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Which is a bigger need? A #1 corner? OR Linebackers?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by DefenseRules, Mar 21, 2008.

?

Which position is a bigger need?

Poll closed Apr 4, 2008.
  1. Linebackers

    35 vote(s)
    83.3%
  2. #1 Corner

    7 vote(s)
    16.7%
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  1. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Pro Bowl Player

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    #12 Jersey

    With all the hand wringing over DBs I went to the Pats website to see who was on our roster at these two positions.

    http://www.patriots.com/depthchart.cfm

    These are the linebackers CURRENTLY on the roster
    Mike Vrabel
    Pierre Woods
    Eric Alexander
    Tedy Bruschi
    Larry Izzo
    Adalius Thomas
    T.J. Slaughter

    You've got to be kidding me. Who are our Inside linebackers? Teddy Bruschi and who? WE NEED LINEBACKERS!

    These are the DBs currently on our roster
    Fernando Bryant
    Jason Webster
    Lewis Sanders
    Mike Richardson
    TIm Mixon
    Ellis Hobbs
    Brandon Meriweather
    Antwain Spann
    Rodney Harrison
    Willie Andrews
    Tank Williams
    Ray Ventrone
    James Sanders

    Yep, no "SEXY" names but there is a lot more depth and flexibility at that position than at Linebacker.
    If we stay at #7 I want the BEST LINEBACKER available. I wouldn't mind if we drafted one in the
    2nd or 3rd rounds too. Yes, we don't have a #1 corner and yes it is a need, but we have flexibility in our secondary. Take a look at that Linebacker list and tell me that we don't need Linebackers on this team. THIS IS OUR TOP NEED IN THE DRAFT, IMO. Our depth at Linebacker is FRIGHTENING. If BB/Pioli don't draft at least one linebacker on day one of the draft, I will be STUNNED.

    This is what I want to see on draft day
    Linebacker (at least 2)
    Corner (1 or 2)

    after that I wouldn't mind a player at the following positions:
    Offensive Tackle (Super Bowl performance still haunts me)
    Tightend (Blocking)
    Running Back (Faulk isn't getting any younger)
    and a damn PUNTER WHO CAN PUNT!! HANSON IS NOT THE ANSWER
     
  2. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I think there is a different angle to this.
    No doubt ILB and CB are areas of need now and in the future. I'm not in the crowd that says OLB is need because we have Vrabel and Thomas, and have traditionally restocked this position through free agency rather than the draft. (Without belaboring possible reasons, it seems that this is something BB has alwaysbelieved in doing) While at corner, we have used the draft much more than at almost any other position. The corners we have brought in are competing for jobs, and are short term answers. I'm confident one of them can start at times and/or play nickel, and another will survive cutdowns and be somewhere deep on the depth chart. We need a corner, not only to contribute this year (in a perfect world to me he is the nickel and maybe, possibly starts by the end of the year) start by 09 and be a fixture in our secondary for 4 more years or more beyond that.
    The question is IMPACT. If you are drafting at #7 (or trading down, which I prefer) what impact do you get at these need areas?
    ILB- I think there are rare few ILBs who can have "#7 impact" and none of them are in this draft
    OLB- I do not think the impact of an OLB can be "#7 impact" when you have 2 excellent OLBs he will play behind for at least 2 years. I also see no one that impresses me as a #7 value OLB.
    CB- The impact can be immense. As the nickel in his rookie year, he will play a key role. From there on, it gives us a long term solid player at a very critical position. There are numerous corners that belong in the middle of the first round. Trading down seems wise, but if a trade down partner isnt there, I see nothing wrong with taking 10-13th slot vaue at 7, if it fits need. I would much rather take a corner at 7 who we could have at 12 if we traded down, but no one wants to move up, than to take a guy like Gholston, who is not right for our system, who would langusih behind Vrabel and Thomas while he tries to learn a new postion, and who we later find out is not best suited to play off blockers, but is a one gap player. I'm not to worried that BB will pick a guy who the 'experts' and media have inflated the value of over a guy that isn't getting as high a rating from those 'experts' but will do much, much more to help us win.

