Pats Depth Chart: an Early Look

RedOctober3829

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EL Jeffe

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Keene makes some sense as a FB/HB. He was a big time high school RB at a powerhouse program, and he saw a handful of carries at VA Tech. He's taller than the typical FB/HB, so pad level for blocking is something he'd have to be mindful of. But I think that's a role he could have some success with. If he can't beat out Jak Johnson, he's not an NFL player. Johnson is a great story, but he's not a very good NFL player. He's physical, but misses a few too many blocks and offers little to no value in the passing game. You're not going to hand it off to him at FB on a trap or FB dive play either (which would be more in the playbook with Mac at QB vs, Cam, who would execute those types of scheme plays himself on QB keepers).

For recent 3rd round picks, I can very much see them moving on from Cajuste and possibly Jennings. I'm sure they'd be giving Nick a call beforehand to gauge interest since Houston needs they young talent due to the BOB bare cupboard.
 

Saints Rest

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QB (3) C.Newton, M. Jones, J. Stidham
WR (4) N.Agholor, K.Bourne, J.Meyers, N.Harry
RB (5) D.Harris, J.White, R.Stevenson, S.Michel, D. Keene (FB/H-Back)
TE (3) J.Smith, H.Henry, D.Asiasi
C (2) D.Andrews, T.Karras
G (3) S.Mason, M.Onwenu, W. Sherman
T (4) I.Wynn, T.Brown, C. Herron, Waiver wire/TBD
DL (5) L.Guy, D.Godchaux, D.Wise, H.Anderson, C.Barmore
ILB(3) D.Hightower, J.Bentley, J. Uche
OLB(5) M.Judon, K.VanNoy, C.Winovich, R.Perkins, A.Jennings
CB (5) S.Gilmore, J.Jackson, J. Jones, J.Williams, M.Bryant
SS (2) A.Phillips, K.Dugger
FS (2) D.McCourty, J. Mills
ST (7) N.Folk, J.Bailey, J.Cardona, G.Olszewski, M.Slater, C.Davis, J. Bethel

The last spot came down to Stidham, JJ. Taylor, Bolden, Hall, and McMillan. I went with Stidham for the extra layer of depth at QB considering a 17 game season combined with the potential of COVID still being out there/quarantine scenarios where you don't want to be the Denver Broncos playing a practice squad WR as your starting QB because you're out of options.

For the final OL spot, I think they'll look for a cut-down candidate who they like better than Cajuste, Cunningham, Marcus Martin, etc. Maybe they trade for a guy, IDK.
I would think they can dump Stidham to the PS without too much worry of losing him (or replacing him), in the event of injury hitting Jones or Cam
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Keene makes some sense as a FB/HB. He was a big time high school RB at a powerhouse program, and he saw a handful of carries at VA Tech. He's taller than the typical FB/HB, so pad level for blocking is something he'd have to be mindful of. But I think that's a role he could have some success with. If he can't beat out Jak Johnson, he's not an NFL player. Johnson is a great story, but he's not a very good NFL player. He's physical, but misses a few too many blocks and offers little to no value in the passing game. You're not going to hand it off to him at FB on a trap or FB dive play either (which would be more in the playbook with Mac at QB vs, Cam, who would execute those types of scheme plays himself on QB keepers).

For recent 3rd round picks, I can very much see them moving on from Cajuste and possibly Jennings. I'm sure they'd be giving Nick a call beforehand to gauge interest since Houston needs they young talent due to the BOB bare cupboard.
I haven't seen this take before. Johnson has looked great as a blocker and has replaced Develin nicely. I'd find it pretty hard to believe Keene is a better blocker at this point in his career. Maybe Keene beats out Asiasi who hasn't shown much of anything either but from what I've seen in the past, as much as Bill likes versatility he loves guys that do their job well.
 

