2023 Draft Fits

Shelterdog

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A few Shrine Bowl draft prospects that the Pats apparently "raved about" are described here.

Mo Diabate, LB, Utah
Isaiah Moore, LB, NC State
Eric Scott Jr., CB, Southern Mississippi

[All three are on @Shelterdog's list immediately above.]
I think they’re going to take a ton of shrine bowl players-the pats will feel more comfortable with players they’ve gotten to coach for a few days-and I’m very optimistic that theyll be able to find players who will be cultural fits
 

Mystic Merlin

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I think they’re going to take a ton of shrine bowl players-the pats will feel more comfortable with players they’ve gotten to coach for a few days-and I’m very optimistic that theyll be able to find players who will be cultural fits
Friends of Bill!!111

Anyways, this thread has been great for catching up on the kind of talent potentially available to the Pats. Really great stuff.
 

SMU_Sox

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There is a misconception about this draft and receivers I think. While there are not any traditional dominant alpha X’s (who can also play all WR roles) there are a lot of good slots. Some of these guys might tap out as WR2 types or even WR1s production wise.

Some of these guys are both slot prototypes and traditional Z prototypes.

The good news is there are quite a few of them who are fits. I bolded guys who I truly like on this team... favorite of favorites.

Here are the 7 guys I think are going day 1 or 2:

We've covered Zay Flowers enough. He's obviously an option.

Jordan Addison is a great route runner who is twitched up and has speed for days with really good RAC. He is thin and can't beat press. He is likely going anywhere from 10-30. He has splendid contact balance and can snap in and out of breaks quickly. He routinely gets corners guessing wrong. Surprisingly effective as a run blocker even given his size.

Jaxon Smith-Njigba is either the best or second best route runner of the group. He is incredibly shifty and has great short area burst and quickness. Exceptional run after the catch. Very good hands and ball tracking. His biggest knock is lack of long speed but he can still attack vertically with his route running tricks (pacing, feigns, etc). Very good run blocker. I love JSN and think people are underestimating him just because he probably runs a 4.55-4.6.

Josh Downs is like a slower version of Addison who is faster than JSN but doesn't run block. He is short and thin and doesn't have their catch radii. Good hands and body control and shows promise as a vertical route runner but was underutilized there by UNC.

Nathaniel Dell is tiny at 5'8" 163 but as fast and twitched up and fast as Addison, also a fantastic route runner, and is deadly with the ball in his hands. I don't know how the NFL will view him. I could see some teams being afraid of him because of his size so he might fall into day 3. The Rams took Tutu Atwell though in the 2nd and he's bigger and faster than him so... I personally like him but don't think the team would take some his size.

Jalin Hyatt is another guy who is blazing fast. He is tall but thin. He is somewhere between that tier of good to great as a route runner but not elite. He is best running vertical routes and on schemed touches but he can work horizontally as well even if he was underutilized that way at Tennessee. I have seen him crack a dig route at top speed with hardly any rounding. Also very good with the ball in his hand. He's slot only or a Z but he's a much better prospect than say... oh I dunno, Tyquan Thornton is.

Kayshon Boutte is a good but inconsistent route runner - he just doesn't always give it his A game. He's a tick below Addison for athleticism but still an exceptionally twitched up guy with a lot of juice. Like all of these other slots he too is exceptional with the ball in his hands. He has some off-field concerns. Both maturity issues and some question his commitment to the game. I'd love his fit on the field on this team but his off-field stuff worries me.


Early to mid-day 3 also has some good options.

My favorite day 3 guy right now is A.T. Perry. A.T. Perry can play any WR position. As an X he has proven he can beat press. Perry is incredibly sudden and shifty and employs every route running trick under the sun. He also has good hands, a big catch radius, and above average to good RAC. He's like a more athletic Jakobi Meyers. He doesn't have elite long speed and he is not a very good blocker. I think he would be best as a slot but, again, can work anywhere and do everything. He probably tops out as a solid WR2 or a WR3. Decent floor in my estimation but limited ceiling.

Parker Washington reminds me of David Bell from last years draft. He is a power slot who is good vs zone but doesn't get much separation vs man. I know some people like him as a day 2 pick but I think he's fairly limited. He has a lot of overlap with Jakobi Meyers but can't play outside, and unlike Jakobi, struggles vs man.

Jalen Moreno-Cropper reminds me a lot of Kendrick Bourne 2.0. Not the best route runner and doesn't have good top speed but has some suddenness to his game and is very good with the ball in his hands. Good at manipulating leverage and flashes as a route runner.

Marvin Mims is a vertical slot type who also has + RAC. I don't love his fit here because I don't think they need an undersized vertical guy.

