2020 Pats: Roster & Beyond (non-QB edition)

rodderick

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I definitely think DK landed into the perfect situation for him but I also think that Josh/TB12 makes Deebo/AJ Brown a valuable WR in NE last year. Both guys are so versatile that they're right up our alley. These outside guys like DK never seem to hit for us. I view DK as less of a miss than those 2 since he was almost a round 3 pick. Everyone got fooled by him.
I think they could make DK work. When they had actual competent outside receivers, they played well. Not even talking about Moss, but guys like Brandon Lloyd, LaFell and Cooks all had success here in that role.
 

SMU_Sox

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I get frustrated when people play the why didn't we take this guy over that guy in the draft game. 31 other teams passed over DK. He went 64th. AJ Brown went 51st. No GM except for maybe the great Ozzie Newsome (now no-longer the GM) was consistently better than 10% over expected returns with the draft. It's not that BB didn't take AJ Brown or Deebo or DK, it's that he only took one bite of the apple with a top 100 pick over 7 years. That's awful.

One of the problems as well as opportunities with this team is that opposing defenses are playing us heavy because they know we run a lot. Harry has been a mismatch option against LBs. He's been getting open too. Cam needs to exploit those matchups and he's not even looking Harry's way. I'll try to post a couple snippets today.
 

Over Guapo Grande

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Is part of the issue with the WR position laying in the fact that BB wants "do it all" receivers. So he wants a guy who can run the routes of X Y an Z. Some of these other talents may be just Y's, or may not be able to grasp the entire route tree from each spot.

Not saying it is right or wrong, just wondering if it is a criteria.
 

BaseballJones

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Just as one example...this is Hoyer not Cam. Early in the KC game. 3rd and 3. Harry has gotten two full yards of separation, cutting across the middle (see him near the bottom 50-yard marker), a yard past the sticks. By NFL standards, that's wide open. Meanwhile, Hoyer chooses to throw to Byrd, who is absolutely BLANKETED by the defender at the 45 yard line at the top of the screen.

35362
 

Super Nomario

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I think you're right,actually. Guys like Kelvin Benjamin and Devin Funchess had success with Cam, but then again, that was also young Cam.
Benjamin and Funchess put up volume, but a) they were very inefficient on a per-target basis and b) the Panthers offense was bad the years those guys were featured heavily. I don't think it's an accident that Cam's best year was the year Benjamin got hurt and missed the whole season.
 

E5 Yaz

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Just as one example...this is Hoyer not Cam. Early in the KC game. 3rd and 3. Harry has gotten two full yards of separation, cutting across the middle (see him near the bottom 50-yard marker), a yard past the sticks. By NFL standards, that's wide open. Meanwhile, Hoyer chooses to throw to Byrd, who is absolutely BLANKETED by the defender at the 45 yard line at the top of the screen.

View attachment 35362
1. Your example assumes the KC defensive back won't close on Henry as the ball is thrown.
2. The pass should have gone to Edelman. Hoyer has a clean pocket, and Edelman was about to go into the flat where there was plenty of room, not to mention the trailing defender appears to lose his balance
 

rodderick

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Benjamin and Funchess put up volume, but a) they were very inefficient on a per-target basis and b) the Panthers offense was bad the years those guys were featured heavily. I don't think it's an accident that Cam's best year was the year Benjamin got hurt and missed the whole season.
I'm 100% in agreement. Unfortunatetly, that's the only scenario in which I can see Harry putting up some numbers.
 

rodderick

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1. Your example assumes the KC defensive back won't close on Henry as the ball is thrown.
2. The pass should have gone to Edelman. Hoyer has a clean pocket, and Edelman was about to go into the flat where there was plenty of room, not to mention the trailing defender appears to lose his balance
I also think in that picture both Harry and the defender have already let up after realizing Hoyer was going to the other side of the field with the ball.
 

