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2018 BackDraft!!

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by Off The Grid, Apr 29, 2018.

?

How Did the Patriots do in this year's Draft?

  1. A. Bill fleeced'm again and racked up shrewed picks!!

    5.0%
  2. B. Better than the average bear.

    35.0%
  3. C. Fair to middling.

    40.0%
  4. D. Pretty shaky.

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. F. Worst Draft Ever!!

    5.0%
  6. Ray Lewis killed a guy ~ maybe two!!

    45.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Morning, all!! :D

    I'm bringing back something that I've toyed with, ere the last few years, for those who're brave enough to have their Draft Skills exposed to the unforgiving scrutiny of History!! [​IMG]

    Here's the Game:

    We all like Mock Drafts...But now that the Draft has actually come and gone and we know exactly when all'f our Binkies would've really had to've been drafted, lest some undeserving team steal them from us...let's see your BackDraft: What would you've done? [​IMG]

    I presume not to impose rules on others, but here're some suggested guidelines:

    01 ~ You can make any Trade you want...provided that it's actually proven to've been available. If it didn't happen, don't make it up!! But if, say, theoretically, we had #72, and #73 was traded, in real life, for #89 and #105, you can choose to make that that Trade.

    02 ~ WikiPedia is actually very good at conveying what Trades actually happened.

    03 ~ Shall we say 6 UFA's, in addition to your Picks? There's a Cap to deal with.

    04 ~ What other moves would you've made? Trades? Free Agency? Who would you've cut, who would you've retained, and who would you've signed, from Stars to Jags?? [​IMG]

    05 ~ And Memorial Day for a cut off date? Most'll be earlier, I'm sure.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 29, 2018

  2. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    Another...err...interesting draft by the Emperor.

    I hope that he gives Isaiah Wynn an honest day's opportunity to win the LT job, which as of now appears to be a competition between he and Trent Brown and Boney Tony, if he's medically cleared by then...laWaddle should now have more time to work on the right side, which was always his better side anyway...Karras is the inside guy...so, barring injuries, this should be our top 9:

    Garcia (best-case result, and this would allow Brown to become Swing Tackle #1; if Boney Tony isn't up to the job, then Brown would be the next batter...followed by Wynn...followed by...?)
    Thuney
    Andrews
    Mason (would be shocked - and extremely pissed - if he is dealt)
    Cannon (injury-free would be nice)
    Brown (best-case result would be as top backup to Garcia at LT)
    Wynn (either he or Garcia - or preferably both - are counted-upon to show themselves worthy of protecting The Franchise)
    Karras
    Waddle

    I therefore acknowledge the legitimacy of the decision to select Isaiah Wynn at 23.

    As for the decision at 31...
    RB was the position group, along with WR, in which I had THE LEAST interest in the 1st round - or in almost ANY round - of this draft. Billy, you're unfeckinbelievable.
    The Obvious pick at #31 should've been: ED Harold Landry. Duh!!!!!!!!!

    I would've Never, EVER have traded 114 for merely moving from 63 to 56. There were too many - almost a dozen - good players still available with whom I would've been fine with choosing at 63; therefore there was no reason to move anywhere.
    My pick at #63 would've been: DB Justin Reid, a potential 4-position Chess Piece in the secondary - including Slot, and a flat-out superior prospect to fellow DB the Duke (but not of Dorchester) Dawson. Buh-bye Glitch!

    So, because I would not have made the trade, my pick at #117 would've been: DT Maurice Hurst, a top 40 talent who has fallen because of medical questions (irregular heartbeat?). He also has the potential, if his prognosis continues to remain positive, of becoming the Pocket Disrupter for whom we have all been waiting, and would therefore make us all forget about Dom Easily...almost. His success for the Patriots in particular would also make a great story on multiple levels.

    My pick at #143 would've been: TE Tyler Conklin, just ahead of Troy Fumagalli. Conklin's potential as a pass-catcher out-weighs Fumagalli's superiority as a blocker, and we already have Dwayne Allen & Troy Nicklas for that.
    If I hadn't made the Trent Brown trade, then my pick at #95 would've been: another TE, Ian Thomas...or perhaps WR DeShawn Hamilton?
    The Emperor's pick? A feckin Disgrace. UDFA talent. A(nother) Fire-able feckup by the inexplicably fancied GM.


    My pick at #178 would've been: QB Luke Falk. Not the QB for whom some here had hoped, but at least there's another QB in the building behind Brady besides Hoyer. Could Falk at 178 potentially provide better value than Jackson at 32?
    The Emperor's pick: LB Christian Sam. This is too soon for him, as I'll explain later.


    My pick at #210 would've been: DE Ade Aruna. One of the Best Players Available, and a potential Beast. The Pass Rush must be improved, all over the defense.
    The Emperor's pick? A small, T Rex-armed WR who makes Amendola look like Gronkowski. Closer to UDFA value than Draftable value.

    My pick at #219, as befitting his true value: LB Christian Sam. Besides packing a punch, he also might already have the 2nd-best chase skills, after Marquis Flowers, of anyone on the front 7. I'm hoping that in his case his chase skills can be coached into coverage skills.
    If Sam has already been taken, then I would probably choose Skai Moore, a better coverage player than Sam but not as powerful a tackler. Either way, buh-bye Elandon Waivers!
    The Emperor's pick? A(nother) feckin disgrace from the "Genius." Worse than even Priority UDFA talent. Way too little, way too late.

    My pick at #243? The Shiny Toy of Billy's choice. There's no OLman who's fallen very far and whom I gotta have, so I will allow Little Billy to choose among RBs Justin Jackson, Darryl Williams, Iowa's Akrum Wadley, ND's Josh Adams, Power Back Chris Warren, FB Dimitri Flowers, and WRs Trey Quinn, Marcel Ateman, Auden Tate et al. This is where the True Value of these 2 positions lies.
    The Emperor's pick? an explosive, but short and small-handed CB with inadequate ball production. Better CBs available, as I will now explain...

