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2022 NEP Draft recap/thoughts

2022 Patriots Season:
Upcoming Opponent:
Next Up: at Cardinals
Pick Results: NE: 82.1% at ARZ: 17.9%

Mon
Dec 12th
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long distance

Pro Bowl Player
Been busy with 2023 prospects, life and work but I know someone asked me about Strong last week via pm.

Pierre Strong is a very deliberate pick. Very different from the bruising downhill style of Rham truck & Harris. Truly a great compliment to their power, contact balance and ability to run downhill. Strong might lack in some of those areas but he really brings something different and shapes up this group nicely.

Hes got serious acceleration and fast twitch. Which after patience/setting up your blocks, is the most important thing for stretch plays, OZ. Basically has one gear but he gets to 0-100 real quick. Good long speed. Some guys run a fast 10-20 yard split some need that first 10 yards to build up that speed. Strong gets into top gear extremely fast. I mentioned it above but he's very good, very patient setting up his blocks and using his blockers to his advantage. He'll help himself a lot by setting up the 2nd level where people will just see his speed. It can be a detriment as well bc he'll get stuck in the 1st level at times but he's not the most versatile back in terms of what you'll run so you live with the shortcomings and commit to his strengths. He does a nice job shaping the landscape to his liking in the 2nd and 3rd levels. Of course having 4.3 speed doesn't hurt. And speed is a funny thing. I always go back to Josh Boyce bc he's an easy example. He was lightning fast but couldn't utilize in the game. What does that mean? He couldn’t keep that speed while adjusting his stem or path in-route. He couldn't stop/start fast with a person shadowing him. Sure he's fast running a 40 but football is hardly a straight line. Strong is very good at keeping full speed while shifting a little bit, changing his path, weaving through defenders. One of the more impressive things about his game. He's got some nice COD at full speed. Not so much bounce around like Barry Sanders COD but shifting, turning while keeping top speed.

I like his rec upside but there's not a lot to go in terms of tape, r/r potential. He hung around the flat most of the time. You'd like to see more r/r but he's comfortable in the moment which matters to me. Seems to have soft hands. No clapping or unnatural technique catching the ball. Like pass pro not a lot of reps in this department. So making a concrete judgment this early wouldn't be wise. He doesn't freak out or look uncomfortable though so I think there's decent potential there if we utilize him and coach him up behind the scenes. I'm praying to old AND new gods we utilize Rham in that department! I've said this a few times last year but please give him some work in the MOF on those option routes. He's got some nice wiggle and shake for 225-230 and can handle the added responsibilities I believe. I'd love to see him and Harris catch just a few more passes early in the game.

Pass pro is iffy, I'd like to say "hit or miss" but I got more "miss" than hits looking at the collective. He's very willing and capable but was extremely hesitant on certain rushes. Extremely might be too much. The hesitancy and indecision were noticeable, technique wasn't terrible but there also wasn't a ton of reps to go through to critique or praise. Not a lot of examples either way. When he was in on the action I got an inconsistent vibe from a technical standpoint. Dropped his head on occasion, hand placement could definitely improve. Urgency and attitude could also improve. I remember saying last years class overriding trait was "attitude" from Mac to Barmore to Rham. Rham had serious issues in pass pro coming into the league (I believe I mentioned that in his thread after the draft) but has major attitude and fight. I'd like to see Strong be a little more aggressiveness in this department.

Alluded to his vision above. Definitely above average. Skill set limits usage in a sense bc he's not an in between the tackles runner but he really makes use of it setting up himself up once he gets away from the 1st level of defenders.

He's also a big time play waiting to happen. Multiple 1k seasons, multiple big runs 10 +, averaged 7 + per clip and 40 + TD. That's not a fluke and what you want to see. Again not sure about #'s and expectations this year but he'll absolutely contribute and have a role sooner rather than later imo.


Feels like Bill pulled the trigger on Strange - to fill the only real need - and then threw the keys to the kids : )
(he has enough Cap to buy a whole new team if need be over the next years..)

Both RB picks were head scratchers tbh and seeing White already practicing makes it even more so.
Its such an easy and cheap position to plug and play vets .. but Pats obviously like to draft them fwtr..

Both have a long way to go in PP and rec but unlike JJ at least they have the physique..

Im not too optimistic on PP front for Strong tbh.
He will make the 53 but it will be hard to find snaps for him wo PP or rec.
ST + gadget plays might be his way to the active roster..

He will be valuable on scout teams though..
 
