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Use Of Draft Choices and Trades

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by mgteich, Sep 7, 2009.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    There has been talk of wasted picks by the Front Office. What a bunch of nonsense!

    12 drafted players are still under the control of the patriots: 8 on the 53, 1 on the PUP, 2 on IR and 1 on the PS. In addition, we have two additional #2's next year and no 3rd or 5th. That is a signficant upgrade to the 2010 draft.

    And somehow, Belichick signed and used draft choices to add a dozen more players to the 53 in addition to draftees. One binkie UDFA is on the 53; one in on the PS.

    I don't think that the patriots have wasted anything in securing players for this 2009 team.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  2. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    As a minor note, they have a 4, but they don't have a 3.
  3. Disco Volante

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    Even while all of the above is true, two picks were traded for Smith and Lewis who are no longer on the team, those two picks would have more value than their non-existence.
  4. IcyPatriot

    IcyPatriot ~~~Out of Order~~~ PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We'll have several by 5:00 on draft day ... I am sure of it.
  5. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Correct; I will fix.

  6. jeffbiologist

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    Like BB says, I have no problem with them MAKING mistakes as long as they LEARN from them. These are NOT training camp fodder as some have suggested, is you look at the roster there are ALOT of guys on there that werent picked in rounds 1-4 including TB. The problem is finding PLAY MAKERS in the lower rounds is next to impossible, and at some point some of these guys are going to be asked to make em. I think the cook is buying the groceries from the wrong stores, and as I say every day....know your role.
  7. patsfan13

    patsfan13 Hall of Fame Poster PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Lewis was beaten out of a position by an UDFA & a 7rd pick (Nunn & Edleman), Smith lost out to a FA pickup (Baker) there was no way before camp to tell who would create a roster spot for themselves. Competition dictates tha some good player will not make the roster, competition also ensures a stronger roster.


    A strong roster is the goal, Picks FA signings UDFA, doesn't matter where the talent comes from so long as a strong roster is the result.
  8. mgcolby

    mgcolby Woohoo, I'm a VIP!!! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    They are not "non-existent" they were traded for two NFL players. They took two fifth's and moved them up a year to provide depth and competition at two positions. Both players were veterens that have been on NFL rosters. Unfortunately, neither made the team. But that doesn't mean they are non-existent. How is that any different then two picks not making the team next year? It isn't! If anything two fifth rounders have less of a chance making it then two guys who have been on NFL rosters.

    Can you guarantee both 5th round picks make the squad next season? Nope, you can't, so your argument is null and void.
  9. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    We can't be all pumped about the meritocracy of Belichick's training camps and how the best players make it, but then also get mad when an UDFA or 7th beats out a draft pick or someone we traded a pick for.

    The reason why Belichick 'wastes' so many picks is because, unlike most FOs, he cares more about fielding the best team than covering his ass. A lot of teams will give a spot to a guy that they gave up a pick for, even if the UDFA or 7th rounder is clearly better. Why? So that nobody can complain that they wasted the pick.

    I'll take Belichick's approach, 'wasted picks' and all, any day.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  10. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree with your conclusions but not your analysis.

    LEWIS didn't get beaten out for a roster spot by Edelman and Nunn. First, Nunn didn't make the roster. Lewis did, as a STER/WR as did Aiken. Lewis was replaced today by another STer.

    SMITH did NOT get beaten out for a roster spot by BAKER. Baker was signed for three years at a reasonable bonus and salary. He was always here to stay, unless he was aweful. One could argue that Smith was beaten out by Watson since at Smith's alary he really wasn't competing for the #3 spot. However, we were talking about Smith competing with Thomas for the #3. So, Smith was also beaten out by Matthews for the #3 spot.


    QUOTE=patsfan13;1490938]Lewis was beaten out of a position by an UDFA & a 7rd pick (Nunn & Edleman), Smith lost out to a FA pickup (Baker) there was no way before camp to tell who would create a roster spot for themselves. Competition dictates tha some good player will not make the roster, competition also ensures a stronger roster.


