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Why do so many think we will draft a WR in the first round?

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by midwestpatsfan, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    What has really changed?

    Chad Jackson- is hurt and who knows what his timetable is as far as getting back, but it was not like he was a part of the offense really.

    Troy Brown- I hope that he actually comes back for another season, if not, I think replacing him is much more important than Jackson.

    Now I realize that Gaffney and Caldwell are signed for this next season (I think) so building for the future is something to be looked at, but we have holes that need to be filled for this coming season that warrant using our 1st round picks on. Of course it all depends on who is and is not available when we pick, but I just feel the talent level at other positions is higher than that of the WR's who are going to be available at 24 and 28

    Almost everyone here complained how Jackson did not produce at all this season even though he was regarded by most as the best reciever in last years draft. Do you think drafting one this year is going to make a difference? Most WR's have a tough time contributing their rookie season, so will a 1st rounder really help as much as someone taken in round 2 or 3 depending on who is available.

    I am not too high on any of the WR's with 1st round grades besides Calvin Johnson, so maybe I am biased on this. I don't mind Bowe from LSU but think that a guy like PAul Williams or the guy from Washington State could be better value available in round 3.

    Just my 2 cents worth, am I off on my evaluations of the WR's and their role as a rookie?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  2. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Jackson's injury makes the need more immediate. He would've been the answer for 07 and beyond, and with two guys with contracts ending in 07 (Gaffney, Caldwell) I suppose you could still justify spending a day 1 pick on a wideout, thinking long term.

    But as we learned that it's tough for a rookie wideout to produce in year 1, it makes more sense to get someone via FA who can be an impact in 07.

    I'd order my wish list something like this:

    1. Curtis - seems to be a perfect fit, but everybody has him going to the Lions...oh that's a smart career move
    2. Stallworth - good production, but as his numbers are quite similar (though better) than Deion's, one would think he could get a similar contract
    3. Engram - always been solid, shouldn't be too expensive and won't require long term, a decent solution while CJ and or any other draft picks develop
    4. Tr. Taylor - BB has a fetish for UF receivers, his production in his 7 year career has been steady, averaging at about 45 catches for 570 yards, which is right around what we'd need

    I have no interest in Bennet or anybody else really. I actually wouldn't be oppossed to bringing in Andre Davis back just as a guy who can run deep when you need him, stretch the field.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  3. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I think if you could get value with a guy who could draw double teams then it makes everyone else better. Plus it gives Brady more weapons. Personally I'd like to see them not use the double tight end set not as often.

    If they can get value in the 3rd or 4th roound that would be great, but I think alot of people are looking at the free agent class and don't see much.
     
  4. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    Well, I think Chad Jackson's injury does intensify the need to add another, decent, WR to the receiving corps. Yes, he did not do much this year, but many Pats fans, including myself, and I suspect the front office and coaching staff, were expecting him to contribute much more in his second season. Was he going to be a #1 type of guy? Most likely not, but at the very least he should have provided a more consistent deep threat. That is now pretty much off the table, IMO, as his injury will prevent him from working more with the system in the off-season.

    I agree with you, however, that drafting a wide receiver early (yet alone in the first round) is not the answer. First off, they need immediate help at the position, somebody who can step in and make an impact from the beginning of the season. A rookie is not going to provide that, only a veteran (acquired via free agency or trade) can. This is because receivers take a while to develop, and are rarely significant contributors in their rookie season.

    Secondly, the WR position is so hit and miss when it comes to the draft. It seems that it is the position at which teams are most likely to draft duds. So to use an early pick on one is risky, IMO, as you never know whether they will work out or not.

    Third, the Patriots really need to focus on getting younger and faster on defense in the draft. I think we can all agree that one of their first round picks should be spent on a linebacker. Given the players that are expected to be around at that time, it will most likely be an outside linebacker (or a college DE expected to move to OLB). This means they will still need to pick up an ILB in the second or third rounds, IMO (as long as the talent is there, of course). They also need to pick a CB relatively early, especially if they were to lose Samuel, or expect to lose him next year.

