posted at 3/21/2009 9:24 AM EDT
I just hope we nail our first four picks, if we use them all. Even #59 should net a starter, which is why I wouldn't trade it to move up for Maualuga.
There are going to be some seriously pressing needs next season, and we very well might be drafting for need at positions which force us to reach (LT, DE?)
We have relatively minor needs this year, which is very fortunate. OLB is the only dire need at the moment, while most other teams have numerous dire needs.
Next year, Mankins and Wilfork will no longer be good values. They will be fair value at best, assuming good health. I don't think there is an acceptable alternative to Wilfork, but I think a decent and much better value can be found for Mankins in this year's draft.
If the OLB we draft this year, combined with Crable and others, prove not to be up to the task, I think a fraction of the money that would have gone to Mankins next year could be spent on an exceptional OLB free agent next year.
Linebackers and Safeties, arguably our two greatest needs this year, are also the lowest paid positional players when free agency rolls around.
I hope as a general strategy BB uses our picks to draft positions that are more expensive to fill in free agency, even if there is not an urgent need at the position right now.
Mankins replacement at Guard, Cornerback, Left Tackle, a possible Seymour replacement, and even Brace at #34 to replace Wilfork should be strongly considered.
Brace might not be nearly as good as Wilfork, but I'd be willing to bet he would be a better value than what Wilfork will command in free agency. Given that linebackers are significantly cheaper than nose tackles, and given the traditional dominant role linebackers play in a 3-4 formation, I think it wouldn't be a bad idea to replace Wilfork with Brace, and use that Wilfork money to address a couple different needs, including a top MLB free agent if needed.
We have 3 free agents next year who all play some of the most expensive positions in the game (Wilfork, Seymour, and Mankins). I would rather draft value at their positions where possible, and sign free agents at other, cheaper positions that will help compensate for their loss at better value.
posted at 3/21/2009 11:11 AM EDT
Haha, this sounds like last season.
At the end of last year's draft I was looking at RM, T. Jackson, Mays and Oher. And wondering if any would be available.
Now it looks like I am still waiting for Mays, and hoping for Spikes now too.
And yes, the #23 might be valuable for Freeman or Sanchez if he sits around. But you need to track who is interested to really get it out there. I jsut don't see it. Almost every team between #23 and #34 have their Qb spot set. So Freeman could fall a while.
So I don't see much incentive to jump up top for him. You really would need TWO teams interested in him to make it happen. The team at #24-5 would need to be threats to take him (doubtful) and another team farther down would need to want to jump them.
So I see little action there. I think the best bet would be one really good OT or WR slipping, which (given the needs beneath NE) they could move down a few spots and net a pick.
posted at 3/21/2009 11:16 AM EDT
Faucet, what is funnier that? Hmm, check NE's 4-3 sub.
Green, Warren, Seymour, Peppers
Thomas, Mayo, Crable?
Hobbs Springs Bodden
That would really be one of the best 4-3 defenses in all of football. Seymour and Peppers next to each other would be a better right side than any Ican ever remember. Bar none. Could you imagine feilding that "D" with Wilfork and Maualuga on the fr!gg!n bench???????????
Talk about reserves. LOL.
And that would just be a subset.
There are so many ifs about Peppers, but if he can stand, and iof they can afford him.. . . WOW.
posted at 3/21/2009 1:33 PM EDT
Who are our Cornerbacks next year?
posted at 3/21/2009 2:24 PM EDT
I can't say. But just judging about what Ihave seen from both players, I think Crable would be a better fit at 4-3 OLB. He really excelled in that role, whereas Sintim struggled and is a much better straight line type of player, which is why I think he could be a MIKE here as well if NE loses the Maualuga sweepstakes.
Guyton is awful in coverage. I would be more enticed by just using RM or Crable in that scenario.
As far as the "push" goes, it really is a dream of a dream at this point. And I am trying not to read into BB's non-denial of interest.
I would be happy with whatever they did, so long as it didn;t involve sacrifice.
posted at 3/21/2009 2:26 PM EDT
I would think CB will be decided by competition. But in all likelihood, you are looking at a Bodden, Hobbs, Springs front three. With Wheatley and Wilhite in reserve for sure, and a few other guys who may or may not make the team. And maybe any other palyers NE picks up.
I like that it is deep, I don't like that two players aren't signed after next season.
posted at 3/21/2009 2:53 PM EDT
Z, I meant the year after this coming year. I think we're fine for this year, but I think we should use a mid-late 2nd rounder on a CB, at the least. It's an expensive position to fill in FA for the most part, though FA seems to have worked out well this year.
Byrd, Francies, or Moore at 59, I'd hope.
