Re: Any RB possibilities after Taylor and Morris go down with injury again this year?
posted at 7/3/2010 2:47 PM EDT
Look, I thought and STILL think that the 2010 NFL Draft, was and is the best Draft by NE POST-2004 ('05, '06, '07, '08, and even '09)...Yet this is NOT to say in anyway that I believe it was an unbelievable Draft. First 4 picks: Solid, solid and SOLID (McCourty CB, Gronkowski TE, Cunningham OLB, and Spikes SILB).
RE: these guys-
~McCourty-the ONLY person in this draft whom I actually dedicated a thread on...Imho-And especially to those whom laud only McCourty's special teams skills...lmao. As I stated in that thread I mentioned=I really WOULD take McCourty over CBs Joe Haden and Kyle Wilson=Devin McCourty barring injury=Next NFL shut-down CB (i.e. with a Complete Game)... 2nd in TTs on his team (as a CB!).. 5'11 and 195lbs (definately a decent size for a Rook CB), McCourty Can play press-man (good size and strength to jam a WR, with fluid hips and change of direction top-notch); Can play Off-man (incredible at jumping routes while not "biting" on fakes, great leaping ability and body control vs taller WRs); AND he can play zone just as well (great filmwork and overall awareness...simply THE best recovery speed and angles to ball/play)...WILL sacrifice his body vs the run and WILL bait QBs while in coverage (zon usually), For them to pass in his area. He is a consumate and TOTAL team player and student of this game: Just Check THIS stat out (ays it all RE: His skills, shut-down ability, form tackler and a helping teammate)-
"Against his main pass coverage assignments, McCourty has held those receivers to only 42 receptions for 386 yards on 158 passes targeted into his area, meaning that quarterbacks have completed just 26.58 percent of those tosses and their intended targets were limited to 9.19 yards per pass completion and 2.44 yards per attempt."
"Devin has proven to be an excellent press coverage defender, as his excellent field vision has seen him make plays on the ball 45.39 percent of the time outside his area, coming to the aid after a teammate had blown an assignment. He has jammed/rerouted those pass catchers away from 148 incomplete attempts (average of 3.84 per game), the most of any cornerback in the Division I ranks during that span."
...just a special teams guy? Absurd.
~Rob Gronkowski-Best blocking TE by miles, MUCH Better hands than Jermaine Gresham, and actually faster than Gresham, much Better route runner (yet even though he trumped Gresham on all these qualities-Gresham has a little more "jostle" to hisstep, a lil' better open-field elusiveness does NOT beat someone who has softer hands, more refined route trees and is 100X the better blocker...IF not for his back surgery=Nation's BEST TE.
~Brandon Spikes=For ALL those who believe Spikes is merely a 2-down lineman due to his 40 time on a track field...Lmao again. Look, he probably ain't gonna be in a nickel package on 3rd and a mile...But Spikes IS a 3-down SILB... Better 3 cone drill than Brandon Graham, Sergio Kindle, Daryll Washington, Sean Weatherspoon, and Jerry Hughes...SILB as I know it, On a passing down will either cover the TE, maybe RB in the flat, and/or blitz and/or remain in the middle in case of a play-action run. Physical: 6'3 right around 250lbs-give or take a couple lbs. Florida Career (starting only 39 games): 307TTs, 31.5 TFLs, 2 FF, 4 FRecoveries, 6.5 Sacks, 10 Passes Defensed, and 6 INTs (with 4 of them as TDs)...and remember-Brandon Spikes isan ILB NOT an OLB with those sick stats. And some say he's just a 2 down guy because of a poor track 40-Guess what? Rey Maualuga ran a 4.9 40 and Spikes a 5.0 40....yet Spikes had better numbers pretty much throughout actual on-field stats than Maualuga. Instincts, Instincts, coupled with Extreme Passion and a love for doing filmwork=A firery leader with a nasty first step to the action.
~Jermaine Cunningham-Finding a 3-4 OLB ain't easy...In fact, It's almost fiction without a Top 15-20 Draft Selection being spent on one... Not many collegiate OLBs have the size to set an edge against the run as a 3-4 OLB; Ya end up almost HAVING to target a collegiate DE in order to get the size & strength in your favor...Problem is, It becomes a massive gamble as even the very best scouts never can determine for the most part, Precisely HOW a college DE will play in space and vs the pass...exactly HOW they'll perform with their hand of the ground... Long Arms, Very smart to make the DE-OLB switch and even understand a Bill Belichick playbook, Big enough BUT NEED to be fast enough-Cover a fast receiver, Set the edge vs run, AND big enough and good enough to be a pass-rushing threat=Lmao...ha.
Jermaine Cunningham: 6'3 1/2 266lbs with a 4.72 40, And with his 26 starts in 3 seasons, He's amassed this: 150 TTs, 34 TFLs, 19 Sacks, 7 PassesDef, 1 INT, and 3 FFumbles=Not easy getting even a "potential" 3-4 OLB in Round 3...man, AND he has good instincts, a great work-ethic and attitude, AND he tries hard on the field of play...
~Yea, I know-I'm gettin' to my point
Firstly though (lmao), RE- The LAST 4 selections: Solid, solid and SOLID as well (Welch OT, Deadrick DT=3-4 DE, Weston DT=3-4 NT, and Robinson QB)...
