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What really happened in the second round?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by FredFromDartmouth, May 6, 2012.

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  1. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    Has any background or insider information been published about how the Patriots came to have such a screwball second round?

    It was as if the Patriots went into panic mode but they had a whole day to prepare for round two; it does not make sense.

    The only thing that makes sense is that they had arranged a trade partner before the round started with the proviso that if such and such a player (Kendricks? Stephen Hill? who knows) was still there then the trade partner would trade to move up for him. Then bam! the Eagles take Kendricks (or whatever) and the Patriots go into panic mode; they don't have any late-round picks to use on Wilson (i.e. a 4'th or 5 fifth or whatever)--they have to take him now or miss out. So instead of taking someone like Peter Konz or a LB they panic and take Wilson two or three rounds too early.

    Then at 62 the Patriots call and call but they best offer is a lame one from Green Bay so they panic and accept the trade. It was as if Green Bay knew they were desperate. So the question becomes: will Carey Hayward be better than Bequett and Fonzie and some camp fodder. Probably not so in the long run BB did well with this trade-down.
  2. State

    State Rookie

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    The second round was the yang to the yin of the first.

    I think BB liked a player who wasn't barely on anyone's radar, which is why he had seven or eight visits. Remember the Combine takes what are considered the 300 best players. Teams just wanted a chance to see what he had.

    Although a three-year starter at Illinois, Tavon Wilson was not one of the invitees.

    Neither was he invited to several of the post-season games to highlight his skills.

    BB thinks the whole draft hype and brouhaha is stoked by a bunch of bums, guys who aren't worthy to wear Joel Bushbaum's socks. I think BB respected that man, as he tried to hire him. He has disdain for the ESPN crew. The Mel Kipers and Todd McShays, the internet sites, the publications, the recliner cowboys who think they can do what he has a multimillion-dollar operation for.

    He couldn't resist showing them up. And he will. Tavon Wilson will be a good player in this league. He'll let a lot of potential INTs go through his hands, unless he learns to be a better ballhawk. But he's dependable, versatile, coachable, a leader, fast, good size, etc.

    The whole thing in my opinion, and admittedly it's speculation, is that BB knew he was going to trade down at 62. That was a foregone conclusion. This is corroborated by the poor return he got from it. He forced it.

    So rather than pick Wilson at a more reasonable 62, he went with him at 48, which is a reach. Even if we were privy to the inside information, I have a feeling that conclusion would hold.
  3. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    At 48:
    Belichick had Wilson as at least his #3 safety. He had at least a second round grade on him. There was a report that both the Chargers and Texans had a second round grade on him as well. San Diego picked at 49, and Houston at 58 (they then traded down). That meant that he could get Wilson at 48, but he couldn't really trade down without risking Wilson going to SD at 49, and he couldn't trade into 2013 without both the Chargers and Texans getting a chance at him.

    At 62:
    As predicted in at least two threads, the back end of this draft wasn't good. At around pick 50, there were at least 50 players that weren't significantly better than each other. So rather than pick one of them at 62, he traded back to 90, still getting one of the players from that same tier, plus an extra late round pick, which Belichick then turned into 3 fliers.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  4. State

    State Rookie

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    I don't believe these "rumors" not reports--unless there can be a hyperlink added--on other teams giving Wilson a second-round grade.

    I have heard from other people who have spoken to other franchises that Wilson was a sixth or seventh round pick.

    I think what Belichick likes more than is customary is the grit and leadership, driving him up, way up, above other teams' chart.

    The guy over three seasons had a grand total of three INTs. As a three-year starter.

    The idea that anyone else but the Patriots had a second-round grade on Tavon Wilson is, until evidence comes in, malarkey.

    For example, Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt, had 13 INTs in two seasons playing in the SEC for a team that can't compete. A real ball hawk. And he's almost as big--and he's as fast as Wilson.
  5. jsull87

    jsull87 Rookie

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    This presents the most clear headed and logical view in my opinion. The assertion that they "panicked" is ridiculous, you have all day to do your board and months to prepare for it. Do you really think BB and Co ere not prepared for a scenario where no one wanted to trade with them at 48? Do you think that after the day before they didn't think oh what happens if no one calls to trade.

