2023 Pats: Post Your Final Draft Grade

2023 Pats: Post Your Final Draft Grade

  • A+

    Votes: 6 3.3%
  • A

    Votes: 37 20.4%
  • A-

    Votes: 40 22.1%
  • B+

    Votes: 36 19.9%
  • B

    Votes: 37 20.4%
  • B-

    Votes: 11 6.1%
  • C+

    Votes: 7 3.9%
  • C

    Votes: 4 2.2%
  • C-

    Votes: 2 1.1%
  • D/F

    Votes: 1 0.6%

  • Total voters
    181

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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One interesting factoid is that ~1/3 of the rostered players in the NFL are undrafted. I think that’s pretty striking given that day 1/2 picks are almost always rostered for at least their rookie seasons.

The hit rate on the average draft pick is pretty low, in other words.
This is a great case of lies, damn lies and statistics.

On the surface, the data seems to draw one to the exact conclusion at which you have arrived. However, it is actually dead balls wrong (please note - this is a much bigger deal with gun data, which Americans understand even worse than they do Public Health and Cost of Medical Care data).


There are 32 NFL teams.
7 Rounds in each draft.
~225 picks in every draft (I know there are supplemental, and penalties, etc but work with me here)

There are 32 NFL teams (still)
53 men/women/prefer-not-to-identify-by-your-traditional-gender-role humans on each roster
1,696 men/women/prefer-not-to-identify-by-your-traditional-gender-role humans

If every player drafted were to make an NFL roster, it would take 7.5-ish years to fill up all of the spots (and we aren't even talking about practice squads). The average NFL player does not play that long due to the inherent nature of the game.

That only 1/3rd of players on rosters are drafted players shows that the hit rate is actually pretty darned high. Success in the draft is critical.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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Don’t you add a QB when you can find them and perpetually build your line? Since lines benefit from continuity so much you really want to get to the point where you’re adding a new guy or two a year as others retire or leave as free agents (and how much you spend on the new guys depends on what positions they play and how lucky you’ve been filling the tackle spots)
When you are doing things right, this is how you do it. The Eagles (a team some people like....I guess) just lost the Super Bowl by 3 points and had one of the best O-lines in football.....and drafted an OL with their second pick in the draft. But for many franchises, the great QB comes in to a shit line and ends up "failing." If you had told me 7 seasons ago that BB would still be the GM and have a poop OL I would have slapped you. Now, I guess you can slap me. Is that how it works?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Someone has likely already made this point, but it does appear that they drafted for need given that the special teams ranked 32nd last season and arguably cost them a playoff spot with their abysmal no-show in Buffalo in Game 17.

Is exchanging the draft capital they did for those players worth it? I dunno. I do know the special teams was terrible all season.

I think they're viewing this year as Year 2.1 for Mac. Last year was such a fiasco that they cannot carry anything over from it into the new year. Will he show himself to be a decent starting QB? I have no idea. But I suspect they're throwing out last year's experiences when planning for the new year.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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When you are doing things right, this is how you do it. The Eagles (a team some people like....I guess) just lost the Super Bowl by 3 points and had one of the best O-lines in football.....and drafted an OL with their second pick in the draft. But for many franchises, the great QB comes in to a shit line and ends up "failing." If you had told me 7 seasons ago that BB would still be the GM and have a poop OL I would have slapped you. Now, I guess you can slap me. Is that how it works?
One thing is that the zone blocking or whatever the hell they tried to run last year was a terrible scheme, overseen by coaches out of their depth.

I don't know if they'll be any better this year, but with a real OC and some other changes it's probably worth seeing how they do. I am less sure they are poop than you are but we will see.
 

Commander Shears

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I think if you get three starting-level players out of a draft, that is outstanding. In most drafts, you are lucky to get one starter and a serviceable back up or two.
I guess we just disagree on 'starting level players'. I think Uche has been a largely invisible role player through three years and Dugger is an okay starter. The league is full of guys who play and without expanding for dime packages, there are over 700 NFL starters each week. Heck, the Chicago Bears drafted four guys that year who start and the Chicago Bears are awful. The Cardinals drafted 3 1/2 and might have the worst roster in the league.
 

Shelterdog

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When you are doing things right, this is how you do it. The Eagles (a team some people like....I guess) just lost the Super Bowl by 3 points and had one of the best O-lines in football.....and drafted an OL with their second pick in the draft. But for many franchises, the great QB comes in to a shit line and ends up "failing." If you had told me 7 seasons ago that BB would still be the GM and have a poop OL I would have slapped you. Now, I guess you can slap me. Is that how it works?
So where I think BB went wrong is that he kind of hates paying second contract money for OL, so he let Solder go, let Thuney go, trading Mason with a couple of years to go on the contract. Which I guess can work if the guys who draft (like Wynn) end up being goodand especially if the line is well coached. Which was, last year, not what happened.

