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Thoughts on Day One

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by rookBoston, Apr 28, 2007.

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  1. rookBoston

    rookBoston 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

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    Well, at least now the Wes Welker trade makes a little more sense. The Pats front office has been panned by many experts and some fans, for over-investing (a 2nd and 7th round pick) in the trade for Wes Welker.

    Today's deliberate and systematic exiting from the 2007 draft sheds entirely new light on that decision. In his press conference today, BB was unusually frank in comparing the value of the Welker trade against what was on the board at #60.

    I like to believe that Welker will be a player for us more on par with what the Colts drafted at #32, in Anthony Gonzalez-- one of my pre-draft favorites-- although of course no comparison is perfect. At #32 the Colts have invested far more draft value in Gonzalez than we have in Welker. One thing is certain: there was no remotely equivalent value at WR at #60.

    Apparently, and this seems obvious, BB/SP knew months ago that this year's draft class was going to be thin and poor. Making a move for Welker was just a way to optimize value with the pick, and a way to avoid spending draft picks on players that are being over-drafted.

    When the season ended, the Pats were poised with four selections in the first three rounds. In addition to offloading 60 to the Fins, they've now sold off 28 and 91-- willing to accept fairly moderate deals in exchange. A 2008 1st plus a 4th is barely adequate for 28. And a 2008 3rd plus a 7th is a bit thin for 91. For what they got in trade, it seems to me BB/SP were selling their picks in a buyers market. And were more than happy to make the deals they got.

    Translation: we didn't see any players worth the pick. We got what we could out of it.

    Clearly, our collective hopes and dreams for Harris or Posluszny as the future of the interior defensive front were a hallucination that BB never shared. Trading out of 28 was a specific vote of no-confidence in those guys as starters for our scheme. In this evaluation, I have to defer to BB's judgement. There is no chance that Harris or Pos were "overlooked" by accident-- even Kiper saw the suitability of a fit.

    Overall, I have to admire what the Pats did, and (it seems) have been doing for months. If I was to characterize what happened on Day One of the draft, I would say that the Patriots didn't really improve the team so much as they elected not to make a mistake.

    Takes a lot of balls and courage, to devise a strategy of aggressive disengagement with the draft for the betterment of the franchise overall, knowing that your competitors are adding young players disproportionatly faster than you are. They have the courage to act on their convictions that these kids are being overdrafted, and that the appropriate response is to sell, sell, sell. This approach is more in the mold of a tactical retreat than any sort of victory. The only redemption will come in 2008, when we have the extra ammunition against what will hopefully be a fuller field of prospects... currently five picks in the first three rounds next year.

    Other observations:
    - the fact that the first round took so long is, I'm sure, a function of the lack of talent. Lots of GMs scratching their heads.
    - the fact that there were so many trades is, I'm sure, a reflection of teams scrambling around for a few players they liked for their teams. Lots of hunting and pecking today.
    - 2007 will go down as the year that disproves the idea that BB/SP use a BPA philosophy. BPA says when your pick is up, you take the best player. Instead, it seems that BB/SP are measuring their prospects against an abstract ideal for how a player in the late first round should project, not how they compare to the other players in their draft class.
     
  2. gomezcat

    gomezcat It's SIR Moderator to you Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Great post. I agree that we shouldn't draft for the sake of it. The perception is that 2008's class is probably going to be a strong one, so it makes sense to get picks then.
    As I have said elsewhere, I think there are some players left who should represent good value in rounds 4-7.
     
  3. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Despite main forum moans about SF winning the Super Bowl and providing a "return" on the draft pick value below #28, SF has a tough row to hoe if they want a 12-4 schedule. SF reportedly needed DL and LB help, they took a Jarvis Green clone in the 3rd, and the flashy Patrick Willis. Meanwhile, division rival Seattle took two DL, division rival AZ now has matching run stuffing DT's in the mould of Sam Adams and Ted Washington, and division rival St. Louis now has a Seymour clone at DL. Nolan is rebuilding well, but NFC or not, his schedule is no cake walk. I also have to add that Joe Staley was the only pick I thought offered true value at #28, getting a fourth and a presumed higher value 1st in 2008 seems good value.

    At #91, the two picks I thought offered the best value were both taken by Philadelphia at #87 and #90. Go figure. It seems unlikely that Oakland improves to 12-4 next season. That trade forward again made more sense than the available players that remained on my board.

    Starting Day Two, NE now has the 11th pick in the 4th round, horsepower in terms of tradeable picks to move up for someone they clearly want, and a good nights rest with time to review their board for the best remaining prospects. It's where BB/SP seem to like to be on Day Two. Looking over my "needs" and my draft board, I see excellent value at everything but RB, I can live with that.
     
  4. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson In the Starting Line-Up

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    Trading the 28th pick was a great move IMO. Trading the 91st pick really was an indictment on how BB/Pioli view this draft.
     
  5. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well put, Rook -- a far more reasoned and eloquent take than my post,
    "Day 1 recap: Hey, this class really did suck!" :)

    We knew it was an extremely weak draft, we knew the Patriots tend to systematically trade out of weak drafts into strong ones. It was just the sheer magnitude of it that was startling.

    As for Welker, I think we can officially declare that trade a no-brainer when you look at the top WRs selected after #60--a lineup of super-raw potential: Jacoby Jones, Yamon Figurs, Laurent Robinson. After watching the likes of Bethel Johnson and PK Sam come and go, I'll definitely take Welker over a wow-maybe-he-can-grow-into-something.
     
  6. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In addition to Welker, it explains the spending spree.

    I'm happy with Merriweather. That's day one :D

    We're a SB contender and we have two #1s, a #2 and two #3s next year. This is how you keep a dynasty going. Regarding SF, they were awful last year, last in points, 23 in points allowed, they have a tougher schedule. I expect that to be a top ten pick.
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Exactly, only Jason Hill might have been worth #60, and I like him better where he was taken. I just love Detroit taking Calvin at #2 for his 5-10 touches/game.

    Code:
    Bowe, Dwayne           Louisiana State      1 23 Kansas City 
    Davis, Craig           Louisiana State      1 30 San Diego 
    Figurs, Yamon          Kansas State         3 74 Baltimore 
    Ginn Jr., Ted          Ohio State           1 9 Miami 
    Gonzalez, Anthony      Ohio State           1 32 Indianapolis 
    Higgins, Johnnie Lee   Texas-El Paso        3 99 Oakland 
    Hill, Jason            Washington State     3 76 San Francisco  
    Jarrett, Dwayne        Southern California  2 45 Carolina 
    Johnson, Calvin        Georgia Tech         1 2 Detroit 
    Jones, Jacoby          Lane                 3 73 Houston 
    Jones, James           San Jose State       3 78 Green Bay 
    Meachem, Robert        Tennessee            1 27 New Orleans 
    Rice, Sidney           South Carolina       2 44 Minnesota 
    Robinson, Laurent      Illinois State       3 75 Atlanta 
    Smith, Steve           Southern California  2 51 N.Y. Giants 
    Walker, Mike           Central Florida      3 79 Jacksonville 
    Williams, Paul         Fresno State         3 80 Tennessee
     
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