Rakim Jarrett is like a day 3 version of Boutte but with shorter arms, not nearly as good of hands, and even more inconsistent as a route runner. Still fast though, bendy, and another guy who has + RAC.

Xavier Hutchinson is a classic Z type who is put in motion a lot. Good RAC but not great. His wins with physicality in his routes and suddenness but lacks deception and other route running tricks. He is a bit of a one-trick pony with how he gets separation. He has decent speed and acceleration though. Think his ceiling is that of a WR3 but more likely a 4th or 5th WR.

Last is another guy I think has a lot of potential as a traditional Z, Jayden Reed. You have to look at his 2021 tape. Another guy who is fast, twitchy, and good with the ball in his hands. He is a fiery player as a blocker and even though he is only 185 pounds he plays a lot bigger. He flashes above average to good route running but isn't as consistent as he should be and needs to work better around traffic. He also has had some issues with his hands even though he typically shows good form.

There are other options later on and I am still waiting to get tape on some guys but that is the gist of the non-X types.
 

SMU_Sox

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As far as the X/outside go this is not a good year for that type.

There are 3 day 1 or 2 guys:

Quentin Johnson has the size, speed, and athleticism, and good RAC you want in an X but I strongly dislike every other aspect of his game. He is not a good route runner at all and runs a very limited route tree. He is a body catcher with bad hands. He can't beat press either. Once you see him vs NFL like press-man competition he fades. Georgia held him to like 1 of 3 for 3 yards in the national championship game.

Rashee Rice (SMU BABY!!) does everything at an above average to good level but isn't elite at anything aside from being very good at contested catches and run blocking. He gets more separation though than rumored and he's faster than his second half of 2022 showed (he played through turf toe). He's hardnosed in every aspect of his game including his ability to consistently beat press and man-coverage. He also had some focus drops in the second half of the year but is usually a black hole for his targets. He is a possession X and probably runs in the mid 4.5s. Not ideal but he can get the job done. Nice floor but average ceiling. He's a nice player but not a game changer. He's a fit here though and Bill is going to love his prowess as a pancaking run blocker as well as his attitude. He is a lot like Parker but only 6 feet even and 200 pounds.

Cedric Tillman is blazing fast with great size, speed, hands, and ball tracking. Decent RAC too. The knock on him is 1) awful run blocker given his physical attributes, 2) he was inconsistent vs press, and 3) he runs a super limited route tree. Has some injury history too. He has the athletic traits to be a very good WR2 type outside but has a bit of runway to get there. I think the Patriots would like his athletic and body attributes more than Rashee Rice's but Rashee is the more complete receiver right now. Cedric has a higher ceiling but lower floor.

Day 3, aside from A.T. Perry there are only 2 Xs:

Jonathan Mingo and Michael Wilson.

Mingo is the best run blocker in the class. The guy is used as a tight end in their offense in some formations as a RUN blocker. He has bulldozed edges, ILBs, safeties, etc. He is that good. He is huge too and is also nimble with good agility. He is blazing fast with good ball tracking and good hands. As a runner can break off long RAC TDs anywhere on the field. His issue is he 1) can't beat press, 2) is a dreadful route runner, and 3) has only run like 2-3-4 routes at Ole Miss. He's a classic lotto ticket. He should be able to contribute on STs and plays very hard as both a runner and a run blocker - he has that fire. Lotto ticket. Like Michael Wilson, who is already a core-4 special teamer, he will likely play on special teams although, unlike Wilson he will likely be a gunner only as he has no kick or punt return experience.

Michael Wilson is versatile and can play all 3 positions but is best as an X or a Z. + RAC, good hands, good ball tracking, very good run blocker, and another guy who plays with a lot of intensity. He has punt return, kick return, and gunner experience and embraces special teams. His issues are that he has a long injury history and is still learning to run routes and beat press. Christian Gonzales, a first round corner this year, completely shut him down but against lesser competition and less press he carved up Washington.

I still have a few more Xs to look at who are projected to go late day 3 but this is not a good class if you need an X receiver. It is unlikely any of these guys will be a game-changer. Personally I would go for a potentially game-changing slot or inside player early on vs an X.
 

ehaz

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This WR overview is very helpful!

Going back to OT, it sounds like you’re higher on Darnell Wright than the non-Paris Johnson LTs that frequently get mentioned in the 1st round like Broderick Jones and Anton Harrison. How do you factor in Trent Brown’s poor showing at LT last season? If the Pats decide they don’t want to try Brown at LT again, would you still like Wright more than Jones/Harrison?

And are there any potential guys outside the 1st (maybe Bergeron?) that could start if the team instead spends its 1st on a WR like Addison or a defensive player?
 

Bowser

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Thanks @SMU_Sox for the in-depth analysis. You keep the trains running.

