Pats 2022 draft class

Eddie Jurak

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1. Cole Strange, G
2. Tyquan Thornton, WR
3. Marcus Jones, CB (and returner)
4. Jack Jones, CB
4. Pierre Strong Jr., RB
4. Bailey Zappe, QB
6. Kevin Harris, RB
6. Sam Roberts, DT
6. Chsen Hines, G
7. Andrew Steuber, T

Call me crazy but I think this is a good class, despite the criticism.

They clearly went into this thinking they needed to get faster and more athletic, and they did by drafting a lot of speed and athleticism up top: Thornton, M. Jones, Strong, even Strange at the top.

Strange was a surprise in the first round, but, when bringing along a young QB, I don't think it is crazy to reach for a guy who could be a replacement for Thuney or even (later) Andrews.

They very obviously needed some help in the defensive backfield, specifically at corner (they are well stocked at safety with Dugger, Phillips, McCourty), and they got it with the speedy Marcus Jones and then Jack Jones, a guy who slid because of off field issues that he has hopefully put behind him.

They might have need for a third-down back this year - depending on how well James White recovers - and Damien Harris is a FA after the season who will likely command more money than the Pats want to spent at the position. So taking Strong, the fastest back on the baord, makes sense.

Bailey Zappe was a bit of a head scratcher to me, but I think choosing him is best seen as both filling a need (Stidham, even if they like him, is a FA after this year and Hoyer is old) and as a vote of confidence in Mac. Zappe is a poor-man's Mac and if they were questioning their commtment to Mac after year 1 I don't think they would have drafted a lesser version. (All the talk of questioning Mac was stupid anyway).

Kevin Harris was another one I questioned, but evidently he was affected by a back injury last year. If he can come back from that maybe he is a find. If he's not a find, maybe he can be a backup/ST player? Anyway, I still don't love this pick but it is one freaking 6th round pick out of 10 players the Pats drafted, and WTF do I know, anyway?

The remaining picks (DT Sam Roberts, G Chasen Hines, T Andrew Steuber) just seem like good late-round picks to me. The Pats have had some recent success finding OL late in the draft (Onwenu, Herron), so there is potential value here.

They do seem to have shifted their philosophy this year. Most obviously, more focus on speed and athleticism, although it doesn't necessarily look like they were focused solely on speed and athleticism. Strange, for example, also has a high Wonderlic score and a reputation for toughness, both of which are more traditional Pats OL qualities. I read at least one review that said Thornton had some touchness to him also, unlikely as that may seem with his tall thin build.)

They drafted a bunch of older (23 and up) players, starting with Strange. I'm not sure how much of that is a shift in philosophy and how much was more older plaers being available due to the impact of Covid.

They seem not to have focused nearly as much on top schools or a select few schools (eg, Alabama). But it was not unheard of for them to draft guys from small schools in prior years (eg, Dugger), so not clear whether this is a major shift or just a minor tweak or just the way the numbers came up.

Their recent major drafts have been underwhemling, with the exception of hitting on their top 2 picks last year, which I think calls for somewhat different type of scouting than having a strong draft top to bottom. Hopefully, their changes in approach will bear some fruit.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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I think Srrange will be very good. Don’t care much about the “reach” there. Second to Fourth round picks all strike me as potential whiffs or home runs. That’s a risky strategy for them to pursue and I wonder how much it was a function of this particular class of draftees. I really like what they did in the late rounds and I’d bet on UDFA D’Eriq King being a camp darling.
 

Saints Rest

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Someone in another thread opined that BB may have shifted into a drafting philosophy of drafting for Year 2. IDK, but it's an interesting supposition. We'll see if Perkins, McGrone, Bledsoe, Sherman or Nixon can turn into something in Year 2 this fall, while waiting until 2023 to see about guys like Jones, Jones, Strong, Harris, Roberts, Hines, and Steuber.
 

amfox1

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Notwithstanding the redshirt seasons of McGrone and Perkins, it is very strange to me that the Pats did not draft a linebacker and did draft two running backs.
 

DavidTai

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Notwithstanding the redshirt seasons of McGrone and Perkins, it is very strange to me that the Pats did not draft a linebacker and did draft two running backs.
I think drafting the two running backs is more about 2023 than 2022... gives them time to train those guys up in pass-blocking the way James White essentially had to sit for a year before becoming the receiving back he is now. Same as I think they drafted the young LBers and signed FA LBers last year with an eye towards the LBers becoming useful in 2022.
 

brendan f

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Bill loves his running backs and the draft was pretty deep at the position so it shouldn't be considered surprising. For me, the biggest pick was the WR. In order for this draft class to shine, Thornton has to become a stud. The major questions here are that Baylor has not traditionally produced great talent at the position, the "route tree," and the player not making people miss after the catch. But he has a good release, has good hops, and is obviously fast, so that seems like a decent starting point. As BB likes to say, we'll see how it goes.
 
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Cellar-Door

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I generally like the class. I think as always people are getting way too caught up in meaningless pre-draft rankings.

If say the guard we got in the 1st was Zion Johnson, far fewer people would be complaining that guard isn't a need.
If the WR was Pickens same for the 2nd (which is funny since there is some evidence Pickens only went there because the Pats traded up to snake Thornton from them)


This was a draft that fits a lot of the things people wanted... a lot more athleticism, a mix of instant impact (Strange will start likely, at least 1 of the corners will probably play a good amount) and high upside picks. They picked up a solid pick next year.

