Upgrade Running Game a TOP PRIORITY.

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by jcalverley, Jan 26, 2006.

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  1. jcalverley

    jcalverley Rookie

    I believe that Corey Dillon is on the decline and Kevin Faulk will always be just a "third down back". Picking at #21 in this years draft I believe NE may have a shot at LenDale White of USC or If still on the board D'angelo Williams. History has shown Running Backs tend to fall to the later picks in the first round. Example: Steven Jackson: St. Louis Rams.
  2. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa In the Starting Line-Up

    We have already improved the running game. They're mssrs.; Light,
    Koppen and Kaczur(missed Denver game). I really like White too.
    And would pick him if he drops. Not so sure about Maroney and
    D.Williams. Compare our backs to Pittsburgh. Bettis,Parker,Staley
    to Dillon,Faulk and Pass. Only difference was healthy ol. Anyway,
    I don't see White falling to 21. I think upgrading speed on defense
    will be our biggest need along with replacing Givens(If he leaves).
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  3. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    I loved what the 2004 Dillon brought to the Patriots but as we're stuck with him and Faulk for next year (about $8-$9M on the cap if we cut them combined), we need to try to make it work with them and, hopefully, better OL play. If next year shows they're really done, we can draft a RB then. With Light and Koppen returning and the rookies likely improving at least a little we should have a respectable running game, worst case.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2006
  4. shatch62

    shatch62 Practice Squad Player

    Our backs do not compare well to Pittsburgh’s. Parker is a young speed back that has several 1,200-yard seasons ahead of him. The Patriots don’t have that.
    If Dillon is even 80% of what he was two years ago that would make him a 1,280 yards 9-10 TD RB. That would be more than enough to help the offense return to form. Do we think he can return to that form? Is he more Curtis Martin or more Eddie George. I know he will be back because of his cap number and I hope he returns to form but even if he is back it is probably for only one more year. Even if he does run for 1,200 plus next year he will be 32 years old and have logged a ton of carries. Faulk and Pass are what they are but they will never be a 20 carry a game / 16 games a year back. The Patriots need to find that back and find him soon. They have two options:

    1) Get a veteran – either through free agency of via trade
    2) Draft.

    The Free Agent route will be somewhat tough because all the good back – Alexander, James – will want big money. Here is a partial list of who is available:

    RB Shaun Alexander – would take a ton of $$$ but is one of the best
    RB Edgerrin James – same as Alexander
    RB Jamal Lewis – former 2,000 yard rusher who was in jail on drug charges
    RB Ahman Green – once great that has seems to have lost a step.
    RB Chester Taylor – up and comer that Baltimore will try and keep
    RB DeShaun Foster – bigger stronger Faulk (gets hurt and fumbles)
    RB Michael Bennett – too small and too frail

    Possible Salary cap casualties and or trade possibilities:
    RB Kevan Barlow – talented – former 1,000+ runner - but a head case
    RB Ricky Williams – talented – former 1,800+ runner - but a head case with potential drug suspension hanging over his head.
    RB Fred Taylor – talented but injury prone

    I guy that I would like to see that Pats bring in if he is released is Arizona RB Marcel Shipp. He had a brutal year in Arizona but I think that was more a reflection of the team than the player. While he will never break a long run he is a tough power back that will move the chains if given a little crease. I think he could be a 1,300 yard back on the Pats (if he got 320-340 carries).

    As for the draft, there are a number of talented RBs – Bush, Maroney, White, Williams and Calhoun – but very few “big†backs. There are more “Gale Sayers†types than there are “Earl Campbells†and I think the Pats would prefer an Earl Campbell.
    Here is one sites – GBNreport.com – list of top backs: (* = underclassmen)

