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Possible Free Agent Targets


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#1 RedOctober3829


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:41 PM

Here are free agents at positions of need or potential need

WR
--Dwayne Bowe
--Danny Amendola
--Greg Jennings
RFAs: Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace,

DL:
--Cliff Avril
--Henry Melton
--Osi Umienyora
--Dwight Freeney
--Jason Jones

DE/OLB
--Anthony Spencer
--Connor Barwin
--Paul Kruger

CB
--Brent Grimes
--Sean Smith
--Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
RFA: Sam Sheilds

Safety
--Jarius Byrd
--Dashon Goldson
--Ed Reed
--William Moore

Edited by RedOctober3829, 21 January 2013 - 02:48 PM.


#2 phragle


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

All three of those linebackers would be defensive ends here.

#3 RedOctober3829


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

All three of those linebackers would be defensive ends here.


That's fair. Still DE/OLB is a position of need in terms of putting a pash rush together.

#4 TheWalthamKid

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

I would love to see Byrd here if Buffalo doesn't re-sign him. With Chung likely out of the picture, either a were counting on a high draft pick, or a FA.

Amendola would be a good replacement if we let Welker walk.

#5 BigJimEd

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:53 PM

Melton would be great but I don't see him going anywhere. Jason Jones is worth a phone call.

If the Pats don't re-sing Talib (and maybe even if they do) they will need a CB.

#6 RedOctober3829


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 02:55 PM

Melton would be great but I don't see him going anywhere. Jason Jones is worth a phone call.

If the Pats don't re-sing Talib (and maybe even if they do) they will need a CB.


They absolutely need to add at CB in addition to re-signing Talib or acquiring somebody of his caliber.

#7 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

They absolutely need to add at CB in addition to re-signing Talib or acquiring somebody of his caliber.


Posted elsewhere, but all 3 of the Eagles CB will be gone me thinks: Rogers-Cromartie (FA), Samuels (trade), Asomugha (cap cut). Signing Asomugha, who has a $4m guarantee, ($15m if kept) along with, not instead of Talib means:
  • OCB: Talib, Asomugha, Dennard, corpse of Ras-I
  • Slot: Arrington (his true spot)
  • S: McCourty, Wilson, Gregory
I'd be happy with that group.

#8 Reardons Beard

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:17 PM

Posted elsewhere, but all 3 of the Eagles CB will be gone me thinks: Rogers-Cromartie (FA), Samuels (trade), Asomugha (cap cut). Signing Asomugha, who has a $4m guarantee, ($15m if kept) along with, not instead of Talib means:

  • OCB: Talib, Asomugha, Dennard, corpse of Ras-I
  • Slot: Arrington (his true spot)
  • S: McCourty, Wilson, Gregory
I'd be happy with that group.


This this this

#9 Seels

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Posted 21 January 2013 - 04:39 PM

My thoughts:
WR
--Dwayne Bowe - Poor mans TO. Bad hands. Not a great player, will make tons of money.
--Danny Amendola - I'm not convinced he can stay on the field. No thanks.
--Greg Jennings - Will almost certainly want too much money, injury prone last 2-3 years, turns 30 this year. All the same I'd rather have Welker
RFAs: Victor Cruz, Mike Wallace,
Cruz isn't happening (though he'd be ideal) and Wallace kind of sucks if he's not running a post / streak.
DL:
--Cliff Avril - Really bad year for him, think his market value is down. Not convinced the Pats 43 is the right scheme for him.
--Henry Melton - Good fit, good player, young, probably wouldn't be commanding more than 3-4 per.
--Osi Umienyora - No. He sucks now and is extremely one dimensional.
--Dwight Freeney - No, same reasons for Osi only slightly less so.
--Jason Jones - Doubt he hits free agency and doubt Pats would play him, but the best of this list.

DE/OLB
--Anthony Spencer -
--Connor Barwin
--Paul Kruger
I think all these guys provide similar skills as Ninkovich and if you're not upgrading that side....why bother?
CB
--Brent Grimes -- Good player. I'd be all for it.
--Sean Smith -- Same, and he's a man corner, so he'd be great for our scheme.
--Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - Zone corner, probably looking for too much, doesn't fit our scheme.
RFA: Sam Sheilds -- Eh.

