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Who in this draft can contribute immediately on defense?

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by BradyManny, Jan 26, 2009.

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  1. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    In the absurd Trade Brady thread in the other section of this forum, some misguided forumers were ready to ship Brady for day 1 picks and "rebuild the defense". It got me to thinking, even if we managed to trade Cassel for a high first round pick, for instance, who is there in this draft that will come in and be an immediate upgrade? Who could be like Mayo, Seymour, Mankins or any of the other players recently drafted by the Pats who started most or all of their rookie year.

    Aaron Curry is the only guy I can think of, he's going top 5.

    All the CBs, Smith, Moore, they're all fine - but none is a huge upgrade, particularly short term, over what we have, and won't start their rookie year.

    Sintim sounds fine by me, but he will take time, whether he plays outside or inside.

    Basically, looking at this draft, I do not see a single player, like Mayo, who can come in and start Year 1 on the defensive side of the ball. Maybe that's not a problem, and maybe our contributions will come from the Sophomores (Wheatley, Wilhite, Crable), not the rookies. As it is, our defensive woes have been greatly exaggerated and we go into 09 in much better shape than the pundits and many forumers would have us believe.

    But, if we are looking for an immediate impact player in this draft in Day 1, I think its going to be either WR or TE. I'd say OL b/c there are some good prospects, but nobody is beating any of the incumbents out of a job right now.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2009
  2. tombonneau

    tombonneau In the Starting Line-Up

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    Good post. However, I would argue that neither before or after last year's draft did you or anyone else think Mayo would come in and start year one. ;) So anything is possible.

    I think that any of the LBs could possibly come in and start in the middle over Bruschi. I think it's less likely (but still possible) that the staff could find a CB they like who could stop opposite Hobbs. Safety is the only other spot where someone could replace Harrison as a starter, but this is least likely.

    I agree that WR or TE might be more likely, as someone like Harvin could "start" in Gaffney's spot. I doubt however that a TE could supplant Waston as the starter, and I'm hoping that as the Pats have gone to more of a spread and less of a TE-focused offense, our days of Round 1 TEs are through (remember, Watson was taken when the Pats offense ran a lot more two TE sets.)
     
  3. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Yeah, good point about the 2TE sets. I guess I can see someone challenging Watson in certain packages though. His blocking has improved tremendously, but his production in the passing game has left something to be desired. Maybe it was a lack of Brady in there. Two years ago, it looked like Watson was on his way to becoming a top tier TE, but he's been derailed by injuries and hands of stone.

    As for LB - if anyone is going to supplant Bruschi in the base D, it'd be Guyton I'd think. SILB - particularly when we're talking about the base D and primarily run defense - is tough to draft for, there aren't a lot of guys with the size for it in this draft.

    As for safety, I am working under the assumption that Sanders will be back - if he's not, then we'll have no choice but to find a starting caliber safety elsewhere.
     
  4. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    At safety right now, you'd only have to improve on Antwain Spann. Nothing against Spann, who is a useful player, but I have to believe that somewhere in this draft is a guy who could beat him out. Malcolm Jenkins at FS should certainly fill that bill. (BTW, why does Michael Hamlin's name never come up in our safety discussions?)
     
  5. p8ryts

    p8ryts Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    We need to replace James Sanders too. We need a hitter back there unless Rodney comes back but he hasn't been able to last the season. Meriweather is improving but we need a hitter that stops Keller in his tracks on third down.
     
  6. spann31

    spann31 On the Roster

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    do you guys look at Guyton as a starting linebacker for the future? If so I don't see the big fuss of must getting a linebacker first round. Also do you see Guyton as an inside linebacker or outside linebacker.
     
  7. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    No Hamlin? Oh yee of the degrading memory... :ugh:

    Now to BManny's question -- first identify the hole:

    LT - Light, LG - Mankins, C - Koppen, RG - Neal, RT - Kaczur
    TE - Watson, RB - Maroney, QB - Brady, WR - Moss, WR - Welker
    DE - Seymour, NT - Wilfork, DE - Warren
    OLB - Woods, ILB - Mayo, ILB - Thomas, OLB - Vrabel
    CB - Hobbs, S - Meriweather, S - open, CB - Wilhite

    The one open slot can be addressed by re-signing James Sanders.

    This may not be the ideal line-up, but it's a servicable one with young players who were measurably improving towards the end of the season (or prior to going on IR).

    The next question, is where are the holes in the depth chart for situational players?

    LT - Levoir, LG - Yates/Connelly, C - Connelly/Wendell, RG - Yates/Connelly, RT - Levoir/O'Callaghan
    DE - Green/Smith, NT - open, DE - Green/Smith
    OLB - open*, ILB - Guyton, ILB - Guyton, OLB - open*
    CB - Wheatley/Richardson, S - Spann, S - Spann, CB - Wheatley/Richardson
    * Redd took some reps at OLB towards the end of the season, but I'm not sure he's advanced enough to be part of the rotation yet.

    rNT can be addressed by re-signing Wright.
    rOLB either comes out of the developmental pool of Crable, Redd, Craig, Ruud, and Robertson, or by drafting a 3-4 experienced OLB (Sintim, Cushing, Matthews) or finding someone if FA or trade. I vote for Sintim.
     