    A strong roster is the goal, Picks FA signings UDFA, doesn't matter where the talent comes from so long as a strong roster is the result.[/QUOTE]
  11. mcmurtry86

    mcmurtry86 Rookie

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    The Pats had a better chance of getting value from Alex Smith and/or Greg Lewis than the guys they would have drafted with the picks they gave up. Despite the fact that neither made the opening day roster, they are still somewhat productive NFL players - which is more than you can say for the vast majority of 4th-7th round picks.

    The point of draft picks is to add players to your roster, which is exactly what they did with Smith and Lewis. The fact that neither worked out is irrelevant to whether or not those were good moves.
  12. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    Those are good points. However, that's not the purest way to look at this. Because, if Alex Smith looked good in camp like Baker did, they would have kept both. Same thing with Lewis. If he showed he was worthy of the draft pick they gave up for him, he'd still be on the team. They might be playing salary games on the Lewis thing, and could re-sign him if another team doesn't, but that's another issue..............................

    And the Alex Smith situation was horrible. They gave up a 5th round pick for a player that did not look good at all in preseason. In fact, not only did they cut him, but they gave up another draft pick to trade for another TE to take a roster spot. If TE Matthews gets cut, they'll be out yet another draft pick.

    I'm not piling on BB, because I love the guy. I'm just not going to try to sugar coat the several draft picks they've given up for players that couldn't play over the last few years. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig.

    I do appreciate that when the Gabriels of the world show they can't play, he doesn't keep them just because he gave up a draft pick. However, that doesn't mean we can't be bummed that we're giving up draft picks that we could otherwise use to draft young talent.

    Isn't it interesting that the same braintrust saying "draft Edelman, and sign Nunn", are the same ones saying "gotta trade for Lewis" at WR? And, the same folks saying "sign Baker at TE", are the same ones saying "trade for Alex Smith".
  13. convertedpatsfan

    convertedpatsfan PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Well said.
  14. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    I usually disagree with everything the Pats FO does, but I don't see the big deal with Alex Smith and Greg Lewis. I knew Lewis wasn't going to make the team because he's been a mediocre player at best when he was with the Eagles. In fact, his best games came against New England. However, I felt as though Smith had a chance to make the team considering he was a starting TE with the Bucs last season. Meanwhile, had the Pats cut Derrick Burgess, all hell would break loose.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  15. BradyFTW!

    BradyFTW! PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    If you disagree with just about everything that the winningest team of the decade does, then what does that say about you?
  16. HEY BRO! WHAT UP?

    HEY BRO! WHAT UP? Banned

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    A non kool-aid drinker? Seriously, they haven't won any super bowls since '04, have they? So let me clarify me statement. Since '04, I haven't agreed with what the Pats FO has done. They've been missing on a lot of recent draft picks and they rely too much on cheap-stop gap free agents.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2009
  17. convertedpatsfan

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    I don't think this is the "purest" way of looking at things either. It's easy to judge moves after we see the end result. But the FO doesn't get that benefit.

    Player moves are not simple right/wrong questions. Every move comes with some risk. The key is to measure the risk, the potential reward, and the cost. It's actually really helpful to think about it like poker.

    Obviously there are good hands and bad hands, but sometimes good hands loses by sheer luck. Sure, it sucks, but it was worth the risk. At the same time, sometimes you have a crappy hand, but it makes perfect sense to play it because the potential payout is worth way more than what you had to put in.

    Randy Moss is a great example. Sure, now we see it was a great deal, but at the time, there were a lot of question marks about his attitude and his desire, and also if he had lost a step in Oakland. But we had the chance to acquire a potential HOF receiver in his prime for a 4th round choice. Even if it didn't work out, wouldn't it have been worth the gamble?

    Had we kept Lewis, a 5th round pick would be pretty fair for a proven NFL WR to be our 4th receiver. A 5th wound have been pretty fair for a potential starting/back-up tight end like Smith too. It didn't work out, but it was worth the risk.

    You don't get to win every hand you play, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't continue to take chances.
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    Bill has just wasted 2 5th-rounders on 2 guys who were cut before either of them played even 1 regular-season game for us; and some people (such as I) feared that those 2 trades were for only JAG-level non-difference-makers, the very day those trades were made.

    How in the world is that fact in any way nonsensical?
  19. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Compare the use of draft choices with other teams. How many other teams have 12 of their 2009 draft choices on their roster, injury list and Practice Squad?

