The GM Search?

Bowser

New Member
Sep 27, 2019
440
The draft is definitely not a crapshoot. If it is, then why have a consensus board? Does it tell us nothing?

Give me five 1st round picks and I'll come up with better players than someone with five 7th round picks.
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,891
Hingham, MA
Basically that is what the argument always delves into. Specifically WRs are a crapshoot so NE is absolved from never drafting a productive one in rounds 1-5 under BB since Deion Branch over 20yrs ago. They also get a pass because they don't draft as many.
I think this is precisely what fans do not give them a pass for. They have not taken enough shots. That's the fault I have with them. Obviously some of the individual selections hurt. Like I hate the Harry pick in comparison to the guys who went immediately after him. But their failing has been to not take enough shots moreso than the talent evaluation.
 

Silverdude2167

Member
SoSH Member
Oct 9, 2006
4,791
Amstredam
The draft is definitely not a crapshoot. If it is, then why have a consensus board? Does it tell us nothing?

Give me five 1st round picks and I'll come up with better players than someone with five 7th round picks.
Yeah duh, unfortunetly you are only given one 1st round pick.

How do you feel about the 2020 QB class? 5 top 15 picks and one good QB, that some people are currently throwing a little side-eye at.

For the people saying the draft is not a crapshoot, what are you expecting from each draft? And why are the majority of NFL teams not meeting your expectations?
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,891
Hingham, MA
The draft is definitely not a crapshoot. If it is, then why have a consensus board? Does it tell us nothing?

Give me five 1st round picks and I'll come up with better players than someone with five 7th round picks.
Of course you will.

But you'll also make picks like Sam Darnold, Trey Lance, Zach Wilson, and Mac Jones.
 

Eck'sSneakyCheese

Member
SoSH Member
May 11, 2011
10,515
NH
Also data on past drafts is useless unless you take into account ALL variables. Injuries, coaching/front office situations, just to name a couple. Looking at the hard numbers very rarely gives you the whole story. I mean one of the links posted was to some dude named Brent on Eagles Rewind giving us 1999-2009 stats. Completely irrelevant to modern football. Can the info even be pulled correctly from that long a time frame? Isn’t that adding too much info? Wouldn’t it be better to look at like 2-3 year increments especially with how much the game has changed and continues to change?
 

ZMart100

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2008
3,261
The draft is definitely not a crapshoot. If it is, then why have a consensus board? Does it tell us nothing?

Give me five 1st round picks and I'll come up with better players than someone with five 7th round picks.
Nobody is arguing that there is no difference in prospects.
 

Devizier

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 3, 2000
20,010
Somewhere
The draft is definitely not a crapshoot. If it is, then why have a consensus board? Does it tell us nothing?
Of course not.

Gaining an advantage in the draft on a slot-specific basis is probably not one either. But it's nigh-immeasurable.

There are other ways to gain an advantage. The most obvious one is to get more picks. One of the things that Belichick did early in his career is make a lot of excellent draft related trades. Moving back for more picks and more shots with a higher cumulative expected value. I don't think there are many teams left in the league who so readily give up cost control at multiple roster spots to get a higher pick at one (Carolina excepted) but those kinds of trades are what lead to sustained success in the league.
 

Bowser

New Member
Sep 27, 2019
440
Nobody is arguing that there is no difference in prospects.
Isn't this literally what a crapshoot means -- that there's no reliable way to produce a desired outcome? You're basically throwing darts? That's not what's happening in the draft.

Yes, I get that drafting well is extremely challenging, and when teams prioritize premium positions like QB rather than pure talent -- as many did in the top of the first round in 2020 -- they introduce more complexity and increase their chances of missing. But none of this means the draft is a crapshoot. It's not even a crapshoot in Round 1, as the top of the round will have better players than the bottom. Teams don't have all the data they need to make perfect decisions, but they have some, plus the ability to move around the board as they see fit.

Anyway, I'm making a very narrow argument here. There's a vast desert between crapshoot and having a complete set of data, and the draft is somewhere between those two points.
 

