Welcome to PatsFans.com

Tight end and this year's draft

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Uncle Rico, Apr 26, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,486
    Likes Received:
    222
    Ratings:
    +579 / 1 / -3

    No Jersey Selected

    So, we all know BB's love/hate thing with tight ends. Seems like we can never have too many and they can almost never be good enough/just right. I mean Graham did OK and Watson had his flashes, but he never became the type of threat many of us envisioned when they drafted him. And there's the whole influx/exodus thing last year.

    So what do the scheme experts on the board think is up with the drafting of what some considered the two top TEs in the draft?

    Do Gronk+Hernandez = Graham/Watson II? Or, to be more general, how will they (and Alge) be used?
     
  2. PatsChamp88

    PatsChamp88 In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,216
    Likes Received:
    18
    Ratings:
    +68 / 3 / -0

    #75 Jersey

  3. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,486
    Likes Received:
    222
    Ratings:
    +579 / 1 / -3

    No Jersey Selected

    yup, out there tossing the pigskin every day.
     
  4. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,851
    Likes Received:
    347
    Ratings:
    +731 / 11 / -7

    Hernandez has a different skill set from Gronk, but the main import of the two picks is insurance. Great if both pan out - and probably they consider it a good thing that in that unlikely eventuality, they could conceivably each have their own roles. But more than anything it signifies their belief that you don't know who will and won't pan out.

    As the OP mentions, neither Graham nor Watson were considered good enough to keep around long-term.

    What we can learn from this is neither of the #1 picks we spent on TE netted an indispensable TE, and that the TE has not been drafted who is deemed worth paying "real" money.

    There is therefore no reason to believe that two lower-round TEs will be deemed keepers either.

    It also demonstrates that you must always have a bunch of TE prospects around.

    The pattern makes me think that BB believes you can very often get a good tight end in the draft. That means you will always be able to select that weapon in a later draft. If he ever ends up with the TE equivalent of Lawrence Taylor - and if he recognizes it - he'll keep him around. (Maybe. Depends if he gets a good enough offer.) If offensive weapons pan out elsewhere, and the TE can't be used as a huge offensive threat anyway, BB will unload the TE before he costs too much, and reload again.

    I don't think he thought Grahambo and Watson were JAGs. I think they were JATEs, meaning you could come close to the same quality and that the need is not there for the difference between either of them and another "good enough" TE.

    If we end up with a "production hole" at receiver during Gronk's/Hernandez' rookie deals, and one or both TEs make their cases without any question, they might sign contracts beyond their rookie deals. But my bet is if either is a Patriot in 2014, we've returned to the Caldwell-as-#1-receiver days.

    Guys, I like everybody we draft, but I don't think you should learn the names of new Patriots' tight ends. It's easier on you that way psychologically.

    PFnV
     
  5. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2005
    Messages:
    20,550
    Likes Received:
    25
    Ratings:
    +25 / 0 / -0

    Crumpler is a transitional TE, he's here to teach the youngsters. He's got a few receptions left in him, and he's developed into a pretty good blocker so he'll play a key role in the run game, but his primary job is to be the veteran leader the four younger Tight Ends will need.

    Gronkowski is a classic BB Tight End, big enough to be a factor in-line for the run game, fast enough to pressure the Center of the field. He purportedly has pretty good hands, which once proven on the field will allow him to be a big target in the red zone and in the middle.

    Hernandez is a heavyweight slot receiver. At 6'2 3/8" 245 he's an over-sized Wide Receiver - think Dallas Clark, but a bit more physical. Wes Welker's career avg/rec = 10.9; Hernandez = 12.5; meet the "real" new Wes Welker, Edelman is going to compete with him for time in the slot, and with the other WRs for #3. Remember NE going 4-wide with Edelman and Welker in the slot? Until Welker comes back Hernandez gets that job. Another role Hernandez might assume is the short yardage WR that Slater has been playing. Hernandez is reportedly a decent blocker at the second level with a willingness to hit people when his teammates have the ball in their hands. If Hernandez is split out in short yardage downs the question for the defense about blocker or receiver gets more urgent to answer.

    Agnone was on the Practice Squad and was re-signed to the roster in January, he will compete with Gronkowski.

