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View Full Version : Belichick - Genius or Fool?


JBCX
04-29-2011, 09:34 PM
Ask anyone who watches football what the Patriots' #1 need heading into the 2011 season was, and invariably you'll receive the answer "pass rusher", or more specifically, a pass-rushing 3-4 OLB or 3-4 DE.

So heading into the 4th round of the draft, the Patriots have selected:

17. OT Nate Solder
33. CB Ras-I Dowling
56. RB Shane Vereen
73. RB Stevan Ridley
74. QB Ryan Mallett

The only defensive player is CB Dowling, a defensive back. Either Belichick is putting all of his eggs in the free agency / trade basket, or he is perfectly satisfied with random guys like Rob Ninkovitch leading his team with no more than 4-5 sacks a piece.

I personally think that this was the best opportunity for Belichick to add a stud pass rusher to his team, especially in the first round. I think the Patriots will regret passing on guys like Adrian Clayborn, Justin Houston, Dontay Moch, or Cameron Jordan, or even trading up for JJ Watt or Ryan Kerrigan. Who agrees?

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 09:40 PM
I love the first three....those are good picks.


The last two don't have words invented by the English language to describe how crap they were.

GaMeTiMe
04-29-2011, 09:40 PM
Every year, a team doesn't address what is perceived as one of their biggest needs. It's no surprise that team is the Pats this year. I think they would've liked Kerrigan at 17, but otherwise I don't think they liked any of the other pass-rushers where they picked. Brooks Reed is a giant hype machine and we should all know the decision makers with the Pats didn't like him as much as we do. They plucked their little pieces from this draft while adding picks for the future and I think they already consider themselves done with a successful draft.

JBCX
04-29-2011, 09:42 PM
But at this rate, unless they sign a guy in free agency or make a trade for an established player, they go into the 2011 season with, yet again, little to no pass rush.

Until you stop putting scrubs out there as your 3-4 OLBs, your passing defense will always mediocre, regardless of the CBs you have.

PTPaQ
04-29-2011, 09:44 PM
Patriots are extremely overrated when it comes to the draft. Their past decade of drafts have been below average/average, aside from last years productive class. I'd go as far as to say they have had some of the worst draft classes of any team earlier in the decade. Stock piling picks seems cool and productive and all but when you are trading your picks with players like Clay Matthews and Mark Ingram on the board your setting your franchise up to become extremely average in the future.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 09:45 PM
OK, you guys want to know what the even crappier thing is than not taking a pass rusher(I'll get into that when I'm in a more logical mood and not completely angry)? Not taking any interior offensive line help. None. We could have as many as ONE potential returning starter going into next year with Vollmer. We apparently feel Solder can start right away(mixed feelings) and Vollmer is locked up and fantastic...but Connolly got abused in the playoffs last year. Koppen was abused ALL year. Mankins is leaving.

FUNBUNCHER
04-29-2011, 09:50 PM
Patriots are extremely overrated when it comes to the draft. Their past decade of drafts have been below average/average, aside from last years productive class. I'd go as far as to say they have had some of the worst draft classes of any team earlier in the decade. Stock piling picks seems cool and productive and all but when you are trading your picks with players like Clay Matthews and Mark Ingram on the board your setting your franchise up to become extremely average in the future.

SOme truth in this post. Unfortunately Mike SHanahan appears to have taken advanced courses in the Belichick school of stockpiling nonimpact draft picks.

If Mallett keeps his nose clean, I think in 3 years the Pats trade him for a 1st rounder. Let Belichick clean up his reputation and show him off in preseason or the odd game when Brady can't go.

Still like has to feel kind of sucky right now for Ryan.:(

Matthew Jones
04-29-2011, 09:50 PM
Patriots are extremely overrated when it comes to the draft. Their past decade of drafts have been below average/average, aside from last years productive class. I'd go as far as to say they have had some of the worst draft classes of any team earlier in the decade. Stock piling picks seems cool and productive and all but when you are trading your picks with players like Clay Matthews and Mark Ingram on the board your setting your franchise up to become extremely average in the future.

I don't see how the Patriots could be considered average when it comes to the draft...have a look at their projected starting lineups. The players in bold were either drafted by the team or signed as undrafted free agents:

QB - Tom Brady
RB - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR - Deion Branch
WR - Wes Welker
TE - Rob Gronkowski
TE - Aaron Hernandez
OT - Matt Light/Nate Solder/Nick Kaczur
OT - Sebastian Vollmer
OG - Logan Mankins
OG - Dan Connolly
C - Dan Koppen

DE - Ty Warren
DE - Marcus Stroud
NT - Vince Wilfork
OLB - Rob Ninkovich
OLB - Jermaine Cunningham
ILB - Jerod Mayo
ILB - Brandon Spikes
CB - Devin McCourty
CB - Leigh Bodden
FS - Brandon Meriweather
SS - Patrick Chung

K - Stephen Gostkowski
P - Zoltan Mesko
KR - Brandon Tate
PR - Julian Edelman

Keep in mind this team went 14-2 last year...now look at the amount of starters they've drafted...now reconsider your post.

Basileus777
04-29-2011, 09:53 PM
The Pats had several poor drafts mid-decade, but they've been doing much better the past few years.

descendency
04-29-2011, 09:57 PM
Every year, a team doesn't address what is perceived as one of their biggest needs. It's no surprise that team is the Pats this year. I think they would've liked Kerrigan at 17, but otherwise I don't think they liked any of the other pass-rushers where they picked. Brooks Reed is a giant hype machine and we should all know the decision makers with the Pats didn't like him as much as we do. They plucked their little pieces from this draft while adding picks for the future and I think they already consider themselves done with a successful draft.

Why would a 34 team love a 43 DE? Kerrigan was stiff and showed poor athleticism in drills. There was literally nothing that showed he can play OLB.

Yes, those picks were dumb (especially Stevan Ridley... especially), but most of them are high upside picks for a team already loaded with talent. Loaded. The Patriots are a 14-2 team. They have to take chances on guys with high upside or those players may not even make the roster.

That said, I am seriously wondering what they are thinking in terms of not drafting a LB and every pick they make after this will be an F in my opinion until they get a LB.

The only thing I can see is that they have negotiated a contract with someone (illegally) or a trade with a team (also, semi illegal) that will guarantee them a pass rush.

PTPaQ
04-29-2011, 09:57 PM
I don't see how the Patriots could be considered average when it comes to the draft...have a look at their projected starting lineups. The players in bold were either drafted by the team or signed as undrafted free agents:

QB - Tom Brady
RB - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR - Deion Branch
WR - Wes Welker
TE - Rob Gronkowski
TE - Aaron Hernandez
OT - Matt Light/Nate Solder/Nick Kaczur
OT - Sebastian Vollmer
OG - Logan Mankins
OG - Dan Connolly
C - Dan Koppen

DE - Ty Warren
DE - Marcus Stroud
NT - Vince Wilfork
OLB - Rob Ninkovich
OLB - Jermaine Cunningham
ILB - Jerod Mayo
ILB - Brandon Spikes
CB - Devin McCourty
CB - Leigh Bodden
FS - Brandon Meriweather
SS - Patrick Chung

K - Stephen Gostkowski
P - Zoltan Mesko
KR - Brandon Tate
PR - Julian Edelman

Keep in mind this team went 14-2 last year...now look at the amount of starters they've drafted...now reconsider your post.