Safety
--Jarius Byrd Ideal fit for a FS but I'm not sure its an ideal fit for the Patriots
--Dashon Goldson ---- But he probably is. Not sure how attached the 9ers are.
--Ed Reed --------- See no way he doesn't retire after this year.
--William Moore --- He's decent, but I'm not sure his value equates to what he'll be offered in free agency.

#10 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:15 PM

--Brent Grimes -- Good player. I'd be all for it.


NFL-best 23 passes defended, Pro Bowler, and being under 30 (29 years old), means Grimes will be resigned by Falcons or some other overpaying team. Seems to be a huge-dollar sign that Pats historically simply look away.

#11 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 21 January 2013 - 05:36 PM

--Henry Melton - Good fit, good player, young, probably wouldn't be commanding more than 3-4 per.


I suspect he'll get more than that and I'd probably be willing to give it to him. He's exactly what this team needs - an active guy next to Wilfork who can get push up the middle (and holds up pretty well against the run for a lighter undertackle). But I doubt we'll have the cap room, especially with our own FAs to deal with.

#12 BigJimEd

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:05 PM

Bears have several FAs but, unfortunately, I doubt they let Melton get away.

I do think they need another CB even if they re-sign Talib but I doubt it will be a big money FA. More likely, a depth guy.

#13 dbn

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

Of course they should inquire about any FA that they see as a good fit but, barring their getting a star for a below-market deal, I hope they stay out of high-end FA market. Maybe I'm just still mad about Adalius Thomas and Rosevelt Colvin, but it seems that the fraction of signings that are worth the cap-space doesn't justify the risk. I'd rather they focus on re-signing their own FAs, and target other value-type players who, if they don't work out, don't hurt the cap situation as badly as do the big-name guys.

#14 RedOctober3829


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 03:38 PM

Of course they should inquire about any FA that they see as a good fit but, barring their getting a star for a below-market deal, I hope they stay out of high-end FA market. Maybe I'm just still mad about Adalius Thomas and Rosevelt Colvin, but it seems that the fraction of signings that are worth the cap-space doesn't justify the risk. I'd rather they focus on re-signing their own FAs, and target other value-type players who, if they don't work out, don't hurt the cap situation as badly as do the big-name guys.


They need some elite level players at every level on defense if they want to elevate the unit. They've got enough value guys, but lack a big-time pass rusher and an elite level CB who can shut down the opponent's #1 WR. Talib is good, but is he injury prone? I'd like to see them re-sign Talib, go get Brent Grimes but that is probably unrealistic given the money left under the cap.

#15 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:13 PM

They need some elite level players at every level on defense if they want to elevate the unit. They've got enough value guys, but lack a big-time pass rusher and an elite level CB who can shut down the opponent's #1 WR. Talib is good, but is he injury prone? I'd like to see them re-sign Talib, go get Brent Grimes but that is probably unrealistic given the money left under the cap.


Is this nuts?
  • Free up 9m by letting Welker go
  • Do any 1 of the following:
    • Option A: Draft WR Tavon Austin to play slot/Percy Harvin type role and hope for the best
    • Option B: Hell, trade for Percy Harvin at 7m/year in a 3-year deal; does not resign Vollmer
    • Option C: Install Herb permanently as a halfback/slot/hybrid option, with Gronk & Ballard serving as true TEs
  • Resign Edelman as mini-Welker & punt returner
  • Sign Brent Grimes with the cash


#16 SeoulSoxFan


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:52 PM

-- moved to the new thread --

Edited by SeoulSoxFan, 22 January 2013 - 04:56 PM.


#17 RedOctober3829


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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:53 PM

Where did my post go?

#18 Dgilpin

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 04:55 PM

Where did my post go?


In a new thread

#19 phragle


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 12:47 AM

Ian Rapoport@RapSheet
Best Mobile-based news of the week: JaMarcus Russell is making a comeback! No lie. At 305 lbs now, hoping for 265. May make a Combine cameo



Get it done Bill.

#20 Otis Foster


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 10:34 AM

Ian Rapoport@RapSheet
Best Mobile-based news of the week: JaMarcus Russell is making a comeback! No lie. At 305 lbs now, hoping for 265. May make a Combine cameo



Get it done Bill.




Posted Image

#21 Shelterdog


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:00 AM

Ian Rapoport@RapSheet
Best Mobile-based news of the week: JaMarcus Russell is making a comeback! No lie. At 305 lbs now, hoping for 265. May make a Combine cameo



Get it done Bill.