    Listen to some interviews from BB sometime after the draft, he always says if the value is there he will trade up or down, but i the draft you always have to be prepared and comfortable making the pick you have.

    You can agree or disagree with liking the pick thats fine, but i think the assertion the people in that room panicked and just made the pick early is ridiculous.
  6. FredFromDartmouth

    FredFromDartmouth Rookie

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    Ah ... wooden hands; a Patriots DB tradition
  7. Snake Eyes

    Snake Eyes Rookie

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    I think you mean yin, rather than yang. Anyway, I'd rather our draft be all ying and we let the jets be yin to even things out:D
  8. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think JSull nailed it.

    Sorry Fred, but I think you've got it all wrong. Nothing went "wrong" with the second round. It makes perfect "sense". The second round went exactly the same way that the 1st round did, from the Pats' point of view. Of course, every round has its own dynamic and sometimes things fall better than others. But the Pats play it the same way every single time, and they do NOT panic.

    The Pats have one of the smallest war rooms of any team in the league - 4 or 5 people - and the final decision maker is ALWAYS BB. This keeps input during the draft itself to a minimum. The people involved are almost always on the same wavelength, and the draft board has been worked out in advance in meticulous detail. Every player on the board has a strict valuation, and the Pats do not "reach" according to this valuation. Their board may differ from other teams' - especially because they do not base it on the national scouting services - so others may presume that they reached, but they do not deviate from their board. They don't get fixated on any single player, and emotions do not determine their decision making. That's very different from some other teams, based on televised views of their draft rooms and the emotional response to landing a player they wanted.

    You can be sure that Tavon Wilson had a second round value on the Pats' board, and they didn't really care that much what other teams thought of him. You can also be sure that they had a valuation on every player on their board and every pick that they owned, including what they were willing to accept to trade out of that pick. That includes valuations on Chandler Jones and Dont'a Hightower that influenced their decision making in round 1.

    In the first round, two players fell who the Pats valued highly enough to warrant a trade up. Again, based on their board and their valuation of those players it was worth making those specific trades. They took the opportunity, and they were able to make the trades and get their guys. And based on this logic they received almost universal applause for a brilliant first round.

    In the second round, the Pats had little ammo with which to trade up, but you can be sure that if there was someone they valued worth 48+62 they would have tried to make the trade. At 48, they obviously received no offer that they considered worthy of trading out from that pick - no different than in 2011 when they were willing to trade out of #33 but didn't receive an offer that they considered acceptable, and so they took Ras-I Dowling - so they took the highest rated player on their board. That was Tavon Wilson. Again, it doesn't matter what Mel Kiper or Blesto or National or anyone else thought about Wilson. The Pats evaluated him thoroughly, and thought he was the answer to a major problem for him and valued him worth the #48 pick in the draft. They valued him more than they valued Trumaine Johnson, Lavonte David, Kendall Reyes, and every other player taken after the #48 pick. They may have valued some guys taken between 26 and 47 more highly than Wilson, but not enough to make a trade up with the resources available (in theory 48+62 could have gotten them as high as 26; they could also have tried to trade up with 2013 picks or with players). Or perhaps they tried but find any takers. It doesn't matter. The Pats had rolled the dice on Jones and Hightower, and they were left at 48 without an offer worth trading out of the pick, and they took the highest available player on their board. Then, the same thing happened as the 62 pick approached, except this time there was no one left on their board who the Pats apparently valued worth that pick, so they took an offer that they deemed better than taking a player at 62 who they didn't value that highly. The fact that it wasn't a good trade on the value chart probably didn't mean a damn to BB. It was the best offer he could get in the timeframe available, and he deemed it better than the alternative. If he hadn't gotten any offer worth taking, he would have made the best of it and taken the highest player on his board at 62.