Good points, and I don't mean to take anything away from the Pat's they are a phenomenal Franchise, obviously. A bunch of those guys (Tate, Chung, McCourty, Spikes, Mayo, Vollmer, Hernandez, Gronkowski, Mesko, Cunningham) are from recent drafts and take up a bulk of that roster, and I did credit them with their more recent successful selections.

keylime_5
04-29-2011, 09:59 PM
The Pats have built a perenniel power through the draft. Look at all the great young talent on their roster, not to mention their QB who is the best in the league. It's not just the selections they make, it's the masterful way that they stockpile quality picks and move up or down in the draft to get "their guy."

Drafting isn't all about need either. And the Patriots needs in the opinion of the fans might not be the same as in the opinion on Belichick. Plus, free agency has yet to come. Belichick always makes big trades, don't count out them finding a veteran pass rusher that they'll need in the super bowl run this year.

descendency
04-29-2011, 09:59 PM
ROP, how many of those guys are under contract? If you look at that, you might see why some of those picks have been made.

I really just am scratching my head on Ridley though.

edit: Let's use an example I understand. Let's compare the Patriots and Jets. Consider a shooter trying to hit a target. The Patriots are a shotgun, the Jets are a rifle. Both teams have the same goal, but one team needs their picks to be hits. The other team tries to get as many picks as it can (though these are throw away picks lol) hoping 1 hits the target.

Both teams killed people this year, so the gun analogy is a good one.

killxswitch
04-29-2011, 10:00 PM
Seems like Belichick is good at hoarding picks and then not maximizing them.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:01 PM
I really just am scratching my head on Ridley though.

Literally nothing redeeming to that selection. I'm going to try my absolute hardest to remember Ridley's name to bring up as reference in a few years...but I probably won't. He's that forgettable.

JBCX
04-29-2011, 10:02 PM
Do you guys know why the Patriots had one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL last year despite solid play from one of the top rookie CBs in McCourty?

Do you guys know why a mediocre QB (Mark Sanchez) looked very good in the Patriots' playoff loss to the New York Jets?

No pass rush, or pass rush that wasn't good enough. Until they get a stud 3-4 OLB that can rush the passer with consistency and regularity a la Clay Matthews, Tamba Hali, or Cameron Wake, their defense will never be more than average, and more playoff losses will ensue.

keylime_5
04-29-2011, 10:03 PM
Seems like Belichick is good at hoarding picks and then not maximizing them.

He maximizes them by stockpiling even more picks, hehe. It's a vicious cycle.

metafour
04-29-2011, 10:04 PM
Belichick is a troll. Guy loves doing the exact opposite of what everyone thinks he "should" do.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:05 PM
Do you guys know why the Patriots had one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL last year despite solid play from one of the top rookie CBs in McCourty?

Do you guys know why a mediocre QB (Mark Sanchez) looked very good in the Patriots' playoff loss to the New York Jets?

No pass rush, or pass rush that wasn't good enough. Until they get a stud 3-4 OLB that can rush the passer with consistency and regularity a la Clay Matthews, Tamba Hali, or Cameron Wake, their defense will never be more than average, and more playoff losses will ensue.

Oh, we as Patriots fans are keenly aware of this. This isn't a new issue. It's a MAJOR thing and we literally ignore it. It's not that we don't address it, we ignore it. BB is on the record as saying that sacks and pass rush are some of the more overrated things in the sport. Well, I have to break it to you Billy, but that's not exactly consistent with the reality of the game.

descendency
04-29-2011, 10:07 PM
Do you guys know why the Patriots had one of the worst passing defenses in the NFL last year despite solid play from one of the top rookie CBs in McCourty?

Do you guys know why a mediocre QB (Mark Sanchez) looked very good in the Patriots' playoff loss to the New York Jets?

No pass rush, or pass rush that wasn't good enough. Until they get a stud 3-4 OLB that can rush the passer with consistency and regularity a la Clay Matthews, Tamba Hali, or Cameron Wake, their defense will never be more than average, and more playoff losses will ensue.

"The patriots had no trouble with their pass rush. This was all a rumor. Do not believe it. The Patriots are the greatest ever. "

-Patriots Minister of Information, Mohammed Said al-Sahhaf (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muhammad_Saeed_al-Sahhaf)

killxswitch
04-29-2011, 10:08 PM
Belichick is a troll. Guy loves doing the exact opposite of what everyone thinks he "should" do.

Sounds like Bill Polian. Except for this year, where he decided to basically pick whoever the internet told him to pick (and I loved it).

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:09 PM
I think this draft does officially establish that we just don't care about getting after the quarterback in any way. I think BB THINKS that getting consistent pressure and almost pressures from Cunningham and Tully that mess up the throws is more valuable because it leads to possible turnovers. Thought that for a while actually, and there's some evidence to support that too.

descendency
04-29-2011, 10:18 PM
I think this draft does officially establish that we just don't care about getting after the quarterback in any way. I think BB THINKS that getting consistent pressure and almost pressures from Cunningham and Tully that mess up the throws is more valuable because it leads to possible turnovers. Thought that for a while actually, and there's some evidence to support that too.

I could explain every pick (except Ridley) but I don't want to sound like I am a homer trying to rationalize all of the picks.

Nalej
04-29-2011, 10:18 PM
Do it in the Pats forum lol

Pat Sims 90
04-29-2011, 10:20 PM
I don't understand what New England are doing with their picks but it is hard to question Belichick. No pass rushers in this draft so far when that is their biggest need just blow my mind.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:22 PM
No five techniques either. Ty Warren's knee must be a hell of a lot better than Bowers'. I understand not getting a LB OR a five technique. I don't understand not getting either.

Matthew Jones
04-29-2011, 10:27 PM
I think this draft does officially establish that we just don't care about getting after the quarterback in any way. I think BB THINKS that getting consistent pressure and almost pressures from Cunningham and Tully that mess up the throws is more valuable because it leads to possible turnovers. Thought that for a while actually, and there's some evidence to support that too.

I'm just not sure Belichick feels as though drafting a pass rusher high is worth the risk. He's mentioned multiple times that he likes to see players do what he is drafting them to do, and drafting a 4-3 defensive end to play a 3-4 linebacker spot means drafting someone to do something that's mostly different than what you've seen them do. Most of the 4-3 guys have never really had to drop into coverage or move in space, so Belichick doesn't know how that's going to project.

This is all in hindsight, but let me take a shot at the reasoning for passing on these guys:

Da'Quan Bowers wasn't really a fit athletically and had a bad knee, Brooks Reed and Jabaal Sheard were extremely overhyped in the offseason after being considered (at best) late second round picks through the entire college football season (I distinctly remember Reed being a fourth or fifth round pick on here at one point), and Allen Bailey didn't have a clear role on the team - no one knew if he was big enough for five-tech or athletic enough for linebacker. He was lacking in instincts and awareness as well - always the last one off the ball. Muhammad Wilkerson, same deal - had trouble locating the ball and looked raw in terms of the mental aspects of the game. The Patriots don't draft many players from small schools because the level of competition makes it difficult to get a read on them. Drafting Cameron Heyward wasn't going to improve the pass rush, and Belichick might have felt uncomfortable drafting essentially a two-down (a.k.a. rotational) defender who had been up and down all season, disappearing in a lot of games. Corey Liuget was probably a little bit undersized at 6'2", 298, and another guy whose hype outweighed the value he had demonstrated during the college season. He received something like a fourth-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Cameron Jordan had 3-4 experience in college, but last year essentially played in a one-gap system. Belichick may have had some questions about his lack of size (287 pounds, looking mostly maxed out) and ability to anchor. He wasn't even universally considered a five-technique - some people wondered if he fit better as an elephant linebacker. If you don't feel comfortable with someone, don't draft them. I'd say Belichick went for guys who have done what he is going to ask them to do in the NFL.

