posted at 7/19/2010 9:12 AM EDT
Cunningham is a head scratcher to me, and was since the day the Pats drafted in him in round 2. When the pats selected him, like everyone, I poured over his "game tapes" to see just how good he was, or what BB saw in him, because he wasn't even mentioned by anyone as a potential 2nd round talent.
I'm no NFL scout, but I can't see for the life of me why Cunningham was drafted in round 2. I just didn't see anything that made me have confidence that he could come in and contribute in a big way right away. I think he will see some action this year, but it will be behind TBC, Burgess, Ninkovich and perhaps Guyton. I do think he can be better than Woods this year, and I'm not a fan of Crable, so put him ahead of Crable as well.
Once again, we are left with TBC and Burgess I believe as our starters come opening day. Not exactly outstanding, but should be capable mixing in Guyton and Ninkovich and possibly Cunningham from time to time.
What intrigues me more is looking at the LB corps in general. By all accounts, we should have 1 solid guy in the middle with Mayo, possibly 2 good ILBs with Spikes and McKenzie and Guyton as a situational / passing down ILB/OLB. Could we possibly see one of these guys kicked out to OLB, perhaps McKenzie. He is after all the same size as TBC, probably faster/quicker at this stage in his career, and I'm guessing he could set the edge pretty stoutly.
The way I have it now in terms of order/ranking/% of snaps;
TBC (60% of snaps)
Burgess (50% of snaps)
Guyton (25% of snaps outside, 30% of snaps inside)(big ?..does he stay as alongside Mayo to start inside, or does he become more a situational guy on nickel packages and passing downs?)
Ninkovich (25% of snaps)
Cunningham (20% of snaps)/Woods (10% of snaps) (tied. Woods hit ceiling already, I think Cunningham could pass him up)
Crable (your guess is as good as mine)
I don't know if all the percentages add up, but you get the idea