2020 Pats: General/Non-QB Off-Season Discussion

lexrageorge

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Heard Fauria on WEEI Monday, talking about receivers getting up to speed with the Pats offense. He stated that newbies do have quite a bit to pick up (reading defenses, finding soft spots in zones, whatever), but the reason that established veterans like Joey Galloway and Ochocinco didn't fit in here is all on them for not being willing to adjust to what the Pats are running.
Galloway had all of 13 catches in 9 games the season before he came to New England, and 12 catches in 10 games the season following his cup of coffee here. Ochocinco got cut by a mediocre Dolphins team in training camp the following season, a team that featured Davone Bess and Marlon Moore on the WR depth chart.

They didn't fit here because they were both cooked. The numbers do not lie in this case.
 

Harry Hooper

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Is this mostly a Josh McDaniels thing or a BB thing? Because if McDaniels (and Brady) leaves then we might see some things change as to how difficult the offense is to pick up.
The Erhardt/Perkins/Weis offense was being used by the Pats before Josh's ascension.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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I want to add onto this as well as dissect it a bit.

Re the needing a WR1. I don’t think of it as a WR1 but more of an outside guy. Sanu, Edelman, Meyers, and maybe not even Harry are going to perform best outside. You don’t need a burner X receiver or even a great one but someone who can run the routes well and get on the same page as Brady. You need a competent if not spectacular X receiver. That lets people play in their best spots.
I think Harry was the right idea of a potential versatile guy and someone who can play outside but he was injured and a rookie. I’d also argue that Harry might have not been the right guy but... that doesn’t matter now.
I think Edelman can be a #1 like Welker was a #1. With Sanu I wonder if it’s just his timing because he gets separation In many of his routes but the throws to him are off. Also, that ankle and pushing off it on breaks has got to limit him. No excuses for the drops.
You can save some cash by cutting Sanu but he’s been a reliable producer in 2 stops. He had a good game against Baltimore and got hurt. I think he’s the kind of guy you want to keep for a year and see if his chemistry builds with Brady. I don’t think he’s cut before camp.
My biggest objection is that I don’t think Gunner is anywhere near ready to be a 600-800 yards a season guy. He’s a cool story and I like his potential and versatility but he had 2 receptions for 34 yards. It’s way too optimistic imo that a guy with 2 career receptions can replace a guy with over 400. It will be hard to carry Edelman, Sanu, Harry, Meyers, and Gunner because they will need to add another guy who can play X.

I have no idea what they do at tight end. I can’t stress how much a good blocker seam buster would help in the red zone.

Hands off Bethel. He’s an elite STer. Slater might retire. Bethel is worth every penny of that 2M.

Sanu and Burkhead are the easiest guys trade or maybe Cannon but you’d be selling low on him.
I just want to add on here a bit. Given that the team has limited resources, both in the draft and financially, to improve, it seems to me like the best strategy is to count on Harry turning into that semi-competent X receiver, with Myers and a veteran camp body as the backup plans there.

First priority really should be TE1, which is so important to our passing offense, the position we were arguably worst last season, and also where we have no internal options with a good chance of improving. This is so important that I just don't think you can leave it to the draft, because you don't know who is going to be available at any spot and even if you get your guy you're banking on a rookie. That's why I was making the case for prioritizing Henry or Hooper.

I think second priority, rather than an X receiver, might be a speedier guy who can threaten the defense deep. It became manifestly clear this year that Dorsett is nothing more than a situational player who can thrive when matched against a team's 3rd or 4th CB. We really need to improve this spot, both to have that kind of option but also to decrease the workload on Edelman, maybe getting him off the field in certain heavier packages when the WRs are mainly either going to be blocking or taking deeper shots off play action. I think if we want to get the best out of a 34-year-old Jules, he can't be an every down player next year. The fact that we used him a lot on deep shots this year, even though he really doesn't have the speed for that, just shows how limited our other options were in that respect. Using a draft pick on this kind of player makes a lot of sense to me.
 

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I just want to add on here a bit. Given that the team has limited resources, both in the draft and financially, to improve, it seems to me like the best strategy is to count on Harry turning into that semi-competent X receiver, with Myers and a veteran camp body as the backup plans there.