    Finally, my pick at #250: CB JC Jackson. He measured shorter than expected, but if he can keep his 0ff-field sh!t together, his on-field abilities could rival those of the Duke (but not of Dorchester) Dawson, and at far greater value.
    The Emperor's final pick: a Legacy selection, an(other) example of Billy doing a solid for a former student at the expense of actual talent...and another Blocking TE to boot...I thought that those guys were hard to find? Well, we now have Three of them in the building, and have only One who deserves respect as a pass-catcher. That's Little Billy for ye.
     
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    Last edited: May 6, 2018
  3. Sfpat

    Sfpat In the Starting Line-Up

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    Tell us how you really feel. Don't hang back. Let the anger out. Breathe..........
     
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  4. miloofcroton

    miloofcroton Practice Squad Player

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    Ok, here's my attempt at it:

    - Don't do Trent Brown trade.
    - Move up from 95th to 92nd for a future draft pick or something else small

    My biggest change is wanting Guice over any runningback in the draft, aside from Barkley. I steal him in the mid 2nd. Is he the receiving threat of a Dion Lewis or James White? Honestly, I think he displays the skills, but LSU doesn't use their backs that way, so it's not fair to expect much on tape about it. And as a runner, he's basically unmatched. Not to mention, he doesn't have creaky knees like Sony Michel. Guice is a workhorse; he's a guy that's a legit 1,000 to 1,500 yard guy per year. While this offense is built on passing and space, he adds an extra dimension that helps balance things a little. I *do* like the idea of taking a blue chip RB for this offense.

    I also take the most legit TE in the draft with Goedert. If he played at a top 10 school, he wouldn't escape the top 20 in the draft. Here's a guy who's dominant in boxing out opponents when he runs routes, catches everything in his vicinity (even with one hand, if necessary), and has a nasty demeanor when it comes to run blocking. Gronk, meet baby Gronk.

    Thirdly, I'm conditionally optimistic about Trent Brown. He has talent, but where is his head? I like getting a clean option in Okorafor, who has great feet and just might be ready to break out.

    I threw in Richie James as a midround steal at WR. I kept Barrios because I love that pick, but James offers something else that's unique. He reminds me a bit of Antonio Brown for his tenacity and elusiveness.

    In the UDFA section, I got my favorite sleeper at QB, Benkert. I think he's a better talent than Etling; he definitely has all the tools. I got two edge guys to add to the mix, one with great college production (Rolland-Jones) and one with lots of potential (Pugh). I still got JC Jackson. While I really like Dawson, I feel like Jackson + Crossen is enough to add at CB. I also got Igwebuike because Patrick Chung will need to be replaced at some point.


    1st round pick (23rd overall): Isaiah Wynn, offensive lineman, Georgia
    1st round pick (31st overall): Dallas Goedert, tight end, North Dakota State
    2nd round pick (56th overall): Derrius Guice, running back, LSU
    3rd round pick (92th overalll): Chukwuma Okorafor, offensive lineman, Western Michigan
    6th round pick (178th overall): Christian Sam, linebacker, Arizona State
    6th round pick (210th overall) Braxton Berrios, wide receiver, Miami
    7th round pick (219th overall): Richie James, wide receiver, Middle Tennessee
    7th round pick (243rd overall) Keion Crossen, cornerback, Western Carolina
    7th round pick (250th overall) Ryan Izzo, tight end, Florida State
    UDFA: Ja'Whaun Bentley, linebacker, Vanderbilt (I feel like he would still be available here)
    UDFA: Kurt Benkert, quarterback, Virginia
    UDFA: JC Jackson, cornerback, Maryland
    UDFA: Ja'Von Rolland-Jones, edge, Arkansas State
    UDFA: Jake Pugh, edge, Florida State
    UDFA: Keith Kirkwood, receiver, Texas A&M
    UDFA: Godwin Igwebuike, safety/nickelback, Northwestern
     
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  5. miloofcroton

    miloofcroton Practice Squad Player

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    Your post was fairly interesting. I'm mixed on agreeing/disagreeing with you. I just wanted to highlight this one section though.

    I think RB in general is not something you spend a high pick on, but when you already have the rest of the offensive pieces in place, I think a dominant RB can make a sizable difference in the overall offense. So, I think it's a good value if you actually get a good one, particularly one that's well-rounded and not just a situational player.

    I like Landry a lot too. I'm a huge fan of getting edge guys. However, I think the injury flag on Landry is a bit hard to ignore, and I have to imagine that is why he fell so far. Tempting, but it's easier to shore up other positions with certainty and trust some of the guys on the roster already, such as Trey Flowers, Adrian Clayborn, Deatrich Wise, and Derek Rivers.
     
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  6. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    I definitely prefer the idea of drafting a TE, either Goedert or Gesicki, at 31 over what Billy ended up doing.
    As for the rest of the draft, there's too much offense and not enough defense.
     
  7. reamer

    reamer Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    It's difficult to keep some integrity with these mental exercises -- now that I know where players are actually going to be drafted, I can better assess if I want to skip a position early and get my guy later on. That leads to some considerable hindsight. It's only fair, then, that I use my final pre-draft big board and my best assessment of roster needs when attempting to put together a BackDraft (™ @Off The Grid).

    I didn't want an early QB or an early LT pick (although Wynn was my favorite available, and number one on my big board, so in real life I was happy with the player, if not the position, even though I'm not drafting him for this exercise). I'm not sure I like Etling as a starter, but after going back over his film, there are flashes that tell me he could be an okay backup in this system. He's never going to be great, but he does occasionally show some timing and accuracy. I'd probably still go in a different direction. I considered grabbing Falk at 143 or 178, but that choice still doesn't make me very excited, either. If Mike White had lasted (he went at 171, I'd be tempted, even though I had Falk graded slightly higher).

    Somewhat like @captain stone, I believed that RB and WR could wait until the later rounds, although I probably would have taken a RB / WR in the mid rounds, instead of waiting until the 6th or 7th. It's tough for me to get too upset about Sony Michel, however, since he was the best fit for the Patriots in the entire draft, and high on my big board, even if I don't philosophically agree with RBs in the 1st round. For WR, I was sorely tempted by Anthony Miller, but he went one pick too early here. Sad. I also wanted a TE earlier than 250, preferably one with some potential for both pass-catching and blocking (namely, Ian Thomas). DaeSean Hamilton also drew strong consideration, but he went off the board before 125. Ah well.

