posted at 1/30/2009 2:03 PM EST
I am nitpicking a top fifteen selection here. I don't think it is a tremendous liability, I also think he likely wouldn't have the super quick on the field transition we saw from Mayo, but only because Mayo is reaaly smart.
I don't like JL. Some do though.
I worry about Cushing for three reasons in order of importance.
1.) Protection, he made tons of plays behind the line 4-3 style.
2.) Durability. He has a classic roid physique.
3.) Pure performance. Can he really dominate as an NFL pass rusher?
He is however a.) a very smart player, which I always like and b.) has the basic size to be a flexible inside outside kind of guy like Vrabel and Thomas.
This makes me have really mixed feelings, but in the end I think bust.
posted at 1/30/2009 2:04 PM EST
Oops, Z you responded to my post before I even published my post:)
posted at 1/30/2009 2:06 PM EST
And I missed your elaboration before sending that "oops"
Yeah, if we were losing Thomas or Vrabel, Cushing might make more sense
posted at 1/30/2009 2:20 PM EST
ZB, Whoops I just threw a # out there, oh well no biggy! Last year I thought Laurenitis looked pretty solid, but after watching him in a few games this year I kept seeing him make tackles 5-7 yards down the field and not in the backfield. It should be interesting to see where he ends up and what kind of D he plays in. Love his dad when he was Animal of Legion of Doom. Good times!
Arod, I also wonder if Johnson could make the move. I guess I want to see the Pats draft the next or closest thing as possible to Willie McGinest.
posted at 1/30/2009 2:53 PM EST
Didn't mean to rag on Kiper too much; just some of idiots that post mock drafts that seemingly give advice to men that are better than them at what they do.
EG: "Belichick might have to have his hoodie examined for brain leakage if the Pats don't draft a linebacker here". Yeah and after you're done writing that you can wash his car.
Sorry about the rant, ZB I still like Sintim in the 1st and Chung in 2nd. I am starting to like English. All those posts and I am still kinda where I started. Draft a LB and safety. And get Barden with the Asante comp. pick.
posted at 1/30/2009 3:00 PM EST
I still like the most talented OT/LB/CB available. The way this draft is shaping up, I think that one of the top players will be there, and like when they the Fork the choice will be obivous.
If Oher is there you take him, if Maualuga is there ditto. Ditto either of the two elite corners, etc.
Mostly because the other players won't be there. Oher would be a better pick than a second rate linebacker IMO.
The players that give me pause are the players on the bubble like Smith and Cushing. But I think one will be available.
There are a ton of talented players up top, something will give. IMHO.
posted at 1/30/2009 3:02 PM EST
Haha, LOD was awesome when iwas a kid. They had those shoulderpads with spikes and that nasty combo finishin move.
JL's dad was scarier than he is, LOL!
posted at 1/30/2009 3:07 PM EST
Yeah, I just try not to get on the "professionals" too much. I couldn't imagine having all of my verbal musings vetted for accuracy after the draft, LOL.
Last year I was nearly dead on with ILB Mayo, and that the second pick would be a corner. But I also thought Quentin Groves would catch on with a 3-4 team late in the first. LOL. I also thought it was a given that NE would take an OL with one of the first four picks.
And a host of other wrong moves.
People would be calling me a fraud. LOL.
posted at 1/30/2009 3:08 PM EST
Z, where do you put Laurenaitis? Borderline like Cushing or elite like Maualuga? The best of the borderlines or the worst of the elites?
Sometimes I wonder whether the linebacking situation is more stable than we assume. Depending on what they think of Crable and Guyton, they might not even think of it as a first round option, unless Maualuga dropped to 23.
I also wonder how willing Vrabel would be to move inside.
posted at 1/30/2009 3:16 PM EST
You still get props for Lamar Woodley though, ZB.
posted at 1/30/2009 5:23 PM EST
ZB, I think you called it with moving Vrabel inside. The Pats depth inside IMO is weak compared to the depth they have at OLB. With Bruschi/Izzo good years behind them, it might be the right thing to do for the team. Unless of course Guyton showed BB he's got what it takes and they will add depth either in the draft or F/A.