FUNBUNCHER
04-29-2011, 10:36 PM
It's hard for me to see how Belichick could rationalize passing on Heyward/Jordan/Wilkerson/Houston.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:36 PM
There's always a justification though. Always. It's the easiest thing in the world to justify not taking a guy, unless it a transcendent talent like Suh or something. Would missing on one of those picks REALLY be this debilitating, horrible thing? Who cares if someone is overhyped. At the end of the day, it's about what happens on the field...not what message board and combine hype said.

Are Reed and Sheard incapable of being accomplished players just because they're hyped?

Are we 100% sure that Cam Jordan couldn't learn to play within the confines of a two gap scheme. The weight and frame thing is entirely subjective and I've heard people say lots of things in regards to that.

Drafting Cam Heyward absolutely could improve the pass rush. Free up extra guys with his two gap ability..ect. But even if that wasn't true...does not drafting Heyward help us in any way? It's a position of need.

Liuget wasn't even on my radar because I just don't think he's a five technique in a two gap scheme. Nothing of value lost there.


Some of those guys are going to be real good and could well play within our scheme and we passed on them. We can justify all we want...but missing on a player is a far better alternative to not doing anything to try to improve your football team.

descendency
04-29-2011, 10:41 PM
No five techniques either. Ty Warren's knee must be a hell of a lot better than Bowers'. I understand not getting a LB OR a five technique. I don't understand not getting either.

Even still, I wonder how Ron Brace or whoever is viewed. That other side was an abortion on the line.

Matthew Jones
04-29-2011, 10:41 PM
There's always a justification though. Always. It's the easiest thing in the world to justify not taking a guy, unless it a transcendent talent like Suh or something. Would missing on one of those picks REALLY be this debilitating, horrible thing? Who cares if someone is overhyped. At the end of the day, it's about what happens on the field...not what message board and combine hype said.

Are Reed and Sheard incapable of being accomplished players just because they're hyped?

Are we 100% sure that Cam Jordan couldn't learn to play within the confines of a two gap scheme. The weight and frame thing is entirely subjective and I've heard people say lots of things in regards to that.

Drafting Cam Heyward absolutely could improve the pass rush. Free up extra guys with his two gap ability..ect. But even if that wasn't true...does not drafting Heyward help us in any way? It's a position of need.

Some of those guys are going to be real good and could well play within our scheme and we passed on them. We can justify all we want...but missing on a player is a far better alternative to not doing anything to try to improve your football team.

The team would have had to reach on someone like Reed or Sheard, who weren't considered impact pass rushers all season. Reed got most of his sacks on effort, and didn't show the ability to consistently shed blocks or cover backs and tight ends, two hallmarks of a Belichick outside linebacker. I have serious questions about Sheard's ability to play in space, and he was ultimately drafted by a 4-3 team. The Redskins, Patriots, and Chargers all passed on Cameron Jordan, so I don't think it was just New England that had concerns there - he also ended up on a 4-3 team. Heyward had no place in our sub package, the defense we were in for about 55% of the time last season.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:42 PM
Even still, I wonder how Ron Brace or whoever is viewed. That other side was an abortion on the line.

Brace played well situationally, but nothing more. I still don't understand how people don't realize he was never drafted to play DE for us. Insurance for if we couldn't get something done with Wilfork. He's playing massively out of position and not even doing it consistently.

Scotty D
04-29-2011, 10:43 PM
Did Deaderick play well?

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:46 PM
The team would have had to reach on someone like Reed or Sheard, who weren't considered impact pass rushers all season. Reed got most of his sacks on effort, and didn't show the ability to consistently shed blocks or cover backs and tight ends, two hallmarks of a Belichick outside linebacker. I have serious questions about Sheard's ability to play in space, and he was ultimately drafted by a 4-3 team. The Redskins, Patriots, and Chargers all passed on Cameron Jordan, so I don't think it was just New England that had concerns there - he also ended up on a 4-3 team. Heyward had no place in our sub package, the defense we were in for about 55% of the time last season.

I personally think reaching on a player is better than blindfolding yourself and pretending they don't exist because they don't fit into where your draft pick lies numerically. We already 'reached' on Solder. We actually make reached all the time if their OUR guys. That's what we're all about even, time and time again. None of our guys have been a pass rusher. Some of those pass rushers that weren't our guys are playing pretty well in this league right now.

The Redskins have Carriker playing pretty well for them and were looking to stockpile picks. That was their clear strategy throughout the process and passed on a lot of players that could have possible helped them. The Chargers were apparently enamored with Liuget and that was their guy all along. Good fit for their scheme. Jordan was never really a super viable option for them in the first place. They've shown a tendency to go for more 4-3 UT types time and time again.

ElectricEye
04-29-2011, 10:47 PM
Did Deaderick play well?

He played OK. Not super well, not super bad. He was a steal for where we drafted him, but his athletic limitations came up multiple times throughout last year. He was also suspended for being consistently late to practices.

Matthew Jones
04-29-2011, 10:49 PM
Did Deaderick play well?

He played much better than expected for a guy who went late in the seventh round. The main concern with him is his work ethic - he was late to a bunch of meetings and suspended by Belichick at one point. He projects as a rotational guy. If Ty Warren can lock down the LE spot, the Patriots can experiment a little bit on the other side with some combination of Gerard Warren/Marcus Stroud/Mike Wright/Ron Brace/Myron Pryor/Brandon Deaderick, etc. They have a lot of options but no every-down guy over there.

DeathbyStat
04-29-2011, 11:11 PM
Who am I to question the great Belichick, but this years draft class just isn't that great



17. OT Nate Solder-a boom or bust player that plays with poor leverage

33. CB Ras-I Dowling-a guy that can't stay healthy

56. RB Shane Vereen-the new Kevin Faulk, I guess

73. RB Stevan Ridley-could have drafted much later on

74. QB Ryan Mallett-will most likely be traded in 3-5 years

Iamcanadian
04-29-2011, 11:18 PM
He can come and do the drafting for my team anytime he wants, IMO, he is the best in the business.

descendency
04-29-2011, 11:26 PM
Who am I to question the great Belichick, but this years draft class just isn't that great



17. OT Nate Solder-a boom or bust player that plays with poor leverage

33. CB Ras-I Dowling-a guy that can't stay healthy

56. RB Shane Vereen-the new Kevin Faulk, I guess

73. RB Stevan Ridley-could have drafted much later on

74. QB Ryan Mallett-will most likely be traded in 3-5 years

Dowling was a top 15-20 value when healthy. It was a risky pick, but belichick likes his ST players and he likes CBs. Dowling can come in and play special teams and get guys like chung off of the field for that. He can also play CB and Safety. He can cover the slot (which is something NE lacked). He has talent. It's a high reward pick. Not really high risk. The downside is if he is basically Terrence Wheatley all over (never healthy enough to matter)


Ridley blows my mind, but he will replace Sammy Morris essentially. Play some special teams, play fullback (though that seems like a dumb place to draft a FB), and play some goal line back. He may play for BJGE too, who doesn't have a contract.

