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To me: It's Willis

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by PATSNUTme, Mar 12, 2007.

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  1. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have been dancing around with who the Patriots should pick in the first round.

    I have looked at all of the players, WR, DE's, OLB,ILB, CB, FS, SS, OT, & RB. to me the only player that makes sense for the Patriots to draft is Patrick Willis. ILB's who can play in the Patriots D ar getting harder to find. Willis can do that. We need a guy who can eventually replace Tedy. We need a guy who can play next to Tedy and learn from him. Willis is the only guy in this draft that can do that and is as close to a sure thing as you can get. Also, this would allow Vrabes to move back outside in a rotation.

    I believe that we can find a FS or SS later in the draft that will be good ones.

    Now we may have to trade up to get him using both of our first rounders. If we find a willing trading partner, like GB, we should be able to get a second or third rounder in return as well as Willis.

    So on 3/12/07 I'm declaring Patrick Willis as the only logical Patriots first round draft pick. This could be subject to change if additional information comes out.

    Now tell me where I am wrong. But, be gentle.
  2. PatDaPatriot

    PatDaPatriot Rookie

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    I think you have to jump Buffalo in order definitely get him...
  3. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

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    I like Willis as well.
    He's tough and there was as story I read about him a while back about his maturity and growing up in adverse conditions.

    He's been on his own since he was 4 years old.
    Mother left, father was a deadbeat.
    He was cooking meals at the age of 6, working in the cotton fields at 10.
    As a teen Willis learned his father was abusing his sister and called DSS on him.
    Last summer his 17 yo brother died drowning.

    When asked about his situation ""There were complications with my dad, and my mother was never really around."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070226/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_nfl_combine

    another quote worth mentioning
    "My real-life experience taught me how to compete through adversity," he said. "No matter what happens, if someone knocks you down, you have to find a way to get up and get the job done. That's what you have to do."
    http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070226/ap_on_sp_fo_ne/fbn_nfl_combine

    His character is top notch. He's got no BS leader written all over him.

    Now to speak to his football play.
    I haven't seen much film of him but I have seen some.
    He plays the game in a violent fashion. Always full speed.
    He attacks the hole, he doesn't just fill it.
    He explodes into ball carriers and punishes and really tackles through his target. In football terms, coaches teach that you want to tackle somebody as if they are about 3 yards behind of their actual position so the impact and force you hit with is extended. Willis does this better than any LB (in this draft). His tackling aggressiveness and technique remind me of Vilma's out of Miami.

    Throw in 4.51 speed, character, coach ability, toughness, and violence and you end up with a perfect match for this team.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  4. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The only question on him is coverage. He hasn't been asked to do much there. But he is suppose to be smart so he can learn how to cover.

    Also keep in mind he played on a bad defensive team. He had very little help.
  5. TheBaronPatriot

    TheBaronPatriot Rookie

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    In terms of coverage. Vrabel, Bruschi, Willie, were all guys who were DEs and learned to cover. I think given Willis' physical tools he will be able to learn how to cover. But good point nonetheless that was a question mark with him. Though in the senior bowl reports stated he did a decent job.

    Bad defensive team with little help - to me translates to Offenses were gearing to stop him at all costs and he was still able to produce and make plays.

    One knock I have heard on this guy is that he gets engulfed by large blockers.
    I think that's ok, since I'm willing to bet he was never taught how to stack and shed at Ole Miss.

    Rather he was probably taught to chase and tackle. Again, based on his high level character/coach ability etc. I think he can learn the correct techniques to taking on guards and produce on running downs while he learns pass coverage.

    I doubt he will be there at 24 as the #1 ILB on most boards.
  6. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson Rookie

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    Buffalo needs major help at CB and ILB. They will have an interesting decision to make as they will likely have the choice of their top rated CB or their top rated LB. If you were Buffalo, would you draft Willis at No. 12 and then take say Aaron Ross, Josh Wilson, Eric Wright, Tanard Jackson or another projected 2nd or 3rd round CB, or draft Leon Hall, Revis or Houston and take a projected 2nd, 3rd or 4th round LB like David Harris, Buster Davis, Zak DeOssie, etc.?

    I think most scouts would agree that Willis is not a top 12 pick, however, last year showed that Buffalo is not afraid to "reach."
  7. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I like Willis too. But you still have to get past that Belioli has NEVER drafted a LB for the Patriots on the first day. That doesn't mean they never will, and I know the stories of guys like Vilma who they say they would have taken, but the fact remains. I won't believe we take on on the first day until I see it, never mind the first round - and to trade up in the first round ? :eek:
  8. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Good question...if I were Buffalo, I think I'd go CB first. They're too scarce and too pricey to pass on.
  9. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No they never have. But, if you look at the ILB's availible in FA and the draft, deduct those not suited for a 3-4 defense, who do you have left?

    Of all the players that fit a need for the Patriots, Willis is as close to a sure thing that there is, IMO. I think that he is the best ILB prospect, for a 3-4, that has been out there in the past several years. And, he can play outside if needed.

    Again, BB & Scott should and do know 100X's more than I do, so if they don't go after Willis I'll say IBWT and see what that looks like 3 years from now.
  10. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    Dividing your assets reduces the risk of random injury wiping out your investment. Trading two first rd talents for one seems like poor risk management.
  11. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Only if the one you are getting is better than the two remaining and the 2nd rounder that you will get in return.