Bad drafting is always a culprit of course. They also blew a couple picks (Cajuste, Froholdt) and spent less draft capital on OL than they normally do for a couple of years in there. So, at least pre 2023 draft, the prospects were dismal to the point that the OL nerds here are like "FUCK WE NEED STEUBER TO PAN OUT OR WE"RE POTENTIALLY SCREWED AT RT IN 2024" Hopefully Klemm is a good coach and the recent free agent and draft additions are enough to get back to where we should be.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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One thing is that the zone blocking or whatever the hell they tried to run last year was a terrible scheme, overseen by coaches out of their depth.

I don't know if they'll be any better this year, but with a real OC and some other changes it's probably worth seeing how they do. I am less sure they are poop than you are but we will see.
I mean, most teams are running a zone blocking scheme these days, including most all D1 colleges. Your point is valid that it does need to be coached in decently, but it isn't rocket science. It just means that you are doing a lot of combo-block-and-release stuff. And zone blocking is really only applicable for run blocking, and the pass blocking blew.

I feel like the Japanese groundskeeper in Major League but to be honest....they really do seem pretty shitty.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I mean, most teams are running a zone blocking scheme these days, including most all D1 colleges. Your point is valid that it does need to be coached in decently, but it isn't rocket science. It just means that you are doing a lot of combo-block-and-release stuff. And zone blocking is really only applicable for run blocking, and the pass blocking blew.

I feel like the Japanese groundskeeper in Major League but to be honest....they really do seem pretty shitty.
The OL was pretty decent in Mac's first year with McDaniels as OC. Then he was replaced by Patricia and there was much talk about this new scheme and they stunk.

They might be shitty. I'd just like to see them with a competant OC in charge before committing to that assessment.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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So where I think BB went wrong is that he kind of hates paying second contract money for OL, so he let Solder go, let Thuney go, trading Mason with a couple of years to go on the contract. Which I guess can work if the guys who draft (like Wynn) end up being goodand especially if the line is well coached. Which was, last year, not what happened.

Bad drafting is always a culprit of course. They also blew a couple picks (Cajuste, Froholdt) and spent less draft capital on OL than they normally do for a couple of years in there. So, at least pre 2023 draft, the prospects were dismal to the point that the OL nerds here are like "FUCK WE NEED STEUBER TO PAN OUT OR WE"RE POTENTIALLY SCREWED AT RT IN 2024" Hopefully Klemm is a good coach and the recent free agent and draft additions are enough to get back to where we should be.
I generally think not paying second contract money is really bad policy for the OL, but to BB's point...Nate Solder has been worse than poop in NY.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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The OL was pretty decent in Mac's first year with McDaniels as OC. Then he was replaced by Patricia and there was much talk about this new scheme and they stunk.

They might be shitty. I'd just like to see them with a competant OC in charge before committing to that assessment.
HEY!!!! You stop making fun of Matt Patricia!!!! He's one of us now!!!!!

"Competant"? Steve, are you OK?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I generally think not paying second contract money is really bad policy for the OL, but to BB's point...Nate Solder has been worse than poop in NY.
Yeah, Solder has been awful. One big thing IIRC was that Solder went to NY in part because they were close to a lot of hospitals that could address the medical needs of his daughter. So football-wise it may be a really poor fit.

The real mistake IMO was letting Thuney go. The man was a stud.
 

Cellar-Door

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So where I think BB went wrong is that he kind of hates paying second contract money for OL, so he let Solder go, let Thuney go, trading Mason with a couple of years to go on the contract. Which I guess can work if the guys who draft (like Wynn) end up being goodand especially if the line is well coached. Which was, last year, not what happened.

Bad drafting is always a culprit of course. They also blew a couple picks (Cajuste, Froholdt) and spent less draft capital on OL than they normally do for a couple of years in there. So, at least pre 2023 draft, the prospects were dismal to the point that the OL nerds here are like "FUCK WE NEED STEUBER TO PAN OUT OR WE"RE POTENTIALLY SCREWED AT RT IN 2024" Hopefully Klemm is a good coach and the recent free agent and draft additions are enough to get back to where we should be.
also, they appeared to have hit of Wynn and then his body broke into a million pieces. If you were getting good Wynn last year, you probably have him on the left, Brown on the right... then you're looking at above average player at 3 or 4 of the spots around your rookie you think highly of. Depth would have been a little weak, but.. not terrible.

