When Should We Expect To Draft A Safety?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by mgteich, Apr 9, 2012.

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  1. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

    I expect Barron to be gone by 20.

    I expect Harrison Smith to be drafted right around 27, although he may go earlier given the number of teams interested in Barron.

    IMHO, no one else has a grade higher than mid 3rd, and is unlikely to start this year, and may not even be a major contributor.

    Obviously, we also have the option of drafting a corner, with the idea if converted the draftee or one of our current corners to free safety. That is NOT what I expect us to discuss here.

    OPTION 1
    Try to trade up for Barron.

    OPTION 2
    Try to secure Smith. We would likely be in a bidding war in a slight trade up.

    OPTION 3
    "Overdraft" someone by looking at safeties in the second half of the 2nd Round.

    OPTION 4
    "Overdraft" someone by looking at safeties in the second half of the 3rd Round.

    OPTION 5
    Start look for safeties in the 4th. This is the let the draft come to us approach. There are several safeties with grades from the very late 3rd to the mid 5th.
  2. ay-yo

    ay-yo Third String But Playing on Special Teams

    It all depends on what I'm giving up for each of Barron or Smith, but assuming Barron is substantially more, I'll take Smith. Then go Elephant, which is the bigger need, at 31.

    I'm thinking Nick Perry. The last USC guy who juiced up 20-25 lbs before the combine seemed to have some success. Then we just need to get him on a new substance that won't be caught in a drug test. :D
  3. Peachhead

    Peachhead PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #75 Jersey

    I don't think Barron fits our needs. He's an excellent in the box safety for run support but below average in coverage ability. In other words, Patrick Chung's twin. And we need someone with better coverage ability than Chung and if the run support isn't quite up to Chung's level we can live with that. Besides, Barron will likely be drafted as a SS well before our pick comes up, or even a trade up is practical, so the SS/FS/Left or Right Safety debate is kinda moot.

    One idea I've been kicking around (and I don't know if it's been discussed elsewhere in the forum): If Dre Kirkpatrick is still available when we pick @ 27 perhaps we could draft him and convert him to FS. At the combine he ran too slow to be considered an elite CB prospect*. I'm surprised it wasn't more of a story than it was reported to be at the combine. But his speed is more than adequate for an elite FS. Plus, among CBs he's an outstanding run supporter compared to other CBs in this class. I think Kirkpatrick would make a far better FS than anyone in this class that's labeled a FS. But not the elite CB that some in the media project him as.

    It does make me damn nervous to draft anyone @ 27 and change his position, but if we drafted most "pass rushers" @ 27 we'd essentially be doing the same thing (i.e. turning an undersized DE into an OLB).

    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  4. Seels

    Seels On the Game Day Roster

    Wow, couldn't agree more with everything here.

    I think Smith and Kirkpatrick both make it to 27, but Belichick ultimately does something no one expects.
  5. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    This is a bad year to need a safety. Not only is the draft class weak, but there are plenty of teams that have a need at that position. I still expect BB to draft a safety and it wouldn't surprise me if he took smith at 31. Baron will be gone by 27, no guarantees Smith will be there at 48 then there is a huge drop off in talent until the 3rd round.

    If we give up on Baron we can either take smith at 31 or trade up from 48 (which could be tough considering we're missing a few late round picks). If all hell breaks loose we may end up drafting Iloka at 62. No matter what if you want a safety in this draft you are going to have to over draft for them.
  6. Wilfork#75

    Wilfork#75 2nd Team Getting Their First Start

    #75 Jersey

    I don't see us drafting a pure Safety at all in this draft. I think the market values for all of the top guys (which there are not a lot of) is way too high. Barron looks to be a lock to go top 16, where I see him more as a late 1st/early 2nd rounder. Harrison Smith will likely go late 1/early 2 where I think he is more of a mid to late 2nd, and the rest of the guys I don't really see as good enough to have much of an impact. I think the best option is to go the CB conversion route and the guy that is really starting to grow on me is Alfonzo Dennard from Nebraska at 48. I really like his physicality, instincts and tackling ability, and I think he has the potential to be an elite FS. I also like Trumaine Johnson, who like Dennard could also offer the versatility to also be a press man corner as well as a safety. I also really like Justin Bethel in the 5th/6th round as a developmental DB and STer. He has the versatility to play CB and S, and his elite special teams skills could allow him to make the roster and give him time to develop.
  7. BlueThunder

    BlueThunder PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #91 Jersey

    Makes sense that if BB can't draft an elite player that would play serious time in his first year that he get's good ST production out of him. I still don't know who is going to be the return guy on kickoffs or PR.

    A player that has the capability to break the big return would be a nice addition while he learns the Pat's defense.
  8. Metaphors

    Metaphors In the Starting Line-Up

    This except I don't think you arbitrarily wait for the 4th round. Consider:

    1) Chung (24 yo) returns as one starting safety.

