Pats 2022 draft class

chief1

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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.
Serious question. If we are to value his prospect opinion, how are we to feel about drafting only one of his top 124 players, and even more so, drafting a wide receiver in round two who did not even make it onto his top 250?
 

SMU_Sox

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Serious question. If we are to value his prospect opinion, how are we to feel about drafting only one of his top 124 players, and even more so, drafting a wide receiver in round two who did not even make it onto his top 250?
Who are you talking about? I mentioned a few people.
 

EL Jeffe

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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 mean, I'm sure DJ watches all of these guys but he can only go so in depth. An NFL team is going to have area scouts, reporting up to regional scouts, reporting up to national scouts, reporting up to director of college scouting, reporting up to Groh, reporting up to Bill. There are cross-checks, there are meetings, there are positional coaches and coordinators involved...there's just so many sets of eyes and brain power involved in these NFL evaluations. DJ is just one dude. And he's doing TV, radio, podcasts, etc. So while I think he absolutely knows what he's doing, he's getting a surface level idea on players (and relying on his league friends) when he's putting his board together versus what NE is doing.
 

SMU_Sox

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I mean, I'm sure DJ watches all of these guys but he can only go so in depth. An NFL team is going to have area scouts, reporting up to regional scouts, reporting up to national scouts, reporting up to director of college scouting, reporting up to Groh, reporting up to Bill. There are cross-checks, there are meetings, there are positional coaches and coordinators involved...there's just so many sets of eyes and brain power involved in these NFL evaluations. DJ is just one dude. And he's doing TV, radio, podcasts, etc. So while I think he absolutely knows what he's doing, he's getting a surface level idea on players (and relying on his league friends) when he's putting his board together versus what NE is doing.
Ah, I see what you mean. Yes. None of these guys have access to a lot of contextual information that NFL teams do. None of these guys are as in the weeds as teams are. To me a lot of the boards are a good use for knowing some of what a guy can do and not do well but even then...

51310

This is Brugler's writeup on Thornton. I don't really get much knowledge of him from this other than he has small hands and wrists and is fast. HT: @Super Nomario
This is, imo, not a great writeup. It doesn't tell you what schemes he is going to do well in. It doesn't tell me much about what he needs to fix with his route running. It doesn't really tell me much of anything of value.

On a side note you'll see a ton of disagreement on a guys grade but not much disagreement on what a guy can do well or doesn't do/struggles with. Most of the disagreements are based on projection. Projection is the hardest part of any analysis.
 

Jed Zeppelin

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It would be fascinating if we could get an actual consensus big board, i.e. all the teams submit their official Big Board to an accounting firm under lock and key, they collect the data and spit out an actual average of the entire league's ranking of the draft.
 

EL Jeffe

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View attachment 51310

This is Brugler's writeup on Thornton. I don't really get much knowledge of him from this other than he has small hands and wrists and is fast. HT: @Super Nomario
This is, imo, not a great writeup. It doesn't tell you what schemes he is going to do well in. It doesn't tell me much about what he needs to fix with his route running. It doesn't really tell me much of anything of value.
Yup, and. Brugler is in like the top 99% of draft analysts that I trust. But then I go watch Thorton's tape and I see that he's a very natural hands catcher. He goes out and plucks the ball with his hands, whether it's in traffic, over the middle, or sideline toe taps. And then you also find out that he had just 3 drops in 98 targets. Like, I'll take a natural hands catcher with small hands than body catcher with large hands.
 

Cellar-Door

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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?
I think the key is when you see someone call something a reach, don't worry about the rankings, go look to see what people said about them to figure out why the rankings were low on them.
Sometimes they're right, sometimes they are wrong.

One thing that happens a lot I think is that evaluators/draftniks, get caught up on something about a player and let it influence them, then they see their peers do it and groupthink sets in...

use a Patriots pick this year as an example.... you read evaluations of Thornton and all of them say... "great speed, speed shows up on tape", but most of them also say "bad body for the NFL" and you get Dane Brugler obsessing over his having small wrists. But then you look at other body concern guys like Jameson Williams who is the same size, and it's not an issue, or you look at past drafts and see guys like DeVonta Smith go high despite being tiny, and you realize "the league doesn't really buy into the bad body thing".