Jinhocho

Moderator
Moderator
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2001
10,308
Durham, NC
Seems to me Eliot Wolf and jerod Mayo built pipelines to Kraft that elevated them and ultimately really elevated them at the expense of Bill. Parcells must be like I told you to bill...
 

tims4wins

PN23's replacement
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
38,891
Hingham, MA
You guys are correct, the draft is not literally a crapshoot. Congrats, you have won the semantic argument.

When people say that the draft is a crapshoot, what they really mean is that, over time, teams don't really differentiate themselves in terms of performance. There's not really such a thing as a good drafting team.
 

ShaneTrot

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2002
6,514
Overland Park, KS
Yeah duh, unfortunetly you are only given one 1st round pick.

How do you feel about the 2020 QB class? 5 top 15 picks and one good QB, that some people are currently throwing a little side-eye at.

For the people saying the draft is not a crapshoot, what are you expecting from each draft? And why are the majority of NFL teams not meeting your expectations?
Well teams that draft high suck, so maybe the player is placed in a nearly impossible situation. Player development is weird. The Pats excel at developing cornerbacks, they literally take guys off the street and make them serviceable. They draft JoeJuan Williams with the 45th pick in the 2019 draft and get nothing out of him. Tavai was picked by the Lions at 43 same draft. Matt Patricia, a BB disciple, gets nothing out of him. He is waived by the Lions, picked up by the Pats and he becomes a better than average starter.

I think situation is so important for QB development because the position is so dependent on the competency of the players around you. Is Stroud good because the Texans have a good line and good receivers or is he so good he would have kicked ass with the Panthers? I think Mac sucks but BB did him no favors.

My issue with Groh and Wolf is are they telling the Krafts, we wanted Deebo but BB wanted Harry. We lobbied for signing McGlinchey, but BB went cheap with Reif. Monday morning quarterbacking.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,784
It's essentially impossible for any team to gain an advantage year after year via the draft. All teams will eventually draft guys that bust or otherwise fail to live up to their billing. But that doesn't mean teams should fire their scouting departments and throw out all of their draft charts. And teams can make identifiable mistakes in their scouting and selection processes.

Not at all convinced that Wolf, Groh, and Mayo threw Belichick under the bus in front of the Krafts. That is how organizations rapidly fail, so hopefully my skepticism on the reporting is correctly applied.
 
Last edited:

Archer1979

shazowies
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Jul 18, 2005
8,209
Right Here
We've kind of gone off on a tangent here though in that the underlying question was can the draft team that Belichick put together perform better without Belichick and without new blood/new perspective.

Granted that the new heads of the draft haven't been with the Pats since Belichick first took over as HC of the NEP, but let's take a look at the tape...

Last time the Pats had a pick in single digits was in 2000 was Richard Seymour (HOF DE). Since then, the Pats have picked in the teens only five times... (Ty Warren #13 in 2003, new HC of the NEP Jerod Mayo #10 in 2008, Nate Solder #17 in 2011, Mac Jones #15 in 2021, and Christian Gonzalez #17 last year). I think we can all concede that even in the first round, that once you get into the 20's, there is significantly more chance of a bust than picking toward the top of the draft.

I'm confident that these guys aren't going to screw up the #3 pick (and higher picks in subsequent rounds). If they do, the guy(s) that Kraft hires to replace them will then get a chance to pick fairly high at some point.

https://www.pro-football-reference.com/teams/nwe/draft.htm
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,732
Why does any company ever bring in outside candidates for job openings? Alternative perspectives. I like the Washington hires because their "weird" committee is more effort than the Patriots put in, and they ended up with consensus top candidates. They may seem obvious to you, but its at the bare minimum a process.

I'd also disagree that Peters/Johnson are so obvious. I think you might be overrating the average fan's knowledge of NFL assistant coaches and FO staff. You, myself and the rest of this board are probably not indicative of how most people look at that, but I could be wrong.