Mallett... could be the starter in NE in 3 years. I'm sure no one thought Drew Bledsoe was going anywhere. Maybe he's Steve Young (not in terms of talent or play, just that he replaced a legend - successfully)

PossibleCabbage
04-29-2011, 11:32 PM
I think that the departures of Pioli and Dmitroff really diminished New England's aptitude at evaluating players in recent years. They're definitely the best in the league in terms of maximizing assets in the sense of turning players into picks, and picks into better picks. But if they were actually as good at maximizing value by using those picks as they used to be, they would actually be significantly better than they are... they have that many assets at their disposal in the draft.

I mean, it's not as though the NE coaching staff isn't one of the league's best in terms of "getting the most out of guys"... it's just that the guys that they get these days don't seem to be nearly as good as the ones they used to get in the early 2000s.

WCH
04-29-2011, 11:54 PM
If Mallett keeps his nose clean, I think in 3 years the Pats trade him for a 1st rounder.

Oh, come on; you know how this game is played! If Mallett pans out, then in three years Brady gets to find out how Montana and Favre felt when they were shown the door. Like it or not, that's the nature of the business...

nepg
04-30-2011, 12:03 AM
I love the Mallett pick. That was a similar situation to what GB was in when they drafted Rodgers. It would have been silly to pass up that opportunity when they have the resources to handle an insane talent like Ryan Mallett.

Liked the Vereen pick a lot. Would have loved it if I didn't want DeMarco Murray instead. Ridley was odd. It makes sense if the Pats don't expect any of the veteran RBs back (Faulk, Morris, Taylor). I don't hate the pick, it's just puzzling to see a team draft 2 RBs in back to back rounds.

niel89
04-30-2011, 12:27 AM
Coming into the draft I thought that the Patriots were going to get some really talented guys and were gonna be scary good. What seemed like a 100 trades back, and now its just meh to me. It feels like they could have gotten some real threats and instead got some just decent guys. Mallett is a good value there, especially in a strong organization, but he doesn't make this team any better for the next 3+ years. I know going 14-2 is tough, but its a lot easier with Brady.

Iamcanadian
04-30-2011, 12:41 AM
I think that the departures of Pioli and Dmitroff really diminished New England's aptitude at evaluating players in recent years. They're definitely the best in the league in terms of maximizing assets in the sense of turning players into picks, and picks into better picks. But if they were actually as good at maximizing value by using those picks as they used to be, they would actually be significantly better than they are... they have that many assets at their disposal in the draft.

I mean, it's not as though the NE coaching staff isn't one of the league's best in terms of "getting the most out of guys"... it's just that the guys that they get these days don't seem to be nearly as good as the ones they used to get in the early 2000s.

Then why did they finish 14-2 in a rebuilding year. My team should be so poor at finding talent. Wait till that rebuilt young defense actually gets some experience, then we will all be crying because we cannot beat them.
Whatever they are feeding the current talent evaluators in NE, please send some of it to my team, we'll be only too glad to eat it.

batsandgats
04-30-2011, 12:54 AM
what was the point of even getting backs in the first 3 rounds for them? Green-Ellis just rushed for 1,000 yards on 230 carries, Woodhead had around 1,000 from scrimmage missing the first two games with the Jets, and averaged 5.6 ypc, proved to be a much better runner than Kevin Faulk ever was. Kiper kept talking about Vereen being that role, he mentioned it like 20 times, Woodhead did a fine job of filling Faulk's role. 2,000 yards from undrafted guys, I don't see the point in getting a guy unless its a 3rd stringer. Ridley wouldve made sense, after the 5th.

MI_Buckeye
04-30-2011, 03:15 AM
Look, the Patriots are obviously a great franchise. I think Belichick has done some of his best work the past couple years, drafting developmental talent in bulk and eventually phasing the old, sturdy veterans that had comprised the core of the roster just a couple seasons ago. Last years class was a coup, getting good players at key areas of need with each early pick.

This year, however, I think they blew it big time. They dont have that many areas of need and had the ammunition to get big-time impact players at critical positions. They could have come out of night one with Robert Quinn and Cameron Jordan. Tell me that wouldnt have been better than what they have done so far.

I am currently the president of the Nate Solder Sucks fan club and cant get my head around the pick at all. Is Vollmer strictly a RT now? I thought he played brilliantly at LT last season, when Light was out. I cant imagine Solder succeeding at any position other than LT, which makes the pick even more perplexing. I thought the Pats valued versatility more than any other team in the league.

I really do like the Dowling pick, but that is about it. To me, Shane Vereen is just another Law Firm or Woodhead. They have too many of these all-around backs already; I see nothing of value he offers them right now. I know the Law Firm is a FA, but just re-sign him; you know what you are getting there.

Ridley was an epic reach, and Mallett seemed like an <Ahhh, what the hell, lets gamble.> pick. The Pats managed to neglect the core of this team, while also adding little in the way of impact.

Also, stockpiling future picks is all well and dandy, but there comes a point when your returns diminish. The Saints are not stupid, they knew Ingram was well worth giving up a late one next year, and The Pats could have used him even more. They gave up two years in this draft to get one from the Raiders next year. Hmm.

There comes a time when a certain approach just doesnt work any more. I think that time is now for Bill Belichick.

BigBanger
04-30-2011, 04:42 AM
The Patriots are good when they are stock piling picks. When they don't have 10 or 12 draft picks (with a ton of day 2 selections), then they tend to have pedestrian drafts. With more picks they have more room for error and can take a backup QB (Mallett, O'Connell) in round 3. They have afforded themselves that luxury. And they're coming off a 14-2 season.


But, if you look at the drafts from 2006 to 2009... there is some pathetic drafting, but there's also some great drafting and great trading. If it wasn't for some trades they would have crippled themselves with the minimal amount of talent they brought in via the draft during this four year stretch. We are seeing that effect now with the lack of pass rushers, a running back by committee, a lack of a true #1 WR, plus an aging interior offensive line. '06 to '08 saw little to no talent successfully brought in to upgrade any of those areas of concern.


2006 Draft

Round 1 - Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
Round 2 - Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
Round 3 - David Thomas, TE, Texas
Round 4 - Garrett Mills, TE, Tulsa
Round 4 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, Memphis
Round 5 - Ryan O'Callaghan, OT, California
Round 6 - Jeremy Mincey, LB, Florida
Round 6 - Dan Stevenson, G, Notre Dame
Round 6 - Le Kevin Smith, DT, Nebraska
Round 7 - Willie Andrews, CB, Baylor

Basically they had two major busts at the top. Jeremy Mincey was a developmental guy that is just now starting to see the playing field with Jacksonville. David Thomas was a decent TE now with New Orleans. Basically, they got their kicker and missed on 9 out of 10 picks. A terrible draft. Absolutely terrible.