Last edited:

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
PatsFans.com Supporter
Feels like Bill pulled the trigger on Strange - to fill the only real need - and then threw the keys to the kids : )
I got a "need" based draft all throughout tbh. Obviously Strange at LG,l. Need for speed in TT. Speed back / Harris as D Harris contract is coming up. Slot CB considering Jones is coming up too. Return man that can also function as something else. I get what you're saying though.
(he has enough Cap to buy a whole new team if need be over the next years..)
Yup.
Both RB picks were head scratchers tbh and seeing White already practicing makes it even more so.
Its such an easy and cheap position to plug and play vets .. but Pats obviously like to draft them fwtr..
I posted something recently suggesting they spent for draft capital or the highest draft capital towards the position. Bill loves knowing what he's buying so I suppose the position doesn't matter if he feels comfortable about what he's getting back.
Both have a long way to go in PP and rec but unlike JJ at least they have the physique..
I'm hoping we see for 2 back / pony looks. Some of our best players are RB's. We clearly like them if we're drafting them somewhat high. Mentioned it above but I'd love to see Rham get a few more looks in the passing game. Rham, Harris, White, Strong (23 yo) that's a diverse group I wouldn't mind see us maximize that group even though it's the year of the Mac.
Im not too optimistic on PP front for Strange tbh.
He will make the 53 but it will be hard to find snaps for him wo PP or rec.
ST + gadget plays might be his way to the active roster..

He will be valuable on scout teams though..
Strong?
 

DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
Feels like Bill pulled the trigger on Strange - to fill the only real need - and then threw the keys to the kids : )
(he has enough Cap to buy a whole new team if need be over the next years..)

Both RB picks were head scratchers tbh and seeing White already practicing makes it even more so.
Its such an easy and cheap position to plug and play vets .. but Pats obviously like to draft them fwtr..

Both have a long way to go in PP and rec but unlike JJ at least they have the physique..

Im not too optimistic on PP front for Strange tbh.
He will make the 53 but it will be hard to find snaps for him wo PP or rec.
ST + gadget plays might be his way to the active roster..

He will be valuable on scout teams though..

Not sure why the RB picks are "head scratchers".
Damien Harris is in a contract year and has yet to play a full season. 14,6,2. That's the games he's missed the last 3 seasons.

James White is coming off a serious hip injury and was rumored to not be ready. Remember that OTAs aren't full contact. They're no contact. So him running and catching passes is different than doing RB drills barreling into D-linemen or getting tackled by LBs.

Despite the 2 TDs that JJ Taylor had last year, it was a pretty underwhelming performance. 19 rushes, 37 Yards. 4 catches, 8 yards.

Rhamondre missed 5 games.

Bolden, the only RB to play all 17 games for the Pats, is gone.

I can see Harris and Strong replacing Bolden and JJ Taylor easily. This gives the Pats 2 very young RBs to develop behind Rham and Damien while prepping for the possibility of Harris leaving. But it also givens the team coverage in case of an major injury OR in the event that White's hip doesn't allow him to return to form once contact starts in camps and practices.

I'm actually shocked that you think that Strange will have issues in Pass Protection. He's much more polished at it than Mason was coming out of college. It might be the "weakness" in his game, but it's still very good compared to his Excellent run blocking. It's much more likely that he'll be the starting LG than not.
 

long distance

Pro Bowl Player
I got a "need" based draft all throughout tbh. Obviously Strange at LG,l. Need for speed in TT. Speed back / Harris as D Harris contract is coming up. Slot CB considering Jones is coming up too. Return man that can also function as something else. I get what you're saying though.

Got you. Loved the 2 mid round CB picks.

I'm hoping we see for 2 back / pony looks. /.../ I wouldn't mind see us maximize that group even though it's the year of the Mac.

Like the idea & “the year of the Mac”


yep
 

long distance

Pro Bowl Player
Not sure why the RB picks are "head scratchers".

1. Id never worry about drafting/developing/replacing RB. You can always find them cheaply if you need them. (Sony 1.7M f.e.).
But thats just from the roster building economy pov.
2. NE RB (via Lombardi) = 1.PP, 2.rec, 3.run. As BGC wrote as well - both picks iffy at 1&2.

Harris is likely a PS pick (2022) so thats ok - better sense than placing vets there although the league is now full of vested vet RBs on PS.

Strong is JJ “replacement/upgrade“ and a speed pick - but with ugly tape in PP i wonder what role they can carve for him this year since they will likely have to carry him on 53. On the other hand roster spots with new rules are not as precious any more so what the hell..
I like the BGC 2 back/pony idea but wo PP his usability will in any case be limited. Id guess they tested his PP potential and they believe they can both coach him up and change attitude.. But i dont feel its a given

btw - if you want to look at Bolden “replacement“ - Montgomery would fit the bill


I'm actually shocked that you think that Strange will have issues in Pass Protection. He's much more polished at it than Mason was coming out of college. It might be the "weakness" in his game, but it's still very good compared to his Excellent run blocking. It's much more likely that he'll be the starting LG than not.

Was obviously talking about Strong in PP - Strange is my man, never worry.
 
