2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsEng. Show PatsEng's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    Had to spend yesterday with the GF so missed most of the draft but I'm glad I missed it.

    My take is Cannon is a steal. He'll have a redshirted year until he recovers but he is a great talent that can anchor a line. Great pick.

    Smith to me is another TE that they draft every year that won't make the team. I'm actually thinking they want to convert him to a back up T in the end but that's going to take a number of years. That is where his value might be is a OL convert.

    The other 2 aren't even JAGs. They are hopeful ST players who I don't see making past 2 years on the team.

    I've grown a little on Ras but still don't like the pick vs grabbing one of the front 7 needs. People are going to point to him being a 1st round pick if not for the injuries but isn't pick #33 essentially a 1st round anyways?

    Vereen is a change of pace back to me. Nothing more then an hybrid of Woodhead and BJGE. I understand the Pats don't run a #1 back system but a situational back system, however, when picking in the 2nd you are still hoping to get a prospect that should develop into a starter and I just don't see him as a 20-30 carry back.

    Ridley, well I wanted a bruiser back to get the tough yards. I was crying for it forever and a day and we got him but why in the 3rd?

    Mallett I have zero faith he'll be able to stay out of trouble and remain in the league. To me he's a Derek Anderson or Ryan Leaf. A hot head that has a strong arm and good vision but also someone who likes to party (case in point getting trashed the night before meeting with Car and then missing your meeting). I can see the pick though since many have him as the 2nd or even 1st best QB in the draft

    Solder is going to be a very solid pick book ending Vollmer but as I said before I only like the pick if they fixed the pass rush which is something they didn't do.

    When I look at our front 7 I see in our LB core Cunningham, Spikes, Guyton, Mayo and then a bunch of JAGs. Now Moore, Nin, and Fletcher do have promise but I just don't see them being any better the really good sub players. Isn't the goal to get starters? On the line I see Warren and Wilfork then a couple vets and again JAGs. Brace has a chance but he hasn't shown enough to be a starter. You basically have again a bunch of really good sub's and great depth but no true impact player or starter. Wright wasn't a starter before Seymour was traded and he still isn't. His sacks this year came off coverage sacks and that he was single blocked which means someone else was double blocked. Wright had good stats last year but no one else could because they weren't scared of Wright. Other teams would rather have Wright get stats then double him up and giving other players chances to make plays. That speaks volumes to what other teams think of him

    I just find it funny that those who were saying that BB will fix it in day 2 then said he'd fix it in day 3 and now are saying he'll find people in UDFA and FA. We've said that for 3 years now and he hasn't found anyone better then good sub's. I look at the FA class and don't find anyone that BB would spend high on or that could make an impact at good value.

    I think the D will improve with people coming back but Solder might take a year to develop and Cannon isn't coming in right away so it might only be a slight improved the O at all this year. To me the team didn't get worse but they only got better if the rookies from last year improve. Which might be asking alot since most rookies see a drop of in production in their second year. Hopefully FA has something big in-store otherwise I don't see us getting out of the 1st round of playoffs again next year
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MordecaiBloodmoon. Show MordecaiBloodmoon's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    patseng,
    about "I think the D will improve with people coming back but Solder might take a year to develop and Cannon isn't coming in right away so it might only be a slight improved the O at all this year. To me the team didn't get worse but they only got better if the rookies from last year improve. Which might be asking alot since most rookies see a drop of in production in their second year. Hopefully FA has something big in-store otherwise I don't see us getting out of the 1st round of playoffs again next year"

    Most rookies see the biggest gains from year 1 to year 2, not the opposite.  Dont know where u heared that they drop, but even BB has said the biggest jump is year 1 year 2.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Quagmire3. Show Quagmire3's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    here is how Foxsports rated the Pats draft;

    New England Patriots: D

     

    Draft picks: OT Nate Solder (first round), CB Ras-I Dowling (second round), RB Shane Vereen (second round), RB Stevan Ridley (third round), QB Ryan Mallett (third round), OL Marcus Cannon (fifth round), TE Lee Smith (fifth round), LB Markell Carter (sixth round), DB Malcolm Williams (seventh round).

    Analysis: Sure, Solder will fill a need, but the Patriots failed to address their poor pass rush at all during the draft. Did they really need another cornerback? All the cornerbacks in the world won’t help unless the pass rush up front is getting to the quarterback.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from mbeaulieu07. Show mbeaulieu07's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    I again want to thank all who contributed, for bringing great info, opinions and dialogue to this thread on a daily basis.  It was great to be a part of and I'm already chomping at the bit to get the 2012 discussions started!
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Faucetman. Show Faucetman's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    To determine if we got better we have to project who the player we drafted will be replacing.

