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What about 2008? The FA/draft cycle

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Mar 7, 2007.

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  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Maybe I'm overthinking this, but...

    The 2006 draft was widely regarded as one of the deepest ever.

    Heading into the 2006 draft the Patriots let a ton of veterans go, and by my count 10 rookies ended the year on the roster or IR. 10!

    The 2007 draft is regarded as weak in comparison. Just look at a guy like David Thomas, who was considered just barely good value at the bottom of the 3rd. This year he'd quite likely be the #2 TE off the board in the 2nd round.

    Heading into the 2007 draft, the Patriots have gone on a free agent signing spree, including trading picks for vets.

    The trick is, last year's vet purge leaves the team with a bunch of (untradeable) comp picks in this weak draft. Next year, we have to assume 0 comp picks. So what does the 2008 draft look like? If 2008 projects to be another banner crop, that has to affect the team's draft strategy. I'd expect some aggressive trading away of picks toward next year.

    Anybody have an early read on 2008?
     
  2. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would agree with you. I expect 2-3 trades down or out into next year.
     
  3. SamBamsFan

    SamBamsFan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Here is a link that includes Mel Kiper's top-5 by position for '08 (I know, I know, this is Mel Kiper...). It is subscription only. I'll look for another link. @ a quick glance, I could definitely see the posibility of 4 1st round qbs-
    "1. Brian Brohm, Louisville
    2. Chad Henne, Michigan
    3. Colt Brennan, Hawaii
    4. John David Booty, USC"
     
  4. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    It would depend on the underclassmen that declare. That always make a draft class stronger or weaker depending who and how many declare.

    This years WR's is considered stronger than last years. This years CB's are considred weaker, safeties are stronger. this years ILB is consider stronger, OLB weaker.

    So, it depends on what you are looking for. Weaker in some areas - stronger in others.
     
  5. SamBamsFan

    SamBamsFan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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  6. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey


    Fair point. But here's my spectrum of how I'd stack up 2007 vis a vis 2006:

    MUCH stronger:
    WR
    S

    Somewhat stronger:
    ILB

    Tossup:
    OT
    DT
    OG
    Somewhat weaker:
    CB
    RB
    C
    DE

    MUCH weaker:
    QB
    TE
    OLB
     
  7. Clonamery

    Clonamery PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    That speaks to the concensus that this year's Draft is overall weaker. Thanks for coloring up my thoughts.
     
  8. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    You are right on the money. That is why I have been thinking more about trading out of #28 if we can and see if we can nail Gonzales in the 2nd.

    Or, if Willis falls below 15, see if we can trade 24 & 28 and take Willis and a 2nd rounder for Gonzales. These are not he only ones, but they are the most "Patriots type" players that fit, in the top 50.
     
  9. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    I think you are over analyzing it to some degree, not in a bad way. I see you like the draft, as do I but it is only one piece of the puzzle. For 2008 they likely see Samuel as a priority (if he plays under the Franchise in 07) and maybe extending Warren a year early other than that they could use some youth at LB and S but are in really great shape.

    They must factor these things in but drafts are hard to predict due to early declarations, injuries, etc. If you look at this years draft, it is touted as being deep at WR yet they are pursuing veterans very aggressively. In relative terms they also do not look to add a superstar with every draft pick or FA, in most years the talent for specific groups is likely only different at the top, most of the middle round players should be very similar.

    I think the comp picks are a little overrated, most of them are late rounds 5, 6, 7. These picks are important because they allow you to trade your existing picks easier but I don't think rosters are consistently built with the 199th pick. After round 5 it has to be less than 50% even make an NFL team.

    The Patriots prefer vets over rookies (all things being equal) but also understand that 4 years of low salaries allows them to sign more veterans.

    They likely have a very detailed 1 year plan (names, positions, etc.), pretty solid 2 year plan and general 3 & 4 year plans. As they move forward the plans are adjusted but no two rosters, drafts or free agencies can ever be the same.

    Look at these numbers, amazing the turnover in the NFL.
    http://www.patscap.com/futureyears.html

    Some numbers
    Signed through 2008 - 32 players
    Signed through 2009 - 23 players
    Signed through 2010 - 5 players - The good news is we are 102M under the cap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  10. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    :)

    All good points. And I do think that the focus of this year's draft is really 2008. Look at the current starters who may well be gone after this year:

    Defense: Wilson, Samuel, Bruschi, Harrison
    Offense: Caldwell, Gaffney

    If you're drafting for need, that's your prime need list right there. Conveniently, 4 of the 5 players play the 3 positions that are strong in this year's draft.
     
  11. everlong

    everlong Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    #12 Jersey


    Also if you look at the players who rank out in the 20-50 best prospects this year there is little difference in the talent level. Many players will be 26 by one scout and 46 by another. I'm sure the pats would love to trade out of 24 and 28 picking up picks in the 40-55 range plus get #1's for next years strong class.
     