The problem is not only did you not get good Wynn, you got a much worse version than even his previous injury plagued worst, and Brown really struggled. Last year was kind of a perfect storm of suck, they came in a bit thin at T, and then every one of their tackles (except McDermott) had a career worst year, while trying to implement a new offense and bed in a raw rookie. Add in a struggling QB trying to learn a new system.... yikes.

Probably one reason they decided that this year they're going to be deep at NFL rotation quality players at T and guard.
 

Shelterdog

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also, they appeared to have hit of Wynn and then his body broke into a million pieces. If you were getting good Wynn last year, you probably have him on the left, Brown on the right... then you're looking at above average player at 3 or 4 of the spots around your rookie you think highly of. Depth would have been a little weak, but.. not terrible.

The problem is not only did you not get good Wynn, you got a much worse version than even his previous injury plagued worst, and Brown really struggled. Last year was kind of a perfect storm of suck, they came in a bit thin at T, and then every one of their tackles (except McDermott) had a career worst year, while trying to implement a new offense and bed in a raw rookie. Add in a struggling QB trying to learn a new system.... yikes.

Probably one reason they decided that this year they're going to be deep at NFL rotation quality players at T and guard.
I think more highly of Brown's play in 2022 than most of the board does but he had bad moments (and apparently was quite sick for a couple of games where he didn't play well at all). In my book it was a Wynn/RT problem first, kind of shitting playcaling and design second, Brown a distance third problem (once McDermott settled in they OL played reasonably well for the rest of season, and when McDermott is a step up at from what you had at tackle, woof).
 

Bowhemian

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I mean, most teams are running a zone blocking scheme these days, including most all D1 colleges. Your point is valid that it does need to be coached in decently, but it isn't rocket science. It just means that you are doing a lot of combo-block-and-release stuff. And zone blocking is really only applicable for run blocking, and the pass blocking blew.

I feel like the Japanese groundskeeper in Major League but to be honest....they really do seem pretty shitty.
I coached high school for a few years, and we ran zone blocking as well. It is quite common, and can be very effective.
 

Shelterdog

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Yes, both Solder and Mason were extended. Thuney they franchised for a year before he left as a FA.
I always forget about the first solder extension. Mankins, Solder, Thuney and Brown (and earlier Woody) are guys who all left for boo-coo bucks at high points in their career and it's been rare for BB to offer up that kind of money to OL guys even though he obviously values the position.
 

Super Nomario

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I always forget about the first solder extension. Mankins, Solder, Thuney and Brown (and earlier Woody) are guys who all left for boo-coo bucks at high points in their career and it's been rare for BB to offer up that kind of money to OL guys even though he obviously values the position.
It's pretty rare for Belichick to pony up for beaucoup bucks at any position, really. Mason and Mankins signed big deals but then were traded before they got expensive, and he extended guys like Solder (initially), Brown (the second time around), Cannon, Andrews, and Vollmer when they weren't breaking the bank.

I think the draft whiffs are the main issue here - after Thuney it was Antonio Garcia in the 3rd, Wynn in the 1st, Cajuste in the 3rd ... they got very little out of those three. Herron turning into a pumpkin after looking good initially also hurt, though it's tough to count on much from a 6th-round tackle.
 

Shelterdog

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It's pretty rare for Belichick to pony up for beaucoup bucks at any position, really. Mason and Mankins signed big deals but then were traded before they got expensive, and he extended guys like Solder (initially), Brown (the second time around), Cannon, Andrews, and Vollmer when they weren't breaking the bank.

I think the draft whiffs are the main issue here - after Thuney it was Antonio Garcia in the 3rd, Wynn in the 1st, Cajuste in the 3rd ... they got very little out of those three. Herron turning into a pumpkin after looking good initially also hurt, though it's tough to count on much from a 6th-round tackle.
And they didn't luck into any Neals/Wendells/Connollys (i.e. waiver pick ups and UDFAs who end up starting for multiple years). Owenwu is the only non premium pick they've added who has really worked out in years.
 

scottyno

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Yeah, Solder has been awful. One big thing IIRC was that Solder went to NY in part because they were close to a lot of hospitals that could address the medical needs of his daughter. So football-wise it may be a really poor fit.

The real mistake IMO was letting Thuney go. The man was a stud.
Also the part where the Giants made Solder the highest paid lineman of all time
 

SMU_Sox

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This draft is split for me. On the one hand they took Gonzalez at 17 who was a universal top 7 player, and Keion White at 46 who was a top 30-35 player on most boards including mine. I get the Mapu pick and I like the player but is he a better than Tucker Kraft?

