Re: Drafting Rookies vs. Signing Veterans
posted at 12/19/2010 12:53 PM EST
In Response to Drafting Rookies vs. Signing Veterans
[QUOTE]I have seen a lot of thread that are calling for BB to make a trade for (insert veterans name) I have heard Champ Bailey to Fitzgerald to Johnathan Stewart. But, have we not witnessed what a BB draft class can do? Sure we brought a veteran, Branch, back but he was on this team and fit in right away. I expect BB to continue to get younger through the draft and the only way I see him trading for a veteran is if we can't get the RB we want in the draft. Lets not forget that the NFL and CBA is still up in the air and I am sure BB will want to continue to make inexpensive additions. I am a firm believer in BB we trust, but what do you guys think would be best for this team?
Posted by freediro[/QUOTE]
Free agency comes before the draft. Last year we saw BB focus on signing his key players, Wilfork, Bodden, Banta-Cain, Gostkowski etc. He also brought in Crumpler who was our biggest F/A signing. I look for BB to hopefully extend Mankins as a top priority. I would expect him to also extend Matt Light for 1-2 years. They are our top 2 free agents. BJGE and Arrington are also F/A but I believe both are restricted so they aren't going anywhere.
BB has shown a consistent approach of signing veteran free agents that help the team at a price that he feels is "good value." I can only think of one example where BB overpaid to get a F/A and that was Adalius Thomas. BB will plug holes by signing Free Agents. He has shown this time and again. By draft day, BB will have done as much as he can to build the team internally and externally. Therefore when the draft comes he is free to draft best player available from his short list of players on his board.
Last year was a rare example where BB didn't address all his needs in free agency. He went into the draft with just one TE (Crumpler) on the roster, 1 starting CB (Bodden) and 1 starting OLB (TBC). He addressed those needs right off the bat drafting McCourty, Gronkowski, Cunningham and Hernandez with 4 of his first 6 picks, Spikes and Price being the others. He also didn't have a punter and he clearly targeted the best punter in college trading for a 5th round pick which he used on Mesko so it could be said he filled 5 needs with his first 7 picks.
This year, if he doesn't retain Mankins and Light I would expect him to draft an OT very early on. BB doesn't typically spent high draft picks on interior OL with Mankins being the only exception. But if Mankins walks we have only Connolly as a ready starter so I would think he would draft an OG before the end of round 2. I don't see any elite 34 DEs available in free agency. Even with Ty Warren coming back, I don't think we have a developmental player on our roster who is of starting quality so I think he may draft a 34 DE too.
There are several CBs and S available in free agency. We need depth there even with Bodden coming back. I favor going after Jonathan Joseph from CIN and perhaps Bethea from IND. I don't worry about WR and RB because the draft is loaded with talent from round 2-4 and we have solid starters now at RB. We could use a solid #2 WR. There are several WR free agents available too if BB wants to go that route.