First priority really should be TE1, which is so important to our passing offense, the position we were arguably worst last season, and also where we have no internal options with a good chance of improving. This is so important that I just don't think you can leave it to the draft, because you don't know who is going to be available at any spot and even if you get your guy you're banking on a rookie. That's why I was making the case for prioritizing Henry or Hooper.

I think second priority, rather than an X receiver, might be a speedier guy who can threaten the defense deep. It became manifestly clear this year that Dorsett is nothing more than a situational player who can thrive when matched against a team's 3rd or 4th CB. We really need to improve this spot, both to have that kind of option but also to decrease the workload on Edelman, maybe getting him off the field in certain heavier packages when the WRs are mainly either going to be blocking or taking deeper shots off play action. I think if we want to get the best out of a 34-year-old Jules, he can't be an every down player next year. The fact that we used him a lot on deep shots this year, even though he really doesn't have the speed for that, just shows how limited our other options were in that respect. Using a draft pick on this kind of player makes a lot of sense to me.
Dorsett to me is a slot only guy. He's had almost all of his success playing in the slot. When he plays outside he loses. You have to rely on rookies sometimes when you don't have a heavy veteran team like they did in 2014-2019. I just don't think relying on Harry to make the jump is a good strategy because there is a greater than 0% chance that he will not be able to be that competent X-receiver. @Super Nomario has pointed out before that Dorsett is a vertical option but only from the slot. Honestly I don't think they need him anymore because they already have 4 guys who in theory should be able to excel in the slot (Sanu, Meyers, Harry, Edelman). The speedy X's who are half-decent cost an arm and a leg in FA so I think you have to draft them. This year is a great year for WRs.
 

E5 Yaz

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This year is a great year for WRs.
I don't mean to be snarky, but even in a great draft year for WRs, can we trust this Patriots brain trust to draft the right one and/or it's 43 year old QB to go against his history and feed him enough to develop a rhythm with the guy they do pick?
 

pappymojo

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I don't mean to be snarky, but even in a great draft year for WRs, can we trust this Patriots brain trust to draft the right one and/or it's 43 year old QB to go against his history and feed him enough to develop a rhythm with the guy they do pick?
If by 'we' you mean 'me' then yes. I trust this Patriots brain trust and it's 43 year old QB pretty much whole-heartedly.
 

lexrageorge

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I don't mean to be snarky, but even in a great draft year for WRs, can we trust this Patriots brain trust to draft the right one and/or it's 43 year old QB to go against his history and feed him enough to develop a rhythm with the guy they do pick?
They have just as good as chance as any.

They made one recent mistake in Harry, and we still don't know if Harry has hit his ceiling or was simply set back too far due to his injury. Aaron Dobson was bad, but that was several years ago. I would trust this front office more than most in the league, let's put it that way.

Brady has developed rhythm fine with other receivers they brought in (Hogan, LaFell, Amendola). If the team thinks Brady is no longer capable of working with receivers, then that's a different issue altogether, but that shouldn't stop them from drafting a WR.
 

DeadlySplitter

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Judge & McD heading out makes me feel more and more like take a year or two and start resetting. although I guess McD is Cleveland or bust maybe now.
 

DJnVa

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They have just as good as chance as any.

They made one recent mistake in Harry,
That seems a bit premature. They clearly like what he can do as they were trying to force-feed him late in the season.
 

E5 Yaz

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If by 'we' you mean 'me' then yes. I trust this Patriots brain trust and it's 43 year old QB pretty much whole-heartedly.
Based on which drafted wide receivers do you base this trust?

Malcolm Mitchell is the exception that proves the rule
 

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I don't mean to be snarky, but even in a great draft year for WRs, can we trust this Patriots brain trust to draft the right one and/or it's 43 year old QB to go against his history and feed him enough to develop a rhythm with the guy they do pick?
I think others have covered why it is hard to project college WR --> pro WR. I do think on some level that Tom needs to be there for OTAs especially with younger guys. Drafting is more or less a random process. The guys with the most success have had stability/communications with coaching on what they need and how to integrate guys into the offense/defense/ST. The Pats don't have the Van Noy drafted by the Lions and the coaching staff has no clue how to use him issues. I can see why they wanted Harry for Bully-Ball and took that gamble. I trust them though, sure.
 