The worst part of this Patriots team is their roster construction. I'm not sure I get the argument in keeping anyone that has had anything to do with building this roster. Your point that nothing has been announced is fair, and one that I covered by admitting my operating assumptions.

To reiterate, I like Mayo and im cautiously optimistic on him, but i would have preferred a better search process. Regarding the GM search, i think staying in house and not blowing it up when you have the chance, is not a good plan. Ill love to be wrong, but i just think we are going to be having this same conversation in 3 years.

I hadn't heard any rumors regarding Robinson, only his named mentioned speculatively, but i would be in favor of that move in theory.
So a few things there....
1. There are no consensus top candidates. I have no idea where you are getting that from, Peters is one of many GM candidates, now he's one of the buzziest of the no experience guys, but it's not like he was #1 on everyone's list. Coach... they haven't hired anyone, but if they do hire Johnson as rumored (which means their process is a sham since it's out there despite them not even being allowed to interview him yet), he's definitely not the consensus top candidate.

2. Mayo probably belongs in his thread, but there are some unique circumstances there. They got to move forward weeks earlier with a young coach they wanted, and they didn't take the risk of losing him by letting interviews open. If what they were looking for was a young coach, Mayo would have been one of the top candidates league-wide (as he was last year), and you have no guarantee you get a Johnson or Slowik.

Honestly I think to me what you're probably wildly overestimating is what these interviews look like. Washington banged out a GM hire in like 5 days, and appears to have interviewed Peters, Cunningham (Rooney rule) and one other unnamed candidate (likely a 2nd Rooney rule). That's how a lot of these NFL hires work, they have a name they want up front, have cursory interviews for the job, then a second interview where maybe the guy goes more in depth on how he'd like to structure things. You aren't actually getting real outside ideas.

All valid, and nailing the draft is the key to long-term success in the league.

But to prove if the draft is an exact science or more throwing darts at a board, second contracts is an easy enough way to judge that.
Te draft is not a dart throw, but second contracts is a horrendous way to tell anything, because while yes.... it filters out guys who are total busts and not in the league, BUT it also adds a second level of personnel decisions (re-signing). If you really want to use second contracts, it should be whether guys get second contracts at all, not if they get a second contract with the same team, as the former at least lets you know if the pick was a player good enough (and healthy enough) to make it to 6 or 7 years in the league, and doesn't punish teams for making good decisions in FA to let a guy go rather than overpay, or to trade a guy for better value.

Overall though it's still pretty useless as a metric, since a guy who has 6 amazing years then retires, or even 5, is a much better pick than a guy who is minimally competent for 4 years then signs a short extension.
 

slamminsammya

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2006
10,349
San Francisco
here we have a perfect example of how the common understanding of the word "random" is not in harmony with the actual meaning of that word in statistics.
 

mcpickl

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 23, 2007
4,601
I don't mind if Eliot Wolf is the person heading things up in the personnel department. He is known to be more analytically-driven and has a lot of outside perspectives having served on staffs in Green Bay and Cleveland. I tend to think Matt Groh isn't long for Foxboro as he's a Bill guy so the likelihood of Groh leaving after the draft to follow Bill is pretty high. I also would not be surprised to see more than a few other personnel guys leave to join Bill as well. The FO staff you see for now until the draft will be different after the draft. That's usually how these things work. This will give Mayo time to line up new additions.
Is Eliot Wolf known to be more analytically-driven?

The only thing I really remember about him and analytics was as he was heading out of Cleveland, his dad came out and ripped the Browns for being too driven by analytics.

I thought he was considered to me more of an old school guy, which would make sense with his family history.
 

KingChre

New Member
Jul 31, 2009
131
So a few things there....
1. There are no consensus top candidates. I have no idea where you are getting that from, Peters is one of many GM candidates, now he's one of the buzziest of the no experience guys, but it's not like he was #1 on everyone's list. Coach... they haven't hired anyone, but if they do hire Johnson as rumored (which means their process is a sham since it's out there despite them not even being allowed to interview him yet), he's definitely not the consensus top candidate.