If you have a chance, love to get your thoughts on Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty. Seems like a Day 3 value who could find a spot in our offense.
 

tims4wins

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Saw a mock draft with Joey Porter Jr. to the Pats. That would make for some LOL at his old man having to root for the Pats.
 

SMU_Sox

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This WR overview is very helpful!

Going back to OT, it sounds like you’re higher on Darnell Wright than the non-Paris Johnson LTs that frequently get mentioned in the 1st round like Broderick Jones and Anton Harrison. How do you factor in Trent Brown’s poor showing at LT last season? If the Pats decide they don’t want to try Brown at LT again, would you still like Wright more than Jones/Harrison?

And are there any potential guys outside the 1st (maybe Bergeron?) that could start if the team instead spends its 1st on a WR like Addison or a defensive player?
I don't love Brod Jones or Anton Harrison - both guys are athletic but have issues in pass pro in large part due to an underdeveloped use of hands. I would like Wright more than both of them. Wright is the most polished of the group but has the lowest ceiling. I think he has the highest floor though. Trent has always been inconsistent and I hope with a better OL coach we can get more from him this year. But counting on him to be anything other than average to below average is a gamble. When he is on he is a top 10 caliber tackle but he often isn't on.

Thanks @SMU_Sox for the in-depth analysis. You keep the trains running.

If you have a chance, love to get your thoughts on Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty. Seems like a Day 3 value who could find a spot in our offense.
I am waiting for tape on him unfortunately. I put a request in to my guy but getting Liberty all-22 is a challenge.
 

Carbo Loading

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Thanks @SMU_Sox for the in-depth analysis. You keep the trains running.

If you have a chance, love to get your thoughts on Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty. Seems like a Day 3 value who could find a spot in our offense.
I know the guys on the Catch-22 podcast were very high on Douglas based on his practice performance in the Shrine game.
 

Shelterdog

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I don't love Brod Jones or Anton Harrison - both guys are athletic but have issues in pass pro in large part due to an underdeveloped use of hands. I would like Wright more than both of them. Wright is the most polished of the group but has the lowest ceiling. I think he has the highest floor though. Trent has always been inconsistent and I hope with a better OL coach we can get more from him this year. But counting on him to be anything other than average to below average is a gamble. When he is on he is a top 10 caliber tackle but he often isn't on.
Trent Brown puts the Pats in an interesting position at tackle. You basically need to replace both tackles soon and I certainly don't want to count on re-signing Brown at age 30--but Brown can presumably play either spot next year, so you could draft either a left or right tackle high this draft. (Unless Steuber is a hidden gem i think you really need to add one starter and one good tackle--a very high level back up who's a year from starting like rookie Volmer)
 

Bowser

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I know the guys on the Catch-22 podcast were very high on Douglas based on his practice performance in the Shrine game.
Hard to judge speed but seems like good quicks, balance, body control. Returns punts. Looks very good to my untrained eye, and not just because highlights. Size is a bit of a concern, but you live with that in Round 4. Just can't see what's not to like about this guy.

Note: Invited to the Combine!
 

Dr. Gonzo

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Lazar has his first mock out.

I'll leave it to others to dissect player wise but I do like the position focus he has as well as the order they are picked in terms of need.

R1: OT
R2: WR
R3: CB
R4: S
R4: OT
R4: TE
R6: K
R6: Edge
R6: RB
R6: C/G
R7: LB
 

Shelterdog

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Lazar has his first mock out.

I'll leave it to others to dissect player wise but I do like the position focus he has as well as the order they are picked in terms of need.

R1: OT
R2: WR
R3: CB
R4: S
R4: OT
R4: TE
R6: K
R6: Edge
R6: RB
R6: C/G
R7: LB
I keep hearing that there are a lot of good corners here--and I think the Pats had a bunch of pretty good corners at the senior bowl. I'll bet they end up taking one or two in the late round as well as a corner of safety pretty high.

Other than kickers and punters I don't think position matters that much after round three--you're just trying to get someone who sticks at that point.

I'll bet they grab a special team coverage prospect in that round 5-6 area. Rugets blocked a ton of punts this year--maybe a safety or small LB from there; there's a LB Bauer from notre dame who was good on special teams and has Thor hair --someone like that.. (OMG Rutger has a kid who scored a touchdown on a blocked punt who is a cancer survivor. THAT GUY although technically he's not eligible.)\

Other gunner/special teams prospects:
-Chris Smith of georgia is a slighly undersized safety who ran track, scored some special teams touchdowns, maybe a sixth or seventh round prospect at safety.
--ooh, David Durden a big wide receiver out of west florida college (never heard of it before) got speed numbers per the freak list, former Red Sox draft pick. 6'2' and fast and strong apparently.
Jakorian Benneet, biggish fast cb out of maryland who i haven't seen on draftable db lists.
Christian Young, a 6'2' ish 225 lbs safety out of Arizona who ran track and will test great at the combine but isn't listed as much of a draftable sfaety anywhere.
Riley Moss CB Iowa is big and fast and maybe not that great a corner prospects.