BaseballJones

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1. Your example assumes the KC defensive back won't close on Henry as the ball is thrown.
2. The pass should have gone to Edelman. Hoyer has a clean pocket, and Edelman was about to go into the flat where there was plenty of room, not to mention the trailing defender appears to lose his balance
The linebacker in the middle of the field on that play was moving along with Edelman, away from Harry. I know you can't tell that from a still, but that's what happened in real time. Harry was the best and easiest throw to make on that play. Edelman would have been a very tight fit.
 

E5 Yaz

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The linebacker in the middle of the field on that play was moving along with Edelman, away from Harry. I know you can't tell that from a still, but that's what happened in real time. Harry was the best and easiest throw to make on that play. Edelman would have been a very tight fit.
Sorry, but that's not right. The Linebacker would have to turn and chase. If the play is designed to hit Edelman at the 43 or so, he already has separation on the backer trying to catch up.

And, as I said before, the defender on Harry has plenty of time to close on Harry as the ball is thrown.

I know you'll disagree, because that's what you do; so I am just stating this as my final stance on this
 

BaseballJones

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Sorry, but that's not right. The Linebacker would have to turn and chase. If the play is designed to hit Edelman at the 43 or so, he already has separation on the backer trying to catch up.

And, as I said before, the defender on Harry has plenty of time to close on Harry as the ball is thrown.

I know you'll disagree, because that's what you do; so I am just stating this as my final stance on this
I have NFL game pass and I really watched the play. The linebacker was moving in Edelman‘s direction not in Harry’s direction (to the top of the screen not the bottom, so I guess more towards Byrd but still, away from Harry). It’s not simply a matter of disagreeing with you. It’s a matter of what actually happened on the field. Harry was open and Hoyer did not even look his way. Those are facts. In fact, the reason Harry was open is because they ran a pick play which gained him 2 yards of separation. Had Hoyer looked at Harry he could have had an easy completion. Disagree all you want I don’t care.
 
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Super Nomario

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Just as one example...this is Hoyer not Cam. Early in the KC game. 3rd and 3. Harry has gotten two full yards of separation, cutting across the middle (see him near the bottom 50-yard marker), a yard past the sticks. By NFL standards, that's wide open. Meanwhile, Hoyer chooses to throw to Byrd, who is absolutely BLANKETED by the defender at the 45 yard line at the top of the screen.

View attachment 35362
You started the conversation talking about high arcing deep throws, so I'm not really sure why you're posting a clip of Harry running a four-yard in cut.

I think the point you're trying to make is that Harry could be making more impact if he were being thrown to more. This is probably true of every WR ever. Is there reason to think that Harry is suffering from a lack of looks more than Byrd or Edelman (or anyone else)? I don't think so. I imagine this stuff comes out in the wash, by and large. Harry has gotten fewer targets than Edelman in more snaps, but he's also gotten more targets than Byrd in fewer snaps, and he's been far less efficient with his targets (by yards per target) than either of the other two (or, for that matter, literally everyone on the team other than Jakob Johnson and J.J. Taylor, in tiny sample sizes).

As for what happened specifically on this play, I think once the safety on Byrd's side rotates down, Hoyer knows Byrd has a one-on-one matchup on the outside with no help, while everyone else is working towards congestion in the middle of the field. So he targets Byrd pre-snap, and thinks he has enough window to fit it into Byrd even though the coverage is tight. And Byrd ultimately does get open enough and the pass is timed well, it's just too high and goes through his hands.

It's 3rd-and-3, Hoyer isn't expecting to have 5 seconds to run through his whole progression. Guys make their first read, if they think they can fit it in, they're gonna throw it rather than scan the field to see if someone is more open. It's not unusual that there will be guys who are "more open" once we have hindsight, untimed, all-22 analysis. Omniscient Hoyer probably does throw this one to Harry. Does that mean Harry is constantly getting open and not getting the ball? Until proven otherwise, I'm going to assume "no more than anyone else."
 

DJnVa

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The NFL actually tracks "Average Separation". The issue, I think, is it is only tracking separation on throws to that player. As far as I know, there's no tracking of how open someone is or isn't when the QB doesn't look his way. That said, I think we can use it as a proxy--I'm willing to hear arguments against.