2. Mayo probably belongs in his thread, but there are some unique circumstances there. They got to move forward weeks earlier with a young coach they wanted, and they didn't take the risk of losing him by letting interviews open. If what they were looking for was a young coach, Mayo would have been one of the top candidates league-wide (as he was last year), and you have no guarantee you get a Johnson or Slowik.

Honestly I think to me what you're probably wildly overestimating is what these interviews look like. Washington banged out a GM hire in like 5 days, and appears to have interviewed Peters, Cunningham (Rooney rule) and one other unnamed candidate (likely a 2nd Rooney rule). That's how a lot of these NFL hires work, they have a name they want up front, have cursory interviews for the job, then a second interview where maybe the guy goes more in depth on how he'd like to structure things. You aren't actually getting real outside ideas.



Te draft is not a dart throw, but second contracts is a horrendous way to tell anything, because while yes.... it filters out guys who are total busts and not in the league, BUT it also adds a second level of personnel decisions (re-signing). If you really want to use second contracts, it should be whether guys get second contracts at all, not if they get a second contract with the same team, as the former at least lets you know if the pick was a player good enough (and healthy enough) to make it to 6 or 7 years in the league, and doesn't punish teams for making good decisions in FA to let a guy go rather than overpay, or to trade a guy for better value.

Overall though it's still pretty useless as a metric, since a guy who has 6 amazing years then retires, or even 5, is a much better pick than a guy who is minimally competent for 4 years then signs a short extension.
The bolded is making my point. I don't want them to do what everyone else does. I'm not overestimating anything, I understand the way things typically go, and I dont agree with it. This isn't that complicated.

They made up their minds on how they wanted to go, as you say yourself, and do not appear to be casting a wide net. You think that's fine, I don't. We'll have to agree to disagree.
 

MuppetAsteriskTalk

Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2015
5,469
How important is that context when the Belichick years comprise 95 percent of the sample? All I'm really interested in knowing is who has the fina decision when it comes to personnel. Unclear at the moment.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,732
How important is that context when the Belichick years comprise 95 percent of the sample? All I'm really interested in knowing is who has the fina decision when it comes to personnel. Unclear at the moment.
80% technically. But they had 3 different coaches in that stretch and no GM in title, so...
 

Dogman

Yukon Cornelius
Moderator
SoSH Member
Mar 19, 2004
15,247
Missoula, MT
General note that posting social media opinions, other message board content, and other unsourced BS is not acceptable on this board and in this forum. Obvious caveats apply with verified accounts/sports writers/etc.

Thanks.
 

DeJesus Built My Hotrod

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Dec 24, 2002
50,431
Are there any links to actual articles with sourced quotes about Jonathan Kraft being a "meddler"? I am out of the Boston sports talk market but a cursory search yields lots of unsourced stuff coming from places like pundits whom we know have axes to grind or are seeking clicks or messageboards like Reddit or MouthbreatherPlanet.

Maybe JK is the biggest failson Nepotism baby of alltime and is coming to take all of our football joy - I would just like more definitive evidence that I need to hide my kids and my spouse when I see that bad man coming.
 

brendan f

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2019
340
Are there any links to actual articles with sourced quotes about Jonathan Kraft being a "meddler"?
Not that I am aware of. There is the opposite being reported by Tom Curran, who has clearly had good sourcing to this point.

https://www.nbcsportsboston.com/nfl/new-england-patriots/bill-belichicks-exit-raises-questions-patriots-power-dynamics/580171/

"It was indicated to me very strongly that ownership won’t be making football decisions nor have they been. There’s no desire to put a Jerry Jones-ian stamp on things. To put a twist on an old Bill Parcells-ism, 'They know what they don’t know.'"
 