    Again, you may disagree with the logic, but there was absolutely no panic involved, and no inconsistency. We've seen enough video of the Pats' war room from past drafts to know how things work. It's not like some of the televised team war rooms that you see on the day of the draft - it's a quiet room with a few decision makers. There is absolutely no panic. BB is like Mr. Spock in the warroom - intensely quiet and logical. You might as well accuse a Vulcan of panicking. To panic is not logical.

    There was no 2nd round "screw up". The logic and methadology driving the decision making in 2nd round were no different than the logic driving the decision making in the 1st, or any other round. The difference in results was due to a difference in the Pats' board, and in the circumstances of how things fell. That's all. As Jsull said, you may disagree with the pick (meaning you disagree with how they made up their board), but not with the inherent logic of the approach.
  9. The Scrizz

    The Scrizz Rookie

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    Pats finally traded up and got the impact player and Fred has to complain about something, so yeah Belichick PANICKED!!!!!!!!! at the 48th pick in the draft.

    Take a look at some of the pre-draft rankings of players and then look at where they actually went. You can't prove that Wilson would have been taken if the Pats hadn't taken him but you can prove that the talking heads (here and on TV) have no idea about how teams rank players.

    Iloka who was seen as one of the top safeties fell to the 5th. It is a proven fact that taking him before that would have been a reach.

    Antonio Allen who's name I kept hearing falls to the 6th. Markelle Martin in the 6th.

    If guys get over-rated (which they do every year) then guys get under-rated too.

    Saying a guy who is probably one of the most prepared people on the planet at what he does 'panicked' is just too dumb for words.
  10. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    What really happened in the 2nd round, you ask?

    What happened was, Bill went into one of his I'm Smarter Than Everybody Else in the Entire Football World
    moods (even though he hasn't won anything that really matters in 7 years); and just to prove it,
    he decided to forego a trade-down w/ GB which would've netted 59 & 123, and instead to draft some
    nondescript JAG who would've been available 100 feckin picks later, just to show that he can still make
    chicken salad out of chicken shyte. Unfortunately, all one gets is chicken shyte w/ a touch of mayo.
    Last edited: May 6, 2012
  11. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    There is no panic in Belichick. I agree with the sentiment that the draft went down exactly to plan.

    The not-so-secret secret is that BB doesn't draft BPA. He drafts for need (shocking!). And he doesn't draft BPA at those need positions, he drafts specific individuals that he wants on his team, at the spot where he thinks their value kicks in. He'd rather risk over-drafting the guy he wants, then let him go by the board and draft the next-best option. Getting the right player is part of the reason why the locker room atmosphere works so well in Foxboro. The entire team was drafted for a specific mindset, professionalism, passion for the game. Almost all Belichick's draft picks were captains of their college team.

    Going into the draft, we discussed the fact that the roster is so strong and deep, there really weren't roster spots for more than 4 or 5 rookies, max. That was why we thought this might be a year to move up, as high as #10 overall. Drafting 5 players in the first three rounds would have been a waste. It would have meant cutting quality players from the roster just to make room for the rookies.

    We all knew that DE, OLB, S and DT were the key needs. BB drafted DE, OLB and S, at the spots where he felt he needed to be to be sure to get them.

    The only crazy thing is that no one had ever heard of Tavon Wilson.

    The trade down from 62 was not unexpected. If BB had used the pick, the draft would have been over for the Pats, with only four rookies. He traded back twice to swap the one pick for four players. Bequette is a nice find at the end of the 3rd. Personally, I would have preferred Brandon Thompson, who would have been good competition for Ron Brace. But BB loves double drafting-- maybe it makes the teaching easier-- or maybe he likes Brace on the team.

    The other three players were just a matter of getting ahead of the UDFA circus. He spent his 6th and 7th rounders on special teamers and long shots. I'm sure that was the plan all along. Fill out the draft class with a few guys like Ebner, who catches your eye and you'd love to try to coach up, and Dennard, who is a market anomaly we can take advantage of.
  12. ZoisKing

    ZoisKing Rookie

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    Nice posts mayo and rook.