Right now, N'Keal Harry has an average Separation of 3.0 yards (Edelman and Byrd are at 2.7). That is higher than: McLaurin, Metcalf, Diggs, Evans, Tate, AJ Brown, J. Jones, Cooper, A. Robinson, Thielen, Chark, and Golladay to name a few.

The also track Cushion, which is how far the defender plays off of him at the snap. Harry is at 5.6. Cooper gets 7.1 yards, and Hopkins 6.9. However Metcalf is only 4.9 and D. Adams 4.4. Not sure what we can tease out of that.

Here's an interesting number though: Targeted Air Yards. Harry is only 6.7 yards. And yet he's got an average of 3.0 yards of separation. This is similar to Cooper Kupp, but mostly a lot of TEs. Most of the #1/#2 guys are over 10 yards.

Upshot--he's getting open, or at least he's more open when targeted than a lot of big name guys. He's just not very far downfield. He's also +1.1 in expected YAC, which is 24th in the league. Maybe we need to give him some additional routes or plays?
 

BigSoxFan

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The NFL actually tracks "Average Separation". The issue, I think, is it is only tracking separation on throws to that player. As far as I know, there's no tracking of how open someone is or isn't when the QB doesn't look his way. That said, I think we can use it as a proxy--I'm willing to hear arguments against.

Right now, N'Keal Harry has an average Separation of 3.0 yards (Edelman and Byrd are at 2.7). That is higher than: McLaurin, Metcalf, Diggs, Evans, Tate, AJ Brown, J. Jones, Cooper, A. Robinson, Thielen, Chark, and Golladay to name a few.

The also track Cushion, which is how far the defender plays off of him at the snap. Harry is at 5.6. Cooper gets 7.1 yards, and Hopkins 6.9. However Metcalf is only 4.9 and D. Adams 4.4. Not sure what we can tease out of that.

Here's an interesting number though: Targeted Air Yards. Harry is only 6.7 yards. And yet he's got an average of 3.0 yards of separation. This is similar to Cooper Kupp, but mostly a lot of TEs. Most of the #1/#2 guys are over 10 yards.

Upshot--he's getting open, or at least he's more open when targeted than a lot of big name guys. He's just not very far downfield. He's also +1.1 in expected YAC, which is 24th in the league. Maybe we need to give him some additional routes or plays?
I would love to see a distribution of his targets by yards. Does that data exist? Everything feels so close to the line of scrimmage.
 

DJnVa

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I would love to see a distribution of his targets by yards. Does that data exist? Everything feels so close to the line of scrimmage.
I am sure it's out there somewhere, but I haven't seen it. But yeah, everything is close to LOS--but based on the fact that he can get "open" and beats his expected YAC, maybe trying routes a little bit further?

Or maybe they are and they don't look good? Maybe someone with All 22 access can help.
 

Captaincoop

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If Harry was playing for Seattle, do we think that he would still be a “bust”? Or do we think that Russell Wilson would be throwing these high arcing deep throws and that Harry would be making great catches on a weekly basis?
Have any of the Pats WR busts done anything of note for any other team?
 

BaseballJones

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You started the conversation talking about high arcing deep throws, so I'm not really sure why you're posting a clip of Harry running a four-yard in cut.

I think the point you're trying to make is that Harry could be making more impact if he were being thrown to more. This is probably true of every WR ever. Is there reason to think that Harry is suffering from a lack of looks more than Byrd or Edelman (or anyone else)? I don't think so. I imagine this stuff comes out in the wash, by and large. Harry has gotten fewer targets than Edelman in more snaps, but he's also gotten more targets than Byrd in fewer snaps, and he's been far less efficient with his targets (by yards per target) than either of the other two (or, for that matter, literally everyone on the team other than Jakob Johnson and J.J. Taylor, in tiny sample sizes).