Also realize that nobody will remember where guys were on the big board in a year or two...

The Pats get a lot of crap for drafting Harry at 32..... consensus had him 29th
https://www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com/big-boards/2019/consensus-big-board-2019?pos=WR

Hollywood Brown who went ahead of him was 31st. Deebo, one of the guys people are upset they took him over was 39th behind Hakeem Butler

It can be fun to look back and see some of the "reaches"... 2018 jumped out... Darius Leonard was a consensus late 3rd.. he went top of the 2nd, and was better than most of the 1st rounders.
 

MainerInExile

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It would be fascinating if we could get an actual consensus big board, i.e. all the teams submit their official Big Board to an accounting firm under lock and key, they collect the data and spit out an actual average of the entire league's ranking of the draft.
That would be great fun, but it's the range rather than the average that is super interesting. To draft a guy, you have to draft him before the team that had him second highest, not before the average.
 

Zedia

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Shelterdog

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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.
I'm just going to have to appeal to authority on this one. Well-run NFL teams--and not just New England--consistently think that it is worth it to spend a lot of resources on the o-line. Karras actually kind of proves this point--he was adequate in the role as far as I can see and now he's making five million a year?

Andy Reid and BB and the Ravens and the 49ers and the Rams and pretty much every other team you can think of is willing to pay some big bucks or use high drift picks on guards.
 

Captaincoop

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ShaneTrot

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Peter King hates it as well which means the Pats hit pay dirt.

https://www.boston.com/sports/morning-sports-update/2022/05/02/patriots-draft-criticism-peter-king/?amp=1

“I don’t get New England,” King began. “Picking Cole Strange, a decent prospect from Tennessee-Chattanooga, 29th overall was a naïve move by Bill Belichick.”
Isn't there some kind of feud between King and BB? I seem to remember BB has refused to speak with him one on one since Spygate when King went after him. King used to always visit the Pats during training camp and hasn't been seen in years.
 

Cellar-Door

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So another thought on big boards, reaches etc.

Earlier the Raiders declined 5th year options on all 3 of their 2019 1sts.
All were considered reaches.

The draft guys were all taking twitter victory laps, about how "this is why the consensus big board matters, reaches, etc. etc." missing a key point....
The Raiders took the consensus 15 player at 4, consensus #30 player at 24, and consensus #45 player at 27....

So not sure why it's a win for the big board that the #15, #30 and #45 players weren't worth their option.
 

tims4wins

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So another thought on big boards, reaches etc.

Earlier the Raiders declined 5th year options on all 3 of their 2019 1sts.
All were considered reaches.

The draft guys were all taking twitter victory laps, about how "this is why the consensus big board matters, reaches, etc. etc." missing a key point....
The Raiders took the consensus 15 player at 4, consensus #30 player at 24, and consensus #45 player at 27....

So not sure why it's a win for the big board that the #15, #30 and #45 players weren't worth their option.
Fantastic point.
 

Van Everyman

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So another thought on big boards, reaches etc.

Earlier the Raiders declined 5th year options on all 3 of their 2019 1sts.
All were considered reaches.

The draft guys were all taking twitter victory laps, about how "this is why the consensus big board matters, reaches, etc. etc." missing a key point....
The Raiders took the consensus 15 player at 4, consensus #30 player at 24, and consensus #45 player at 27....

So not sure why it's a win for the big board that the #15, #30 and #45 players weren't worth their option.
Because none of these big board people ever look back and analyze how they did a year later -- at least from what I've seen. Teams? They get critiqued constantly -- "Team A missed on Player X -- we had him much lower, etc." But when was the last time any of these big board people went back and actually looked at their picks and said, "We got it wrong here"? I honestly have never seen it.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Yup, and. Brugler is in like the top 99% of draft analysts that I trust. But then I go watch Thorton's tape and I see that he's a very natural hands catcher. He goes out and plucks the ball with his hands, whether it's in traffic, over the middle, or sideline toe taps. And then you also find out that he had just 3 drops in 98 targets. Like, I'll take a natural hands catcher with small hands than body catcher with large hands.
There’s also the rumor that Pittsburgh were targeting Thorton, which prompted the Pats to trade up (aka reach) for their guy. We all know the narrative, true or partially true, that the Steelers are great at scouting and drafting WRs.

