Re: ***2012 Patriots Draft Thread***
posted at 11/8/2011 10:51 AM EST
In Response to Re: ***2012 Patriots Draft Thread***
Last year many were disappointed that no pass rush upgarde came with all those early draft picks. While that is a glaring problem now (no surprise) and shows up as part of the poor pass D last years draft did bring some very important - CRITICAL - talent: (1) There was a critically dangerous situation on the O line. Mankins was not signed and it looked like he might go. Light's contact was also coming due. Starting RG Neil was retiring. Light and center Koppen were getting old. You cant run or pass with a bad O line. So something had to be done. BB used his first pick to get perhaps the best pass blocking OT this team has seen. OK - too early to say THAT but he is obviously a very good player and at one of the most critical positions. THey also used a later round pick on Cannon. (2) They did trade down giving NO a chance to take Ingram and giving up a chance to take someone who could deliver a pass rush. On the surface this seems a bad choice. But they got a 2nd and a first next year. THere really are FEW players that are worth as much as 2 good players. Espcially in the current league with all the injuries you see. DEPTH of the roster is CRITICAL. It is hard to argue with that move. (3) THey got a CB (now on IR) who looks like he has a shot at being good. No question CB remains a critical need. Especially when teams regularly put 3 (or even 4) on the field at the same time. It was a reasonable pick for a real need. (4) There was no true feature RB. BJGE is a very good dependable player but he does not make the D honor the run to the extent that it helps open up some of the passing zones. THis because he just does not have a second let alone a third gear. He is not able to break big plays. After BJGE Woodhead was the only RB without gray hair. And Faulk was coming off a serious injury. SO RB was a real, critical need. They got Vereen ( who I think could turn out to be something big) and Ridley (who looks very good when he is on the field). It covered the critical need that could have left the team in a very dangerous situation. (5) They took Mallet in round 3. Too good a QB to let slide. To much value. Perhaps as a future trade for more value. Perhaps as an eventual heir to TB. Hard to be too critical of that pick. SO last years draft did a lot. THis next draft will hopefully do thae same for other areas. Hopefully first and foremost in the front seven of the D. THey need 2 DEs. THey need 1-2 outside LBs. Depending on Pryor and Haynesworth (I have a wait and see on Brace and not yet too thrille with Love) they might not need a DT. If the 2012 draft (and free agency) can rebuild the (rest) of the front seven the D will quickly be a strength. They also need one or more safeties and still could use a good cover corner (and hope the draft and FA help there) but if you rebuild the front seven it will make a huge difference in both run and pass D and allow the O to be smart and efficient and allow TB not to feel like he has to do more than he can. I think he (TB) is playing poorly (for TB) because he believes he needs to do more. So - 2012 should be first and foremost about the front 7 with emphasis on DEs and outside LBs (whether 3-4 or 4-3, I do not care).
Posted by portfolio1
good to see you back on the draft thread. I just have some commentary on those points:
1) Agree. OL was a place of weakness and so was pass rush. i think we all expected them to grab an OL and a pass rush with 2 of those top 33 picks. OL was the choice and it looked like a good choice with Solder
2) We traded back a #1 to get Vereen, NO's #1 next year and gave us room to trade back our pick to Hou for Ridley and Cannon. Now They might have traded their pick back anyways so, that second part might be moot. Lets look at only the trade for a second. So far no one knows what Vereen is but since he's been an active no show for a number of games that's very concerning. As of right now it looks like we trade our #1 in 11' for a #1 in 12' in about the same position. Until Vereen can actually get on the field let alone be productive I don't count him as depth at all. As of right now that was a terrible trade but it's all dependent on Vereen
3) Ras is on IR and this was the knock on him coming out of college was that he was injury prone. A number of posters including myself pointed out time and time again that he was injury prone and it would be a gamble to take him early. If this was a late 2nd or early 3rd pick then you can say you took a chance on a 1st round talent guy with some injury issues but with the 33rd pick? It's basically a 1st round right there. If Ras can't stay healthy I don't see him long for the NFL and would yet again be another wasted high round pick.
4) I agree but Vereen being healthy inactive and cannot seem to get on the field really at all is very concerning. I don't know what to make of it. Ridley started out with a bang but has since sputtered to a halt. It might be due to lack of touches or lack of confidence but as of right now both RB selections aren't looking great. The one thing about RB selections is normally they can start week 1 as a rook and be productive. It's unusual they take a long time to adapt to a system so with Ridley and Vereen not getting a lot of touches it's disconcerting to say the least
5) Mallett was a gamble and still is. Can he keep his head straight and be happy on the bench until Brady retires? If so he can be a bigger steal then Rodgers if not then he's another O'Connell. There's a reason he went from a top 15 talent to the 3rd round. We'll have to wait and see
I use to think that the 09', 10', 11' drafts were amazing given the shear amount of high round picks but when you break it down it paints a scary picture on how many picks were thrown away. I don't just mean in terms of players no longer on the team but also players who were expected to be average starters at worst and ended up being rotational backups. It seems that trading back and acquiring a ton of picks will get you decent depth and at least 1 solid starter every year but you don't get the impact players. I've seen that it's almost impossible to find an impact player in the 2nd and 3rd round yet the closer you are to #1 the more likely you have to find one. I know this doesn't come as much of a shock but when you realize that the depth and getting a ton of picks haven't worked at all for this team over the last 3 years and what's missing, on D at least, is a player who other teams need to account for then it's maddening not to move up and take a chance on getting an impact player. (BTW look at the depth on D right now. Brown, Barrett, Adams, Molden, White I mean really, that's the best depth they could get in an area of weakness to begin with?)
The way I look at it is that the Pats in the first 3 rounds get a solid starter with 25% of their picks or at least a backup role player on 40% of those picks. So, what are the odds that if you moved up to a top 20 pick that you'd find at minimum a solid starter or better? I'd put it closer to 50%. So, you slightly decrease the odds of getting a solid player every year but, you are drastically increasing your odds of getting an impact player if every so often you move up to get one. I don't mean take the Jets approach but when you have the extra ammo and have a critical need that requires an impact player spend a couple of chips to go after the jackpot. As a wise man once said, "you can't win if you never play" and another said "if you go for broke and lose then what do you have to show but that you are a fool" but there has to be a happy median. I have to believe when an area of need has a lot of depth in the draft that you move chips to take a risk on show of that talent and when the draft is weak or your needs are minimized is when you hold back for more. It seems the philosophy regardless of strength of certain positions or need on the team is to trade back and get value instead of move forward for talent. It's just like gameday. If you only run 1 game plan constantly you will lose, you need to adjust and plan around your weaknesses and the strengths of what's in front of you.