  20. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    If those picks had been kept, it would have meant the Pats would have had FOURTEEN picks last season. That's a HUGE waste of assets. At it was, its amazing we've kept 10 of the 12 in the system. Next season we currently have 8 picks. It will probably be more by next April. WHY not use picks to potentially help your team....if you are smart enough to have extra's to spare.

    Personally I think Lewis' release has more to say about Edelman's and Nunns surprising development, and the likelihood that Tate will be ready to play THIS year, than Lewis playing worse than expected. Smith was a casualty of the fact HIS skills were duplicated by Watson and Baker, and he simply wasn't the blocking TE BB that BB finally determined was needed as the 3rd TE.
  21. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    12 was alright, but 14 would be too many? 7th round picks made the team. Having another pair of 5ths might conceivably have made the roster even stronger. There might have been a better Matthew Slater available in this year's 5th round, for example, that the team could have grabbed with one of those 2 picks.

    It certainly would have been smarter, in hindsight, to keep the picks. Some people opposed the moves from day one. They were right. Belichick was wrong. It happens.
  22. Bostonian1962

    Bostonian1962 Rookie

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    Well said. My thought on this is that if you are scoutng well, you trade for players that can play, and not that get cut.
  23. fester

    fester Rookie

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    You have a very strange evaluatory metric for strategic, multi-iteration, non-cooperative games with multiple players chasing repeated jackpot prizes.

    There are 32 clubs, so by your definition of "success", 31 teams have not won anything per year, but there is vast difference between the 2008 Cardinals and the 2008 Lions. Yet, you categorize these two teams in the same bin, with no success.

    I think there are variations, but that is mainly because I am applying a different success metric --- what is the probability of successfully winning a Super Bowl when 31 other teams are attempting to do the same and at least 10 teams are plausible contenders. I'll take 2 AFCC appearances, a loss in a Super Bowl, and what appears to be a reasonable plan to consistently be able to make the Super Bowl and win that game on a regular basis. That to me looks like a successful franchise that has a clue as to what it is doing (compared to other teams at least) in the front-office and on the field.

    Given what we know about player evaluation, there will be misses, but so far most of the veteran misses have been fairly low cost (either in terms of performance or opportunity cost) misses with the potential exception of Monty Biesel and Duane Starks. The draft misses have been more notable, esp. the 2nd Round receiver misses, but when compared to league norms, the Pats are performing at or superior to league norms on those metrics as well.
  24. fester

    fester Rookie

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    I think this argument is weak at best, 12 rookies is optimal for 2009 instead of 14?

    I think a better argument for you to make is to look at the actual nature of a draft pick --- it is a chance to improve a team by exercising either the pick itself or the transferrable rights attached to that pick to improve the team. A first rounder is inherently more valuable than a 7th rounder because the probability of getting a high performing player is better because the picking universe is larger and we assume that all teams can roughly rank and order prospects in a manner that is correlated (albiet no where close to perfectly) to some objective measure of performance.

    The evidence has long shown that 5th through 7th rounders are only slightly more valuable (as in terms of making the team that initially drafted them in the first year) than UDFAs --- the talent distribution in the tail is very tight and almost undifferentiated (the gap between the #27 CB and #28 CB is almost nil).

    Using these assumptions, the Patriots took a risk of bringing in known veterans on the bet that the probability of those two players making the team was at least as good as the counter-factual 5th rounder that was not drafted by the Pats making the team. Well, the risk failed, but the decision analytical question here is not success or failure of the risk, but the decision process.
  25. NE39

    NE39 Rookie

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    You can't look at one transaction in isolation. Those picks were traded in attempt to acquire players to help the team. It didn't work out.

    However, other attempts were made that were successful. In terms of trading picks, they dealt picks for Moss and Welker and it worked out well.

    All you can do is look at the sum total of all their moves and judge them on it. Compared to their NFL peers, the Pats have been very successful in building a competitive team using the draft, FA, trades and any other means available to them. They are competitive every season, and have had tremendous success the past decade.