People get way too hung up on the idea of "YOU MUST DRAFT THIS POSITION", they didn't like the linebackers where they went, I'd rather the team take no LBs and take guys they believe in than waste a pick on a guy they don't think can cut it.
 

genoasalami

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Mel Kiper's take....

New England Patriots: C+
Top needs: CB, WR, LB
Are we allowed to question a draft from Bill Belichick? The Patriots haven't exactly lit it up over the past few Aprils, though the Mac Jones pick from 2021 appears to be a hit. I just don't think they got value with their first two picks this year. Cole Strange (29) is a nice guard, but I didn't see a first-round pick on tape. He likely would have been on the board when the Pats picked in the middle of Round 2. I know a hole opened up at guard when Shaq Mason was traded to the Bucs, but value matters in the draft, and Strange needs to play at a Pro Bowl level for years to come to justify this selection.

In Round 2, there were several better wide receivers available when New England took Tyquan Thornton (50), who didn't even make my list of the top 25 wideouts in this class. Yes, he has blazing speed -- he ran a 4.28-second 40 at the combine -- but he needs a lot of work on his all-around game. Alec Pierce, George Pickens, Skyy Moore and Jalen Tolbert all would have been better picks. It's another selection without value.

I do like Marcus Jones (85), who could be the Pats' new starting slot corner and is an electric return man. And Pierre Strong Jr. (127) is my favorite running back in this class; he ran a 4.37-second 40 at the combine and has some juice once he hits a hole. I don't really understand why New England took quarterback Bailey Zappe (137) to back up Mac Jones in Round 4, and I thought cornerback Jack Jones (121) went about 70 picks too high.
The plus of this Pats draft is that they added a 2023 third-round selection when Carolina traded up for Matt Corral, but that isn't enough to save it from being my lowest-rated class.

https://www.espn.com/nfl/draft2022/insider/story/_/id/33827196/nfl-draft-grades-mel-kiper-jr-picks-steals-sleepers-favorite-2022-classes-all-32-teams
 

deanx0

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I love that as he states in the writeup. the Patriots were his lowest-rated class, and yet they got a C+. What a lenient teacher!
 

Eddie Jurak

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He asks: "Are we allowed to question a draft from Bill Belichick?"

We do it here. I think the problem with post-draft ratings by people like Kiper who do ratings is that, duh, a team that doesn't follow his ratings will rate poorly. And his motivations in doing his rankings are different from those of teams.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I think the Strange pick and the running back picks were simple. BB is going to go to a ground and pound offense, and try to keep the other insane offenses in the AFC off the field when we play them. He'll have his deep threat if Thornton hits, but I think we'll see a lot more 2 tight end sets, with short routes underneath, and a fierce running attack (which is Strange's strongest trait).

Would have liked to have seen more on defense, but who knows what's going on there with the guys like Perkins that barely played last year. Maybe BB is actually happy with the backups, etc. stepping up that didn't see much time last season.
 

Eddie Jurak

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Would have liked to have seen more on defense, but who knows what's going on there with the guys like Perkins that barely played last year. Maybe BB is actually happy with the backups, etc. stepping up that didn't see much time last season.
Yes. Bentley is a known quantity, but after that there are a lot of less known/unknowns. Wilson, McGrone, McMillan, Uche, Jennings, Perkins. Hopefully some of them will emerge.
 

SMU_Sox

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Look at what happened at OG in the draft. After Strange there wasn’t another guard picked until Luke Goedeke at 57 (introduced as an OT but he will probably kick into OG - he is basically a copy of Marpet in terms of what he brings to the table with his attitude and run blocking). I happened to be the third highest analyst on him of the 82 in the consensus big board and I had him at 65. According to the CBB he was a reach. Ed Ingraham at 59, 30 picks later who was also considered a reach. Then 67, Josh Ezeudu, who, like Goedeke I was the third highest analyst on, was also a reach (99) on my board. I was only 11th highest on Strange but I saw him as a 2nd round kind of talent. If you wanted an LG there were very few options after Greene and Zion Johnson in terms of quality options. I will charity bet that Strange outplays all 3 of these guys (although I love Goedeke in TB and to a lesser degree "really like" Ezeudu for NYJ). I don't know if there is an easy way to track this but PFF individual player grades are fine for me in this one. $50 a year that those guys outplay him. Also, I wouldn't be shocked at all if he outplays Kenyon Greene taken at pick 13 by the Texans. Time will tell.

It wasn't a good class if you needed a starter for your IOL. Developmental guy? Sure. But someone who could play very soon? No. They had a hole at LG and plugged it with the best guy on the board who a sizeable minority also saw as a high to mid round 2 guy. I hate draft analysis right after the draft. This class in general was all over the place. I've followed Arif's consensus board since I got into this around 2018-2019. This year there was no consensus. It was crazy. You think the Patriots had reaches? Everyone had multiple "reaches".

Daniel Jeremiah was talking about how teams grades on guys were the most all over the place he had seen in his career. He also said this class was not only weak at the top but also weak after the top 120 guys or so - it was the first time for him putting in multiple kickers and punters for his top 150. And look what happened. You started seeing punters and kickers go in the 4th round.

