2010 NFL Draft Thread #1
posted at 1/10/2010 5:14 PM EST
Ok, so given the new draft rules, New England will have the 22nd selection in this year's draft.
I think we should discuss what NE needs to address first this off-season before specific players are really mentioned.
In general NE needs a few players on defense, but they appear to need an offensive overhaul. It is a pity that I can't see where the talent is going to come from to round this "O" unit out. But they need to be able to a.) get open, and b.) run the ball much more effectively, and c.) stop a pass rush.
WR/TE, RB, OL, OL, OL.
On defense, many thing will get better if they can improve the pass rush. While TBC was better than what they had last season, Thomas took a step back and Burgess was almost a complete no show, effectively levelling the gain. For that matter, TBC cannot beat a double team. Period.
So one big player on "D" and several big players on "O".
1.) OLB is key here, as NE is losing Burgess, and it would not be shocking to see Adalius gone as well. That leaves Banta-Cain, Woods, Ninkovich and Crable as the only players signed and not disgruntled.
We can assume Crable will break something getting out of his car at training camp, so NE needs to account for that too.
An OLD/DE who can set an edge and rush the passer is something NE needs to get. Opponents ran at their perimeter all season long.
This season seems average at this position, and we all know NE has been hesitant to pull the trigger on DE/OLB converts, which almost seems to thin the ranks too.
That names that pop up reasonably are Jerry Hughes (TCU), Jason Pierre-Paul (USF), Sergio Kindle (UT), Brandon Graham (M), and Derrick Morgan.
2.) OT/G. It has been evident that NE's offensive line is not the elite group people thought they were a few years ago. Light seems aged. Mankins is overrated, but solid. Neal is injured every other game. Koppen is smart, but has zero athletic ability. Vollmer was a pleasant surprise.
At any rate, Light is a target to be cut, IMO. Not saying he will be, but he carries a very high tag for what he is delivering.
Is it just me, or is this season oddly thin at OL coming in? It seems there is Russel Okung, Trent Williams and a handful of other guys scrapping around down there. My guess is that NE waits until the second to address this.
3.) CB. I am going to assume that NE will not pay Bodden, because it seems like they enjoy letting one of their best defensive players go every other season. I am also going to assume that Wilhite won't get better. That leaves the promising Butler, and Shawn Springs. Ouch.
Thin here too, with Joe Haden being the only guy I give a solid first round rank too. I'll cross my fingers and hope that Butler continues to develop and that they actually re-ink Bodden, who knows how to play here.
4.) RB. Refresh my memory, but Maroney is signed through as is Taylor, but Taylor's contract is funny money, and Faulk and Morris are both FA. Law Firm is a practice squad guy.
There are players to be had. I think the consensus here is Jahvid Best, at least from what I have noticed. Spiller will be off the board. John Dwyer is intriguing, because bringing a back like him in would signal a change in offensive philosophy.
5.) WR. OK, Ne needs a third WR or a TE who can get open. That is manifestly evident. The funny thing is that I don't think it makes a tremendous difference if Welker comes back 100% next season, because he isn't the answer. Ne needs a possession type threat out there. The good thing is that the FA class this season is exceptionally deep at WR, and there are solid pickups like Walter out there for the taking, and some stars too. This takes some pressure off in the draft. With Watson's time being up here, and little talent to make resigning him enticing, TE is still an open slot.
There is Gresham, and then there is the rest. Brandon LaFell could be a great option in the second round, and Benn who is very similar but somewhat smaller could be there two lower in the first. Otherwise, I would be tempted to pass on some talent in the first, Golden Tate isn't the answer, as NE doesn't need another deep threat WR given the amount of sacks they yield.