As for what happened specifically on this play, I think once the safety on Byrd's side rotates down, Hoyer knows Byrd has a one-on-one matchup on the outside with no help, while everyone else is working towards congestion in the middle of the field. So he targets Byrd pre-snap, and thinks he has enough window to fit it into Byrd even though the coverage is tight. And Byrd ultimately does get open enough and the pass is timed well, it's just too high and goes through his hands.

It's 3rd-and-3, Hoyer isn't expecting to have 5 seconds to run through his whole progression. Guys make their first read, if they think they can fit it in, they're gonna throw it rather than scan the field to see if someone is more open. It's not unusual that there will be guys who are "more open" once we have hindsight, untimed, all-22 analysis. Omniscient Hoyer probably does throw this one to Harry. Does that mean Harry is constantly getting open and not getting the ball? Until proven otherwise, I'm going to assume "no more than anyone else."
I posted it in response to someone else saying that Harry has been open at times and Cam hasn’t even looked his way. I then said that this isn’t Cam, but it’s an example of what the poster was talking about.

I didn’t realize I was being unclear.
 

DourDoerr

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Any news on Harry’s condition? He had rubber legs when leaving field. Terrible job by refs last game as there were everal helmet/helmet hits. Hate to say this, but more flags needed.
 

BaseballJones

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I see NE as both buyers and sellers this year. I think BB will look to sell off valuable pieces that will soon price themselves out of New England. But he will be looking to buy the next under-the-radar pieces, those that may be undervalued but which BB sees as good fits moving forward here, both in terms of talent and expected financial cost.
 

Super Nomario

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I posted it in response to someone else saying that Harry has been open at times and Cam hasn’t even looked his way. I then said that this isn’t Cam, but it’s an example of what the poster was talking about.

I didn’t realize I was being unclear.
OK, thanks for clarifying. I'm sure this does happen, but you can also find examples of this happening with anyone else. I don't have any reason to believe Harry is being under-targeted. His ratio of targets to snaps is fourth-highest on the team, behind White, Edelman, and Burkhead, all of whom are playing disproportionately more on passing downs.

I see NE as both buyers and sellers this year. I think BB will look to sell off valuable pieces that will soon price themselves out of New England. But he will be looking to buy the next under-the-radar pieces, those that may be undervalued but which BB sees as good fits moving forward here, both in terms of talent and expected financial cost.
And they've done this before, too. 2016 they dealt away Collins but picked up Van Noy; 2010 they dealt away Moss but re-acquired Deion Branch. A little different in 2017 when they traded away Jimmy G and grabbed Hoyer, but along those same lines.
 

DJnVa

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I see NE as both buyers and sellers this year. I think BB will look to sell off valuable pieces that will soon price themselves out of New England. But he will be looking to buy the next under-the-radar pieces, those that may be undervalued but which BB sees as good fits moving forward here, both in terms of talent and expected financial cost.
Isn't that really what all "sellers" are doing?
 

rsmith7

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Just as one example...this is Hoyer not Cam. Early in the KC game. 3rd and 3. Harry has gotten two full yards of separation, cutting across the middle (see him near the bottom 50-yard marker), a yard past the sticks. By NFL standards, that's wide open. Meanwhile, Hoyer chooses to throw to Byrd, who is absolutely BLANKETED by the defender at the 45 yard line at the top of the screen.

View attachment 35362
This is a nice example. What I notice is that Harry has patted down, looking at his stride. Sure he sees Hoyer throwing but everyone else is moving full speed still. Yes the backside of this play is for Harry to find the hole, but he's slowing too soon. Not an effort play, his hands are down and he's not ready. This is what disappoints me the most about him.
 

BaseballJones

ivanvamp
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Don't all sellers trade for things they think will help them in the future? Isn't that the point?
Here's what I said: "I see NE as both buyers and sellers this year. I think BB will look to sell off valuable pieces that will soon price themselves out of New England. But he will be looking to buy the next under-the-radar pieces, those that may be undervalued but which BB sees as good fits moving forward here, both in terms of talent and expected financial cost."