Now we’re in a position where the experts can’t lose. Paint Thorton as a reach and he would have been there later (where they were paid for their analysis on) and basically unless Thorton is significantly better they can point back to the draft and be “right”. If Pittsburgh drafts him in their spot it’d be “they did it again! Here’s the next AB!” And A+ grades. The bias around people who are paid to predict this and teams drafting histories clouds things.
 

Jimbodandy

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Peter King hates it as well which means the Pats hit pay dirt.

https://www.boston.com/sports/morning-sports-update/2022/05/02/patriots-draft-criticism-peter-king/?amp=1

“I don’t get New England,” King began. “Picking Cole Strange, a decent prospect from Tennessee-Chattanooga, 29th overall was a naïve move by Bill Belichick.”
This is the best shit.

naïve

The stones that it takes to call a guy that eats, drinks, and shits football "naïve". I love it.
 

Arroyoyo

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Genuine question: if we get several busts or average production from these early picks (which many pundits are calling “stretches”), does Kraft give in to the recent negativity around “BB the GM” (mediocre production from 2021 FA’s, Brady still playing at a high level for another team, some notable recent draft busts outside of the ‘21 class) and hire an actual GM for 2023?

Didn’t he express some disappointment in our recent drafts several months back? Then about our lack of playoff wins?

How much rope does BB actually have left considering RKK is about to turn 81? If these picks don’t justify where BB picked them, and the Pats end somewhere around .500 in 2022, will RKK make a move of some kind?
 

Shelterdog

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Genuine question: if we get several busts or average production from these early picks (which many pundits are calling “stretches”), does Kraft give in to the recent negativity around “BB the GM” (mediocre production from 2021 FA’s, Brady still playing at a high level for another team, some notable recent draft busts outside of the ‘21 class) and hire an actual GM for 2023?

Didn’t he express some disappointment in our recent drafts several months back? Then about our lack of playoff wins?

How much rope does BB actually have left considering RKK is about to turn 81? If these picks don’t justify where BB picked them, and the Pats end somewhere around .500 in 2022, will RKK make a move of some kind?
I think you're at least two and more likely three bad years away from having an "actual GM". BB is kind of the greatest of all time and hiring an "actual GM" would not go over well with BB based on everything we know.
 
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mikcou

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I think you're at least two and more likely three bad years away from having an actual GM. BB is kind of the greatest of all time and hiring an "actual GM" would not go over well with BB based on everything we know.
Ill go one further and say it wont happen at all (that a GM is hired above Bill and Bill stays on). Bill is either here or he's gone - that was the deal from the beginning and its difficult to see how it would work given the 20+ years of historical operations. Not to mention that I suspect he has contractual rights that would treat a move as a constructive dismissal.
 

DavidTai

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Isn't this more the area where Caserio and Groh assemble together their scouting reports and present them to Bill for approval? How much credit do we attribute to Bill and how much to Caserio/Groh?
(Yes, I know Caserio left, l meant that particular position, whatever it's called that's not actually a GM position).
 

Shelterdog

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Ill go one further and say it wont happen at all (that a GM is hired above Bill and Bill stays on). Bill is either here or he's gone - that was the deal from the beginning and its difficult to see how it would work given the 20+ years of historical operations. Not to mention that I suspect he has contractual rights that would treat a move as a constructive dismissal.
Agreed. Now I could actually imagine BB becoming team president/GM and stopping day to day coaching, but that would have to be on Bills' terms.
 

PedroKsBambino

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This is the best shit.

naïve

The stones that it takes to call a guy that eats, drinks, and shits football "naïve". I love it.
How many people actually have the knowledge and credibility to realistically assess a BB choice as “naive?” If it isn’t zero it’s close, right? He may well be wrong…but naive I seriously doubt
 

tims4wins

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You want to know why it's all stupid? Right here, is why it's all stupid.