OLB depth: Adalius Thomas, Mike Vrabel, Pierre Woods, Shawn Crable, Vince Redd, Darrel Robertson, and Angelo Craig (Some good young talent)
ILB depth: Tedy Bruschi, Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Bo Ruud, Larry Izzo and Eric Alexander
Do you think BB will let the young guys battle it out for that starting OLB spot if Vrabel is moved to the inside? Maybe see a rotation of Woods, Crable and Redd? Depending on what they do in F/A of course.
Do any of you guys think the Pats will bring in a veteran ILB like Zach Thomas to rotate with Bruschi and Guyton? He almost signed with them last year and may want to get as far away from Dallas as possible.
Also is this the year BB continues to break his drafting trends and takes a CB in the 1st?
posted at 1/30/2009 5:56 PM EST
Frantz Joseph what do you guys think about him he plays for FAU small school but he had 140 tackles and has a high motor out on the Field seriously guys check him out could be a sleeper
posted at 1/30/2009 6:56 PM EST
Vrabel stays outside. He's great inside, but taking on guards took a toll on him after 2005 and 2006. He had back problems.
No need for a corner or safety. We're all set there.
OL or LB, preferably OLB. Who would fit at OLB in our system? I don't know any college players.
posted at 1/30/2009 8:11 PM EST
Here is roughly how I try to break things out. The ideal first round should have eight "elite" players and move down in quarters. That said it never works out that way for me, LOL. However, I am a harsh critic. This draft is very deep, because I usually have trouble getting to twenty before I question whether the rest "belong."
Guys in italics fit, could possibly fit, or fit a need but aren't really probable. Guys in bold are the same,but might be there. Noticeably absent from this that other people use to fill out a clean 32 are small school scrubs I don't care for like Delmas and English and over-hyped garbage like Jerry.
To answer your question I would put JL on the outside looking in. I am not real high on Big Ten defenders right now, and had trouble even spotting Vontae Davis in the 2nd tier and keeping Maybin in at all. I do disregard Jenkins because it is obvious when they play outside that he is a special talent. You notice I keep Moore in there, well I have a huge soft spot for SEC defenders. Spikes would be very high on my board were he to come out.
The top tier are guys I would take anwhere in the top ten and not question it if I needed them. The guys in the second tier I would reach for in the top ten if I thought they represented a dire NEED, and can flex down and depdending on how the top shakes out. The third tier are good solid first round prospects that are the "meat" of the first round. They can flex up or down depending. For instance, Moreno and Wells could go higher than I have them ranked because a team might need a RB, and for certain any QB might go higher based on need. The fourth tier are all bubble players, who I have some doubts about but generally see as first round guys.
This is real quick and dirty.
Note: this isn't tailored to 3-4 in any way, and is just how I perceive these guys if they land in a good situation. I will not italicize Maybin because I really don't think BB would draft a sophomore DE to try and play OLB here.
1. Andre Smith OT Alabama
2. Malcolm Jenkins CB Ohio State
3. Aaron Curry OLB Wake Forest
4. B.J. Raji DT Boston Coll.
5. Eugene Monroe OT Virginia
6. Brandon Pettigrew TE Okla. State
7. Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
8. Jason Smith OT Baylor
9. Rey Maualuga ILB USC
10. Matthew Stafford QB Georgia
11. Brian Orakpo DE Texas
12. Everette Brown DE Florida State
13. Hakeem Nicks WR N. Carolina
14. Knowshon Moreno RB Georgia
15. Jeremy Maclin WR Missouri
16. Vontae Davis CB Illinois
17. Michael Oher OT Mississippi
18. Tyson Jackson DE LSU
19. Chris Wells RB Ohio State
20. Mark Sanchez QB USC
20. Percy Harvin WR Florida
21. Brian Cushing OLB USC
22. Aaron Maybin DE Penn State
23. D.J. Moore CB Vanderbilt
24. Alphonso Smith CB Wake Forest
25. Michael Johnson DE Georgia Tech
Alex Mack in the reach of the century? He could be a great athletic guard here and a very good backup center to Koppen. He really deserves special mention as the OL player who manages to sneak into the first round. In years past, the past four actually, a random guard has worked his way in and proven to be better than a couple guys ahead of him.