Why? I think Cannon is more than adequate to replace Vollmer.

He'd be pricey but I'm into Glover Quin--a former corner turned free safety, decent size for a free safety, pretty durable (three straight 16 game seasons), a key player for one of your conference rivals, looks like a good fit for the "star" in sub packages, would be a starter from day one and lets Gregory be a complementary player rather than a full-time player.

#22 TheWalthamKid

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:10 AM

Is this nuts?

  • Free up 9m by letting Welker go
  • Do any 1 of the following:
    • Option A: Draft WR Tavon Austin to play slot/Percy Harvin type role and hope for the best
    • Option B: Hell, trade for Percy Harvin at 7m/year in a 3-year deal; does not resign Vollmer
    • Option C: Install Herb permanently as a halfback/slot/hybrid option, with Gronk & Ballard serving as true TEs
  • Resign Edelman as mini-Welker & punt returner
  • Sign Brent Grimes with the cash


I get shoring up the secondary, but I would rather make some moves for a safety then I would a corner. If we re-sign Talib, then we have a solid No. 1 Corner, Dennerd who will be entering his sophomore season after a promising rookie year, and then Arrington who showed some actual competency in the slot. Grimes is good, but I'd rather have them sign Byrd, Quinn or even Ed Reed because we need someone back there who is much better then Gregory or Chung.

#23 bradmahn

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 11:34 AM

It's impressive the way Belichick juggles short- and long-term needs. There were several moves made last season with the future in mind, namely the additions of RB Jeff Demps, T Markus Zusevics, TE Jeff Ballard, S Tavon Wilson, and S Nate Abner, to a degree. All play positions with question marks next season as a result of free agency or injury/ineffectiveness (3d TE). Add in the fact that they just signed DT Armond Armstead, and that's a slew of big talent that went undrafted or was available because of injury questions. Demps, Zusevics, Armstead, and Ballard (though he's a veteran) are all, in my eyes at least, parts of this year's "draft" additions. Belichick has mined some talent as a result of market inefficiencies. Sure its a gamble on some of these guys, but there is a good shot at least a couple become contributors in2013.

#24 Tony C


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:06 PM


I get shoring up the secondary, but I would rather make some moves for a safety then I would a corner. If we re-sign Talib, then we have a solid No. 1 Corner, Dennerd who will be entering his sophomore season after a promising rookie year, and then Arrington who showed some actual competency in the slot. Grimes is good, but I'd rather have them sign Byrd, Quinn or even Ed Reed because we need someone back there who is much better then Gregory or Chung.

I'm pretty much here, too. The biggest one position upgrade on this roster is in the Gregory/Chung  safety slot. Signing Byrd would give us an impact player at that slot, with Gregory and Wilson as safety depth.

 

The other big upgrade the Pats need is a more mobile LBer to use against passing teams. I very much like Spikes/Mayo/HIghTower, but there needs to be more flexibility in that unit.



#25 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:15 PM

Unfortunately, signing Byrd is a pipe dream as Buffalo will sign or franchise him for sure.  One of the problems with finding an impact safety in FA is that the franchise tag for that position is so low ($6.8M for next year) that it almost never makes sense to let a top guy walk.  This is basically what happened with Dashon Goldson last year.



#26 Shelterdog


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:22 PM

I'm pretty much here, too. The biggest one position upgrade on this roster is in the Gregory/Chung  safety slot. Signing Byrd would give us an impact player at that slot, with Gregory and Wilson as safety depth.

 

The other big upgrade the Pats need is a more mobile LBer to use against passing teams. I very much like Spikes/Mayo/HIghTower, but there needs to be more flexibility in that unit.

 

 

My takeaway from the Ravens game (availability bias alert) is that perhaps you don't need a great mobile LB against passing teams.  The Ravens were in nickel most of the game with 2 DTs, and Suggs/Lewis/Ellerbe/Kruger as LB/DEs--Ellerbee being the only one who might be confused with a coverage backer--and a secondary that includes one very slow safety (Pollard) and they did reasonably well in controlling the short passing game.   Particularly in the playoffs (and in a cold playoff game) if you can play physical pass defense if you play smart and hammer the crap out of the guy with the ball I think you can control a tight ends, slot receivers and running backs reasonably well. 