View: https://twitter.com/AdamSchefter/status/1521186146243461121


Pittsburgh Steelers: B+
Top needs:
Cornerback, inside linebacker, wide receiver
In January, in my Mock Draft 1.0, I slotted in Devin Bush to the Steelers at No. 20. It was an easy decision -- yes, I’m patting myself on the back -- as Pittsburgh has struggled to replace the production of star inside linebacker Ryan Shazier. But then Bush ran a 4.43-second 40-yard dash and tested off the charts at the combine. He also killed his interviews with teams. There was no way he was going to be available in the 20s.
That’s why I like GM Kevin Colbert moving up 10 spots to get a potential superstar in Bush at No. 10. Yes, it cost a lot -- they gave up pick 20 and 52 plus a third-rounder in next year’s draft -- but Bush can be an impact player and leader in Pittsburgh. And oh, yeah: The last time Pittsburgh traded up in the first round to take a defender? It was 2003, when they moved up 11 spots for safety Troy Polamalu.
My affection for Bush is well-known, obviously, and I think he can be a superstar lynchpin for this team
 

Mystic Merlin

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I am not sure how great the fifth year option is for players now that the salary is fully guaranteed once exercised. If you are a really good player it’s almost always a no brainer for the team to exercise because it’s well under the franchise tag values and the team avoids a multi year commitment for at least another year. If you are merely a decent player nobody is exercising it.

Then again, more players will hit FA and potentially make more money net net, and you’re obviously protected from downside risk now if a team exercised the option.
 

tims4wins

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I am not sure how great the fifth year option is for players now that the salary is fully guaranteed once exercised. If you are a really good player it’s almost always a no brainer for the team to exercise because it’s well under the franchise tag values and the team avoids a multi year commitment for at least another year. If you are merely a decent player nobody is exercising it.

Then again, more players will hit FA and potentially make more money net net, and you’re obviously protected from downside risk now if a team exercised the option.
Are you responding to my post? If so, I think you missed my point
 

Harry Hooper

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Mike Krushelniski endorses this post.
Excellent, bless ol' Fred. Wikipedia notes, "Fred Cusick was the color commentator on WEEI for the very first game of the fledgling American Football League, a Friday night contest between the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots on September 9, 1960, at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University."



So not sure why it's a win for the big board that the #15, #30 and #45 players weren't worth their option.
Indeed.
 

Jimbodandy

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How many people actually have the knowledge and credibility to realistically assess a BB choice as “naive?” If it isn’t zero it’s close, right? He may well be wrong…but naive I seriously doubt
Exactly. One doesn't have to be president of the BFB fan club or agree with everything that he does. Bill has his misses like everyone else. But that word choice is mind-blowing.
 

Jimbodandy

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Excellent, bless ol' Fred. Wikipedia notes, "Fred Cusick was the color commentator on WEEI for the very first game of the fledgling American Football League, a Friday night contest between the Denver Broncos and the Boston Patriots on September 9, 1960, at Nickerson Field on the campus of Boston University.
Indeed.
Complete tangent but my dad swore that Fred was suspended from calling Bruins on the radio for saying "hit the fucking post" on air after a few too many pops between periods one night.

Actually now I'm not sure if his memory was bad or mine is.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Are you responding to my post? If so, I think you missed my point
So Schefter has a well know affection to the player, which will tend him to overate him and slot him at 20 and then praises the Steelers for trading up for him at 10. This is all so stupid.
 

BusRaker

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The actual draft is the source of the truth and the boards should be evaluated by how close they come to predicting it rather than vice versa. Is that a thing?
 

tims4wins

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So Schefter has a well know affection to the player, which will tend him to overate him and slot him at 20 and then praises the Steelers for trading up for him at 10. This is all so stupid.
It was Kiper’s analysis but yes. Praise the shit out of the pick, no comment for overrating him now that his 5th year option isn’t getting picked up.
 

67YAZ

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Personally, I miss actual NFL writers with real sources in teams working up mock drafts. For sure, teams were a lot looser with their scouting intell in the past, but good writers could sort the bs from the substance to publish pieces that were at least as informative about the teams as the players. Like this Dr Z mock from 2008.

