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Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

                     Dowling was drafted just about where he should have been and to compare him to Wheatley is a stretch at best.Dowling has excellent size(6'1"right around 200 lbs,sub 4.5 speed,in fact 4.40 one dash and no worse the 4.46 even with a tweaked hamstring,is extremely fluid in changing direction,has very good ball skills and has competed effectively against the bigger WR's he faced,plus he is a bright young man who loves the game and works at it).Had he not been plagued by what I wiould call nothing more than nagging injuries his final year,he could well have gone late first.For the past few years,in fact since Ty Law left,many fans have complained bitterly about the Pats"undersized DB's"are now complaining about drafting the big and fast DB that they wanted. As for no OLB help(at least at this point in time,name more than three or four DE conversions that have worked out well in their first or even second year over the past two years not just Matthews,against the number that go from bust to ordinary.If B.B.could have pulled off a deal that brought them Watt(who I thought was a great fit) or Aldon Smith(and more than a few questioned his desire)I think it would have been done but it couldn't be for even a slight over payment.Quinn simply was not a consideration because the Pats medical staff felt the problem in his brain was a very real problem and so he wasn't even a consideration(right or wrong that was their opinion).They grabbed two big,tough,strong RB's who can catch the ball and pass protect.They also grabbed a first round physical talent at QB and could well have been the third QB taken in the third round(B.B. obviously didn't have the problem with his off-field problems that many did after speaking to the young man,and I am assuming at considerable length,that others had).The N.E. medical staff felt confident enough in Cannon's prognosis(and his form of cancer is usually treated effectively with excellent results,thank God we know this through personal experience in our own family,and was a second,and,at worst,an early third round pick in the fifth round,at a position of need,OG,plus he gives them some flexibility as he can play ROT.Also in the fifth,they picked up the best blocking TE in the draft and he is an effective,sure handed receiver in the short air game as well.would I have them to end up with Watt or Smith or MIller(though his sie was a concern) absolutely,but it didn't happen,but what they did do was pretty darn good.
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3)

    In Response to Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3):
    In Response to Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3) : Come on  . . . Patrick Pass wasn't that good!   ; />)
    Posted by tenace4life

    But JR Redmond was HUGE (at least for a minute...)!!!

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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    My draft ratings:

    Trades out and down:  just counting the total numbers of first rounders, second rounders, and so on, I notice that an extra second rounder and an extra fifth rounder seem to have appeared out of nowhere.  In addition, pick #28 this year will probably appear next year as (my best guess) New Orleans pick #20, so a gain was made there also.  A-, with the minus because BB collected too many fifth and sixth rounders which are rough for the Patriots to effectively use.  It's likely that a fifth rounder will be bumped out the door in late August and a rival will then grab him.

    Nate Solder:  Value for the first round:  A.  This guy had the most knockdowns (142) of any college lineman last year.  He was tops in the 3-cone drill at the combine, so he’s the quickest and maybe the strongest tackle at the same time.  He’s the tallest tackle also, which means that he can easily add bulk.  Finally he’s the smartest tackle available, going by his GPA and his major.  Need: A.  All this in a position of serious need, because Matt Light never was coming back, Steve Neal is gone and Logan Mankins wishes he was elsewhere.  Now that’s a big hole!

    I expect Solder to completely seal off his corner starting in September, with occasional pull blocks and occasional knockdowns of some poor defender.  He’s a load when he accelerates hits, and so the Patriots’ opponents won’t look that good in the fourth quarter.  Offensive rookie of the year is a possibility.

    Ras-I Dowling:  C+.  The Rastafarian name may have scared everyone else off?  Dowling has good explosion but I hate his arm length.  He’ll have to get by with popping other players in the gut, which he can do because he’s big, and he’ll have to use his notable height and weight advantage to compensate for his crummy arms.  I trust that everything else was good about the guy, because BB turned down some nice trades for him.

    Need:  B.  McCourty is one good cornerback but the rest of the defensive backfield was penciled in.  The Pats need four guys in the backfield including two cornerbacks, three in the nickel.  Ras-I is bulky enough to play strong safety if that’s where the hole exists.  He also handles the big and strong variety of NFL receiver.