    My goal was to strengthen the secondary and linebacking corp, although I wanted more speed than we actually picked up. Considering we double-dipped at those positions, the Patriots also wanted more players there, although I was looking for high end starters, and they were looking for some depth. Peter Kalambayi, Malik Jefferson, Genard Avery, and Leon Jacobs were my highest rated -- I thought about taking Avery and Jacobs in this exercise, but Kalambayi is more versatile (can play EDGE as well as all LB spots), and is more assignment sound. Next, I wanted to add a pass rusher if the opportunity presented itself. I was admittedly much higher on Tyquan Lewis than most people (I had him with a top 50 grade and though he was perfect for the Trey Flowers role), and he went at the end of round 2, ahead of his counterparts on that Ohio St DL, so I feel somewhat justified in putting him so high.

    I also liked Justin Reid. I had 1st / 2nd round grades on Reid and Lewis, even though they both went in the 60 - 70 range. Crossen was a late round favorite, so I'll probably retain him from the original draft, although I gave a lot of thought to possibly taking Cruikshank, instead. He's similar to Reid in that he can play CB or S, and also has elite testing traits. I would love to see a couple big, explosive athletes who can rotate between positions and give the secondary an amorphous factor that could confuse opposing QBs. Plus we could nickname him Shank.

    Big Boards


    TRADES


    Trent Brown was a steal for a late 3rd round pick. Even if he doesn't work out, he's worth the risk as a talented, starting level tackle on a team with some question marks, particularly since I'm skipping Wynn in this projection. I'll keep the idea of the trade in place, but swap around the picks. I'll pretend that we traded with the Titans to let them grab Evans, so we gave up a 6th (219) in exchange for a 4th. I'll also take the trade from the Ravens, to let them jump back into round one, instead of them trading the Eagles (we'd probably give up 95 and get 118 back; then use 117 plus 128 -- total of 118 points compared with 120 points for draft pick 95, per the trade chart -- to trade for Brown). That gives us three second round picks next year. I also liked the trades down from 43 and 51 to pick up extra picks next year, so those stay. If I did the math right -- and I probably did not after all that wheeling and dealing! -- then that gives us 25, 52, 63, 125, 132, 143, 178, 210, 243, and 250.




    25 Justin Reid
    52 Tyquan Lewis
    63 Ian Thomas
    125 Kalen Ballage
    132 Peter Kalambayi
    143 Genard Avery
    178 Dylan Cantrell
    210 Kendrick Norton
    243 Keion Crosson
    250 Riley Ferguson (. . . if I have to take a QB I guess)


    In UDFA, I liked bringing in Lacy, Jackson, Moore, and Webb. In this scenario, I would have also offered Quenton Meeks, Marcell Frazier, Sharif Finch, Chris Warren III, Skai Moore, Josh Adams, Allen Lazard, Joshua Kalu, Matthew Thomas, and Ryan Izzo (who probably wouldn't have been drafted) to come in to camp. I know we don't have that many slots, but those would have been my primary targets. I would have been willing to use 250 on any one of Meeks, Frazier, Finch, or Moore, however, so I'd push most for them.
     
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  8. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    Great post!

    I too really liked Justin Reid; I thought he could've been a great fit here, and that he would've brought some much-needed athleticism to the position.

    If we're going to take an Edge Defender at 52, then I might've gone with Sam Hubbard here first, or perhaps Lorenzo Carter...then Tyquan Lewis.

    I also really liked Ian Thomas, but more so at the end of the 3rd round than the 2nd. We could've had him there too, if Billy had not traded Jamie Collins during the 2016 season and had simply waited for the compensatory pick at the end of the 3rd round this year.

    Love that list of UDFA signings too!
     
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  9. reamer

    reamer Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Thanks! I tried to stay true to my personal board, which is why some of the players / value might not have matched what everyone else thought. I was really high on Lewis for a number of reasons. He seemed to be the most explosive and powerful of the three Ohio State players, and he was the most productive player on that line the last two seasons. He had success with a variety of moves from both outside and inside. Hubbard did best when looping or stunting. Holmes will probably bulk up and play tackle. Lewis can do what they do, but he could also be a 34 OLB if required. His testing numbers were very, very for his size, and in the right scheme he should outplay his draft slot. He reminds me a bit of Everson Griffin coming out of USC. Power end with enough juice to threaten the edge.

    I'm really disappointed the Colts took him -- here's hoping he busts there. I'd rather be wrong with my eval than right but see a rival prosper. ;)
     
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  10. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    Agree about Lewis, and how Bill would probably prefer him over Hubbard & Carter if given the choice...and also about hoping that the Colts will still suck!
     
  11. Sfpat

    Sfpat In the Starting Line-Up

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    I agree. Per nepatriotsdraft, his comparables were Jermaine Cunningham and Geno Grissom. Sounded like a BB type player to me.

    Building The 2018 Patriots Big Board: Defensive Line/Edge Rushers
     
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  12. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Excellent commentary as always, Brother Stone. Thanks for getting things rolling. [​IMG]

    You and I don't always agree ~ and're sometimes miles apart, in fact!! ~ but we certainly see eye to eye on Mad Bill's 2nd Round Defensive Back Record!! [​IMG]

    And Sony Michel is awesome, but I agree with your take.

    I would've done something far different with that Pick.