The problem imo with this class is that there is a general media groupthink that didn't reflect how fractured NFL teams were on prospects. They then assume their groupthink is right when handing out grades. The reality is we shouldn't be grading a draft class right after the fucking draft. I mean you can - you can see how they did vs consensus but if there is no consensus then you really shouldn't be grading at all. And even then you really want to put a lot of stock into a grade before any player sees the field? Yikes. Sounds pretty dumb to me.
 

Cellar-Door

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This is interesting, came off an Eagles podcast pre-draft, but Greg Cosell was the guest and 2 guys he talked up as really loving ended up on the Pats...

Marcus Jones he said reminded him of a mid-round version of Tyrann Mathieu in terms of being a tough flexible player inside, particularly useful in sub.
Thornton he said he felt like he was Chris Olave but tougher, most vertically explosive guy (other than Jameson maybe), liked his refinement beating press, etc.

Edit- whoops forgot the link: View: https://twitter.com/BobSocci/status/1520755452350455811
 

SMU_Sox

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Overall I'm pretty stoked about the offensive linemen and RBs selected. I saw all of these guys as fits for the Patriots. I will die on this hill but I still don't think Strange was that much of a reach or a reach at all. I think reach is a flawed concept anyway.

Thornton is really who I think people are crucifying the Pats for. And I am not sure it's fair. I mean I had Moore as a 6.99, Pierce as a 6.75 and Thornton would have been around that range. Thornton out-produced Pierce in a much more difficult conference (btw the Big 12 has been one of the defensive scheme innovators for the NFL so it isn't your 2010's big 12). People are so stuck on draft lists they are tripping over themselves to nail the Pats for Thornton. The only thing that made me mad about the selection was I didn't watch him pre-draft. Lol. He has more risk to him than Pierce because of his size but he is a better route runner than Pierce and he's also faster and can beat press more consistently. So if they wanted an X and they went with Thornton it doesn't really bother me at all.

Marcus Jones is an elite returner and I think will be a very good matchup based slot corner who can handle the smaller, faster, twitched-up guys. You would stick him on an Izaiah McKenzie for example and not Bryant who doesn't have the juice to hang with him. Jones can hold his own vs those guys in 1:1 matchups even against "man-beaters" like drag routes.

So I think they restocked on IOL/OL, added slot corner depth which was needed, and got very good backup RBs. Kevin Harris is your early down backup who is very good in pass pro. Pierre Strong is a fast change of pace back, and maybe over time can do receiving work. They are, for better or worse, going to let the guys they had on the roster sink or swim at outside corner, and the front 7.

You really only had 2-3 picks with a realistic shot of being a starter. They went LG, X-WR, and slot corner. LG and slot corner aren't super valuable positions but when has Bill cared about that? This could end up being a bad draft but if Thornton and Jones are capable starters* it's a good class.

*slot corner isn't necessarily a starting position but against pass happy teams early this year Jones basically was a starter.


Who knows - maybe they live in dime this year with 3 safeties and 3 corners. Against the Bills, Jets, Fins that might be a fine strategy.
 
Aug 9, 2015
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Overall I'm pretty stoked about the offensive linemen and RBs selected. I saw all of these guys as fits for the Patriots. I will die on this hill but I still don't think Strange was that much of a reach or a reach at all. I think reach is a flawed concept anyway.

Thornton is really who I think people are crucifying the Pats for. And I am not sure it's fair. I mean I had Moore as a 6.99, Pierce as a 6.75 and Thornton would have been around that range. Thornton out-produced Pierce in a much more difficult conference (btw the Big 12 has been one of the defensive scheme innovators for the NFL so it isn't your 2010's big 12). People are so stuck on draft lists they are tripping over themselves to nail the Pats for Thornton. The only thing that made me mad about the selection was I didn't watch him pre-draft. Lol. He has more risk to him than Pierce because of his size but he is a better route runner than Pierce and he's also faster and can beat press more consistently. So if they wanted an X and they went with Thornton it doesn't really bother me at all.

Marcus Jones is an elite returner and I think will be a very good matchup based slot corner who can handle the smaller, faster, twitched-up guys. You would stick him on an Izaiah McKenzie for example and not Bryant who doesn't have the juice to hang with him. Jones can hold his own vs those guys in 1:1 matchups even against "man-beaters" like drag routes.

So I think they restocked on IOL/OL, added slot corner depth which was needed, and got very good backup RBs. Kevin Harris is your early down backup who is very good in pass pro. Pierre Strong is a fast change of pace back, and maybe over time can do receiving work. They are, for better or worse, going to let the guys they had on the roster sink or swim at outside corner, and the front 7.

You really only had 2-3 picks with a realistic shot of being a starter. They went LG, X-WR, and slot corner. LG and slot corner aren't super valuable positions but when has Bill cared about that? This could end up being a bad draft but if Thornton and Jones are capable starters* it's a good class.

*slot corner isn't necessarily a starting position but against pass happy teams early this year Jones basically was a starter.


Who knows - maybe they live in dime this year with 3 safeties and 3 corners. Against the Bills, Jets, Fins that might be a fine strategy.
I think in addition to the WR comparison, the success of this draft will come down to whether any of the Defensive guys they passed over in RD1 (Lloyd, McDuffie, Hill, J Johnson) end up as real impact players; the team clearly needs help in those spots, and decided to go a different direction, the wisdom of which will bear itself out in time.
 

