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"Class A Needs" this year? (was "drafting for need")

Discussion in 'Patriots Draft Talk' started by patchick, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I mentioned this in another thread, but I think it's a core issue of this draft. If the Patriots have had one consistent element to their draft approach in the past, it was what they did before the draft. They would plug any obvious holes with adequate veterans, so they could enter the draft with a more or less complete roster. That gave them maximum flexibility to take advantage of opportunities, either for players or trades. On the rare occasion that they entered the draft with a hole in the starting lineup, they'd move aggressively to fill it--e.g. "reaching" for Logan Mankins to be their day 1 LG.

    This year, they didn't pull it off. Their many reported attempts to land a starting-quality WR via trade and free agency failed. Gronk retired. They're entering the draft with a depleted receiving corps that could honestly use four new contributors. And as it happens, receiving is the one area where the Patriots have struggled with rookie impact. No rookie has ever put up 600 yards with Brady. (Leaguewide, 50 different rookies have reached that number with other teams in the last decade.) In recent years, they've essentially given up on trying, focusing on veterans instead.

    So now we're in an unprecedented situation, going into the draft with multiple starting positions open and presumably relying on rookies to carry a significant burden in the passing game. How does that affect draft strategy? E.g. when it comes to WR and TE, should we be looking less at ceiling, and more at floor?
     

  2. BobDigital

    BobDigital Pro Bowl Player

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    I think you always draft with need in mind. You just don't reach for it. If they are there at 32 and no one is worth the pick just trade down and pick at 42.

    Thankfully this (to me) is a draft class where they aren't going to have to reach for a WR or TE. There is a pretty good distribution of talent and upside options for both positions.

    Admittedly TE seems a little more thin than WR but still. I think there will be WRs that will be on the board at 32 who make sense as well as late in the 2nd round that make sense and even into the 3rd and 4th round. While this draft lacks true top WR talent that is someone else's problem. Let them reach on Metcalf and hope he can be an AJ Green or Julio Jones.

    I'm happy with the depth in the class. that will be there after pick 32. As for TE I really only have 4-5 guys I like but I know other teams won't feel that way and I expect one of them to fall to 96 just cause that's how it usually goes.
     
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  3. everlong

    everlong Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    No but Gronk and AH both went over 500 in the same year and Mitchel and Branch both over 400 while both being injured part of the year. True it's never been consistent and they need to hit on a few in the same year.
     
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  4. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I totally agree that need is always a consideration, but IMO there's a big difference between the kind of need we have at, say, DE and the kind at WR & TE. The former is the typical Patriots' "need," which is to upgrade the talent level at a position and build for the future. The latter is filling in roster holes with players who will be relied on immediately. Which in the past has meant fairly aggressive drafting to secure polished prospects.
     
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  5. Snooky97

    Snooky97 In the Starting Line-Up

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    It'll be dealt with like we normally do, it will be through trades, Free Agents and Draft.

    It also depends who is on the board when we pick. I could see us trading out of #32 for a second rounder and a 4th or something along those lines
     
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  6. reamer

    reamer Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    This is why I don't think it's a smokescreen that we've met with Brown and Harry. Very few receivers in this draft have back to back 1000 yard seasons in college, but they're both on the list. Big, athletic, inside/outside versatility, YAC monsters, etc. Neither may end up as an all pro, but they're both likely to produce as volume catchers.
     
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  7. Snooky97

    Snooky97 In the Starting Line-Up

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    And they both can beat man coverage which as we know has been our receivers biggest issues! Add maybe two TE's and i'd be happy.
     
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  8. scott99

    scott99 Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract

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    TE class is a good one, but not as deep as WR. This WR class is incredibly deep, and incredibly good. I can see a WR picked in the 5th round, and I wouldn't be surprised if that WR becomes the best WR in the 2019 class, it's just that deep.

    I'm hoping the Pats get one of the top rated TEs in the 1st round, and then double up on TE and WR in later rounds. The class is also deep in Dline, whether it's DT or Edge rusher. So, since they have 12 picks (some will get traded no doubt), I wouldn't mind if several picks are made at TE, WR and Dline.
     
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  9. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I guess I was trying to suggest that the "deal with with it like we normally do" ship has already sailed. They made a ton of attempts to fill the starting holes with trades and free agents, and ended up with just Phillip Dorsett and Matt LaCosse. So now the options are:

    1. We're content with the Dorsett and LaCosse lineup
    2. A huge surprise trade that will change everything is in still in the works
    3. The Patriots' offense will be relying heavily on rookies

    #3 will shape the way I look at prospects, putting a premium on readiness and fast learners.
     
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    Last edited: Apr 2, 2019
  10. Snooky97

    Snooky97 In the Starting Line-Up

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    I still think it will be a combination like they did last year. I.E - Brown trade and wynn as a draft pick. I'm still hopeful there may be a trade coming but if there isn't this is quite a good year to have 12 picks and good depth throughout the draft!
     
