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Three Picks Turn Into 10 Players

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Don Kipines, May 31, 2011.

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  1. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    So I went back and did an analysis of the Patriots' history with trading back in the draft, to try to get a line on how frightened we should be about the Saints trade involving Mark Ingram. I wanted to see how often the Pats ended up winning these trade-back moves. In the process of doing so, I found myself particularly amazed by what they did with three recent draft picks. With three picks in the 2009 and 2010 drafts, they ended up with 10 roster players. Even with the Clay Matthews fiasco, it's a pretty amazing haul:

    ROUND 1, 2009, PICK #23 In the first round of 2009, the Pats started with pick #23 in the first round, then made the (to some) now-infamous series of trades that led to them passing up both Michael Oher and Clay Matthews for the immortal Darius Butler. But the final tally isn't quite as bad as it sounds. In the end, as has been discussed here ad nauseum, the tally ended up being Matthews and tackle Jamon Meredith for Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, and about 95% of Rob Gronkowski.

    ROUND 3, 2009, PICK #89 The Pats had a ton of activity in the third round in that 2009 draft, but the key transaction was pick #89. We didn't get to see the final returns on this pick until this year's draft.

    They traded that 2009 third-round pick to the Titans, who took tight end Jared Cook. In return, they got a second-rounder the following year, which turned into pick #47.

    That pick the following year went in a trade to the Cardinals for pick #58 and pick #89 in the 2010 draft. They then dealt pick #58 to the Texans for pick #62, which turned into Brandon Spikes, and pick #150, which turned into Zoltan Mesko. The Pats then dealt pick #89 to the Panthers for a 2011 #2, which turned into Ras-I Dowling.

    To sum up this trade:

    The Pats had pick #89 in 2009. They surrendered that pick to the Titans for Jared Cook, a decent-ish tight end who had 29 receptions this year.

    In return, they got Brandon Spikes, Zoltan Mesko, and Ras-I Dowling. It should be noted that they started with pick #89, and even after acquiring Spikes and Mesko, they ended up with another pick #89, which turned into pick #33 the next year.

    ROUND 1, 2010, PICK 22 The Pats started with pick #22 in the 2010 draft, then traded down twice. The final tally on that trade ended up going something like this: Demariyus Thomas and A.J. Edds for Devin McCourty, Taylor Price and Aaron Hernandez.

    In sum, the Pats started with a 2009 #1 (#23), a 2009 #3 (89), and a 2010 #1 (22). They ended up with ten players out of those picks: Darius Butler, Brandon Tate, Julian Edelman, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Zoltan Mesko, Ras-I Dowling, Devin McCourty, Taylor Price and Aaron Hernandez.

    Out of that group, we have one Pro Bowler in McCourty, one probable future Pro Bowler in Gronkowski, an outstanding player in Hernandez, two quality starters in Spikes and Mesko, two contributors in Edelman and Tate, and a couple of upside picks in Price and Dowling. Butler is probably a bust, Price didn't see the field really as a rookie, and Dowling we don't know about yet, but seven contributing players for three picks is already a pretty good score.

    The three original selections they traded to get those players turned into Clay Matthews, Demariyus Thomas, and Jared Cook. Matthews is obviously the pick that hurts, but you can see the strategy here really clearly. You acquire more darts to throw at the board, which spreads out the risk so that your misses (Butler) are balanced out by hits (Gronkowski). And the fallout from all extra those dart throws is that you end up with free numbers and depth.

    I think what drives a lot of people on this board crazy is who they pick with those extra choices. They ignore needs and they've had a decent share of busts. But with merely average scouting and drafting they should come out ahead and have good youth and depth from year-to-year. Thoughts?
    Last edited: May 31, 2011
  2. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    BB's system of using quantity of players over top picks seems to work fine when considering the added depth that has been accumulated and hitting BIG on a couple of players.....( I'll take a wait and see approach on this draft but there is huge potential with a few of the later picks) If Solder is another Vollmer type player, Cannon recovers from his cancer without any setbacks, and Smith becomes the Crumpler type blocking TE, this could be another great draft for BB......

    Sure you miss out on the occasional Matthews type picks, but overall the team is better with the depth of decent players....there were alot of aging players over the past few years that had to be replaced, and BB has accomplished that nicely with his drafting philosophy...

    In BB We Trust :rocker:
  3. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    No matter how good you are at evaluating talent, there is always a risk in any draft pick. This alone makes BB's aproach a no brainer. BB also seems to place a higher value on some metrics vs. talent than most other coaches:

    high character
    team captain
    work ethic
    film buff
    blood lines

    He also seems to put less stock into some* character issues that may throw off other coaches. In other words, he looks at player's behavior in it's context instead of just applying a label and moving on.

    Running from a weak draft is also something BB is not scared to do, a characteristic that most undervalue.

    I think that when you combine all these factors with system-specific drafting and the discipline/job security to stick to your guns, the long term results will be good.
  4. plk

    plk Rookie

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    Bill Belichick wants to be as certain as he possibly can about first round picks. Missing on a "Clay Matthews" because he isn't sure enough about him is the price that he pays for avoiding a whole mess of other players that he isn't sure about that turn out to be busts.