    UPGRADE Solder (23) replaces Light (33).  Solder is much longer, bigger, quicker and faster at 6-8, 319, 4.96 compared to Light 6-4, 305.  Solder is also 10 years younger and will have a learning curve, need to get stronger and play lower and will make some mistakes but in 1-2 years Solder has the potential to be much better handling the speed rush, run blocking and fewer penalties.  Solder also brings a much smaller contract probably saving the team $5MM a year from what Light will want.

    UPGRADE Dowling (23) replaces Arrington/Chung in sub packages.  He eventually could replace 30 year old Bodden.  I think on nickel situations the Pats will employ Dowling, Bodden, McCourty, Meriweather and Arrington/Page/Sanders.  Chung seems to struggle in coverage but is good in run support. 

    UPGRADE Vereen (22) replaces Sammy Morris (34) and Kevin Faulk (35).  This moves saves $4MM assuming Faulk had thoughts of returning (which he did).  Vereen actually is a similar player to Faulk with more size than Woodhead and more speed and elusiveness than BJGE.  Vereen could get 6-10 carries a game and 1-2 passes.  The age improvement is dramatic here.

    UPGRADE Ridley (22) replaces Fred Taylor (35).  The Pats got virtually no production from Taylor in the 2 years he was here as he couldn't still healthy.  The tread on Taylor's tires is gone, past retread life.  Ridley should give us better power and ability on short down and goal line compared to Morris/BJGE.  Even though BJGE had 13 TDs a lot of them took several plays.  Again the age improvement at RB is dramatic.  Three guys over 34 are replaced with 2 guys who are 22.

    UPGRADE Mallett becomes our 3rd string QB which was missing.  He may even beat out Hoyer after a year.  Should Brady go down, Mallett brings more to the table in terms of ability than Hoyer.  Worst case Mallett acts up and gets traded hopefully for more than pick 74.

    UPGRADE Cannon (23) replaces Kaczur (32) most likely.  Kaczur has a bad back and carries a $3.5MM pay check.  Even when healthy Kaczur was never an elite RT often needing TE support.  Cannon most likely kicks inside to RG taking over Neal's spot.  He may not supplant Connolly right away but should quickly move ahead of Wendell as our next option at interior OL. Should Mankins hold out, Connolly would move to LG and Cannon could start right away at RG.  Should Solder or Vollmer get hurt, Cannon would come in at RT. 

    NEUTRAL Lee Smith may replace Crumpler in his role of blocking TE.  Crumpler has a year left at $2MM and is 33.  Crumpler's dropping of that TD against the Jets may make BB think it's time to move on from the vet although I could see there being competition in camp.  Smith is the best blocking TE in the draft and likely has the better hands at this point.  Smith would come a whole lot cheaper and is a whole lot younger.  It may be too risky to try to hide him on the practice squad so unless BB wants to carry 4 TEs and cut a WR or OL type, Crump's days could be numbered.

    The last two picks Carter and Williams are practice squad types.  I'd actually be surprised if Williams even makes the team.

    As a whole, this draft UPGRADES us.  Granted, it does nothing to improve our pass rush from the front 7.  But guys, we haven't had free agency yet!!!  Relax.  Perhaps BB has some guys in mind such as Cullen Jenkins he may pry away from the Packers.  The Pats are set to be well below the cap.  Even with Mankins we could have $15-20MM to play with.

    The selection of Solder and Cannon allows us to part ways with Light and Kaczur saving about $8-9MM.  Morris, Taylor and Faulk leaving will save another $6MM.  If Crumpler gets replaced that's another $2MM saved.  If some of these savings are used to sweeten the pot for Mankins the benefit of these two OL picks really helps solidify the OL for the next 5 years.  We would only have Koppen to replace after 2011.  Connolly would become to top interior back-up and could probably be re-signed to a reasonable contract.

    I've been saying I thought we'd go heavy on offense based on contractual issues and salary issues in the draft and was proven correct.  The past few years we focused on getting young on Defense and it was time to do the same on offense.  We just replaced 6 guys on offense with an average age of 33.6 with 5 guys with an average age of 22.8.  The only guys on offense who will be 30+ during the season are now:  Brady (34), Mankins (30), Koppen (31), Welker (30) and Branch (32).  

    Defensively we already had our youth movement with only 3 guys over 30:  Ty Warren (30), Banta-Cain (31) and Bodden (30).   