Day 3 was a mixed bag. I get the kicker and punter picks and figured they were coming. Andrews has OG/OC versatility but most saw him as a round 7 prospect. I love Sidy Sow and think he has starter upside but it was really hard to find his tape. When I can only get 1-2 games of an OL I tend to grade them conservatively. Thankfully a friend has given me 5 games now so I can really deep dive this weekend. Mafi is another guy I thought of as a later day 3 pick. All three of these guys make sense as they are all tough maulers. Also, by day 3, the consensus board is not really relevant anymore. While the board is good at predicting the top 25-30 picks it gets less accurate as the draft goes on and by the fourth round it's almost irrelevant. So while I think Mafi and Andrews were reaches it's not clear the CBB can say that for sure. I usually analyze a pick if I can see why they fit. I can see how each of these guys fit fairly clearly.

Boutte and Douglas make sense as Z's or slots and Douglas has some return experience as well as can be used as a gadget guy. Neither guy is a roster lock but both guys certainly have a shot to make it. Going into this year Boutte was thought of as a round 1-2 kind of prospect before the bottom fell out.

To me when you come away with a top 7 guy and a top 34 guy when your picks are 17 and 46 that's a decent draft. round 3-7 might not be perfect but the odds of you hitting on those picks is also smaller and the consensus doesn't really matter once you get later in the draft. I think I would give them an A-/B+ now that I have had a full weekend to think it over. A- seems right given how heavily I weigh the first two rounds and how well I think they did there.

There is the obvious question of what happened with OT and TE but I think it is fairly self-explanatory. As I wrote in my superlatives I didn't think any of the top OTs were slam dunks for them but the three I felt were the best fits: Skoronski, PJJ, and Wright, were all off the board when they picked. Brod Jones would have been one of the least developed OL they have taken that highly and given they traded with the Steelers who wanted him and knew if the Steelers didn't take him the Jets probably would it is safe to say he was off their board. Harrison was another guy they could have taken but he was taken 27th by the Jaguars and not the same level of prospect as Christian Gonzalez.

Day two saw 2 OTs go: Tyler Steen at 65 and Wanya Morris at 92. Only 19 OTs were taken, the lowest amount since the 2017 draft. It wasn't a good OT class. They plan on trying Sow at OT. When they picked they could have either taken a huge risk huge reward OT with Brod Jones or the best consensus shutdown corner on the board. At 46 they could have reached for Tyler Steen or gone with a top 30-34 player. The value didn't match the board for where they picked for OT and the class itself was one of the worst I have seen in years.

Tight end is another one where none of the guys at 46 were as high of quality prospects as White. The only guy I think they could have taken instead of Mapu was Tucker Kraft but we're talking pick 76. Groh said it himself: the tight ends went fast and furious and they liked a few guys but they were all gone by the times they picked. You weren't going to solve all of their holes in one draft anyway.

Same goes for WR. No one at 76 was going to tip the scales anyway. This was not a good WR class. You could argue for a WR or TE there but end of the day they had Mapu higher on their board. Getting Boutte and Douglas where they did isn't too far off from the guys who went early 4th.
 

SMU_Sox

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@SMU_Sox Thoughts on Perry? He slid far and I recall that you liked him as one of the better lower tier receivers.
A couple things with Perry: his production came his last two years as an older prospect and he had football character issues. @ehaz nailed it. I just would add the production coming as an older prospect part.
 

Shelterdog

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I'll go with a B, it's so hard to tell. Telling whether Andrews is going to be an eventual starting center like you kind of expect him to be, or whether Mafi can be a dependable backup guard and spot starter, or whether Sow can play tackle, is just way beyond what I can predict, but the fates of those three goes a long way to determining how good the draft is.
 

Saints Rest

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And they didn't luck into any Neals/Wendells/Connollys (i.e. waiver pick ups and UDFAs who end up starting for multiple years). Owenwu is the only non premium pick they've added who has really worked out in years.
I can't believe that all this talk about the past successes of Patriot OLines (and individual OLinemen) vs the trash fire of last year's line has ignored the name Scarnecchia. BB was the ace in the hole on the D for 20+ years, turning UDFA CB's into pro-bowlers, and WR's into competent backup DB's. But Scar was just as much the ace on the O side, turning guys like the aforementioned Neal, Hochstein, and others into seamless fits next to 1st rounders. I'm really interested to see what value Klemm will bring to the team in general, and the line specifically.
 

Jimbodandy

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This draft is split for me. On the one hand they took Gonzalez at 17 who was a universal top 7 player, and Keion White at 46 who was a top 30-35 player on most boards including mine. I get the Mapu pick and I like the player but is he a better than Tucker Kraft?

