In response to prolate0spheroid's comment:
In response to TexasPat's comment:
In response to zbellino's comment:
Z does tend to be a bit of a homer when it comes to BB. But I and many many other objective persons have repeatedly stated BB is a terrific talent evaluator for players he can directly coach. FAs and draftees - not so much.
Gimme a break Babe. I don't think BB *stinks* at drafting ... so I'm a homer?? Don't throw out words like that at me. It's rubbish posting. It's that same logic Rusty uses when you don't accept his "it's all Brady's fault for taking over the team" premise, and he resorts to calling you a Brady ball-washer.
RESPONSE: I really haven't seen any evidence of you being a Homer. As I recall, you are one of the "objective persons" which Babe refers to above...who sees BB as a terrific talent evaluator for veteran players...and his own players.
I don't think BB is bad at drafting because it's laughable assertion. Bad drafters don't put together HOF offenses. Stop and consider the teams out there that actually draft. Bad would be lower ten in the league. Average would be middle ten. Good is top ten.
RESPONSES: Just how responsible were BB's drafts for building a "HOF offense"...which, I take it, you're referring to the 2007 group, to present?
1.) QB: The HOF offense begins and ends with Tom Brady, who...lets' face it...was a gift from the Football Gods, with the 199th pick, in the 2000 NFL draft. Though BB still must be given credit for drafting Tom, the main credits should be awarded for seeing enough in Brady in his rookie year to give him a roster spot as, I believe, a 4th QB...and then coaching him up. Being an excellent talent evaluator of his own players, BB soon knew what he had in Brady. Then, BB had the courage of his convictions (another thing that I admire in BB) to play Tom...sitting down a very good, proven NFL quarterback in Drew Bledsoe, in the process.
2.) RB: In 2006, the Pats selected RB Laurence Maroney. Though Maroney had his moments, unfortunately, he was inconsistent, and, eventually, his career imploded after he was gripped by a severe case of fumble-itis.
RB Kevin Faulk was a second round pick in 1999, as year before BB arrived. RB Danny Woodhead was signed after the Jets foolishly released him, in 2010. RBs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen, both high draft picks in 2011, made progress last season, and appear to be a solid tandum.
3.) WR: After the disappointment in 2006, BB made a decision to focus on souping up his passing attack, rather than administering to a defense was was deteriorating due to old age. To his credit, he traded three 2007 draft choices, to acquire veteran WRs Randy Moss, and Wes Welker. He got Moss for the 110th overall pick in 2007, and Welker, for the 60th and 228th overall picks...in two of the most one-sided trades in NFL history. BB's ability to evaluate veteran talent shone through, again...not his drafting prowess. In fact, the year before, in 2006, BB traded his 52nd and 75th overall picks to move up to 36th overall, in order to draft awful WR Chad Jackson.
In 2010, after seeing his offense look completely inept without Wes Welker in the 2009 playoff loss to the Ravens, BB traded up slightly to snatch TEs Rob Gronkowski away from the Ravens, and then marijuana using Aaron Hernandez, with his 113th overall pick. The 2010 draft saved BB and the Pats, after the awful 2009 draft nearly destroyed the future of the Brady Era.
4.) OL: Logan Mankins was at first seen as a questionable pick pick at #32, in 2005, since few knew about him, and he was an OG. But, Mankins has proved to be a gem. BB got his OC and RG off "the scrap pile" of undrafted free agents and/or late round draft picks (Dan Koppen). He selected LT Matt Light with his second round draft choice in 2001, and usually got his RT off the "scrap heap", as described above. Much credit for the OL success the Pats have had must go to Dante Scarnechia, one of the finest OL coaches in NFL history.