    Beyond round 1, I think we do look at the LB position. A TE seems smart, and we should draft at least one more corner in additon to the 1st round.
    The list above has a lot of names on it, but we need better names than the ones there.
     
  3. Mr.Muhozi

    Mr.Muhozi Practice Squad Player

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    linebackers, a decent corner can be a shutdown one with a fantastic pass rush, simple as see superbowl 42
     
  4. DefenseRules

    DefenseRules Pro Bowl Player

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    Well thought out post. But I have always felt that a good front seven is important for any SECONDARY to produce effectively. In 2002, we had Ty Law and Lawyer Milloy in our secondary. Our front seven was a weakness. We couldn't stop the run or rush the Passer effectively. It hurt our secondary. Linebackers are vital in our 3-4 scheme. We don't have enough of them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  5. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I would hope the Pats would add some depth at LB, but they may be saving the position for the first round draft pick. The first pick won't be corner because they basically signed 3 jags to 1 year deals hoping to take the best 2 of them to replace Samuel and Gay. Then draft a CB with the 2nd or 3rd pick to ween into the starting position next year. If I'm wrong they better have Seau on speed dial.
     
  6. mavfan2390

    mavfan2390 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    What's a "punt"? :D
     
  7. jbb9s

    jbb9s In the Starting Line-Up

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    Point taken but I disagree. Look at the AFC receivers: Wayne, Ocho Cinco, etc. Are you kidding me? These guys would tear apart our defense.

    As for superbowl 42: reference the last play when a not even a fringe top 10 wideout easily caught the game's winning catch. No pass rush in the world from the DL would have stopped that play.

    Finally, a CB can lock and load and contribute faster than a LB in Belichick's scheme. Maybe not a safety, but a cornerback possibly.
     
  8. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I would hope that BB doesnt think signing jags to one year deals solves the problem. His history shows that he always signs veteran corners in the offseason and more end up cut than end up on the team.
     
  9. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    It just not possible in the NFL today to consistenly have the kind of pass rush you are talking about.
    Not to mention that as much as pass rush helps coverage, coverage helps pass rushing. They have to work together. If you cant rush the QB yu have to cover for too long, if you cant cover, you do not have time ot rush the QB.
    Look at it this way:
    If we created a dominanting pass rush, with awful corners, teams would run WCO style gameplans against us, the ball would be out before any rush could get there, and receivers would be wide open, plus they would max protect in other instances. Pass rushing can always be nuetralized, good coverage is much harder to beat.
     
  10. JoePats

    JoePats In the Starting Line-Up

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    Your overall point is correct but Lawyer Milloy was dreadful in 2002. Absolutely horrible.

    I believe the stat from Patriot Reign was he was the only starter in the league not to get either an INT, Sack, or fumble recovery. He was cut prior to 2003.
     
  11. Mr.Muhozi

    Mr.Muhozi Practice Squad Player

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    touche, of course ocho cinco and wayne will tear apart our D they have great QB's who throw to them but thats besides the point, i would like to see a good pass rush being built, rather than drafting shutdown corners, if we can combine a great rush, with good corner backs we can have a great defence, didn't our d go 11 quarters without conceding a touchdown in post season? it shows that we have a good nucleus there, its just getting the right parts to complete the puzzle so to say, some will argue if we draft linebackers it will make the CB job much easier, then again if we draft great CB's they won't rely to heavily on the front 7 to pressure the QB into making mistake, it's a great debate i admit, and one that must be a real headache for the FO in new england
     
  12. WhiZa

    WhiZa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    correct, so chances are they'll spend a day 1 pick on a CB and hope he beats out the other 3 vets in his first year. No matter what he will be starting next year unless he totally busts then we'd need to look into FA for a CB. Scouting will be real important this year.
     
  13. mgteich

    mgteich PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I agree.

    We've signed three corners. 0-3 will make the team.

    I still expect two corners to be drafted before the end of the fourth round. For the sixth year in a row, I am hoping for a DE/LB in the first. I just can't seem to accept that bb chooses to fill the linebacker positions with veterans. I expect us to sign at least two veteran linebackers.