    *Reggie Bush 5-11, 200 Southern California
    DeAngelo Williams 5-8, 208 Memphis
    *LenDale White 6-1, 235 Southern California
    *Laurence Maroney 5-11, 205 Minnesota
    *Brian Calhoun 5-10, 195 Wisconsin
    Joseph Addai 5-11, 208 LSU
    Jerome Harrison 5-9, 196 Washington State
    *Maurice Drew 5-8, 205 UCLA
    Andre Hall 5-8, 205 South Florida
    Jerious Norwood 5-11, 205 Mississippi State
    Leon Washington 5-8, 210 Florida State
    DonTrell Moore 5-10, 210 New Mexico
    Taurean Henderson 5-9, 205 Texas Tech
    Mike Bell 6-0, 218 Arizona
    Gerald Riggs 6-0, 215 Tennessee
    P.J. Daniels 5-10, 210 Georgia Tech
    Terrance Whitehead 5-10, 225 Oregon
    Cedric Humes 5-11, 235 Virginia Tech

    Except for White all the top backs are under 210. While no one that is 5-8ish 200 lbs can be considered “small†the feature back for the Pats in the BB era have been 220 lbs plow horses.

    So the Pats can either change their philosophy a little and go smaller or take a chance on a Riggs, Bell or Humes in the middle/later rounds.
  5. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    No matter how many times you take the bucket to the well. If the well is dry, you won't get any water. It appears that there is White and then there is empty, unless you are looking for a Kevin Faulk clone, and I don't think that is what you have in mind. More importantly, it defintely is NOT what Bill Belichick has in mind; and he makes the decisions.

    That leaves FAs or vet trades. That actually is my preference. There is no position more prone to having "sure things" fail than RB. Stepping up in class to the NFL is something a RB can do, or not be able to do. I'd rather take a FA who has already proved he can do the jump in grade. Besides, look what we got for a mere second rounder. I'd gladly give up a second for any of Alexander, McCalister (even injured), Foster or Taylor. I' d give up a pair of fours for a bunch of other lower rated but proven NFL veteran backs. Then we can draft LBs in the LB Draft of the Decade.
  6. broadwayjoe

    broadwayjoe In the Starting Line-Up

    I like the information that you provided and your statement is so true The Pats go for the big backs that are good for the cold weather I guess (Smile)
    The only thing I can add is looking at a trade with the Bears they have a couple of good backs because I think Cedric Benson will be the main man soon.
  7. TruthSeeker

    TruthSeeker PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    I'm a big Laurence Maroney & Joseph Addai fan. Both are actually bigger than those listings. Supposedly Maroney added 20 pounds of muscle in the offseason last season without giving up speed. Hopefully one of those guys slips to the late second round. I would be torn if Maroney was there at #21, I think he would be our Tatum Bell. Nothing wrong with Dillon running for 1000 yards and Maroney 900 yards, sorta like what happened in Denver with Anderson & Bell. With the improvement of our rookie O-Linemen, and returns of Light & Koppen, we would have a killer running game with Dillon & the very, very talented Maroney pounding defenses. My fear is that he runs a super fast 4.35 or something, and jumps into the top 10.

    I know we have more pressing needs, but I'm sold on Maroney, and like guys like Kevin Jones and Clinton Portis, they bulked up a little bit for their final college seasons or predraft to be ready for the NFL. Addai also is a favorite of mine, the bad news is he never really got snaps like he was a starter, but that's also the good news, he didn't get pounded for 4 years. He also is bigger than 208 pounds, allegedly. Deangelo Williams is amazing, he is the closest thing to Barry Sanders I've seen in quite some time, and won't be there for us. Reggie Bush (A Gale Sayers/Marshall Faulk mix comes to mind) and Lendale White will both be gone by #21, so unless BB is sold on Lendale White, and trades up, I don't see in a Patriot's uni, though that would be nice.
  8. spacecrime

    spacecrime Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

    Parker's future stats listed at future ESPN.COM:

    2006 - 1356
    2007 - 1105
    2008 - 538 (went on IR week 6 after strong start)
    2009 - 821

    If I get a chance I will look at Dillon's future stats, and also the future stats of the RB that the pats will draft, so we can compare the seasons that parker has ahead of him with the season the Pats running backs have ahead of them
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2006
  9. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    OL and defense. And we'll do something with WR in free agency. I don't see a big expenditure in money or draft choices in RB.
  10. bosfan

    bosfan On the Game Day Roster

    #12 Jersey

    I'm in the RB corner, here is my dream scheme - we trade our #1 for a halfway decent vet and a #2 draft pick next year and also try and score a developmental RB in the 3rd or 4th round.
  11. BelichickFan

