seems to make it clear that BB is looking for guys who are good blockers first but also need to be accounted for by pass defenses. Could now free up BB to take a flyer on a primarily-catch guy like Pitta.

    Cunningham was among a few guys who I'd considered "acceptable" after Graham and Te'o-Nesheim (still can't believe that BOTH of them ended up with the Iggles).

    My notes on Spikes' strengths/weaknesses appear to indicate that he might actually be a bit better at OLB, perhaps behind the 40-front, than at ILB.

    My notes on Price from the Senior Bowl practices indicate a guy with very good physical tools, quicks, body control, but inconsistent route-running (though very good at times) who improved during the week. Interesting that the one catch he failed to make in Wednesday practice apparently was with McCourty draped all over him.

    Agree that there's still quite a bit of potentially helpful talent available yet - a cheap potential replacement part or two for the RBBC (perhaps a true FB) and at least one more potential #4/#5 WR, I'd guess, in addition to DL, LB, P and another development QB.

    Our trade-able 7th could move us up a few spots from the #150 yet.
  5. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    The run on WRs in the 3rd was the most intriguing part of the draft for me. I too was pissed when Decker came off the board and I was ****ting a brick hoping Taylor would still be available once the rest of the WRs went in round 3.

    I'd love to know how BB ranked the WR class. If Decker, Williams, Shipley and Sanders were ranked ahead of Price, I really think a small trade up would have been in order here.
  6. Box_O_Rocks

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    Final thoughts before they start working into the NE system and proving themselves...

    I had eight of the twelve on my "short" list, pity I couldn't guess which ones NE actually liked best. :bricks: I should have had Kade Weston on the list too but overlooked him in my notes, such is life.

    Aaron Hernandez -- His athleticism is unquestioned, he's reportedly a stud at YAC - the new Patriots benchmark for a receiver. He had some off-field flags which kept him from being a pick I'd have made with what little I knew. The biggest surprise is he appears to be yet another H-back attempt by NE - somebody has a vision for an H-back in this offense, perhaps third times the charm.

    Zoltan Mesko -- I got a poor impression of him from his Senior Bowl, but the one game thing is always a tough grading tool. I guess the Aussie lad is camp fodder, pity.

    Ted Larson -- A Tom O'Brien O-lineman? What's not to like.

    Thomas Welch -- He struggled in the Senior Bowl and slipped under my radar, his bio reads like a Big Man Dancing Academy project. In Scar I Trust.

    Brandon Deadrick -- A late round target despite his off-field flags, I really liked him when I was scouting Cody and kept seeing this other D-lineman plugging the middle just as much as Cody.

    Kade Weston -- I only knew NE had worked with him and two other D-lineman from Georgia, apparently they saw something they liked in the Georgia defense. Love his 3-4 size.

    Zach Robinson -- Excellent Senior Bowl, NE looked at him early, I get the impression they had a number of 3rd string QB targets they liked and he was the highest ranked last man standing.


    A tip of the fedora to NE Patriots Draft and his most excellent UDFA tracking project.

    Pat Paschall, RB, North Dakota State -- I loved this kid in his All-Star game (I think it was Shrine) this year. Excellent signing. Reportedly he had a caution flag for a temper flare-up in a game, but he looked like a potential Faulk replacement project, so I'm looking forward to him.

    Dane Fletcher, DE, Montana State -- Good, Cunningham has some competition.

    Bryan Anderson, WR, CMU -- My #2 UDFA target, actually my #1, but only because nobody drafted Alex Daniels who was scooped up by the Raiders. This kid is going to make the other young WRs work for their jobs.

    Sergio Brown, S, Notre Dame -- I don't know him from Adam Brown (whoever he is), but it's not like NE doesn't have some inside info to work from.

    Kyle Love, DL, Mississippi State -- Yet another short inside plugger, I can't wait to see this vision work out in practice.

    Ross Ventrone, S, Villanova ??? -- I assume the triple question marks indicate an unconfirmed signing? He's every bit the scrapper his brother was, just not the size.