Here's what you said: "Don't all sellers trade for things they think will help them in the future?"

What I said and what you said aren't the same thing.

What I said is like a square, and what you said is like a rectangle. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. You can trade for other things besides "under-the-radar, undervalued pieces", expecting them all to help you in the future. For example, draft picks. I see BB looking for *players* that are like Van Noy when he acquired him. Not just draft picks.
 
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IMO, the Patriots would be CRAZY to deal JC Jackson. He's a young, cheap, talented playmaking CB. He is the kind of player you horde and build around. Trading Gilmore, much as it pains me, is worth exploring.
 

Cellar-Door

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Have any of the Pats WR busts done anything of note for any other team?
As noted, the Patriots don't really have many busts in the sense that they just don't draft WRs high, but last 10 years of draft WRs who aren't still on the roster:
2018- Berrios in the 6th... he is still on the Jets currently their 2nd leading receiver.. so pretty good for a 6th rounder
2016- Mitchell in the 4th retired (injury related), Lucien in the 7th kicked around practice squads for 2 years never made it (standard for a 7th)
2014- Gallon in the 7th, same as Lucien
2013- Dobson in the 2nd, closest to a real bust, 3 injury plagued years, picked up then cut by a couple teams but never got a game
2012- Ebert in the 7th, got a few games here, then a season with JAX, pretty decent for a 7th

So maybe 1 bust, 1 bad injury luck, and a whole bunch of 6th/7th rounders who were about what you expect from that round.
 

DJnVa

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Here's what I said: "I see NE as both buyers and sellers this year. I think BB will look to sell off valuable pieces that will soon price themselves out of New England. But he will be looking to buy the next under-the-radar pieces, those that may be undervalued but which BB sees as good fits moving forward here, both in terms of talent and expected financial cost."

Here's what you said: "Don't all sellers trade for things they think will help them in the future?"

What I said and what you said aren't the same thing.

What I said is like a square, and what you said is like a rectangle. All squares are rectangles, but not all rectangles are squares. You can trade for other things besides "under-the-radar, undervalued pieces", expecting them all to help you in the future. For example, draft picks. I see BB looking for *players* that are like Van Noy when he acquired him. Not just draft picks.
Well, no one really sets out to trade for overvalued pieces.

Also, it was a bit of a joke.
 

rodderick

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As noted, the Patriots don't really have many busts in the sense that they just don't draft WRs high, but last 10 years of draft WRs who aren't still on the roster:
2018- Berrios in the 6th... he is still on the Jets currently their 2nd leading receiver.. so pretty good for a 6th rounder
2016- Mitchell in the 4th retired (injury related), Lucien in the 7th kicked around practice squads for 2 years never made it (standard for a 7th)
2014- Gallon in the 7th, same as Lucien
2013- Dobson in the 2nd, closest to a real bust, 3 injury plagued years, picked up then cut by a couple teams but never got a game
2012- Ebert in the 7th, got a few games here, then a season with JAX, pretty decent for a 7th

So maybe 1 bust, 1 bad injury luck, and a whole bunch of 6th/7th rounders who were about what you expect from that round.
They also drafted Josh Boyce in the fourth round in 2013 who did nothing elsewhere (or in NE, for that matter). Going just two years back you have the same story with Taylor Price and Brandon Tate, who were both third round picks. It wasn't always late round flyers who didn't produce.
 

Cellar-Door

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They also drafted Josh Boyce in the fourth round in 2013 who did nothing elsewhere (or in NE, for that matter). Going just two years back you have the same story with Taylor Price and Brandon Tate, who were both third round picks. It wasn't always late round flyers who didn't produce.
Forgot about Boyce. For the others, I didn't think more than a decade back was particularly useful, though I would definitely dispute Tate a bit, he played 10 years in the NFL as a core special teamer and a good return man, had a few years as a 4th WR mixed in there. That's not bad return for a late 3rd.
 