    2) Barrett (27) started the first 4 games last year until he got hurt.

    3) Gregory (29) was signed to a 3-year deal. He would have to flame out historically in order to not get significant snaps for game #1.

    4) Have a number of candidates for #4 safety/ST ace (Sergio, Moore, MalWilliams, Ventrone)

    5) Ihedigbo is still available and YBell is in play.

    6) Pats opened the season last year with only 4 safeties on the roster

    It looks to me like the Pats are ready at safety to play games now (assuming Barrett is healthy). However, any of them could be upgraded if the chance presents itself. I could see the Pats take a safety at any point in the draft or pass on the position altogether. Much like the WR position, they have the framework in place to let the draft come to them and simply walk away if it doesn't.

    Some other positions on defense? Not so much.
  9. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Pro Bowl Player

    #24 Jersey

    I'm amused that many think we'll draft a pass rusher in the first round (which we've never done) but then say that BB doesn't value safeties when the last two we drafted were at #24 and #34. One can throw in Eugene Wilson at #36.

    Things might change this year, but history says we're more likely to draft Barron or Smith in the first round than we are any pass rusher.
  10. I think they will try to pick up one of the free agent safeties.

    IMO, corner, especially slot inside corner, is more important to strengthen.
  11. Mark Morse

    Mark Morse PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    #15 Jersey

    I agree with you, the price is too high to trade up or the players drafted at safety will be taken too soon as compared to his talent. I see a scenario where the Patriots duble up on CB's in this draft and move McCourty permanently to safety. They may also move Moore to safety. I would take Josh Robinson CB UCF and Ron Brooks CB LSU. You get an immediate boost in secondary speed. Robinson may also switch to Safety.
  12. ATippett56

    ATippett56 Pro Bowl Player

    Either select Markelle Martin, FS - Oklahoma State or Brandon Taylor, SS - LSU in the bottom of the third round.
  13. Merril Hoge's Tie Knot

    Merril Hoge's Tie Knot Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

    Move up to 15 to get Barron, a pro bowl left safety for the next 10 years. And/Or then draft some big and fast zone or off man corners that can tackle tight ends and running backs, and make them safeties. Justin Bethel, Trumaine Johnson, and Donnie Fletcher come to mind.
  14. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    I like the thought of taking a CB who could play safety. Reminds me of when we took Meriweather and more recently McCourty. Anyone have a list of CBs that could play safety or have played safety?
  15. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    When should we draft a Free Safety?

    Next year in 2013...
  16. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Pro Bowl Player

    #24 Jersey

    What I don't think some people understand is just how much Mark Barron will help Devin McCourty. With Barron's instincts in providing over the top help, McCourty can do what he does best and cheat underneath the receiver much like the way Barron worked in tandem with Dre Kirkpatrick last year. Like McCourty, Kirkpatrick is weakish in man but he can be confident that, with Barron over the top, he's in a much better position to break on the ball or defend the screen and edge running plays.

    Drafting Barron could get us our first round corner back - a two for one deal.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2012
  17. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    In the first 3 rounds, Kirkpatrick at 27 or none at all. In rounds 4-7, probably some guy I've never heard of.
  18. Patriot Missile

    Patriot Missile Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

    #12 Jersey

    I might be in the minority here, but I would want to smash my tv to bits if they traded up to get Barron at 15.

    There are only two safeties the last 10 years in hind sight off the top of my head worth a trade up in the first round and they were Ed Reed and Troy Polamalu. If you think Barron is going to be in their caliber one day than be my guest. I just think there have been too many mediocre safeties drafted in the first and second rounds in that span to justify such a risk.
  19. Sciz

    Sciz PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

    This, except I'll add 27 and 31 as well. DO NOT WANT!
  20. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Pro Bowl Player

    #24 Jersey

    There have been a lot of mediocre players at a number of positions taken in the first round on hindsight - safety isn't exclusive there. It's about value. Who else is there after pick 6 or 7 that would improve the Pats on defense overnight and in the long run? Dre Kirkpatrick - yes but not a position of need like Barron (Gilmore is the same). Brockers? - For now he's a 2 down run stuffer, nothing more. Sure there's potential there but that's quite a risk. Hightower. like him loads but does he improve the team as much as Barron? Nope. Fletcher Cox - great player but he's looking like a top 10 lock. Kendall Reyes, Devon Still, Harrison smith, Jerel Worthy and all the pass rushers - Marginal first round talents who aren't guaranteed to start for the Pats. Upshaw? looking more and more like a 4-3 DE only.

    The way I see it, if you want to improve this defense you either do a big trade up for Barron (position of need, long-term starter) or Michael Brockers (Ideal fit, lots of potential), a smaller trade up for Dre Kirkpatrick or Dont'a Hightower (quality players who'll start and do a good job) or you get the hell out of the first round altogether. There's a massive levelling off of talent between 25-50.
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