There will be several other needs next draft.
posted at 3/21/2009 5:12 PM EDT
I think Wheatley is a very good player, but his health can't be counted on, so if it looks like a similar caliber player may be available at 58 (and it does) who is also less injury prone, it would obviously be something to look at.
It's definitely a tricky situation with the number of CBs we have now, even if Springs could be moved to safety.
If one of our picks was traded for a pick next year, and a CB wasn't drafted, I would also be happy with that.
I think running back is a position you can turn to in the draft at the last minute without using a first or second rounder, but it's riskier trying that with CBs.
Maybe there's a good hybrid CB/Safety that they can draft, and put him at CB next year if need be.
Speaking of hybrids, Unger might make sense at #34, since he can play anywhere on the O Line and help soften the blow if/when Mankins leaves after next year.
I also get the feeling that Laurenaitis might fit better with a Peppers infused front 7 than Maualuga, given his better range and coverage abilities. He and Mayo could cover a lot of ground together, and help make up for Peppers' weakness in coverage.
Lot's to consider, that's for sure.
posted at 3/21/2009 5:14 PM EDT
posted at 3/21/2009 6:37 PM EDT
Peppers aint happenin. FAce it.
At 23 -- Percy Harvin or Malcolm Jenkins or the best LB available
at 34 -- Hakeem Nicks or CB or LB
at 47 -- Ron Brace or G/C Antoine Caldwell or William Moore
at 58 -- best remaining player at position of need -- tackle, LB, or safety/CB
posted at 3/21/2009 7:42 PM EDT
Arod, thanks for that link.
Scratch Harvin from the list. We don't need another Chad Jackson, nothing above the neck.
As for Maulauga....thats not good news. Think back to our linebackers....Bruschi, Vrable, Colvin, Seau....they are all very smart guys.
Same goes for Mayo....very intelligent player.
I'm starting to sour on Maulauga.....unfortunately.
posted at 3/21/2009 7:51 PM EDT
I'm starting to think Michael Johnson, GT.
I saw a lengthy interview on youtube. He seems like a good guy with a solid background and appears to have the smarts BB looks for.
Not to mention his physical freak-ness.
posted at 3/21/2009 9:15 PM EDT
Peppers is perhaps more likely than Jenkins.
posted at 3/21/2009 9:33 PM EDT
Shame that Maualuga appears to be dumb as a brick. Intelligence is vital for a defender in the Pats 3-4 system, especially playing the mike linebacker.
Does anyone know Barwin's wonderlic score?
posted at 3/21/2009 10:43 PM EDT
Actually I think the wonderlic results aren't officially released, so like the scores described in the above link, whatever we hear about Barwin's score will be second hand. A quick google search revealed nothing for me.
posted at 3/22/2009 5:42 AM EDT
Pyegian...based on his wonderlic score, it probably took Maualuga four years of college just to learn to spell his last name properly. He couldn't find Foxboro with GPS...we need an ILB with some smarts...let's keep looking...
posted at 3/22/2009 5:49 AM EDT
I can never find Wonderlic scores, although the results I saw above aren't suprising.
OK, Eben Britton scoring more than most QB's was a little surprising.
Maybe he is the pick? LOL. He is light and athletic for a Tackle which fits the mold. Team captain, leader, etc. Really smart.
I wish he was a guy to get at #34. But I think he is solid low first round. There is a gauntlet of teams requiring an OT between #23 and #34.
posted at 3/22/2009 5:59 AM EDT
i am suprised that so many people are going nuts over RM's wonderlic.
If you were in love with him before and DID NOT expect this, then you really didn't watch him play enough to consider him the NE pick.
He wasn't the team surgeon like Mayo. And anyone who is capable of this stuff (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DdDGYsYXHKc
) probably isn't a Rhodes Scholar either.
posted at 3/22/2009 6:03 AM EDT
One player who continues to look enticing is in fact Clay Matthews.
But I am stll al little worried. I watch a lto of USC (who doesn't) and these guys don't ever get a chance to look like NFL style players. The whole offense gets blown up and confused in the face of the sheer talent acrossthe board. Usually players like Matthews and Cushing get to run after the QB through truck sized holes, and they never have to play the tough downs they will see here, like hanging on to a tackle to set an edge because the line was gapped the other direction, or being forced to call off their own blitz because a TE has motioned over their area.
There are a ton of ways you can get disguised in that Defense -- which helps you strengths and avoids your weaknesses.
