Open Thread: Skill Positions

Ricky Stanzi NFL Draft

Ricky Stanzi is already an American patriot - could he also become a New England Patriot?

The offensive and defensive line, as well as the outside linebacker corps, have gotten the lion-share of the attention around these parts lately. That’s not without good reason – the value of this draft is certainly at its best the closer you get to the line of scrimmage.

That said, try and convince your fellow Patriots fans who Bill Belichick and Nick Caserio should pick at the following three positions: running back, wide receiver, and a developmental quarterback.

We’ll get things started with our picks.

Running Back – Shane Vereen, Cal

There is an abundance of small RB’s that can be had between picks 50-100, and Vereen is one of those guys. He is a home-run hitter that has plenty of skills in the passing game as well. If needed, we think Vereen could handle 15-20 carries for a few games if injuries made that necessary.

We’d rather not see the Patriots pick RB in Rounds 1 or 2, but Mark Ingram would be a nice addition to the depth chart.

Wide Receiver – Tandon Doss, Indiana

I think most Patriots fans would be happy if Julio Jones or AJ Green fell into the Patriots’ lap, but let’s face it, that isn’t going to happen. After those two studs, we don’t see the reason to spend a high pick on a receiver – letting Brandon Tate and Taylor Price develop seems like the best course of action.

Doss is a prospect that should be available in the latter stages of day two. He has great hands and runs crisp routes, two traits that could endear him to Tom Brady and the Patriots coaching staff. He has the ability to one day be a Deion Branch-esque player.

Quarterback – Ricky Stanzi, Iowa

While we’d love for the Patriots to let the uber-talented Colin Kaepernick develop for a few years under the watchful eye of Tom Brady, we’re not sure the Nevada signal-caller will make it out of the 1st Round.

Stanzi is a prospect that fought through a QB controversy, an injury, and some interception problems to have an incredible senior season for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He is eminently coachable, with a drive to make himself better. If he is still around late on the second day of the draft, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Patriots pull the trigger.

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33 Responses to “Open Thread: Skill Positions”

  1. Rockdog says:

    I just want Pats to find a pass rushing OLB. I like Quinn but admit that my opinion is based on very little research. I do think it’s time to take a chance on a premiere player though rather than trying to find a middle round gem. I don’t even care if they pick 3 LB’s in order to find the 1 or 2 that helps this defense. This team is stacked except for 1 dynamic OLB and a #1 WR.

  2. TD says:

    Maybe RB in first 3 rounds, but WR & QB later. If they draft development type players this year at WR or QB who do they leave off the roster for another team? Price, Tate, Edelman, Slater. They will have at least 1 maybe 2 spots for a RB when they say goodbye to Fred Taylor and/or Morris. I like D.Murray from Okla, he spent a lot of time catching the ball out of the backfield.

    • CC says:

      Not and or Taylor – Morris………..BOTH. Taylor, is a BYE-BYE period, and if Morris want’s to stay on the “mad cheap’, then so be it, but what he’s been paid for already and what he’ll request VS what he can actually accomplish is not worth keeping him. I say and pray BOTH are gone!

      • bledsoes_ghost says:

        No doubt about it that a guy like Morris is going to be on the chopping block, but I think until they find a replica of Sam Gash or a fullback with hands and experience… he might be around this season. Whatever happen to the fullback in the NFL? Almost seems like a forgotten position when we have guards grinding the trenches of the goal line. Depending on how this year turns out, i expect the Pats to keep Morris and let go Fred Taylor, then again wouldn’t be surprised if they both found the exit if someone becomes available.

  3. Bruschi54 says:

    RB-D.Thomas K-State or R. Williams VaTech

    WR-Randall Cobb Kentucky or Greg Salas Hawaii
    * M. Floyd from Notre Dame would be interesting if he enters supplemental draft

    QB-Stanzi, I agree that I don’t think they take QB to develop as 3rd on roster. It would have to be somebody they see as replacing Hoyer.

  4. bledsoes_ghost says:

    RB- Demarco Murray, Daniel Thomas… I think the compliment of a bruiser to this line up would be interesting. Both these guys are 6’0 and over 200 hundred which enables them to press and stretch the first down marker when necessary. Green-Ellis and Woodhead are a great tandem, but i think the added confusion a defense would face with having a larger back and the big tight ends in the game is going to open up some more play action and mystery to this offense.

    WR- Chris Matthews- Kentucky, Greg Little-NC, Odds are they are only going to grab one this draft because they need to stock up on an ailing offensive and decent defensive line. To be honest, i’d be surprised if they went after any wide receiver in this draft do to the line up they have and the “developmental” prospects like Price and Tate. Matthews is 6’5 and has got incredible ups when one on one with a corner-back, i guess why not… late round if available. Greg Little is a bigger WR who didn’t play last year but “has the ability to stretch the field”, if this guy was available round 4, i’d grab either of these guys.

