NEPD Mailbag: Too Long For Twitter

@chrispreperato asks: @DougKyed What’s the trickle down effect of missing on a major (1st/2nd) pick. For example, the Pats and their DB’s Missing on 1st means you have to waste a pick in next draft, you don’t go get other FA’s, etc. Its more than just one bad pick

The Pats are kind of a perfect example of this because they’ve taken a first or second round defensive back every year since 2007 (07: Meriweather, 08: Terrence Wheatley, 09: Chung, Butler, 10: McCourty, 11: Dowling).

It’s actually debatable who in that list was even a hit. Meriweather was good for a season or two before fizzling out of town, Wheatley was a bust, Chung has been a hit, Butler was a bust, McCourty was stellar his rookie season, but might have to transition to safety and who knows if Dowling can ever stay healthy?

So what does all of that mean going forward? The Patriots will have to likely draft two more defensive backs in the first two rounds this year (a cornerback and safety) just to shore up the secondary. That’s forcing the team to spend picks on those positions rather than either trading up those picks to get a real elite prospect or from acquiring prospects at other positions.

It also really reared it’s ugly head this season when the Patriots were forced to play Julian Edelman and Matt Slater out of position just to make up for all of those failed draft picks.

Fortunately for the Patriots, it hasn’t hurt them to the point of having a real down year ever. The Patriots can miss on some of these picks because they’re already so good and already picking so late.

For a team like the Raiders who bottomed out and then wasted their first overall pick on Jamarcus Russell, well, we’re still seeing those consequences. They keep overspending for new QBs and are left without any picks in rounds 1-3.

To speak more on the Raiders, here’s what the Raiders have give up for QBs over the years:

Jamarcus Russell: 1st overall pick
Josh McCown: 4th round pick
Jason Campbell: 4th round pick
Terrelle Pryor: 3rd round pick
Carson Palmer: 2012 1st round pick, 2013 1st or 2nd round pick

That’s crazy. Of course the Raiders aren’t exactly the best control sample in any experiment. But they should be used as a worst case scenario anytime anyone talks about missing on an early first round pick. This is what happens when you miss a first round pick, this is what happens when you miss a first round pick on drugs.

@thehoodedgenius asks: @DougKyed How does the draft affect where McCourty plays? Is it based on who’s available or does BB already know where he wants him.

I think McCourty will likely see time at both cornerback and safety next year and my prediction is that the Patriots take both a corner and a safety early in the draft. One of those players will stand out enough to Belichick to play him early (like Dowling did this year) and that will likely decide where McCourty will be playing moving forward.

McCourty really struggled this season because Belichick tried to simplify the defense due to the lockout, something he won’t have to do moving forward. The Patriots not only transitioned to a 4-3, but also were playing a ton of man coverage early and McCourty was getting burned time and time again. If the Patriots go back full time to the zone, I don’t think McCourty will struggle nearly as much at CB.

@GingerNinja023 asks: @DougKyed What do you think about Michael Brockers? The more I hear about him the more I think he seems like the prototype of a BB pick.

Brockers would be a perfect fit at the 5-technique if the Patriots do in fact transition back to a 3-4, and he’s got tons of upside. The problem with Brockers is that the current tape on him is pretty inconsistent. If you’re looking at current 5-technique prospects, Brockers could be Richard Seymour, whereas a player like Fletcher Cox could be Ty Warren. Both are great, but Brockers could become a game changer. Brockers is definitely a player the Patriots should look to trade up for, but it’s something the Patriots haven’t done for a while.

@JRPhillips27 asks: @DougKyed Could you see Kirkpatrick fall due to recent allegations? Also, could you see him playing safety?

As long as Kirkpatrick is honest in his interviews and makes a vow to stay away from the crowd that got him in trouble in the first place, I don’t think it will drop his stock. The player right under Kirkpatrick, Janoris Jenkins, had similar issues to a “higher” degree, so I wouldn’t expect that news to hurt Kirkpatrick much. Everyone kind of points to Aaron Hernandez as a player that fell do to “weed-related-concerns.” Belichick was willing to take a risk on him, so if Jenkins or Kirkpatrick somehow do fall, I think the Patriots would hesitate in taking a chance on either player.

As for a move to safety, it’s a nice luxury to have if Kirkpatrick doesn’t work out as a CB for one reason or another, but it’s not a move a team would make within the first few years of his career. If you’re going to draft a cornerback early, you’re going to pay him to play cornerback.

I actually don’t mind the idea of drafting a college cornerback to play safety though. It should just happen in later rounds.

