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2021 Patriots Season:
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Pick Results: TEN: 7.3% at NE: 92.7%

Sun
Nov 28th

Current Patriots Twitter Feed:

HetfieldFogerty

Rookie
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I’m going to be interested in how well the defensive front seven plays this year. I’m worried that there aren’t enough playmakers there. I mean, it’s a deep group, but there aren’t any potentially elite players. My biggest hope is that Judon will flourish and take that next step and become a pass rushing terror in the Pats’ system. But so far he’s just been a “pretty good” NFL pass rusher.

Beyond that, we’re just hoping for a lot from the 31-year olds (Van Noy, Hightower, and Guy). Hightower is the only one I have pegged as an elite enough athlete to possibly be a PB caliber player into his 30s, and he hasn’t played in two years.

Lots of questions other than that. New additions Anderson and Godchaux - JAGs. Rookies Barmore and Perkins - rookies have a hard time winning time in our D. Uche - has potential, but would need to improve. Winovich - probably in the dog house for a reason. Cowart, Wise, Jennings - nothing special there.

Again, I don’t think we’ll be weak up front, but it’s hard for me to see this group being special or generating enough pressure. I’m thinking we just have an average-ish D, even with our top-of-the-league CB tandem…
 
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slash83

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
2021 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I think the front 7 although no super star has the potential to be dominant and among the best in the league.
 

jah

Owner Of A Tactical Coffee Shop For Men
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I don't think we signed Judon specifically to be a 15+ sack guy. Edge players in this system have never been primarily asked to be "pass rushing terrors". I can deal with "pretty good" pass rushing if the other aspects of his game are just as competent.

I share the same concerns about our reliance on relatively old players, but the early reports are that the year off had a positive effect on Hightower's physical abilities. We'll see how that turns out, it certainly isn't settled yet.

Overall, I think we're looking at an improved unit from 2020. You can't understate the difference Hightower and Van Noy will make considering Bentley and Terez ****ing Hall were our starters by the end of last year. Van Noy also brings a lot of help to the edge unit (arguably more than he brings to the ILB unit). Also, by most accounts, Uche has already started showing signs of a second year leap.

Then we get into the mid-tier additions like Anderson and Godchaux. I don't think the staff considers Godchaux a JAG like you do considering he's making $8M/year. Not sure if I personally see what makes him worth that much either, but our run defense was absolute trash last year and he's almost certainly going to help there if nothing else. Anderson was a player I always thought would fit well here, and I maintain that he'll be a solid contributor. The thing is, even if these aren't flashy players, we didn't even have mid-tier guys like this a year ago.

As for the rookies, we lost Butler, and I think Barmore could be a good replacement for his skillset. You say rookies don't produce in this D, but Butler did as an UDFA rookie, largely because he was only asked to do one thing (pass rush) that Barmore could also be asked to do. Defensive tackles in general do get rookie playing time here. Edge is a different story, though, and I wouldn't expect much out of Perkins.
 

Hyped

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I pity offenses facing our defense this year.

Not even worried about the pass rush at all. Doubt we will have a 12+ sack guy, but expect our front 7 to consistently generate enough pressure that QB's only have time to look at their first two options max.

Run D was our Achilles heel last year...and allowed teams to burn clock thus forcing Newton & Co. to abandon the run game in order to score quickly. I think we have fixed the problem by loading up on bodies. Like someone above alluded to...we didn't even have mid-tier guys as back ups last year. Run D is also a part of our LB corps' responsibilities AND we added 3-4 edge setters who can play both on the line and off the line if needed....

I think this is a top 5 defense without doubt...and possibly the best one in the league...barring injuries/hold outs.
 

Scotty

2nd Team Getting Their First Start
Quite a few new faces so I guess BB will work his magic and get them playing as a unit. If they all gel then could be a very good unit. Got to be better than last year
 

HetfieldFogerty

Rookie
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Well, a lot of optimism here - it’s rubbing off and making me feel a little better about the D. I guess this is just the normal question marks that arise for the majority of teams each offseason, which we’ve been fortunate enough to almost never having had to worry about…
 

Kontradiction

Dr. P-ussy
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2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
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If Judon wasn't already elite, why do you think the Ravens franchised him at 16m last year?
That’s not really a great argument, to be honest. The NFL has been littered with examples of guys who got the tag and were not elite. Especially at the QB position. Judon is very good, but he isn’t elite.
 

TheRainMaker

Face of the Franchise
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2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
Should be better than last year, but the jury is out on how they can stop the run up the middle. They be better defending the edge.

There’s a reason some on this board do not like Godchaux as they have stated the Dolphins run D was not very good with him in the lineup. In the few Dolphins games I watched last year, he was never mentioned as being a presence in the middle.

I liked the Barmore pick and is interested to see what he can bring to the defense.