Super Nomario

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I haven't seen this take before. Johnson has looked great as a blocker and has replaced Develin nicely. I'd find it pretty hard to believe Keene is a better blocker at this point in his career. Maybe Keene beats out Asiasi who hasn't shown much of anything either but from what I've seen in the past, as much as Bill likes versatility he loves guys that do their job well.
The bigger issue for Johnson is that, going to a primarily 2 TE offense, I'm not sure how many snaps even exist for a FB. They didn't carry one during the Gronknandez heyday. Keene fits as Jonnu Smith's backup, and if he can do some FB things on the handful of short yardage snaps they need that, awesome.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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The bigger issue for Johnson is that, going to a primarily 2 TE offense, I'm not sure how many snaps even exist for a FB. They didn't carry one during the Gronknandez heyday. Keene fits as Jonnu Smith's backup, and if he can do some FB things on the handful of short yardage snaps they need that, awesome.
The Ravens still carry a fullback with as much as they run multiple TE sets. I think people are too quick to discard the position because there’s no perceived value or appeal to a dedicated lead blocker. I remember many here making the case for how we didn’t need Develin when he was here. BB and I’m pretty sure McDaniels love a guy that can find their target and take him out of the equation. Johnson may play a position that’s becoming antiquated league wide but as we’ve seen BB thinks it’s far from fungible.
 

Super Nomario

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The Ravens still carry a fullback with as much as they run multiple TE sets. I think people are too quick to discard the position because there’s no perceived value or appeal to a dedicated lead blocker. I remember many here making the case for how we didn’t need Develin when he was here. BB and I’m pretty sure McDaniels love a guy that can find their target and take him out of the equation. Johnson may play a position that’s becoming antiquated league wide but as we’ve seen BB thinks it’s far from fungible.
The issue is they're paying two TE 8-figure contracts. Those guys are going to be on the field almost every snap. So if you put a FB on there, you're going one WR. I could see them sprinkling that in occasionally but I don't think 1 WR sets will be a regular thing.
 
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Johnson played over 40% of ST snaps last year while Keene played less than 2%. Somebody has to take those snaps, and we know BB values those contributions more than many other coaches.

Wino was also prominent on special teams.
 

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I feel like there is going to be a huge amount of roster turnover compared to last season. But using Kyed's projection as a basis, there are only 17 changes,-- 9 on O, 8 on D, -- and three of those (Hightower, Van Noy, Karras) are returning to the fold after a year away.

Although 17 is a bit on the high-side of roster churn, it is not out of the ordinary.

Looked at positionally, I see it this way (numbers refer to numbers of new faces):
QB: 1
RB: 1
WR: 2
TE: 2
OL: 2
DL: 3
Edge: 2
LB: 1
DB: 1
 

Captaincoop

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I'm surprised folks have Vitale making the team. I would bet Vitale gets the same treatment Marqise Lee got. He signed here, opted out despite being healthy and not at particular risk from Covid, and is totally replaceable.
 

RedOctober3829

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My initial 53-man
QB(3)--Newton, Jones, Stidham
RB(4)--Michel, Harris, White, Stevenson
TE(3)--Henry, Smith, Asiasi
FB/H-Back(1)--Keene
WR(5)-Agholor, Bourne, Meyers, Gunner, Harry
OL(8)-Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Herron, Karras, Sherman

DL(5)-Guy, Godcheaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore
Edge(5)-Judon, Van Noy, Winovich, Perkins, Uche
LB(4)-Hightower, Bentley, McMillan, Jennings
CB(5)-Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Bryant, Williams
SAF(5)-McCourty, Dugger, Mills, Phillips, Davis
ST(5)-Folk, Bailey, Cardona, Slater, Bethel

IR: McGrone
P-Squad: Bledsoe, Nixon
 

Captaincoop

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My initial 53-man
QB(3)--Newton, Jones, Stidham
RB(4)--Michel, Harris, White, Stevenson
TE(3)--Henry, Smith, Asiasi
FB/H-Back(1)--Keene
WR(5)-Agholor, Bourne, Meyers, Gunner, Harry
OL(8)-Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Herron, Karras, Sherman

DL(5)-Guy, Godcheaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore
Edge(5)-Judon, Van Noy, Winovich, Perkins, Uche
LB(4)-Hightower, Bentley, McMillan, Jennings
CB(5)-Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Bryant, Williams
SAF(5)-McCourty, Dugger, Mills, Phillips, Davis
ST(5)-Folk, Bailey, Cardona, Slater, Bethel

IR: McGrone
P-Squad: Bledsoe, Nixon
This looks pretty good, but given how improved the front seven is, and how atrocious he was last year, I expect Bentley to be cut.
 