EDIT: I'm sitting on SMU's corners but given the special teams problems last year I do think they're going to find some guys who are fast, biggish and like to hit hard and play tough but maybe aren't otherwise that good at football.
 
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SMU_Sox

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Skoronski is a guard. He has length issues on tape and I don’t think having a guy with sub 32.5” arms makes sense at OT. He’s a pro bowl caliber guard but he might not even be an above average tackle.

Saying Latu is a good route runner is… well it’s a sentence. Is he an improved route runner? For sure. Is he a good one? No. He’s an upright route runner who doesn’t use deception in his breaks. He’s started to layer it in but tbh he’s still learning where to sit vs zone. I like Latu too. Depending on where he tests I’ll have him somewhere from the 4th to 6th round. He’s a project though and not a starter - more a high end TE2 prospect who is versatile.
 

SMU_Sox

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This is a really good tight end class.

I’ll add a day 3 pick for a guy who is a great scheme fit. Luke Schoonmaker from Michigan is a world class blocking tight end who can also play fullback. He gives you a little more than Ryan Izzo as a pass catcher and can take on IDLs as a blocker. He’s a mismatch vs many linebackers but he doesn’t have the speed you want for a starter. Still, if they want to do 12 with an in-line guy who is an exceptional run blocker and who is great in pass pro they should look at him.
 

RedOctober3829

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Thanks @SMU_Sox for the in-depth analysis. You keep the trains running.

If you have a chance, love to get your thoughts on Demario Douglas, WR, Liberty. Seems like a Day 3 value who could find a spot in our offense.
Douglas is VERY small. He's listed at 5 foot 8 170 lbs. but many people say he's thinner than that. Very twitchy guy, but the size really worries me. For comparisons sake, Tutu Atwell is listed at 5 foot 9 165 lbs.
 

SMU_Sox

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Douglas is VERY small. He's listed at 5 foot 8 170 lbs. but many people say he's thinner than that. Very twitchy guy, but the size really worries me. For comparisons sake, Tutu Atwell is listed at 5 foot 9 165 lbs.
Tutu Atwell came in at 5 feet 8 and 7/8ths of an inch tall and 155 pounds at the combine. I think guys like Douglas and Tank Dell are not going to be for everyone but they are truly electric players.
 

gammoseditor

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Tutu Atwell came in at 5 feet 8 and 7/8ths of an inch tall and 155 pounds at the combine. I think guys like Douglas and Tank Dell are not going to be for everyone but they are truly electric players.
Seems like they overlap with what Marcus Jones can give us on offense?
 

Bowser

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Douglas is VERY small. He's listed at 5 foot 8 170 lbs. but many people say he's thinner than that. Very twitchy guy, but the size really worries me. For comparisons sake, Tutu Atwell is listed at 5 foot 9 165 lbs.
Yeah, I didn't realize Douglas was that small. He looked weightier in his videos. I still like him (or Dell) on Day 3. This crop of slots make Edelman look like a house!
 

Bowser

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We can't continue to assume that Marcus Jones is going to play both ways. They need to get a shifty slot type so Jones doesn't have to go both ways.
I know it's an unpopular opinion, but I like the idea of expanding Marcus Jones' role on offense. To me he flashes game-breaking talent reminiscent of, well, Tyreek Hill. I'd rather draft a couple CBs -- one outside with size, one inside -- and see what Jones can do.
 

SMU_Sox

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When I wrote up Marcus Jones last year for the draft I actually thought that was a viable idea. But to me right now corners and wide receivers are like a basketball roster. You need a mix of guys. You need people like Marcus Jones to cover the Hills or Waddles of this world. Just don’t put Marcus Jones on Tee Higgins. Jones has world class RAC ability but there is more to being a wide receiver than just that. If you want to design some schemed touches for him that’s fine but I’m not sure he can do the other things like route running, ball tracking, etc. that you want slots to do. There are plenty of guys you could draft this year though instead who already being a much more polished game to the table.
 

Bowser

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If Anthony Richardson is there at 14, do the Pats draft him? Would likely open up some enticing trade-back scenarios, but I'd probably take him, despite his inconsistencies.

 

SMU_Sox

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I think Anthony Richardson could be as good or better than Cam Newton in his prime. He is not my highest graded but he is my favorite player in this draft. It's something @Zincman and I have gone back and forth on too because it is a fantastic question. With all the holes they have the answer is they probably do not pull that trigger - and he might go top 10 anyway.
 

