What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from apdynasty23. Show apdynasty23's posts

    What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    This year's draft was the first one I actually paid attention to and watched. Actually hearing analysts talk about each team's situation and their logic behind their picks/trades sparked a question. I know some of you more intelligent fans can discuss this.

    I wonder if it's better to draft for specialty or versatility?

    For instance, in Bill's eyes taking Devin in the first round was an easier decision just because he excelled on special teams as well. He seems to be a great corner but the fact that he could also play well on special teams sold Bill. That was a move that was clearly to get a more versatile player versus just a speciality player. Many fans, and even analysts, were a little befuddled that we didn't draft just a pass rusher or just a running back in the first round. Instead, I heard many fans saying "great, we used our first rounder on a special teams player."

    The versatility/specialty preference is what built the Patriots dynasty and there's no denying that. The thing Kraft/Belichick did best was draft and recruit versatile players because that was the most efficient way to build a successful, consistent team for the long run given the new economics of football.

    Because we missed the playoffs in 2008 and got our doors blown off by Baltimore this past season, now you see many fans blame the drafts in years past because we didn't "draft that one player that solved the ___________ problem"

    I'd love to hear your thoughts. You obviously can't do too much of either or you can't build a successful team (Colts, Eagles, Patriots, Steelers). If you draft all for specialty then you handicap yourself moving forward because the economics won't allow you to keep all your specialty players on both ends of the ball.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MordecaiBloodmoon. Show MordecaiBloodmoon's posts

    Re: What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    the fans that think we drafted a special teams player in the 1st are special in that short bus kind of way.  If they are too stupid to tell the difference between someone who plays special teams well and those that can play their position and special teams well, then they too should be on the short bus. 
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from PatsLifer. Show PatsLifer's posts

    Re: What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    Well summed by Mord.

    Versatility and speciality are both important. If you are going to burn a 1st round pick on a player, that player better be able to contribute and contribute quickly. McCourty will. He is going to be an ace day 1 on special teams, plus be competing heavily for not only the nickel CB spot, but perhaps even a starting CB spot. Great pick in my mind.

    What's the alternative?....Pick Kindle and put all your eggs in the can he stay awake basket?...or perhaps hoping he doesn't require surgery and not ready for opening day?....

    The Pats drafted smart (added both specialists (Spikes) and versatile guys (Cunningham/McCourty), filled holes (Hernandez/Gronk, Cunningham, Spikes, McCourty, Price, Mesko, etc., etc.), added depth, and got a 2011 2nd rounder to boot. This was on paper a very successful draft.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from NickC1188. Show NickC1188's posts

    Re: What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    "specialist" - somebody who only does one or two specific things

    I don't think you can afford to have many "specialists" on a 53 man roster.

    Kicker
    Punter
    Long-snapper

    But I get your point.  OLBs in a Belichick defense are asked to do more than just get upfield.  It's not an attack defense that keeps opposing offenses guessing where the pressure is coming from like Baltimore, New York, or Pittsburgh.  It's a mental defense designed to play percentages and minimize opponents' sabermetric chances of success in each situation.  Therefore a guy like Kindle might not have worked because of his ADD (tough to learn a complicated defense with many different aspects).  Neither would a guy like Hughes or Graham, who are smaller and who would have a tougher time setting the edge against the run.

    Versatility is a must.  The more a player can bring to the table, the more things opponents have to prepare for and think about on each play (which, btw, is why I hate our RB corps where we have to substitute in order to get each skillset in the passing game, the running game, and short yardage)
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from prolate0spheroid. Show prolate0spheroid's posts

    Re: What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    I think it's a balance. Versatility is very valuable because you've got a limited roster and you need a decent number of guys who can do a lot of things well.  But--especially at some positions--you need guys who are just great at their position.  For instance, a great nose tackle is essential in a 3-4 and I'd sacrifice versatility in that position to get talent in the player's specialty.  QB is another position where I think you make a mistake going for versatility.  You need a guy who can throw well.  Teams get fascinated with the idea of a running QB, but in the NFL that almost never works.  The passing game is too difficult and too important so you need a great passing specialist.  CB is another position where great cover skills would trump versatility (though you can often get CBs who are versatile special teams guys and that's a plus).  So I don't think there's a definite rule: Versatility is generally better than no versatility, but if a player has pro bowl type talent at a particular position and isn't very versatile I'd still draft him. 




     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from shenanigan. Show shenanigan's posts

    Re: What's More Important: Versatility or Specialty?

    I would think you need versatility or players will get bad matchups.  For instance if Indy wants to run a deep pass play, and then go no huddle so there aren't any substitutions that can be made by the O or D than the same players may have to cover a run attack.  Offenses have versatility, so the defenses must react.  If the offense sees a group of great pass rushers on the field and a lightweight group in the secondary than they will probably attempt a power run.  If your runstoppers are sitting on the bench and you can't get them in than they are useless. 

    Vesatile players are necessary for keeping the offense guessing what plays you will run and what your LB's are doing (Blitz/Coverage etc.)  Same goes for the offense.  Too many specialist lead to predictability, sure some guys a great pass rusher and gets 15 sacks in a year, but how many times did he get burnt on runs and draw plays.  Probably why the Pats crappy pass rush last year still kept them as one of the better defenses in the NFL for points allowed.  Didn't get to the QB, but didn't let the QB make easy reads for scoring passes.

    Guys that can do Special teams keep teams from needing Specialists on Special teams and let teams add more depth to the game day positions.  If Mccourtney can return kicks and be a great corner than we don't need to have an Ellis Hobbs type, who's really only good returning kicks but had to be the 3rd CB because nobody else could return as well.
     
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