     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  14. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    and a damn PUNTER WHO CAN PUNT!! HANSON IS NOT THE ANSWER

    We really should just go for it on every 4th down... per the statistics. But we get your point. I think Hanson is there because you know he is going to kick it 35ish yards and not have much of a return.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2008
  15. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No Jersey Selected


    I agree with everything in your original post, incl. the other positions of need.

    The question on Draft Day becomes: If Chris Long and Vernon Gholston are already taken, is there a LB worthy of #7? This ass-u-mes, of course, that a trade down does not happen. Unless Keith Rivers really impresses at his Pro Day by maintaining his weight around 240 and lifting in the 20s, then the answer is probably No. Next stop: CB. My choice is Leodis McKelvin, based on both his coverage ability (shown during the season and at the Senior Bowl practices) and his return ability. DRC could also go here, too. Better triangles (plus Senior Bowl Defensive MVP), but less return experience, than McKelvin.

    OT Ryan Clady is the other possibility, if Jake Long is already gone. However, would he be able to play RT right away? A #7 overall pick just cannot sit on the bench as a backup LT. Chris Williams is bigger, but less athletic and maybe not even stronger. And who knows, Ryan O'Callahan might still the future RT of the NEP.
     
  16. NePatriots

    NePatriots PatsFans.com Draftnik PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Longs + No Gholston = trade down

    If not, Rivers must have grown 2 more arms.
     
  17. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    We have 3 needs I would like to see us address in the first round, that is why I am hoping for a trade down(so we can take 3 guys). That said, I would say we want to keep AD on the inside and draft a OLB pass rusher. If we had signed a ILB it would mean a move to OLB for Thomas, and we are holding out the last ILB spot for Junior's decision. Lets say we dont see a fit at 7 and cant trade down...I see only about 3-4 impact OLBs, maybe less.
    Our 2nd need, I see CB as the deepest position in the draft, we should be able to take one at 62 without a problem. Capers and a pass rush should be able to maximize his utility,and we could go back to CB or CB/S later in the draft.
    Our 3rd need cant be understated. We have to get VALUE for this pick at 7, a guy who will play every down and for 6+years. My LONG SHOT at #7 is G/T Albert out of VA. He is big and athletic, can move like a guard, and can get bigger. Some people even project him eventually to LT, a really important position on any team. His flexibility, mobility, and his "bust-proofness" make him my dark horse. He would be on the field, relegate a decent player to backup, and provide depth where we are thin(Hochstien is about done).
    Not getting our OLB pass rusher, we put AD back out there and get a guy like Spikes to fill in at ILB. We definately get a CB, maybe not an elite one but remember Asante Samuel was the 20th rated one coming out......We solidify our offense even more--good defense is a GREAT offense.
    But to show you where my allegence lies.....I trade #7 to Baltimore for Suggs any day now.....
     
  18. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    This poll is extremely biased by the OP's setup. I would say LB and CB are about equal needs. We have a bunch of JAGs as DBs, and Rodney as some have reminded me, isn't getting younger, meanwhile Meriweather hasn't even shown a grasp of the system yet. And some have even suggested the Tebucky Jones experiment on Meriweather. That's how weak corner is, Hobbs as #1, no thanks. I think the Pats should trade down to get max value. We take the best player with our mid 1st and there will be also be a pretty good LB or CB to take in the mid 2nd round.
     
  19. captain stone

    captain stone Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I agree with those 3 needs, and I smell what you're cooking regarding Albert at #7. However, he would have to be of the Hutchinson/Faneca quality in order to justify his selection. Remember, Logan Mankins is generally regarded as a top-10 OG, and he was taken at #32, and he was even then considered to have been overdrafted by some (including...er...me.)

    I also would trade #7 to Baltimore for Suggs.
     
  20. jeffbiologist

    jeffbiologist Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    Lets also not forget a few things skewing this comparison--
    BBs favorite position is LB
    We have barely ANY decent WRs in our division, and no decent QBs to get them the ball. Stack the front 7 and stop the run!!
     
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