    This team is young and set for years since BB took over running the draft.  In my next post I'll look ahead to needs for 2012.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    To determine if we got better we have to project who the player we drafted will be replacing. UPGRADE Solder (23) replaces Light (33).  Solder is much longer, bigger, quicker and faster at 6-8, 319, 4.96 compared to Light 6-4, 305.  Solder is also 10 years younger and will have a learning curve, need to get stronger and play lower and will make some mistakes but in 1-2 years Solder has the potential to be much better handling the speed rush, run blocking and fewer penalties.  Solder also brings a much smaller contract probably saving the team $5MM a year from what Light will want. UPGRADE Dowling (23) replaces Arrington/Chung in sub packages.  He eventually could replace 30 year old Bodden.  I think on nickel situations the Pats will employ Dowling, Bodden, McCourty, Meriweather and Arrington/Page/Sanders.  Chung seems to struggle in coverage but is good in run support.  UPGRADE Vereen (22) replaces Sammy Morris (34) and Kevin Faulk (35).  This moves saves $4MM assuming Faulk had thoughts of returning (which he did).  Vereen actually is a similar player to Faulk with more size than Woodhead and more speed and elusiveness than BJGE.  Vereen could get 6-10 carries a game and 1-2 passes.  The age improvement is dramatic here. UPGRADE Ridley (22) replaces Fred Taylor (35).  The Pats got virtually no production from Taylor in the 2 years he was here as he couldn't still healthy.  The tread on Taylor's tires is gone, past retread life.  Ridley should give us better power and ability on short down and goal line compared to Morris/BJGE.  Even though BJGE had 13 TDs a lot of them took several plays.  Again the age improvement at RB is dramatic.  Three guys over 34 are replaced with 2 guys who are 22. UPGRADE Mallett becomes our 3rd string QB which was missing.  He may even beat out Hoyer after a year.  Should Brady go down, Mallett brings more to the table in terms of ability than Hoyer.  Worst case Mallett acts up and gets traded hopefully for more than pick 74. UPGRADE Cannon (23) replaces Kaczur (32) most likely.  Kaczur has a bad back and carries a $3.5MM pay check.  Even when healthy Kaczur was never an elite RT often needing TE support.  Cannon most likely kicks inside to RG taking over Neal's spot.  He may not supplant Connolly right away but should quickly move ahead of Wendell as our next option at interior OL. Should Mankins hold out, Connolly would move to LG and Cannon could start right away at RG.  Should Solder or Vollmer get hurt, Cannon would come in at RT.  NEUTRAL Lee Smith may replace Crumpler in his role of blocking TE.  Crumpler has a year left at $2MM and is 33.  Crumpler's dropping of that TD against the Jets may make BB think it's time to move on from the vet although I could see there being competition in camp.  Smith is the best blocking TE in the draft and likely has the better hands at this point.  Smith would come a whole lot cheaper and is a whole lot younger.  It may be too risky to try to hide him on the practice squad so unless BB wants to carry 4 TEs and cut a WR or OL type, Crump's days could be numbered. The last two picks Carter and Williams are practice squad types.  I'd actually be surprised if Williams even makes the team. As a whole, this draft UPGRADES us.   Granted, it does nothing to improve our pass rush from the front 7.  But guys, we haven't had free agency yet!!!   Relax.  Perhaps BB has some guys in mind such as Cullen Jenkins he may pry away from the Packers.  The Pats are set to be well below the cap.  Even with Mankins we could have $15-20MM to play with. The selection of Solder and Cannon allows us to part ways with Light and Kaczur saving about $8-9MM.  Morris, Taylor and Faulk leaving will save another $6MM.  If Crumpler gets replaced that's another $2MM saved.  If some of these savings are used to sweeten the pot for Mankins the benefit of these two OL picks really helps solidify the OL for the next 5 years.  We would only have Koppen to replace after 2011.  Connolly would become to top interior back-up and could probably be re-signed to a reasonable contract. I've been saying I thought we'd go heavy on offense based on contractual issues and salary issues in the draft and was proven correct.  The past few years we focused on getting young on Defense and it was time to do the same on offense.  We just replaced 6 guys on offense with an average age of 33.6 with 5 guys with an average age of 22.8.  The only guys on offense who will be 30+ during the season are now:  Brady (34), Mankins (30), Koppen (31), Welker (30) and Branch (32).   Defensively we already had our youth movement with only 3 guys over 30:  Ty Warren (30), Banta-Cain (31) and Bodden (30).     This team is young and set for years since BB took over running the draft.  In my next post I'll look ahead to needs for 2012.
    Posted by Faucetman


    Faucet,
    Great analysis as always.