Shelterdog

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I think in addition to the WR comparison, the success of this draft will come down to whether any of the Defensive guys they passed over in RD1 (Lloyd, McDuffie, Hill, J Johnson) end up as real impact players; the team clearly needs help in those spots, and decided to go a different direction, the wisdom of which will bear itself out in time.
Yeah that’s not right at all. The Pats will almost certainly passed on one or more defensive player who makes multiple pro bowls. But so what? The key question is whether the players the did pick pan out. If three or four of the guys they drafted turn into decent starters then it’s a good draft regardless of what the players they didn’t draft go and do.
 

Cellar-Door

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Yeah that’s not right at all. The Pats will almost certainly passed on one or more defensive player who makes multiple pro bowls. But so what? The key question is whether the players the did pick pan out. If three or four of the guys they drafted turn into decent starters then it’s a good draft regardless of what the players they didn’t draft go and do.
yeah, every draft by every team sucks if the basis for success in each round is "was the guy you picked better than every single guy you could have picked" Especially since guys are situation/scheme dependant, so a guy who is good one place, likely wouldn't have succeeded in other places.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think in addition to the WR comparison, the success of this draft will come down to whether any of the Defensive guys they passed over in RD1 (Lloyd, McDuffie, Hill, J Johnson) end up as real impact players; the team clearly needs help in those spots, and decided to go a different direction, the wisdom of which will bear itself out in time.
The team also had a gaping hole at LG though.

They weighed the corners vs the OL depth and went OL. Given the drop-off in IOL quality (which we discussed here) vs corner having much more depth is that such a bad thing? Time will tell. If Strange and Thornton are quality+ starters no one will or should say shit about their class negatively.
 

E5 Yaz

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Especially since guys are situation/scheme dependant, so a guy who is good one place, likely wouldn't have succeeded in other places.
This is precisely my problem with the "they could have picked so-and-so" type of criticism. It's a lazy false-equivalency masquerading as "proof."

And for the record, So-and-So would have been perfect lined up next to Barmore
 

Ale Xander

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Overall I'm pretty stoked about the offensive linemen and RBs selected. I saw all of these guys as fits for the Patriots. I will die on this hill but I still don't think Strange was that much of a reach or a reach at all. I think reach is a flawed concept anyway.

Thornton is really who I think people are crucifying the Pats for. And I am not sure it's fair. I mean I had Moore as a 6.99, Pierce as a 6.75 and Thornton would have been around that range. Thornton out-produced Pierce in a much more difficult conference (btw the Big 12 has been one of the defensive scheme innovators for the NFL so it isn't your 2010's big 12). People are so stuck on draft lists they are tripping over themselves to nail the Pats for Thornton. The only thing that made me mad about the selection was I didn't watch him pre-draft. Lol. He has more risk to him than Pierce because of his size but he is a better route runner than Pierce and he's also faster and can beat press more consistently. So if they wanted an X and they went with Thornton it doesn't really bother me at all.

Marcus Jones is an elite returner and I think will be a very good matchup based slot corner who can handle the smaller, faster, twitched-up guys. You would stick him on an Izaiah McKenzie for example and not Bryant who doesn't have the juice to hang with him. Jones can hold his own vs those guys in 1:1 matchups even against "man-beaters" like drag routes.

So I think they restocked on IOL/OL, added slot corner depth which was needed, and got very good backup RBs. Kevin Harris is your early down backup who is very good in pass pro. Pierre Strong is a fast change of pace back, and maybe over time can do receiving work. They are, for better or worse, going to let the guys they had on the roster sink or swim at outside corner, and the front 7.

You really only had 2-3 picks with a realistic shot of being a starter. They went LG, X-WR, and slot corner. LG and slot corner aren't super valuable positions but when has Bill cared about that? This could end up being a bad draft but if Thornton and Jones are capable starters* it's a good class.

*slot corner isn't necessarily a starting position but against pass happy teams early this year Jones basically was a starter.


Who knows - maybe they live in dime this year with 3 safeties and 3 corners. Against the Bills, Jets, Fins that might be a fine strategy.
If you had him at 65 and they took him 29, how is that not a significant reach? If you had him at 35, sure 45, sure. But 65? Seems like inefficient use of capital to me.

Obviously he wasn't 65, or even 30 for them.
 

SMU_Sox

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If you had him at 65 and they took him 29, how is that not a significant reach? If you had him at 35, sure 45, sure. But 65? Seems like inefficient use of capital to me.
Strange wasn’t 65. He was 53rd overall. 29 is second round range. Strange was a second rounder and close to a top 50 guy.
 

SMU_Sox

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Honestly @Ale Xander I had 3 total games for him and in one of them he played LT, not his natural position. I had him at LG vs Kentucky and him vs East Tennessee State University. He dominated ETSU and did very well vs Kentucky.

None of these were all-22. You know how hard it is to get tape on Chattanooga? Hard enough. All-22 of them? Forget about it. I might have been even higher on him if I had better resources.
 

Cotillion

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Unless someone is doing a board tailored to every individual team. There is no appreciable way to define "reach".

Cause what's a reach? A reach according to who? By what definition?
 

Cellar-Door

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Honestly @Ale Xander I had 3 total games for him and in one of them he played LT, not his natural position. I had him at LG vs Kentucky and him vs East Tennessee State University. He dominated ETSU and did very well vs Kentucky.

None of these were all-22. You know how hard it is to get tape on Chattanooga? Hard enough. All-22 of them? Forget about it. I might have been even higher on him if I had better resources.
I wonder how much of a role this plays in consensus too... if a guy doesn't have much tape to watch, how willing is someone to go out of a limb by being high on him. The Patriots likely have all the tape, get insight from college coaches, got to see him in person, etc. etc.