  8. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I'm not sure about Guyton yet, he did well as a situational ILB. I don't see him as a regular part of the OLB rotation, but a servicable emergency player. This season should give us a better idea of his upside.
     
  9. AzPatsFan

    AzPatsFan Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    I basically agree but for one spot and player. I'm know I'm just a broken record but a young, big, fast, mean, complete, smart, team-leading ILB, next to Mayo would work wonders. His names start with a J and end with an S...:p
     
  10. SunnyDenmark

    SunnyDenmark Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    BOR - great way to analyze the situation by looking at depth chart. However, not sure why Bruschi is not listed anywhere as he is still under contract. But at this stage of career probably best listed as a situational player.

    What strikes me the most in looking at the depth chart above, is EVEN with hopefully resigning Sanders - how weak the depth is in the DB area. If also resign Rodney, he can probably be only realistically counted on for 1/2 season as he body just doesnt hold up the last 3 years. Same for CB's as well even without injuries it is a big dropoff in talent after starters.

    By point being - that with the bigger drop off in talent - then the more realistic the chance that a rookie day one pick could come in and contribute immediately (like Mayo, Seymore, etc.) And to me that seems to point toward both the safety and CB positions. Furthemore, one could argue that also CB and Safety are also the weakest positions when the starters are considered.
     
  11. Seneschal2

    Seneschal2 In the Starting Line-Up

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    Using BOR's roster:

    Hobbs & Wilhite as the starters, with Wheatley/Richardson as depth. This will undoubtedly change. A healthy Wheatley and a rookie CB could leapfrog Wilhite. I'm guessing that Wheatley will win the starter role at LCB. Keep in mind that both a rookie and Wheatley, represent a tremendous upgrade to the CB position.

    Let us not forget the injuries to our draft crop last season. And how their continued development along with new rookie additions can and will upgrade the entire roster.

    Are we suggesting Gaffney will be gone? With the Pats current WR corps, I wouldn't have any expectation of a rookie WR making a difference. Juaqin Iglesias could possibly make a smooth transition because of his route running ability, but how many opportunities would he get in this offense?

    At TE, whoever drafts Chase Coffman will be getting a steal. I say steal, simply because we won't be reading his name much until his Pro Day. While all of the other draft prospects have competed in their all-star games, and will soon garner attention from the Combine, Coffman will continue rehabbing from his broken foot. He'll be one of a very few who'll get drafted based on his college production, and nothing more. In the Pats offense, he would shine. Not to replace Watson as the primary starter, but as the reliable receiving target that Watson never was -- and that all QBs need. Ben can continue to be the team's best blocking TE, with a few passes thrown his way, while Coffman would improve the RZ/EZ production, and pair with Welker in the short zone area as Brady's go-to targets. Yes, we're all completely aware, that the team's primary area of focus should be on D. But it's wise to never neglect the team's strength (the offense) -- if the value is there. So in essence, I'm not trying to sell a player here, just the idea that a reliable receiving TE could make an immediate impact this season, and that Coffman appears to be an NFL-ready candidate.
     
  12. ayjackson

    ayjackson Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I'm wondering if we'd be better off with Vrable at SILB and leaving Thomas at OLB for one more year until a Crable or Redd develop (Mayo/Woods being the other starters). Thoughts?
     
  13. Box_O_Rocks

    Box_O_Rocks PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Not the best answer, Thomas has coverage speed Vrabes never had. Thomas has also worked off the LOS much more in his career than Vrabes and in my estimation is ahead of Vrabes at reading/reacting from ILB. Finally, I think Vrabes has reached a more "delicate" phase of his career, I'd prefer he not take the greater abuse of an ILB.
     
  14. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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  15. ctpatsfan77

    ctpatsfan77 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Even if he is from CT, how is he an upgrade over Evans? Specifically, per your link, ND never used Schwapp as a runner or receiver.
     
  16. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    who cares where he is from........he will at least provide the offense with some attitude that has been missing since dan graham left, and he can block.......evans is a marginal lead blocker
     
  17. tanked_as_usual

    tanked_as_usual Banned

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    Last edited: Jan 27, 2009
  18. CanadianPat'sFan

    CanadianPat'sFan Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    I like our Back-up O-Line playing that role like he did last year at the end of the season. Hochstein could play that spot as he showed last year and he was blowing people up and opening some large holes. He could still backup on the O-Line and it would free up a roster spot IMO.
     
  19. billdog3484

    billdog3484 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    i think when you look at the vast majority of past drafts and the performances of rookies the following year, there are not many positions who excel.

    I find that Linebackers and O-Linemen have the most success. To a lesser extent I would say RB, although this year Johnson and Forte were playing at an All-Pro Level. WR's and CB's usually struggle, as do Safeties, although probably not as much as WRs and CBs.

    I could see us drafting Andre Smith, the OL from Alabama if he slips enough to a point where we trade up and take him or he slips like Wilfork. Im sure the Saban/BB connection could happen again.

    there are a bunch of LBs I think could help right away.
     
  20. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Andre Smith is a top 5 guy. I think he's probably as highly regarded as Clady, and we know how Clady turned out. I agree he's a nobrainer but I don't see any way he'd slip to 23.
     
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