    Between the draft and the UDFA signings:

    Quaterback -- Brady, Hoyer, Rowe, (Stanback), Robinson: Looks promising enough.
    Runningback -- Maroney, Taylor, Morris, Faulk, Green-Ellis, Paschall: Get the passing game back on track to soften things up and it looks okay.
    Tight End -- Crumpler, Gronkowski, Hernandez, Agnone, Myers: Looks promising enough.
    Wide Receiver -- Moss, Welker, Patton, Holt, Edelman, Tate, (Stanback), Aiken, (Slater), Price, Anderson: I'd like one more UDFA project to compete, but there should be some vets getting cut and I expect some decent cuts at the end of pre-season to acquire for the PSquad.
    Offensive Line -- Light, Mankins, Koppen, Neal, Kaczur, Vollmer, Connolly, LeVoir, Wendell, Orhnberger, Bussey, Larsen, Welch: I'd like to see a couple more signings of camp bodies, but NE worked out a former Pittsburgh OL before the draft and there will be bodies in the post-draft reshuffling to work with. Looks solid.

    Defensive Line -- T. Warren, Wilfork, Wright, Pryor, Brace, Lewis, G. Warren, Gordon, Richard, Grady, Deadrick, Weston, Love: Deadrick is almost instant depth and certainly strong competition for Mike Wright, if he works out he'll likely allow NE to rotate Wright to keep him fresh for passing downs where he really excels. There's a nice mix of 30 front size/strength and 40 front/disruption mixed in with some decent run stuffing. Improved on paper.
    Outside Linebacker/Defensive End -- Banta-Cain, Woods, Ninkovich, Thomas, Crable, Davis, Murrell, Cunningham, Fletcher: Interesting.
    Inside Linebacker -- Mayo, Guyton, McKenzie, Alexander, Williams, Spikes: I honestly don't know where this is heading, but an interesting talent pool.
    Cornerback -- Bodden, Springs, Butler, Wilhite, Wheatley, Arrington, McCourty: I'm expecting at least one other veteran signing this Spring, the competition is looking promising.
    Safety -- Sanders, Meriweather, McGowan, Chung, Lockett, Brown, (Ventrone): I expect one more veteran signing this Spring, work in progress - maybe they'll slide Stanback over to compete here too?
    Special Team -- Competition for Punter, K and LS are solid.

    On paper, the Offense is coming together nicely, the D-line looks promising, OLB is still a concern, ILB is confusing - but the talent pool is good, the Secondary is at a "show me" stage, and Special Teams is 2/3rds set.
  7. Trocadile

    Trocadile Rookie

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    This comment struck me as odd - I just rewatched the Senior Bowl and was shocked at how good Welch looked, mostly going against Brandon Lang. He had one poor play where he seemed to slip, but otherwise completely controlled Lang on both running and passing plays. Not that it means much, but it was much more impressive than what I expected.
  8. Box_O_Rocks

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    I need to rewatch it too, perhaps I was influenced by pundit reports and failed to watch him as closely as I should - not that I was very concerned with OT this year. :p
  9. State

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    Gronk is great. I absolutely trust the BillTrust on Devin McCourtey, though I think among the coaching staff the jury's still out on Wilhite and Wheatley.

    We've been using a lot of high picks on the DBs the last few years, letting our defensive line, which used to be the best in football (now the Ravens are clearly tops), gradually peter out. We draft projects for the O-line, except for the wunderkind Vollmer, and let Scar do his magic with 'em.

    Is it a long-term strategy? Do we have stability and production at the TE position?

    Time will tell on these and the other picks. But my principal concern is that we got younger, quicker, more instinctive at defense...but perhaps slower.

    As Ochmed Jones somewhere wrote, What was Bill thinking? The forty in 4.9 for Jermaine Cunningham (though I guess he ran really fast at the first 10 yards and suffered an injury that slowed him up) and 4.95 for Brandon Spikes, who is still a great LBer. He goes SILB and lets Mayo go to his strength at WILB. Spikes being vocal would help, as Mayo seems to have been coasting last year.

    Cunningham looked like a third-rounder to me. But if he's a player the team had ID'd and with all those extra picks, I guess it stands to reason to pull the handle a little early for a player at a need position.