    I'll comment in more detail when I feel like I know what I'm talking about. :D
     
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  13. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Woot!! Awesome BackDraft, Brother!! [​IMG]

    Beautifully, beautifully crafted and obviously carefully selected...I'll hold off on commentary until I've cyberscouted everyone, but I'll say right now that in four year's time, I'll bet that this proves to be one of the very best!! [​IMG]
     
  14. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    An absolutely masterful bit of work, Brother Reamer ~ per usual!! [​IMG]

    I am, as usual, smarter now than when I began to read it. And as I need all the help in that regard that I can get, I gratefully thank thee!! :D

    And I love that you went right after not one but two 1st Round Trade Backs ~ with the Titans, then the Ravens ~ to amass additional Picks!! Greed is good!! [​IMG]
     
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  15. patsfaninpa

    patsfaninpa Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    Obviously, we didn't know the medicals on Garcia entering the draft. It makes the
    Trent Brown trade a no-brainer. I'm still not doubling up on Wynn. We're lacking
    impact defensive players. One fell to 17. We've traded with Baltimore before. I'd have
    traded 23 and 63 to move to 16. Buffalo gave em 22 and 65 for 16. Baltimore also
    threw in a 5th. I'd let them keep the 5th. I didn't get a rb. But, Hernandez is almost
    as good as Wynn. I'd rather have an elite def. player in a guy like James than what
    we will get out of a rb.

    1A Derwin James - S - Florida St - There's your big nickel we don't have.
    And buh-bye to J. Richards:)
    1B Will Hernandez - G - UTEP
    2 (43) Josh Jackson - CB - Iowa - Better than Dawson IMO.
    5 from SF IN Brown trade Tim Settle - DT - Va Tech- Always room for a fatty
    6 Christian Sam - LB - Ariz St
    6 Luke Falk - QB - WSU
    7 David Williams - RB - Arkansas
     
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  16. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Building the Perfect SuperBeast ~ Version 9.0!!

    Regarding BackDrafts & Mock OffSeasons
    Greetings, Fellow FootBall Fiends, and welcome to my 9th Mock OffSeason/BackDraft, where I allow myself full licentious license to indulge in my most hallucinogenic FootBall Team-Building Fantasies!!

    The premise: I hope, henceforth, as I always have, to get back to publishing Mock OffSeason + Drafts before The Draft in the future, and then follow through with these BackDrafts, afterwards. I work 7 Days/60 Hours a week, attend College, and occasionally hit the Elliptical and lift a weight or two, so I've found the going tough, in that regard.

    But I am undaunted!! Indeed, I feel as if I've reached a seismic level inflection point in my life ~ in short: I've finally figured out what I want to do when I grow up ~ and having thus cleared oceans of clutter out'f my life, have recently attained a dramatically improved level of focus and efficiency...I presume nothing of the future, but I am very optimistic.

    In any case: the most crucial part of that OffSeason equation, from my perspective, is this one: Now that we all know exactly what Pick every single Prospect would've had to've been drafted by, anyone who's inclined ~ though these will be only the extreme Draft fanatics!! ~ can update their Mock Drafts ~ creating a BackDraft ~ to reflect reality.

    For me ~ and for most'f us, I believe ~ the purpose of Mock Drafts is of course to play Fantasy General Manager, with a mind towards hopefully looking back over the years and bragging about one's prowess...And that's why I go to this trouble: Obviously, there's no sense in bragging about drafting Player X at #55, say, in your Mock Draft, if it turns out that he got drafted at #48, say, and wasn't available to you unless you traded up. Thus: this updated version or "BackDraft."

    The trouble with BackDrafts is obvious: In the real world, you can't know, beforehand, when a given prospect is going to be drafted, so it's shall we say very convenient to have the entire Draft laid out to exploit...It's obviously an enormous advantage, in that example above, to know that you need only trade up to #47 or so to get Player X, whereas in reality you would of course know nothing beyond your best analysis about when he might get drafted, were you running a War Room.

    Even so: Among anyone who publishes a BackDraft ~ a lot'f us on PatsFans.com have done so, before, and I intend to get it going again ~ has that same exact advantage, therefore there is no advantage against each other: zero.

    The only advantage is of course against the Team you're backdrafting, itself ~ in this case: The Patriots. And of course that advantage is balanced against the fact that the Patriots and every other team have access to information that absolutely dwarfs what we Fans have access to...Does that balance it off? Who's to say? It's all in fun, anyway!!

    And so, without further ado...
    Strategic Overview
    I realized, in the wake of that excruciating loss in the Super Bowl, that I've been too compromising.

    I've always preached that I wanted to build my Vision of a Team. After all, what's the use of playing Fantasy General Manager if you're just mimicking somebody else's Vision, even if that somebody happens to be, in the person of Bill Belichick, one of the greatest Head Coaches and one of the greatest General Managers ever? And I dare say that my approach has been consistently original...But as it finally became crystal clear that there is genuine Madness in Bill Belichick, along with his equally authentic genius, I realized that my approach was more balanced that I believe is the wisest approach.

    Don't get me wrong: I am the First Disciple of The International House of Have My Cake And Eat It Too.

    And I shall indeed strive aggressively to improve the entire 50 man roster, Specialists aside.

    But I've always preached concentrated attack ~ like Napolean at Austerlitz or General Guderian at Sedan ~ and in retrospect, I don't believe that I'ave hitherto leaned into it as I might've. That, my friends, is about to change.

    Regarding Continuity ~ "Roster Stability"
    The crippling effects of The Infernal Salary Cap compel every General Manager ~ real and phantasmagorical ~ to manage professional teams very much like college teams, where talent is continuously departing and must therefore be relentlessly sought out by every means possible. I have corresponded with those who endlessly blathered on about Continuity, oblivious to this reality that the Salary Cap inflicts upon us all. Continuity is of real value, but both the tactical and the strategic landscape are in constant turmoil, and one must either drive change...or face extinction.

    I am an American Infantryman ~ not active, you understand, but there are no "former" American Infantrymen.

    When I served, my best Battalion Commander and his subordinates always preached "Pushing It DownField." That was a tactical philosophy, but one that applies strategically, as well: It would be wonderful if we could plan and prepare our conflagrations and have events & enemies comply with our visualizations. But it doesn't work that way.

    The Fog of War disrupts all the best laid plans of mice & men.

    Or as General Douglas MacArthur put it:

    [​IMG]
    My thinking is this: It'd be all well and good if we had all the time in the world, as we did before The Infernal Salary Cap descended on the land and blotted out the sun, to develop players together for years and years until everyone knew everyone else's tendencies and techniques so well that they could play FootBall blindfolded...But as that's not the case, and as all teams are dealing with the same issues of syncing and developing chemistry and all that, I think that it's much smarter to develop an outrageously deep and talented coaching staff, pay them tons of money to develop the Players, and just concentrate on bringing in as many talented, intelligent, and driven Players as possible.

