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Saturday night marked a frustrating end to New England's season, which now sets up some big questions heading into the offseason.

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2018 Draft/Positional Needs for Patriots

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by Addictive, Nov 24, 2017.

  1. Addictive

    Addictive On the Roster

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    New England Patriots have a talented roster of players who are available to currently play. However, New England have eight or nine players (listed below) likely to return to the 53 man roster. Plus we have four picks in the top 100 in the 2018 draft. These are probably not all going to be kept and will either be traded for players, traded for lower picks or traded for 2019 picks.

    When all this is taken into account what are the positions of need going into the 2018 draft or is it best player available?

    One thing to consider is that with both Rivers and Garcia not playing this season how many young players with no NFL playing experience will the Patriots carry on their game day roster? Or is this not a concern?

    My draft prediction: The Patriots don't draft a Quarterback in 2018.

    Locks to return to the roster: Dont'a Hightower, Julian Edelman, Malcolm Mitchell.

    Very likely to make the 2018 roster: Tony Garcia, Derek Rivers, Vincent Valentine.

    On the roster bubble for 2018: Cyrus Jones, Harvey Langi, Shea McClellin (retirement due to concussions?)

    1st round pick (NE)

    2nd round pick (via San Francisco, acquired in the Garoppolo trade)

    2nd round pick (NE)

    3rd round pick (NE)

    No 4th round pick (Eric Rowe trade with Eagles).
     
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  2. SammyBlueCat

    SammyBlueCat PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Brady6

    Brady6 Pro Bowl Player

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    I see it as likely that they will draft a QB in the first 3 rounds of the draft. It is an excellent draft class for QBs and we would control the QB until Brady is 45 years old.

    I have no clue why you say we don’t need a QB in 2018, that makes zero sense.
     
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  4. Brady6

    Brady6 Pro Bowl Player

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    I see their needs being:

    1. QB
    2. OT
    3. LB
    4. Edge
    5. CB

    Rivers and Garcia hopefully help at OT and edge.
     
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  5. luuked

    luuked Pro Bowl Player

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    Personally I think this discussion is at least 6-8 weeks too early. If it had been done last year at the same time I am sure the majority would have said something about White not being a roster lock and Flowers a JAG.

    Once the ink is dry on the entire season there will be a better snapshot of where players are.
     
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  6. maineman209

    maineman209 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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  7. Minitron

    Minitron On the Game Day Roster

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    QB, DE, OLB, CB, LOT
     
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  8. reamer

    reamer Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Not a fan of the 2018 QB class. It may produce good players, but each prospect comes with some serious red flags right now. I'd rather wait a year to find our next 2nd or 3rd round understudy.

    DT is a concern. Branch hasn't played to 2016 levels, and I believe that his contact is up next year anyway. Brown is a good player, and Valentine has flashed potential if he can stay healthy. Do we bring back the donut man? Rely on A. Butler to expand his role? I'd like to add another big body there. Vita Vea could be our next Wilfork in the middle.

    M. Butler may look for a payday elsewhere. Who knows; maybe he'll re-sign here after all. C. Jones is a mystery. J. Jones has played very well. Rowe has room to improve. Bademosi has been a revelation. That's a young, athletic corp to build around. Darius Phillips or Joshua Jackson could bring ballhawking skills to the group.

    Linebacker stands out as a question mark. Harris has filled in admirably, but he's not a long term answer. Roberts showed some signs of improved coverage last game. If he continues on this trajectory, then he can be a good situational piece of the puzzle. Van Noy has elevated his game. He has quietly put up a borderline pro bowl season, by the numbers. If Hightower returns healthy, then they make a strong pair. M. Flowers and Reilly have also impressed me recently. I'd love to add an athletic pass defender, though. Rashaan Evans is my choice right now, although I love Roquan Smith.

    Tight end could use an infusion of youth. I love Marty, and Allen has improved, but I could see another all around player added to the mix. Fumagali intrigues me. Mark Andrews is another one to watch, although his blocking lags behind his receiving skills.

    Receiver is also unclear. Amendola may or may not re sign. Can Edelman regain his form? Will Mitchell recover successfully? Cooks has been awesome for his first year, and I expect continued improvement. Adding an understudy in the slot seems important, and I think a large contingent of our fan base would still like a jump ball or red zone specialist. I like Javon Wyms, Auden Tate, and Juwan Johnson.