    My feeling is that their first 4 picks should contribute and/or start in 2011 which is the goal when drafting.  Cannon certainly has starting potential as well, but we'll have to take a wait and see approach on his medicals.  Mix in Lee Smith who could be the best inline blocker in this class and that could give you 6 kids with starting potential (or ability to make solid contributions) immediately or in the near futurre, well done IMO.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    The below shows the players whose contracts expire after 2011.  We already have players on the roster set to replace some of them.  The players in yellow would appear to be areas to target in the 2012 draft.  With a pair of 1sts and 2nds in the 2012 draft I can see FS and WR being areas of focus. 

    Depending what we do in free agency (since we will have 2 seasons of free agency before the next draft) we could also still be looking at DL and OLB. 

    PlayerYearReplaced ?Year
    Brandon Meriweather2011FSdraft pick 
    Alge Crumpler2011TELee Smith2014
    Deion Branch2011WRPrice/draft pick2013
    James Sanders2011FSdraft pick 
    Jonathan Wilhite2011CBRas-I Dowling2014
    Dan Koppen2011C??? Draft pick 
    Matt Slater2011WRcut? Draft pick? 
    Rob Ninkovich2011OLBresign/FA, DP 
    Mark Levoir2011OTCannon ??2014
    Dan Connolly2011OGresign2015
    Gary Guyton2011ILBresign2015
    Brian Hoyer2011QBRyan Mallett2014
    Kyle Love2011DLrestricted 
    Wes Welker2011WREdelman ??2012

    Based on the trades we made, we have New Orleans 2012 first which should be high 20s, low 30s with our own in the same area.  We also get the Raiders 2nd which should be high 40s to low 50s plus our own around 60-64.

    This is way to early to be thinking about but we could be talking about these guys next year.

    FS

    Kenny Tate- Mayland 6-4, 220, 4.56.  Big time hitter/blitzer, plays like Rodney Harrison.  Doubt he gets out of the top 10.

    Eddie Whitley - Virginia Tech 6-1, 195, 4.45.

    Lance Mitchell- Oregan State 6-2, 208, 4.58

    Aaron Henry - Wisconsin 6-0, 205, 4.50

    WR

    Michael Floyd
    - Notre Dame 6-3, 228, 4.52.  Likely gone top 10.

    Ryan Broyles- Oklahoma 5-11, 185, 4.54.  Versatile do-it-all WR

    Justin Blackmon- Oklahoma State, 6-1, 208, 4.54.  Big time play maker

    Alshon Jeffery - So. Carolina 6-4, 232, 4.56.  An absolute stud in the mold of Larry Fitzgerald.

    Marquis Maze- Alabama 5-10, 182, 4.43.  The next burner to come out under Nick Saban

    The WR class looks to be outstanding next year and to think we could get a couple of the above with our low first rounders already has me drooling to start this up again in September.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from Faucetman. Show Faucetman's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!*** : Faucet, Great analysis as always. My feeling is that their first 4 picks should contribute and/or start in 2011 which is the goal when drafting.  Cannon certainly has starting potential as well, but we'll have to take a wait and see approach on his medicals.  Mix in Lee Smith who could be the best inline blocker in this class and that could give you 6 kids with starting potential (or ability to make solid contributions) immediately or in the near futurre, well done IMO.
    Posted by mbeaulieu07

    Thanks Mb.  Always a pleasure to share thoughts with you.  I'm about done until training camp starts.  I think Solder starts day 1 and now feel Light won't even be offered a contract.  I think Cannon will be medically ready to go from what I heard but depends if Mankins holds out how soon he sees the feild.  Smith plays if Crumpler goes.  We will only carry 4 RBs instead of 5 we've been carrying these past 2 years which means we can now carry Mallett.  I don't see us carrying 4 TE and 3 QBs unless we cut back to 5 WRs which would make Slater odd man out.  I agree both new backs will see action and contribute, not sure they play more than BJGE and Woodhead yet.

    See ya in the fall
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from mountainmonkey. Show mountainmonkey's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    Other than the fact that this thread is worse than a dating bar on Friday night at 1:30 AM......"I'm in love with......"....it is fun, informative, raucous,and full of people who love football and the Pats....and having BB so closely following our collective thought process during the draft makes it all worthwhile...we are fortunate football fans in New England....thanks for all the enjoyment...
     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from Low-FB-IQ. Show Low-FB-IQ's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    I'm also no on Steve Smith and Randy Moss and Ocho .... but recognize they could be stopgaps. I just want NE to get young ... not old.  Sydney Rice is intriguing .. as is Breaston.... but folks will overpay ... and those folks aren't NE. NE doesn't need Larry fitz ... but they need, need, need to improve on what Tate gave them. That is for sure.
    Posted by zbellino


    Tate wasn't drafted to be a #1 WR and was the #3 what is it exactly you want a #3 WR who was basically a rookie to do?