 

To get back on the topic Arthur Jones is a restricted free agent--if the Ravens are foolish enough to give him a low tender I'd swoop in, and I'd certainly consider using our second round pick to get him if they tendered him at that level.


Edited by Shelterdog, 23 January 2013 - 01:33 PM.


#27 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 01:34 PM

Unfortunately, signing Byrd is a pipe dream as Buffalo will sign or franchise him for sure.  One of the problems with finding an impact safety in FA is that the franchise tag for that position is so low ($6.8M for next year) that it almost never makes sense to let a top guy walk.  This is basically what happened with Dashon Goldson last year.

 

Agreed.  Speaking of Goldson, I think you might see him on the open market this time around.  They'll need to pay him about 7.5M if they tag him again (10% more than the tentative number for safeties, about 6.8M).



#28 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:18 PM

Agreed.  Speaking of Goldson, I think you might see him on the open market this time around.  They'll need to pay him about 7.5M if they tag him again (10% more than the tentative number for safeties, about 6.8M).

Yeah, I think that's right and its a potential exception to the rule about letting upper tier safeties hit FA.  The 49ers are pretty squeezed this offseason and would probably need to do some restructures just to get the cap space to franchise Goldson.  And they have a lot of other good players who will need to get paid so locking him up long term may not be that attractive.

 

Personally, I think Byrd is better (and two years younger) but I'd still be interested in Goldson if the Niners do let him walk.


Edited by Morgan's Magic Snowplow, 23 January 2013 - 02:20 PM.


#29 RedOctober3829


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

Yeah, I think that's right and its a potential exception to the rule about letting upper tier safeties hit FA.  The 49ers are pretty squeezed this offseason and would probably need to do some restructures just to get the cap space to franchise Goldson.  And they have a lot of other good players who will need to get paid so locking him up long term may not be that attractive.

 

Personally, I think Byrd is better (and two years younger) but I'd still be interested in Goldson if the Niners do let him walk.

Doesn't everybody remember that the Patriots actually had Goldson in the building during the training camp following the lockout?  There's got to be some interest from the Patriots still.  That might be the one regret that Belichick has in the last couple year is not getting him signed.  That position would look much better today.



#30 jsinger121


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:32 PM

Doesn't everybody remember that the Patriots actually had Goldson in the building during the training camp following the lockout?  There's got to be some interest from the Patriots still.  That might be the one regret that Belichick has in the last couple year is not getting him signed.  That position would look much better today.

Especially after he went back to San Fran on a 1 year deal. They should have done everything possible to sign him and they let him walk.



#31 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:42 PM

Doesn't everybody remember that the Patriots actually had Goldson in the building during the training camp following the lockout?  There's got to be some interest from the Patriots still.  That might be the one regret that Belichick has in the last couple year is not getting him signed.  That position would look much better today.

I do remember that and I'm sure BB would like that one back.  To be fair, Goldson basically did nothing in 2007, nothing in 2008, had a nice year in 2009, and then seemed to regress a lot in 2010, including some pretty undisciplined play.  So it wasn't exactly a no-brainer that he would continue to improve and become an upper tier safety.  A lot of teams passed on him.



#32 RedOctober3829


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:45 PM

I do remember that and I'm sure BB would like that one back.  To be fair, Goldson basically did nothing in 2007, nothing in 2008, had a nice year in 2009, and then seemed to regress a lot in 2010, including some pretty undisciplined play.  So it wasn't exactly a no-brainer that he would continue to improve and become an upper tier safety.  A lot of teams passed on him.

Pretty sure that he would have been a better safety last season than Sergio Brown or James Ihegidbo.



#33 Super Nomario


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

My takeaway from the Ravens game (availability bias alert) is that perhaps you don't need a great mobile LB against passing teams.  The Ravens were in nickel most of the game with 2 DTs, and Suggs/Lewis/Ellerbe/Kruger as LB/DEs--Ellerbee being the only one who might be confused with a coverage backer--and a secondary that includes one very slow safety (Pollard) and they did reasonably well in controlling the short passing game.   Particularly in the playoffs (and in a cold playoff game) if you can play physical pass defense if you play smart and hammer the crap out of the guy with the ball I think you can control a tight ends, slot receivers and running backs reasonably well. 