Zincman

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I think Anthony Richardson could be as good or better than Cam Newton in his prime. He is not my highest graded but he is my favorite player in this draft. It's something @Zincman and I have gone back and forth on too because it is a fantastic question. With all the holes they have the answer is they probably do not pull that trigger - and he might go top 10 anyway.
LOL This debate is colored by the fact that during our conversations @SMU_Sox proves time and again his wisdom and knowledge such that I bow in respect. Nonetheless, "fortune favors the bold" and if Richardson is there at #14, I'm jumping in with both feet. He could be really good!!! Or really bad, I guess. Cam, at his peak, was a freak with very little in the way of QB savvy and mechanics. And frankly, he was poorly coached early on and it caught up to him. Its a lazy comparison some would say, but there are definite similarities and maybe a well coached Richardson is a truly special talent.
 

SMU_Sox

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Yeah I think the issues with AR mechanically is his base. If he doesn’t fix his narrow base he is going to sail things. Lamar had the same issue coming out. I think you have to consider that Florida had really shitty receivers and when you watch a lot of his games you’ll notice he lead the SEC in throwaways. Why? His guys were consistently covered. I don’t think he struggles against zone which I’ve read. Or if he does not to the degree that others make it out to be a potential fatal flaw. He plays hero ball too much. Sometimes he can be too aggressive. Mentally though I think he has exhibited a lot of good decision making traits. His Utah game he doesn’t make a bad decision for example.
He can also absolutely destroy you with his legs. He’s the best runner coming out since… again Cam Newton? He’s faster than Fields and better with the ball in his hands. They are close but AR is better. Damn. The more I talk about him the more I want him but I don’t think it is happening.
 

j44thor

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The problem with AR for NE is that he is really going to need a red shirt year to work on his mechanics and consistency. I don't see a situation where NE selects him at 14 and keeps Mac on the roster so then you need to bring in a veteran QB (Jimmy G?) that can keep you competitive as I don't think Bill wants to have another non-playoff year. Perhaps there is a path where he is there at 14 and Bill trades Mac to Vegas for a 2nd and 4th?
I doubt he makes it past CAR at 9 anyways.
 

twibnotes

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I need help here…why wasn’t Richardson effective in college? (Cam, the comp cited above, sure was)

I’m reminded of the scene in Moneyball when Beane says, “if he’s a good hitter, why doesn’t he hit good?”
 

SMU_Sox

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He had in 12 starts this year ~2,500 yards 17 TDs, 9 Ints, with ~650 rushing yards and 9 rushing TDs. He was effective given he was a first year starter and playing with one pass catcher who might be a UDFA. Simply his tight ends and receivers did not get open. He lead the league in throwaways for a reason. Also, to a degree, you should scout the traits and not the production.
There are a lot of good traits both mental and physical to work with but he’s probably a year away. A lot of guys with his kinds of gifts sat for a period in their first year. Mahomes and Lamar come to mind.
 

Cellar-Door

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The problem with AR for NE is that he is really going to need a red shirt year to work on his mechanics and consistency. I don't see a situation where NE selects him at 14 and keeps Mac on the roster so then you need to bring in a veteran QB (Jimmy G?) that can keep you competitive as I don't think Bill wants to have another non-playoff year. Perhaps there is a path where he is there at 14 and Bill trades Mac to Vegas for a 2nd and 4th?
I doubt he makes it past CAR at 9 anyways.
DOn't think RIchardson happens, but a Draft Richardson, Trade Mac, Sign Brissett scenario would make a lot of sense
 

Bowser

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I doubt Richardson makes it to 14, but do you send #14 + Mac Jones and a future 2nd (spit balling here) to the Raiders to get him? Assuming Josh is enamored with Mac? I expect decent improvement from Mac next season with a competent OC leading him but don't think he brings us another SB. I'd probably make this trade.
 

twibnotes

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He had in 12 starts this year ~2,500 yards 17 TDs, 9 Ints, with ~650 rushing yards and 9 rushing TDs. He was effective given he was a first year starter and playing with one pass catcher who might be a UDFA. Simply his tight ends and receivers did not get open. He lead the league in throwaways for a reason. Also, to a degree, you should scout the traits and not the production.
There are a lot of good traits both mental and physical to work with but he’s probably a year away. A lot of guys with his kinds of gifts sat for a period in their first year. Mahomes and Lamar come to mind.
(thanks - I always enjoy your stuff)

fair point re first year starter, but isn’t that also a watch out in its own right? Mahomes and Lamar may have been a bit raw too but they put up some big numbers in college…and did so multiple years
 

SMU_Sox

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Oh for sure. It’s a risk. He’s a risk. I think with Lamar you only had 1-1.5 years of him being a true pocket passer vs a 1 read and run QB in college. Mahomes was a different breed. I am not trying to comp him to them more as point to them as examples of guys who benefitted from not starting right away. I think AR needs a year working on his mechanics and getting comfortable in whatever offense he is in. Ideally then he starts in year 2.
 