    You want to replace Deion with a real #1 I am all for that. That's not a knock on Branch as I think he is very good. Simply he's not a true #1 but more importantly I am always expecting him to be injured at some point in a season.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from Low-FB-IQ. Show Low-FB-IQ's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    Stats are for losers and RB especially has no true trends to show any kind of success with looking at stats.

    That being said the ONLY interesting stat about Ridley is that his 3C time was the 3rd best of any of the notable RB's in this 2011 draft and 7th best of all notable RB's to come out in the last 6 or 7 years.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***:
    Stats are for losers and RB especially has no true trends to show any kind of success with looking at stats. That being said the ONLY interesting stat about Ridley is that his 3C time was the 3rd best of any of the notable RB's in this 2011 draft and 7th best of all notable RB's to come out in the last 6 or 7 years.
    Posted by Low-FB-IQ


    Another thing I like about Ridley is his ability to produce despite subpar QB play.  Kid can also find the endzone (15 rushing TD's in 2011).
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from Low-FB-IQ. Show Low-FB-IQ's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    I must have more patience with BB and what he does from coaching for more than 20 years now because I never understand many of the strong reactions as sure things.

    The opinions of questioning sure absolutely. Wondering and not knowing yup why not.

    Here are some things to think about with regards to the OLB spot.

    1) The Pats do their own end of season evaluations. Just because the media and or fans "think" the problem is with the OLB position does NOT mean the Patriots or BB "know" that to be the case. They know what defense calls were made on a given play, who had what responsibility, what the down and distance and situation was, and who or what was ultimately at fault for a failed execution of play success.

    2) Cunningham was a rookie and a 2nd round pick so highly doubtful they were looking to replace him.

    3) Ninkovich is only 27 and had just his 2nd yr in the Patriots system and had a significant 2nd year increase in production, like you generally want to see from a player in his 2nd year in the system.

    Ninkovich was also rated the 2nd best pass risher on the Patriots behind Mike Wright having the best combination of sacks, QB pressures, and QB hits.

    When you are getting all excited about anyone, like a brooks reed or sheard, from this years draft think back to when Ninkovich would have been coming out. WHat's the big difference? Ninkovich has the same size generally, had back to back double digit sacks at Purdue and had as good or better speed measureables than just about any of this years OLB class.

    So can you hope, wish, and speculate that any of this years crop would be a significant upgrade, yes. Do we know that? No. I believe BB had intentions to take certain guys in certain ranges but others placed more value and they were not there.

    4) You have to make a logical guess that the Pats feel comfortable with the DL injury recoveries. If that is the case, even if they do not still address the DL even more when FA starts, that the OLB's will be helped out by a healthier and improved DL. The more damage or occupation of blockers the interior 3 do the more room to operate the "existing" OLB's will have. Add that to another year of experience from your current two starters as well. Football may be the ultimate team/system sport the unit functions completely collectively as a unit and one improvement in one area has the potential to drastically help other areas.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from sfpat. Show sfpat's posts

    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    It's been a great thread.  I think I have read most of it over time.  I give the Pats an A- only because I believe they just threw away the last two picks on players who will be long shots to make the team, when Romeus, who could have been redshirted, was still available.  IMHO, Romeus for have provided great value for 2012.  But what do I know.
     
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    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***:
    I must have more patience with BB and what he does from coaching for more than 20 years now because I never understand many of the strong reactions as sure things. The opinions of questioning sure absolutely. Wondering and not knowing yup why not. Here are some things to think about with regards to the OLB spot. 1) The Pats do their own end of season evaluations. Just because the media and or fans "think" the problem is with the OLB position does NOT mean the Patriots or BB "know" that to be the case. They know what defense calls were made on a given play, who had what responsibility, what the down and distance and situation was, and who or what was ultimately at fault for a failed execution of play success. 2) Cunningham was a rookie and a 2nd round pick so highly doubtful they were looking to replace him. 3) Ninkovich is only 27 and had just his 2nd yr in the Patriots system and had a significant 2nd year increase in production, like you generally want to see from a player in his 2nd year in the system. Ninkovich was also rated the 2nd best pass risher on the Patriots behind Mike Wright having the best combination of sacks, QB pressures, and QB hits. When you are getting all excited about anyone, like a brooks reed or sheard, from this years draft think back to when Ninkovich would have been coming out. WHat's the big difference? Ninkovich has the same size generally, had back to back double digit sacks at Purdue and had as good or better speed measureables than just about any of this years OLB class. So can you hope, wish, and speculate that any of this years crop would be a significant upgrade, yes. Do we know that? No. I believe BB had intentions to take certain guys in certain ranges but others placed more value and they were not there. 4) You have to make a logical guess that the Pats feel comfortable with the DL injury recoveries. If that is the case, even if they do not still address the DL even more when FA starts, that the OLB's will be helped out by a healthier and improved DL. The more damage or occupation of blockers the interior 3 do the more room to operate the "existing" OLB's will have. Add that to another year of experience from your current two starters as well. Football may be the ultimate team/system sport the unit functions completely collectively as a unit and one improvement in one area has the potential to drastically help other areas.
    Posted by Low-FB-IQ