    Myers was also on the Practice Squad and also re-signed, he will compete with Hernandez.

    I hope the latter two accept the challenge and create an epic camp battle.

    The underlying theme of the 2010 offense: improve run blocking with more power at TE, and replace Welker's production with multiple threats.
     
  6. bigcountry75

    bigcountry75 Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2009
    Messages:
    611
    Likes Received:
    5
    Ratings:
    +7 / 0 / -0

    I would really love to see the Pats use hernandez like the Packers use Jermichael Finley......Spread him out on one side by himself with a small CB on him and be able to throw to him.....

    In florida's offense he had to play all over the place so he has played in space before and therefore I believe he could be a good weapon for us this season......
     
  7. smg93

    smg93 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    #54 Jersey

    Try Mark Bavaro man! :)
     
  8. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,486
    Likes Received:
    222
    Ratings:
    +579 / 1 / -3

    No Jersey Selected

    See, that's what I think BB keeps looking for, that's his standard. That's why none of them have ever been quite good enough.
     
  9. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    11,819
    Likes Received:
    436
    Ratings:
    +1,197 / 9 / -2

    #11 Jersey

    I don't see it that way at all. The Pats only had one NFL-quality TE on the roster. They spent a high pick on a massive 6'6" 264 player who, if healthy, is the best all-around TE prospect in at least the past 3 years. Then they nabbed a great value on a Dustin Keller-type -- 6'2" H-back/slot-receiver -- who slid due to marijuana use. Gronkowski & Hernandez strike me as totally complementary players, not insurance for one another.
     
  10. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Maybe too early for that comparison, but Gronk sure knows how to catch the ball which is something I haven't said about a Patriot tight end in a while. ;)
     
  11. 5 Rings for Brady!!

    5 Rings for Brady!! In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2006
    Messages:
    2,753
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    +1 Different skill set. What Box said is interesting...Hernandez in the slot.

    Hope Hernandez can keep his act together and have a nfl career!
     
  12. RodThePat

    RodThePat In the Starting Line-Up

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    Messages:
    2,240
    Likes Received:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0 / 0 / -0

    Keep his act together = stop smoking pot recreationally? As long as he isn't busted with marijuana in his possession, or gets a DUI/fails a drug test because of it, have at it.
     
  13. Uncle Rico

    Uncle Rico Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2010
    Messages:
    9,486
    Likes Received:
    222
    Ratings:
    +579 / 1 / -3

    No Jersey Selected

    I caught a bit of the NFL Network's Top 10 draft steals last night, the segment on Shannon Sharpe. He talked about how he was hard for other teams to match against because of how he was too small for true TE, but bigger and stronger than WR/HB types. Obviously a long way to go accomplishment-wise, but seems like a good model for Hernandez?
     
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    11,819
    Likes Received:
    436
    Ratings:
    +1,197 / 9 / -2

    #11 Jersey

    Assuming Hernandez enters the NFL already "in the program," then he'll be getting random drug tests and a slip-up could be disastrous. So yes, in his case "Keep his act together = stop smoking pot recreationally." That's just part of the deal he accepts in choosing an NFL career.
     
  15. smg93

    smg93 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,816
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    #54 Jersey

    Oh yeah, totally not comparing Gronk to Bavaro at all. Was just commenting on PFNV's "TE equivalent of Lawrence Taylor" post! :)
     
  16. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    23,294
    Likes Received:
    256
    Ratings:
    +986 / 20 / -20

    Frankly, I think that in our system we can use the TE as much or as little as we want, and there are tons of guys available every year to fill the roles that a TE could.
    So, I dont think as long as there is/will be a cap, we will ever have a TE stay for his second contract.
    Graham and Watson were good players here, players that were wanted on the open market. I would agree neither quite reached their potential, but ultimately you end up with a guy who is valuable under his rookie contract and overpaid relative to need in his second contract.

    To answer the OQ I think Gronko has a chance to be as good and complete as any TE we had in the BB era, and will get a chance to do it all, and Hernandez will be a receiver, in the mold of Dallas Clark.
     
  17. Nonentity

    Nonentity Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2009
    Messages:
    550
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ratings:
    +1 / 0 / -0

    Disable Jersey

    If I remember right his test failures were all while he was at Florida. He passed the tests at the Combine meaning that he doesn't enter the program automatically when moving to the NFL.
     