    I think we realize Shawn Crable is on his last chicken legs, and Pierre Woods is a nice STer and infrequent sub.

    But what's with our new punter, who I think will be a starter, being as strong as Spikes? Patriots new punter is JACKED!!! - Extra Points - Boston.com

    How could Spikes be so weak in the upper body? Sixteen reps at the 225 bench press? Lazy butt not spending more time on his upper body strength. The dude just needs to do pushups on an elevated surface--he's 250 pounds--and he does 20! He's going to have trouble fending off the beasts that will be coming onto him in the pro game.

    I mean...these players, time will tell. I am disappointed that we could have had Mt. Cody and Golden Tate, both players that I coveted in the second round.

    I am bitterly disappointed we didn't get more help on WR. The guy from Ohio certainly has the measurables and maybe will produce. I just don't know anything about him. It's great, though, to have acquired Bryan Anderson of Central Michigan as an undrafted free agent--a guy who set a record for 54 consecutive games with a reception--who's a big target and probably makes the team, being better than most of the receivers who have IMO.
  10. bucky

    bucky Rookie

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    Interesting take. Here is my take on some of these guys:

    McCourty - I agree this is a classic Patriots 1st round pick because they chose the guy with the highest floor. I think he's almost guaranteed to upgrade the secondary this year along with Butler.

    Gronowski - boom or bust IMO. His back is a real concern to me. If he stays healthy, this is a homerun - best TE in the draft .

    Cunningham - this is the interesting pick. The few times I've concentrated on him, I was not impressed. I took him off my list because I didn't think he could convert to OLB. We'll see how it goes, but this could actually be a sign of more 43 fronts.

    Spikes - I like this pick. He may not be fast in the 40, but I bet he playing speed tackle-tackle is faster than Guyton's.

    Hernandez - He's the 1 TE I really wanted because of his hands and YAC ability. But I thought his combination of size and supposed character issues would push him down on the Pats' board and someone would grab him first. So I took him of my list of 12. Lo and behold he's still there at 113. Nice job by BB keeping this pick instead of 119 when trading with Dallas and staying ahead of Baltimore here.

    Mesko - I think the fact that he's left-footed is not to be overlooked. BB likes to eek out every possible advantage and left-footed punters have opposite spin on the ball. Consider the fact that so many rookies are returning punts these days and put McCourty at gunner, and the possibilities for turnovers on punts increase substantially. He's also played in cold weather at Michigan, which I think helped the decision.

    Deaderick - this is what toughness is all about. The man broke the windshield in a police car with his head. Then played football 5 days after being shot through his arm and hip. He also has ideal size and arm length for the DE position and can probably be a good run stuffer even this year. If this guy shows the right work ethic, I think he'll make the team this year.

    I must admit I don't know much about the other prospects, so I won't comment except to say that I was pissed when McDaniels took Decker 2 spots before us.
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  11. Since1971

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    Inside Linebacker -- Mayo, Guyton, McKenzie, Alexander, Williams, Spikes: I honestly don't know where this is heading, but an interesting talent pool.

    /B], ILB is confusing - but the talent pool is good

    Assuming McKenzie is healthy: is a ILB rotation of Spikes, Mayo and McKenzie and a move of Guyton to OLB a possibility? He certainly has the speed and athletism.
  12. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    Guyton is a good, big, fast, WILB. He is a fair but not a dominating SILB.

    Stuck behind a star MLB, the college coaches ocasionally shifted him to OLB. His play at OLB made him, Undrafted. Does that answer your question??

    Unjustly or not he finds himself with the Pats, stuck behind a Star WILB. but here he plays SILB, until now. I suspect he platoons with Spikes at SILB, or subs for Mayo; and Mackenzie and Spikes share SILB, but not immediately.

    Four ILBs is an apppropriate number. Alexander is odd man out.
  13. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan On the Roster

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    Nice diagnosis. But I haven't been paying attention this offseason. What happened to Burgess? I thought he ended up with half a dozen sacks, so he would still be a vet to consider, or did something happen?
  14. Feep50

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    My thoughts:
    McCourty: one of the top, if not THE top special teamer on the board who could develop into a very good corner in a year or so. No surprise BB picked him at #27 while picking up #90 and improving another picks position.