  12. notex

    notex Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I REALLY like darren mcfadden and mario manningham in 08. also, deasean jackson, cason...i think i like next years draft better at least in the top 10 or so....brian brohm will be a stud....im not sold on Colt Brennan like i was before. I was watching a tape on him and his sidearm thing really annoys me...i guess whatever works.
     
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It has been noted that "depth/strength" for each draft is positional, so before forecasting a draft's strength, we would need to forecast team "needs." We'll go with a two year plan to keep it somewhat manageable. I've lumped RFAs in with UFAs since the CBA's big money pools makes protecting them problematic.

    UFA/RFA:
    WR Jabar Gaffney, 25, signed through 2007
    WR Reche Caldwell, 28, signed through 2007
    WR Jonathan Smith, 25, signed through 2007
    WR Brandon Childress, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    LB Tedy Bruschi, 34, signed through 2007
    LB Larry Izzo, 32 years, signed through ????
    LB Eric Alexander, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    LCB Asante Samuel, 25, tendered through 2007
    CB Randall Gay, 25, tendered through 2007
    CB Chad Scott, 33, signed through 2007
    FS Eugene Wilson, 27, signed through 2007
    S Artrell Hawkins, 30, signed through 2007
    S Mel Mitchell, 28, signed through 2007
    S Rashad Baker, 25, tendered through 2007
    C Gene Mruczkowski, 27, tendered through 2007
    TE Matt Kranchick, 27, signed through 2007
    LS Lonie Paxton, 29, signed through 2007
    OT Wesley Britt, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    P Danny Baugher, 23, signed through 2007 (NFLE)
    P Tom Malone, 23, signed through 2007 (NFLE)
    DT Santonio Thomas, 26, signed through 2007
    DT Mike Wright, 25, presumed tendered through 2007

    ERFA
    C Brian Barthelmes, 24, signed through 2007 (NFLE)
    OT Sean Bubin, 26, signed through 2007
    RB Quadtrine Hill, 24, signed through 2007
    WR Kelvin Kight, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    LB Pierre Woods, 25, signed through 2007
    LB Corey Mays, 23, presumed tendered through 2007
    CB Antwain Spann, 24, presumed tendered through 2007
    CB Gemara Williams, 23, presumed tendered through 2007


    UFA
    S Rodney Harrison, 34, signed through 2008
    SS James Sanders, 23, signed through 2008
    LDE Ty Warren, 26, signed through 2008
    LB Rosevelt Colvin, 30, signed through 2008
    P Josh Miller, 37, signed through 2008
    TE Kyle Brady, 35, signed through 2008
    G Russ Hochstein, 29, signed through 2008
    G Billy Yates, 27, signed through 2007 (I think Miguel has him listed a year early)
    QB Matt Cassel, 25 years, signed through 2008
    FB Heath Evans, 27, signed through 2008
    DE Marquise Hill, 25, signed through 2008

    Ranked by potential turnover numbers: LB (6), S (6), WR (5), CB (5), DL (4), C/G (4), T (2), RB (2), QB, P, LS.

    For the 2008 season, WR, LB, CB, S, and DL are showing gaps. If you add in ERFAs, C gets flagged. Looking closer:
    - Key gaps would be starters or primary reserves: WR, LB, CB, and S.
    - C & DL are reserve gaps.
    Factor in 2008 UFAs and your key gaps for the 2008 & 2009 seasons are WR, LB, S, DL, CB; your reserve gaps are OC/OG, TE, RB, QB; P also becomes an issue given Josh's age.

    Development time becomes the next issue. The Pats have been able to get strong rookie participation from OL & CB. They get primary reserve support from DL & TE with strong second year participation. S, & LB are almost strictly STs with a 2-4 year development window (Geno is the exception and he had three strong vets around him, before regressing a little when his veteran support was lost). QB is valuable due to their role. P has been primarily a FA signing, but with the new CBA is that the best route, or should young Ps be cycled through the Practice Squad like OL?

    Having done all this, I think I'm ready to analyze the 2008 senior class and consider how it might impact my 2007 drafting tactics.

    EDIT: I see I forgot WR development time, 2-3 years.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2007
  14. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    Thanks Box, very helpful perspective.

    There seems to be a confluence around these 3 positions:

    ILB, S, WR

    All three require significant learning time for a rookie to contribute on this team; all three look like potential starting lineup vacancies for 2008; all three are relatively deep in an otherwise uninspiring 2007 draft class. Very curious to see whether the team loads up in them in April.
     
  15. Jimke

    Jimke In the Starting Line-Up

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    These are the positions we should be drafting for in 2007.
     
  16. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Deep is relative to system I'd say. The downfield passing attacks have some speedy straightline WRs to pick through, but I'm not convinced this class has the WRs who fit best for the Pats. S is looking very good and I'd load up. ILB, ugh!
     
  17. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #54 Jersey

    All I can say is wow, a lot to absorb. Just focusing the players available to be FAs after 07 most fit in the pile of JAG or "quality depth". The players in bold are starters and will have to be resigned / replaced before the 2008 season. I left off Gaffney and Caldwell because it looks like they won't be our starters by the end of the 07 season.

    What the hell is wrong with me that I am seriously looking at the 2008 roster in April of 07? Rheotorical, please don't answer...