I really appreciate the folks like @SMU_Sox who make clear, detail evaluations against a team’s preferences for players. That really feels like a meaningful evaluation. But the amount of junk that gets published each year now is overwhelming, even at the most reputable outlets.

edit: upon reflection, I guess I find the actual players the least interesting part of the draft. How they play in the NFL is the question, and what’s interesting is how teams move from scouting to development with this players.
 
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Joe Sixpack

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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.
I will take you up on this charity bet, not because I doubt your analysis at all (I'm pretty much clueless on this stuff but I really enjoy your posts/analysis here) but because it'll be fun to follow and I also like having a good excuse to donate to charity.
 

Dollar

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pieces that were at least as informative about the teams as the players. Like this Dr Z mock from 2008.
Off topic, but where the heck was Jerod Mayo in Dr. Z's mock draft? I don't remember Mayo being some out of nowhere pick. I figured he'd go somewhere around 15 to 20 but definitely in the first.
 
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FelixMantilla

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Complete tangent but my dad swore that Fred was suspended from calling Bruins on the radio for saying "hit the fucking post" on air after a few too many pops between periods one night.

Actually now I'm not sure if his memory was bad or mine is.
I hear that Don Earl and that was why he went to Philadelphia and Fred got brought on board in Boston. Never have been able to verify it though.
 
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mwonow

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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.
Along the same lines, here's one from The Athletic: "If not for off-field issues that led to his dismissal at USC, Jack Jones probably would have been an earlier draft pick."

No. Really? D'ya think he might have gone even higher if he was taller, faster, had better college stats, and/or was a QB, too?

This kind of stuff drives me crazier than it ought (obviously).
 

67YAZ

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Off topic, but where the heck was Jerod Mayo in Dr. Z's mock draft? I don't remember Mayo being some out of nowhere pick. I figured he'd go somewhere around 15 to 20 but definitely in the first.
LOL. I thought the same. But doing a little googling, I see a couple other mocks without Mayo in round one, including Kiper(!) as well as at 19 and 29. Keith Rivers was the big ILB that year…so much for the expert consensus.
 
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Complete tangent but my dad swore that Fred was suspended from calling Bruins on the radio for saying "hit the fucking post" on air after a few too many pops between periods one night.

Actually now I'm not sure if his memory was bad or mine is.
I remember hearing that story when I was growing up.
 

Harry Hooper

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King had this near the end of his column:

u. Curious to know the answer to this: I drove through Randallstown, Md., to get to the Ravens complex on Saturday. I drove past Anne Hathaway Drive. I am dying to know why there is an Anne Hathaway Drive in the middle of Maryland. Anne Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, raised in Millburn, N.J. Wikipedia says nothing about Randallstown, Md., on her page. Maybe there’s another Anne Hathaway famous enough to have a street in Randallstown. Someone knows something. Tell me: peterkingfmia@gmail.com


Note to a professional writer: William Shakespeare's wife was named Anne Hathaway.
 

Ferm Sheller

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King had this near the end of his column:


Note to a professional writer: William Shakespeare's wife was named Anne Hathaway.
What's next? Is he going to ask why there's a Chevy Chase, MD and not a Bill Murray, a Dan Ackroyd, or a John Belushi?
 

j44thor

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It was Kiper’s analysis but yes. Praise the shit out of the pick, no comment for overrating him now that his 5th year option isn’t getting picked up.
I think you missed the part about Bush tearing his ACL in 2020. Came back last year but wasn't the same player pre-injury. Don't think this should be the litmus test for draftnik analysis.
 

JM3

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Along the same lines, here's one from The Athletic: "If not for off-field issues that led to his dismissal at USC, Jack Jones probably would have been an earlier draft pick."

No. Really? D'ya think he might have gone even higher if he was taller, faster, had better college stats, and/or was a QB, too?

This kind of stuff drives me crazier than it ought (obviously).
Break into one Panda Express at 3 a.m. & all of a sudden people think you are no longer an excellent football player.