I have a HUGE soft spot for this type of player because they always tend to work out: Mankins, Grubbs, Albert, Davin Joseph.
I think this year it is Mack. He is a center, but NE would take him as a guard. He is hyper athletic and could do everything Neal does.
Sintim also deserves notice. He is from an actual 3-4 system and was remarkably productive. I wonder how he will look in the combine though? He could be a player who is "reachable" that is there.
But back to reality.
I keep saying I have a feeling one of the top three DE's comes down to that bottom bracket, I think eveyone smartens up and it is Maybin. We hear a collective "WTH were we thinking" from Scouts who realize he is a sophmore with one good season.
I hate putting Michael Johnson there, because he is so close to other OLB/DEs who have been drafted in the third round, but for some reason his name keeps surfacing. 6'6" is hard to look past and ifhe runs fast at the combine he will be high in the draft. Yuck, I feel dirty.
The truth is that all of the guys between 20-25 I have big reservations about one way or the other, with Alphonso Smith seeming like the safest bet simply because I don't think this kid busts if you hit him with a bat. But I also think he might not be as elite in the pros as he was in the NCAA, and thus might be celing limited.
Of the top two tiers, I think you have the best chance of seeing Nicks, Brown, Orakpo and Pettigrew drop. I always get worried about picking ends to play OLB, especially when NE has two good OLBs at the moment.
posted at 1/30/2009 9:18 PM EST
we need defenders who can slow down a passing game.
belichick has not adjusted his defense towards the pass in the last few years. the run defense is solid, but the pass d is weak.
need to start blitzing again and get some pressure on the QB to slow down the opponents passing game
posted at 1/30/2009 9:39 PM EST
posted at 1/31/2009 5:31 AM EST
No time to spend here ..... but real quick......look at the numbers ..... they brought in a number of LB's to "learn" their system.....Crable, Woods, Redd Guyton, Mayo, Ruud, etc. It's clear they will draft elsewhere in April. My gut on their priority list is TE DB DL and OL. Obviously not going out on a limb here.
The mix of Floyd Reese, Casserio and BB will make for a solid evaluation process. Say what you want .... Pioli was great ...but he didn't make tackles or score TD's. So I don't think they will miss a beat here.
posted at 1/31/2009 5:34 AM EST
posted at 1/31/2009 6:17 AM EST
[Quote]No time to spend here ..... but real quick......look at the numbers ..... they brought in a number of LB's to "learn" their system.....Crable, Woods, Redd Guyton, Mayo, Ruud, etc. It's clear they will draft elsewhere in April. My gut on their priority list is TE DB DL and OL. Obviously not going out on a limb here.
The mix of Floyd Reese, Casserio and BB will make for a solid evaluation process. Say what you want .... Pioli was great ...but he didn't make tackles or score TD's. So I don't think they will miss a beat here.[/Quote]
Yeah. I agree. I expect though that TE, DL, and OL are more secondary concerns though to cornerback and a lesser extent, safety. I'd also add a big inside linebacker to that group and maybe even a receiver. So that leaves a fairly large list of players to target in the first couple of rounds. Trade Cassel, and some of these holes could filled for this season and seasons to come just with first day selections.
posted at 1/31/2009 6:32 AM EST
This years draft eval is mostly done, so any Pioli magic will still help for this year. We will take the best available that fit our system. Maybe ILB Maluaga in the 1st, maybe a OT in the 1st and ILB Brinkley in the 4th. I think we need an additional ILB OT OG TE CB SS DL and if someone has a high value for the round a RB or WR
posted at 1/31/2009 8:59 AM EST
At this point, is Vrabel average, above average, or below average as an OLB?
posted at 1/31/2009 9:31 AM EST
Love these guys who just drop in here without reading a lick of any of the previous posts...lol.