@_BckwrdsDwn_ asks: @DougKyed I see tons of depth at WR & CB…thoughts on#pats drafting Sanu & Marvin Jones? Thoughts on Minnifield & Leonard Johnson?

I’m not a biggest Sanu fan, though I’m sure Belichick will take a long, hard look at him due to his background at Rutgers. Belichick has said that no one prepares players for the NFL like Schiano. I question Sanu’s explosiveness and ability after the catch.

As everyone probably knows by now, I’m a huge Marvin Jones fan and even after his surge up draft boards after the Senior Bowl, he’s still one of my most underrated prospects. He’s sure handed, got great footwork, decent speed and nice explosion at the line. No one’s going to like the name I’m about to throw out, but he reminds me a little of a young Chad Johnson. One thing I really like about him on the Patriots is that he was running a ton of routes to the sidelines at CAL, and that’s one area of the field that Deion Branch excels at, but he doesn’t have the separation or explosion that the Patriots need anymore.

I think Minnifield and Johnson could both be nice targets for the Patriots. I don’t expect them to go after defensive backs in the first round, and both players are likely second round targets. Both players are comfortable in man or zone and Minnifield could join his former teammate at UVA, Ras-I Dowling. Johnson is a bit undersized, but does well against bigger receivers.

Joe Tuohy asks: After a markedly horrible season, will Chad Ochocinco land on anyone’s roster or are we going to see an “Oh, pick me please!” TO stunt?

I think Ochocinco lands with a team, but I doubt it will still be the Patriots. He’s still a decent player, but Brady couldn’t trust him to read the same coverage that he was reading.

Ochocinco isn’t the problem child that TO is and it was kind of nice to see him prove that this year. He also brings a lot of press and jersey sales to whichever team he goes to. I don’t think he’ll ever be a pro bowler again, but if he goes to the right team with an offense he can pick up easily, he could still be a decent 2 or 3 WR.

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19 Responses to “NEPD Mailbag: Too Long For Twitter”

  1. Satch says:

    Tremendous analysis, thanks.

  2. qwerty says:

    the great thing about Alabama players such as Barron – BB will get inside scoop on those players given that him and Saban are close. Whether he takes Barrons or any other Alabama player I leave up to BB.

  3. Nick says:

    The only question on offense is the receiver. I see Ocho will ultimately be cut, but Branch will be back next year. He might have lost a few steps, but his chemistry with Brady rare and will keep him on the roster. Brandon Lloyds name has been tossed around recently and i think would compliment the offense greatly. With McDaniels running the offense again, he will find a way to make the offense even better than last year.
    Defensively i dont think drafting another younger defensive back is the answer. A veteran safety or corner will do wonders for the team. Laron Landry would be my ideal target. He ay be injury prone but is a superb talent. The only free agent corner that i think would make a significant difference is Brandon Carr. He played for ex-defensive coordinator Romeo Cornnel last year and is a very well rounded player. He is a great tackler, and strong in coverage. Mario Williams is also interesting, i think its very similar to the Julius Peppers situation a couple year ago. Also a smaller name player is Red Bryant. He played for Seattle last year and was a stud. He reminds me of a Ty Warren type player. If the Pats coul land one or combination of those players the defense would have a new identity.
    In the draft either Brockers or Cox would be excellent additions next to Wilfork. Linebacker around the Pats pick is Hightower who i think could play almost anywhere with BB as his coach. Jenkins is a Asante Samuel esque player, and Chase Minnifield is another great player from Virginia.

  4. jim r says:

    Trade 27 or 31 to some unwilling participant for a 3 this year and something next year. (you know he will)
    27 or 31 Vinny Curry DE/OLB Hybrid
    48-Harrison Smith-Safety
    63-Joe Adams-WR
    69 (lets say they trade with Tampa) Lenoard Johnson-Corner
    94 Josh Kaddu – OLB
    If they pick up Brandon LLoyd They will be in very good shape.

  5. Dan says:

    The solution at free safety is the biggest mystery this team has. McCourty is only a part of the puzzle, but we should know so much more once free agency opens up shortly. If they jump on a FS spending money then we’ll have most of our answer to this question.
    I wonder if Barron can play FS in our system, knowing he’s a strong safety, but something tells me he’s a lot better than what we have back there and would be a nice player to move up a few spots to grab.
    Kirkpatrick is another interesting player; many have him highly rated, but some have him a bit too stiff to play great corner in the NFL as a starter. He also has some recent issues off the field that may make him slip a bit.
    So, if he’s slips to us do we grab him and would he make a nice FS with his size, speed & strength…from that level of competition and system etc…??? Does he have that position flexibility or potential?