GaryPeters71

New Member
Jul 29, 2005
168
North Easton, Mass.
Nugget from Mike Giardi in Boston Sports Journal:
https://www.bostonsportsjournal.com/2024/01/16/giardi-latest-on-the-patriots-coaching-staff-and-front-office

"One team source believes the Pats will promote director of scouting Eliot Wolf to a more significant position of power. However, I did hear from two prominent league sources who believe Wolf and Matt Groh will eventually land wherever Belichick does—admittedly, I had not considered that. Perhaps we'll get a better sense of it in the coming days and weeks."
 

Justthetippett

New Member
Aug 9, 2015
2,863
I can't imagine JK being in charge of personnel. He's not going to be monitoring the waiver wire and working out 6th string DBs mid-week. I can imagine him inserting himself in certain high leverage personnel decisions, like the #3 pick. My only hope is that whatever guardrails are established are respected and consistent, and that his involvement is as limited as possible. That's the only way this can work.
 

IdiotKicker

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 21, 2005
11,226
Somerville, MA
So wait, BB was let go because he didn't listen to the people around him enough, but those same people will follow him to his new team? Something doesn't add up
I believe the pieces I’ve read have referenced the scouting department as not being heard, not the personnel guys.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
18,784
I believe the pieces I’ve read have referenced the scouting department as not being heard, not the personnel guys.
Wolf served as director of scouting.

As usual when relying on anonymous sources and anecdotes lacking context, conflicting information abounds.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,732
Wolf served as director of scouting.

As usual when relying on anonymous sources and anecdotes lacking context, conflicting information abounds.
And Groh was a national scout in the time period when allegedly Harry made it first come to a head.

I'm real dubious that league source knows anything.
 

Pat Spillane

New Member
Feb 12, 2021
64
BB the GM seemed to have a need to be smarter than everyone else and loved the left field picks. If any of us armed with ESPN or SI mock draft picked the consensus best WR availalbe when Harry and Thornton were picked we would be looking at Deebo Samuel and George Pickens. This was the biggest downfall. I believe his desire to appear smarter than anyone else killed us. I am not talking the lower rounds but rounds 1 and 2 the consensus is pretty accurate. You wont get fired for missing on Justin Blackmon or Charles Rogers but when you try to be smarter and come away with Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, N Keal harry etc.. well above where anyone else on the planet thought they would go then you are loading the gun to shoot yourself with

Wheterh you are a BB fan or not as GM you cant defend what he has drafte the last few years , Everytime the draft rolled around you must have groaned at the picks. Tavon Wilson, Isaiah Wynn, Jordan Richards, Lack of quality at the skill positions on Offense killed him too. Couldnt draft or sign any top talent. Plenty of average talent sucking up wages as well. He really didnt help himself
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
35,732
BB the GM seemed to have a need to be smarter than everyone else and loved the left field picks. If any of us armed with ESPN or SI mock draft picked the consensus best WR availalbe when Harry and Thornton were picked we would be looking at Deebo Samuel and George Pickens. This was the biggest downfall. I believe his desire to appear smarter than anyone else killed us. I am not talking the lower rounds but rounds 1 and 2 the consensus is pretty accurate. You wont get fired for missing on Justin Blackmon or Charles Rogers but when you try to be smarter and come away with Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, N Keal harry etc.. well above where anyone else on the planet thought they would go then you are loading the gun to shoot yourself with

Wheterh you are a BB fan or not as GM you cant defend what he has drafte the last few years , Everytime the draft rolled around you must have groaned at the picks. Tavon Wilson, Isaiah Wynn, Jordan Richards, Lack of quality at the skill positions on Offense killed him too. Couldnt draft or sign any top talent. Plenty of average talent sucking up wages as well. He really didnt help himself
WHile there are some legitimate concerns with reaches and WR evaluation.... you can actually look up consensus (I'll link below), so for example.... Harry was ranked higher than Deebo in consensus, and Wynn was a consensus top 25 player. Bill's problem was less about "thinking he was smart" it was that he failed in skill position evaluation too often, and it was magnified by his low number of attempts. Worrying about whether you'll get fired is a terrible way to GM a team, and many of Bill's reaches worked just fine. Especially since consensus is mostly nonsense anyway based on what people in the league say... guys go much higher or lower than consensus in every draft, and consensus is often informed by rumors from teams rather than any evaluation. Going away from consensus occasionally is the sign of a good GM.... Bill's problem is that he missed, not that some of those misses were on "reaches".