    When I first looked at the original post, I really didn't have much to say, but its certainly worth reading more to see a few posters really indulge in a retort. I appreciate the effort. It keeps me coming back for more.
  13. Why?PJ

    Why?PJ Rookie

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    yup BB is one of the worst football hc's in human history, he only has more SB rings than every NFL franchise except 2 or 3. How horrific...

    I bet you ascribe this same logic to him drafting a qb in the 6th round and keeping him as a 4th qb.
  14. bbell31

    bbell31 Rookie

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    Jamell fleming would have been my pick at 48. Maybe Dwight Bentley n 3rd with a trade back . Hopefully tavon greatly exceeds expectations. I think he can b a really solid player but not great. Sadly I c a lot of merriweather n him on utube tape
  15. fester

    fester Rookie

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    You do know that the Patriots have Michael Bishop as a great developmental prospect, so why did BB take a guy who could not even hold onto his starting job when Mel Kiper says there were at least three guys with 3rd round grades still available. Brady will be lucky to make it to camp before he gets cut [end Stone]
  16. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    Everyone is entitled to an opinion, but do you understand how idiotic you post sounds. You make a definitive evaluation based on what, a 5 minute youtube clip, and suddenly compare him to Mayweather. :eek: Lets compare that with the HOURS of coaches tape the Pats looked at, plus the private workouts,

    Now listen, I thought the pick was curious at best, just the rest of Patriot Nation, but there HAS to be a point where we as fans have to recognize that the Pats put a lot more effort into this pick than we do. We have to recognize that they KNOW more about what's best for the team than we do. That they had their reasons for picking him at this spot, and they had a lot more information at their hands than we did.

    Now, just like every other pick in the draft, only time will tell if the pick turns out well. If history tells us anything, roughly 50% will, in some way, disappoint. We can argue ad nauseum about the individual picks, but we certainly can't complain about the end result. ;)
  17. patfanken

    patfanken Rookie

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    #91 Jersey

    I think BB went into the 2nd round with 2 goals. The first one was adding a DB. Clearly he had Wilson higher on his board than the mediots, but he wasn't alone with this evaluation. There were a few other teams who liked him and needed S help. He also wasn't as comfortable as I would have been with just 4 picks. So his 2nd goal was to trade down at some point with one of the 2 picks add at least one more player.

    Unlike their first 2 picks the Pats took their full allotment of time before selecting Wilson, which can reasonably lead us to speculate that they were soliciting offers for the pick. With SD picking next, needing a S, and one of the teams who were familiar with Wilson, BB must have had a plan B for the pick, to be looking to trade out. Evidently they couldn't get an offer enticing enough to risk losing a player they clearly targeted, so they make the pick.

    Now that they have the DB and none of the other players available at 62 know their socks off, BB looks to trade down. Only now he can't find a trading partner looking to move up. Only GB makes a weak offer, and without options BB pulls the trigger. The most intriguing question in all of this is why Elway didn't make the same offer to BB that he made just a few picks later.

    The curious thing about the shock of the 2nd day was that despite the out of the box player and the 2 badly valued trades, the actual players the Pats ended up with look pretty good. They got 5 players who will stick and who look like they can contribute right away, and 2 intriguing "athletes" who are perfectly positioned to play their first year on the PS, and be ready to replace those 2 lost picks we have in 2013, when the roster is likely to open up a bit more.
  18. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    So you don't believe "rumors," you trust in "reports" that a guy talked to a guy who knew something. Gotcha. ;)

    Whenever a player is snubbed by the Combine, pre-draft rankings of him become utterly unreliable. Team by team grades are likely to be more divergent too, as the info available to them will be even more varied than usual.

    Remember how Vollmer was widely described as a 4th/5th-round project who the Pats reached for? No doubt there were, in fact, plenty of teams that had him graded that way. BUT, any team that attended the Houston pro day knew better. And it only takes one other team to make waiting for "good value" a losing move.