    I'd like to see the team draft a RB in the area of round 3 or 4 as well (either a big-play third-down type like Leon Washington of the Jets, or a smash-mouth guy to replace Dillon). So we are quickly running out of early draft picks on which to draft a WR.

    So all in all, I'd really prefer the Pats address this need through free agency, or, if the weak market drives salaries prohibitively high, through a trade. I've been touting Drew Bennett here for a while, Kevin Curtis is also a guy I like, and even though I think Stalworth carries a lot of risk and will be too highly priced, he could also be an option. Wes Welker is out there as well, but given that he is a RFA I think he is off limits, unless the Dolphins were to tender him at a low level for some reason.

    On edit: Another consideration is that it often takes 3 years or more to develop an NFL wide receiver. By that point they are within a year or two of becoming a free agent and potentially looking at a huge pay day, so it is not necessarily good value to draft one and develop him, only to lose him because another team is willing to hand him a ridiculous contract. Givens and Branch have taught us that much.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  5. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    Stalworth does not have better, or even similar numbers to Deion Branch. At least not when it comes to number of catches. Stalworth had, what, 35 catches last year? He is a deep threat (which we do need) but brings little else to the table. Thats why I am not very high on him. Also, he is woefully inconsistent and appears to be a big injury concern as well.

    Engram might be a stop-gap short term type of solution, but he is really getting up there in age. The only way I'd see it making sense to bring him in is if Troy Brown retires, and even then I'd really rather they go with somebody younger.

    Travis Taylor has pretty much been a bust. I'd stay away from him.

    I don't understand why you don't have any interest in Drew Bennett. Whats not to like about a 6'5" receiver who averages 15 yards per catch? I think he would be a great addition, just as long as his price tag doesn't get too high.
     
  6. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Well, I agree with you in the sense that Branch is definitely a better all around receiver, but as for production and what their contract could end up being, let's take a look...Both guys have been in the league for 5 years:

    Branch: 266 rec, 3469 yards, 18 TDs, 13.0 avg
    Stallworth: 233 rec, 3561 yards, 28 TDs, 15.1 avg

    As for injury bug...out of the possible 80 regular season games in 5 years...Deion has played 67 games and Stallworth has played 68.

    Hey, I'd rather have Deion on my team, but Stallworth is no slouch.

    Fair enough, I just think he might end up being an option as other guys will price out and we'll spend the $ on the other side of the ball.

    He hasn't lived up to the billing of the 10th overall pick, but his numbers are solid.

    Since his rookie season, he has 283 catches and 3737 yards in 6 seasons, which is about 48 catches for 623 yards.

    Drew Bennett, who is going to make a whole lot more, has averaged 46 catches for 672 yards a season, and has only once been over 800 yards. His 2004 production was great, but he's going to get paid like a #1 because of his production that season.

    I just don't think Bennett will be worth near whatever he gets. If his price tag was low, sure, he'd be great to have on the team, but that's not going to happen when there's not much competition out there on the FA market.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  7. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    A lot of people think this way because our WRs suck, the depth is thin and it is a deep draft at WR.
     
  8. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    I believe Bennett's stats have been depressed the past few seasons due to the horrible QB situtation in Tennessee. Yes, Vince Young looks like the real deal, but he was a rookie last year and really got things done in other ways besides throwing the ball down the field, so he wasn't exactly a good thing for his receivers. As for 2005, a washed up Steve McNair (never a great downfield passer himself) was throwing to Bennett. So when you consider the situation he was in, I think he could really catch a lot more passes on a good offensive team with the right system and a great quarterback.

    Thats why I think he is worth more than just a cursory look at his career stats might suggest. However, you are right in that if he were to command big money (I'd say more than $4 million per year), he would be priced out of what the Pats would want to spend at the position. So I guess it really comes down to how overinflated contracts will be, given the surplus of cap space that many teams have and the limited options in free agency at the position.
     