Starting Kicker added


2007 Draft


Round 1 - Brandon Meriweather, FS, Miami (Fla.)
Round 4 - Kareem Brown, DT, Miami (Fla.)
Round 5 - Clint Oldenburg, OT, Colorado State
Round 6 - Justin Rogers, LB, Southern Methodist
Round 6 - Mike Richardson, DB, Notre Dame
Round 6 - Justise Hairston, RB, Central Connecticut State
Round 6 - Corey Hilliard, OT, Oklahoma State
Round 7 - Oscar Lua, LB, USC
Round 7 - Mike Elgin, G, Iowa

** Traded 2nd & 7th Round Picks to Miami for Wes Welker **
** Traded 4th round pick to Oakland for Randy Moss **

From a pure drafting standpoint ,they got one great young safety, and... nothing else. Mostly late developmental projects that never panned out. They did however, rape the Dolphins and Raiders through trades, which is a different way of manipulating the draft.

1 Pro Bowl Safety, Wes Welker and Randy Moss acquired. So... 3 Pro Bowlers.


2008 Draft

Round 1 - Jerod Mayo, ILB, Tennessee
Round 2 - Terrence Wheatley, CB, Colorado
Round 3 - Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan
Round 3 - Kevin O'Connell, QB, San Diego State
Round 4 - Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Auburn
Round 5 - Matt Slater, WR, UCLA
Round 6 - Bo Ruud, LB, Nebraska

UNDFA - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Mississippi

Jerod Mayo is an absolute beast and will anchor in the middle for years. Green-Ellis was picked up in free agency and he's their #1 back, but he could be upgraded.

1 Pro Bowl LB, 1 slightly above average RB, 1 depth CB.



2009 Draft


Round 2 - Pat Chung, SS, Oregon
Round 2 - Ron Brace, DT, Boston College
Round 2 - Darius Butler, DB, Connecticut
Round 2 - Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston
Round 3 - Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina
Round 3 - Tyrone McKenzie, OLB, South Florida
Round 4 - Rich Ohrnberger, OG, Penn State
Round 5 - George Bussey, OT, Louisville
Round 6 - Jake Ingram, C, Hawaii
Round 6 - Stryker Sulak, DE, Missouri
Round 6 - Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky
Round 7 - Julian Edelman, WR,Kent State
Round 7 - Darryl Richard, DT, Georgia Tech

This is kinda when the Patriots are at their best. 12 draft picks. Got their safety Pat Chung who is developing into a stud. Ron Brace was a reach, but the jury is still out. Butler has disappointed thus far, especially with the Pro Bowl play of Devin McCourty last year. Vollmer has surprised and looks like a future stalwart for them at OT. Tate is a really good special teams player and a solid WR with big play ability. Julian Edelman is a mini Wes Welker and he'll be a solid slot receiver for them. Then a bunch of missed draft picks. I think they'll go 5 for 12 with Brace being a future bust.

Starting SS (Pro Bowl potential), Starting OT (Pro Bowl potential), CB Depth (Starting potential), #3 WR/ST, Slot WR



The 2011 draft... I don't know what they're doing. I don't like Nate Solder. He's a project with the upside worthy of the pick, but his height may be a physical limitation that prevents him from reaching that elite LT status. And for what they passed up, they better be getting their franchise LT of the future.

With what the Patriots needed and where they selected, the draft was set up for them. They just had to spike it. I thought they were in prime position to add the personnel they have lacked since the departure of Richard Seymour. Take Cameron Jordan at 17 and don't worry about your 34 DE for the next ten years. A dominant run defender that could have taken pressure off of Wilfork. He's got a great motor, he's a technician, long, ideal... can split double teams like no college linemen I've ever seen. Great character. What am I missing? That's a Patriot.

Then you're sitting at 28. Take a Brooks Reed. If you don't think he's worthy of a first round grade, then take a Muhammad Wilkerson or Cam Heywerd. Solidify that 34 front. Make it a position of strength. This was the draft to do something like that. Wilkerson is raw with a ton of upside and he could replace Warren or make him expendable. Forget about all the project DEs you're rotating in and out of the lineup on a weekly basis. Grab two young studs and really solidify the front line for the next 10 years. I would have stocked the front line like they did with the TEs last year. The depth and talent was there to grab some serious steals at some crucial positions.

For once, move up. Get into the first round and take some of these guys dropping because teams are reaching for second and third round QBs. If I was New England I would have went DE at 17 and Brooks Reed at 28. If I saw Wilkerson falling like he did, I would moved up from 33 and taken him as well. I like Dowling so I can't be critical of that pick and I think he'll be a great fit in that scheme. He has a **** load of potential if he stays on the field.


At 56... I know he's got character issues and he's going to be a devia, but Greg Little... that guy is a freak with top 10 talent. Shane Vereen? No thanks.

Seriously, if I was New England and with the ammo they had, I'm not coming out of the first two rounds without the following players:

Round 1 - Cam Jordan, DE, California
Round 1 - Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
Round 1 - Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
Round 2 - Greg Little, WR, North Carolina


I don't think this draft is going to be like 2006, but Solder wouldn't surprise me if he busts. Dowling has got to stay healthy. Vereen and Ridley? Whatever. Ryan Mallett isn't seeing the field unless a Chief takes out Brady's knee.

J-Mike88
04-30-2011, 07:16 AM
I love the first three....those are good picks.

The last two don't have words invented by the English language to describe how crap they were.
I think Shane Vereen before Mikel LeShoure was a big mistake, but time will tell.
Ask Patriot fan who they would rather have..... before that pick was announced.

bigbluedefense
04-30-2011, 07:23 AM
I hate all the picks outside of Mallett. That was brilliant.

Matthew Jones
04-30-2011, 07:24 AM
I think Shane Vereen before Mikel LeShoure was a big mistake, but time will tell.
Ask Patriot fan who they would rather have..... before that pick was announced.

I was actually very happy with that pick. Yes, I would have liked to draft a linebacker or end like everyone else, but Vereen has been a popular guy in New England draft circles. One of my favorite sources for Patriots draft info is a site called NEPatriotsDraft. In an article titled "Choose, Snooze, or Refuse: RB", written on the 19th, the site recommends drafting Shane Vereen and passing on Mikel Leshoure:

Choose – Shane Vereen, California

Our favorite change-of-pace back in the loaded bunch of Hunter, Todman, Locke, Jones, and others. Vereen has a deceptive ability to run inside, while being a force in the passing game. He is a guy that can complement what Green-Ellis brings to the table.

Refuse – Mikel Leshoure, Illinois

We see a guy that you might want to call Mikel LeMaroney. We don’t like his dance or lack of vision, although he is a very powerful runner. If he can get rid of his bad habits, he’ll be a star. I’m not sure that the Patriots will take that chance again.

Leshoure might have been higher for some because of his potential to be a workhorse running back, but I'm more happy with Vereen as an all-around guy to add to New England's stable of backs.