    Did the Wilson pick look weird from the outside? Heck yeah. Was it, in fact, too early? No way of knowing. Is there any shred of evidence to even hint that the Pats "panicked"? Not even close.
  19. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    To this day, it still amazes me that the Pats had Scar go down and run Vollmer's pro day, and yet that didn't set off any alarm bells with any of the other teams. . . .
  20. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    The Pats picked at 48 and at 55 was Atlanta who had brought in Wilson a few weeks before the draft. I'm sure they figured their draft grade couldn't be that different than Dimitroff's so they pulled the trigger on the player they wanted. No conspiracy theory. Nothing to see here, move along.
  21. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    BTW, it's worth comparing the measurables and stats of Tavon Wilson, Brandon Meriweather (taken 24th overall in 2007) and Eugene Wilson (taken 36th overall in 2003), all FS for the Pats:

    1. Tavon Wilson: 5' 11 6/8", 204#. 4.52 40, 1.60 10-yard split. 4.16 short shuttle, 7.04 3-cone. 32" vertical, 10'4" broad jump. 17 reps @ 225#. Team captain. Selfless player who changed positions based on the needs of the team. Experience at both FS and CB. Experience in zone and man coverage, and in the slot. Played extensively on special teams. Had 81 tackles, 1 sack, 6 passes defended, 1 INT, 6.5 TFL and 2 forced fumbles as a senior. As a senior, his team with 4th in the NCAA in fewest passing yards/game allowed.

    2. Brandon Meriweather: 5' 11 5/8#, 195#. 4.47 40, 1.53 10-yard split. 4.33 short shuttle, 7.06 3-cone. 35" vertical, 9'3" broad jump. 11 reps @ 225#. Suspended for stomping on a player during a on-field brawl. Character questions, had some off field incidents. Compared himself to Ed Reed. 2 time second team all-ACC, Thorpe award finalist. Had 91 tackles, 1 sack, 8 PD and 1 INT as a senior. Had 293 tackles in 4 years at Miami.

    3. Eugene Wilson: 5' 10 3/8", 192#. 4.48 40, 1.60 10-yard split. 4.05 short shuttle, 7.18 3-cone. 38" vertical, 10'2" broad jump. 15 reps @ 225#. Thorpe award semi-finalist and team captain. Played exclusively CB for the Illini. Had 66 tackles, 2 sacks, 14 passes defended, 1 INT and 2 forced fumbles as a senior. Had 11 interceptions for his career. Also returned punts.

    FWIW.
  22. ZoisKing

    ZoisKing Rookie

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    I was always a fan of Eugene Wilson. I thought he was a great FS for us, especially when healthy and paired with Harrison.

    I hope Tavon can resemble him in his level of play. Wasn't Eugene a 2nd rounder too?
  23. mayoclinic

    mayoclinic PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Yup. As mentioned, he went #36 in 2003. The Pats traded back from 19 to 41 with Baltimore as part of the Kyle Boller deal which netted them Vince Wilfork in 2004, then traded up from 41 to 36 (using a 4th round pick, #117 overall) to nab Wilson.

    Tavon Wilson is a bit bigger and heavier than Eugene Wilson and doesn't have quite the same ball skills or man coverage ability right now. But he has more safety experience than Geno had coming out of college, and probably better run support.
  24. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Rookie

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    BB changes his strategy as the Team changes. Why don't you realize that?

    BB didn't need a 5th outside CB. He needed some specific talents in a a DB/FS.

    When he was in massive rebuild time, he got lots of picks, jumped around the draft and took what he regarded as good players almost irrespective of position or need. Why? He simply believed in the law of numbers, get a lot of good players first, and patch with low rated vet FAs.

    But when he had a SB club in its prime, he was much more selective. He filled holes with expensive vet FAs or even trades, like Colvin, AD, Moss and Welker, and backed them up with draftees and other low rated vet FAs. Why? Because he only had a few key openings and holes to fill.

    BB has rebuilt ths team from top to bottom in the past 4 years. The last two years it has been fully a SuperBowl favorite type, contender.