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  11. Ochmed Jones

    Ochmed Jones Veteran Starter w/Big Long Term Deal

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    Looks like bb is also trying to get younger (outside the qb position). So with that in mind, I think bb said it best, when he said “it is March” (now April.)

    His goal is to always have a veteran on hand in case a rookie gets hurt or can't Do the job.

    My guess is the roster will get additional veterans at cut down day. Kind of like the year we added veterans like marsh right before the season.
     
  12. captain stone

    captain stone Pro Bowl Player

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    Ugh...don't remind me...Giving away Justin Coleman & a 5th-rounder last year for that pile of trash was flat-out inexcusable.
     
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  13. manxman2601

    manxman2601 Hall of Fame Poster

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    This. I really like Stanley Morgan as a Patriots type WR and he could be had in rounds 3-4 probably. He’s a solid possession type. And then you’ve got day two or even day three options depending on the receiver you want. Fast guys, big guys, slot guys, gadget guys. So many choices.
     
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  14. kurtinelson

    kurtinelson In the Starting Line-Up

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    This is going to be an extremely important draft for the Patriots and its imperative that they land some players that can be solid contributers year 1.

    As always it will be interesting to watch how BB/Caserio play the draft board. Six top 101 picks is a Draftnick's dream. On paper, it appears that they have the cache to significantly restock the shelves with impact players.

    As they seem to do most years, I can see BB trading away draft picks for higher picks next year and passing on my binkies. This year however, it seems a necessity to come away with several high quality players. I'd be in favor of using a 3rd to trade up for Hockenstien in the first.
     
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  15. zimmy

    zimmy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I think this drafting BPA idea is overrated. We regularly draft for need. Yes we try and fill out the roster as best we can before the draft but once it starts we do what we always do, compare the players in the draft against what we already have.

    You only have to look at last year as a good example. We needed an OT and then drafted one and traded for one during the draft. If you looked at the team board the Pats had on the draft wall it clearly showed areas they were trying to fill in the draft.

    2010 is also good example of us going into the draft desperately needing a TE and drafting two. In 2012 we really needed front 7 help and took Hightower and Jones.

    Conversely there is less evidence of us taking high picks at positions that are stacked. Wilfork in 04 might be one. Jamie Collins was a mild surprise at LB in 2013. Jordan Richards I suppose.
     
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  16. SBLIII

    SBLIII Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    We usually draft for need. Last year we needed a tackle and running back and drafted them in the first round. You don't reach for need but I don't think we have to.

    This year we will need help on the defensive line and receiving corp. I would not be surprised if our first 3 picks are DT, TE and WR.
     
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  17. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    My apologies, guys--I titled this thread really badly, making it sound like I was arguing that the Patriots don't usually draft for need. Need is ALWAYS part of the equation. I've changed the title in hopes of clearing that up.

    What I was aiming for is that there are two classes of needs, and in the past the Patriots have approached them differently. Now I'm going to make the terrible mistake of trying to define them. This never goes well. :)

    Class B: We are thin at this position; we are old at this position; current players at this position lack a particular skill/ability; starters at this position are in the last year of their contracts.
    Action: Give greater weight to this position/skill in stacking your board.

    Class A: We have no player at a near starter level to play this position.
    Action: Fill position aggressively, moving up as necessary to secure a player you feel confident in.

    The Patriots work hard to stay out of "Class A" mode, but this year they have multiple A needs. I'm curious how that will unfold, since it's not the norm. E.g. will mid-round picks that in the past would have been traded into the future for higher picks instead be used to move up?
     
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  18. SBLIII

    SBLIII Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    This appears to be a deep draft class to me at WR/TE and DL. So I don't know if much movement should be expected - sure some dealing here and there - but based on the depth of this draft I would expect us pick 5 or 6 times in the top 100 and fill WR/TE/DL.

    I would put TE, DL and to a lesser extent WR in your Class A. OT, S in your class B.

    Maybe we trade 1 or 2 top picks for Class A help so we don't need to use that in the draft but for now and without knowing if we will trade I would expect us to remain with 6 picks in the top 100 and pick there WR, TE, DL, S and OT.
     
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  19. zimmy

    zimmy Third String But Playing on Special Teams

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    I agree there are more class A needs than usual this year. The Gronk retirement has clearly affected their planning (as I think they assumed he was coming back) and their failure to acquire one of their WR targets in free agency has made that a huge need too.

    If you had asked them on March 10th what they were focusing on in the draft I wonder if they would have said OL and DL with WR and TE as only secondary needs.

    Now, whether through trade or the draft, I think they need to find substantial contributors at WR and TE, potential starter competition at OT, and a rotational DE. Not to mention that the Pats usual plan is to draft players one year early to step in, so safety and guard could be needs too.

    It seems unlikely to me that we manage to find 4+ year one starters through the draft so we have to be exploring the trade market too.
     
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  20. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Interesting...I see OT a little higher than most do, and I'd also add OG and LB to class B since Joe Thuney and Kyle Van Noy are also in their final contract years, and who knows if Hightower will be here in 2020. Then there's QB, but nevermind. ;)
     
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