Day 3 was a mixed bag. I get the kicker and punter picks and figured they were coming. Andrews has OG/OC versatility but most saw him as a round 7 prospect. I love Sidy Sow and think he has starter upside but it was really hard to find his tape. When I can only get 1-2 games of an OL I tend to grade them conservatively. Thankfully a friend has given me 5 games now so I can really deep dive this weekend. Mafi is another guy I thought of as a later day 3 pick. All three of these guys make sense as they are all tough maulers. Also, by day 3, the consensus board is not really relevant anymore. While the board is good at predicting the top 25-30 picks it gets less accurate as the draft goes on and by the fourth round it's almost irrelevant. So while I think Mafi and Andrews were reaches it's not clear the CBB can say that for sure. I usually analyze a pick if I can see why they fit. I can see how each of these guys fit fairly clearly.

Boutte and Douglas make sense as Z's or slots and Douglas has some return experience as well as can be used as a gadget guy. Neither guy is a roster lock but both guys certainly have a shot to make it. Going into this year Boutte was thought of as a round 1-2 kind of prospect before the bottom fell out.

To me when you come away with a top 7 guy and a top 34 guy when your picks are 17 and 46 that's a decent draft. round 3-7 might not be perfect but the odds of you hitting on those picks is also smaller and the consensus doesn't really matter once you get later in the draft. I think I would give them an A-/B+ now that I have had a full weekend to think it over. A- seems right given how heavily I weigh the first two rounds and how well I think they did there.

There is the obvious question of what happened with OT and TE but I think it is fairly self-explanatory. As I wrote in my superlatives I didn't think any of the top OTs were slam dunks for them but the three I felt were the best fits: Skoronski, PJJ, and Wright, were all off the board when they picked. Brod Jones would have been one of the least developed OL they have taken that highly and given they traded with the Steelers who wanted him and knew if the Steelers didn't take him the Jets probably would it is safe to say he was off their board. Harrison was another guy they could have taken but he was taken 27th by the Jaguars and not the same level of prospect as Christian Gonzalez.

Day two saw 2 OTs go: Tyler Steen at 65 and Wanya Morris at 92. Only 19 OTs were taken, the lowest amount since the 2017 draft. It wasn't a good OT class. They plan on trying Sow at OT. When they picked they could have either taken a huge risk huge reward OT with Brod Jones or the best consensus shutdown corner on the board. At 46 they could have reached for Tyler Steen or gone with a top 30-34 player. The value didn't match the board for where they picked for OT and the class itself was one of the worst I have seen in years.

Tight end is another one where none of the guys at 46 were as high of quality prospects as White. The only guy I think they could have taken instead of Mapu was Tucker Kraft but we're talking pick 76. Groh said it himself: the tight ends went fast and furious and they liked a few guys but they were all gone by the times they picked. You weren't going to solve all of their holes in one draft anyway.

Same goes for WR. No one at 76 was going to tip the scales anyway. This was not a good WR class. You could argue for a WR or TE there but end of the day they had Mapu higher on their board. Getting Boutte and Douglas where they did isn't too far off from the guys who went early 4th.
This is reassuring.

I think that the volume of 4ths available lended themselves to trying to move up and take a flier on Washington (clearly they have knee film I guess) or one of the better true safeties on the board. I guess if they're super sure on Mapu there, fine. But Battle and Robinson were right there for the taking. And if they truly hated all of the OT, that's also fine. Feels weird that they just didn't take any. Like, is the NFL a place to jump out to OT, if you've only been a guard? Just felt like actual tackles and safeties were on the board in the end of the third/top of the fourth and wouldn't have required next year capital to move up and take them. Instead we took projects. Hope I'm wrong and Sow/Mapu are beasts.
 

SMU_Sox

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This is reassuring.

I think that the volume of 4ths available lended themselves to trying to move up and take a flier on Washington (clearly they have knee film I guess) or one of the better true safeties on the board. I guess if they're super sure on Mapu there, fine. But Battle and Robinson were right there for the taking. And if they truly hated all of the OT, that's also fine. Feels weird that they just didn't take any. Like, is the NFL a place to jump out to OT, if you've only been a guard? Just felt like actual tackles and safeties were on the board in the end of the third/top of the fourth and wouldn't have required next year capital to move up and take them. Instead we took projects. Hope I'm wrong and Sow/Mapu are beasts.
Sow was an OT his freshman year. Washington was thought of as a top 50 player so his medicals, as the rumor has it, were bad. Knees and ankles are what was reported. Sow has the athleticism and movement to play OT. I’d try him there and if not he should be a backup OG who might even become a starter.
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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I can't believe that all this talk about the past successes of Patriot OLines (and individual OLinemen) vs the trash fire of last year's line has ignored the name Scarnecchia. BB was the ace in the hole on the D for 20+ years, turning UDFA CB's into pro-bowlers, and WR's into competent backup DB's. But Scar was just as much the ace on the O side, turning guys like the aforementioned Neal, Hochstein, and others into seamless fits next to 1st rounders. I'm really interested to see what value Klemm will bring to the team in general, and the line specifically.
I think what you mean to say is "why is everyone other than football genius Rick Burlesons YamBag ignoring the name Scarnecchia?" sir.