    Well stated as always Low.  We've been discussing the time it takes to develop an OLB into a sack machine for months.  It isn't generally done overnight or in the first or second year. 

    BB went offense where it was a much older group with more uncertainty.  It is exactly what I thought he'd do with no Watt on the board.  With poor secondary play and Bodden's injured past the Dowling pick wasn't a complete surprise but we could have taken Prince at 17 then Carimi at 28 and I think been safer.  We could have then traded 33 away. 

    But all in all, BB does what he does.  He led a very young defense and team to an NFL best 14-2 record.  He addressed areas of need and may or may not do some more in free agency.  He has a pair of firsts and seconds for next year.  On paper this team looks better than the 2010 version, barring new injuries.  I see no reason why the 2011 Pats can't go all the way.  Every year we are wining the division (except Cassel's year) and getting into the play-offs.  Hopefully this year we can go to the end. 
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***:
    I must have more patience with BB and what he does from coaching for more than 20 years now because I never understand many of the strong reactions as sure things. The opinions of questioning sure absolutely. Wondering and not knowing yup why not. Here are some things to think about with regards to the OLB spot. 1) The Pats do their own end of season evaluations. Just because the media and or fans "think" the problem is with the OLB position does NOT mean the Patriots or BB "know" that to be the case. They know what defense calls were made on a given play, who had what responsibility, what the down and distance and situation was, and who or what was ultimately at fault for a failed execution of play success. 2) Cunningham was a rookie and a 2nd round pick so highly doubtful they were looking to replace him. 3) Ninkovich is only 27 and had just his 2nd yr in the Patriots system and had a significant 2nd year increase in production, like you generally want to see from a player in his 2nd year in the system. Ninkovich was also rated the 2nd best pass risher on the Patriots behind Mike Wright having the best combination of sacks, QB pressures, and QB hits. When you are getting all excited about anyone, like a brooks reed or sheard, from this years draft think back to when Ninkovich would have been coming out. WHat's the big difference? Ninkovich has the same size generally, had back to back double digit sacks at Purdue and had as good or better speed measureables than just about any of this years OLB class. So can you hope, wish, and speculate that any of this years crop would be a significant upgrade, yes. Do we know that? No. I believe BB had intentions to take certain guys in certain ranges but others placed more value and they were not there. 4) You have to make a logical guess that the Pats feel comfortable with the DL injury recoveries. If that is the case, even if they do not still address the DL even more when FA starts, that the OLB's will be helped out by a healthier and improved DL. The more damage or occupation of blockers the interior 3 do the more room to operate the "existing" OLB's will have. Add that to another year of experience from your current two starters as well. Football may be the ultimate team/system sport the unit functions completely collectively as a unit and one improvement in one area has the potential to drastically help other areas.
    Posted by Low-FB-IQ

    Great post Low. It's been the Pats' offense that has been sputtering in the post season. The dinged up defense played well enough to win their playoff game last year. It was the Patriots' offense and special teams that gave the Jets a short field time and time again that allowed them to score 21 of their 28 points.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***:
    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!*** : Another thing I like about Ridley is his ability to produce despite subpar QB play.  Kid can also find the endzone (15 rushing TD's in 2011).
    Posted by mbeaulieu07