I'll be brief: I AIN'T ever gonna complain about drafting a 6'6-1/2 307lb, smart and athletic Offensive Tackle, NOT in the 7th rd and NOT after seeing Sebastian Vollmer with very similiar intangibles and coming from a smaller unheralded program...no way. Brandon Deadrick I actually wanted in later rds pre-draft...6'4 314lbs (and I believe?) Alabama runs a 3-4 (unsure though... Either way, He's a good fit: Selfless, Big, Hard-working, Good reaction time=A guy who does and WILL occupy 2 blockers ideally as a 3-4 DE. Kade Weston? Now you won't EVER hear me complain about takin' a gamble on a 6'5 317lb guy who can be a 3-4 DE OR a 3-4 NT. Zac Robinson=Now THIS is where I WANT NE to draft a QB... Why not with 12 picks, simply take a gamble on a QB at the end of the draft? I'm glad they do this each year seemingly in order to hedge thir bets on finding a diamond in the rough...
THIS HERE IS THE CRUX OF THE MATTER:
...and HOW it relates to NE's Runningback situation.
But, see the catch RE: Belichick's Good Draft: Given the sheer number of overall picks (In a 7 round draft, after all was said and done=12 selections), And the given of having 4 high round selections (4 in 1st 2 rounds)... Imho, Belichick really COULD have done better with his 4 Mid-Rd choices (the one's in between the first and last 4 guys- Price WR, Hernandez TE, Mesko P, and Larsen OC). These were guys picked between and within the 27th pick of Round 3 and up to the 36th pick of Round 6.
I have a QUESTION...WHY on earth, would you draft a still very raw WR In Round 3, A TE that no matter how skilled-One whom in ZERO way fits in with your pass-blocking TE norms in NE (where you coulda had a decent prospect as a DE, or a RB who has slipped down boards)...I DESPISE "parrallel" picks even IF you're intending to use him as something of an H-Back or a #2 WR...idk; AND...no matter HOW big he is physically and a good leader, and How MUCH our current Patriot Punter totally s#cks, You do NOT by any means draft the #2 rated Punter in Round 5...not with good prospects on the board, and team needs, And NOT one with a slower release and lesser averag than P Matt Dodge...Even though Dodge is smaller than the Great Monster, Zoltan; And finally, OC Ted Larsen...ALL I know RE: Larsen and NE, Is that Koppen doesn't really HAVE an actual back-up and He IS getting up there in age, And that Larsen is decent (although he botched the worst hike ever made during The Senior Bowl... IF NE had targeted an OC 1 single Rd earlier, they coulda selected the nation's BEST Center: BC's Matt Tenant.
LOOK, I've stated this MANY times (see anthology thread of mine entitled "Drafting for D^mmies")- You DON'T draft for positional need AHEAD of Individual Talent...period.
Either way, NE DID and DOES need a RB- And again, as I've remarked also, A Big Young guy who can pick up those interior yards with NE's smaller, zone-blocking O-lineman, and coupled WITH Brady's excellent ability to step up in the pocket=ALL Means that NE should and critically NEEDS a powerful interior RB in order to keep those gap-shooting oppossing DTs honest, In the sense that a bigger RB won't simply fly right past them.
So In ALL, I want a Mid-Round RE-Draft. Here goes:
Rather than selecting WR Taylor Price in Rd 3, NE stas at their original spot before BB apparently became a little too "trade-down happy":
With the No. 24 selection of Round 3, NE selects (my fav WR):
WR Eric Decker (stay in same draft spot-picked instead of Taylor Price)
~BEST route runner in college, Soft hands, Great wideout "awareness", and simply Ideal size @ 6'3 and 217lbs to BE NE's answer to the No. 2 wideout LONG-term (I was correct on Hakeem Nicks in '09 being the most polished wideout NFL ready, that NE coulda targeted and Nicks played superb for NY Giants).
OC Matt Tenant (moved down in draft and selected instead of Aaron Hernandez)
~6'4 1/2 300lbs...a projected 2nd Rd selection who somehow slipped to the bottom of Rd 5...Completely aware, Plays with nasty attitude, excellent starting Center prospect. Here's a take on him:
~Comparing Tennant to active NFL centers, professional scouts can see parts of many players -- the intelligence of Matt Birk (Baltimore), the tenaciousness of Olin Kreutz (Chicago), the trap-blocking ability of Brad Meester (Jacksonville) and the consistent effort of Jeff Saturday (Indianapolis).
Older scouts also see the aggressive and combative nature of Tim Grunhard (ex-Kansas City), the explosiveness off the snap of Dwight Stephenson (ex-Miami), the field vision of Jim Langer (ex-Miami) and the hand placement ability of Jay Hilgenberg (ex-Chicago). With all of those skills combined into one player, it is no small wonder than many talent evaluators regard the Boston College blocker as one of the elite prospects at his position heading into the 2010 NFL Draft.
Since taking over the center position as a sophomore, what once was a revolving door for defensive linemen to get to BC quarterbacks (from 2002-06, Eagles centers had allowed a total of 34 sacks) has all but shut down, as Tennant has had just 1.5 quarterback sacks and two pressures registered against him in his last two seasons."
RB Anthony Dixon (Traded down again In place of selecting the second best collegiate Punter-Zoltan Mesko)
~6'1 233lbs...Quick to the hole, Interior tackle breaker with size, Falls forward...BUT, not extremely elusive in the open-field. A 2nd Rd projection who somehow slipped in this extremely deep draft to Rd 6...A Steal. 5.6 yard average. A PERFECT zone blocking fit and the interior "hammer" needed to go along with Maroney.
DT (3-4 DE) Doug Worthington (Traded down yet 1 last time rather than selecting OC Ted Larsen)
~6'5 and 292lbs from big-time college program (Ohio State). Good frame, Good Size, Good Strength, and Good Awareness...Less a pass-threat, than a guy with what's needed to take on 2 O-Lineman...and all it cost us was a Punter (who we probably coulda got as an UDFA)