    Looking at the big picture, we have Tedy and Vrabes as ILB. Vrabel is better on the outside in a rotation.

    Who do we have that can play ILB now and in the future? Who can we draft or pick up in the FA market that has the potential to be as good a Willis?
  12. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The probability and randomness of being able to draft Willis AND the probability and randomness of a season-ending injury seems remote. But possible....

    Risk management shouldn't enter in to your decision if there is the possibility of being able to draft Willis.

    Did the Pats think that signing both Mel Mitchell and Tebucky Jones would end with both on the IR before the season started?

    It's defeatist thinking. All options should be available if it is a player that you want.
  13. ironwasp

    ironwasp Rookie

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    This for me is now the key question confronting the Pats at this moment - and has been since the AFCC.

    I don't see anyone out there in FA, and my (admittedly limited) knowledge of the draft prospects suggests there aren't too many out there with all the Pats need. Willis sounds like a real possibility and the character stuff lends a lot of credibility to the argument that he'd do well here.
  14. PonyExpress

    PonyExpress Rookie

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    The Patriots drafted Logan Mankins, in only his second year considered by Dr. Z of SI to be the best guard in the NFL, at #32. Every first rd player they have drafted has been an above average contributing starter. I have confidence in this organization's ability to draft quality in the 1st rd. Rather than my perspective reflecting a "defeatist attitude" as someone suggested, I would say it is a sign of confidence in this organization's excellent track record in rd 1. I would rather have two good players than one.

    IMO Drafting in rd one is about limiting risk, going for the highest floor, not the highest ceiling, and not putting all your eggs in one basket when you have two baskets. There are multiple quality Lbers in every draft.

    To illustrate this, here are a few of the Lbers available in each draft since 1996. Lbers drafted at #20 or later are highlighted (#20 is within reasonable reach of the Pats for a trade up). Players drafted to be 3-4 OLBs are not included.

    1996
    Ray Lewis
    T. Bruschi
    D. Edwards
    Z Thomas


    1997
    P. Boulware
    J. Farrior
    Jamie Sharper
    Dexter Coakley


    1998
    K. Brooking
    T. Spikes
    B. Simmons
    L. Fletcher
    S. Cowart
    Shawn Barber


    1999
    C. Claiborne
    Al Wilson
    M. Peterson
    R. Colvin
    E. Barton


    2000
    Arrington
    Urlacher
    J. Peterson
    K. Bullock
    I. Gold
    C. Haggans


    2001
    D. Morgan
    K. Bell
    E. Hartwell


    2002
    W. Witherspoon
    Andra Davis
    D. Thornton
    N. Harris
    L. Foote
    Akin Ayodele


    2003
    N. Barnett
    Kawika Mitchell
    V. Hobson
    Lance Briggs
    Angelo Crowell
    Bradie James
    Cato June


    2004
    Vilma
    DJ Williams
    K. Dansby
    Darryl Smith


    2005
    Derrick Johnson
    K. Burnett
    L. Tatupu
    C. Crowder
    K. Morrison
    L. Hill


    2006
    Hawk
    Sims
    Carpenter
    D. Ryans
    DQ Jackson
    C. Ingram


    At #24 or #28 a quality Lber with starting potential will be available.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  15. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Perhaps. For the Pats, right? I'm not sold though.
  16. SamBamsFan

    SamBamsFan Rookie

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    I agree. Buffalo definitely has the opportunity to throw the first "curve ball" into the draft. It wouldn't shock me, the way my draft board works, if they go RB out of Cal as well.
  17. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    I agree that there will be good Safeties to draft in the third round; should we want to do so. (Personally I'm not convinced there is room on the roster to waste a pick on a Safety, But to each his own)..

    You like Willlis. So do I. But I don't think he is the best ILB in the draft, FOR THE PATRIOTS. Like a QB, what is between the ears as much or more important, given that he has acceptable athletic credentials. Harris' credentials are superb too.

    David Harris is a smart sound judgment ILB, who can eventually call plays and set the Defense. Meanwhile he has the prototype size. His speed is very good too, but not quite the speed of Willis. He is downgraded a little because he isn't spectacular, but he doesn't get out of position. Sound tackling is just that, sound tackling. And that what Harris does.
  18. onegr8om

    onegr8om Rookie

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    The question that you need to ask though, Pony Express, is are the players who are going to be available at 24 and 28 THAT MUCH better, if at all, than those at 16 and 47. From everything i've been hearing and reading after the Top 15 or so picks, not many will be worthy of 1st round grades(Especially 1st round Patriots grades). So if you've got the chance to pick up WILLIS at 16 and the Best Corner available at 47, maybe thats the best route to go for us. Thats what I would love to see happen.
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2007
  19. shirtsleeve

    shirtsleeve Rookie

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    (in a gentle voice) You are wrong here. JK;) But that kind of trade up will be almost impossible. The top of the draft is thin. Maybe 10 with first round grades. Those ten dont want the trade down, imo. Also it may be hard to find a way to trade out of our picks into a heavy rd.2/3 presence. We are kind of stuck with the picks we have. And therein lies the challenge. Without a second rounder, and no one to trade with to get one, we cant let a marginal player slide. I see this draft as being the biggest challenge BB/SP have faced thusfar.
  20. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Harris is good and I like him.He is considered to be a 2 down tackle to tackle guy. He is also a consensus 3rd rounder. Why not get both, we will need them going forward?
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