    With Crumpler this year and possibly another year or 2, adding Gronkowski and Hernansez, the TE position looks nicely addressed for the forseeable future. The two drafted TE's could form a very good tandem weapon for many years. Time will tell but on paper nicely accounted for.

    The head-scratcher for me is OLB. Adding Spikes shores up the ILB, but what is BB's plan at OLB? Clearly he is throwing bodies at the DE line and looking for a suitable rotation and I think there are playing of bodies there to accomplish it, But I have to believe a vet or two OLB is in BB's plan. But who?

    We all know he loves experienced, seasoned vets at that position. Any thoughts you all have will be read avidly by me on this subject.

    The rest of the draft was pretty much SOP as far as I could see. Overall it looks like a good draft and we will see how it goes in training camp.

    Last thought: "The Emperor of Space" Zoltan Mesko! You gotta go all in with this pick! Plus he can razz TB about being picked much higher than him out on Michigan! He seems to have the required humour for that obvious dig.

    Great weekend and love all your posts and thoughts.........:cool:
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2010
  15. Box_O_Rocks

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    Burgess is a Free Agent. Last I read the door was open and judging by the depth chart at OLB, I won't be surprised if he's signed in time for OTAs.
  16. DocE

    DocE Rookie

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    Day 3 was interesting to me in that I didn't mind any of the picks, I just thought the position choices were interesting at times.

    4. Aaron Hernandez- Seems like great value in round 4. It will be interesting how he's used here. I could see him playing flexed out in a 2 TE 2 WR set that in actuality is much closer to our base 3 WR 1 TE set. Can he play special teams well enough to be active on gamedays? I like the way he runs with the ball after the catch.

    5. Zoltan Mesko- I admit, I agreed with McShay when he said "Reach" when we took him with our 5th round pick. Then the Va Tech punter goes in round 6 before the Pats and all of a sudden its not a reach. I still don't love the pick because I am not sold on Mesko actually winning the punting job. I feel like if you draft a punter it should be close to a slam dunk that he becomes your punter.

    6. Ted Larsen- a Tom O'Brien lineman and he was on my list with the hesitation that the scouting reports I have read mentioned that he'd struggle with big NT's. Again, no problem with the player, but we now have Koppen, Ohrnberger, Connolly, Wendell, and Larsen. A lot of these guys are very similar size wise and it just seems like this might have been a spot for a size/speed project at WR, CB, S, or OLB.

    7. Thomas Welch- not on my radar at all , but he's a 6'7 guy who played RT and then moved to LT when Chris Williams moved on to the NFL. This is a pick that seems destined for the practice squad at best with Light, Kaczur, Vollmer, and LeVoir ahead of him. Another pick, I had no issue with, but wonder if it might have been better spent at another position.

    7. Brandon Deaderick/Kade Weston- again no issue with the picks and both seemed to represent great value late in the draft. That said, we took 2 DL late in '09 and now add two more late '10. We have Mike Wright, Myron Pryor, Damione Lewis, Gerard Warren, and Ty Warren who seem likely to make the team at End. Deaderick and Weston join '09 pick Daryl Richard, practice squader Adrian Grady, and recent long shot signing Amon Gordon behind those initial 5.

    7. Zac Robinson- I like watching this guy at OSU. Not sure if he's an NFL QB, but it makes sense to grab him with our last pick instead of trying to compete for him on the UFDA market.

    Overall, I thought the final day was fine. Not a lot to get excited about outside of Hernandez and Mesko (if he wins the punting job) as most of the other guys seem to have been drafted to populate the practice squad. One aspect I may have overlooked is that the Patriots might have taken the OL's and DL's because they knew it would be difficult to get UDFA's to come here at those positions considering the depth at those positions. It's really a minor gripe, but I just would have liked to see one guy at RB, WR, OLB, CB, or S with "wow" measurables taken with a pick that is likely to be a long shot anyways.
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