  9. BradyManny

    BradyManny Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I hear you, his stats have definitely been hurt by a poor QB situation, but I was just thinking he's going to get more than that $4 mill a year. It's a weak FA market for wideouts, and with him at the top, I'm feeling he'll get more than he's worth. We'll see, though.
     
  10. MrBigglesWorth

    MrBigglesWorth Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    I thought Bennett had several injuries like a wrist injury and maybe a knee injury?
     
  11. Oswlek

    Oswlek In the Starting Line-Up

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    I will be very surprised if NE goes after Bennet. He seems like a classic case of a guy who who will be paid far more than he is worth. Sure the QBs haven't been great, but it isn't as if his situation has been that much worse than half of the WRs out there.

    IMHO, had it not been for the 4-5 week stretch at the end of 2004, no one would be that high on him. Oddly enough, those are the circumstances under which I could see him coming here.
     
  12. salty

    salty On the Game Day Roster

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    He played in all 16 games this year and 2004, but he did miss 3 games last year.
     
  13. wdkantro2

    wdkantro2 Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job

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    This thread asks a great question. So many people on this site went all year saying how awful Chad was this year, and now they are the same people who want another rookie WR, this time a first rounder. Why do they all want to go through that again?
     
  14. VJCPatriot

    VJCPatriot Pro Bowl Player

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    Simple -- there's no upside in the Pats current wide receiver corps. I believe the Pats were counting on Chad to develop into a productive receiver by year 2 but the injury pretty much nixes that.

    I agree that getting a good free agent wideout would give the Pats the most impact but if they are reluctant to spend the dollars there the only answer remains through the draft. The Pats have repeatedly drafted receivers in the second round so a 1st day wideout is no stranger to this front office.
     
  15. midwestpatsfan

    midwestpatsfan Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    You answered my question for me, I do not think we should be content with who we have, but as you said, it is a very deep draft at WR, so why not look at someone in the 2nd or 3rd.
     
  16. JoeSixPat

    JoeSixPat Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Although nothing would surprise me I don't think they will draft a WR in the 1st round, and I don't think many are actually advocating that. No rookie WR is going to be looked to as an instant contributor by anyone in the NFL (aside from the fans).

    The Patriots do need an immediate deep threat. While I expect they'll draft a WR I expect them to gain their deep threat WR via free agency or a trade, bringing in a proven quantity that can contribute now, rather than waiting another year for a rookie to develop.

    As mentioned 100 times before, the Patriots don't need an 80 catch guy averaging 10-12 yards a catch - all they need is a 30 catch guy averaging 18- 20 yards a catch.

    LAST year was a different story. The idea of drafting Jackson in the 1st or 2nd round was because we DIDN'T really need him to be an instant contributor with Branch still under contract - though that didn't turn out like we hoped either. Drafting Jackson last year was meant to have an impact THIS year.

    So even if Jackson hadn't been injured, I don't think the Pats truly expected him to be an instant impact player - nor should anyone have a different expectation of a rookie drafted this year, 1st round or not.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2007
  17. cstjohn17

    cstjohn17 PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    More random throughts:
    • I don't know if they take a round 1 WR but if a player like Ginn, Meachem or Jarrett is available at 24 they may think this is the best value.
    • Most WRs don't produce much in year 1, the advantage of a 1st rounder is you have contract control for 5 years giving you 4 years of productivity.
    • It is also situational, the Pats WRs are among the worst units in the NFL if any of the players above joined the team they would be able to gets reps as the 3rd or 4th WR and provide much more upside.
    • Also draft picks are cheap, if a WR is drafted in round 2 one year and another in round 1 the next year and one of them doesn't work out it is much better than paying $5-8M per year for a above average but not great WR (Bennett, Stallworth).
     

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