    The secondary was wrecked in 2011 with an inordinate number of injuries and failures. To improve, he needed to get those injured players back, and add a few more capable starters.

    Leigh Bodden, a good CB, has probably suffered a career ending injury. Darien Butler didn't make it. Josh Barrett was lost for the year but is back. Ras-I Dowling was lost for the year, but returns. Chung was lost for more than half a season, but when he came back, the secondary played better.

    Meriwether just didn't have the mental discipline to do it; and James Sanders who has that mental discipline and smarts, didn't quite have the athletic gifts required, that Meriwether had in surplus.

    BB wanted better players at OLB/DE, LB and RS. He moved up for the first two positions, and drafted a better, bigger, more athletically gifted, guy with the same smarts and flexibility to captain the secondary that was missing from Meriwether's game; but with some athletic gifts and speed and size, missing from Sander's game.

    There is a time to go shotgunning, and a time to use carefully aimed rifle shots.

    There were slim pickings at Free Safety in this Draft. If BB had not gotten Tavon, I don't doubt he would have used the CAP space from the Brady renegotiations, and future picks, to trade for a guy like FS Alvin Bethea of the Colts. He still may after he sees what he has.

    Isn't that just what he did? Where is the panic? Where is the screw-up?

    Sorry, I just don't see it. I agree there were probably better athletes available in the second round, but what good are they sitting on the bench or snatched up in final cuts? Belichick is seeking to build a complete Super Bowl winning Team, not a collection of stars.
  25. rookBoston

    rookBoston Rookie

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    Yes, that is a very good analogy. BB isn't spraying bullets at random. He's using a laser targeted sniper rifle. Three bullets. Three starters. Very careful. Very patient. And in 2012 in particular, he can afford to be patient. The roster is stocked and deep.

    I'm sure he had max six or seven names on an index card. Specific individuals that he wanted on the team. I would love to see the card. I will bet anything Mark Barron was on it, but Barron went early. I suspect Michael Brockers was on it. We'll probably never know for certain.

    It's the same every year. As the draft evolves, BB moves up and down to land the specific players he wants as they come into the range where he's projected their value. After trading down twice before the McCourty pick, BB was filmed contemplating another trade back, but decided against it, saying "let's take our guy". It was clear, he was focused on landing McCourty, while getting as much value as possible. The fans were all thinking "take Dez Bryant, he dropped right to us, the value is great", but for Belichick it was only ever about McCourty.

    [Actually, I have this pet theory that Jermaine Gresham was also on BB's index card that year. If Cinci hadn't taken him with the pick right before the Pats... you can see BB visibly cringe on film when the Cinci pick was announced... BB might have taken him instead of Gronkowski, while still hoping to get McCourty in the early 2nd round. If so, thank goodness how it worked out! Sometimes you're just lucky.]

    Each pick is always with a specific roster spot in mind. This guy will a starting left tackle. This guy will be a three-down edge pass rusher. This guy will be my blocking and receiving TE. This guy will be my starting free safety. Totally need based drafting.

    I remember BB told the media, many years ago, if you draft a player but you know it's not a good fit, not only do you waste that pick, and carry dead weight on the roster, but you still have to spend another pick at the same position the next year. Drafting BPA is not a solution. BPA, in this view, is tantamount to drafting a guy who's literally "not who I want, but better than nothing". I think BB would say, you are actually better off drafting nothing. Better off trading the draft value forward for whatever you can get, and live to fight another day.

    Far better to fill the roster with JAG talent (Gary Guyton? Tully Banta Cain?) to carry the team along, and scheme away from them on game day, than waste the draft picks on players who you don't actually want to be the cornerstones of your franchise. Do you really want someone like Quentin Coples to be the face of your franchise?!? Or Dez Bryant, for that matter? Talent aside, what message are you sending to your locker room?