I know on draft night there were people saying "oh here are two practice reps where he got power rushed by Travis Jones... as if two practice reps are a good evaluation tool. I notice that a lot of Bill's "reaches" are guys from small schools where the average writer for ESPN/CBS etc probably doesn't have the volume of tape. And the guys who fall are almost always big school guys with a ton of tape. I think for people outside the NFL, the hardest thing to do is judge small school guys, so the err on the side of caution, where they fall in love with big school guys with limitations but enough tape that they see "wow" plays.
 

SMU_Sox

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I wonder how much of a role this plays in consensus too... if a guy doesn't have much tape to watch, how willing is someone to go out of a limb by being high on him. The Patriots likely have all the tape, get insight from college coaches, got to see him in person, etc. etc.

I know on draft night there were people saying "oh here are two practice reps where he got power rushed by Travis Jones... as if two practice reps are a good evaluation tool. I notice that a lot of Bill's "reaches" are guys from small schools where the average writer for ESPN/CBS etc probably doesn't have the volume of tape. And the guys who fall are almost always big school guys with a ton of tape. I think for people outside the NFL, the hardest thing to do is judge small school guys, so the err on the side of caution, where they fall in love with big school guys with limitations but enough tape that they see "wow" plays.
I know at least half the boards that people have are people like me: we have access to some Patreons for film and publicly available resources. For guys like us it’s hard to have a strong take on Strange. I mean he clearly dominated his level of competition and stood out vs Kentucky but that’s one game! I know for me I often look at the professionals and see how much they like a guy. I don’t like going out a limb too much - I mean I will and I do but if I do I want to make sure I have the tape to back it up. No such luck with Strange.
I also think people underrate interior offensive linemen in general. I talk to these guys. A lot of them loathe doing OG and OC. With OL I think it’s probably the most technical position in the draft. You also can’t just scout your guy. You have to watch the rest of the OL. Why? Because you want to see how the other guys handle certain blocks and situations because, like Strange mentioned in his interviews, it is taught differently by each coach. So you not only have to be well-versed in OL technique but you also have to know or be able to guess what they are being taught to do. And I think the complexities of evaluating OL combined with the lack of tape can create a situation where evaluators might not be the best at getting guys like Strange right. This is just my hunch though.

As for the 1:1s… huge issue with me. They are worthless. They aren’t realistic. Travis Jones kicked everyone’s ass anyway. He’s a beast. Still don’t know why he plummeted but guys like Mathis get picked at 46, but whatever. I more or less ignore 1:1s. I don’t think they have any worthwhile predictive value. Scar talked about that too btw.
 

SMU_Sox

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To specify DL and Edge has a huge advantage over OL because the OL has to be able to defend a huge amount of space against a two-way go. And WRs have a huge advantage over DBs for a similar reason. It’s not like a true game rep. It’s… I mean it’s unrealistic and it favors one side over the other. I watch the senior bowl and listen to who looked good in the team part of the practices and in the game but that’s it!
 

Rico Guapo

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I will preface this by saying IANANFLHC, but myt biggest issue with the Patriots at the end of last season, in my amateur eyes, was the front seven getting mauled by opposing OLs.

Rushing Defense
@indy 39 Carries 226 Yards 5.8 YPC 1 TD
Buffalo 28 Carries 114 Yards 4.1 YPC 1 TD
Jacksonville 17 Carries 80 Yards 4.7 YPC 0 TD
@Miami 43 Carries 195 Yards 4.5 YPC 1 TD

Average 31.75 Carries 153.75 Yards 4.84 YPC

The picks they made filled a glaring need at OG while adding speed at WR and CB but I really wish they had done more to address the front seven which I think is pretty terrible outside of Judon and Barmore.
 

Silverdude2167

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Mel Kiper's take....


Are we allowed to question a draft from Bill Belichick? The Patriots haven't exactly lit it up over the past few Aprils, though the Mac Jones pick from 2021 appears to be a hit.
Late to the party here and a bit off-piste, but did he somehow forget about Barmore and Stevenson?
Does he just want to have selective memory so he can use it as a basis to question BB, you could have done that by just pointing to drafts from the years prior to 21?

Lazy writing is lazy.
 

BaseballJones

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I think the Strange pick and the running back picks were simple. BB is going to go to a ground and pound offense, and try to keep the other insane offenses in the AFC off the field when we play them. He'll have his deep threat if Thornton hits, but I think we'll see a lot more 2 tight end sets, with short routes underneath, and a fierce running attack (which is Strange's strongest trait).

Would have liked to have seen more on defense, but who knows what's going on there with the guys like Perkins that barely played last year. Maybe BB is actually happy with the backups, etc. stepping up that didn't see much time last season.
Maybe the hope is that the Pats just "outscore" teams. Yes, I mean, obviously you can't win if you don't outscore your opponent, but by "outscore" we usually mean live with high scoring games and not worry about defense so much. I mean last year the Pats did have the #6 scoring offense. Yes it was tilted by a few monster games, but that happened with every great scoring offense too. The point is, maybe BB thinks that he can win a bunch of games 34-31 next year?
 
