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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 Rookie

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    #87 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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    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 Rookie

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    #87 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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    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 Rookie

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    #87 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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    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.
  21. Shelterdog

    Shelterdog Rookie

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    Clay Matthews was 225-230 in the 2005-2007 seasons, listed at 240 as a senior in college, 240 at the NFL combine in spring 2009, listed at 245 at the start of the 2009 season and listed at 255 at the start of the 2010 season. During the superbowl week they were talking about him being 260 or 265.

    It's pretty hard to predict that after his 10 pound gain as a 22 year old redshirt senior (from a weight he'd been holding for years while presumably working out hard at a major college strength program) that he'd be able to add another 20+ pounds in about 18 months without losing speed, quickness or agility.
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2011
  22. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    I know a lot of the posters really love Matthews, but I think they are unfair about it and really harp on BB for not drafting him.

    Somehow they overlook the fact that most teams passed on him. Think Seattle would take him over Aaron Curry at #4? Or the Bills, who took Maybin at 11, or the Chargers who took Larry English at 16?

    What about teams in the top 10 that wasted picks, like the Bungles taking Andre Smith at 5 or the Raiders taking Heyward-Bay at 6. Or Jacksonville, which could have filled that pass-rushing need but instead took a solid, yet unspectacular tackle in Eugene Monroe at 8.

    A lot of people were unsure about what Matthews would become.
  23. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    That is true but Matthews was considered one of the top prospects for the position. He was considered a 1st round talent and he also had a good combine.

    The Packers took a chance and they struck gold. Their recent drafts have been really good and that's why they are one of the most talented teams in the NFL right now.
  24. Oswlek

    Oswlek Rookie

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    Matthews had red flags all over him. Limited production, too small, loads of steroid concerns, he is the antithesis of what NE looks for in a first rounder.

    Would you completely change your investment philosophy simply because one of the questionable companies took off? Chasing exceptions like that are how you go broke.
  25. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think that should read "he was considered a 1st round talent BECAUSE he had a good combine."

    Here's a pre-combine thread on Matthews from this board. Notice the divide between the people who think it would be ridiculous to spend higher than a 5th on a guy who did so little in college, vs. the Matthews boosters who argued he could be worth as high as a 3rd based on potential:

    http://www.patsfans.com/new-england...191135-usc-de-lb-everybody-here-sleeping.html

    Obviously, Matthews was a terrific pick for Green Bay. I'm just opposed to the revisionist history that says the Pats "passed on an obvious stud OLB."
  26. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    #3 Jersey

    Ahhh...Nicely put.

    I'm the first one to toss Coach Bill under the bus when he makes the occasionally blatantly stupid move, a la O'Connell or Burgess...

    ...even while acknowledging that he is not only brilliant...but the very, very best.

    And I personally saw far less downside than most* in Matthews, who I was crazy about, thank you, for one reason: Passion. I would, furthermore, stipulate that I'm not entirely convinced that he wouldn't've become a solid Run Stopper in our scheme, my Argument being that Passion is as important as Skill in that matter: I believe he'd do whatever was asked of him, and would give us everything he had.

    *Not trying to annoy and sicken y'all by perpetrating like I was a Seer: Among many other spectacular gaffes, I was a big fan of Brady Quinn, for instance.

    ***

    But to circle back to Os's point: Even with my deep desire to acquire Matthew's services, I would've made that trade 1000 times in a row: A strong, deep roster is an hell of a lot better way to build a Championship team than a thin, top heavy one.

    And for those of you who would argue that Clay Matthews was the difference maker in Green Bay winning it all, I would argue that you are dead wrong: For one thing, they would've had an appreciably deeper and more talented roster had they retained those Picks. For another: Dozens of factors contribute to a Championship, and while you can possibly boil critical factors to a select few ~ such as getting rid of that vile excrement that used to play Quarter Back, for one ~ Clay Matthews, while arguably one of them, was most clearly not the most important one.

    That honor...goes to Dom Capers.
  27. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    I'm not saying that we should've taken him. I wasn't all that high on him. Hindsight is always 20/20.

    All i'm saying that he was a top prospect and sometimes taking a chance does work out.
  28. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #12 Jersey

    Every time you draft a player, you're taking a chance.

    The Patriots aren't risk-averse. They've gone out on a limb for some players, like Mankins in the 1st, or Vollmer in the 2nd when he wasn't even invited to the combine. And the Patriots have already said the combine doesn't have a huge influence on their rankings apart from injury reports. Based on tape, Matthews was not a 1st rounder.

    But using a 1st-rounder on a guy who played 10 games in college, didn't dominate, and was a 3rd-rounder until the combine is much more than taking a chance. It's a gamble.

    The Packers could also afford to gamble a bit as they were coming off a poor year, which gave them the 9th pick in the draft. They used that premium pick on B.J. Raji, the top NT, and could take a chance on Matthews. Even if Matthews busted, they would come out of the draft with a top talent.
  29. randomk1

    randomk1 Rookie

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    Oh come on now...you're making it sound as if the Matthews pick was sheer dumb luck.

    They obviously liked what they saw and made a move. Now they have the best young linebacker in the league.

    And drafting O-lineman is far safer...especially if you have Scarnecchia doing the scouting. I do think the Pats are risk-averse. But that's not really something i'm going to be complaining about.
  30. PatsFanStnfrd

    PatsFanStnfrd Rookie

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    There is no tape that shows heart and motivation. The measurables can lie -- see Gholston who the Pats were tipped to pick. Or Crable whom they did pick. Which is precisely why BB is vary of gambling a first round pick on a position where the intangibles are important -- especially in converting college DE to OLBs in the Pats system. Which is why he keeps relying on veterans with a track record. Problem is if you want a Julius Peppers you have to be willing to pay the man a fortune. Or you may occasionally get lucky with a Vrabel.

    Give the Packers credit. They saw Matthews for what he could become and lady luck smiled on them. Matthews came through.
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