E5 Yaz

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Brady has developed rhythm fine with other receivers they brought in (Hogan, LaFell, Amendola). If the team thinks Brady is no longer capable of working with receivers, then that's a different issue altogether, but that shouldn't stop them from drafting a WR.
My comment is only regarding drafted WRs
 

E5 Yaz

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I think others have covered why it is hard to project college WR --> pro WR. I do think on some level that Tom needs to be there for OTAs especially with younger guys.
I wonder whether, if he comes back and knows the window's closing, that he will change his stance this year
 

SMU_Sox

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BB drafted David Givens, Branch, Edelman, and Mitchell was working out until his knees gave up. Before Harry he drafted a bunch of athletes with no production at WR. His attitude was noted with Baldwin vs Julio Jones. I think Bill has shifted a bit since then. Mitchell and Harry weren't quite the elite athletes and had production. What's crazy to me is that they need WRs who are smart with timing, anticipation, and route running and yet they haven't really drafted that type minus IIRC Mitchell. Rumor was they wanted Ridley in 2018 and he was that type.
 

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I feel bad for shitting on Harry. So here's the thing. I'll give $100 to the Jimmy Fund if he ever crosses 750 receiving yards with the Pats. If I am wrong on him I'd like to pay up. (that is in one season). That would put him in the top 50 in 2019. Edit to make it easier for me to lose this bet.
 
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lexrageorge

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That seems a bit premature. They clearly like what he can do as they were trying to force-feed him late in the season.
My original, unedited quote:

They made one recent mistake in Harry, and we still don't know if Harry has hit his ceiling or was simply set back too far due to his injury.
 

ShaneTrot

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I was listening to this week's NESN podcast. I like Doug Kyed and Zach Cox, they provide good content and are not spewing clickbait. One thing they said was if Brady returns, he really needs to go through the OTAs, to get on the same page with Harry and Sanu. I agree. You can't bitch about the weapons if you didn't use all the available time under the CBA to get on the same page.
 

BaseballJones

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So seriously, what's the deal with Sanu?

His last 3 seasons plus his 2019 time with Atl:

2016: 81 targets, 59 receptions, 72.8%, 653 yds, 11.1 ypc
2017: 96 targets, 67 receptions, 69.8%, 703 yds, 10.5 ypc
2018: 94 targets, 66 receptions, 70.2%, 838 yds, 12.7 ypc
2019: 42 targets, 33 receptions, 78.6%, 313 yds, 9.5 ypc
TOTAL: 313 targets, 225 receptions, 71.9%, 2507 yds, 11.1 ypc

Then with NE: 47 targets, 26 receptions, 55.3%, 207 yds, 8.0 ypc

Why the sudden drop-off as soon as he comes to NE? Is it as simple as his injury? Because he had a really good performance against Baltimore in his second game with NE. Then (I think) he got hurt and his numbers were just not good. But his catch percentage and his yards per reception numbers, uh, fell off a cliff in NE.

His games since the Baltimore game (including the playoff game):
33 targets, 15 receptions, 45.5%, 114 yds, 7.6 ypc

I mean, those numbers aren't CLOSE to what he did in the years leading up to his time in NE (including the beginning of this year while still with Atlanta).

There *has* to be an explanation other than "Sanu sucks" because he damned well did not *suck* while with the Falcons, or even his last year with Cincy. He has always been a solid receiver in the NFL. Now suddenly he is awful? Doesn't compute.
 
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What's crazy to me is that they need WRs who are smart with timing, anticipation, and route running and yet they haven't really drafted that type minus IIRC Mitchell. Rumor was they wanted Ridley in 2018 and he was that type.
Deebo Samuel. AJ Brown. McLaurin. All more adept route runners, more typical “Patriot receiver” types. I’m sure there’s more to Harry and I‘m hopeful he’ll show it with the year-two jump, full off-season, etc... but it’s frustrating to see what seems a pretty straightforward projection ignored by an FO with a historically great track record overall. It’s not wild speculation or even Monday morning quarterbacking to wish we’d taken, say, Deebo instead. Oh well.

edit typos
 

lexrageorge

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So seriously, what's the deal with Sanu?