    Shane Vereen:  C+.  Average back with serious fumblitis.  Otherwise, talented.  I’ve learned to not pick against the Patriots’ scouting staff, but this guy has serious drawbacks from what I can see.  Need:  A.  The Patriots only have Benny and Woody.  They need a stable of 5 healthy backs, not 1 3/4 backs.  Fred Taylor might easily retire, Dancing Maroney is out on tour, Kevin Faulk might retire and Slammin’ Sammy might easily retire.  Woody is kind of microscopic and realistically might not last a full season in the NFL.  Puh-leeze let rookie Nate Solder carry Woody’s pads and helmet around.

    Stevan Ridley:  B-.  At least he can hit the hole hard on third and 1.  He can’t go around the corner, he’s too slow, so hitting the hole is his only trick.  At least these two RBs are change of pace backs from either Benny or Woodie.  Need:  A.

    Ryan Mallett:  Value: A.  Our favorite pothead Mr. Hernandez, a first round talent with fourth round drug issues, cleaned up his act, probably because Jonathan Kraft made a million dollar bet that Hernandez couldn’t stay sober.  Hernandez said nyuk nyuk nyuk if you’re giving out an extra million for nothing I’ll take that bet, and so far he’s cleaning up on the bet and so are the Patriots.  Mallett is every bit a first round talent in a third rounder’s druggie spot, so, Jonathan Kraft will make another bet and Mallett will keep himself dry in public or else.  It’s certainly worth the gamble.  Need:  B–.  Tom Terrific will be a 34 year old football player, it’s not just his sons calling him Daddy-o, and people his age don’t heal as quickly as 22 year olds.  Anyone with 1 interception in 500 pass attempts obviously starts, but he now has a rebuilt foot and a rebuilt knee.  The real question is, will Tom play all 16 games?  If not, who will?

    Marcus Cannon.  Value A+.  I pegged this guy as my Patriots 4th round draft pick in March – Woo Hoo!  350 pounds and somehow he runs in the 5.2 range.  Cannon has a 20% chance of being a cancer victim (and the usual 20% chance of being a no good bum, but that goes without saying).  By all means, in the fifth round take that chance.  Cannon gets out of chemo in June.  In August he should easily make the all-important rookie PUP squad and maybe he’ll stay on injured reserve for all of 2011, unless BB runs low on healthy guards in which case Cannon is available and activated.  BB has no intention of playing a late round rookie lineman unless he has to, and with the cancer excuse all set, BB doesn’t even have to break the nice guy’s leg to get him out of the way for a year.  Think of Brandon Tate who came with his knee pre-broken and who later blossomed.  When your team is crowded to the gills with talent, this kind of player is a dream.  The guy is reportedly a second-round or a third-round pick with medical issues.  Need for a guard:  A.

    Lee Smith:  Value B+.  Getting a young Alge Crumpler type this late in the draft is good.  Need B.  The real Crumpler is still pretty good but long in the tooth.  Blocking tight ends (who can catch a bit too) are undervalued in the NFL. 

    Markell Carter:  Value A, for a sixth rounder.  All the physical tools.  Explosion and long arms.  He can turn the corner.  He can keep offensive linemen off his body while he tries a second move to the quarterback.  He has the swivel hips to cover.  His negatives are all about experience.  Small school.  He still needs to learn to play LB and he needs time in the weight room.  Need C–!  Everyone on this board bellyaches about the Patriots having no pass rush, but in reality this defense created 25 interceptions in 2010.  Brady and the offense got plenty of short fields, and much of that was pressure on the opponent’s quarterback.  Cunningham as a rookie really helped the team with lots of hurries and knockdowns, although he didn’t get much public credit.  Carter will back up TBC if he makes the team.

    CB Malcolm Williams:  Value A.  As near as I can see, he was signed out of high school by Oklahoma.  Then something nobody talks about happened.  Then he surfaced in Trinity Valley College and he did fine, big fish, small pond.  Then he transferred to TCU and was playing behind people.  Then he shifted from safety to cornerback at TCU.  Then he got in a few plays.  He could have been another Matt Cassel, stiffed in college but a good guy.  His highlight film shows explosion as a returner, or else everybody else was in slow motion.  Don’t confuse this Malcolm Williams with the Texas Longhorns WR Malcolm Williams.