GB5

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I am not looking forward to any scenario where Brissett is my starting QB. Hall of Fame guy from all reports but you are giving up on the season if he is your starter.

SMU it is probably lazy of me but due to the positional flexibility and Alabama connecting my brain keeps telling me that one way or another we are ending up with Brian Branch. Any thoughts on him? How does he compare with Hamilton from ND last year?
 

DJnVa

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Is AR the kind of guy where, if the Pats took him, would give him other stuff to do on the field, while learning how to play QB in the NFL or would he need to be QB3?
 

Toe Nash

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If AR is there and you draft him and he needs a redshirt year, I don't see why you would need to trade Mac. Yeah he's not going to be happy but he gets a year to show what he can do for his next team or maybe AR doesn't work out and Mac improves. Didn't we want to give Mac some greater competition than Zappe in camp anyway? If Mac doesn't rise to the challenge and sulks or whatever then I don't think he's the guy long term anyway.

The biggest issue is you don't add any first rounder to the team this year but that doesn't mean you're giving up on 2023.
 

Dr. Gonzo

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Picking at QB at 14 who needs a redshirt year is an admission that Mac is not the guy. What other reason would there be to pick that type of a QB and not select a player in the first round that helps the 2023 team?

This team has too many holes at premium positions to make this type of pick.
 

Toe Nash

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Picking at QB at 14 who needs a redshirt year is an admission that Mac is not the guy. What other reason would there be to pick that type of a QB and not select a player in the first round that helps the 2023 team?

This team has too many holes at premium positions to make this type of pick.
Mac is under team control for three more years. Admitting he's not "the guy" doesn't mean that you're punting on 2023, immediately trading Mac and playing Jacoby Brissett until AR is ready as some were saying. It doesn't even necessarily mean you hate Mac, all it means that you really liked the value and potential of AR at 14.

When the Chiefs traded up to draft Mahomes, they didn't immediately trade Alex Smith and sign whoever was available. Smith had a good season for them and then they traded him and started Mahomes (and Smith probably would have been productive going forward if he hadn't had his leg shattered).

I don't think it will happen, but a team can handle having two QBs for a year or two and if they think AR is the best value at 14 they should take him even if they also like Mac. There is no more premium position than QB.
 

Zincman

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Picking at QB at 14 who needs a redshirt year is an admission that Mac is not the guy. What other reason would there be to pick that type of a QB and not select a player in the first round that helps the 2023 team?

This team has too many holes at premium positions to make this type of pick.
OK, I admit it. Mac is not the guy. I'm not even sure that AR is "the guy". But he has a better chance to be and that means we would be filling THE premium position with a potential unicorn. Of course, we can fill a less premium position and tread water for a few years. You said it yourself, "this team has too many holes at premium positions". For a team bereft of elite talent, filling a hole with an elite player at any position but QB doesn't move the needle much.
 

Cellar-Door

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If AR is there and you draft him and he needs a redshirt year, I don't see why you would need to trade Mac. Yeah he's not going to be happy but he gets a year to show what he can do for his next team or maybe AR doesn't work out and Mac improves. Didn't we want to give Mac some greater competition than Zappe in camp anyway? If Mac doesn't rise to the challenge and sulks or whatever then I don't think he's the guy long term anyway.

The biggest issue is you don't add any first rounder to the team this year but that doesn't mean you're giving up on 2023.
You don't HAVE to, but you'd get more value for him with 2 years and the option than at the time of option pickup, it also lets you start building around AR.

Picking at QB at 14 who needs a redshirt year is an admission that Mac is not the guy. What other reason would there be to pick that type of a QB and not select a player in the first round that helps the 2023 team?

This team has too many holes at premium positions to make this type of pick.
QB is THE premium position, and sure it's an admission that Mac isn't the guy, or at least isn't going to be as good as you think Richardson would, but that's a good thing. Building around a QB you know isn't your guy long term is generally pointless. If they don't think Mac is a guy you can really compete for a title with (not a ridiculous thing to think) and RIchardson can be that guy, you take him. Until you are confident you have a QB you should be doing what you can to get one.

Mac is under team control for three more years. Admitting he's not "the guy" doesn't mean that you're punting on 2023, immediately trading Mac and playing Jacoby Brissett until AR is ready as some were saying. It doesn't even necessarily mean you hate Mac, all it means that you really liked the value and potential of AR at 14.