His last 3 seasons plus his 2019 time with Atl:

2016: 81 targets, 59 receptions, 72.8%, 653 yds, 11.1 ypc
2017: 96 targets, 67 receptions, 69.8%, 703 yds, 10.5 ypc
2018: 94 targets, 66 receptions, 70.2%, 838 yds, 12.7 ypc
2019: 42 targets, 33 receptions, 78.6%, 313 yds, 9.5 ypc
TOTAL: 313 targets, 225 receptions, 71.9%, 2507 yds, 11.1 ypc

Then with NE: 47 targets, 26 receptions, 55.3%, 207 yds, 8.0 ypc

Why the sudden drop-off as soon as he comes to NE? Is it as simple as his injury? Because he had a really good performance against Baltimore in his second game with NE. Then (I think) he got hurt and his numbers were just not good. But his catch percentage and his yards per reception numbers, uh, fell off a cliff in NE.

His games since the Baltimore game (including the playoff game):
33 targets, 15 receptions, 45.5%, 114 yds, 7.6 ypc

I mean, those numbers aren't CLOSE to what he did in the years leading up to his time in NE (including the beginning of this year while still with Atlanta).

There *has* to be an explanation other than "Sanu sucks" because he damned well did not *suck* while with the Falcons, or even his last year with Cincy. He has always been a solid receiver in the NFL. Now suddenly he is awful? Doesn't compute.
As someone who is on the "Sanu sucks" wagon, I'll admit it's hard to determine the root cause of his struggles given the limited info we do have.

There are some sample size issues when looking at half-season data. His catch percentage is impacted greatly by 2 horrific games against Cincy (2 for 8) the Titans (1 for 5).

Supporting the "he's not good" argument is that in the 2 games prior to the trade, he had only 32 combined receiving yards, when he was presumably healthy. In the "he's injured" camp, you have the fact that he was rumored to have suffered a high ankle sprain in his second game with the team. He missed the Dallas game as a result, and was on the injury report for the subsequent 3 games. If it was a high ankle sprain, and he tried to play through it, then it's certainly possible it could have still been bothering him last weekend. He did miss practice time as well, which didn't help him and Brady in terms of getting in sync.

Maybe an offseason will help. Unfortunately, he's a bit expensive for what his likely role will be in 2020, so we'll see what happens.
 

E5 Yaz

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Deebo Samuel. AJ Brown. McLaurin. All more adept route runners, more typical “Patriot receiver” types. I’m sure there’s more to Harry and I‘m hopeful he’ll show it with the year-two jump, full off-season, etc... but it’s frustrating to see what seems a pretty straightforward projection ignored by an FO with a historically great track record overall. It’s not wild speculation or even Monday morning quarterbacking to wish we’d taken, say, Deebo instead. Oh well.
Except we don't know how they would have developed with the Patriots. Drop a pass or run a route the wrong way, they might not see a target the rest of the game.

It's a false comparison to say of any player that what they did with Team X would be what they'd do with Team Y.
 
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Except we don't know how they would have developed with the Patriots. Drop a pass or run a route the wrong way, they might not see a target the rest of the game.

It's a false comparison to say of any player that what they did with Team X would be what they'd do with Team Y.
I’ve heard this argument for a long time, and I’m sure it has SOME validity, but I doubt it is as clear cut as that. Those players‘ skill sets - separation, route running - better match the skill sets of the vast majority of past/present effective WRs in the Patriots system, and the demands of that system. So, I guess I take your point, but think that point may be a bit overblown, generally speaking.
 

SMU_Sox

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Deebo Samuel. AJ Brown. McLaurin. All more adept route runners, more typical “Patriot receiver” types. I’m sure there’s more to Harry and I‘m hopeful he’ll show it with the year-two jump, full off-season, etc... but it’s frustrating to see what seems a pretty straightforward projection ignored by an FO with a historically great track record overall. It’s not wild speculation or even Monday morning quarterbacking to wish we’d taken, say, Deebo instead. Oh well.

edit typos
My final thoughts on the 2018 class for the Patriots.

Tight end: If Hock slides grab him. He is one of the few genuine 1st round talents in this draft class. He is worth 32 + a 2nd (32 in this years draft is like a 2nd anyway). Jace Sternberger is not athletic enough to warrant a 1 or a 2 and probably not even a 3 for them. Same for Irv Smith Jr. If they think Noah Fant can be a good blocker (I do not) then he is there other option in round 1. There are 3 guys not named Hock (or Fant) fit their athletic profile as a primary TE1: Dawson Knox, Kahale Warring, and Foster Moreau. Josh Oliver and Drew Sample are close. I think if they go TE day 2 or early day 3 it will be one of those first 2 with the other 3 as day 3 guys. My favorites are Knox and Warring. If they grab Knox or Warring I'll give $25 to the usual.