You are bang on the money, and why I felt that the Patriots really needed to look at one of those top 15 linemen. The margin of error that they have is much more narrow than it used to be, and they play against two very good defenses in their division and one that is not bad. I would have bet a large amount that they were going to trade up for Wright once the other top OTs had gone, but they didn't and then they passed on Jones for extra picks and ignored interior guys. I'm not sure you are going to be able to effectively Klemm with the dearth of talent tbh. Most genius OL coaches have a few really great OL'ers. While I am not going to speak out against Jeff Stoutland in any way, shape or form, having Jason Peters, Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson in the building when he arrived makes the transition a lot easier.....
 

Rick Burlesons Yam Bag

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This draft is split for me. On the one hand they took Gonzalez at 17 who was a universal top 7 player, and Keion White at 46 who was a top 30-35 player on most boards including mine. I get the Mapu pick and I like the player but is he a better than Tucker Kraft?

Day 3 was a mixed bag. I get the kicker and punter picks and figured they were coming. Andrews has OG/OC versatility but most saw him as a round 7 prospect. I love Sidy Sow and think he has starter upside but it was really hard to find his tape. When I can only get 1-2 games of an OL I tend to grade them conservatively. Thankfully a friend has given me 5 games now so I can really deep dive this weekend. Mafi is another guy I thought of as a later day 3 pick. All three of these guys make sense as they are all tough maulers. Also, by day 3, the consensus board is not really relevant anymore. While the board is good at predicting the top 25-30 picks it gets less accurate as the draft goes on and by the fourth round it's almost irrelevant. So while I think Mafi and Andrews were reaches it's not clear the CBB can say that for sure. I usually analyze a pick if I can see why they fit. I can see how each of these guys fit fairly clearly.

Boutte and Douglas make sense as Z's or slots and Douglas has some return experience as well as can be used as a gadget guy. Neither guy is a roster lock but both guys certainly have a shot to make it. Going into this year Boutte was thought of as a round 1-2 kind of prospect before the bottom fell out.

To me when you come away with a top 7 guy and a top 34 guy when your picks are 17 and 46 that's a decent draft. round 3-7 might not be perfect but the odds of you hitting on those picks is also smaller and the consensus doesn't really matter once you get later in the draft. I think I would give them an A-/B+ now that I have had a full weekend to think it over. A- seems right given how heavily I weigh the first two rounds and how well I think they did there.

There is the obvious question of what happened with OT and TE but I think it is fairly self-explanatory. As I wrote in my superlatives I didn't think any of the top OTs were slam dunks for them but the three I felt were the best fits: Skoronski, PJJ, and Wright, were all off the board when they picked. Brod Jones would have been one of the least developed OL they have taken that highly and given they traded with the Steelers who wanted him and knew if the Steelers didn't take him the Jets probably would it is safe to say he was off their board. Harrison was another guy they could have taken but he was taken 27th by the Jaguars and not the same level of prospect as Christian Gonzalez.

Day two saw 2 OTs go: Tyler Steen at 65 and Wanya Morris at 92. Only 19 OTs were taken, the lowest amount since the 2017 draft. It wasn't a good OT class. They plan on trying Sow at OT. When they picked they could have either taken a huge risk huge reward OT with Brod Jones or the best consensus shutdown corner on the board. At 46 they could have reached for Tyler Steen or gone with a top 30-34 player. The value didn't match the board for where they picked for OT and the class itself was one of the worst I have seen in years.

Tight end is another one where none of the guys at 46 were as high of quality prospects as White. The only guy I think they could have taken instead of Mapu was Tucker Kraft but we're talking pick 76. Groh said it himself: the tight ends went fast and furious and they liked a few guys but they were all gone by the times they picked. You weren't going to solve all of their holes in one draft anyway.

Same goes for WR. No one at 76 was going to tip the scales anyway. This was not a good WR class. You could argue for a WR or TE there but end of the day they had Mapu higher on their board. Getting Boutte and Douglas where they did isn't too far off from the guys who went early 4th.
A few things on this.