GoRavens
04-30-2011, 08:35 AM
This thread title is insane.
Belichick is clearly a genius, top 5 all time coach.
He now has a complete stable of versatile RB's,
A future high potential starting caliber QB,
A smart starting LT, who will be a starter on the blind side for the next 10 years,
And an excellent CB prospect with tremendous ball skills and versatility.
However, I do think Ridley was over-drafted, Sam Acho would've made it brilliant.
1 hair on Belichick's shrivelled little fruit basket is more brilliant than you'll ever be

VikeFanatic
04-30-2011, 08:42 AM
Ask anyone who watches football what the Patriots' #1 need heading into the 2011 season was, and invariably you'll receive the answer "pass rusher", or more specifically, a pass-rushing 3-4 OLB or 3-4 DE.

So heading into the 4th round of the draft, the Patriots have selected:

17. OT Nate Solder
33. CB Ras-I Dowling
56. RB Shane Vereen
73. RB Stevan Ridley
74. QB Ryan Mallett

The only defensive player is CB Dowling, a defensive back. Either Belichick is putting all of his eggs in the free agency / trade basket, or he is perfectly satisfied with random guys like Rob Ninkovitch leading his team with no more than 4-5 sacks a piece.

I personally think that this was the best opportunity for Belichick to add a stud pass rusher to his team, especially in the first round. I think the Patriots will regret passing on guys like Adrian Clayborn, Justin Houston, Dontay Moch, or Cameron Jordan, or even trading up for JJ Watt or Ryan Kerrigan. Who agrees?I totally agree. In fact, I wrote a post about it here:

http://www.letfreedomringblog.com/?p=10307

I'm questioning the Patriots' strategy.

SeanTaylorRIP
04-30-2011, 08:45 AM
There gets to a point when you trade too much and miss out on quality players. Just like their trade yesterday with the Texans made no sense. They moved down from 60 to 73 which is a considerable amount and only picked up a 5th rounder. What's the point. With how many picks they have a 5th rounder likely won't even make the team, why do you want to drop 13 spots and let guys on your BB get taken. I'm kinda glad the Pats never stay pat and take the BPA or they could really be nasty. Just look at the 2009 NFL draft. By trading out of their spot they missed out on taking guys like Oher and Clay Matthews. Imagine how nasty they'd be if they actually took those guys. I'll take quality over quantity if I have a perennial playoff team like they do.

FUNBUNCHER
04-30-2011, 08:48 AM
I really like BB's breakdown, my only caveat would be that really good teams, and for the most part the Pat have been a top 5 - 10 team in the NFL for years and a perennial SB contender, no matter how many picks they have there are so few available spots open for ANY draft pick. So it's hard for me to say those mid to low round prospects who didn't make the roster or aren't major contributors are genuine busts.

For a team like the Skins, I'd estimate roughly 60% from '06 - '09 of those mid round picks would be starters/key backups for the B&G.

Knowing this, I think the Pats should have keyed in on 2 or 3 impact players in this draft and called it a day. Any combo of Baldwin/Little and Quinn/Heyward/Jordan/Reed and NE IMO is nearly a lock for the AFCC with an inside track to the SB.

It's as if Belichick loses sight of the point of the draft, selecting PLAYERS, because he is so focused on maximizing his cache of draft picks.

Matthew Jones
04-30-2011, 08:51 AM
There gets to a point when you trade too much and miss out on quality players. Just like their trade yesterday with the Texans made no sense. They moved down from 60 to 73 which is a considerable amount and only picked up a 5th rounder. What's the point. With how many picks they have a 5th rounder likely won't even make the team, why do you want to drop 13 spots and let guys on your BB get taken. I'm kinda glad the Pats never stay pat and take the BPA or they could really be nasty. Just look at the 2009 NFL draft. By trading out of their spot they missed out on taking guys like Oher and Clay Matthews. Imagine how nasty they'd be if they actually took those guys. I'll take quality over quantity if I have a perennial playoff team like they do.

I think that's losing sight of why the Patriots are good, though...Belichick doesn't have the same concept of a team that someone like Polian does...the Colts have a few stud players, pay them a lot of money, and divide the rest between mid-round draft picks, whereas the Patriots are big on having strong depth throughout their roster, a lot of mid-level talent, and not putting all their eggs into one basket.

steelernation77
04-30-2011, 08:55 AM
I'm just not sure Belichick feels as though drafting a pass rusher high is worth the risk. He's mentioned multiple times that he likes to see players do what he is drafting them to do, and drafting a 4-3 defensive end to play a 3-4 linebacker spot means drafting someone to do something that's mostly different than what you've seen them do. Most of the 4-3 guys have never really had to drop into coverage or move in space, so Belichick doesn't know how that's going to project.

This is all in hindsight, but let me take a shot at the reasoning for passing on these guys:

Da'Quan Bowers wasn't really a fit athletically and had a bad knee, Brooks Reed and Jabaal Sheard were extremely overhyped in the offseason after being considered (at best) late second round picks through the entire college football season (I distinctly remember Reed being a fourth or fifth round pick on here at one point), and Allen Bailey didn't have a clear role on the team - no one knew if he was big enough for five-tech or athletic enough for linebacker. He was lacking in instincts and awareness as well - always the last one off the ball. Muhammad Wilkerson, same deal - had trouble locating the ball and looked raw in terms of the mental aspects of the game. The Patriots don't draft many players from small schools because the level of competition makes it difficult to get a read on them. Drafting Cameron Heyward wasn't going to improve the pass rush, and Belichick might have felt uncomfortable drafting essentially a two-down (a.k.a. rotational) defender who had been up and down all season, disappearing in a lot of games. Corey Liuget was probably a little bit undersized at 6'2", 298, and another guy whose hype outweighed the value he had demonstrated during the college season. He received something like a fourth-round grade from the NFL Draft Advisory Board. Cameron Jordan had 3-4 experience in college, but last year essentially played in a one-gap system. Belichick may have had some questions about his lack of size (287 pounds, looking mostly maxed out) and ability to anchor. He wasn't even universally considered a five-technique - some people wondered if he fit better as an elephant linebacker. If you don't feel comfortable with someone, don't draft them. I'd say Belichick went for guys who have done what he is going to ask them to do in the NFL.

I guarantee you Heyward will not be a two-down player for the Steelers. Also as far as not drafting undersized 43 DEs high and switching them to 34 OLBs, well, if Belichick can't do that projection (which I'm sure he can), than his team can't run that defense. Every 34 team has been doing that for years.

Echoes
04-30-2011, 09:26 AM
The Patriots will probably get around to actually using all the first and second round picks they collect once the rookie scale is in place.

I do question their philosophy though. Tom Brady isn't getting any younger. Constantly trading back for future picks is great value, but if that value is never realized, what good does it do for you?

Matthew Jones
04-30-2011, 09:58 AM
The Patriots will probably get around to actually using all the first and second round picks they collect once the rookie scale is in place.

I do question their philosophy though. Tom Brady isn't getting any younger. Constantly trading back for future picks is great value, but if that value is never realized, what good does it do for you?

They're just waiting for the right guy to come along...they don't want to squander all that they have worked for on someone just for the sake of making a pick. Every year they trade for a higher pick, aka a better opportunity to get an impact player. Once they finally find one they like, they'll pull the trigger.