Aug 9, 2015
397
yeah, every draft by every team sucks if the basis for success in each round is "was the guy you picked better than every single guy you could have picked" Especially since guys are situation/scheme dependant, so a guy who is good one place, likely wouldn't have succeeded in other places.
That wasn’t my point. It was about prioritizing a need at IOL vs. a need on D. I think can scrutinize whether that was the right call at that point in the draft. If Strange succeeds, we’ll say yes, it was a good pick. But if the D falters from, among lots of other variables, lack of top end draft investment, it’s still possible to say it was the wrong pick given the available options.
 

Captaincoop

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Jul 16, 2005
13,357
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Maybe the hope is that the Pats just "outscore" teams. Yes, I mean, obviously you can't win if you don't outscore your opponent, but by "outscore" we usually mean live with high scoring games and not worry about defense so much. I mean last year the Pats did have the #6 scoring offense. Yes it was tilted by a few monster games, but that happened with every great scoring offense too. The point is, maybe BB thinks that he can win a bunch of games 34-31 next year?
Part of my (complete guess of a) takeaway from this draft is that the coaching staff is pretty high on some of the young guys they already have on defense, particularly the ones that didn't play last year - Bledsoe, McGrone, Perkins.
 

Eddie Jurak

Go Leafs Go
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Maybe the hope is that the Pats just "outscore" teams. Yes, I mean, obviously you can't win if you don't outscore your opponent, but by "outscore" we usually mean live with high scoring games and not worry about defense so much. I mean last year the Pats did have the #6 scoring offense. Yes it was tilted by a few monster games, but that happened with every great scoring offense too. The point is, maybe BB thinks that he can win a bunch of games 34-31 next year?
I'd like to hope that the Pats have some confidence in the guys who are here: McGrone, McMillan, Wilson, Uche, Jennings, Perkins; along with Peppers and the 2 CBs they just drafted.

I also wonder if part of the thinking is that it would be best for Mac Jones' development to try to invest in the offense. Protect him (Strange), get him a weapon (Thornton), add speed and athleticism to an offense that generally lacked it.
 

rodderick

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Apr 24, 2009
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That wasn’t my point. It was about prioritizing a need at IOL vs. a need on D. I think can scrutinize whether that was the right call at that point in the draft. If Strange succeeds, we’ll say yes, it was a good pick. But if the D falters from, among lots of other variables, lack of top end draft investment, it’s still possible to say it was the wrong pick given the available options.
Strange will "succeed". Unless he's just a horrendous player, he'll start a lot of games. I just think the difference in improving your overall team between having a solid left guard and a very good left guard is minimal compared to the difference between, say, a solid cornerback and a really cornerback or a solid linebacker and a really good linebacker. If Wynn and Andrews play reasonably well I think the guy slotting in between them will mostly be fine provided he's not a disaster. Karras was perfectly adequate at the role, for instance.

Of course, they picked Strange so they surely thought he was better at his position than anyone else available was at theirs.
 

EL Jeffe

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Aug 30, 2006
1,155
This is probably best for a separate post, but the entire idea of a consensus big board being the source of truth is just absurd. When NE takes guys higher than the big board ranks them, Twitter Evaluators scream reach! But when guys go way lower than the consensus big board predicts (Willis, Ridder, Howell, etc.), it's "well, I guess the league didn't like the QBs as much as we thought. Shruggy." There's no critical evaluation of why the consensus was so far off. Nobody holds the Twitter Evaluators accountable for anything. Is anyone going to remember that Thor Nystrom had Malik Willis as the #2 player in this draft class? But his dumb ass opinion helps shape this consensus big board.

A consensus big board also doesn't take into account system, scheme, team needs, medical, character, background, and all the other stuff that amature Twitter Evaluators don't have access to. I mean, Daniel Jeremiah is great and he's got loads of contacts in the league; he f*cked up the QB landing spots badly. Even beyond the QBs, compare his top 150 list that came out last week to what actually went down. Daniel Jeremiah--or any of the Twitter Evaluators who make up these big boards--aren't doing deep dives on 300+ prospects. They just don't have time. Then ask how many of these Twitter Evaluators actually know what they're doing, and have access to the All-22? Sure, Jeremiah does. But so many of the Twitter Evaluators just have a website and some funding. And that means I'm supposed to care what they say, for some reason.

There's so much group think with these Twitter Evaluators anyhow. What makes Trevor Penning a 1st round pick but Cole Strange a 3rd round pick? They essentially have the same RAS score. They're both, big, nasty, and athletic. Strange had better tape. Flat out better tape. I defy anyone to watch Penning vs Iowa State and Strange vs Kentucky and tell me Penning is a round or two better than Strange. And if you want to say positional value of T vs G, who is criticizing the Kenyon Green or Zion Johnson picks?

And if you want so, okay--what about Phil Perry getting quotes from anonymous front office people saying so and so is a reach? Sure. But again, every team is going to stack players based on their scheme and system. NE is going to value a LB like Bentley much differently than a team like the Colts. As SMU explained earlier, a gap power team is going to evaluate IOL much differently than a zone based team. A team like NE, who is extremely comfortable playing smaller CBs, is going to evaluate Marcus and Jack Jones very differently than teams who have a hard cutoff on physical prototypes. And even then, it's not like NFL professional evaluations are some kind of infallible source of truth either. All you have to do is look at the hit rate on picks. Everyone is working off of imperfect information and trying to project. There's an awful lot of guessing that goes on. So if you have conviction in a guy, take him. Who gives a sh*t whay Eric Edholm thinks, or the bros at TDN, or the "data" guys at PFF. They don't know sh*t about f*ck anyway.