    QB- Stanzi, Potts, McElroy
    Not big into picking and pulling QB options for the Pats, do you keep a guy like Hoyer around because he is a solid backup or your future? If so whats the difference? I think Hoyer was a raw quarterback who the Pats felt had the mechanics and made him into the replica of their ideal and they will stick with him and stock up on DE, DL, or OL. If Matt Cassel is of any consideration… guy saw his only starts in highschool.. highschool..? really? Regardless I’d rather see the Pats find value in the this draft and really consider making some trades to move up or for the future… yeah yeah blah blah the future but honestly this squad has really got all the potential in the world and i think they are a couple pieces away from making another serious run at another Superbowl reign, so just get what you need and plan for the future.

    Much Respect

    bledsoes_ghost

    • CC says:

      I wish they were only a cpl pieces away………right from middle of last year & straight from the get go I stated neither kazur or Neal would be worth but at absolute best 1/2 a season, add the mankins drama and from the begining were already down 2 guards and a Tackle. Thats “three” possition’s.
      Now add the has been missing DE and the ever elusive OLB and your at 5 guy’s down………then take into simple consideration the wide out spot……..
      No deep threat. No key guy to go to that’s say’s….hey he’s the Pat’s guy!
      Branch is good to have back, but getting older…. Welker although we luv em’, hasn’t got as much as ppl think left in the tank, he’s been seriously damaged up, may not last as long as ppl think he will and for a smurf wide out 1 good hit……& who do you replace him with………..TATE? That’s a joke. No really Tate…..he’s nothing but a joke, always has been.
      Knowing no matter how you opinionize it, We need a wide out period.
      That’s now 6 guy’s without question.

      6 is far from a couple of pieces.

      • Bill says:

        Good post.

        The Pat’s need to rebuild the OL and recognize that Brady has peaked as an NFL QB and now is sliding downhill. Given that, Brady needs quality RB’s and TE’s to complement his declining skills as a QB.

        I wanted the Pat’s to trade up to draft JJ Watt as their first pick. Now that Watt is projected to be a 5-9 pick in the first round, I reject that idea.

        The Pat’s need to concentrate on the OL for their first two picks. Hopefully Castonzo and Carimi at#17 and #28. AND(my opinion) draft TE Kyle Rudolph at #33.

        Then the Pat’s can focus on DL, LB and WR.

      • Ryan says:

        I will not disagree with you that there pieces that need to be filled but there will always be holes. And the fans in this blog are the MOST critical, its what we do here. There will always be a need for a better person at a postition, but EVERY team could certainly upgrade at positions. What hurts here is that we are not allowed to move in FA and shore up a few positions.

        OL- Is a must, but I think we can grab 2nd round players this year and fill plenty of needs. Vollemer esq..

        DL-Could either be taken in the first through third for value.

        RB- I personally think this draft is stacked at RB and the Pats could take a RB just about anywhere and have the POTENTIAL to turn him into a good back.

        Safety – ehh not this draft

        WR – Regardless of the draft, WR has the largest bust potential. I think drafting a WR just comes down to philosphy and what your looking for. Tate may or may not be the answer but I’m giving him another year. One of the toughest positions to shore up.

  5. Waldoon says:

    RB – Demarco Murray 71 receptions last year (3 down back), Delone Carter
    WR – Greg Little, Jeff Maehl, Armon Binns
    QB – Stanzi or McElroy

  6. Zach says:

    RB: Alex Green, Hawaii Has great size and is one of the best backs when it comes to the passing game or…
    RB: Nic Grigsby, Arizona Maybe Bill picks another athletic wildcat with an injury history?

    WR: Austin Pettis, Boise State Good size, great hands, and is more athletic than people think

    QB: Adam Weber, Minnesota Undersized athletic quarterback that can throw into the New England wind

  7. LMAO says:

    Total agreement on Stanzi as a developmental QB.
    Nevermind the “Brady” style connection’s involved with him.

    As far as a running back – No matter what happens with either draft or future free agency we will both want and need to pick one up Period.
    *Just for insurance purposes alone regarding the Woody & Law Firm tandum is alone enough to need to pick one up. The Pat’s havent had a real running game to speak of for sometime, we’ll want another guy in the mix of the Woody& Law Firm tandum for both insurance purposes alone, never mind putting something out ther for the other team’s to worry/think about and throw them off.
    Unfortunetly the running game we do have is in fact somewhat predictable like it or not. If they can find and tag a “Big Power Rb” ala Corry Dillon/Antwone Smith, I’m good with using a pick on him, but if not, i’d just assume wait for free agency and pay for one.

    WR- Hankerson would be a nice catch since Jones and Green would respectively be gone. He’s got height and proven ability. As long as we choose a WR that actually is a wide out……. anything would be a nice WR by compairison to Brandon Tate or Taylor Price………….Anything.

