Bill's said this same thing OVER and OVER and OVER again since he got here and yet people still don't have the foggiest idea. And the worst ones are the ones who claim that this isn't the way Bill does it.
Lots lot to talk about how New England approached this draft. What we do know is this was a typical Patriot draft in terms of the prospects they selected. No surprises there. One thing I did notice after the fact is we got a ton of attitude! Mac, Barmore, Perkins, McGrone, Bledsoe, Stevenson. All bring a little something extra in that department. All guys that should have something to prove for various reasons.
So little is actually known about philosophy I prefer to look at Bill's actions as opposed to snippets from a press conferences or articles. Or even what he says lol. I don't believe any team has a strict, absolute philosophy, every draft is different. You're drafting from different spots, have a different # of picks. The talent & depth if the classes will be different. I personally believe a lot of teams have core beliefs but are adaptive. It's tough to plan for the unknown and so much of the draft is seeing how the board shapes up & adjusting accordingly. At some point you use all of BPA, adaptive, need, value. Im of the belief that value & need have to meet for the most part in order for us to pull the trigger and so many of Bill's picks have this in common. Bill likes "win now", "show me don't tell me" prospects. He's about this Sunday not next year.
I'm not sure there is anyone that drafts more teammates than us? Almost a yearly tradition. We definitely like what we see from certain schools and systems. It's not a coincidence we've been doing this for a while now. Whether it's the system, coaching connections, it's been a trend now.
I only hit on 3 prospects (Mac, Sherman, McGrone) but had Barmore & Perkins on my initial board for a while before taking them off for different reasons (didn't think Barmore would be available in round two, where I had him and Perkins didn't test that well, bottom 10 for NEP athletic fits) and it sounds like NE liked another guy I and others thought fit here in Davis Mills. Also anyone read up on anything about AVT related for us? Sounds like we might have liked him as well? I hit on 7 last year including udfa, yearly goal is 4-5 so I fell short. I didn't hit on as many prospects as I'd like, the force is still strong in me when it comes to potential pats. From Riess - 4. Mills as QB2?: The Patriots obviously felt good about Jones falling to them at No. 15, but as usual, they were prepared for multiple scenarios, having spent considerable time and resources on the second tier of quarterbacks. Who might have been their target? The Texans' selection of Stanford's Davis Mills early in the third round (No. 67) is the strongest evidence to me that he was the Patriots' Plan B, as first-year Texans general manager Nick Caserio grew up in the New England system.
Barmore & Perkins come from and are both particularly good in a slant system (supposedly Dallas liked Barmore). Both are disruptive gap shooters, adapt at slicing through bodies. Perfect for an aggressive, attacking system ... Or sub/nickel pressure package.
Mac Jones or Big Mac / Mac McMahon as I like to call my QB. I wouldn't have taken Mac at 15 even though I like him. Just thought his value was in the 2nd round. Bill waited, had some luck in terms of Mac getting there, not much of a gap between 15 -round two imo. And just bc I wouldn't have picked him there doesn't mean I can't see a path to success. As I've said before I expect Jones to fit right in here. He's a very likeable guy that seemingly can read a room. He played his part at Bama to a T and is doing the same in NE. He didn't go in swinging his Mac Johnson everywhere in Tuscaloosa. He sat, absorbed and made the most of his opportunity, behind the scenes and on the field. Present day - he's already saying the right things about the coaches and Cam. He'll play that up until practice and that's when he'll make his move. Newton simply isn't a "practice" guy. That's never where he'll look his best. That's where Mac will shine though, in the details. In between plays, communicating to his side, talking **** to the other side. Not taking the bait set out for him. I expect a tight race at first bc Newton isn't going to want to lose to Jones and knows this might be he's last shot or next to last. Jones will pull away though imo. Whether that's enough for Bill is a different story. A lot is and was made about "upside" as is just about every draft cycle. Mac's upside is pretty clear imo. Graduate from the pre/post snap school, work on his body and work on his mechanics to unlock that arm. A)Mental processing, reading coverage/finding & adjusting to disguise ... He's good but not elite or close to his final form there. Remember he's in the NFL now so everything is "among his peers" from now on. For him to be a legit top 10-12 QB we're going to need him to hit another level in that department. The things he's good at, he needs to become great at for him to hit that individual peak. He needs to master that part of the game, not just be good or above average in the NFL among his peers. That only comes from trial & error, studying & experience. Good news is Mac has already shown he can run that race, we just need to get him a lil faster so to speak and keep working. And some luck. B)Body transformation. I love the baby gut & chicken legs but it's the NFL & the margin for error is ridiculously small. Improving his flexibility, strength and other things (could be a nice mental escape) can only help him reach that peak. I expect Mac to look different this summer and I have no doubt he'll have a new physique next year. That's a promise. C)Mechanics, Jones doesn't have the greatest arm but if you watch him close, his launch point/the follow through of his delivery tends to lose steam at times, a little loose. A tweak in his delivery might do wonders. Anyone who really watched him saw the balls die in the air at times. Esp outside the #'s - corner-deep out. Stuff that requires quick gas. I think his base and feet are fine when he's clean but his delivery could be a little tighter, more compact overall imo. I'm not an expert but I wouldn't be surprised at all to hear something like this in the future. There are plenty of stories about him being a film nut. Nagy and Saban have told several stories about catching him watching film after hours while the janitors are sweeping and the place is empty. So it's obviously there. Rewatching him again, his anticipation always stands out. I have to say that's easily his best trait. He really does have + anticipation and good accuracy. Feet could be quicker, they get sloppy under pressure but he moves very well in the pocket. Another thing that really stood out was his ability to adjust to the game plan and subtle changes. Bama gets credited with running a "pro scheme" for some reason but that's just stuff people hear and repeat. Maybe a simplified one but that's another subject. Anyway the real good stuff is what he's able to do after halftime, when Sark gets a look at the defense & decides to attack. When there's a weakness to be exploited he's on it and able. So while Bama is essentially a simplified RPO offense, Jones was a hitman at times when ask to do something different, adjust on the fly and play with some refinement. He handled everything Sark threw at him. Shined on the big stage. No doubt Bill will build that chip on his shoulder up even more. I'm optimistic and excited to see what Mac can do with Bill and Josh. Hoping we keep the RPO, it's a nice safety blanket for him. This a is great place for him. If you're a Pats fan you should be very happy. It doesn't matter who you liked or you're binky was. Mac is a Pat, cheap and more than capable. Most of his upside is in the mental part of the game but I believe his arm/arm talent could absolutely improve with a tweak to mechanics.