As stated above, the 2009 BB draft was a disaster, with the exception of RT Sebastien Vollmer, taken with the 58th overall pick, that year. When healthy, albeit a rare occurence, Vollmer is a superb player. At LT, BB drafted Nate Solder with the 17th overall pick in the 2011 draft. But, let's not forget how BB acquired that #1 draft choice, used to land Solder. After the 2009 season, he traded a fading, aging Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders for a the Raiders' #1 draft choice, in 2011. Thus, I look at the Solder acquisition more as a product of BB's ability to evaluate veteran players, rather than him being a draft wizard. Though it's been done, it's hard to mess up with such a high draft choice.
Where are the Bills, Fins, Jets, Colts, Jags, Titans, Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cowboys, Redskins, Bears, Vikings, Panthers, Bucs, Cards, Rams, Falcons, Ravens, Steelers, drafts picks that are of the caliber of Gronk, Hern, Solder, Vollmer, Ridley, Jones, et al.
RESPONSE: Here, you're starting to sound like a Homer. The Steelers have reeled in WR Mike Wallace, OC Maurkice Pouncey, OLB Lamarr Woodley, ILB Lawrence Timmons, WR Antonio Brown, and WR Emmanuel Sanders.
The Falcons?? QB Matt Ryan, WR Julio Jones, SS William Moore, LB Sean Weatherspoon, LT Sam Baker.
The Rams appear to be on the upswing. They've recently added through the draft QB Sam Bradford, WR Chris Givens, DT Michael Brockers, MLB James Laurinatis, and CB Janoris Jenkins...plus whatsc appears to be a good draft class in 2013, thanks to the RG3 deal.
If the Cards can ever find a QB, they too could become a dangerous team.
The Colts are a playoff caliber team, because they've added a franchise QB in Andrew Luck. Once a team has a franchise QB in place, it's a lot easier to draft...because a team is freed from having to worry about the most important position on the field. Ditto the Redskins, if RG3 is healthy.
Ravens?? QB Joe Flacco and RB Ray Rice both were acquired in the 2008 draft. WR Torrey Smith (2011), OT Michael Oher (2009), OG Kelechi Osemele (2012), OC Gino Gradkowski (2012), OG Marshall anda (2007), TE Dennis Pitta (2010), CB Lardarius Webb (2009).
Is he the best? No. He isn't. He's had major issues staffing CB and S. The bottom line is that he hasn't had the premium picks to get pass rushers, and has really only devoted two selections to that position.
RESPONSE: Sorry. Not buying this excuse. Every year, teams find top talent in rounds after round one. The Ravens have certainly out-drafted the Patriots over the past 5 years...and they aren't picking in the top 10.
Is he one of the better guys in the league? Yeah, yeah, he is.
RESPONSE: Overall, yes. But, his 2009 poor draft alone nearly ruined the remainder of the Brady era. Of late, he has developed the annoying/wasteful habit of using high draft choices to reach for guys who no one else has rated so highly...including over-riding his own scouting department recomendations. This is disturbing. Why are the Pats paying the guys in their scouting departments, if they have no faith in their opinions? There's something very "Jerry Jones" about that.
Chain yourself to watching terrible teams for a full season, follow them from the draft up. Like the Panthers, or worse, the Jets.
RESPONSE: More Homer talk.
Sorry, dude. You can be critical of a player, coach, etcetera, without resorting to hyperbole, which is what saying BB is a terrible talent evaluator amounts to.
RESPONSE: This is not what Babe has said. He credits BB for being a very good evaluator of veteran talent and of his own players...as I do. But, he's shown too much of an inclination to gamble on players with athleticism, but who, for whatever reason, haven't produced biog numbers in college. He also has gambled a bit too much on players with injury histories (Ras-I Dowling, Terrence Wheatley, and, even Gronk). He also still believes, despite a lengthy list of failures, that he can "manufacture" a safety.
It's an exageration meant to bolster an argument beyond what the facts can sustain.
RESPONSE: Unfortunately, the facts sustain that BB has a lengthy list of draft busts with top 100 picks...from 2006-present.
