Re: ***2014 PATRIOTS DRAFT THREAD***
posted at 11/29/2013 3:55 PM EST
In response to rameakap's comment:
Awesome thread as always! So time consuming to see what everyone says going back weeks but I finally have a few days off and want to check out your opinions.
The draft is always so dependent on what we can do in free agency and who we can extend/restructure and keep around... but... here are some questions and quick hits from me so far:
1. Kyle Van Noy seems to be everyones binkey this year. Almost no chance he falls close to the Pats, but this team needs a DE/DT who can play the 3-4 and 4-3 roles WAY more than a DE/OLB type moving forward.
Van Noy is the darling of this thread the way guys like Watt in '11, Fletcher Cox in '12 and Werner last year were. He is probably going to be gone in the teens and if he is on the Jets, Fins, Bills or Ravens that would be a tough deal for fans (and Brady) if he becomes the nasty pass rusher many feel he will be.
With Chandler Jones playing that Elephant/Willie Mac role now and dropping back to LB and Nink/Collins/Hightower all having the skills to do that as well, this team could really use a DE/DT who can play in either a 3-4 or 4-3. But the team/fans prob must hope Armstead, Jones, Kelly and Vellano can fill those spots. Sopoaga at NT until Vince comes back. There is little chance a we can afford a LaMarr Houston, Greg Hardy or Michael Johnson free agent. Justin Tuck would be an interesting option if affordable.
Unless you get Seymour or Ty Warren in the 5-15 range there are few rookies who can make an impact in this role right away. Recent examples of guys like Wilkerson and Fletcher Cox both needed a year. Ra'Shede Hageman is the only possible guy near our pick in rd 1 who could be huge right away, maybe Stephon Tuitt. Both are Seymour sized and athletic.
2. The free agency scene
I want C Alex Mack BADLY. After that I would be content keeping our own guys as far as shelling out good sized contracts.
PLEASE sign reasonable deals guys!
Talib - 5/30 w 18 guaranteed with health/behavior incentives that get him close to 50m (Vontae Davis would be great if we lose Talib and he is available for slightly less)
Spikes - 6/27 w 15 guaranteed and health/behavior incentives getting him close to 35 (Wesley Woodyard would be great if we lose Spikes as he should be available for less, Yawin Smallwood end of rd 2 would be a solid pick if we lose Spikes)
McCourty/Solder extensions and Vince/Mankins/Amendola restructures (Vince is a must) would be icing on the cake.
I mentioned Tuck as an option at DE/DT, maybe someone like Clinton McDonald of the Seahawks, can't afford much more than that. This being if we don't feel we're going to get D-line in the draft.
Emmanual Sanders a year later is kinda an obvious move. Edleman will be too pricey with T.J. Moe and Amendola ready for the slot. I say trade Thompkins while his stock is super high, maybe for a 4th-5th, since everyone still says Boyce is going to be real good. Then Dobson as the deep threat.
3. Safety help
If Gregory, Ebner and Harmon have shown anything it is that they are exceptional depth guys and spot starters. Gregory is due for an extension/paycut and Harmon is cheap for awhile. There isn't a FA safety to go after (Byrd too expensive) and this team could use a banger. I'd love Craig Loston at the end of rd 2. He has awesome size and is from a huge program in LSU playign elite competition.
Taking Tavon Wilson over the next guy picked in the 2nd rd in '12, Kendall Reyes, was the type of monumental blunder that can hurt 1-2 positions on a squad for years. Harmon is looking good, but 100% would have been there at the Boyce pick in rd 4. If only BB went an extra 750k to sacrifice the 3rd rd pick for Emmanual Sanders this team is probably undefeated.
Already said I want Alex Mack to be free agency priority #1.
Once he is here I am content to keep Connolly at RG and draft his backup/successor in rd 3 or 4. If he is not signed I move Connolly back to C since Wendell is awful and draft an OG in rd 1 or maybe draft a C in rd 2. Boring but needed as many here said. Brady MUSt be protected well ages 36-39.
5. An offensive weapon
Signing Emmanual sanders and having full seasons of health from Gronk, Vareen and Amendola will go a long way to solving the issues that came with Hernandez being jailed.
I think if Sefarian-Jenkins is around at the end of rd 2 the team should gamble on that talent, but definitely not in rd 1. There are also several interesting RB's who could provide Ridley skills minus the fumbles or more explosion than Bolden if we keep Ridley.
Maybe TE Xavier Grimble in rd 3
Van Noy is a popular name, but I don't think he's everyone's binky. Personally, I think ND OL Zack Martin could be the best football player available when NE's on the clock and they could use an injection of talent and depth to the interior of their OL... he could also be their swing tackle, providing a ton of positional versatilty.
I also think most would agree that DL is a position that could be addressed very early, though I'm not extremely high on any of the DT's in this class, though Ego Ferugson, Kelcy Quarles and Da'Quan Jones are (3) names (that haven't been discussed much) that I think BB will have a good amount of interest in.
As for FA:
Not sure how much they'd be willing to throw at a C, but Mack is a good player.
Talib is def a wild card... no doubting his impact on the D, though I'm curious how much they'll offer him in FA. It also looks like a potentially deep/talented draft at CB.
Spikes is a player that I definitely want back and he doesn't player a premium $ position, so I think they can work a deal that works for both parties. He's exactly what they need in the middle, a big, nasty downhill backer that tackles well... a true tone setter. I also like Yawin Smallwood out of Uconn as an ILB option... local kid too, playing his HS ball in Worcester, MA.
I also hope they make another run at Sanders... or maybe even an Golden Tate or Anquan Boldin or Jerricho Cotchery or Riley Cooper, etc.