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Pats have Slowest Skill Position Players - Why it May not Matter

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Sep 12th

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captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Bill ignored the wr position once again in the draft. Supposedly this draft was loaded at wideout. He picked up a wr in the 7th round. Had a chance to draft a guy like tylan wallace earlier. He decided to go after two tight ends and not two wrs in free agency. This team still lacks speed. I expect more teams to play us in man coverage until they can beat man coverage.

Wallace is better than nixon. Better prospect.

Yep, and Bill could've doubled-up at the position with Stanford's Simi Fehoko at 177 instead of another lousy Michigan defender who also has knee issues already...Just terrible asset management.
 

mgteich

PatsFans.com Veteran
PatsFans.com Supporter
I would have signed Bryd. However, the idea that Belichick didn't spend enough resources on WR's simply ludicrous.

Folks may disagree with his choice or how much he paid, but he used serious money/resources for Agholor, Bourne, Smith, Henry and White. These will be 5 of our top 6 receivers. Only Meyers from last year is likely to be in the top 6 in receiving.
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There is a sillier idea, the idea that Belichick should have relied on his ability to draft and develop receivers instead of using free agency. Belichick used the draft for other positions. I strongly agree with his choice.
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Belichick sometimes does great in finding a 7th rounder or UDFA; perhaps Nixon this time. Belichick has several options to compete for the position of backup WR. This WR would be competing to be our #7 receiving target, competing with Harry, Zuber, and Wilkerson.
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BOTTOM LINE
Belichick has decided that the draft is not the method that he and his staff should acquire receiving talent. I STRONGLY agree.
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AS AN ASIDE
Many of us begged for lots of help for the front seven. We begged for Belichick to listen to the experts and the scouts and not to draft 2nd round corners or other players of question. And yet, using the 2nd, 3rd and 5th for this purpose was somehow wrong.
 

DaBruinz

Pats, B's, Sox
PatsFans.com Supporter
Apparently, for many here, there is no advantage of having 4.2 or 4,3 speed compared to 4.5 or 4.6 speed. In fact, having the slowest players is OK, and somehow a badge of honor.

The proposition is simple. OTHER THINGS BEING EQUAL, would you prefer a WR with 4.3 speed or one with 4.5 speed? a TE with 4.4 speed or one with 4.6 speed? FOoks here seem to be saying that they have no preference.

Apparently you would rather make up scenarios than stick to what was shown by Phil Perry in regards to average speed.

Jerry Rice wasn't a 4.4 guy.

Your "proposition" is flawed because other things aren't equal. A WR with 4.3 speed who can't run anything but a go route is pretty useless. Or if his hands are the equivalent of boxing gloves.

People here are saying that it's not JUST about speed. It's a combination of things. Short distance speed (10 yard split), Quickness (3 cone), route running ability, hands, toughness. The ability to "GET OPEN" is what matters most. And the Pats receivers actually did a good job getting open last year.
 

SlowGettingUp

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
Pretty clear that the Patriots (whether Cam or Mac) will be a heavily play-action, RPO, mesh team. So run blocking becomes that much more important. Hence someone like Bourne as WR2 or WR3 - excellent hands (Shanahan: "as good of hands as anyone in this league"), quick (6.73 seconds 3-cone), and an excellent run-blocker at 205 pounds.

This is an interesting article on the fit between Mac Jones and the Patriots current offense - a bit hyperbolic about there not being a perfect match, but it indirectly speaks also to what sort of receivers are a good fit:

 

SlowGettingUp

Third String But Playing on Special Teams
A WR with 4.3 speed who can't run anything but a go route is pretty useless.

Slater as gunner can evade press-man (even with the double coverage that he often gets in the kicking game) and get down the field as well or better than pretty much any WR1 in the league. I think in his career he has 1 reception for 40-odd yards.
 

50-yard-line

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Yep, and Bill could've doubled-up at the position with Stanford's Simi Fehoko at 177 instead of another lousy Michigan defender who also has knee issues already...Just terrible asset management.
If one of the big three from the class fell to the Pats, this would be a different discussion. Was there a "can't miss" kind of player beyond Smith-Chase-Waddle? As it stands, the Pats added 4 pass-catchers, five if you count White, in FA. They had a couple of crystal clear needs going into the draft: DL and QB.

You could add WR #1, because that's the elusive unicorn so many here are crying out for, for, but who was that after the big three? Wallace might have a very good NFL career - that's hardly guaranteed, but could happen. Is he a WR #1?
 

VJCPatriot

Pro Bowl Player
Ugh. This is what I have been saying. I hate this approach of plodding along with big backs and TEs. You have to be able to score in today's league. We are not beating the Bills, Chiefs, Browns with this approach. We have to get more dynamic but I do think it is good for year one of Jones as it will keep things simple for him.