    • Bill says:

      I think your underselling Price big time we have only seen him in one game where he looked very sharp. I think he just needed his first year to learn the offense and understand the game more….Kid has the 2nd fastest 40 at the combine last year has size runs decent routes and can catch the ball away from the body. He has never had a quarterback who could even throw the ball as fast as he can run now he has Tom Brady look for Price to have a break out season. I would be happy with Hankerson Tate needs to go guy had his chance last year hes a scrub and is simply fast.

      • Phil says:

        I completely agree!! Price came from an option offense where he blocked most of the time…but the intangibles are there! I think we (Pats fans) will find that he makes a huge Yr. 2 leap and will be the guy to stretch the field…unlike Sam Aiken who never seemed to make a play when he had his chances. I hope the CBA (or lack there of) doesn’t hurt his development…particularly his timing with TB. But I for one am hoping for the best. Then again it couldn’t hurt to have another guy in the receiver corp to push him, Tate, and Edelman. I think Pettis could be the steal of the receiver crop in this years draft. He is a playmaker…but sssh… don’t tell anybody. 🙂

      • LMAO says:

        I’ll give you that I guess….,agreed havent seen much of him. Best to wait i guess, and let him prosper a bit, catch a few and get a rythem going.
        But I’m getting used to seeing to many “project’s” around the NE area and the Pat’s.
        Way too much in developmental’s, too much multiple mediocre vs higher level, might have thrown Price in to early on that………..Maybe?
        But this is what happen’s when you shoot for all value all the time……You pick up people that are a waste of time. Like Tate. and even Wilhite for another.
        Edleman I like for a transitional guy, former QB now special team’s/wide out.
        ***Whatever happened to Bryan Anderson…….? Had height and weight; 6′ 5″ 215lb’s don’t remember what ever happened to that wide out pick………?

        Tate need’s to be gone…..He has 1 good play with us that I know of and that’s it! He’s also been busyed for bad piss test……..

        Along with a cple other’s, Price need’s to be put in the line up steady, he’s either gonna make it or not, but I wouldn’t waste my time constently developing………

    • PFP says:

      I would have to disagree with all of you who commented on Tate negatively to this point. He missed basically his whole rookie season with an injury so last year was more like his rookie year.

      Let’s do a basic assessment of Tate.

      Tate is the #3 WR. Let’s take a look at the teams #3 WR options that went farther than the Patriots this season.

      Player Rec/Yrds Avg TD (comment)

      Steelers
      emmanuel sanders 28/376 13.4 2
      antwaan randle el 22/253 11.5 0

      TE – heath Miller 42/512 12.2 2

      Packers
      james jones 50/679 13.6 5 (in 2nd NFL season only 20/274 13.7 1) jordy nelson 45/582 12.9 2 (in 2nd NFL season only 22/320 14.5 2)

      TE – andrew quarless 21/238 11.3 1

      Jets jericho cotchery 41/433 10.6 2 (in 2nd NFL season 19/251 13.2 0)

      TE – Dustin keller 55/687 12.5 5

      Falcons
      Harry Douglas 22/294 13.4 1
      Brian Finneran 19/166 8.7 3

      TE – Tony Gonzalas 70/656 9.4 6

      Patriots
      Brandon Tate 24/432 18.0 3

      TE – Gronk 42/546 13.0 10
      TE – Hernandez 45/563 12.5 6

      So lets draw some conclusions from those stats.

      1) We see how very efficient Tate was last year.

      2) Only one other #3 WR had more TD’s.

      3) NONE had a higher yards per Reception average than Tate.

      4) Cotchery had more receptions but fewer TD’s and only the same amount of total yardage.

      5) all 3 WR’s who had more receptions than Tate also had fewer or less overall numbers than Tate did in their 2nd season in the NFL.

      6) all 3 #3 WR’s who had more receptions than Tate did NOT have 2 TE’s with more than 40 receptions a piece. How many balls do you think there are to go around?

      If anything it would suggest they don’t use Tate enough.

      Sure I do not see Tate becoming the “#1” WR but I don’t think he was drafted for that role. Branch has never even been considered by the Pats or any other person in the NFL as a true “#1” WR either.

      The simple and bottom line is. Tate is young, still a bit inexperienced, yet for a #3 WR with limited attempts at being targeted was extremely effective and efficient.

      I am just not sure what you expect out of, essentially, a rookie #3 WR with TE’s catching 80+ balls also?

      Also for good measure you have to add in that Tate is the starting kickoff returner and ranked 5th in the NFL last year for anyone having at least 40 attempts. He was also only one of 5 players to have returned at least 2 KO’s for TD’s.

      Sorry but the “facts” simply don’t support your perception.