    I like that he was a very productive player while not given a lot of opportunity.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    The below shows the players whose contracts expire after 2011.  We already have players on the roster set to replace some of them.  The players in yellow would appear to be areas to target in the 2012 draft.  With a pair of 1sts and 2nds in the 2012 draft I can see FS and WR being areas of focus.  Depending what we do in free agency (since we will have 2 seasons of free agency before the next draft) we could also still be looking at DL and OLB.  Player Year Replaced ? Year Brandon Meriweather 2011 FS draft pick   Alge Crumpler 2011 TE Lee Smith 2014 Deion Branch 2011 WR Price/draft pick 2013 James Sanders 2011 FS draft pick   Jonathan Wilhite 2011 CB Ras-I Dowling 2014 Dan Koppen 2011 C ??? Draft pick   Matt Slater 2011 WR cut? Draft pick?   Rob Ninkovich 2011 OLB resign/FA, DP   Mark Levoir 2011 OT Cannon ?? 2014 Dan Connolly 2011 OG resign 2015 Gary Guyton 2011 ILB resign 2015 Brian Hoyer 2011 QB Ryan Mallett 2014 Kyle Love 2011 DL restricted   Wes Welker 2011 WR Edelman ?? 2012 Based on the trades we made, we have New Orleans 2012 first which should be high 20s, low 30s with our own in the same area.  We also get the Raiders 2nd which should be high 40s to low 50s plus our own around 60-64. This is way to early to be thinking about but we could be talking about these guys next year. FS Kenny Tate - Mayland 6-4, 220, 4.56.  Big time hitter/blitzer, plays like Rodney Harrison.  Doubt he gets out of the top 10. Eddie Whitley - Virginia Tech 6-1, 195, 4.45. Lance Mitchell - Oregan State 6-2, 208, 4.58 Aaron Henry - Wisconsin 6-0, 205, 4.50 WR Michael Floyd - Notre Dame 6-3, 228, 4.52.  Likely gone top 10. Ryan Broyles - Oklahoma 5-11, 185, 4.54.  Versatile do-it-all WR Justin Blackmon - Oklahoma State, 6-1, 208, 4.54.  Big time play maker Alshon Jeffery - So. Carolina 6-4, 232, 4.56.  An absolute stud in the mold of Larry Fitzgerald. Marquis Maze - Alabama 5-10, 182, 4.43.  The next burner to come out under Nick Saban The WR class looks to be outstanding next year and to think we could get a couple of the above with our low first rounders already has me drooling to start this up again in September.
    Posted by Faucetman

    Never ever too early. Yeah. NE will have two S free agents, a hole at WR. A hole on the OL. Who knows, a hole at 34 END too. 

    I think they go defense in next year's draft for sure.

    Broyles, Blackmon and Maze are all guys I had on my board. I like WRs that are 5'10"-6'0" route runners with some top end speed for this offense. I think they fit well.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

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    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!*** : I like that he was a very productive player while not given a lot of opportunity.
    Posted by KyleCleric2


    He spent half his time backing up Charles Scott the first few seasons, but broke Faulk's TD record his first season as the feature back.

    I think a lot depends on how well his passcatching ability develops IMO. There are times when he looks good that way.

    I can see him pushing BJGE to the bench on a lot of carries. At least because he is quicker around the edge, but 10 pounds heavier, and harder to drop.  
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

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    patseng, about "I think the D will improve with people coming back but Solder might take a year to develop and Cannon isn't coming in right away so it might only be a slight improved the O at all this year. To me the team didn't get worse but they only got better if the rookies from last year improve. Which might be asking alot since most rookies see a drop of in production in their second year. Hopefully FA has something big in-store otherwise I don't see us getting out of the 1st round of playoffs again next year" Most rookies see the biggest gains from year 1 to year 2, not the opposite.  Dont know where u heared that they drop, but even BB has said the biggest jump is year 1 year 2.
    Posted by MordecaiBloodmoon


    You've never heard of the sophomore slump? They make a big jump in knowledge yes but from what I've seen it's trying to take that knowledge and applying it that the numbers tend to dip in that second year. After that they usually drastically increase but the number do tend to dip a bit from their rookie year. Look at Vollmer and Butler for instance both looked really good their rookie year. Heck Butler looked like a solid #2 cb. At the beginning of their 2nd year both had struggles. Vollmer picked it back up as the year went on and became a pro-bowl caliber T half way into the season while Butler only got worse. It's that 2nd year you either see improvement or they get worse. I would say Spikes, Cunningham, and Hernandez are all at the same point Vollmer and Butler were at during their rookie years. McCourty and Gronk should be much improved though. But just looking at that I don't think Hernandez, Spikes, or Cunningham should have trouble getting over that hump.

    Just don't expect them to start out and be better or even as equal as they were last year. The reason why there is a slump is because during their rookie year they rely on their college abilities but they usually take on a bigger role with pro technics during their 2nd year so until they adapt and can master these new technics there usually is a dip in production
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    i thought the sophomore slump referred to baseball players and premier league soccer teams. i am pretty sure that it's being misused when referring to NFL or NBA players. in both cases, players perform much better. In baseball and soccer, it comes about generally as a result of scouting pitchers and hitters or the new soccer team.
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    I think some skill positions in the NFL do have a sophmore slump. Once film is out on a CB's, WR's or QB's tendencies, teams look to exploit it. 