Z...that was a sick post...highly informative...thanks for taking the time.
I read somewhere that someone within the Pats organization said they were looking for a pass rusher in this draft. I'm assuming that means an OLB...because it seems like our D line's job isn't as much to get to the QB until they've determined that it isn't a run or a screen...correct me if i'm wrong. Whether we take an OLB early will say a lot about what they think about Crable, Redd and Woods.
If I were to pick one spot to where I think we try to draft a starter with our first pick...it's CB. If either Sanders or Rodney come back we're fine at Safety with Merriweather in the picture. Wheatley could be a starter but his wrist is obviously a huge question mark at this point.
And Wilhite seems like our nickel back, but not necessarily a starter on the outside. Delta O'neal made a few plays, but was brutal to watch more often than not.
At this point I think I'd take Alphonso Smith or DJ Moore @ 23 and then hope Sintim falls to us in the 2nd round.
posted at 1/31/2009 10:53 AM EST
posted at 1/31/2009 10:57 AM EST
I would say he has lost a step, but makes up for it in guile. Part of his offseason is because Thomas was missing, part is becuase there was a weak point next to Mayo, and part is because he is losing some of the speed he had, and he was never a burner. I watched him get toyed with a few times on blitzes, trying to spin off and getting pawed around. But he doesn't need to be elite, because Adalius Thomas is a nasty pass rusher in his own right, and like another poster mentioned there are some young kids already there who are learning one of the toughest spots on the roster, OLB.
At this point he might be better off inside, but the trick is that someone behind him would have to beat him out to even start that conversation.
I don't think NE would draft a player with the express intent of moving him, or anyone else, because the draft is such a crapshoot.
To the others,
I don't think CB/S or LB are off limits. The defense still needs to get younger and more talented so you take the best player that fills a hole.
As they could also use more depth/talent on the OL, that is a possibility as well.
I think the only spots that don't have a chance at being a day one pick this season are NT, DE, QB. I would place RB/WR just outside that core, and place CB, S, OLB, ILB, OT, OG as places where certain spots could use an upgrade or jsut flat out need competitive talent.
posted at 1/31/2009 11:21 AM EST
Thanks, it didn't take much time. I already had it in my head. Only a little organization.
Yeah, Wheatley's wrist is a major concern. Perhaps they though it was behind him, but he had his fifth wrist surgey this season. That is since 2003. So an average of once a season, although he did play 2007 injury free.
Wilhite broke into the lineup late in the season, but I really am not impressed considering how awful O'neal was. Plus, I am sujre part of it was pure discipline. O'Neal likes to parade around after making one decent play every two weeks, and considering how bad he looked on a regular basis, this can't go over well with BB. He'll put up with a little showboating from a contributor, like Hobbs or Moss, but when some scrub who is hanging on in a weak secondary . . . well it looks bad.
I think wether they take an OLB, ILB, or CB tells us more about what they think of the player. It really isn't a secret where NE needs help and just because you drafted a player in the second or third round last season doesn't mean you pass up a better prospect this time around.
The last I read, Harrison was leaning toward retirement. Moreover, Sanders is a UFA, and I don't think he is so special that NE will go to lengths to keep him this offseason. They have let far better DBs go before. Half of teh cr@p Hobbs takes for getting burned should actually be directed at that guy. At least Eugene Wilson could stick someone out there.
BB needs to be impressed with the cost/benefit ratio of a DB to keep them on.
He made a smart choice with Law because his time was through. He made a poor choice with Asante because they could have had him long term at something close to $6million per season, and decided to wait it out. He ended up getting what, a guaranteed $8?
I will be watching as Meriweather develops to see how they handle that one. I hope if he has another good season that they lock him up early like they did with Warren. Hobbs, well, we will see. He is a solid corner and an elite returner, so I hope they can hang on to him and draft a compliment for the other side.