    BelichickFan B.O. = Fugazi PatsFans.com Supporter

    #12 Jersey

    You aren't just in the RB corner, you're married to it :)

    Our #1 pick would have to get us a stud, not a halfway decent vet.
  12. p8ryts

    p8ryts Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    Gerald Riggs

    I liked him when healthy. He is big, has a pedigree. Unfortunately he has been injured frequently but he would be worth a flyer on day 2 if he lasted that long.
  13. flutie2phelan

    flutie2phelan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    When you're done with the future sports section ... can i have the future stock price pages?
  14. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    Better OL play equals better RB play

    I believe the Pats need to continue to upgrade the OL. Especailly the Right side. Regardless of whether we resign Ashworth, the RT spot needs an upgrade.
    Kazcur would fit well as the third swing tackle the Pats usually keep on the roster. Ashworth or Gorin would make a serviceable 4th OT. This draft is loaded with quality OTs. At 21 we could have our pick of Winston, MCNeil, Justice and my favorite Whitworth.
    Neal had an off year at OG. Will we resign him?? Don't know, But unless he had an undiscolsed injury, (why would BB ever do that) then I don't see the upside in his development.

    Running Backs. While I am a huge Addai fan and would love to draft him, I know BB prefers them BIG and able to pick up the blitz. I see one guy that fits the bill physically. Bell from Arizona. I see no one that fits the bill perfectly for everything else. I think a better blocking clone of Edgerin is what BB is after at RB.
  15. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    From this draft, the best way to improve our running game is to draft a RG and a RT. We need stud roadgraders. We need to have an OL that MAKES running backs (e.g. Denver).

    I agree with the assessment of this year's group of running backs. We might draft one, or not. We also might sign a jag backup that can block. I want 5 RB/FB's on the 2006 squad. It would be good to be comfortable having the fullback block on short yardage, and also it would be good to believe that short yardage is anythin less than 2 yards.
  16. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    I like Mike Bell a lot in the middle rounds. Not necessarily a world-beater, but does everything pretty well -- and most importantly, in the Patriots style.

    6'0" 218, strong inside runner, good hands, good balance, willing blocker, nice feet but no blazing speed. Outstanding work ethic and leadership, two-year captain.
  17. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    Scott - Just a point of information. The numbers for Addai are from the official weigh in of the Senior Bowl. I don't know if they did the same thing for the East/West Shrine game to confirm the weighing of Maroney.

    As for players not being there for the Patriots. Just remember that Kevin Jones and Steven Jackson BOTH slid into the 20s in the 2004 draft.
  18. mcbee

    mcbee Banned

    You could pick up Cedric Humes or D'arrious Howard in the 6th round. Maybe Jerious Norwood in the 4th.

    High round RBs are a crap shoot almost more than any other position.

    As for trading draft picks, if you sign a FA running back, then you need not trade any draft picks at all. The only reason to trade draft picks is to get a bargain, contract wise.
  19. nickw308810

    nickw308810 On the Game Day Roster

    I was not impressed with Norwood at all in the Senior Bowl. He could never get through a hole and seemed slow on kickoff duties. Plus I believe he muffed one return. Cedric Humes helped himself a lot the other day. I am beginning to like the idea of just signing a FA back unless we get a steal in the 1st round. None of this class is too impressive after the big 4. I was beginning to like Jerome Harrison, but then he couldn't get it in the endzone near the end of the game on numerous occasions.
  20. DaBruinz

    DaBruinz Pats, B's, Sox PatsFans.com Supporter

    #50 Jersey

    As was pointed out on Patriots.com, Norwood isn't generally a punt returner. He was asked to do the job because the guy who was supposed to be doing it, Skyler Green, was hurt.

    BTW, The blocking for Harrison was pretty bad on the last 3 plays of the game. Plus the clock management stunk. They left time outs on the board. They weren't in "NO HUDDLE" mode so there was no way to get the plays in properly.
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