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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3)

    In Response to Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3):
    i'm in line with all your grades, except ryan "leaf" mallet. two problems with him: no QB as big and as slow as him has ever been successfull in the NFL (as per gil brandt and that guy goes back a long way), and secondly he will be released for behavior problems long before he creates any value for us. we alredy know his off the field behavior is bad. but as a 3rd string qb who will not be on the game day roster for the next two years it just gives him that much more time to get bored and get into trouble.
    Posted by artielang

    I am curious.  The Patriots have a large professional staff that evaluates players to the nth degree and probably learns more about them than their own parents know.  And yet you know more about Mallett than the Patriots do.  Where did you acquire all this knowledge?   
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD (Rounds 1-3)

    Pat while i agree that the Pass Rush should have been a priority, I believe BB didnt see a player that he thought was an upgrade.. but a disagreea little that the jets loss was a result of the rush,,IT WAS IN BIG PART the O Line not being able to handle the rush...Other than Mankins and Vollmer  the O line really needed to be upgraded and we will see if thats done...THere will be a couple of stop gap rush players available in FA....Maybe that will help.
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    I'll give them the benefit of the doubt on DE for sure, as they have stroud, t warren, brace, wright, and can resign g warren if they choose to.  They know the health and development of these guys much better than us.  Same on the DB and RB's.  They have access to scounting and medicals we do not.  We all have to give in to the fact they have alot more info than we do.  OLB is the harder choice to swallow, or rather, the lack of picking one.  We can see pretty well that cunnigham got better as the year went on, but will likely never be the stud pass rusher this defense really is missing, but rather the solid all around OLB that we need opposite the stud pass rusher.  We all know how devestating this defense caan be with that elephant type (Mcginnest or LT type) pass rusher.  That guy is simply not on the roster, and we are unlikely to pick him up as an UDFA or URFA.  They are just too obvious a commodity.  We all thought he was available at 28 or 33.  BB must have thought those guys were simply a bad fit, and decided to go for the DB to give the front 7 more time to get to the QB.  I hope he is right.
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    Let me start by saying that I am a steelers fan, so this is not a propatriots person talking, but just like when kevin Colbert makes a choice I would give Belichick a pass on some questionable picks for at least a year or 2. I also have to say that i have huge respect for your Coach and organization one of the classiest and intelligent in sports. I think long term you are going to be happy with the Dowling choice I think that McCourty and Dowling will be one of the top pairs of Corners in the league.i was sure hoping that Dowling would slide to the Steelers in round 2. He is a team captain, tough , fast, good against run and pass the type of player teams should be striving for.
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    The problem with this draft is two fold.

    #1.  The Pats didn't answer the pass rush problem.
    #2.  Boring picks.  Nothing there for fans to really get jazzed about.

    I'm not saying it was a poor draft because the Pats did address the needs of the OL and RB.  I'm just saying there was nothing there to excite the fan base.

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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    In Response to Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD:
         Regarding Ryan Mallett...reports from the Tennessee Titans say that he was 45 minutes to an hour late for his meeting with them, prior to the draft. This, in conjunction to what happened with Carolina, is disquieting:      One has to question whether or not this guy is interested in becoming an NFL QB.
    Posted by TexasPat3

    Or he really really wanted to get picked by the Pats!
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    Re: Patriots Draft REPORT CARD

    It seems Mallett has quite a bit of maturing to do. As for missing the Carolina meeting, maybe he didn't want to play there. Still a stupid move, but possibly a reason. I haven't heard any specifics about his "problems" off the field, but Mayock did mention he's had run-ins with the law. Talented kid with his head up know. If he doesn't change quickly I don't doubt BB will cut him. Maybe he only needs some leadership and discipline. Brady will give no quarter if he doesn't give his all in practice and meetings. Still it seems a bit high of a pick for a gamble. But if he does fly right he could be another Cassel. The kid is intelligent (when he uses his brains) and has talent. I liked the Solder pick, who knows what the O-line will look like by September. IMO he was the "best value" sitting at 17, and in a position of need. I was a bit puzzled by the two RBs, but given their differences I think they could "round out" the RB committee. I assume Taylor and Morris are history. Dowling is one I'm puzzled about, as he is another "gamble". If healthy he'll be a great compliment to McCourty. If he's injury prone he'll be another wasted pick. I suppose none of the pass rushers appealed to BB this draft, except maybe one or two that went high. He also might have faith in some of the younger guys to step up. With all the injuries on the DL last season that had to affect the rush. And possibly he has his eye on some FA, as it has to happen eventually. I agree with Gary that there was no "flash" to the draft, probably making it seem worse to fans than it really was. In the end we'll all really have to wait a year or two to accurately grade these guys.
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