    To look at one transaction is isolation isn't really very telling criticism. What is the standard, perfection? If so, that is unreasonable.
  26. tbrown

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    Agreed. Draft picks, in general, are crap shoots as many like to say. But they are an educated crap shoot. I think the poker analogy is a good one - take the risk, but do it by calculating the odds of success. That is, get good scouts, do your homework on the guys, and then make the picks. Every team tries to do the same thing - a lot of us would argue that BB and the Pats organization have done it very well overall, compared to many other franchises.

    Trading picks for players is another calculated risk, but with the idea of getting better at the respective position. Whether they look like a good or bad trade at the time is irrelevant - they need to play in our system to find out. Again, the Pats make calculated risks, and as NE39 points out, compared to other teams they do it very well overall IMO.

    Who's to say what exact value these players made pushing the other players at their respective positions to be better? It's all about the cost/benefit ratio, and BB seems to be able to do it better than most.
  27. JoeSixPat

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    My take is that BB has a very different view of the draft, trades and free agency... he knows that identifying key players who fit on his team is an imperfect science.

    As such he might need to draft or otherwise acquire multiple players to find the one who sticks.

    Sometimes that player is a 6th round pick, sometimes a 1st rounder. Sometimes the player who sticks will be a moderate priced free agent or traded player - sometimes they will cost more.

    Sometimes players who don't stick are high priced free agents, were traded for high picks, or were drafted high in the draft.

    Once they're here, none of that matters to BB. The best 53 stay. The rest go, regardless of what they "cost" to acquire.

    Too many coaches and GMs have too much pride about what they spent on players when deciding who gets cut. In doing so they hurt their teams. BB puts pride aside for the good of the team.

    That's part of what makes him a great coach.
  28. Lloyd_Christmas

    Lloyd_Christmas I can delete my own crap! PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I can't believe the amount of fuss being made over 2 5th rnd picks that were traded for players that ultimately didn't make the team.

    They added those players for depth and competition. The fact that they got beat out for a roster spot doesn't mean the FO is a bunch of morons.

    The same team you lambast for trading a 5th for Lewis also found prospects you like (through the draft, UDFAs, UFAs, and trades).

    In the case of Lewis, I agree that it is probably about money. He turned out to be worth less than his current contract even if he is good enough to make the team. They cut him loose to see if they can get him back for less. If not, no biggy. The fact that he and his agent want to make it clear that he is looking elsewhere seems to back this up... like they are responding to the Pats.

    Smith didn't beat out Watson or Thomas. Thomas wasn't a good enough blocker despite being (overall) better than Smith. BB traded Thomas and traded for Mathews because it was a wash and Mathews is the blocking TE he wants for the #3 TE spot.
  29. AzPatsFan

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    But it seems everyone of your suggested alternative players were so good, that nary a one made a roster... Jes sayin'...
  30. Metaphors

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    That is the part that people don't get. All acquisitions aren't created equal. People assume that players are assumed to have a position on the team just because the FO spent energy and capital to get them. Otherwise why even make the trade/draft pick? Several reasons:

    - Competition: As you mention, the Pats want to get the best 80 players in camp that they can, knowing that at least 27 of them are leaving. Some prominent players fail and some unsung overachievers force their way on the roster. Their play determines their roster spot and responsibilities. Players respect that. Not all fans understand it.

    - Speculation: You use some of your assets to take flyers on players with exceptional skills but who have identified flaws or limited experience. You know you are going to miss on a large percentage of these, but the ones you hit on can change your franchise. Fans like a 3rd base coach who never has a runner called out at home. Doesn't mean that coach is being effective.

    - Insurance: These are players you don't need (even for depth) but you get them on the roster when you can. If an injury or two hits, you sure are glad they are around. When the time comes and decisions must be made (injury healed, roster cutdown, contract settled), these players have to hit the streets but they helped you mitigate risk. I believe that is in the job description of a GM.

    - Just Because: The 2007 draft for the Pats is always picked on, but it was obvious that Belichick wanted nothing to do with that draft class. You can't trade every pick so you draft someone because it would be embarrassing not to. BTW, check out the picks made after the Pats 2nd round pick (Welker) in 2007. Outside of Stewart Bradley and a couple of others, it is pretty icky.

    There are others, but you get the idea. It is easy to look at an individual transaction and declare success or failure. The reality is a little more complex...and that complexity is exactly what separates the Pats FO and a handful of others from the unwashed masses that run the other franchises in the NFL.
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