Finally...and I'm sure you know this...having even a "HOF offense" does not win SBs. There must be at least a good defensive unit to accompany that. It is here that BB has failed. He has used a multitude of high draft choices on CBs and safeties...and yet his secondary, year after year, has been awful...to the point where BB desperately had to add the skilled, but troubled CB, Aqib Talib, to pull his chestnuts out of the fire last season. In the NFL, it's not enough to build up on one side of the ball. As we saw in the Manning Era in Indy, that strategy doesn't win championships.
While the 2009 draft was not BB's best, it did not come close to ruining the remainder of the Brady era. One weak draft isn't that significant. Plus it resulted in a very solid tackle, some decent depth type players, plus picks that helped the Pats acquire Gronk the next year. And the draft class was simply not a talented one--there just wasn't a whole lot of blood that could be squeezed from that stone. Here's how ESPN described the 2009 draft while reviewing it this April:
Garbage. Seriously. Gar-BAHZGE.
That was my thought after looking over the 2009 NFL Draft. My esteemed editor asked (mandated) that I redo the entire first round. Truth be told, I had never fully examined this four-year-old raid of the great college marketplace.
I wasn't missing anything.
Neither are the Dallas Cowboys, who, after seeing Victor Butler depart last week, also took a last look at their 2009 draft class. The 'Boys made a league-high 12 selections in '09 -- none of those players remain on the roster today. That's horrible.
Then again, so was the rest of the draft. None of the first 25 players taken have ever been named first-team All-Pro. (Matthew Stafford, Brian Orakpo and Brian Cushing have come the closest.) Only one guy from the entire first round has received the honor:Clay Matthews (26th overall pick) following the 2010 season. In fact, the saving grace of this draft might be the number of decent players who came after Pick 200, including Mr. Irrelevant, Ryan Succop.
Sure, there are some quality names below. And we did our best to fill each team's needs (except for theCowboys, Patriots and Bears, who didn't have first-round picks). Still, compared to say, the 2008 NFL Draft, the '09 version bites the big one. That year boasted Jake Long, Chris Long, Matt Ryan, Jerod Mayo, Ryan Clady, Joe Flacco, Chris Johnson, Duane Brown, Brandon Flowers, Ray Rice, Jamaal Charles, Cliff Avril, Brandon Carr, Carl Nicks and Stevie Johnson, to name a few.
So with that in mind, please hesitate before complaining about your team's do-over pick lacking typical first-round flashiness -- there just wasn't much of it to go around in 2009. That is, unless you have a Mark Sanchez Fathead on your wall.
Also, this idea that BB is reaching isn't borne out by the facts. Tavon Wilson so far seems a reasonable pick where he was taken. And Harmon hasn't been tested yet so it's too early to tell. Just because a guy isn't written up in pre draft publications isn't a reason to assume he's a reach. You don't know what real team scouts are thinking.
RESPONSE: Just when I praise you for being reasonable, you come up with a dumb post like this. The 2009 draft was a disaster. First...the Pats missed out on the pass-rusher they so badly needed...and still need, in Clay Mathews. Next, the Pats wasted the 34th overall pick on a SS who couldn't cover a pin-hole with a bed sheet, on the rare occasions when he was healthy. In taking Patrick Chung, they passed on another DB who played with Chung at Oregon, and was drafted a few picks later by the Buffalo Bills...named Jarius Byrd. Then came the disasterous Ron Brace and Darius Butler picks...ensuring that the Pats secondary would continue to suck, and that Vince Wilfolk would have no help clogging up the middle of the line of scrimmage. Finally, the Pats selected another injury prone collegiate in WR Brandon Tate, with the 83rd overall pick. Immediately thereafter, the Steelers would use the 84th overall pick on WR Mike Wallace. Can you imagine how lethal the Pats' offense would have been with Wallace stretching the field? With Jarius Byrd filling that sink hole at safety, and with Clay Matthews bringing the heat from the outside?