    The Game is constantly changing and constantly evolving.

    But the best and the brightest are changing and evolving with it...and don't need Years to get in sync.

    And there's no sense in being super-synced in the first place, if your talent is mediocre.

    Fortune favors the brave...and fortune favors those who seize the initiative.

    Or in other words: Don't sit on your ass. Push it downfield. Sow confusion in The Enemy...and wreak havoc.

    The great General George Patton once had a few words to share on the subject:

    "Some goddamn fool once said that flanks have got to be secure. Since then sonofabitches all over the globe have been guarding their flanks. I don’t agree with that. My flanks are something for the enemy to worry about, not me.

    Before he finds out where my flanks are, I’ll be cutting the bastard’s throat."

    Or, if I may be so bold as to venture a second Quote ~ more concise ~ from the great General George Patton:

    [​IMG]
    The Fixed Fortifications of the Maginot Line that France defended itself with in 1940 were models of Continuity. Heh.

    The Patriots entered this OffSeason with no less than forty spots that could be realistically upgraded.

    Each season is its own story: The team that hits the field in September is an infant.

    The team that hits the field in January...is a seasoned, developed adult.

    By the time the Super Bowl comes around, all players are in sync.

    I say let the weak concern themselves with continuity.
     
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  17. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    First, an Observation or Three...

    I'll start off by offering my unsolicited opinions on the moves that the Patriots made and didn't make ~ Planet Earth Version!!


    Free Agents ~ Departures

    01 ~ OT Nate "Universal" Solder. As terrifying as it is to lose a good Left Tackle in this barren market, I applaud this move!! Solder is good, but not great, and that $15.5 Million/Year contract that the Giants gave'm is a Salary Cap crippler, the kind of contract that forces teams to let go or pass on signing not one but several crucial, talented Depth Players. If I'm handing out that kind of cash, he better be a great Player, entering his prime, not a good Player who's already peaked and has openly considered retirement in recent years. The Giants are courting disaster with that contract. I say: let them.

    02 ~ CB Malcolm Butler. This obviously was a fait accompli, after that horrific Super Bowl decision. Oy. But while I nominally disagree with the Super Bowl decision, I cannot disagree with the decision to let loose a guy who ~ whatever the Hell transpired ~ would tempt Mad Bill towards that decision. Whatever the X Factor was, and as dear in all'f our hearts as Malcolm Butler will always be, you simply cannot pay premium bucks against the Salary Cap in such a situation.

    03 ~ SB Dion Lewis. Mixed feeling about this one, as I'm sure many'f us have. Lewis is a phenomenal SpeedBack in all three phases of the Game ~ Running, Blocking, Receiving ~ and is in'is prime. Even so: Paying $5 Million/Year, which he is certainly well worth, means not paying someone else ~ maybe 2 guys who'd improve our Depth of Talent, which is crucial during the PlayOffs, after injuries inevitably carve down the ranks ~ and HalfBacks are virtually commodities.

    04 ~ OT Cameron Fleming. As barren as the Offensive Tackle Market is, I have to applaud their letting him go. I was never a fan of Fleming, and while he's grown on me, I'd rather draft and develop raw talent than pay mediocrity. In The Infernal Salary Cap Era, every dollar matters. Better to spend it on talent with potential than mediocrity without it.

    05 ~ FB Danny Amendola. I love Danny, as do we all, and his place in Patriot Immortality is assured forever...But I applaud our having let'm go, too. He's a FlankerBack going on 33 and getting $6 Million a year. Better the Fish pay it.

    Free Agents ~ Retentions

    06 ~ OT LaAdrian Waddle. I respect this move, but I wouldn't do it. Waddle is longer on talent than on either performance or sustained health. I'd rather go with raw, talented Rookies and young, talented Veterans with better potential.

    07 ~ SB Rex Burkhead. Phenomenal move. I've always been an enormous Rex Burkhead fan, and, for the money, if I'd had to choose between Burkhead and Lewis, it would've actually been an easy call. Burkhead, like Lewis, is a legitimate three way threat ~ Running, Blocking, Receiving ~ and at 5103/216, is the perfect size for an HalfBack and incredibly agile.

    Free Agents ~ Signings

    08 ~ LE Adrian Clayborn. Not a move I would've made, but a very good one, I think. A 2 year contract at $6 Million per is very good value for a good Lion End still in his prime who's versatile and effective against both the Run and the Pass.

    09 ~ PB Jeremy Hill. A waste of time and money, I think ~ very little money, fortunately. Nothing against Hill, but I consider'm a mediocre PowerBack ~ a sluggish grinder who doesn't run, block, or catch very well.

    10 ~ SE Jordan Matthews. An absolutely amazing signing. Matthews is talented, young, entering his prime, has already had success in multiple years, and is coming at a bargain basement price ~ $1 Million!!! ~ because he's coming off'f a horrific year, marred by lingering health issues that he says were the result of a faulty diagnosis. And the best thing about Jordan Matthews is that he's a very cerebral WideOut, and could rapidly become a favorite target of Tom Brady.

    11 ~ OT Ulrick John. Absolutely love this move. John brings extraordinary agility and awesome intensity to the BattleField. In a world where Offensive Tackle talent is few and far between, Mad Bill managed to get an incredible athlete ~ with marginal Power, mind you!! ~ with a ferocious, focused mentality who's only 26 and entering his prime. Though his Combat Skills presumably still need work along with his Power...Well, there's this fellow, name of Dante Scarnecchia...

    Trades

    12 ~ BT Danny Shelton. Also not a move that I would've made, yet also a good one, I believe. Trading a presumably late 3rd Rounder for an early 5th Rounder in order to get a good, young Bear Tackle to help anchor the Defensive Line? It seems like a move that'll very possibly produce an enormous ripple effect that'll benefit the entire Defense.