  18. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,851
    Likes Received:
    347
    Ratings:
    +731 / 11 / -7

    Right, "different skill set," hence the point that they can conceivably be complementary to one another. But it's a matter of "one or both," not "Oh boy would I love to have 1 that can do this and 1 that can do that... I have big plans....[evil grin, rubbing hands.]"

    I don't get the point that BB would love to land Bavaro. A lot of people would, though Bavaro retired fifteen years ago. You could say so did Taylor, but Taylor:linebackers > Bavaro:tight ends. The template of building a whole unit around a single game-changing player applies to LT, but not to Bavaro (although it does to Brady.) Bavaro was a very good TE that happened to hail from Boston; he was not a redefinition of the position. I don't believe for a minute that there is a Bavaro standard Graham and Watson could not reach. Rather, I believe that when your offense has Brady, Moss, Welker, and a few others snagging catches, you want a swiss army knife. And there are no "top of the line" swiss army knives, or, if there are, there shouldn't be.

    I don't think it's impossible a TE sticks. I think they are medium risk, medium reward plays, and I am coming around to the opinion that the Pats' approach emphasizes certainty of payoff; batting average, not home runs. The Tight End fetish seems to fit with that. You can get a productive player. It's unlikely you can hit a home run, even less likely than with a receiver or a running back.

    Come on people. You know you were curious when Grahambo showed up, and when you saw Watson's skills you were downright geeked. So get as geeked as you want about Gronk and Hernandez. I hope you're right, and obviously Patriots Place hopes you're right. But they're betting on the medium return and only hoping for some off-the-charts upside. That's always what the Pats do, by and large. Face it.

    I'll be chanting "Gronk Gronk Gronk" and forgetting this post in a few months, I have no doubt. I'll be hoping he becomes the OROY, or Hernandez does (not dumb enough to think Price will, unless he catches fire in the course of Wes relief. Doubt it.)

    It's hit or miss. BB et al understand this. They are ensuring that a tight end (or H back if you must) pans out. And by picking 2 very different ones, they are mitigating the "risk" that both will. This is not to say we don't have two very good collegiate tight ends on our hands. We may not, however, have any good pro tight ends from this draft.

    Hope we do, like I keep saying.

    PFnV
     
  19. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2004
    Messages:
    9,935
    Likes Received:
    65
    Ratings:
    +148 / 2 / -3

    My reaction to the draft and a focus on improving the TE position - specifically pass catching ability - is that we're going to see a return to a short pass ball control offense, using TEs, WRs and RBs as a multi-headed "Troy Brown a la 2001"

    Compliment this proven approach with Randy Moss, who may be waning in his career but is still a legitimate deep threat, and you have a more potent offense than 2001.

    Additionally you see all the Team Captains being brought in in this draft and quality locker room FAs and it also seems clear you're looking at a concerted return to the 2001 attitude of the team.

    Whether that all comes to gether or is indeed the plan, but the puzzle pieces indicate that may be the plan.
     
  20. PatsFanInVa

    PatsFanInVa PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Messages:
    20,851
    Likes Received:
    347
    Ratings:
    +731 / 11 / -7

    Jo6P, I kind of go light on that "look" to current moves. I guess you could say BB "flirted" with the high-price-tag approach, and now by God, he's turning back the clock. But the first thing he said after winning vs. the Rams in XXXVI was "Can you believe we won it with this bunch?"

    He then went about the business of trying to replace our lovable all-heart jags. The Jermaine Wigginses, Antoine Smiths, and Joe Andruzzis were gone by the XXXVIII.... along with most other players from that first team.

    I think it's more like "value where you find it" - believe me if Tate and Price both pan out (actually, if either pan out, given the Edelman and Welker presences,) it's unlikely these guys are going to be the killer weapons we are talking about them becoming.

    I could be wrong, of course. Brady can throw deep or throw short. Not a mad bomber, not a gunslinger, an efficient field general. I don't think BB wants to go into a 16-game campaign w/out a threat at TE, and there's safety in numbers (alge included.)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page

unset ($sidebar_block_show); ?>