SeoulSoxFan

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I still lament Humphreys deciding to sign with the Titans last year. BB upped his offer at the last minute but it was too late. The WR had a down year in 2019 but doing much better in his 2nd season.

It reminded me of BB not putting the pedal to the metal in trying to get Sanders from Pittsburgh as an RFA, when the Steelers were in a tight cap situation.
 

RoDaddy

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Wondering if the Pats will have any interest in Dontari Poe just released by the Cowboys? There are questions about him but when right, he's the big-ass run-stuffing DT we need and haven't filled since Danny Shelton.
 

tims4wins

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Wondering if the Pats will have any interest in Dontari Poe just released by the Cowboys? There are questions about him but when right, he's the big-ass run-stuffing DT we need and haven't filled since Danny Shelton.
Had the same thought
 

SMU_Sox

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If Poe is 30 pounds overweight and not doing what he needs to do to see the field I’m not so sure he is a great match for us but given how awful our DTs have looked the past few weeks I don’t think it matters. They need someone who can stop getting blown off the line.

One of the reasons Bentley looks so putrid is he has to cover wide areas of space because the IDL is getting blown up. Even Lawrence Guy is having an up and down year.

Normally I’d tell you that Poe isn’t a fit because he seems like he has a head injury in that his head is stuck up his anoos. That’s a medical term. But with the ways these guys have played? If Poe buys into the BB fitness regime he might be a worthy add.

If Beau Allen can’t play they need to bring someone in who can handle his role.
 

tims4wins

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Just wrote this in the pre-game thread, but he's starting to approach Pedroia territory. I love him one of my fave Pats ever. But it's over.
 

jezza1918

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Just wrote this in the pre-game thread, but he's starting to approach Pedroia territory. I love him one of my fave Pats ever. But it's over.
Given his age and QB situation, my gut/eye test agrees with you. But "approaching Pedroia territory" seems a bit over the top given 2019 was his most productive season in the NFL.
 

Van Everyman

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All this Harry talk and debate over whether the problem is talent, scheme or QB play makes me think that the real problem with him is:

Practice.

I get why people are disappointed in the abstract about Harry. He hasn’t lived up to the potential he showed in college and at times he hasn’t fought hard enough for the ball or for extra yards.

But to my eyes, he keeps giving tantalizing glimpses—the TD catch from Cam, that incredible play last season against KC that the refs completely blew among others—that make me think his overall lack of production and consistency is more that he’s a victim of not enough time on the playing field due to injury, a QB who didn’t trust him and the pandemic than some lack of ability or growth potential.

The shame is that just as he seemed to be putting it together and building a relationship with his QB Cam got COVID which now makes the entire offense look terrible – and Harry as kind of the poster child for a bad group of skill players.
 

BigSoxFan

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All this Harry talk and debate over whether the problem is talent, scheme or QB play makes me think that the real problem with him is:

Practice.

I get why people are disappointed in the abstract about Harry. He hasn’t lived up to the potential he showed in college and at times he hasn’t fought hard enough for the ball or for extra yards.

But to my eyes, he keeps giving tantalizing glimpses—the TD catch from Cam, that incredible play last season against KC that the refs completely blew among others—that make me think his overall lack of production and consistency is more that he’s a victim of not enough time on the playing field due to injury, a QB who didn’t trust him and the pandemic than some lack of ability or growth potential.

The shame is that just as he seemed to be putting it together and building a relationship with his QB Cam got COVID which now makes the entire offense look terrible – and Harry as kind of the poster child for a bad group of skill players.
I think Harry is a solid #3 WR when all is said and done. I don't think he has the speed to be much more than that, which is obviously not worth the pick used to get him but still makes him a valuable piece. His main problem, aside from the injuries, is that the QB situation in NE is probably going to be a shit show for a while so we may never see his full potential here.
 

joe dokes

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True, hyperbolic. I just feel like the end is super near.
His end with the Patriots is definitely near. He'll have his Good, not good, and gone Welker seasons for someone else, and maybe he'll cheap shot Gilmore next year.