When the Chiefs traded up to draft Mahomes, they didn't immediately trade Alex Smith and sign whoever was available. Smith had a good season for them and then they traded him and started Mahomes (and Smith probably would have been productive going forward if he hadn't had his leg shattered).

I don't think it will happen, but a team can handle having two QBs for a year or two and if they think AR is the best value at 14 they should take him even if they also like Mac. There is no more premium position than QB.
2 years really, the option has to be picked up or declined after the upcoming season.

The real thing here is... Jacoby Brissett was a better QB last year than Mac Jones, if you think someone believes in Mac Jones as a long term starter and you don't, you trade him immediately, you then pick someone up to compete with your rookie, I brought up Brissett, because he's one of those fringe starter guys and last year he did a nice job filling in for the Browns. Jacoby Brissett is not really a lock to make your team worse than Mac Jones. I think there is a good case for example that if Brissett was our starter last year we make the playoffs.

Edit- probably all academic since I could easily see Richardson going 4th.
 
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luckiestman

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Have you guys looked at McShay’s mock. I know it’s early. My main takeaway is that he seems really down on the WR class. This has become a very expensive FA position so I would think teams would be hot to draft it and he has one wideout in the top 20:

@12 Quentin Johnson TCU

He then has 3 going in the mid 20s.
 

Rico Guapo

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The real thing here is... Jacoby Brissett was a better QB last year than Mac Jones, if you think someone believes in Mac Jones as a long term starter and you don't, you trade him immediately, you then pick someone up to compete with your rookie, I brought up Brissett, because he's one of those fringe starter guys and last year he did a nice job filling in for the Browns. Jacoby Brissett is not really a lock to make your team worse than Mac Jones. I think there is a good case for example that if Brissett was our starter last year we make the playoffs.

Edit- probably all academic since I could easily see Richardson going 4th.
In a vacuum where only numbers matter without taking anything else into context (coaching, play calling, OL, WR) maybe.

The organization hung Mac out to dry last year, judging him against other QBs based on 2022 is pointless.
 

Cellar-Door

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In a vacuum where only numbers matter without taking anything else into context (coaching, play calling, OL, WR) maybe.

The organization hung Mac out to dry last year, judging him against other QBs based on 2022 is pointless.
Absolving Mac of all blame is dumb, he was bad, even given the limitations of the offense. And his own significant limitations are a part of why he is so impacted by Oline play (the WRs were fine, not great but better than what he had as a rookie). People need to stop with the idea that Mac can't be judged unless the line is amazing, he gets a #1 WR and the playcalling is good. Half the league has a line as bad as the Patriots or worse, plenty of QBs have worse passcatching corps... they almost all outperformed Mac (and there is a case that despite the favorable matchups so did Zappe which is worrying). And Brissett was pretty good, he significantly outplayed DeShaun Watson in identical situations, he also was decent enough his year as the starter on a bad Colts team. Mac was really bad last year, the situation was suboptimal, but he brought basically nothing to the table to overcome it.
 

chilidawg

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What about Darnell Washington? Jeremiah has this to say about him:

A traditional in-line tight end, Washington is a massive physical specimen with outstanding play strength and toughness. He can power through press coverage with upper-body strength. He uses his long stride to build speed down the seam and provides an enormous target for his QB. He is a little clunky getting out of breaks, which limits his separation. However, it doesn't really matter because he can use his big body to shield off defenders. He has some "wow" contested catches where opponents just bounce off his frame. After the catch, he is shockingly fast and nimble (see: the hurdle vs. Oregon). He is a dominant run blocker, as he latches onto and displaces defensive ends with ease. Overall, Washington has tremendous value because he functions as a sixth offensive lineman in the run game and he's a moving billboard in the passing game.

Seems to me that he's a big upgrade as a blocker over Henry/Smith. I'm a sucker for some smashmouth football and I think a force at TE would make our line look pretty good in the run game. Sounds like he could have value in the passing game as well.

https://www.nfl.com/prospects/darnell-washington/32005741-5318-5860-3ee1-1aca1e440e91
 

OldeBeanTowne

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Dec 12, 2007
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Thanks for asking about Washington as he is someone I've been wondering about also. He just looked massive on the college football field and he moves incredibly well for someone his size.

How good is he right now, technically, as blocker with his hands?

Is Forbes a CB that fits what the Pats do/like in the secondary?

If Hooker falls to the 4th (could that ever happen?), it'd seem worth taking him there.