BigSoxFan

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My initial 53-man
QB(3)--Newton, Jones, Stidham
RB(4)--Michel, Harris, White, Stevenson
TE(3)--Henry, Smith, Asiasi
FB/H-Back(1)--Keene
WR(5)-Agholor, Bourne, Meyers, Gunner, Harry
OL(8)-Wynn, Onwenu, Andrews, Mason, Brown, Herron, Karras, Sherman

DL(5)-Guy, Godcheaux, Anderson, Wise, Barmore
Edge(5)-Judon, Van Noy, Winovich, Perkins, Uche
LB(4)-Hightower, Bentley, McMillan, Jennings
CB(5)-Gilmore, Jackson, Jones, Bryant, Williams
SAF(5)-McCourty, Dugger, Mills, Phillips, Davis
ST(5)-Folk, Bailey, Cardona, Slater, Bethel

IR: McGrone
P-Squad: Bledsoe, Nixon
Initial reactions:

QB: Group looks soooooo much better now with a legit blue chip prospect in there
RB: That's a really good RB room, especially if Stevenson is legit
TE: Giddy up. If Asiasi flashes something, pants off
FB: Looking forward to seeing if Keene can provide anything
WR: Still very underwhelmed here. Not a single player who defensive coordinators need to spend much time on. "Serviceable" is the best I can say
OL: Solid group with potential for more (if Wynn ever stays healthy). I'm not giving up on Cajuste just yet but not optimistic

DL: Solid unit. If Barmore pops, it'll turn from neutral to a plus.
Edge: Love....love this unit. Lots of versatility. Good mixture of vet and young talent.
LB: Another solid unit but need to see what Hightower has left. Other 3 guys don't exactly wow you.
CB: We're in good shape as long as the first 3 guys are around/healthy. Put up or shut up time, JoeJuan
SAF: Another exciting unit with a good mixture of youth and experience. Really excited for Dugger Year 2. Could see a big leap from him.
ST: Very good, as always
 

BigSoxFan

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QB and WR are HUGE question marks heading into the season. Would love to see a couple more signings at WR for competition sake.
My big concern at WR is that there isn’t anyone with speed outside of Agholor. He sprains a knee and who else can run those routes? I’d also like to see Harry traded for whatever and use his roster spot on the best possible camp cut at WR.
 

Bowser

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My big concern at WR is that there isn’t anyone with speed outside of Agholor. He sprains a knee and who else can run those routes?
This is precisely why I had Anthony Schwartz on my draft list. Alas...
I’d also like to see Harry traded for whatever and use his roster spot on the best possible camp cut at WR.
Agreed, though we'd likely have to take pennies on the dollar, and I don't see BB doing that. I'd rather give the spot to Cajuste, Keene or Nixon.
 

BigSoxFan

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Are you factoring in the receiving contributions from the TEs in your eval of the pass catchers? Smith and Henry are going to be major factors along with Agholor/Bourne/Meyers/White.
TEs definitely help but it’s still a weak group of secondary (at best) WRs. Obviously, this is a run heavy offense so we don’t need prime Jerry Rice or anything but we’re also not unlocking the full potential of the 2 TEs until we have a true WR1 out there taking some coverage away.
 

Jimbodandy

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TEs definitely help but it’s still a weak group of secondary (at best) WRs. Obviously, this is a run heavy offense so we don’t need prime Jerry Rice or anything but we’re also not unlocking the full potential of the 2 TEs until we have a true WR1 out there taking some coverage away.
This offense doesn’t require a true WR1. Never has.
 

FL4WL3SS

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This offense doesn’t require a true WR1. Never has.
It's questionable if there's even a true #2 on this team. The point still stands, we won't see the full potential out of the TEs if the WRs suck.