Barmore - right before the draft I asked if Barmore was the missing piece on this front line? Bill loaded up to stop the run with Guy, Adams, God and Anderson but we were clearly missing that rusher in the middle. And let's be honest I think we've seen Butler's ceiling or close to it. Barmore is a different animal though with tremendous potential. He's really savvy rushing 1/2 man, the angles he takes really put his man in a tough spot when he plays with proper leverage. Which isn't always the case but when he does he's more than a handful bc of his quickness and hands. Guys are out of position, off balance & leave themselves vulnerable. Once he develops a strong counter he'll have OL'm seeing double. Preferably a spin move. His burst gets guys out of position often, perfect to come back around with a spin. You don't see a lot of bigger guys that can work that relationship consistently but bc of explosiveness, hands and lateral movements he can. Speaking of lateral movements they'll come in handy with all our TEX - stunts. Barmore should be able to contribute right away in various ways - 1 on 1, manufacturing pressure, different techniques - he played nose over - nose shaded, 3T, 4i & 5T at Bama. That's the goal here I'm sure. Have him wreck **** from different spots depending on who's in front of him. If he commits to playing with leverage and cleans up his footwork he'll be a force. He already has the get-off, hands, enough wiggle - lateral movements. Improve on some his strengths and clean up those other issues and he's wrecker on the field. As for off it I can tell you Bama/Saban hide stuff as well as anyone. I have 0 sources but I do speak with a few alums from a few different schools. No specific info on Barmore but I will say his decision to leave early was probably made a long time ago and that caught a lot of attention. Guys that talented typically don't leave an all-time great coach that early but to each their own. Again no inside info but I didn't hear anything worth while in terms of problems.
Ronnie Perkins - Looks like our typical hybrid(s) with a big attitude. I love watching guys like Perkins plays. 100% motor, aggression, productive & played very well against good competition. At first glance I want to stand him up but he played with his hand on the ground so much. And I'm not sure he could hold up in any type of coverage. He's not an athlete and he's stiff so there's a few strikes against him already. We'll see what Bill has planned. Perkins is a 100% fighter, non-stop motor. Wino will beat you with speed, speed/swipe. Perkins beats you up. He's hands are really good but when talking next level. He could improve in terms of working - finding other paws & disengagement. Despite not having much length he knows how to utilize it which opens up opportunities for bull - bull/snatch, club .. Has a little touch & smarts to his game. Definitely could improve on recognition but he does have some. Perkins is a natural running in a slant, chase & pursuit backside. He has enough speed to cut off angles but will get swallowed up at times by bigger tackles on the edge. He has a little ankle flexibility, some ability to dip & get flat but he's stiff if we're being honest. He's going to pressure the QB, it's what he wants to do. He loves it, he'll find a way. It's in the run game that presents some concerns for me bc he wasn't always on the same page as his teammates in this area. Run fits, gap discipline could be better. He'll make impact plays but also leave the door wide open at times. 6'2 255 so he can't handle much more weight without hindering his pass rush imo. He'll need some TLC & attention to become a legit full-time player but when you walk onto a field or fight you want Perkins with you.
Rhamondre Stevenson - 230 with light feet and a little bounce. This backfield should be on fire. Harris has shown me the most as a pure runner imo. Great vision, best of the bunch. He's so good all-around. Sony is playing for a contract & possible last pay day? Will he even be here? Stevenson is the new guy so he'll have no trouble coming correct. They should be a battering ram all together as a down attack. A bulldog that can break tackles with decent hands. His patience behind the los might be a little better than I gave him credit for. Him & Harris would make quite the duo. Two very physical runners that can break tackles but also make the first guy miss. Very excited.
McGrone - Back to the Michigan well. Brown is great coach but asked a lot of his players. At times they can get a bit caught up or lost in the scheme. McGrone was well on his way to becoming a real piece in a not so easy defense to learn. I like his instincts & processing overall but particularly in the run game. Those take time but he seemed like he was reading & reacting, things click & close with ease at times. Showed off some patience & savvy staying clean, making his way through traffic, using what's around him to his advantage. Peeking & showing colors & then closing another gap. Clean - efficient first step although like every other rookie he has to do everything a little faster now. Lots potential in the run game. Smart, smooth mover that has potential to cover the flat - hook - shallow underneath. Comes from a an attacking scheme. Shows nice timing & likes to finish when went on pressure looks. He really is a great fit here on so many levels. He's a baby, only 20! Age matters, it's not a deal breaker but you gamble on talented 20 yo with his skill set. Smart, versatile & tough. Reminds me of a cross between a more athletic Elandon Roberts (how do you like that sister? @ashley1992 ) & Mack Wilson.