- While I have mentioned that I thought the move for the Pats was one of the top 3 OTs (and they would have had to have moved up to grab Skoronski, but after Johnson went so early the phones had to be on fire), I don't understand the skepticism on Jones. Admittedly, 19 starts is low, but that Georgia line has been bananas and:

a) He is 311 pounds with very low body fat. That frame has more room
b) He is insanely fast and athletic. Generally that bodes well for elite tackles who meet the weight minimum.
c) His form mistakes seem immensely addressable. His footwork looks pretty darned good it is his hands and upper body where the mistakes lie and those are usually easier to fix.
d) He submitted very good games against great defenses.

- I don't think that the Pats interior line has distinguished itself to the point where drafting some of the Gs and "OTs who will probably go to G" didn't make sense. Cody Mauch, Steen, etc. all seemed to be good picks in the second round who could make a difference. The mid/late round selections of interior linemen was also a bit quirky on that front, although I thought Mafi would go earlier. I think Sow stinks and Mafi is good, but let's see.

- You had written that you thought that there were good WRs after the 3rd round. Now you seem to be backing off of that. Were Boutte and Douglas those guys? With the caveat that skill players taken after round 2 are a dice roll, that was another thing that struck me as really weird about the kicker at round 4 selection. There seemed to be some guys who had high ceilings at WR when they picked the kicker.
 

SMU_Sox

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SMU do we have any idea why E. Mich moved Sow off of OT?
64375

No but I liked this anecdote. I would imagine that his issues in pass protection sent him inside.

A lot of times I have seen guys who convert to OL or football have an easier time run blocking vs pass blocking. Pass blocking is weird because it is both active and reactive whereas run blocking is a lot more simple. Sure there are rules for runs against certain defensive fronts and gap-exchanges that can complicate it but it still is an easier task than learning independent use of hands, when to strike someone, how to strike someone, etc. Mafi for example struggles defending his edge partially because of footwork but also because he is not the best lateral mover. Sow can struggle against those same moves because his strike timing is tardy.

The tough part for them with these guys is Strange is most likely your starting LG and he played well in pass pro last year for a rookie. Onwenu is a stud - he is borderline pro-bowl caliber. Andrews is slipping though and getting up there in age so ideally you could use an OC. They often draft centers later on or get them as UDFAs. So it's not like there is going to be a lot of room for any of these guys to take an IOL spot minus OC and maybe RG if Onwenu leaves in FA. But they sorely needed depth. Ferentz can't be your top IOL backup. At least with these guys they might be able to be quality spot starters and Onwenu insurance, and again, maybe more for Sow.

Edit: I assume they re-sign/extend Onwenu. He deserves it... Also when you think about their line and traditional power RTs Sow is that kind of a fit.
 

tims4wins

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You all should check out View: https://twitter.com/PhilAPerry/status/1654467962886127616?s=20


The things RA analytics is doing is revolutionary. https://twitter.com/RAanalytics

Check them out sometime.
To this point, check out these RAS numbers on Gonzalez in the tweet header!

We found 15 corners taken in the first round who had Relative Athletic Scores of 9.7 or better from 2002-2022. Of those 15, 12 (80 percent) made at least one Pro Bowl. Of those 15, nine (60 percent) were named either first or second-team All-Pro at least once. The group includes a former Defensive Player of the Year (Gilmore), a player with an argument as the greatest corner of his generation (Darrelle Revis) and a pair of three-time First-Team All-Pro selections (Patrick Peterson, Jalen Ramsey).
View: https://twitter.com/PhilAPerry/status/1654125590965022721
 

SMU_Sox

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I think @tims4wins Gonzalez is a hybrid of things Belichick loves in his outside corners early, size and athleticism - like you pointed out the RAS is ridiculous, but also something Phil Perry mentioned, a little bit of a departure. Jack Jones was also a bit of a departure too. Belichick used to prioritize guys who were the soundest of the sound tacklers and run defenders at the position. Now he is moving away towards coverage skills and tackling not being as big of a priority. I mean he always valued coverage skills but devaluing tackling and run defense or screen defense is new.

I was thinking about what has changed the last 2-3 of years and I believe BB is changing it up a little bit.

Mapu and McGrone are different (I know McGrone is not a Patriot anymore) in that they were lighter ILBs but still had the same toughness and physicality that he likes. McGrone was lost in coverage but Mapu is not. We see Dugger playing ILB on some downs - imagine a slightly bigger Dugger (Mapu will be when he adds some weight) there all the time paired with Bentley or Tavai. Bill has gone with lighter but intense ILBs before like with E-Rob but he didn't take one so high as pick 76. So maybe things are changing.