I'm just not seeing where production is coming from in that group. Especially with Cam throwing the ball. I'm not high on Mac Jones and don't see a path for him to start this season. We've traditionally seen rookie offensive players take several years to break into the offense and be productive (mostly WR), I can't see a rookie QB breaking that mold.
 

BaseballJones

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It's questionable if there's even a true #2 on this team. The point still stands, we won't see the full potential out of the TEs if the WRs suck.

I'm just not seeing where production is coming from in that group. Especially with Cam throwing the ball.
The WRs shouldn't suck.

2020 stats...

Agholor: 48 rec, 58.5% catch rate, 896 yds, 18.7 y/c (clearly they threw deep to him a ton, hence the large y/c but low catch rate)
Bourne: 49 rec, 66.2% catch rate, 667 yds, 13.6 y/c (with a mash-mash of QB throwing to him last year with all their injuries)
Meyers: 59 rec, 72.8% catch rate, 729 yds, 12.4 y/c (with Cam throwing to him)

That's three good - not GREAT, but good - receivers. Add in James White, who we know is a great receiving back, and two high-level TEs, and that's a lot of quality receiving threats defenses have to account for.
 

BigSoxFan

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The WRs shouldn't suck.

2020 stats...

Agholor: 48 rec, 58.5% catch rate, 896 yds, 18.7 y/c (clearly they threw deep to him a ton, hence the large y/c but low catch rate)
Bourne: 49 rec, 66.2% catch rate, 667 yds, 13.6 y/c (with a mash-mash of QB throwing to him last year with all their injuries)
Meyers: 59 rec, 72.8% catch rate, 729 yds, 12.4 y/c (with Cam throwing to him)

That's three good - not GREAT, but good - receivers. Add in James White, who we know is a great receiving back, and two high-level TEs, and that's a lot of quality receiving threats defenses have to account for.
Agholor is the lone deep threat. Who runs those routes if he gets hurt? Meyers and Bourne are decent intermediate threats and obviously Jonnu/Henry are good there as well. Jonnu will likely take some of that role down the seam.

I think this group still needs another body or two. I don’t expect Harry or Gunner to ever be real factors here.
 

BaseballJones

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Agholor is the lone deep threat. Who runs those routes if he gets hurt? Meyers and Bourne are decent intermediate threats and obviously Jonnu/Henry are good there as well. Jonnu will likely take some of that role down the seam.

I think this group still needs another body or two. I don’t expect Harry or Gunner to ever be real factors here.
Right now they don't have a huge deep threat. Who was their deep threat in the early 90s? Patten I guess. But their best receivers (other than Moss) have always been the intermediate types: Brown, Givens, Branch, Welker, Edelman, Amendola, etc.). I, too, would love one more quality WR who can run deep and was a little surprised they didn't address this more in the draft. Maybe Nixon can be that guy. He's certainly fast (4.44 40).
 

BigSoxFan

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Right now they don't have a huge deep threat. Who was their deep threat in the early 90s? Patten I guess. But their best receivers (other than Moss) have always been the intermediate types: Brown, Givens, Branch, Welker, Edelman, Amendola, etc.). I, too, would love one more quality WR who can run deep and was a little surprised they didn't address this more in the draft. Maybe Nixon can be that guy. He's certainly fast (4.44 40).
None of the past comparisons are particularly relevant. We don’t have Tom Brady anymore to make everyone better. At this point, we have no idea what this offense does or does not need right now, especially with 2 new TEs and 2 new top 3 WRs. The overall talent level is clearly much improved from last year. I remain very excited about the TEs.

It’s possible that they make it work but I still view the WR unit as pretty much the weakest on the team. But, obviously, none of it really matters if we don’t get more production at QB.
 

BaseballJones

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None of the past comparisons are particularly relevant. We don’t have Tom Brady anymore to make everyone better. At this point, we have no idea what this offense does or does not need right now, especially with 2 new TEs and 2 new top 3 WRs. The overall talent level is clearly much improved from last year. I remain very excited about the TEs.

