In response to portfolio1's comment:
In response to TexasPat's comment:
SUMMARY: In closing, BB has made allocated 11 draft choices to improve the secondary, over the past 8 years:
24th overall in 2007 (Meriweather), 62nd (Wheatley) and 129th (Wilhite) in 2008, 34th (Chung) and 41st (Butler) in 2009, 27th (McCourty) in 2010, 33rd (Dowling) in 2011, 48th (Wilson) and 227th (Denard) in 2012, 83rd (Ryan) and 91st (Harmon) in 2013.
Of these 11, 10 were top 100 picks...four of which, for all intents and purposes, were low #1 picks. Of these 10 top 100 picks, only McCourty remains, with Wilson, Ryan and Harmon all seemingly treading water to make the team.
Though BB is a greatest coach of all-time and has managed to get by, and even thrive with marginal secondary talent during the regular...his secondary has repeatedly been exposed in the play-offs.
Does anybody care to argue this point??
Yes I will argue a part of this. It is meaningless to argue about draft OR FA or trades independent of each other. For example if a trade is made where you get a player and give a draft pick the two are necessarily intertwined. If you pick up some FA before the draft (name brands or core type players or even depth type players) it will impact what you do in the draft and so they are necessarliy interwined.
RESPONSE: Agreed, but not in the way you're presenting it. Every failed high draft pick that was spent to shore up a position impacts the salary cap, trades, and free agency. For example, look at the hoops BB has jumped through trying to rebuild his secondary.
When Asante Samuel left through free agency for Philly in March of 2008, BB tried replacing him by spending his 62nd and 129th overall picks in the 2008 draft on CBs Terrence Wheatly and Jonathan Wilhite. When those two didn't pan out, BB brought in veteran Leigh Bodden in 2009...and drafted CB Darius Butler, with his 41st overall pick in the 2009 draft.
So...in trying to replace Samuel, in two years BB spent two second round picks, a 4th round pick, and eventually allocated a chunk of cap space to sign Bodden. And, because those guys didn't work out, BB used his #1 draft choice in 2010 to bring in Devin McCourty.
When McCourty didn't cut it at CB, he was moved to FS, and the Pats made the Talib trade, costing them a 4th round pick this past year.
So when you list a bunch of draft picks who are no longer here you overlook other changes to the roster. It is the final roster IN TOTAL that is what is important. Otherwise you could say something as stuipid as the opening post in this thread which was tro criticise THIRD ROUND picks as if somehow your ability in each round is truly independent and separately and meaningfully evaluated (just because you can evaluate past performance round by round does make that evaluation MEANINGFUL).
RESPONSE: Those changes in the roster you spoke of above were the result of the above referenced failed draft choices. Had those drafted players worked out, the resources spent to continue to try to fill the holes in the secondary could have been allocated to other areas of need on the team.
So you need to inlcude players like Talib, like Dennard, like McCourty, like Gregory (and here for example it is the height of foolish to evaluate as 0 or 10... most players end up somewhere between the two and so you generally cannot say only GREAT or HORRIBLE), like A Wilson, etc.
RESPONSE: I have, as indicated above. As far as rating players go, it was clear the minute that Aqib Talib started playing for the Pats that he was their best CB.
And you cannot judge to quickly a player who is a rookie or only a 1 or 2 year. The more years the more you can have a concrete judgment. 1 year is something but not generally definitive. 2 years starts to become meaningful. ANd there are occasionally players that take 3-5 years to "get it". Not great that it takes so long but it does happen.
RESPONSE: I certainly can. It's my opinion. I'm not saying that I'm always right, but, I've been more right than not. For example, I criticized the selection of Patrick Chung from the get go, because I had concerns that he couldn't cover. After watching him play in his rookie season, my concerns were, unfortunately, confirmed.
I criticized the selections of Terrence Wheatly in 2008 and Ras-I Dowling in 2011 because of their propensity to get hurt in college...and because, in the case of Wheatley, I couldn't understand why the Pats spent a 2nd round pick on a short CB, trying to play with a surgically inserted metal rod in his wrist.
Finally, my criticisms of BB using a mid-second rounder to select Tavon Wilson in 2012, and BB using the 91st overall pick this year to select Duron Harmon, are no secret in these parts...LOL!! My criticisms of these players are due to the fact that I felt that both of them were grossly overdrafted. In other words, neither of these players had the skills or the track record in college to justify them being selected as high as they were.
To this day...I hope that Ras-I can some day climb out of bed without tweaking his hamstring, and that Wilson and Harmon both become solid DBs. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any evidence of it, yet.
So my point is that your approach (not everything you say) is way too fantasy footballish.Not the sort of approach that generates rosters that perform as a BB roster does.
RESPONSE: I have no idea where you came up with that idea.
Guys like Nink for example are not favorites of fantasy fans (and I do think those fans, of which there are a whole lot and some of them here, are not really football fans but fantasy fans) but are the kind of blue collar players coaches love. They don't love them to the point of not wanting big time playmakers but coaches generally appreciate solid, well coached, tough players who can fulfill their roles and are tough good team players. They allow and even help the more dynamic players make plays. So there play is actually key if not highlight reel ready.
RESPONSE: Ask the guys who play Fantasy Football here if I'm a fan, or a participant in that activity...LOL!!
Do I agree that the secondary has had its problems? Of course, I am not blind. Are there still issues and questions there? Yes. DO we need more depth? Yes. AM I satisfied with the secondary? No. BUT I think it is getting better. McCourty seems to be a good S. Talib seems to be a good CB. Dennard seems to be a decent or even good CB (with some limitations). Arrington is a reasonable role player though not suited to certain key roles. I do not know how well either Wilson or Gregory wil be or the new rookies but I expect A Wilson to add value in some roles, not in others for which he is not suited.
RESPONSE: How many more high draft picks must be wasted, before we come to the conclusion that there's something wrong with the Patriots' system of evaluating college talent? As I pointed out in my previous post, there's already been a ton of high draft choices spent in attempting to fix the secondary...and it still isn't fixed! In fact, it was so bad last year that the Pats had to roll dice on a character concern, Aqib Talib!
I think a pass rush does raise the effectiveness of the entire secondary and so improvement there will make a very significant difference - ESPECIALLY IF THE PASS RUSH IS EFFECTIVE IN THE PLAYOFFS (AND SB).
RESPONSE: Agreed. One has to wonder just how good the Pats could have been over the past few years if, instead of having to allocate so many high draft choices in an yearly attempt to fix the secondary, they spent those picks instead on the DL, and on pass-rushing prospects? Selections of Meriweather (24th in 2007), Wheatley (62nd in 2008), Wilhite (129th in 2008), Chung (34th in 2009), Butler (41st in 2009), Dowling (33rd in 2011), and Wilson (48th in 2012) haven't worked out, and have cost the Pats more assets, in terms of draft choices and cap space.
I do not think it is meaningful to deliver a concrete evaluation on T WIlson or any rookie at this point. The coaches have to because they need to make roster and depth chart decisions. But from the fans any evaluation on someone who has not had time to learn and develop in the NFL is opinion (and please withold fantasy football type opinions, the real world is not fantasy, it is real) and nothing more.
RESPONSE: Sir...As I have demonstrated above, I deal in facts, and reality. The botton line is that the Pats' system for evaluating college talent has failed...and don't see it getting better. Perhaps BB needs to hire a draft consultant, and/or their scouting department needs to be revamped.
But, don't take my word for it. The highly respected Mike Reiss has suggested the very same thing.
It is the homers, not I, that deal in hope and fantasy.