      • Jared says:

        sorry buddy…i love Tate, but hes not the guy. other than a couple of spectacular catches, he didnt do a thing all year. hes got the skills, i just dont think hes as good a football player as he needs to be to be as starting WR in the NFL…check that….for the Patriots, he could be great somewhere else, Patriots like percise route-running and sure hands, Tate struggles with both. O…and since the NFL has almost taken kickoffs away, his value has now dwindled to almost nothing.

  8. Ryan says:

    I’m throwing out a few favorites, and like always none of them will be taken by the Pats. They have some guy they like already and they will sneakily take him.

    Big Back: John Clay
    RB: Vereen, Todman, Murray.
    Note: Ryan Williams i like as well

    WR: Hankerson, Baldwin, Shorts, Sanzenbacher
    Note: Sanzenbacher did well at Ohio St. better than his stats will show.

    QB: Should they take a Qb early, and here is why I don’t think they will UNLESS there is amazing value on the board. With so many picks over the last few years, its going to be tough to make roster space. We already gave up so many good players last year. Cough, Ted Larsen (Center) which we could use this year.

    Devlin, Yates, Arnaud

  9. Gerrit says:

    WR – Edmond Gates, Abeliene Christian.
    RB – Anthony Allen, Georgia Tech.
    QB – Don’t care.

  10. Paul says:

    WR- Leonard Hankerson Miami
    RB- Todman UConn
    QB- McIlroy Bama

  11. Jeff says:

    WR: Vincent Brown: Everything is positive — production, hands, work ethic, ability to get in and out of breaks, etc. — except his combine 40 time. I don’t see that as a big deal; he seems to play fast and he ran much faster at his pro day. And didn’t Jerry Rice run a 4.7?

    RB: Demarco Murray: Out of the potential options (Todman, Vereen) Murray seems like the best value and offers the most versatility in terms of being able to carry the load if need be, or to be a complimentary, 3rd down back who catches the ball. I’m sure BB would also line him up in the slot.

    QB: Greg McElroy: I don’t see us taking a QB in Round 2, so Kaepernick, Ponder, and quite possibly Dalton will be gone. McElroy seems like he’d be available around the time the Pats are thinking QB (3rd or 4th) and fits the profile, at least in terms of intangibles. He seems smart enough that as a 3rd QB, he’d actually add value as opposed to being dead weight.

    • PFP says:

      NO the Jerry Rice thing is a myth. Jerry ran in the 4.4 range.

      • TD says:

        Yes Rice ran 4.4-4.5, he just had eye bulging numbers at a tiny school back then that ran something close to A&M when Crabtree was there. Back then, as it is now, it’s tough to project those small school players to NFL competition. It is indisputable the numbers Rice had though, if I remember correct, he had 80-90 catches his Sr year with a boat load of TD’s in an option type offense.

  12. Ken W says:

    Daniel Thomas RB has been high on my list for awhile now. He is a beast.
    I like Stanzi, and I think Ponder is an interesting prospect also.
    Terrance Toliver 6’4″ WR would have to be my pick. I was only looking at WR over 6’2″ because I think we have a bunch of great WR’s 6’1″ and under so I was just looking at big guys that could stretch the field and be the deep threat because thats all we need.

    • Ryan says:

      I like Thomas but he as problems holding on to the ball.

      • Ken W says:

        I just looked up his stats from his last 2 years in college and I didn’t see any fumbles. It had a line for fumbles and also fumbles lost and he had 0’s across both. just wondering where you heard this?

        • Ryan says:

          back this one up.Thomas has one of the worst career fumble-per-touch ratio’s (1.84%) of ’11 “draftable” RB’s. Nod to our ESPN stats crew

          Todd McShay

          @BobbyHolladay08 best fumble-touch ratio for career are LeShoure (0 fumbles-461 touches), J Rodgers (1-939) and M Ingram (3-632).

          Via Twitter.

      • Ryan says:

        Also, this one:
        RB D. Thomas (KSU) is a slippery sucker for a big back. Just wish he’d protect the ball. Feels like every tape I watch, ball hits turf.

        • Ken W says:

          Ok then, he has dropped in ranks, and LeShoure has moved up.
          He is slippery though.

        • Ryan says:

          I’m sure holding on to the ball is somthing that can be corrected as opposed to someone who dances in the back field. To be honest I hope we take two RB’s this year. To many good backs in this years draft.

  13. AM says:

    I like Vereen and Stanzi, but I would go with Jerrel Jernigan at wide receiver. Small school receiver, but great speed, hands, and work ethic; good potential as a returner as well. Probably better as a slot receiver, where the team is pretty stacked, but is still an explosive player worth looking at in the late third or fourth round.

  14. joe says:

    Trade up and get Robert quinn and third and fourth rounds at skill position Greg little WR and the running back from Oklahoma he would’ve been a 2nd round if he did not get hurt. That’s getting value for your pick just like gronk

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