Xonraider
04-30-2011, 09:59 AM
I don't see how the Patriots could be considered average when it comes to the draft...have a look at their projected starting lineups. The players in bold were either drafted by the team or signed as undrafted free agents:

QB - Tom Brady
RB - BenJarvus Green-Ellis
WR - Deion Branch
WR - Wes Welker
TE - Rob Gronkowski
TE - Aaron Hernandez
OT - Matt Light/Nate Solder/Nick Kaczur
OT - Sebastian Vollmer
OG - Logan Mankins
OG - Dan Connolly
C - Dan Koppen

DE - Ty Warren
DE - Marcus Stroud
NT - Vince Wilfork
OLB - Rob Ninkovich
OLB - Jermaine Cunningham
ILB - Jerod Mayo
ILB - Brandon Spikes
CB - Devin McCourty
CB - Leigh Bodden
FS - Brandon Meriweather
SS - Patrick Chung

K - Stephen Gostkowski
P - Zoltan Mesko
KR - Brandon Tate
PR - Julian Edelman

Keep in mind this team went 14-2 last year...now look at the amount of starters they've drafted...now reconsider your post.

Wow this is crazy... I don't see how anyone could call Belicheck an idiot

RealityCheck
04-30-2011, 10:06 AM
Fool. No doubt about that. I couldn't want any of our picks without cursing at the computer screen.

Except for the Mallett pick.

BradysKnee
04-30-2011, 10:13 AM
Fool. No doubt about that. I couldn't want any of our picks without cursing at the computer screen.

Except for the Mallett pick.

Yes but you are ******.

HR24
04-30-2011, 10:34 AM
The Patriots are good when they are stock piling picks. When they don't have 10 or 12 draft picks (with a ton of day 2 selections), then they tend to have pedestrian drafts. With more picks they have more room for error and can take a backup QB (Mallett, O'Connell) in round 3. They have afforded themselves that luxury. And they're coming off a 14-2 season.


But, if you look at the drafts from 2006 to 2009... there is some pathetic drafting, but there's also some great drafting and great trading. If it wasn't for some trades they would have crippled themselves with the minimal amount of talent they brought in via the draft during this four year stretch. We are seeing that effect now with the lack of pass rushers, a running back by committee, a lack of a true #1 WR, plus an aging interior offensive line. '06 to '08 saw little to no talent successfully brought in to upgrade any of those areas of concern.


2006 Draft

Round 1 - Laurence Maroney, RB, Minnesota
Round 2 - Chad Jackson, WR, Florida
Round 3 - David Thomas, TE, Texas
Round 4 - Garrett Mills, TE, Tulsa
Round 4 - Stephen Gostkowski, K, Memphis
Round 5 - Ryan O'Callaghan, OT, California
Round 6 - Jeremy Mincey, LB, Florida
Round 6 - Dan Stevenson, G, Notre Dame
Round 6 - Le Kevin Smith, DT, Nebraska
Round 7 - Willie Andrews, CB, Baylor

Basically they had two major busts at the top. Jeremy Mincey was a developmental guy that is just now starting to see the playing field with Jacksonville. David Thomas was a decent TE now with New Orleans. Basically, they got their kicker and missed on 9 out of 10 picks. A terrible draft. Absolutely terrible.

Starting Kicker added


2007 Draft


Round 1 - Brandon Meriweather, FS, Miami (Fla.)
Round 4 - Kareem Brown, DT, Miami (Fla.)
Round 5 - Clint Oldenburg, OT, Colorado State
Round 6 - Justin Rogers, LB, Southern Methodist
Round 6 - Mike Richardson, DB, Notre Dame
Round 6 - Justise Hairston, RB, Central Connecticut State
Round 6 - Corey Hilliard, OT, Oklahoma State
Round 7 - Oscar Lua, LB, USC
Round 7 - Mike Elgin, G, Iowa

** Traded 2nd & 7th Round Picks to Miami for Wes Welker **
** Traded 4th round pick to Oakland for Randy Moss **

From a pure drafting standpoint ,they got one great young safety, and... nothing else. Mostly late developmental projects that never panned out. They did however, rape the Dolphins and Raiders through trades, which is a different way of manipulating the draft.

1 Pro Bowl Safety, Wes Welker and Randy Moss acquired. So... 3 Pro Bowlers.


2008 Draft

Round 1 - Jerod Mayo, ILB, Tennessee
Round 2 - Terrence Wheatley, CB, Colorado
Round 3 - Shawn Crable, OLB, Michigan
Round 3 - Kevin O'Connell, QB, San Diego State
Round 4 - Jonathan Wilhite, CB, Auburn
Round 5 - Matt Slater, WR, UCLA
Round 6 - Bo Ruud, LB, Nebraska

UNDFA - BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, Mississippi

Jerod Mayo is an absolute beast and will anchor in the middle for years. Green-Ellis was picked up in free agency and he's their #1 back, but he could be upgraded.

1 Pro Bowl LB, 1 slightly above average RB, 1 depth CB.



2009 Draft


Round 2 - Pat Chung, SS, Oregon
Round 2 - Ron Brace, DT, Boston College
Round 2 - Darius Butler, DB, Connecticut
Round 2 - Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston
Round 3 - Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina
Round 3 - Tyrone McKenzie, OLB, South Florida
Round 4 - Rich Ohrnberger, OG, Penn State
Round 5 - George Bussey, OT, Louisville
Round 6 - Jake Ingram, C, Hawaii
Round 6 - Stryker Sulak, DE, Missouri
Round 6 - Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky
Round 7 - Julian Edelman, WR,Kent State
Round 7 - Darryl Richard, DT, Georgia Tech

This is kinda when the Patriots are at their best. 12 draft picks. Got their safety Pat Chung who is developing into a stud. Ron Brace was a reach, but the jury is still out. Butler has disappointed thus far, especially with the Pro Bowl play of Devin McCourty last year. Vollmer has surprised and looks like a future stalwart for them at OT. Tate is a really good special teams player and a solid WR with big play ability. Julian Edelman is a mini Wes Welker and he'll be a solid slot receiver for them. Then a bunch of missed draft picks. I think they'll go 5 for 12 with Brace being a future bust.

Starting SS (Pro Bowl potential), Starting OT (Pro Bowl potential), CB Depth (Starting potential), #3 WR/ST, Slot WR



The 2011 draft... I don't know what they're doing. I don't like Nate Solder. He's a project with the upside worthy of the pick, but his height may be a physical limitation that prevents him from reaching that elite LT status. And for what they passed up, they better be getting their franchise LT of the future.

With what the Patriots needed and where they selected, the draft was set up for them. They just had to spike it. I thought they were in prime position to add the personnel they have lacked since the departure of Richard Seymour. Take Cameron Jordan at 17 and don't worry about your 34 DE for the next ten years. A dominant run defender that could have taken pressure off of Wilfork. He's got a great motor, he's a technician, long, ideal... can split double teams like no college linemen I've ever seen. Great character. What am I missing? That's a Patriot.

Then you're sitting at 28. Take a Brooks Reed. If you don't think he's worthy of a first round grade, then take a Muhammad Wilkerson or Cam Heywerd. Solidify that 34 front. Make it a position of strength. This was the draft to do something like that. Wilkerson is raw with a ton of upside and he could replace Warren or make him expendable. Forget about all the project DEs you're rotating in and out of the lineup on a weekly basis. Grab two young studs and really solidify the front line for the next 10 years. I would have stocked the front line like they did with the TEs last year. The depth and talent was there to grab some serious steals at some crucial positions.

