Re: Building the 2010 patriots
posted at 1/17/2010 2:07 PM EST
Spheroid, I agree on your resign list. I have a slightly different prioritization of needs. Before I get there though, I want to point something out about BB.
One thing I want BB to change is his draft philosophy. I'd like them to draft the best person on the board, if that person could fill any of the top three needs. Let's imagine this scenario where BB believes that his top needs are DE, OL (in that order) and plans to draft an OLB in the mid or late 2nd round, but there isn't a DE or OL the pick when it's their turn but Hughes is up on the board. I'd pick Hughes if he's the top player available and he fills a top three need, instead of trading down to avoid reaching to fill the DE spot. I really think BB's draft approach is a bad combo with his willingness to let go of veterans.
It depletes the depth of this team, and keeps us from having the top talent at any position. (Please see at the end of this post for a Red Sox analogy, if interested)
Onto my order of needs to fill:
1) OT: Take the best available, regardless of which side (The good thing about Vollmer is he can play opposite)
2) DE: Pass rush is needed but the key to this is a DL that cannot be pushed around and but can also, if needed, create consistent pressure (not necessarily sack, but that would not be bad bonus) up the middle. What I saw in the Ravens game was a DL that got pushed around, which created holes for Rice. When the OLBs started helping inside, that took away any chance of a pass rush from the outside, and made it easy for Rice to run outside and turn the corner. In short, I really think the absence of an ability to rush the QB from the outside is just the tip of the iceberg that is lack of pressure on the passer.
3) LB: Draft the best available regardless of ILB or OLB, then find an FA to fill the other (assumes neither was filled before the draft; getting a FA to fill one before the draft would be a better order of events). With TBC there, I don't see the incremental value of an upgrade at OLB being bigger than the value of getting a Ted Johnson-like ILB to stand next to Mayo.
4) RB or WR: Best available
I hate getting players for quant vs. qual. Last year the RS had no #1 who could go 8 innings against a good lineup like NYY. They had two #2s (Beckett and Lester; yes, I don't think Beckett is a #1 anymore. He may still have the stuff but not the fire.). The RS had 6 pitchers who could be good #s3-5 on a rotation. Look where that got them.