    Save your first round draft value until you find a guy you are absolutely certain will fill all aspects of the job (Hightower, Solder, Jones) and be the impact player you want from your first rounders. Why settle for less? Since the guy you want (with the right combination of physical, intellectual and psychological makeup) may only come once along once every few years, that one year when he actually IS in the draft class, you better have saved up sufficient draft value to bring him in.

    And with Mayo, McCourty, Chung, Hightower, Jones, Wilfork setting the tone for the D, you can afford to bring Dennard onto the team, and expect that he'll follow the right example. How can he not? Where's the negative influence going to come from when he's surrounded by true professionals on all sides?

    Very selective. Very targeted. Very patient... like a sniper.
  26. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This makes a lot of sense to me, and is why the Pats' pick that has always baffled me is Brandon Meriweather. In the lead-up to the 2007 draft, I kept arguing that they would never pick Meriweather, because Pats #1 picks are always the prototype for the position: prototype frame, prototype athleticism, prototype character. Meriweather was none of those things. Go figure.

    (Of course, Meriweather was a popular pick with fans, whereas much more "prototype" guys like Mankins and Solder went over like lead balloons. IMO cheers are usually for the position in round 1 more than the player.)
    Last edited: May 9, 2012
  27. State

    State Rookie

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    Great points. There are indeed a lot of similarity between the two Wilsons from The Fighting Illini. However, it is obvious to me from watching both that Eugene and Tavon that the former was even more of a playmaker than the latter.

    Just comparing the two in INTs sets the table for me: EUGENE'S 11 for 51 yards (ten his sophomore and junior years--teams stayed away from him his senior year) versus TAVON'S 3 for 5 yards. This is over the same three-year period. And back then the Big Ten did more running than they do now, so presumably TW had more balls flying in the air to intercept.

    Also, Eugene was the team's punt returner his last few years and was even more disruptive.

    Tavon will be fine--he's just a third-round value, so he was a bit of a reach--and he'll demonstrate good versatility and coachability. Thinking of the players we could have had at 48--think a truly disruptive force in the Big Ten in Lavonte David--hurts a little. I hope the play of the two means we'll think of Tavon as a better Eugene.
  28. fester

    fester Rookie

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    I wonder how the diffusion of the Patriots management talent has impacted player evaluation, offers and willingness to take risks on a guy slipping over the past few years. In 2007, the Patriots were the only team led by Belicheck tree management guys. In 2012, there are at least three teams that can be described as such (Pats, Chiefs, Falcons,) with another that is strongly influenced (Cardinals).

    How similar are the grading systems in reailty between the three Belicheck tree led clubs? Would they all grade Chandler Jones the same or more importantly Tavon Wilson and Jake Bequette, as I suspect there is much more variance in grades the further down the board one gets.
  29. State

    State Rookie

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    Great analysis. Dead on. I'm sure you're right about Mark Barron. He would have helped this defense more than anyone.

    One thing Belichick likes to do is take players whom conventional wisdom says not to take. Tavon Wilson will long be remembered as such a player. BTW, I think Belichick wins against conventional wisdom on this one. The greatest predictor of success is GRIT, which I think Tavon has a lot of since he's coped with the loss of both parents. I predict Tavon will succeed more than most of this year's second-rounders. Belichick is like the Steven Leavitt (of Freakonomics fame) for being abreast of the latest research.

    He may still get burned on this with the Ras-I Dowling pick, however, if this talented player goes down and is unable to play this season.

    I still think we should have taken Torrey from Maryland in 2011 whom the Ravens snagged latter in the second round. Did you see all the old guys we have bunched together at WR?
  30. everlong

    everlong Rookie

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    #12 Jersey

    I completely agree about Gresham. I really liked both him and Pettigrew coming out and both have lived up to expectations. Gresham's numbers might not be that pretty but you have to look at who was throwing to him. Nothing year one and a rookie year two. That offense is going to be loaded this year. I expect him to have a break out year. I had Gronk as the #1 TE option that year. I hope I'm as right about Hightower as I was Gronk. My two favorite within reach prospects in the last 5 years. The player I was most wrong about was Jerry Hughes so I'm glad Polian agreed with me. :D
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