I fear Judon is the next Paul Kruger as other players on the Ravens D required more attention before them. And Judon had a ton of talent surrounding him the last few years. In fact, in an attacking style D, he still hasn’t been able to crack 10 sacks which is a red flag to me. So if you think he is miraculously going to be a 10+ sack guy, you’re going to be disappointed. However, the contract that he got was a lot more reasonable than what he was rumored to be asking for which was 20 million per season. That would’ve been a disaster.

Van Noy is an obvious upgrade over the atrocious John Simon who has been bad the last two years. And that’s putting it nicely. However, the times that I did watch the Dolphins play last year, VNY’s poor play stuck out and it was not shocking he was abruptly cut.

Jennings needs to be used more as a rusher instead of in the passing game. I saw him chasing way too many guys last year.

Interested to see what Perkins can bring.

Winovich has his work cut out for him as he will be competing with Jennings and now Perkins.
 
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mgteich

PatsFans.com Veteran
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I pity offenses facing our defense this year.

Not even worried about the pass rush at all. Doubt we will have a 12+ sack guy, but expect our front 7 to consistently generate enough pressure that QB's only have time to look at their first two options max.

Run D was our Achilles heel last year...and allowed teams to burn clock thus forcing Newton & Co. to abandon the run game in order to score quickly. I think we have fixed the problem by loading up on bodies. Like someone above alluded to...we didn't even have mid-tier guys as back ups last year. Run D is also a part of our LB corps' responsibilities AND we added 3-4 edge setters who can play both on the line and off the line if needed....

I think this is a top 5 defense without doubt...and possibly the best one in the league...barring injuries/hold outs.
I agree, as long as Gilmore is here.
 

50-yard-line

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
That’s not really a great argument, to be honest. The NFL has been littered with examples of guys who got the tag and were not elite. Especially at the QB position. Judon is very good, but he isn’t elite.
Okay, I don't care about the QB position and tags, since that's a different level of category right there. I watched lot of Raven games over hte last few years - the guy making the plays up front, over and over again, was Matt Judon. I don't give a rat's hairy butt about "sack numbers," as it's a superficial measurement - the only defensive player in FA I would have taken over him was Leonard Williams (and it was close). He's going to eat up BB's system.
 

PScottman

In the Starting Line-Up
I think the pass rush will be fine, and getting Hightower back will obviously be big. The question is whether or not we did enough to solve the problems that plagued the run D throughout 2020.
Patriots were middle of the pack in pressures (which the team considers above sacks as it combines hurries, knockdowns and sacks) for 2020 per Pro Football reference - 2020 NFL Opposition & Defensive Statistics | Pro-Football-Reference.com). That was with teams knowing they could run at will meaning the DL was at a severe disadvantage to try and generate pressure except in just 3d and long when the OL was ready for it.

This group will NOT be worse in 2021.
 

SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
I think Bill is already salivating. The QB is never going to know where (or from what level) the pressure is coming from. Welcome to stunt city. And Barmore is capable of generating interior pressure on his own - something we've been lacking for years now. The fact that our leading pass-rusher last year (Winovich) might well not make the team tells you something. And don't sleep on the rookie Perkins - his Oklahoma DE coach said: "You don't see many guys come in and take over a game from that [defensive end] position, but he's the best player on the field. You can't take your eyes off him."
 

HetfieldFogerty

Rookie
2020 Weekly NFL Picks Winner
I think Bill is already salivating. The QB is never going to know where (or from what level) the pressure is coming from. Welcome to stunt city. And Barmore is capable of generating interior pressure on his own - something we've been lacking for years now. The fact that our leading pass-rusher last year (Winovich) might well not make the team tells you something. And don't sleep on the rookie Perkins - his Oklahoma DE coach said: "You don't see many guys come in and take over a game from that [defensive end] position, but he's the best player on the field. You can't take your eyes off him."
I loved the Perkins pick too.. But it’s a rare 2nd day pick that starts on this D. Winovich showed a ton as a rookie pass rusher, but he wasn’t getting starts to my recollection. He and Barmore make me excited about a year or two from now, but I don’t expect a huge contribution in Year 1 (unless we burn through depth or multiple players underperform above him on the depth chart.)
 
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SlowGettingUp

Rotational Player and Threatening Starter's Job
But it’s a rare 2nd day pick that starts on this D.
Agreed. But they have enough depth here to rotate him in on some plays.

I'd guess these four will contribute the most pressures:

Hightower
Judon
KVN
Uche

but also decent contributions from Barmore, Perkins and Wise. Godchaux seems more of a run-stuffer. Don't know if there is room for last year's best pass rusher, Winovich, but if he's on the roster he'll get his share too.
 

DarrylS

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2019 Weekly Picks Winner
I loved the Perkins pick too.. But it’s a rare 2nd day pick that starts on this D. Winovich showed a ton as a rookie pass rusher, but he wasn’t getting starts to my recollection. He and Barmore make me excited about a year or two from now, but I don’t expect a huge contribution in Year 1 (unless we burn through depth or multiple players underperform above him on the depth chart.)

I believe the issue with Winovich is his inability to "hold the edge", we will see this year if he has improved in this area...
 

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