    I believe that BB's priority is avoiding busts; in doing that, he will miss on some very good players.
  5. NEGoldenAge

    NEGoldenAge Banned

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    Agreed. 10char
  6. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yeah, having an average of an extra FOUR picks a year helps with depth. ;)
  7. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    Agree, but let's not give up on Butler so soon. Belichick has said some positive things about his play, and he has been exceptional in the kicking game.

    The perception that he's a bust grow from the fact that he had a few bad games early last season, that Arrington beat him for a starting role, and that BB drafted another DB early in the draft. That may seem pretty damning, but it does not mean he's hit his ceiling as a player. He's got the physical tools and the work ethic. I still rate him somewhat ahead of Ellis Hobbs, who was a starter for us before being traded.
  8. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    I agreed with everything that you said...until the Ellis Hobbs comment. Hobbs was simply not a #1 CB, and was pushed into that role here in his last yr. He was a servicable #2 at many times, and we all know about his big plays at times. I remember Hobbs having extremely good coverage on a Colts player in the 06 AFCCG, and an INT in SB42. At least Hobbs made some plays at times. I still believe that he was best suited for a nickel back/3rd CB role, and that he got a bad rap after being exposed as a very poor #1 CB in his last yr here.

    On top of that, his kickoff return game has still not been replaced, and was simply amazing--truly a very good kickoff returner.

    We will all remember his 225+ yds of kickoff returns in the AFCCG vs Indy in 2006, and he still holds the record for the longest kick return in NFL history at 108 yds.

    I just do not recall Darius Butler as having EVER done anything even remotely close to any of this.

    Darius Butler vs Ellis Hobbs is a very unfair comparison on just about every level.
  9. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    as much as I wasn't a fan of Hobbs, Butler has yet to prove himself anything more than a scrub....maybe this year he
    ' gets it" and becomes the CB that BB thought he would be....
  10. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rookie

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    I would rate Butler below Maroney in his development and we know what most thought of Maroney.
  11. Armchair Quarterback

    Armchair Quarterback Rookie

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    #37 Jersey

    Vey well put.
  12. pats_premi

    pats_premi Rookie

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    I:agree:

    I think some folks would argue that Patriots should have drafted "Clay Matthews" instead of trading the pick to GB, but how do you project his success in the nfl ? In college, he only started in the senior year and his sack total number was 4.
  13. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Ummmmm...for every Clay Matthews BB misses on...there are also the busts he passes on to get solid players like McCourty,Spikes,Chung, Mankins...etc

    I'd say his record is pretty good in the long run compared to other coaches picks.....
  14. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Rookie

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    I hope he never leaves and starts a cult. Imagine what he could do with some fish and bread.
  15. supafly

    supafly PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #24 Jersey

    Yes!!! :rocker:
  16. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    I Agree with your point but i would hardly say McCourty was Solid... he was a pro bowler in his rookie season. I would replace his name with Cunningham.
  17. DarrylS

    DarrylS PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An additional factor is the "economy" of the draft pick, it is difficult to attain depth if you are drafting in the top ten.. it is often more economical to draft two very good 2nd rounders, than one excellent top 10 player..

    The whole team captain is becoming more and more obvious and is huge, you do not want "dependent" players who are uncomfortable with being leaders off and on the field.

    This draft was a "lockout" draft as none of the draftees have to contribute on whenever the season begins, but next year most can contribute.. this draft is genius.
  18. Don Kipines

    Don Kipines Rookie

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    I wouldn't go so far as to say that. It seems more like they targeted a few guys up high who were picked early, then moved on to Solder. The Ingram trade took them out of the running for guys like Heyward and Wilkerson and left them looking at something like Dowling versus Sheard at #33, and they took the best athlete with the most upside.

    I don't think they went into this draft saying that they didn't want defensive front-7 guys and would focus instead on high-upside projects who would cash in big in 2012. I think the draft just kind of fell this way for them. They had two wait out two whole rounds for Marcus Cannon -- no way they could have been banking on him being there.
  19. dryheat44

    dryheat44 Rookie

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    #75 Jersey

    Yep. We also missed out on the Everette Brown, Clint Sintim, and Paul Kruger - type picks, all of whom had a lot of support on this board from different posters, and all of whom are JAGs or worse. We only seem to talk about the players who end up being pro bowlers that that idiot Belichick passed on.

    Of course, I also believe there was no reason to draft someone with minimal college production in the first round, and that it would have been illogical to do so, regardless of what we know after the fact.

    I also believe Matthews would be a marginal improvement than TBC in Belichick's defense.
  20. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    From now on, whenever somebody refers to a Combine workout wonder who showed little on the field as "a Mike Mamula," we should be sure to correct it to "a Clay Matthews."

    Mamula was a stud on the field for BC, recording 153 tackles and 28 sacks his last 2 years. Matthews was mostly a special teamer who finally made it onto the defense as a senior. He graduated with a 4-year combined total of 54 tackles and a whopping 4 sacks.
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