It’s possible that they make it work but I still view the WR unit as pretty much the weakest on the team. But, obviously, none of it really matters if we don’t get more production at QB.
Well your post is obviously correct. If we get 2020 Cam-like production from the QB, this team is going nowhere. I think the hope is that they improved the TE positions *significantly*, the OL is terrific, we get a full year of Harris at RB and the RB group is really good, and the WRs are definitely *better* - thus giving Cam a much much much better overall supporting cast than in 2020. Thus, the hope is that he will naturally perform much better with better talent around him.

Now I don't think Cam is the answer at QB. I hope he plays great, I really do. Easy guy to root for. But I think Jones will be a better passer and the offense likely will be more productive with Jones than with Cam. Probably not right away as there's a huge adjustment for Jones, like any rookie. But at the end of the day, I think the team with Jones will be better offensively than with Cam. But yeah, if the QB play sucks, then it won't matter.
 

BigSoxFan

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Well your post is obviously correct. If we get 2020 Cam-like production from the QB, this team is going nowhere. I think the hope is that they improved the TE positions *significantly*, the OL is terrific, we get a full year of Harris at RB and the RB group is really good, and the WRs are definitely *better* - thus giving Cam a much much much better overall supporting cast than in 2020. Thus, the hope is that he will naturally perform much better with better talent around him.

Now I don't think Cam is the answer at QB. I hope he plays great, I really do. Easy guy to root for. But I think Jones will be a better passer and the offense likely will be more productive with Jones than with Cam. Probably not right away as there's a huge adjustment for Jones, like any rookie. But at the end of the day, I think the team with Jones will be better offensively than with Cam. But yeah, if the QB play sucks, then it won't matter.
Agreed. There is clearly more talent here. If the new guys replicate 2020 production, we’re in decent shape. And if we could replace Harry with someone who can run Agholor’s routes, I’d feel better. It’s quite possible that they plan on doing so. Still only May so plenty of time to make additional moves once we see camp cuts. It’s also possible that Tre Nixon pops. I obviously never expected anything from Jakobi Meyers in camp so we’ll see.

Good news is that we’re clearly in better shape than last year. If Cam can make even incremental improvement, it’ll really show.
 

lexrageorge

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The good news this season is that Cam should be one year removed from the injuries that plagued him late in his Carolina career, should have the benefit of a full suite of offseason practices, a normal training camp, and a whole year of learning the system under his belt. And there is little chance he will get CoVid in 2021 assuming he was smart and got vaccinated. And we really shouldn't underestimate the impact of CoVid; these guys normally play through "the flu" on a regular basis, but nearly every athlete that has gotten a bad case has said how much of a struggle it is to get back to normal (Tatum, Langford, Ed-Rod, Fournier are just some local examples). If we get league average contribution from the QB position this season, that would be a huge upgrade, and I don't see any reason why that cannot happen.

Still don't get the pessimism on Mac Jones. I don't expect Jones to contribute much his rookie season, which is fine. There's no real reason to rush him out there before he's ready.

The WR corps has been upgraded from last season's drek (not including Edelman in that "drek", but he was hurt most of the season). Unclear if that unit will be league average in 2021, but the massive improvement in the tight end group will still help the passing game a lot. There may still be trade and cutdown pickups to be made as well.

I'm far more pumped for 2021 NFL season than I was for 2020's.
 

Jimbodandy

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The WRs shouldn't suck.

2020 stats...

Agholor: 48 rec, 58.5% catch rate, 896 yds, 18.7 y/c (clearly they threw deep to him a ton, hence the large y/c but low catch rate)
Bourne: 49 rec, 66.2% catch rate, 667 yds, 13.6 y/c (with a mash-mash of QB throwing to him last year with all their injuries)
Meyers: 59 rec, 72.8% catch rate, 729 yds, 12.4 y/c (with Cam throwing to him)

That's three good - not GREAT, but good - receivers. Add in James White, who we know is a great receiving back, and two high-level TEs, and that's a lot of quality receiving threats defenses have to account for.
They've won Super Bowls with much less, and lost Super Bowls with more.

The skills positions on offense are not weak. Depth might not be great (it isn't), but the starters are NFL quality starters.