    Observations
    ILB - finding a replacement Bruschi is approaching "red" status
    - it takes time for LBs to adapt and his play is slipping, although this theory has never been tested because a Day 1 draft pick has never been drafted for ILB
    WR - agree hard position to learn, but if Welker, a vet (<< insert name Stallworth, etc.>>) and Chad Jackson are on the roster in 08 at least 3 of the 5 WRs have continuity, lessons the need to draft a player this year unless Stallworth (or whoever sign a 1 year deal)
    S - specifically FS, both #1 & 2 in depth are slated to be FAs after 07 (Wilson & Hawkins)
    - ideally future replacement is brought this year but it is not out of the realm of possibility that a player is brought in next year and starts at FS
    - Wilson came from college as a CB but started at FS in his first year, learning curve is not as high at FS compared to OL, LB or even SS
    CB - hinges on Samuel's status
    - as insurance it would be expected a CB is drafted, maybe a CB/FS hybrid
    - if Samuel is locked up and a high quality body is added this could become a position of strength
    - CB traditionally has a lower learning curve than some other positions

    Summary
    - roster is in very good shape, talent level and depth can always be improved but most units have key players signed for next 2-3 years
    - the NFL is not a developmental league in the same way as baseball, hockey or even basketball, balancing production today versus future roster is a challenge, makes you appreciate the job the Patriots have done

    UFA/RFA:
    WR Jabar Gaffney, 25, signed through 2007
    WR Reche Caldwell, 28, signed through 2007
    WR Jonathan Smith, 25, signed through 2007
    WR Brandon Childress, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    LB Tedy Bruschi, 34, signed through 2007LB Larry Izzo, 32 years, signed through ????
    LB Eric Alexander, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    LCB Asante Samuel, 25, tendered through 2007
    CB Randall Gay, 25, tendered through 2007
    CB Chad Scott, 33, signed through 2007
    FS Eugene Wilson, 27, signed through 2007
    S Artrell Hawkins, 30, signed through 2007
    S Mel Mitchell, 28, signed through 2007
    S Rashad Baker, 25, tendered through 2007
    C Gene Mruczkowski, 27, tendered through 2007
    TE Matt Kranchick, 27, signed through 2007
    LS Lonie Paxton, 29, signed through 2007
    OT Wesley Britt, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
    P Danny Baugher, 23, signed through 2007 (NFLE)
    P Tom Malone, 23, signed through 2007 (NFLE)
    DT Santonio Thomas, 26, signed through 2007
    DT Mike Wright, 25, presumed tendered through 2007
     
  18. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I think you are...

    How many picks have we traded?

    Exactly how will the Pats (or anyone) KNOW how talented and deep '08 is, if the college season hasn't been played yet? In their college careers, the draft-eligible prospects have an opportunity of producing anywhere from 2-4 years. In addition, some are recovering from injuries, some will get injured, some will perform in all-star games, and most will attend the Combine. Considering that career production and post-season workouts are two key ingredients that define the draft-eligible prospects, why would Belichick & Co. base their '07 draft decisions on the unknown '08 crop?

    Yes, if an opportunity presents itself, and the trade represents value to the team, BB won't hesitate to pull the trigger -- but not because of a "banner crop" of '08 prospects. He'll have to weigh the value of making the selection at #'s 24 or 28, vs the value of the trade proposal.

    Hypothetically, he may not like the available prospects when #24 or #28 arrives, and attempt to trade down or out. Or of course, another team may approach the Pats. Either way, any trade is a wait-and-see scenario.

    We all know by now that BB likes to be able to maneuver around the board on draft day. And having extra picks allows him to do so, provided there's a willing trade partner. So stockpiling picks is probably always up front in his mind regarding draft management. If there's an opportunity of gaining an extra pick or two for each draft -- I'm sure he'll jump on the chance. I just seriously doubt his draft strategy this draft will be based on the supposed strength of the '08 class, when in fact the positional strengths of '08 haven't even unfolded as YET. JMO.
     
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #11 Jersey

    There is plenty of truth to this, yet I feel certain that the Pats' FO has already put a lot of thought into the expected 2008 draft. 2005 was considered a weak draft (Alex Smith #1, anybody?), and at the time people were already projecting an outstanding 2006 class. The Patriots spent much of the 2005 draft trading for next year's picks. Plenty of analysts (and fans) talked about it at the time as a calculated move toward a better draft.
     
  20. PATSNUTme

    PATSNUTme Paranoid Homer Moderator Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    #75 Jersey

    Here is just one publications opinion on this years draft class. From the Pro Football Weekly's draft magazines "primer' that I recieved today.

    Position Grade
    QB's B
    Rb's B
    WR's A
    TE's D
    Ot's B+
    OG's A
    OC's C-

    DE"s A this surprised me
    DT's C
    ILB B I really like the top 4
    OLB's B-
    CB's C-
    S's A

    Overall not a bad class. Weak in some area's - strong in some. No wonder Graham hit the jack pot with only one TE 1st round consideration.
     
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