    13 ~ CB Jason McCourty. How in the name of Jesus Jason McCourty is only pulling down $3 Million a year is beyond me to understand. He's still a good CornerBack!! He's probably passing his prime or about to, but going on 31 isn't exactly doddering his way to retirement!! Trading back from the 6th Round to the 7th for'm was a brilliant move.

    14 ~ SE Cord Patterson. Not a good Split End. He's basically a Kick Returner for whom we traded back from the 5th Round to the 6th. I'd rather have the difference between the Picks, and draft fresh legs to return Kicks.

    15 ~ OT Trent Brown. Excellent, excellent move. Brown did not meet my threshold of Scouting Reports in 2015, which is to say that neither was he drafted in the first 5 Rounds, nor did I perceive his Value as justifying a 5th Round Pick...But my judgement was based on enormous questions about his Intangibles, not on his natural talent, which, including his extraordinary WingSpan, is arguably 1st Round quality...And he has proven himself, while not exactly Tom Brady, you understand, greatly improved in terms of Conditioning and Motor, though with plenty of undeveloped upside. With Coach Scarnecchia around to guide'm, Brown could develop into a premier Left Tackle, approaching his prime.

    16 ~ XB Brandin Cooks. Wonderful, wonderful move. As much as I hated and detested our having surrendered a 1st Rounder for Cooks, last year, I applaud our getting rid'f'm for a 1st Rounder this year. He's an elite Talent, as I wrote in 2013, but precisely the kind of "flash" player who helps get you into the PlayOffs, but doesn't help you win them...as he proved, incontestably, with that pansy-ass jump, inside the 10, which cost us a 1st Down, and, arguably, the Super Bowl.

    The Draft

    #23 ~ Isaiah Wynn. A good value, I think. I rated Wynn as a Center, and believe that he'd make his best impact, there, perhaps supplanting Andrews, but I don't roll with convention when it comes to the classic Offensive Tackle Frame, and if Mad Bill and Coach Dante see Wynn as a Left Tackle, I certainly won't be the one to argue against it.

    #31 ~ Sony Michel. I didn't like this move, at all. Michel is a very talented Runner, but a mediocre Blocker, mediocre Receiver, and given to coughing up the FootBall...And of course he's an HalfBack. Highly talented HalfBacks are routinely available in the middle rounds, the late rounds, and even as UFAs. Yeah. Not a fan of this Pick.

    #43 to the Lions for #51 & #117. Love it. Trading Back. Love it. And I especially love it, because there was an enormous Air Pocket of Talent between the last 1st Round and the early 3rd...as there usually is. So if you can Trade Back and thus accumulate free extra Picks, it's a beautiful thing. All the better if you don't have to discount off Book Value.

    #51 to the Bears for #105 and the Bears's 2019 2nd Rounder. Win!! Love it!! While I readily acknowledge and am entirely prepared to take advantage of the reality that other teams are often stupid enough to drastically discount Future Picks, generally at about a 50% discount, I do not agree that a Future Pick is worth even a dollar less than a current Pick...And as such, it seems to me that the Patriots and Bears simply swapped years ~ the Bears' Pick projects to about #51 and quite possibly better ~ in addition to which the Bears threw in a nice juicy early 4th Rounder for the privilege. Win!!

    #63 & #117 to the Buccaneers for #56 ~ CF Duke Dawson. Blech. I did not like this move. I thought that Dawson was fine value for the Pick, but as a CenterFielder, not a CornerBack...And we've already got a couple of starting caliber CenterFielders. And to burn off a perfectly good 4th Rounder to Trade Up for'm? Again I say: Blech.

    #105 to the Browns for #114 & #178. Love it!! More Picks!!

    #114 to the Lions for the Lions's 2019 3rd Rounder. Awesome!! A 4th Rounder for a 3rd!! Beautiful!!

    Alas, I haven't as yet completed my CyberScouting on the late round Picks, as yet, so I'll hold my peace!! A few comments?

    A ~ I love, above all, what Mad Bill didn't do, once again: dump millions on expensive Free Agents.

    B ~ I love, too, that, yet again, he managed to cover every position before The Draft, thus allowing him maximum flexibility in his decisions, and allowing him to draft always, once again, for Value, not for Need.

    C ~ I've got big issues with the Michel and Dawson moves, but I was thrilled to see'm racking up all those extra Picks!!
     
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  18. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The Master Plan, Version 9.0!!
    As for how I would've done/would currently be doing things...First: Who're we getting rid of and/or reluctantly letting go?

    A recap of the same names from above:

    Free Agents ~ Departures

    01 ~ OT Nate "Universal" Solder. Way too much Cap Space on a good Offensive Tackle who's nearing the end.

    02 ~ CB Malcolm Butler. He's gone, regardless, of course.

    03 ~ OT Cameron Fleming. I prefer raw talent to train over seasoned mediocrity.

    04 ~ FB Danny Amendola. Love'm, but he's 33 and getting $6 Million.

    Free Agents ~ Retentions

    05 ~ SB Rex Burkhead. Phenomenal move. I've always been an enormous Rex Burkhead fan, and, for the money, if I had had to choose between Burkhead and Lewis, it would've actually been an easy call. Burkhead, like Lewis, is a legitimate 3 way threat ~ Running, Blocking, Receiving ~ and at 5103/216, is the perfect size for an HalfBack and incredibly agile.

    06 ~ SB Dion Lewis!! I squeezed'm in, under the Cap...Nominally, anyway!! Lewis is a phenomenal SpeedBack in all three phases of the Game ~ Running, Blocking, Receiving ~ and is in'is prime!! Pay the man!!
     
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  19. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Free Agents ~ Signings

    First off: the Belichick signings that I most definitely would've signed off on:

    07 ~ SE Jordan Matthews. An absolutely amazing signing. Matthews is talented, young, entering his prime, has already had success in multiple years, and is coming at a bargain basement price ~ $1 Million!!! ~ because he's coming off'f a horrific year, marred by lingering health issues that he says were the result of a faulty diagnosis. And the best thing about Jordan Matthews is that he's a very cerebral WideOut, and could rapidly become a favorite target of Tom Brady.