Well, yes and no. The Ravens were able to do this because a) their other safety is a Hall-of-Fame free safety who can patrol the deep middle of the field alone and b) between the wind, the Patriots' limited receiving corps, and Brady's inconsistency, the Pats were no threat to get a deep game going. If you need to play two deep safeties, your LBs have to be able to cover.



#34 Morgan's Magic Snowplow


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Posted 23 January 2013 - 03:39 PM

Pretty sure that he would have been a better safety last season than Sergio Brown or James Ihegidbo.

Yeah, no shit. 



#35 Mystic Merlin


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 10:32 AM

Yeah, that's a big bit of hindsight on Goldson.  I mean, why did the Niners let him out of THEIR building at the time?



#36 PedroKsBambino


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 12:44 PM

My takeaway from the Ravens game (availability bias alert) is that perhaps you don't need a great mobile LB against passing teams.  The Ravens were in nickel most of the game with 2 DTs, and Suggs/Lewis/Ellerbe/Kruger as LB/DEs--Ellerbee being the only one who might be confused with a coverage backer--and a secondary that includes one very slow safety (Pollard) and they did reasonably well in controlling the short passing game.   Particularly in the playoffs (and in a cold playoff game) if you can play physical pass defense if you play smart and hammer the crap out of the guy with the ball I think you can control a tight ends, slot receivers and running backs reasonably well. 

 

To get back on the topic Arthur Jones is a restricted free agent--if the Ravens are foolish enough to give him a low tender I'd swoop in, and I'd certainly consider using our second round pick to get him if they tendered him at that level.

The other point to note on that explanation (which I agree with) is that it shows the importance of having WR who can at least be a threat on the perimeter, because part of why these schemes work is the ability to move safeties up. I think people are underplaying that need a bit.  Certainly, improving the secondary is a valid number one, but making the offense less susceptible to 'flood the middle' defensive schemes is a huge and continuing need as well.  Unlike (say) a coverage linebacker or DLine depth, that's a need you can't really fill with a quality vet min kind of guy or situational role-player, I don't believe.


Edited by PedroKsBambino, 24 January 2013 - 12:45 PM.


#37 Shelterdog


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

The other point to note on that explanation (which I agree with) is that it shows the importance of having WR who can at least be a threat on the perimeter, because part of why these schemes work is the ability to move safeties up. I think people are underplaying that need a bit.  Certainly, improving the secondary is a valid number one, but making the offense less susceptible to 'flood the middle' defensive schemes is a huge and continuing need as well.  Unlike (say) a coverage linebacker or DLine depth, that's a need you can't really fill with a quality vet min kind of guy or situational role-player, I don't believe.

 

 

My problem with improving the argument that we should get a better outside receiver is that, frankly, it's really hard to get a good outside receiver.  If you're a big productive receiver who runs a 4.4 or better with no question marks you're picked long before the Pats are picking, and you're generally not available in free agency.  So the question is do you pick that coverage linerbacker or a great guard or a very solid DT at 29 or do you roll the dice on a wideout who has some question marks (e.g., Quinton Patton, who's fast,smart, has reasonable size, and has never been in a sophisticated offense).



#38 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

My problem with improving the argument that we should get a better outside receiver is that, frankly, it's really hard to get a good outside receiver.  If you're a big productive receiver who runs a 4.4 or better with no question marks you're picked long before the Pats are picking, and you're generally not available in free agency.  So the question is do you pick that coverage linerbacker or a great guard or a very solid DT at 29 or do you roll the dice on a wideout who has some question marks (e.g., Quinton Patton, who's fast,smart, has reasonable size, and has never been in a sophisticated offense).

This is the case with most positions at 29 though, right? You can maybe get the best interior lineman in the draft, but you're not going to get a pass-rusher, a D-lineman, a coverage player, or wideout that doesn't have some question: limited physical tools that suggest low upside, a lack of experience or production, or injury or off-the-field concerns. I think we're all pretty happy with Chandler Jones at 21, but he was a dude with great physical tools who'd never even had 5 sacks in a season in college.



#39 Royal Reader

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:21 PM

Right.  And further to the above, you have to draft or sign WRs or pass rushers at some point, or else you don't have any.  Deion Branch no longer appears to be an NFL caliber receiver - they seem almost certain to either sign one or two proven competent but mediocre guys or use at least one highish draft pick.    You might not want to overpay, but running out the receiving corps equivalent of Brown & Ihedigbo isn't the best idea ever, either.  It's a shame Taylor Price busted so completely.