Wide receiver: incredible depth to the class. The guys I think they will see draft in rounds 2/3 and the best fits are: McLaurin, Boykin, Isabella, Samuel, AJ Brown, Mecole Hardman, and maybe Hakeem Butler. Stanley Morgan Jr and Nick Easley are the guys I really like as slot/Z and slot respectively on day 3. I believe they double dip here and it wouldn't surprise me to see two types of versatile receivers picked. I love everyone on that list minus Hardman. If they get 2 of the above but especially 2 of the day 2 guys I will give $25 to the usual. Oh hell, if they grab Boykins I'll chip in the same amount anyway. They might have an interest with Deebo because he's a diverse guy and can return kicks. He is close to the minimum athletic thresholds for them or exceeds them. Another guy early aside from Brown would be Harry. I just don’t think he fits playstyle wise or athleticism but he could play all three roles. A position we see with 1/6+
Only thing I would add is I didn't like Isabella. I am not sure why I said I did. Forgot I added him to the list? Whatever. Also, I said 2018 when it was the 2019 draft... seems like I rushed the post a bit.

Sanu, typically a slot receiver, hurt his ankle. Ankle issues impact the get off and the breaks. My guess is he had issues combined with taking time to get on the same page with Brady.
 

DJnVa

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Except we don't know how they would have developed with the Patriots. Drop a pass or run a route the wrong way, they might not see a target the rest of the game.
But that's essentially a function of the team too no?
 

Mystic Merlin

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Except we don't know how they would have developed with the Patriots. Drop a pass or run a route the wrong way, they might not see a target the rest of the game.

It's a false comparison to say of any player that what they did with Team X would be what they'd do with Team Y.
Lamar Jackson is a great example illustrating this point.

I don’t think he has anywhere near the same developmental trajectory or success if he’s drafted by NE. He was drafted by a team that went all in on him very quickly in terms of playing time and designing the entire offense around his skill set, and they frankly had the luxury of doing so because Flacco became unplayable in the middle of Jackson’s rookie year. I don’t think you could maintain Jackson andBrady on the same roster and get the most out of each (you can’t run two different offenses), and it’s a huge risk if you dump Brady in early 2018 to gamble on Jackson given how the team was constructed at the time.

Anyways, I think the jury is decidedly out on Harry. I think we’ll have a good idea by mid season 2020 about what we’ve got. The decision to IR him for what wasn’t reported to be a serious ankle injury hasn’t aged well, especially when AB flamed out; he lost critical reps early in the season.
 

E5 Yaz

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I’ve heard this argument for a long time, and I’m sure it has SOME validity, but I doubt it is as clear cut as that. Those players‘ skill sets - separation, route running - better match the skill sets of the vast majority of past/present effective WRs in the Patriots system, and the demands of that system. So, I guess I take your point, but think that point may be a bit overblown, generally speaking.
Separation and route running are a combination of the rookie's skills, plus the ntechniques and demands of a new offensive scheme. We've heard for years about how difficult the Patriots' system is to pick up. There's simply no way of knowing how any of those receivers would have fared in the Patriots' scheme.

We'll just agree to disagree
 

E5 Yaz

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But that's essentially a function of the team too no?
Exactly, which was my point. It's as much on the Patriots' system -- and Brady's willingness to keep going back to rookies after a mistake or two -- as it is on the receivers themselves
 

NickEsasky

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I really think the Patriots drafted Harry with an eye on being a bullying run-heavy offense that featured play action. I think they assumed he would help block, be able to get the ball in space like he was in college and get more space to work with using play-action since getting separation was never his thing. Then Wynn, Develin, Mason, Andrews, and Harry got hurt and that kind of went out the window. So I will give them a bit of a pass. That said, it sucks to see other receivers drafted after him having a lot of success for rookies.
 

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Deebo Samuel. AJ Brown. McLaurin. All more adept route runners, more typical “Patriot receiver” types. I’m sure there’s more to Harry and I‘m hopeful he’ll show it with the year-two jump, full off-season, etc... but it’s frustrating to see what seems a pretty straightforward projection ignored by an FO with a historically great track record overall. It’s not wild speculation or even Monday morning quarterbacking to wish we’d taken, say, Deebo instead. Oh well.

edit typos
I agree with this.

