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Finding Value


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#1 Reverend


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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:26 PM

There's been much hand-wringing at times about the Patriots' drafting and busts and such by some, whereas others argue lots of teams have busts. I think the more interesting stuff is the larger perspective of finding guys that work, the amazing work with JAGs by the coaching staff and the juxtaposition between that and how some big name signings have been amazing and some have been huge busts.

It occurred to me the other day that besides Brandon Lloyd, every starting skills position player on the offense was radically undervalued by other teams (and, in some cases, by the Patriots as well--at least for awhile).

Brady, Gronk, SweetLeaf, Ridley, and hell, let's throw in Edelman and Woodhead for good measure all dropped in the draft for one reason or another or went undrafted. And we all know about Welker.

We've talked before about how, given the hard cap, the key to long term success is finding undervalued players; this was likely the impetus for Belichick going to the 3-4 back in the day when he did to scoop up undervalued 3-4 formation players, his penchant for versatile players that may not fit into fixed schemes, etc. Compare this to the Jets situation where they tried to pay big to GFIN and are now hamstrung.

This is a bit unfocused, but I'm trying to consider how much of this is luck and how much strategy. It occurs to me that the dominant defense they had years ago also got amazing production out of undervalued vets or players that hadn't fit in elsewhere, like Harrison and Vrabel. This also seems to be the flip side of Belichick's willingness to cut ties with productive players if they get too valuable in the market, like Milloy, Branch and Samuel.

The lines, on the other hand, seem loaded with high round picks, which makes another provocative comparison.

I'm wondering what some of the folks with a more encyclepedic knowledge of players--and also other teams--make of this. But the current offense is really striking in this regard.

#2 DrewDawg


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Posted 04 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

It's an interesting topic, especially when you note that in the other thread started today, that since 1994, the Pats have drafted more Pro Bowlers than any other team.

I think something to remember is that we don't follow other teams as closely as we follow NE. Any "mistake" is magnified by the attention of a mostly Pats-centric board. You see this in other areas on the board such as Sox game threads when someone is thrown out at home and someone remarks that things like that "don't happen as much to other teams". If we were on the Sons of Dickie Thon we'd think that only the Astros made so many mental errors (or whatever).

Can someone with more knowledge of the OL and DL remark on where those guys were drafted and if they were undervalued?

#3 bakahump

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Posted 04 January 2013 - 04:11 PM

Seems like Mankins (who is the best we still have) was considered a "reach" at the time....or at least there was "better value" on the board when he was picked (according to the local scribes and Kipers of the world.)

Light was if I recall a "project" with "potential". Not a Nobody....but not a Franchise LT to entrust your HOF QB to either.

#4 Al Zarilla


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Posted 04 January 2013 - 05:34 PM

Seems like Mankins (who is the best we still have) was considered a "reach" at the time....or at least there was "better value" on the board when he was picked (according to the local scribes and Kipers of the world.)

Light was if I recall a "project" with "potential". Not a Nobody....but not a Franchise LT to entrust your HOF QB to either.

I don't remember Mankins being a reach, at least to Bill Belichick. Pat Hill, Fresno State coach at the time, was a trusted friend of Bill's and it was all systems go with Mankins.

#5 Reverend


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Posted 04 January 2013 - 06:07 PM

I don't remember Mankins being a reach, at least to Bill Belichick. Pat Hill, Fresno State coach at the time, was a trusted friend of Bill's and it was all systems go with Mankins.


Right. It surprised people, but there was backstory that made it make sense. What's interesting then moving forward from your point is that it seems like Belichick will swoop in early for an OL guy if he thinks it will help. Solder is 1st round. Vollmer is 2nd round. Wendell was undrafted, though and Connelly was a signing from JAX but was also undrafted.

The more I look at this, the more I think that if you open it up and look at team composition and talent evaluation broadly rather than focusing on individuals, there's even more uncertainty that I realized--and I'm part of the "it's really uncertain" faction. What I think I'm realizing know is that you have to craft a strategy that accepts that level of uncertainty.

The fact that the Patriots castoffs don't get much run whereas so many of the castaways the Patriots pick up do might be the most instructive way of considering their overall talent evaluation.

#6 phragle


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Posted 05 January 2013 - 01:26 AM

I'd put Ninkovich in the undervalued category.




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