LOL. The Patriots 'slow offense' in 2010 scored 32.4 ppg, good for #1 scoring offense in the league.

Our receiving leaders:
TE Rob Gronkowski 42 catches 546 yards 10 TDs [4.68 combine]
WR Brandon Tate 24 catches 432 yards 3 TDs
WR Wes Welker 86 catches 848 yards 7 TDs [4.65 40 pro day]

Of course we had prime Brady stirring the drink with 3,900 passing yards 36 Tds vs only 4 INTs.

It's not how fast you can run it's what you can do to deliver the ball to the open man, and making the most of every possession.

Sure Tyreek Hill looks dang sexy running his 4.3 40 or whatever... but let's check some facts.

Brady and the Buccaneers decimated the Chiefs in Superbowl LV throwing for 3 TDs to Rob "4.68 40" Gronkowski and Antonio "only ran a 4.56 40" Brown. The rest of their top wide receivers? Mike Evans 4.53 40 and Chris Godwin was the fastest with a 4.42 40 although he didn't play a huge role in the biggest game of the year, only making 2 grabs for a meagre 9 yards. Meanwhile Tyreek 'I'm so fast your eyes bleed cos I ran a 4.29 40 at my pro day' Hill was held to 7 catches for 73 yards and 0 TDs.

Superbowl 55 stats:

Speed doesn't hurt, but if all you care about is speed in a vacuum, you're missing the point of what makes a successful offense in the NFL.

Patriots are going back to the double tight end offense. They don't need the fastest 40 times to bully those smaller defensive backs across the middle of the field with the likes of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.
 

mgteich

PatsFans.com Veteran
PatsFans.com Supporter
Speed doesn't hurt, but if all you care about is speed in a vacuum, you're missing the point of what makes a successful offense in the NFL.

Patriots are going back to the double tight end offense. They don't need the fastest 40 times to bully those smaller defensive backs across the middle of the field with the likes of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

I agree with all of this.

However, folks seem to prefer having slower receivers. Sure, there are great receivers with poor times. It just doesn't follow that speed makes no different whatsoever, and that we should ignore staring line speed. Obviously (at least to non-raider fans) speed isn't enough or even critical is a wide receiver.
 

DropKickFlutie

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
Shocks me that Brown is that "slow," because he plays like someone who ran a 4.3.

Not surprised at all. It's about game speed with a helmet and shoulder pads on. Not how you run an artificial drill in a straight line which never happens except on kick-offs. You have super fast Bethel Johnson's or Chad Jackson's who suck, and slow WRs like Jerry Rice or Antonio Brown who are hall of famers. 40time means nothing except to maybe rule out guys who can't run a bare minimum (4.7 or 4.8 as WR)
 

DropKickFlutie

Experienced Starter w/First Big Contract
LOL. The Patriots 'slow offense' in 2010 scored 32.4 ppg, good for #1 scoring offense in the league.

Our receiving leaders:
TE Rob Gronkowski 42 catches 546 yards 10 TDs [4.68 combine]
WR Brandon Tate 24 catches 432 yards 3 TDs
WR Wes Welker 86 catches 848 yards 7 TDs [4.65 40 pro day]

It's not how fast you can run it's what you can do to deliver the ball to the open man, and making the most of every possession.

Speed doesn't hurt, but if all you care about is speed in a vacuum, you're missing the point of what makes a successful offense in the NFL.

Patriots are going back to the double tight end offense. They don't need the fastest 40 times to bully those smaller defensive backs across the middle of the field with the likes of Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith.

Amazing post. Absolutely right.

We have 5 pass catchers now who can consistently move the chains and get a ton of first downs every game.
And we definitely don't need a speedster if Agholar led the league in yards per reception last year.
 

captain stone

Hall of Fame Poster
Pretty clear that the Patriots (whether Cam or Mac) will be a heavily play-action, RPO, mesh team. So run blocking becomes that much more important. Hence someone like Bourne as WR2 or WR3 - excellent hands (Shanahan: "as good of hands as anyone in this league"), quick (6.73 seconds 3-cone), and an excellent run-blocker at 205 pounds.

This is an interesting article on the fit between Mac Jones and the Patriots current offense - a bit hyperbolic about there not being a perfect match, but it indirectly speaks also to what sort of receivers are a good fit:


It's quite possible that Jones will never be a championship-calibre, playoff-calibre, or even starting-calibre QB in the NFL...So I'm happy that Bill didn't waste any valuable assets in order to move UP for him...Too bad he didn't display the same wise restraint regarding Barmore...
 

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