In short, the entire idea of draft reaches and value is entirely subjective in a world where people think with enough data, you can make anything objective. Warren Sharp is a giant phony. The end.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

family crest has godzilla
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Jul 26, 2007
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Someone in another thread opined that BB may have shifted into a drafting philosophy of drafting for Year 2. IDK, but it's an interesting supposition. We'll see if Perkins, McGrone, Bledsoe, Sherman or Nixon can turn into something in Year 2 this fall, while waiting until 2023 to see about guys like Jones, Jones, Strong, Harris, Roberts, Hines, and Steuber.
I dont know about a 2 year plan per se, but it feels to me that a lot of the guys drafted this year will be replacing guys who will be gone after 2022 due to contracts or retirement (Agholor, McCourty, D. Harris, Stidham).

I like the plan, but not sure what it does for the 2022 defense....
 

Jimbodandy

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Jan 31, 2006
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around the way
That wasn’t my point. It was about prioritizing a need at IOL vs. a need on D. I think can scrutinize whether that was the right call at that point in the draft. If Strange succeeds, we’ll say yes, it was a good pick. But if the D falters from, among lots of other variables, lack of top end draft investment, it’s still possible to say it was the wrong pick given the available options.
I'm least of all worried about Strange. Honestly would be a shock if he's not our starting guard for the next 5 years.

To the point about complaints, I kind of get where you're going. The analysts are often group thinking jackasses. But when everyone thinks that we need linebackers and front 7 overall, and we agree, and then Bill picks nobody there, then yes, I'll feel justified complaining in week 7 if teams are shredding the soft middle of our defense. And it's not hindsight. The game thread is polluted with my thoughts on it.

Now if the LBs we got already are awesome, then I'll be the first to say IBWT yada yada.
 
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brendan f

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Jan 13, 2019
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Lost in all of the crap the Patriots took for their draft is that they performed best in the draft in trade value (according to PFF).
 

BroodsSexton

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Feb 4, 2006
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Maybe the hope is that the Pats just "outscore" teams. Yes, I mean, obviously you can't win if you don't outscore your opponent, but by "outscore" we usually mean live with high scoring games and not worry about defense so much. I mean last year the Pats did have the #6 scoring offense. Yes it was tilted by a few monster games, but that happened with every great scoring offense too. The point is, maybe BB thinks that he can win a bunch of games 34-31 next year?
I mean, this is pretty much what I concluded when building a Retro Bowl team when I binged it on iPhone a couple months ago.
 

chief1

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Aug 10, 2012
136
Lost in all of the crap the Patriots took for their draft is that they performed best in the draft in trade value (according to PFF).
Who cares? The bottom line is did you draft prospects that can play and help your team win? What good is winning the draft value chart if you dont improve the team in the draft?
 

troparra

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Jan 3, 2007
1,862
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ntion the draft gets,
This is probably best for a separate post, but the entire idea of a consensus big board being the source of truth is just absurd. When NE takes guys higher than the big board ranks them, Twitter Evaluators scream reach! But when guys go way lower than the consensus big board predicts (Willis, Ridder, Howell, etc.), it's "well, I guess the league didn't like the QBs as much as we thought. Shruggy." There's no critical evaluation of why the consensus was so far off. Nobody holds the Twitter Evaluators accountable for anything. Is anyone going to remember that Thor Nystrom had Malik Willis as the #2 player in this draft class? But his dumb ass opinion helps shape this consensus big board.

A consensus big board also doesn't take into account system, scheme, team needs, medical, character, background, and all the other stuff that amature Twitter Evaluators don't have access to. I mean, Daniel Jeremiah is great and he's got loads of contacts in the league; he f*cked up the QB landing spots badly. Even beyond the QBs, compare his top 150 list that came out last week to what actually went down. Daniel Jeremiah--or any of the Twitter Evaluators who make up these big boards--aren't doing deep dives on 300+ prospects. They just don't have time. Then ask how many of these Twitter Evaluators actually know what they're doing, and have access to the All-22? Sure, Jeremiah does. But so many of the Twitter Evaluators just have a website and some funding. And that means I'm supposed to care what they say, for some reason.

There's so much group think with these Twitter Evaluators anyhow. What makes Trevor Penning a 1st round pick but Cole Strange a 3rd round pick? They essentially have the same RAS score. They're both, big, nasty, and athletic. Strange had better tape. Flat out better tape. I defy anyone to watch Penning vs Iowa State and Strange vs Kentucky and tell me Penning is a round or two better than Strange. And if you want to say positional value of T vs G, who is criticizing the Kenyon Green or Zion Johnson picks?

And if you want so, okay--what about Phil Perry getting quotes from anonymous front office people saying so and so is a reach? Sure. But again, every team is going to stack players based on their scheme and system. NE is going to value a LB like Bentley much differently than a team like the Colts. As SMU explained earlier, a gap power team is going to evaluate IOL much differently than a zone based team. A team like NE, who is extremely comfortable playing smaller CBs, is going to evaluate Marcus and Jack Jones very differently than teams who have a hard cutoff on physical prototypes. And even then, it's not like NFL professional evaluations are some kind of infallible source of truth either. All you have to do is look at the hit rate on picks. Everyone is working off of imperfect information and trying to project. There's an awful lot of guessing that goes on. So if you have conviction in a guy, take him. Who gives a sh*t whay Eric Edholm thinks, or the bros at TDN, or the "data" guys at PFF. They don't know sh*t about f*ck anyway.