People have ptsd from last year I think.
 

BigSoxFan

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They've won Super Bowls with much less, and lost Super Bowls with more.

The skills positions on offense are not weak. Depth might not be great (it isn't), but the starters are NFL quality starters.

People have ptsd from last year I think.
They’ve won Super Bowls with Tom Brady. We have Cam Newton. The past means absolutely nothing with respect to 2021 season.

Nobody said the skill positions on offense are weak (but please correct me if I'm wrong). I certainly didn't. I really like the RBs and the TEs. My comments are exclusively related to WR group. This has nothing to do with PTSD. It's a commentary about the current unit, which is 5 guys who have never eclipsed a 900 yard season and 2 guys who have almost literally never done anything.

I don't think it's a crazy take to think this WR group is meh but reasonable minds can disagree.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

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Bourne and Agholor were essentially #2s on their teams last year no?
I think you could even make a case for Agholor being the #1 WR or at least 1a with Ruggs or Renfrow being 1b. Waller was probably the top receiving option but as far as WRs go Agholor was a main target.
 

BigSoxFan

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I think you could even make a case for Agholor being the #1 WR or at least 1a with Ruggs or Renfrow being 1b. Waller was probably the top receiving option but as far as WRs go Agholor was a main target.
Yup. If Agholor repeats 2020, we are in pretty good shape. My main concern is if he goes down given the impact it might have on the TEs and the corresponding safety coverage they draw. I don't see anyone on the current roster who can reasonably be expected to replicate his role whereas I think Meyers could cover for a Bourne injury and vice versa with Harry/Gunner stepping into the #3 role. This is why I would like to use Harry's roster spot on a different type of WR.

Clearly, this is going to be a team that relies more heavily on RBs/TEs than most so the need for a true elite talent at WR is not truly a "must have" but more of a "nice to have". But, again, none of this matters if Cam is throwing worm burners to everyone.
 

DJnVa

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Yup. If Agholor repeats 2020, we are in pretty good shape. My main concern is if he goes down given the impact it might have on the TEs and the corresponding safety coverage they draw. I don't see anyone on the current roster who can reasonably be expected to replicate his role whereas I think Meyers could cover for a Bourne injury and vice versa with Harry/Gunner stepping into the #3 role.
You have to pick your poison. There's no way to give every single player a backup that can exactly replicate what they do.
 

BigSoxFan

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You have to pick your poison. There's no way to give every single player a backup that can exactly replicate what they do.
Never said I need an Agholor clone. But I would like another guy who is physically capable of running similar routes. Harry is entirely fungible so it really wouldn't be hard to execute at all, if the team can find someone who gets cut or via trade.
 

JM3

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Agholor is the lone deep threat. Who runs those routes if he gets hurt? Meyers and Bourne are decent intermediate threats and obviously Jonnu/Henry are good there as well. Jonnu will likely take some of that role down the seam.

I think this group still needs another body or two. I don’t expect Harry or Gunner to ever be real factors here.
Tre Nixon
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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They’ve won Super Bowls with Tom Brady. We have Cam Newton. The past means absolutely nothing with respect to 2021 season.

Nobody said the skill positions on offense are weak (but please correct me if I'm wrong). I certainly didn't. I really like the RBs and the TEs. My comments are exclusively related to WR group. This has nothing to do with PTSD. It's a commentary about the current unit, which is 5 guys who have never eclipsed a 900 yard season and 2 guys who have almost literally never done anything.

I don't think it's a crazy take to think this WR group is meh but reasonable minds can disagree.
I love what they did this offseason but I agree that we shouldn't go overboard in overhyping the new additions or making assumptions about how all these guys will translate and mesh.

Putting aside the statistics for a second, the big question for me is this:

Imagine we're in a high stakes game against a team with one of the better and more aggressive defensive backfields in the league. None of Josh's rub routes or other man beater plays seem to be working to scheme our way to first downs. Which of these TEs and WRs are we relying on to win against good man coverage on big third downs when we really need to make a play?

There might be an answer but I'm not really sure who it is. In terms of WRs and TEs, we've gone from Gronk and Jules to just Jules to ????.