    More thoughts later. Thanksgiving dinner hangover. ;)
     
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  9. maineman209

    maineman209 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    2018 UFA

    PLAYER .............. pos . age . Last contract AAV

    Nate Solder ......... LT .. 30 .... $10,031,000
    Malcolm Butler ..... CB .. 28 ..... $3,910,000
    Rex Burkhead ........ RB .. 28 ..... $3,150,000
    Johnson Bademosi .... CB .. 28 ..... $2,250,000
    Matthew Slater ...... ST .. 32 ..... $1,800,000
    Cameron Fleming ..... OT .. 26 ..... $1,797,000
    Danny Amendola ...... WR .. 32 ..... $1,700,000
    Dion Lewis .......... RB .. 28 ..... $1,300,000
    Nate Ebner .......... ST .. 28 ..... $1,200,000
    LaAdrian Waddle ..... RT .. 27 ..... $1,200,000
    Ricky Jean Francois . DT .. 31 ....... $900,000
    Brandon Bolden ...... ST .. 28 ....... $775,000
    Marquis Flowers ..... LB .. 26 ....... $574,670
     
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  10. Nonentity

    Nonentity Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    LB, LB, LB, DE, TE, CB, QB, LB


    (we really, really need better linebackers...)
     
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  11. maineman209

    maineman209 Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Miguel's $13.7M 2018 cap space estimate might be increased if the Pats choose to release a couple aging players who are currently signed thru 2019 (dependent on how they perform the rest of this season):

    (net cap savings, not including replacement player salary)
    Branch, $2.7M - will be 33 next year
    Harris, $2.6M - will be 33 next year
    McClellin, $1.5 - only 30, but then there's the concussion thing (maybe)

    These would add about $6.8M.
     
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  12. varjao

    varjao Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    We could really benefit from another sequence of drafts like the Chandler Jones/HT/Collins drafts that set the front seven for years.

    In this past draft it seems like we hit on Wise Jr, so let's see if we can double dip at LB or DE/LB in the next one. The problem is that there's not much draft capital and ideally you draft the 1st rounders first, and then the stud 2nd/3rd rounder in the following year, so you have a 5 year window with these players.

    I'm calling it now the bomb/surprise trade for the next free agency, Rob Gronkowski for a 1st rounder.
     
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  13. QB12

    QB12 In the Starting Line-Up

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    This thread has to be started by the kind of person who lines up at WalMart the day after Christmas to buy discounted decorations for the next year. Ugh.
     
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  14. TheFlyingWedge

    TheFlyingWedge In the Starting Line-Up

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    Still too early as there’s plenty of football still to play - only stone cold lock is at QB.
     
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  15. patfanken

    patfanken PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Based on what I'm reading is that our cap room will be marginal. After making a splash in FA last season, I expect a very quiet one this season. We have 13 UFA's to sign and If we manage to keep 7, I'll be happily surprised. Unlike many, I think we are fairly well set up in the draft, at least relative to what we've seen recently. We have 4 picks in the first 3 rounds. So it looks like a quality vs quantity draft, which is OK since we have our top 2 picks from last season returning off of IR.

    3 other quick points: I think the discussion that is probably more urgent than the draft is who among the 13 UFA's should the Pats keep and at what cost.

    I also am among those who think that drafting a QB high should be a main priority are wrong. I'm not saying we shouldn't draft a QB at all, but the fact remains that we have serious issues on the DL and LB, and those areas need to addressed FIRST, and with the best talent available. But that being said, I wouldn't care much if we picked up a QB at the end of the 3rd round.

    All that being said, I just heard Lombardi's latest podcast and he waxed poetic about Lamar Jackson. Well I KNOW that he's the antithesis of the kinds of QB's we've seen here the last 25 years but hear me out.

    The kid has mad physical skills. Vick thinks he's a better talent than he was coming out. But more important, from what I've heard, he's humble, smart, and a hard worker, All important assets to have to be a QB for the Pats. He's also dropping in the draft and should have a huge chip on his shoulder. The only question, in my mind, is what his potential to process what he sees after being in the system 3 or 4 years. That's for BB to determine.

    Will the offense have to change a bit to suit his skills, of course it would, but BB has ALWAYS created systems to suit the skill set of his roster rather than the other way around. Also the offense is going to have to make an adjustment anyway when Josh goes to the Giants next year (though I hope not). The strength of the continuity of the offense lays in the LANGUAGE that has been developed over the years, not in the kind of plays that are run.

    There will be all kinds of names thrown out there come March. I doubt Lamar Jackson will ever be linked to the Pats, but I wonder.....
     
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  16. sb1

    sb1 Pro Bowl Player

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    LB, DE, TE, QB3, DT, OL
     
  17. Addictive

    Addictive On the Roster

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    Walmart doesn't even exist in the country I am from.

    Many people have written thoughtful and interesting replies to this post I created which of course I knew would receive some criticism for discussing the draft/2018 roster in the middle of the 2017 season. But I did it to spark a conversation between members of the board. Your post offered nothing but showing you to be a bell-end.
     
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  18. Hammer of Thor

    Hammer of Thor PatsFans.com Supporter PatsFans.com Supporter

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    The obvious one: Dwayne Allen, $5.0M. I don't want to rekindle the Allen flame wars on this site, but suffice it to say I can't imagine BB choosing to pay $5M next year for Allen's current role. Doesn't necessarily mean he won't be back if he's willing to restructure.