    08 ~ OT Ulrick John. Absolutely love this move. John brings extraordinary agility and awesome intensity to the BattleField. In a world where Offensive Tackle talent is few and far between, Mad Bill managed to get an incredible athlete ~ with marginal Power, mind you!! ~ with a ferocious, focused mentality who's only 26 and entering his prime. Though his Combat Skills presumably still need work along with his Power...Well, there's this fellow, name of Dante Scarnecchia...

    I would've passed on signing Hill, of course, and on Clayborn, as well. That was a solid move, but I've got my own ideas...

    09 ~ YT Dontari Poe. Enough. FootBall is a game played by men, not ballerinas. Enough of this cute ****. Enough mixing and matching this and that in order to come up with clever Defenses that play really well for their talent level but can never be counted on in the Games that matter most. This past Super Bowl was only the culmination of a long process that goes back more than a decade, because everybody knows that the Patriots haven't fielded a top shelf Defense since 2004.

    Enough of that ****. And I'm not even aiming for a 2004 level of Defense, either. I'm aiming to dominate. I'm aiming to destroy. And that starts up front. In The Trenches. Getting Danny Shelton was a very smart move, but screw that half-way ****, too. Shelton is a decent talent. I want Greatness at the most important position on the Defensive Line.

    Dontari Poe is going on 28 in September. He's a Yeti Tackle, which means that he is enormous ~ 6033/345 with a sprawling WingSpan ~ and he is outrageously agile as well as being incredibly strong. He came out of Memphis in 2012 with raw Combat Skills and Field Vision, but he has now learned the Game, and can master it in New EngLand.

    He is incredibly reliable, having played 94 out of a possible 96 Games despite working his way through painful maladies, and has emerged healthy, seasoned, entering his peak years...and at 3 Years and $27,000,000, incredibly cheap.

    Poe has the capacity, especially if we surround'm with talent, as I intend to, to become the most destructive force in the entire Game. There is simply nobody his size who can like he can. He is a force of nature.

    With Poe and Bear Tackle Malcolm Brown manning the middle of the Defensive Line, the most crucial part of our Defense has suddenly been transformed from a porous Liability into an enormous Strength. And I've just gotten started.

    10 ~ DE Jovais Galette. Dragon End, like Chandler Jones or Rob Ninkovich. "Jovais" because I refuse to honor "Junior" as a name, because it's demeaning to the man. This is pure Hail Mary, this signing, and would be on extremely strict terms, because Galette has had multiple infractions with the Law, including one just a year ago. The only reasons why I'd highly recommend going after this guy, though, is because even though he's just turned 30, has had issues, and is currently unsigned because he had been considering retirement...he should come incredibly cheaply because he missed two full Seasons and then had just 3 Sacks, last year, he should finally now be 100%, having worked his way back from those consecutive achilles injuries...and he is one of the most explosively underrated Pass Rushers in FootBall.

    So now, with rising star Trey Flowers, rapidly ascending talent Deatrich Wise, and Galette, we're suddenly kind'f deep at Dragon End, and can rotate these guys in and out, keep them fresh, and keep them explosive.

    Depth of Talent along the Defensive Line, not the Legion of Boom, is what made the 2013 SeaHawks so awesome: They had no less than 7 talented Players heavily involved in the Defensive Line rotation, and by keeping them fresh, they kept them explosive, and by keeping them explosive, they kept up relentless pressure all...year...long. The Legion of Boom became famous because they reaped the rewards of what the Front Line was doing ~ and because Richard Sherman is a Prima Donna, of course. This echoed the 2004 Patriots, whose decimated Secondary survived because of our Front 7.

    The Secondary often gets the accolades, but a dominant Defensive Line is what wins Championships.

    11 ~ MF Navorro Bowman. MidFielder. "LineBacker", to you Earthlings. The Patriots simply don't consider MidFielders to be a vital part of Defense, anymore, which is a pretty amazing development. Dragons and Bandits ~ like Donta Hightower, who I used to incorrectly characterize as a Dragon ~ we have several of, but classic 6010/245 Pound MidFielders like Teddy Johnson or Bruschi? Ancient History. Elandon Roberts and Christian Sam are the only two on our 90 who qualify, and Roberts' size is far smaller than Johnson or Bruschi were. The Game has changed, Ladies & Laddies!!

    That of course raises the question of why I would bother with Navorro Bowman. Bowman is going on 30, has been beset by a pair of horrible injuries that struck in his prime, plays a position that I've just suggested is getting phased out, and has reportedly lost enough of his agility that this erstwhile magnificent 3 Down Player is now merely a Thumper.

    That may be so, but I'd prefer to find out. Bowman should finally be 100%, you see, having worked his way back through the gears from the 2nd injury last year, and history strongly suggests a very strong chance that he'll be considerably faster, coming into 2018, than he was, last year. I'm always reading about how this or that Player has "lost a step" during his recovery from a major injury, written by dolts who're presumably shocked, the next year, when he's finally 100%.

    Players don't always recover back to their former selves, of course. They often do not.

    But it happens a lot more often than most would have you believe.

    I just think that it's distinctly possible that Navorro Bowman may have one or two peak years left in'm, despite the fact that we haven't seen his peak game in 4 full years ~ since 2013 ~ which is admittedly half a lifetime in FootBall Years. James Harrison, though, was still elite at 32, and Bowman was magnificent before the injuries derailed'm.

    He's unsigned even now, so you know that he'd be dirt cheap.

    Low Risk. High Potential!!
     
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  20. Off The Grid

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    12 ~ CB Aaron Colvin. Colvin played Slot Corner for the Jaguars, last year, but he's no Slot Corner. That was the only way to get'm on the field. I gave Colvin a Beast Rank and 1st/2nd Round Grade in 2014, and after recovering from an injury that torched his 2014 campaign and then working his way up the ranks as a 4th Rounder, Colvin looks, based on his rocking second half of 2017, as if he's poised for stardom. 4 Years and $34,000,000 ain't chicken feed, but considering that some CornerBacks are getting nearly twice that, and that Colvin's 100% healthy and entering his prime, it seems to me that that contract could prove to be a spectacular bargain, when all is said and done. And bringing him in to join up with Stephon Gilmore and Jason McCourty would instantly transform CornerBack from a Liability with thin talent to a Strength.