If the answer ends up being James White we're in trouble.
 

JM3

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Not banking on a 7th rounder but he’s at least a possibility. I’m confident there will be an addition or two before main camp in July.
No need to bank on anything, but I think he has a better chance than anyone else to fill the deep role behind Agholor this season.

& I don't really think of him as a 7th round talent, but we shall see.
 

Bowser

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Is Cam even worth a roster spot? His arm is (probably) shot. His mechanics prevent him from being consistently accurate. He doesn't see the field well. He can't feel pressure. He's careless with the ball. It's doubtful he can run all of McDaniels' offense.

Now there's a guy on the roster who's likely Cam's equal or superior in all these areas. Sure, Cam's likeable and has cache. BB has always spoken well of him. But I don't see how he's able to utilize the weapons better than Mac. Unless Cam is willing to be Plan B, I don't think he's worth a roster spot.
 

BigSoxFan

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I love what they did this offseason but I agree that we shouldn't go overboard in overhyping the new additions or making assumptions about how all these guys will translate and mesh.

Putting aside the statistics for a second, the big question for me is this:

Imagine we're in a high stakes game against a team with one of the better and more aggressive defensive backfields in the league. None of Josh's rub routes or other man beater plays seem to be working to scheme our way to first downs. Which of these TEs and WRs are we relying on to win against good man coverage on big third downs when we really need to make a play?

There might be an answer but I'm not really sure who it is. In terms of WRs and TEs, we've gone from Gronk and Jules to just Jules to ????.

If the answer ends up being James White we're in trouble.
Agreed. I like Agholor as the deep threat. I think Meyers really developed last year and Bourne is solid as well for intermediate "move the chains" type work. If those are your top 3, you're not in terrible shape, especially with 2 very good to elite TEs. But, as we know, injuries and attrition will happen. But, when push comes to shove and it's 3rd and 8 and we need a conversion, I'm not sure who is "the guy". My gut, based on absolutely zero data, is it's currently Bourne but the hope is that Jonnu really emerges this year. He is physically the most difficult matchup on the team, IMO.
 

Shelterdog

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Feb 19, 2002
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I love what they did this offseason but I agree that we shouldn't go overboard in overhyping the new additions or making assumptions about how all these guys will translate and mesh.

Putting aside the statistics for a second, the big question for me is this:

Imagine we're in a high stakes game against a team with one of the better and more aggressive defensive backfields in the league. None of Josh's rub routes or other man beater plays seem to be working to scheme our way to first downs. Which of these TEs and WRs are we relying on to win against good man coverage on big third downs when we really need to make a play?

There might be an answer but I'm not really sure who it is. In terms of WRs and TEs, we've gone from Gronk and Jules to just Jules to ????.

If the answer ends up being James White we're in trouble.
The answer at least now appears to be Henry and Agholor, both of whom have some ability. But I think the real answer is that this team isn't going to be winning a ton of games where it has to complete a lot of passes to get some big third downs--it's going to win by mauling teams defensively, running the ball well and using a tight end focused passing game to supplement the running game.
 

Morgan's Magic Snowplow

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Jul 2, 2006
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But I think the real answer is that this team isn't going to be winning a ton of games where it has to complete a lot of passes to get some big third downs--it's going to win by mauling teams defensively, running the ball well and using a tight end focused passing game to supplement the running game.
The first part about not winning may be sadly true, but ultimately I don't think the latter part is a realistic formula for success. The league is so offensively-oriented that even a great defense isn't going to consistently hold down top opposing offenses. In some games, you're going to need to score 30+ and you're going to find yourself in game situations where you need to throw the ball 80% of second half plays to win.
 

Shelterdog

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The first part about not winning may be sadly true, but ultimately I don't think the latter part is a realistic formula for success. The league is so offensively-oriented that even a great defense isn't going to consistently hold down top opposing offenses. In some games, you're going to need to score 30+ and you're going to find yourself in game situations where you need to throw the ball 80% of second half plays to win.
If that ends up being the case it's a little hard for me to see them winning a ton of those games, at least not in 2021.