In short, the entire idea of draft reaches and value is entirely subjective in a world where people think with enough data, you can make anything objective. Warren Sharp is a giant phony. The end.
Consensus is a hurdle, too. I don't think there's another guy outside of BB who would have drafted Strange in the 1st round. It was just too much of a break from consensus, regardless of the outliers in individual mock drafts. Most of these teams, I'm convinced, want the post-draft accolades like the Jets are getting, or at least want to avoid the post-draft criticism the Patriots are getting. BB doesn't seem to care either way.
 

SMU_Sox

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That was one of the best posts I’ve read, @EL Jeffe. Minor note but DJ does watch all these guys. Most of the smaller boards do too. But I agree with you that many of the guys on TV have not. And I also agree that many of the boards don’t watch enough games or deep dive on guys. It’s impossible for 1 person to actually do that. And furthermore many of the smaller boards like mine have the same resources you and I do. I always say with my board that it is directional. Why? Because it’s limited tape on some guys and I can only watch 2-3 games per prospect. If you really wanted to watch 4-5 games of 400 prospects or whatever it would take around 1,400 hours. Now if that’s your job? You can do it. If that’s not your job then good luck. Great post. The consensus board was total bullshit this year.
 

Cellar-Door

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Aug 1, 2006
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That was one of the best posts I’ve read, @EL Jeffe. Minor note but DJ does watch all these guys. Most of the smaller boards do too. But I agree with you that many of the guys on TV have not. And I also agree that many of the boards don’t watch enough games or deep dive on guys. It’s impossible for 1 person to actually do that. And furthermore many of the smaller boards like mine have the same resources you and I do. I always say with my board that it is directional. Why? Because it’s limited tape on some guys and I can only watch 2-3 games per prospect. If you really wanted to watch 4-5 games of 400 prospects or whatever it would take around 1,400 hours. Now if that’s your job? You can do it. If that’s not your job then good luck. Great post. The consensus board was total bullshit this year.
I think it's all about content churn in a lot of ways... people like easily defined lists, people like mock drafts.
I'm sure there are people out there doing great stuff on deep dives (like you, Brandon Thorn who only does line is interesting) and specialized by position. But not enough people show up for most of these sites to say "here are 20 IOL, each has different strengths and scheme fits, each will be higher or lower on boards depending on the team, let's look at what they do well and where they struggle" instead you end up with "here is a numerical list of guys" because that's what people read.

Also, if you do lists you can then immediately churn out grades 1 minute after the pick based on nothing but your own ranking.
 

Phil Plantier

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Mar 7, 2002
3,200
This is a great conversation. Thanks for all the insight.

So, then, how "should" a casual person watch the draft? (Understanding that we can watch and say whatever we like). Last year the Cowboys took a cornerback in the 2nd or 3rd round that no one had on their boards. Do we say "reach"? Do we only accord Belichick the benefit of the doubt?
 

SMU_Sox

queer eye for the next pats guy
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
7,982
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@Cellar-Door I would add Jon Ledyard (unfortunately for us he retired from media work but fortunately for the world he’s going to be doing charity work) to that list for edges. Jon might still do his edge work.
For corners I humbly submit the work of a friend, Josh Bollman, who deep dived on corners and will continue to do so. Check out his work on inside the pylon. He is also a huge Patriots fan. Brandon Thorn has an amazing sub stack, Trench Warfare. If you want to learn about edge, IDL, and OL play Thorn teaches you everything you need to know. It’s really illuminating. I’ve learned so much from him.
 

DJnVa

Dorito Dawg
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Dec 16, 2010
47,691
In short, the entire idea of draft reaches and value is entirely subjective in a world where people think with enough data, you can make anything objective. Warren Sharp is a giant phony. The end.
This is the way.

I think I put it in another thread, but when someone ranks a guy #45, he goes like #85 and the evaluators say he fell because of his height and teams don't like short CBs or whatever, then that's a problem with the evaluator's draft board. Because the dude was 5'9 all along. He didn't "fall". Your board isn't realistic.
 
Aug 9, 2015
397
I'm least of all worried about Strange. Honestly would be a shock if he's not our starting guard for the next 5 years.

To the point about complaints, I kind of get where you're going. The analysts are often group thinking jackasses. But when everyone thinks that we need linebackers and front 7 overall, and we agree, and then Bill picks nobody there, then yes, I'll feel justified complaining in week 7 if teams are shredding the soft middle of our defense. And it's not hindsight. The game thread is polluted with my thoughts on it.

Now if the LBs we got already are awesome, then I'll be the first to say IBWT yada yada.
I’ll be equally ecstatic and eat crow if the guys on D we have now (or add in the roster building leading up to the season) end up being sufficient.

One thing about BB: he seems to always be trying to innovate, and this is to his credit given how long he’s been around and how successful he’s been. Following his convictions and sometimes zigging when the rest of the league zags is how he finds market inefficiencies. But occasionally he’ll zig himself into a ditch, or get too clever by half. The draft is incredibly subjective and ridden with risks. The whole Pats staff commits immense resources to it. Of course they are more likely to be making the right picks than the amateur speculators. But…they get it wrong sometimes, and the fun/maddening part for fans is trying to assess why they made certain decisions, and (for me at least) playing out the counterfactuals and trying to float informed criticism. We should all be so lucky to have millions care so much about our work.