    And then there's Marty Bennett. His cap charge is $6.4m in 2018. If Bennett doesn't retire, Belichick might still think that's too high for a 31 year old guy with a bum shoulder and who may have worn out his welcome with a few folks at the end of last year (per Mike Reiss report). This one's a reach given how Marty's responded since his return, but stranger things have happened.

    Finally another obvious one: Tom Brady. He's due $15m in base salary in 2018, contract expires after 2019. Add one year to the deal, convert $14m of the base salary to a signing bonus, and you create $9.3m of cap space for 2018.
     
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  19. BobDigital

    BobDigital Pro Bowl Player

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    The main spots are LT, backup QB, DT, LB, CB

    The key guys the Patriots have to replace will be Solder and Butler if don't resign Butler and Solder retires like we think he will.

    At LT do we go with Garcia or someone else? I think Garcia is still the plan for now.

    Here is what the Pats do.

    #1 cut/redo Branch contract (saves up to 2.7M)
    #2 cut/redo Bennett contract (saves up to 5.5M)
    #3 cut/redo Allen contact (saves up to 4M)
    #4 cut/redo McClellin (saves up to 1.5M)
    #5 ask Brady to go from 22M to 20M if willing (saves 2M)

    The Pats have 13.7M before any of these moves. Personally I'd cut Branch. Redo Bennett if he wants to come back cut Allen (or pay him about half as much) or if Bennett doesn't want to come back redo the Allen deal anyway. Neither have dead money so the Pats have a good deal of leverage. In either case TE behind Gronk should drop down by at least 5.1M if not more if Bennett doesn't come back and even if both do. I would let McClellin walk and save that 1.5 M. Also I would give strong consideration to letting Gillislee walk and saving that 1.5M. Frankly I don't see him as being much better than a JAG at this point but I will not include that.

    This would bring the Pats cap space to about 23M

    UFAs i'd sign

    Burkhead 2.5M/yr
    Lewis 2.5M/yr
    Slater 1.5M/yr
    Ebner 1.3M/yr
    Amendola 1.7M/yr
    Waddle 1.8M/yr - 11.3M total

    RFAs I'd sign

    King .6 M

    Keep in mind all this could be lower considering how much they choose to back load the contracts.

    This brings the total to 11.9M and you have about 12.1M to spend if you so choose. Do we spend that on Butler or not and if so how much? Also we need a little something for draft picks and emergency funds. Personally I bring Butler back and I think a contract averaging 9M is fair considering his play this year. He has been overall good but not a true top CB. That amount would make him the 17th highest paid CB in the NFL on average which is not bad at all. Start him at 6.4M this year and have it go up every year to average that number over 4/5 years.

    The Pats would have 5.5M left and if they need to sign a small end guy cut a similar small end guy to be cap neutral. If need be ask Brady to change his contract just a few million. At this point extending him a year or 2 and having him take less this year as well wouldn't be crazy as he will be the solution the next 3 years you'd think at least but is only signed for 2018 and 2019.

    Cap space even with Butler and signing the guys I want shouldn't be a big issue.

    For picks if you believe Garcia is the solution at LT you can focus on front 7 and trying to find a backup.

    1st rd pick - front 7 player
    2nd rd pick (SF) - trade down for a 2nd and 4th (only you think you can only get a worthy QB prospect here)
    2nd rd pick - backup QB
    2nd rd pick - front 7 player
    3rd rd pick - ???? depends
    4th rd pick - ???? depends

    Roster

    Offense - 25

    QB - 3 -Brady Hoyer (draft pick)
    RB/FB - 5 - White Burkhead Lewis Gillislee Develin (Bolden cut unless injuries happen)
    TE - 3 - Gronk Bennett/Allen/Hollister(2 of these 3 depending on contracts and retirement. Maybe draft a TE too depending how it plays out in the 3rd or 4th)
    WR - 5 - Cooks Edelman Hogan Mitchell Amedola/Dorsett (cut Dorsett or let Amendola retire... I wanna keep Amendola... maybe a surprise MM cut due to injuries)
    OT - 4 - Cannon Garcia Waddle (draft pick maybe or vet already on roster)
    IOL - 5 - Thuney Andrews Mason Karras Croston?(could change)

    Defense - 22

    DE/DT - 8 -Flowers Rivers Wise Brown Butler Guy Valentine (draft pick)
    LB - 5 - Hightower Van Noy Harris Roberts (draft pick)
    CB - 5 - Gilmore, Butler, Rowe, J. Jones, C. Jones (maybe Bademosi over Rowe or C. Jones?)
    S - 4 - McCourty Harmon Chung Richard

    STs - 6 - Slater, Ebner, King, Gost, Allen Cardona

    Something like that I'd guess.
     
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    Last edited: Nov 24, 2017
  20. upstater1

    upstater1 Pro Bowl Player

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    Needs:

    1. OLB
    2. DE
    3. OLB
    4. DE
    5. OLB
    6. OLB
    7. OT
     
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