    Sometimes it happens ... though generally you are right, but I think most of that has to do with the fact that in the NFL a lot fo skill position guys never see the field their rookie season ... so anything you get is improvement. 

    Jarius Byrd had nine picks his first season, then only one his next season. Cromartie did the same thing i I recall correctly -- if you count his rookie season as a redshirt. 

    He looked terrible his third year, and then got better again. 
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!*** : You've never heard of the sophomore slump? They make a big jump in knowledge yes but from what I've seen it's trying to take that knowledge and applying it that the numbers tend to dip in that second year. After that they usually drastically increase but the number do tend to dip a bit from their rookie year. Look at Vollmer and Butler for instance both looked really good their rookie year. Heck Butler looked like a solid #2 cb. At the beginning of their 2nd year both had struggles. Vollmer picked it back up as the year went on and became a pro-bowl caliber T half way into the season while Butler only got worse. It's that 2nd year you either see improvement or they get worse. I would say Spikes, Cunningham, and Hernandez are all at the same point Vollmer and Butler were at during their rookie years. McCourty and Gronk should be much improved though. But just looking at that I don't think Hernandez, Spikes, or Cunningham should have trouble getting over that hump. Just don't expect them to start out and be better or even as equal as they were last year. The reason why there is a slump is because during their rookie year they rely on their college abilities but they usually take on a bigger role with pro technics during their 2nd year so until they adapt and can master these new technics there usually is a dip in production
    Posted by PatsEng



    Of course I have heard of the sophomore slump.  However that usually applies to players that excelled their rookies years.  Someone like DMC or Gronk could experience that.  It will be hard to live up to their rookie years.  It is usually not used with someone who had a decent to good, but not great year like Cunningham.  And although it can happen, doesnt mean everyone gets or experiences it.  League wide, coaches say the biggest jump is year 1 to 2, and I certainly agree. 
    On Butler, I think it was Ds had a chance to watch film and see how to burn him.  On Sea Bass, I think it was the switch to RT, I think he is better at LT, and that adjustment
    caused the initial lag.  But for every slump guy, I can show a jump guy.  Chung was much better year two.  Brace was showing more in year two, not that he was great or anything, but it was better than year 1.  I am pretty confident that Price will show more in year 2.  I can continue if need be. 
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***THANKS TO ALL WHO CONTRIBUTED!***:
    i thought the sophomore slump referred to baseball players and premier league soccer teams. i am pretty sure that it's being misused when referring to NFL or NBA players. in both cases, players perform much better. In baseball and soccer, it comes about generally as a result of scouting pitchers and hitters or the new soccer team.
    Posted by KyleCleric2


    You see it a lot in all sports. It's during that time they make the major shift from college technics to more pro style technics which, depending on the player, can happen quick or take the full year but it does tend to happen in their 2nd year. You tend to notice it less in the NBA because it's a sport where technics generally don't change much from the college level to the Pro's
     
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    Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***

    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!***:
    In Response to Re: 2011 Patriots Draft Options ***IT'S GO TIME!*** : Of course I have heard of the sophomore slump.  However that usually applies to players that excelled their rookies years.  Someone like DMC or Gronk could experience that.  It will be hard to live up to their rookie years.  It is usually not used with someone who had a decent to good, but not great year like Cunningham.  And although it can happen, doesnt mean everyone gets or experiences it.  League wide, coaches say the biggest jump is year 1 to 2, and I certainly agree.  On Butler, I think it was Ds had a chance to watch film and see how to burn him.  On Sea Bass, I think it was the switch to RT, I think he is better at LT, and that adjustment caused the initial lag.  But for every slump guy, I can show a jump guy.  Chung was much better year two.  Brace was showing more in year two, not that he was great or anything, but it was better than year 1.  I am pretty confident that Price will show more in year 2.  I can continue if need be. 
    Posted by MordecaiBloodmoon



    That is true. 

    Butler's future in the NFL (period) depends on his adjustments to how people are playing him.  Vollmer ... he should be a LT. 

    Cunningham better get better ... he was ho-hum as a rookie ... any worse and he would be a liability when he was out there. All he really does now is set the edge ok and provide slightyl below average pressure ... if he slumps out of that ... well, he isn't even worth the roster spot. 

    I would say for every slump guy there are 5 guys who get better ... but sometimes people find a hole in a rookie's game and exploit it their sophomore season ... and then it is their challenge to fix it in their junior season.
     
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