https://www.nflmockdraftdatabase.com/big-boards/2024/consensus-big-board-2024
 

Andy Merchant

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 2, 2010
1,823
BB the GM seemed to have a need to be smarter than everyone else and loved the left field picks. If any of us armed with ESPN or SI mock draft picked the consensus best WR availalbe when Harry and Thornton were picked we would be looking at Deebo Samuel and George Pickens. This was the biggest downfall. I believe his desire to appear smarter than anyone else killed us. I am not talking the lower rounds but rounds 1 and 2 the consensus is pretty accurate. You wont get fired for missing on Justin Blackmon or Charles Rogers but when you try to be smarter and come away with Cole Strange, Tyquan Thornton, N Keal harry etc.. well above where anyone else on the planet thought they would go then you are loading the gun to shoot yourself with

Wheterh you are a BB fan or not as GM you cant defend what he has drafte the last few years , Everytime the draft rolled around you must have groaned at the picks. Tavon Wilson, Isaiah Wynn, Jordan Richards, Lack of quality at the skill positions on Offense killed him too. Couldnt draft or sign any top talent. Plenty of average talent sucking up wages as well. He really didnt help himself
I dunno, I don't think Bill really cares what anyone else thinks.

IMO his hubris caught up with him: moving on from Brady by taking Cam Newton off the scrap heap instead of having a long-term plan, moving on from Joe Thuney/Shaq Mason/Ted Karras with no clear replacements, have Patricia/Judge run the offense in Mac's second season, no replacement for James White after he got hurt, drafting defense in the first three rounds (plus a punter & kicker) when you have an untalented offense, drafting guys who only play on special teams when the rest of the league is de-emphasizing them, overvaluing players in the draft (not good to have Sean McVay laughing at your 1st round pick of Cole Strange), etc.
 
Oct 12, 2023
802
I dunno, I don't think Bill really cares what anyone else thinks.

IMO his hubris caught up with him: moving on from Brady by taking Cam Newton off the scrap heap instead of having a long-term plan, moving on from Joe Thuney/Shaq Mason/Ted Karras with no clear replacements, have Patricia/Judge run the offense in Mac's second season, no replacement for James White after he got hurt, drafting defense in the first three rounds (plus a punter & kicker) when you have an untalented offense, drafting guys who only play on special teams when the rest of the league is de-emphasizing them, overvaluing players in the draft (not good to have Sean McVay laughing at your 1st round pick of Cole Strange), etc.

Some of this stuff is very common league wide and not isolated to BB.

James White replacement after he got hurt - they had Bolden who was always their backup receiving back, they had JJ Taylor. Most teams don’t have a quality receiving back sitting on the bench and finding one in-season is incredibly difficult. They tried to address it for 2022 with Montgomery and Strong and it didn’t work out

No replacement for Thuney - Ted Karras was the replacement. They brought him back from Miami once Thuney left

Drafting guys earlier than projected by “experts” - happens every year by teams. Bill has done it and it has worked well, and he’s done it and failed miserably. It’s not a Bill specific thing.

Drafting defense over offense - Gonzalez looks great and White showed a lot of flashes (albeit with a ways to go), would the preferred solution to be take inferior prospects simply because you have to take someone on offense? It’s like people screaming about taking Seymour over David Terrell (a criticism not just limited to blow hard Boston Globe writers at the time).

Replacing Brady with Newton - much discussed and far more complicated than Bb thinking he could just win with swapping those two.