#40 ZMart100

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

This is the case with most positions at 29 though, right? You can maybe get the best interior lineman in the draft, but you're not going to get a pass-rusher, a D-lineman, a coverage player, or wideout that doesn't have some question: limited physical tools that suggest low upside, a lack of experience or production, or injury or off-the-field concerns. I think we're all pretty happy with Chandler Jones at 21, but he was a dude with great physical tools who'd never even had 5 sacks in a season in college.

WR has the steepest drop off from the start of the first round to the end when one considers starts. Starts are probably a good proxy for drafting the type of "#1" (I personally don't like that usage) outside receiver receiver with both speed and size that seems to be most desired here. Graphs under spoilers are lowess curves for drafts between 1995 and 2009. Shaded areas are approximate even numbered rounds. (I think they are actual rounds from last year, but compensatory picks are likely to be similar this year.)

 

Offense

Spoiler

 

Defense

Spoiler


#41 dcmissle


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:28 PM

Yes, but it's not what they do particularly well, and we realistically have a 2 or 3-yr window. A few years ago, we took a guy 7 slots later than 29 -- with the endorsement of a trusted FOB -- and the guy is playing for the Omaha Nighthawks at last check. A few years later, Dez Bryant falls into their laps, and they pass; I know he's a headcase, but he's as pure as it gets and other headcases have worked in NE. Then, Dimitroff consults BB on the Julio Jones deal, and BB says, "I wouldn't do it Tom, and I don't even think he's the best WR in the draft." I know, you have to go back to the stove that burnt you. But my sense is BB does not like that stove, rarely if ever gives it a first-round grade, and knows well that since the 2007 offseason, he has hit on no one at the position, via the draft or FA. The system causes problems at this position.

#42 phragle


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:59 PM

Charles Woodson is likely a cap casualty so he's a possible free agent. I'd love to pair him with McCourty, but Bill usually likes two thumpers back there so two cornerbacks might be too far outside his comfort zone. At least Woodson is closer to a thumper than McCourty. Woodson is a hell of safety, can still play slot CB better than most CBs, and would add veteran leagership and experience to the back end.


Edited by phragle, 24 January 2013 - 04:00 PM.


#43 ZMart100

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:05 PM

Since 2002 the Patriots have drafted 8 WR.* 4 of them were better in the first 4 years than the next wide receiver taken. (That is they had more starts, or if they had an equal number of starts, they appeared in more games.) Adjusting for the difference in picks between the Patriots WR and the next one drafted by means of a logit regression, the likelihood of getting 5 or more "better" receivers is 45%.** Considering the small sample size, I'm not sure its really fair to draw any conclusions about the "skill" of the Patriots evaluation of WR. As dcmissle points out, there have certainly been some high profile misses, however.

 

Some may argue that it is or should be easier to identify whether one player is better than another at the top of the draft. I am not convinced that the data supports that position. Once distance to the next pick at the same position is considered, pick position is statistically insignificant.

 

*I'm counting Matthew Slater as a WR here.

 

**There is a bit of an independence problem here. Ex. Brandon Tate and Julian Edelman were drafted in the same year. If Tate had performed better, Edelman may have seen less of the field. The converse is also true.

 

Edit:spelling


Edited by ZMart100, 24 January 2013 - 04:06 PM.


#44 Shelterdog


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:40 PM

This is the case with most positions at 29 though, right? You can maybe get the best interior lineman in the draft, but you're not going to get a pass-rusher, a D-lineman, a coverage player, or wideout that doesn't have some question: limited physical tools that suggest low upside, a lack of experience or production, or injury or off-the-field concerns. I think we're all pretty happy with Chandler Jones at 21, but he was a dude with great physical tools who'd never even had 5 sacks in a season in college.

My sense is similar to what Zmart100's charts show--that there is a very steep dropoff in talent at a few positions if you don't use a top ten, namely WR, QB and DE.   (I'm a bit surprised by the steep drop-off at DT).    Not surprisingly these positions are also incredibly valuable in every scheme so what you see is something like an efficient market place where the added value of a great WR/DE/QB drives up the value of players, people take chances on those positions relatively early in the draft and sometimes they work great (Chandler Jones) and sometimes they're Chad Jackson. 