This is a draft where I basically picked the top rated at the position of need I wanted to address in the order of priority, more or less, I'd target. I know that's not how the draft works, but I don't think it's worth getting into potential trade scenarios or for me to try to figure out the much smaller Pats' list of draftable players. Many of you are much more capable of trying to discern that level of analysis and I will echo the many thanks to @SMU_Sox for your contributions here.

The last several picks were based on good names more than anything else.

61438
 

rodderick

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Absolving Mac of all blame is dumb, he was bad, even given the limitations of the offense. And his own significant limitations are a part of why he is so impacted by Oline play (the WRs were fine, not great but better than what he had as a rookie). People need to stop with the idea that Mac can't be judged unless the line is amazing, he gets a #1 WR and the playcalling is good. Half the league has a line as bad as the Patriots or worse, plenty of QBs have worse passcatching corps... they almost all outperformed Mac (and there is a case that despite the favorable matchups so did Zappe which is worrying). And Brissett was pretty good, he significantly outplayed DeShaun Watson in identical situations, he also was decent enough his year as the starter on a bad Colts team. Mac was really bad last year, the situation was suboptimal, but he brought basically nothing to the table to overcome it.
I think the fanbase has gone a little overboard with the "Mac was sabotaged" takes. Sure, the offensive coaching and playcalling were an utter mess, but the situation overall wasn't miles worse than what pretty much every first round QB deals with for a year or two as they settle in. Mac hasn't shown enough that the team should be commited to him and certainly isn't "owed" a third season with a better OC or whatever. A 10% upgrade at QB is worth a top 10 pick by itself, if you lock in on a guy you believe can provide that, you just take him. Like SMU, I'm also enamored with Richardson so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but if you can grab him, get something for Mac in a trade, and sign a Brissett type to be a one year bridge, I think the odds of the Patriots being true contenders in 2024-25 are higher than they are now and I don't think you're contending with Mac in 2023 anyway. Sure, it looks a whole lot like what bad teams on a spiral of despair tend to do, but I wouldn't settle for "competent" in the current AFC, especially if the Jets get a better quarterback.
 

Reggie's Racquet

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I think the fanbase has gone a little overboard with the "Mac was sabotaged" takes. Sure, the offensive coaching and playcalling were an utter mess, but the situation overall wasn't miles worse than what pretty much every first round QB deals with for a year or two as they settle in. Mac hasn't shown enough that the team should be commited to him and certainly isn't "owed" a third season with a better OC or whatever. A 10% upgrade at QB is worth a top 10 pick by itself, if you lock in on a guy you believe can provide that, you just take him. Like SMU, I'm also enamored with Richardson so take my opinion with a grain of salt, but if you can grab him, get something for Mac in a trade, and sign a Brissett type to be a one year bridge, I think the odds of the Patriots being true contenders in 2024-25 are higher than they are now and I don't think you're contending with Mac in 2023 anyway. Sure, it looks a whole lot like what bad teams on a spiral of despair tend to do, but I wouldn't settle for "competent" in the current AFC, especially if the Jets get a better quarterback.
I fully agree. You need a reasonably mobile quarterback in today's NFL. They hide or overcome lots of OL issues with their ability to escape the pocket and extend play and drives by running for first downs and minimizing negative plays. Mac is NOT that guy. If the price is reasonable I'd move up and get Richardson and let him sit for a year behind a Brissett type.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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I think Anthony Richardson could be as good or better than Cam Newton in his prime. He is not my highest graded but he is my favorite player in this draft. It's something @Zincman and I have gone back and forth on too because it is a fantastic question. With all the holes they have the answer is they probably do not pull that trigger - and he might go top 10 anyway.
Good call.
CBS Sports (Chris Trapasso) has a new mock draft out calling for Indy to trade up to the top spot and then drafting AR 1/1.
I think Richardson is going to emphatically remove the lid from Lucas Oil Stadium at the NFL Scouting Combine. That will lead to the Colts taking a chance on him, given the hiring of former Eagles offensive coordinator Shane Steichen as head coach. Richardson has similarities to Jalen Hurts and All-Pro upside.
 

OldeBeanTowne

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I am intrigued by WR Xavier Hutchinson aka "Mr. Clutchinson" from Iowa State. Based on limited YouTube highlight scouting, he seems to run a decent number of routes, has good hands, decent size/strength, can win in traffic, plays with aggression/attitude, has the "want to" so to speak, and could be a potential possession WR who can play inside and outside?

Despite his supposed athletic limitations (lack of elite top end speed, explosiveness, etc.), he seems to play with plenty of athleticism and has good field awareness.

Wondering where others think he might go. Is he worth the Pats' 3rd (#76)? He won't last until #107 will he?

2021 highlights with Purdy.

View: https://youtu.be/0ZHWtQmMzuY?t=65

1:06 for obligatory TD pass.