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DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
1. Id never worry about drafting/developing/replacing RB. You can always find them cheaply if you need them. (Sony 1.7M f.e.).
But thats just from the roster building economy pov.
2. NE RB (via Lombardi) = 1.PP, 2.rec, 3.run. As BGC wrote as well - both picks iffy at 1&2.

Harris is likely a PS pick (2022) so thats ok - better sense than placing vets there although the league is now full of vested vet RBs on PS.

Strong is JJ “replacement/upgrade“ and a speed pick - but with ugly tape in PP i wonder what role they can carve for him this year since they will likely have to carry him on 53. On the other hand roster spots with new rules are not as precious any more so what the hell..
I like the BGC 2 back/pony idea but wo PP his usability will in any case be limited. Id guess they tested his PP potential and they believe they can both coach him up and change attitude.. But i dont feel its a given

btw - if you want to look at Bolden “replacement“ - Montgomery would fit the bill

Was obviously talking about Strong in PP - Strange is my man, never worry.
Ok. Got it..

I know you say that you never worry about "drafting/developing RB" but that hasn't been the BB's modus operandi typically. For example, they brought in White a year before they "needed" him. They brought Damien in the year before they "needed" him. They brought in Maroney while they still has Dillon. They brought in Rham last year.

Also, I apologize for not being clear. I don't see K. Harris as a direct replacement for Bolden or Strong for JJ Taylor. I meant replacement in terms the RB roster in general. The Pats have generally carried 4-5RBs and a FB.. With the FB position gone, we could see them carry the 5 RBs IF White is healthy enough start TC and not start the season on PUP.

In a perfect world, the Pats wouldn't need Strong or K. Harris this year because Damien, Rham, and White suck up all the touches.

As for Ty Montgomery, I'm not sure he makes the team. He's going to have to show that he can outplay K. Harris as well as whomever for Kick Returns. Montogmery's best year was 2016. And he hasn't seen more than 66 touches since 2018. I know some people look at him and see someone who might be like Cordelle Patterson, but I don't know if he can do that with the Pats. And.. Honestly, I don't see him cracking the WR side either unless the Pats trade Agholor or withdrawn the tender on Meyers..
 

SBPatsFan

On the Roster
I got a "need" based draft all throughout tbh. Obviously Strange at LG,l. Need for speed in TT. Speed back / Harris as D Harris contract is coming up. Slot CB considering Jones is coming up too. Return man that can also function as something else. I get what you're saying though.

Yup.

I posted something recently suggesting they spent for draft capital or the highest draft capital towards the position. Bill loves knowing what he's buying so I suppose the position doesn't matter if he feels comfortable about what he's getting back.

I'm hoping we see for 2 back / pony looks. Some of our best players are RB's. We clearly like them if we're drafting them somewhat high. Mentioned it above but I'd love to see Rham get a few more looks in the passing game. Rham, Harris, White, Strong (23 yo) that's a diverse group I wouldn't mind see us maximize that group even though it's the year of the Mac.

Strong?
Bacon after the Pats drafted Strong one thing that came to my mind was the early 70's Dolphins and Mercury Morris, and how Morris added a different dimension of speed and outside running threat compared to what Csonka and Kiick brought to the table. IIRC those Dolphins used lots of 2 back looks, with some Pony and some more traditional lead FB and HB formations. Anyway, it makes me wonder if historian Bill is thinking like you are, with more 2 back / pony looks on the menu, and Stephenson being our Csonka, Harris being the Kiick, and Strong being the Morris (not perfect analogies with how much the game has changed but in a general sense).
 

long distance

Pro Bowl Player
I know you say that you never worry about "drafting/developing RB" but that hasn't been the BB's modus operandi typically.

True. One reason is - bc of lowest/declining position value - RBs are often BPAs on Day 3.

As for Ty Montgomery, I'm not sure he makes the team.

His gateway is ST - hence the talk of potential Bolden “replacement“. With quite a few core ST spots opening he should have a decent chance.

 

BaconGrundleCandy

Not the kind of guy to say I told you so ...
PatsFans.com Supporter
Bacon after the Pats drafted Strong one thing that came to my mind was the early 70's Dolphins and Mercury Morris, and how Morris added a different dimension of speed and outside running threat compared to what Csonka and Kiick brought to the table. IIRC those Dolphins used lots of 2 back looks, with some Pony and some more traditional lead FB and HB formations. Anyway, it makes me wonder if historian Bill is thinking like you are, with more 2 back / pony looks on the menu, and Stephenson being our Csonka, Harris being the Kiick, and Strong being the Morris (not perfect analogies with how much the game has changed but in a general sense).

Ohhh I like that comp good one. Just think with Harris established. Rham clearly deserves some real touches. I'd be curious to see who/if the staff feels Rham could serve just a little more in the rec game.
 


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