For once, move up. Get into the first round and take some of these guys dropping because teams are reaching for second and third round QBs. If I was New England I would have went DE at 17 and Brooks Reed at 28. If I saw Wilkerson falling like he did, I would moved up from 33 and taken him as well. I like Dowling so I can't be critical of that pick and I think he'll be a great fit in that scheme. He has a **** load of potential if he stays on the field.


At 56... I know he's got character issues and he's going to be a devia, but Greg Little... that guy is a freak with top 10 talent. Shane Vereen? No thanks.

Seriously, if I was New England and with the ammo they had, I'm not coming out of the first two rounds without the following players:

Round 1 - Cam Jordan, DE, California
Round 1 - Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
Round 1 - Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
Round 2 - Greg Little, WR, North Carolina


I don't think this draft is going to be like 2006, but Solder wouldn't surprise me if he busts. Dowling has got to stay healthy. Vereen and Ridley? Whatever. Ryan Mallett isn't seeing the field unless a Chief takes out Brady's knee.

I agree with everything here. People give BB and the Pats too much credit on draft day and these past drafts show it. For all of their maneuvering, they don't evaluate and develop the players they pick very well. I also feel like BB has begun to believe in his own hype by constantly moving around and looking at the next year, as opposed to taking care of THIS year.

Matthew Jones
04-30-2011, 10:40 AM
Something else worth noting - the Patriots are one of the few teams that doesn't receive professional scouting packages from BLESTO, etc. I'm assuming most draft sites base their rankings around the professional packages, with some modifications made for personal taste, etc. (or around other sites that use these packages), so that's why New England's board may look a lot different than the boards of some other teams.

Babylon
04-30-2011, 10:51 AM
The problem i have with the Pats strategy this year is they are one of the very few teams in the league where you could say if they get those one or two game changers they can win it all. Maybe this would have been the time to trade up like the Falcons did and get that big WR or top defender. Accumulating 2nds and 3rds and then even trading them for future picks looks good but not sure it's going to get them that Super Bowl ring again.

bruschis4all
04-30-2011, 11:04 AM
That 2006 draft was a disaster. But, you know what. All of the so-called experts said he nailed it the day after it was over. Lawrence Maroney was going to be the best rb in the draft. Chad Jackson was a stud. Yeah. Arm-chair internet posters are smarter than the Bill Bleepin Belichick.

nepg
04-30-2011, 11:11 AM
There gets to a point when you trade too much and miss out on quality players. Just like their trade yesterday with the Texans made no sense. They moved down from 60 to 73 which is a considerable amount and only picked up a 5th rounder. What's the point. With how many picks they have a 5th rounder likely won't even make the team, why do you want to drop 13 spots and let guys on your BB get taken. I'm kinda glad the Pats never stay pat and take the BPA or they could really be nasty. Just look at the 2009 NFL draft. By trading out of their spot they missed out on taking guys like Oher and Clay Matthews. Imagine how nasty they'd be if they actually took those guys. I'll take quality over quantity if I have a perennial playoff team like they do.

They don't have a lot of roster space. Getting that 5th rounder gives them a guy who could likely survive on the practice squad. It improves the quality of their overall talent pool.

nepg
04-30-2011, 11:24 AM
I agree with everything here. People give BB and the Pats too much credit on draft day and these past drafts show it. For all of their maneuvering, they don't evaluate and develop the players they pick very well. I also feel like BB has begun to believe in his own hype by constantly moving around and looking at the next year, as opposed to taking care of THIS year.

???

They've virtually turned over their entire roster with their last 3 drafts and have won their division the last two years (very few of the players drafted aren't still with the team). Had the best record in 2011.

2006 didn't work out, but it was an incredible haul at the time.

2007 doesn't even count because they didn't have the roster space for any of their picks. They traded what they could and tried to draft practice squad players.

They took a lot of chances in 2008. It could have been a great draft, but ended up OK.

In this draft, they are being proactive about replacing players they expect to be losing in the next year or two. I really don't have any problems with their draft. I would have preferred Castonzo over Solder and Murray over Vereen, but whatever... Love the Mallett pick, and am a big fan of the Dowling pick as well.

The Pats don't have a lot of roster space, so they're taking chances. I like it.

SchizophrenicBatman
04-30-2011, 11:41 AM
hey now, i was like the only person on this forum who hated lawrence maroney and thought chad jackson was a bust!

when the pats took both guys i was like "hmm, i mustve missed something"

SchizophrenicBatman
04-30-2011, 11:42 AM
i just remember a ton of people had a hard on for him

edit: that was still back when bronco fans didnt want any early round rbs after the shanahan years, right?

makes sense, especially since maroney was a system rb in college

descendency
04-30-2011, 11:57 AM
Just to correct something: Sebastian Vollmer made the 2nd Team All-Pro list. He's a bit more than a "Potential Pro-Bowler"

and http://www.nfl.com/draft/story/09000d5d81f9a267/article/patriots-bills-impressive-through-drafts-first-three-rounds (yea, that's pretty bold)

nepg
04-30-2011, 12:19 PM
you realize how beautifully ironic that is, right?

It's not ironic. It's illustrating the 20/20 nature of hindsight.

nepg
04-30-2011, 12:42 PM
He was saying using the 2006 draft to criticize Belichick now is BS because it was viewed as a very good draft at the time. That was one of the few drafts in which the Pats actually did what most other teams do as far as the approach to the draft is concerned.

And, to be fair, Maroney was awesome until he hurt his shoulder. After that, he was obviously running scared because he didn't want to reinjure it (which did happen when he ran like we wanted him to). Chad Jackson was never healthy either, but he didn't do much when he was on the field.

So they addressed huge needs in 2006 that didn't pan out, 2007 is a complete mulligan because of the team they had going into the draft (zero roster space), and 2008 was a year in which they took a lot of chances because they could afford to, and few of them are left.

That the Pats need a ton of picks to have a successful draft doesn't make much sense either because very few of the players they've drafted over the last 3 years aren't still with the team. Countin UDFAs, they've got close to 40 players (no official head count - it's probably more) from recent draft classes on their roster.

SenorGato
04-30-2011, 01:13 PM
Genius...vereens really good and similar to shady mcccoy minus the hype...dowling is really underrated...mallet is a legit future qb candidate. Not sure about the others but those 3 will make the draft. Mallett was a steal in the 3rd like that.

Dagagad
04-30-2011, 01:35 PM
yes, a 'starting' LT? and you're telling other people they're stupid? solder's a massive, massive project. a stable of versatile rbs? is that what they needed? super bowl team for sure.

but yeah, keep suggesting other people are idiots. that'll go well for you.



does the fact that 6 players from the two mcdaniels drafts are starters for the broncos make him a suddenly excellent drafter? or does it just mean that the crap behind them is really, really ugly? the pats are 14-2 for one reason, and one reason only. they're a consistent super bowl threat for one reason, and one reason only. and it isn't because ben jarvus is a mediocre running back who had the small fortune of going to a team trying to pretend that laurence maroney was a starter. i mean, matt light? really, we're proud that a bottom 5 LT in the nfl is still a starter?

Is that one reason, Brady? Because they went 11-5 without him a few years ago. The Pats are a very well run team and it is never just one player in the NFL. Brady is extremely important and I also don't like this draft especially...but the Pats in general do a good job in team building.