    13 ~ CB Delvin Breaux. Very talented, very coveted, a few years ago, and very forgotten, currently, after falling on hard times. But I would absolutely take out a flier on this highly talented CornerBack who's still in'is prime.

    I'll have further moves to make during the Draft for our Defense...some major ones.

    On to Offense!!

    14 ~ OG Kevin Pamphile. Very raw former Defensive Lineman when he came out in 2014, but very, very talented, Pamphile predictably struggled in Tampa. But he's a classic case of unproven talent over proven mediocrity ~ or sub-mediocrity, as the Patriots and most teams tend to fill out their interior line depth with. And he's now had a few years to work his training through the gears, he's entering his prime, he's dirt cheap...And I would love to see what Dante can do with this guy.

    15 ~ OG Xavier SauFilo. A very talented Offensive Guard who flamed out on Planet Hoosten after getting drafted #33 in 2014. I know that Coach Belichick prefers to sign UFA's who were 3rd Stringers on Division 47 Teams and let Coach Scarnecchia coach'm up, but I prefer some talent, if I can find it, and to let Coach Scar coach'm up. There's always the possibility that SuaFilo simply doesn't have what it takes, but he's dirt cheap, he's entering his prime years, and I'd much rather take my chances on that, than on a a Division 47 3rd Stringer, no offense to any'f those guys.

    16 ~ OT Luke Joeckel. Heh. Yeah, as'f this writing, Joeckel is still unsigned. There is of course always the possibility with any Free Agent that something else is going on that isn't being published ~ usually a health concern. That's probably not a concern, here, but it's worth noting. Joeckel played Guard for the SeaHawks, last year, after flaming out as an Offensive Tackle with the Jaguars. But when he went 2nd overall in 2013, he brought top shelf Left Tackle talent to the Field of Battle...And, yes: I much prefer to see what Coach Dante can do with highly talented Draft Busts over lowly, untalented Division 47 3rd Stringers ~ not that some'f my favorite Binkies aren't Division 47 3rd Stringers!!

    17 ~ PE Austin Sefarian Jenkins. Jenkins has certainly had a troubled past, and was certainly unexceptional, last year, on a bad Jets Team...But he's a recovering Alcoholic who's already done the hardest thing ~ burning through an entire year of sobriety. The first year of just about everything is far tougher than everything that follows, and I look at his situation as being very similar to that of a guy returning from a major injury: The second year is when he really starts to pay off. The second campaign is when everything should start rocking and rolling, again. Jenkins is an extraordinarily talented Power End, entering his prime, clean and sober, and at 2 Years and $10,000,000 ~ me, I'd try to lock'm up at 3 and 15!! ~ and quite possibly about to erupt, could prove to be the steal of the century. Gronkowski Insurance on steroids, baby!!

    18 ~ WB Matthew Jones. WingBack. Jones was drafted as a PowerBack, but after some success, has quickly faded to the fringe as he enters his 4th Year. When I cyberscouted'm in 2015, I noted that he'd exhibited exceptional Blocking skills and decent and improvable Receiving skills. That combination is exactly what the doctor ordered for a WingBack, a Skill Set desperately in need, but extremely hard to come by in the 21st Century. Having a guy that can crack a few skulls as a Blocker, yet offer a legitimate Receiving option, is a very rare yet crucial weapon to have. And he's dirt cheap.

    19 ~ SE Cody Latimer. Split End. 1 Year at $2,500,000. Kind'f pricey for a guy who's only caught 35 Balls in 4 Years, I must admit, but I was a big fan when he came out in 2014, and believe that things are locking into place for this highly talented Draft Bust just in time for's prime. He busted the Broncos, bless him, but may at last be poised to pay off!!

    20 ~ XB Bruce Ellington. SlotBack. 1 Year at $1,250,000, an incredible bargain for a young and ascending SlotBack ~ that's Julian Edleman's position, for those scoring at home ~ with tons of talent, entering his prime. He would provide both a perfect compliment to Edelman and a replacement, should injuries arise: Amendola, but younger and far cheaper.

    21 ~ FB Kenny Bell. A whack job who hasn't produced worth a farthing since I praised'm to the Heavens 3 years ago, but I figure: What the Hell?? He's passionate and plays hard. He just needs to focus his energy...and talent. Dirt cheap.

    22 ~ PB Cortrelle Anderson. Holy Hell. Yeah, I've read some foolish crap about Anderson. The sweet reality is that we're talking about a 27 year old PowerBack with marginal wear on'is tread who's an excellent Runner, a very strong Blocker, and an accomplished Receiver, going for $1,750,000. Again, I say unto you: Holy Hell. If I was a believer in the assinine practice of running Lead Backs into the dirt, I would be delighted to feed Anderson out there on every Snap, and would do so with every expectoration of seeing'm amass 1500 Yards on the ground and another 600-900 through the air, while routinely crushing Blitzers. He and the others will be much more effective if we rotate them in and out, but Anderson is, to put it explicitly, the kind of HalfBack who wins SuperBowls in the 4th quarter for you. I'd lock'm up for far more than a year.

    23 ~ SB Benny Cunningham. But at 216 Pounds, Cunningham is really neither a SpeedBack nor a PowerBack. He's simply a HalfBack, one who runs well and catches better, can block, is entering his prime, and is dirt cheap, bless'm!! He's essentially another James White, and I don't believe that you can have too many James Whites.

    24 ~ P Patrick O'Donnell. Nothing against Allen, but I've always been intrigued by O'Donnell. I'd like to take a look.

    Yeah, that's quite a few Free Agents!!


    There're other guys who I would've loved to've signed, but who I couldn't convince myself we could've won over, even given this being a game of Fantasy General Manager, just because of better opportunities, elsewhere.

    Indeed, it's no given that any of the guys on this list would've signed, in light of other opportunities. I believe that I could've sold'm all, but I presume nothing, even when I'm playing Fantasy General Manager!!
     
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