 

So the question for me when you're using picks between 20 and 60 or so is do you take chances on the high risk players (draft receivers in round two and three not knowing whether they'll be Torrey Smith or Chad Jackson or Brandon Tate or Mike Wallace) or do you make sure you hit singles and doubles with Logan Mankins and Hightowers and Heath Millers and try to fill the WR/DE/QB/DT slots with volume, scheme and (possibly) expensive free agents? 

 

Obviously you can use a combination of the two approaches but I personally would lean heavily towards filling the easy to draft positions, trying to never stike out in that range.    Which, incidentally, is what Pittsburgh has typically done. 

 

All of this has to be contingent on the individual talent pool--I'm sure there is variation from year to year on how many good lookings DTs are available or what not.



#45 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 05:23 PM

Obviously you can use a combination of the two approaches but I personally would lean heavily towards filling the easy to draft positions, trying to never stike out in that range.    Which, incidentally, is what Pittsburgh has typically done. 

 

All of this has to be contingent on the individual talent pool--I'm sure there is variation from year to year on how many good lookings DTs are available or what not.

Need matters, too. G is a position you can get a really good player late in the first round, but how much is upgrading Connolly or Wendell really going to improve the team? I'd like a coverage LB, but he's probably a 30-40% player at most; using a first seems like an overdraft. Obviously TE is set. The big holes right now are WR, DB, and pass-rusher, which skew riskier.

 

BTW, I suspect DL is pretty divided. Penetrating one-gap DTs like Suh or Warren Sapp seem more hit-or-miss than solid two-gap types like Ty Warren, probably for the same reasons it's hard to project DE/OLB types. Similarly, other prototypes within given positions are probably riskier than others; if you're willing to forego ideal height at CB or WR you probably have an easier time finding players with the speed, lateral quickness, and football intelligence you're looking for, but you're obviously not going to find a guy who can shut down Calvin Johnson.



#46 Royal Reader

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 06:19 PM

Yes, but it's not what they do particularly well, and we realistically have a 2 or 3-yr window. A few years ago, we took a guy 7 slots later than 29 -- with the endorsement of a trusted FOB -- and the guy is playing for the Omaha Nighthawks at last check.

 

Yes, but at the same time, they have to have *someone* to play the position.  How do you suggest finding them?  There's not an option that says 'Acquire literally no WRs over the next 2-3 years.'  The thought of Deion Branch trotting out for the 2015 Pats is not an appealing one.  Top-tier FA?  Middling FA?  High pick?  Low pick?  The implication of the charts you have provided seems to suggest that mid-round picks might be a better use of resources than high ones.



#47 dcmissle


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:15 PM

Given present needs and time horizon, Round 3 or later in the draft and/or FA. Modest investment. We don't necessarily need a burner. I'd happily settle for a hand fighter who manages to get open when the other team turns 15 yards from the LOS into WWI trench warfare.

#48 Seels

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 07:33 PM

Yes, but it's not what they do particularly well, and we realistically have a 2 or 3-yr window. A few years ago, we took a guy 7 slots later than 29 -- with the endorsement of a trusted FOB -- and the guy is playing for the Omaha Nighthawks at last check. A few years later, Dez Bryant falls into their laps, and they pass; I know he's a headcase, but he's as pure as it gets and other headcases have worked in NE. Then, Dimitroff consults BB on the Julio Jones deal, and BB says, "I wouldn't do it Tom, and I don't even think he's the best WR in the draft." I know, you have to go back to the stove that burnt you. But my sense is BB does not like that stove, rarely if ever gives it a first-round grade, and knows well that since the 2007 offseason, he has hit on no one at the position, via the draft or FA. The system causes problems at this position.

I still hate that we didn't draft Dez. McCourty gives me more hope now than ever before but Dez is an elite player at an obvious need.



#49 Super Nomario


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Posted 24 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

I still hate that we didn't draft Dez. McCourty gives me more hope now than ever before but Dez is an elite player at an obvious need.

Every time I watched the Cowboys this year Romo threw a pick on a ball where he and Dez weren't on the same page. No question he's talented, but I don't think the Patriots regret passing on him.



#50 MarcSullivaFan

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Posted 25 January 2013 - 06:32 AM

Pats might take a flier on Johnny Knox, who's a FA. He missed all of last season with a serious back injury. It's not clear when and if he's getting back on the field. But if he's healthy, he could provide a low-cost deep threat.
http://www.rotoworld...363/johnny-knox




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