Weight at corner and WR has changed too. Thornton was tall but rail thin for his height and Bill hadn't taken a guy below 190-195ish in rounds 1-3 who wasn't an elite returner at WR. Jack and Marcus were weight departures and Marcus was a height outlier too.

Passing on Brod Jones tells me they still value anchor-ability and developed use of hands in their OTs but it's not like Cole Strange was super developed in pass pro. Granted though he was pick 29 and not pick 14. Strange also had a better anchor than Jones (like I mentioned in the superlatives see him vs Isaiah McGuire who blew his doors off) so maybe that was a factor in it. Strange still, like Brod, has to work on independent hand usage in pass pro. So if they are changing OL criteria it is unclear... just making some notes here.

Edit: And honestly they still might have been interested in Brod but just liked Gonzo more!
 
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j44thor

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Brod Jones was one of the few prospects they met with multiple times incl a top 30 and given there was no certainty Gonzalez would be there at 17 I really think they weren't super high on him otherwise he likely would have been the pick. What is odd is instead of taking Gonzalez at 14 they made sure to find a partner who would take Brod Jones from the NYJ all for a 4th rd pick. Obviously it worked out in the end but I wonder if plan B would have been JSN had WAS or NYJ gone Gonzalez instead.
 

Shelterdog

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Brod Jones was one of the few prospects they met with multiple times incl a top 30 and given there was no certainty Gonzalez would be there at 17 I really think they weren't super high on him otherwise he likely would have been the pick. What is odd is instead of taking Gonzalez at 14 they made sure to find a partner who would take Brod Jones from the NYJ all for a 4th rd pick. Obviously it worked out in the end but I wonder if plan B would have been JSN had WAS or NYJ gone Gonzalez instead.
Maybe I'm just wrong on this point but for the Pats this year I don't think I'd take a DB who is anything less than shutdown number one corner over a good starting LT--it's so, so hard to find that LT. Like you I think they just didn't like Jones that that much.
 

Cellar-Door

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One thing in the Perry video made me laugh. He does the "I would have drafted" game, comes out with a draft where he's going to have to 100% cut like half his draft class. He talks about the Patriots likely only keeping 1 of the 2 rookie passcatchers they drafted.... then his mock draft has 4 passcatchers. He drafts a bunch of guys late with no real Special Teams role, in place of 3-4 ST guys Bill drafted. He takes 2 RBs, arguing they should cut last year's rookies after 1 year to make room for the new shiny RBs... it's such silliness.

So 4 years later he'll look back and say "ooh we would have hit on one of these 4 lotto tickets who broke out year 2 or 3" except that guy would have been on the Texans or Cardinals because he never makes the 53. A real problem with many mock drafts... ignoring whether a guy could make the roster. Patriots took 12 guys, 3 of whom (maybe 4) can only make it as ST guys out of 12, and they'll likely still cut at least 1 rookie. 12 guys, half of whom play the same positions?
 

SMU_Sox

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Good call @Shelterdog : Broderick Jones also had football character and work ethic issues come up FWIW. Look, he’s a high ceiling dude based on build and athletic traits but just watch him vs Isaiah McGuire (Missouri) and LSU (Perkins and Ojulari). Remember the issues I brought up there with him I mentioned in the superlatives? 1) Issues anchoring vs speed to power (part of this is because of his tardy strike and inability to catch the rusher - although you can deal with that multiple ways) you can see vs McGuire. 2) Issues with pushing the speed rusher up the arc correctly and getting his hands in the right place for that you can see vs Perkins and Ojulari, and 3) in general lack of counters and trouble with hands Vs more creative rushers like Ojulari.

When you have that many technique flaws in pass pro I’m hesitant to say he’s a slam dunk fit or that they would love him at 14.
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
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Had Broderick Jones gone back to UGA and fixed or at least started to fix those issues he’s a top 10 pick. The Steelers develop OL well and I believe he is also working with Duke Manyweather in Frisco Texas now so he is getting developed as we speak.
 
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SMU–Sox (and other draftniks), Can you tell us the key differences between Demario Douglas and previous year UDFA small jitterbug receivers like, say, that Sean Riley kid from Syracuse a few years back? He (and others) seemed small but speedy and dynamic. What makes DD stand out from him/them?
 

SMU_Sox

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Tough question because these guys tend to bleed together but Douglas has return skills, good route runner, and can be used on jet sweeps and gadget plays. I think Douglas has some room to grow explosively too. A real S&C program could elevate his game. A lot of these guys are similar because, like RB, there are a lot of guys who are good with the ball in their hands.