The funny thing is that the Patriots have been burned so many times drafting Bethel Johnsons and Taylor Prices and Brandon Tates and Aaron Dobsons who didn't produce in college but had good measurables. This year they draft a guy with a really productive track record, and not only does he do zilch, but league-wide it's the revenge of the unproductive college receivers. McLaurin, Samuel, Metcalf, Darius Slayton, Mecole Hardman - nothing special in college from a production standpoint, big rookie years.

Except we don't know how they would have developed with the Patriots. Drop a pass or run a route the wrong way, they might not see a target the rest of the game.

It's a false comparison to say of any player that what they did with Team X would be what they'd do with Team Y.
This is fair up to a point but not when the difference in production is an order of magnitude. I mean, D.K. Metcalf had more yards on Sunday than Harry had all season. So maybe these guys produce 40% less in NE (which is dramatic). But they'd have to produce 80-90% less not to beat what we got out of Harry.

Maybe people do realize this, maybe they don't, but Harry was statistically one of the least efficient players in football. There were only 2 WR with at least 20 targets who had a lower yards per target. I'm not gonna throw in the towel after one year and say he has no chance, but I don't think we can sugarcoat it either.

Separation and route running are a combination of the rookie's skills, plus the ntechniques and demands of a new offensive scheme. We've heard for years about how difficult the Patriots' system is to pick up. There's simply no way of knowing how any of those receivers would have fared in the Patriots' scheme.
Harry couldn't separate or run routes in college though, either. It's not like Michel where he looks like a different guy.
 

E5 Yaz

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Harry couldn't separate or run routes in college though, either. It's not like Michel where he looks like a different guy.
Then doesn't that go back to my point about whether we can trust the Patriots brain trust to draft the right receiver in the first place?
 

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I thought Harry was brought here to go down the field outside the numbers and rise up and outfight the defender for the ball (a la Dez Bryant).
 

Super Nomario

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Then doesn't that go back to my point about whether we can trust the Patriots brain trust to draft the right receiver in the first place?
It's a tough position to draft. But it's an expensive position to buy, too. I'm not sure I want to throw another late first at WR, but I'm not sure about paying the Adam Humphrieses of the world $10 MM a year either, so I don't know where that leaves us.
 

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It's a tough position to draft. But it's an expensive position to buy, too. I'm not sure I want to throw another late first at WR, but I'm not sure about paying the Adam Humphrieses of the world $10 MM a year either, so I don't know where that leaves us.
As you've said, they need to hit on their evaluations much better than they have been. It's perplexing how they have consistently got WR wrong. Even Mitchell who was good had major injury issues.
 

Super Nomario

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As you've said, they need to hit on their evaluations much better than they have been. It's perplexing how they have consistently got WR wrong. Even Mitchell who was good had major injury issues.
That's also why he was there in the fourth. Other than Harry, they really haven't invested much draft stock in WR, so I'm not too concerned about their history specifically, but looking league-wide, WR looks like one of the tougher positions to get right.
 

jsinger121

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As you've said, they need to hit on their evaluations much better than they have been. It's perplexing how they have consistently got WR wrong. Even Mitchell who was good had major injury issues.
Or how about dumb down the offense for younger players. The offense is too complicated for many guys and it really limits the Patriots. I know the direction I want the organization to go in but it ain't popular around here.
 

lexrageorge

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Or how about dumb down the offense for younger players. The offense is too complicated for many guys and it really limits the Patriots. I know the direction I want the organization to go in but it ain't popular around here.
I know the bolded gets repeated a lot, but not sure it's the root cause of the problem. Talent matters. Receivers still need to run the right routes and get separation. Gronk and Hernandez had no problem picking up the offense during their rookie years. Most of the guys the team brought in via free agency picked up the offense.

Also, offensive schemes across the league are becoming more complex, not less.
 