What are the thoughts here on Matthews??? Thjere were literally three mocks with NE taking him at the last major update cycle.
posted at 3/22/2009 7:31 AM EDT
I've asked a few times but my question with Matthews is whether he is a guy who can come in, play on the outside and put up double digit sacks. He just doesn't seem like an edge rusher to me, maybe its because he didn't get much of a chance to do it at USC, but really, if not Barwin, I'll take anyone who can impact a game rushing off the edge.
posted at 3/22/2009 8:30 AM EDT
[Quote]I bet if Larry Bird took the Wonderlick he wouldn't fair any better but nobody played the game better. The Wonderlick doesn't test instinct and Maualuga has it. Let Mayo call the defensive.[/Quote]
Even if that were true about Bird, it is apples and oranges. Basketball is not Football, and MLB is one of the toughest spots to play in any defense.
The same things about instinct were said about Gholston last season when put up terrible wonderlic numbers. And he only had to play rush linebacker, which is much easier-- how did that work out?
And as far as instincts go it is really hard to evaluate at USC, because he was always in position to just run around and make a play. The talent difference between USC and everyone on their schedule is enormous. There really isn't another University that is in that situation, where 10 out of the 12 teams they play before their bowl game have no business being on the same field as them.
It would really tick off traditionalists, but to accurately gauge that team (Forget about their players) USC should really have to play some Big-12 and SEC opponents. It would make deciding bowl games easier. As of right now, minus USC the Mountain West is probably a tougher conference than the PAC-10.
But I don't get any of it. How do som many Big-10 teams keep getting great rankings? Every time they play a bowl game out of their conference they are flattened. The emperor has no clothes, but I swear it is a money pit, and they decide based on ratings.
So, he takes himself out of a play and people say it is aggression. Maybe some read it as him getting fooled, but caveat emptor because you can't tell for sure until he has to play some really tough downs in the NFL when teams will target him to see what he's got.
posted at 3/22/2009 8:50 AM EDT
Yeah, Mayo is definitely calling the plays if he teams with Mauluaga. He still hasn't had his pro day (April 1st) so he could rise or fall there too. RM hits like a ton of bricks, but he is not as smart or as fast as Mayo. What people say about Cushing or Mathews applies to RM (hiding deficiencies and playing to strengths) and next year it will apply to Mays. This happens routinely when a player is part of a great defense; another example is how good will Scott be without Ray Lewis or Ed Reed. To me playing great defense is always more important than personal accolades.
posted at 3/22/2009 11:18 AM EDT
Faucetman....huh?...the President of basketball operations for the Indiana Pacers would perform worse on the Wonderlic score than Maualuga.? Do you want another chance at creating a decent analogy?
posted at 3/22/2009 12:13 PM EDT
I am dead serious. Those programs are jokes except for Oregon. I could just as easily say that the Big-10 was a premier conference because they had four teams in the top 25 and two in the top ten. On ayn given year, the SEC and Big-12 could have three, maybe four teams that are potential #1 rankings. Pac-10 has one such team you can take that seriously. Which I suppose puts them above the Big-East by one team. But it is simply not the same competition.
Ok, so like I said, remove USC. What are you left with. One team who makes the top ten, and another that is bottom ten-to five, and one team (Cal) that was top 25 *only* in the USA Today poll.
It is a weak, weak, conference. Sorry. Second tier. Them's the facts hombre. If any of those teams had to play in a tougher conference they would get crucified, excepting USC of course, and possibly Orgeon, who was one of the two competetive teams I mentioned.
And Orgeon State was one barn-burner win against USC themselves from being on zero polls. They lose that game, USC likely gets a #1 overall ranking (maybe #2?) and they aren't even mentioned in the top 25. As they got served by any respectable team they played.
Like it or not, USC needs to go undefeated to get a #1 overall. Pay attention to the rankings. They get no respect because they play a garbage schedule dude.
You can pretend it isn't true. But the nation of writers tend to disagree. If USC is 12-1, and LSU is 12-1 and Texas is 12-1, which team will be 3rd? USC every single time. And then they will likely go b!tchslap some weak Big-10 team and people will rave about how they should have been #1. And critics will say so what. And if they didn't the Pac-10 fans would complain anyway because the Rosebowl was desecrated. When in fact, a team like Florida would stomp all over them. Or like Texas like in 2005.
posted at 3/22/2009 12:36 PM EDT
I would add one thing. Saying you have Mayo call the signals is all well and good, but it doesn't usually work that way. The signal caller spots aren't hard and fast, but Ne has preferences at SS and at MIKE. That is why BB has kept ancient crusty vets in those spots for so d@rn long.
I don't think the low wonderlic rules him out off the bat, but it doesn't help at all.
I wish Brandon Spikes had come out this season, because in many ways he is tailor made for that hole NE has to fill. Although I doubt they would be in range anyhow, but a trade up for him would be a great way to fill that hole.