Drafting special teams guys when the league is de-emphasizing it - other than Wells and maybe Cassh Maluia I can’t think of anyone they’ve drafted in the last decade that were “ST only” outside of kicker, punter and long smaller. Worked quite well with Nate Ebner and Slater. And every team drafts guys late who look like ST guys and hopefully develop into players who can make the roster on ST and eventually contribute elsewhere (presumably the hope they had with Ameer Speed). Every team has one or two special teams only guys, even today. And spending a late round pick on those types is something many teams do.
 

Bowser

New Member
Sep 27, 2019
440
Wheterh you are a BB fan or not as GM you cant defend what he has drafte the last few years , Everytime the draft rolled around you must have groaned at the picks. Tavon Wilson, Isaiah Wynn, Jordan Richards, Lack of quality at the skill positions on Offense killed him too.
A minor note ... Yes, Tavon Wilson was a stunning pick in 2012, but he did have a 10-year career during which he made $15MM+. I imagine that's a decent return even for a second round pick.

But I take your point. Wilson was a consensus late round prospect who probably could have been had later in the draft.
 
Oct 12, 2023
802
A minor note ... Yes, Tavon Wilson was a stunning pick in 2012, but he did have a 10-year career during which he made $15MM+. I imagine that's a decent return even for a second round pick.

But I take your point. Wilson was a consensus late round prospect who probably could have been had later in the draft.
Wilson is interesting because he played in more games than ~220 of the guys drafted that year and only 5 guys taken in the 2nd round appeared in more.

now he clearly wasn’t a good starter. But a core special teamer who was an adequate backup safety, emergency starter and played in over 130 games is a whole lot more valuable in retrospect than most guys who get drafted. So as a prospect he probably didn’t deserve 2nd round consideration, his career ended up being much better than many 2nd and 3rd rounders who couldn’t even manage being decent backups or long time ST contributors.

He never fulfilled whatever Belichick saw in him but if the trade off is one Wilson for every Harmon (one round lower but similarly thought to be an undrafted or low round guy), that’s a good deal in the long run I’d say.

Jordan Richards was the real swing and a miss as far as those “Bill going crazy with lesser known DB prospects”

Bill had an unconventional way of doing things. Sometimes it worked and he looked brilliant, other times it didn’t and he looked like an idiot. But you could say that when he went chalk with his picks. Wilfork, Hightower, likely Gonzalez were slam dunk obvious picks which he nailed. But then he missed on a number of guys that were taken right around where they were projected (or taken lower than projected). Chad Jackson was thought to be a steal in the 2nd. Meriweather, Easley, Harry, Maroney, some of the 2nd round guys like Dowling and Brace were all drafted roughly where they were projected (they weren’t huge reaches), they just didn’t pan out and in some of those cases, a similarly graded guy at the same position did pan out so it looks awful in retrospect.

I don’t think there’s much of a difference in Bill’s hit and miss ratio between the groups “taken roughly where projected” and “taken much earlier than projected”. He had hits and misses in both groups, just like you’d expect any GM to have.
 

brendan f

Member
SoSH Member
Jan 13, 2019
340
Is Eliot Wolf known to be more analytically-driven?
Not sure. The only nugget I found was this from an article that discussed his rift with the Browns:

https://www.yorkdispatch.com/story/sports/nfl/2020/01/30/pro-football-hall-famer-ron-wolf-rips-analytics-trend-nfl/4619492002/

"Both Highsmith and Wolf are considered old-school traditional scouts who rely most heavily on traditional scouting methods of visiting schools and watching tape." Hard to tell if the reporter was relying on actual info or if it was just conjecture.

But listening to the recent Lazar podcast, one thing he said that stood out was that Bill's reliance on old-school scouting, combine testing numbers, and connections with college coaches was seen as outdated by the organization. And despite having a small analytics room relative to other NFL teams, Bill was not receptive to using them in his drafting process. I'm not sure if Wolf specifically was pushing for more data-driven analysis, but it's clear some people were. It's fair to think he was probably one of them.

Note: Not sure if Lazar was officially reporting this. The way he phrased it was that he had gathered information.