NomarsFool

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This past year there were quite a few rookie wide receivers who did fairly well. So, it's certainly not impossible. Harry had a terrible year, let's hope next year is better because we need it to be.
 

wilked

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I just ran numbers on all rookie WRs, basically was prepared to say that people are being too harsh on the Pats and multiple WRs drafted had tough rookie seasons

Unfortunately what it says is that all the rookies around Harry did well except for him. Of the top 5 WRs off the board (Harry was 2nd), you have:

Marquise Brown, 600 yds/7 TDs - good season
Deebo Samuel, 800 yds/3 TDs - great season
AJ Brown, 1050 yds/8 TDs, great season
Mecole Hardman, 550 yds/6 TDs, good season

WRs 6/7/8 all had poor seasons (Arcega-Whiteside, Campbell, Isabella)
Then 9/10/12 had good to great seasons (Metcalf, Johnson, McLaurin) with #11 Hurd on IR all season

I think if you are looking for any silver lining it's that Harry was hurt early and ultimately set back by injury. By the time he joined the team the offense was starting their funk from which they never quite recovered and he never found his stride.

But it is disappointing to see who was taken around him
 

SMU_Sox

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Or how about dumb down the offense for younger players. The offense is too complicated for many guys and it really limits the Patriots. I know the direction I want the organization to go in but it ain't popular around here.
The offense is limiting for the Pats? They've been a top 10 offense in what 17/20 years or more?

Is their offense more complicated than average? Maybe. But they also don't have 100 word play calls. I think they have a simply complex system (knock me for the oxymoron) where each play is actually a concept with different wrinkles and conversions. Yeah sure they aren't Matt Luke and Ole Miss level dumbed down but for Harry is it really that hard to ask him to say completely run his route? To run 8 yards and then make a break? I think the offense is too complicated is an overblown argument.

Here's my complaint boiled down into one play. Harry's interception on a slant route. You think dumbing down the offense is going to help Harry not let the defender undercut him on the route? If you can't run a basic-ass slant route GTFO the field. To me I don't care as much about the numbers as I do the tape and how well he ran his routes. I hope he makes a huge jump there. It wasn't all bad it's just that the complications of the offense had nothing to do with Harry's lack of production on the routes he did run (poorly).
 

Super Nomario

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Or how about dumb down the offense for younger players. The offense is too complicated for many guys and it really limits the Patriots. I know the direction I want the organization to go in but it ain't popular around here.
I think there are three things here:
1) The Patriots offense is complex in the way that all NFL offenses are complex. Maybe a little more so, but still, they're all doing sight adjustments, they're all doing route conversions. Here's an article back in 2012 with the Seahawks - hardly a bastion of progressive offensive football - saying "There are very few routes that are what we call 'run-it' routes -- those are routes that stay on, no matter what. Usually, you have a 'conversion' of some kind." Maybe NE's system is a little more complicated, but if you can't handle these sorts of things, you're probably not going to make it anywhere (which is basically what we've seen with ex-NE receivers).

Also, this stuff isn't rocket science. If you can't read whether you're being pressed or not, or what direction the cornerback's leverage is to, or whether the middle of the field is open or closed, there probably isn't hope for you.

2) The Patriots game plan week-to-week. They are not a Gary Kubiak team that is going to run the same 25-30 plays every week. This is how Bill Belichick operates, and as long as he is there, they are going to tailor what they run to that week's matchup. I'm sure that adds some complexity, especially for players that maybe haven't mastered fundamentals or the core playbook yet, but if you don't want them to game plan, you're basically saying that you want Belichick gone.

3) The Patriots use concept-based terminology rather than memorization-based terminology. In my non-football life, I find some people are more comfortable with abstract concepts than others. People who are comfortable thinking in concepts - like Randy Moss - probably find the Patriots' system easier to get. People who aren't probably find it harder. I think this is a personal preference / personal fit thing rather than something that's universally harder or easier. Some people want to know why, some people just want to be told what to do. The Erhardt-Perkins terminology is going to work better with the former group. There are strengths and weaknesses with all terminology systems. But the Patriots have always run E-P, so if you want them to change this, you're gonna have to fire Belichick.

TL;DR: why do you hate Bill Belichick?
 

Harry Hooper

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Yes, but I don't remember it being as hard for new guys to pick up until the last few seasons.
Bedard on the radio today backed you up on this. He said the Weis playbook was about 1 inch thick and the McDaniels playbook is 3+ inches thick.
 

Harry Hooper

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Is that a result of time though? That they have been able to add and add without having to subtract?
He didn't spend a lot of time on it. I didn't get the sense he was making a big deal out of it, but check the replay. I did hear him propose bringing Weis back if Josh leaves town.