    Barron to me seems like a player that solves so much for this team…steps right in and makes the defense backfield much better, maybe playing strong safety? But, either way he’s tough and talented and would make our defense much better. Worth moving up a few to make sure we get him. Grab a free agent corner, to join Dowling, Moore, Arrington, and McCourty. Grab a free agent receiver and a few other smaller moves and we’re done.

    They are going to make some big moves…can’t wait.

    • Tom says:

      Continuity is what I worry about the most this offseason. There are so many free agents on the Patriots roster that the 2012 opening day roster could look VERY different than the Super Bowl roster from Sunday, and not all the changes could be good. We saw how changing a roster could destroy the locker room and a season with the Jets, but we also saw in Houston how letting some players go and then bringing in the right players (and coach) could make a tremendous difference. The problem with being a winning team is that other teams covet your players and are willing to overpay them to have them on their rosters. I just hope that in two months, a speedy, sure handed wide receiver and some talented secondary players are what the Pats still need the most.

  6. Bill says:

    With Ras-I Dowling essentially a rookie, I can’t see us drafting 2 DB’s. A FS to go with Dowling, McCourty, and Chung, would be OK to go in to 2012 with. Pats need to put more pressure om QB and control LOS better. Nobody can defend a WR for 8 seconds. DE’s and LB with speed. Way too many little passes over the middle went for 15+ yards because LB’s couldn’t stay with TE/RB and couldn’t tackle. We can wait for #63 for a WR with all this depth

    • qwerty says:

      >Nobody can defend a WR for 8 seconds.

      they do it all the time.

      you ever notice how often brady, eli manning and brees will opt to throw the ball away even though they get great blocking and nobody even close to them. it happens quite often wgen opposing teams have good game plan and talent.

  7. Doug Kyed says:

    Nice questions here guys. If you don’t have a twitter account, feel free to keep leaving questions here.

    • tim kavic says:

      what do you guys think about this ( somewhat out of left field)?
      trade up to get Michael Brockers -use both first rounders if necessary- in the 2nd round, get Coby Fleener and Joe Adams. My thinking is that no one in the NFL has seen a 3 TE receiving package ( not that they would do this on every down)- plus Welker and/or Adams- Adams giving you the deep speed and explosiveness we don’t have, as well as being a potential electrci punt return man. If you have 5 receivers out who will cover Fleener since he is 6’6″ with great speed and experience working with Andrew Luck at Stanford? Of course we need other help- I am thinking Brent Grimes (CB) and LaRon Landry(safety) out of Free Agency- we can use our 3rd and 4th rounders for center and line help. All this is an ideal case, i know, but i believe that Brockers truly will be a superb 5 technique lineman and he is only 21 and will get better- you have your new Seymour in place. Also adding a veteran WR like Reggie Wayne (letting go of Branch and Ocho) makes sense to me. The Giants have 3 great WR- why can’t the Pats have 3 great TEs that give the same , if not more production ( not even counting Welker and maybe a Joe Adams and Reggie Wayne). Let me know what you think….Tim

    • Pats Fan says:

      What do you think of recently released corner-backs Stanford Routt and Bryant McFadden? Do you think they would be good pickups for the Patriots?

  8. MJP says:

    Ironically enough, it will likely be DE/OLB or maybe DE/DT.

    Could be looking at Mercilus and Branch or Worthy and Cox, I’d throw the ILB’s who can play OLB in there as well, Hightower and Burfict.

    • Tom says:

      That might be the case. It looks like there are a lot of WRs and OL that might go in the first round and a couple teams might reach on QBs again, allowing some of these defensive players to fall.

    • jim r says:

      If they get two of them in the first round they will be in very good shape. My preference would be Cox and Burfict. Put Burfict and Spikes in the middle of the field and Flex out Mayo. They will phuck chit up!!!!!

  9. Tom says:

    I do not have a twitter account so I will leave my question here. With their first pick, the Pats seem to take the first or second best player at a particular position, e.g Nate Solder was the 2nd tackle last year, McCourty the second CB in 2010, rather than try and fill a position of need. What position do you think will still have the top players available at the bottom of round 1?

  10. MJP says:

    Got a question for you, actually two;

    1. Janzen Jackson, former Vol FS and arguably the best FS in the country, he entered the Draft after transferring to McNeese St where he played CB…..if his issues were only Pot related where do you think would be an ideal spot for him to be taken, say if the Pats wanted a talented FS with some baggage, sorta like Aaron at TE or Mallett at QB.

    2. Doesn’t Ocho count against the cap much more significantly in 2012??? I think he was only a 2.8 hit this year and is a 4.5-5.5 hit this year.

    • MJP says:

      I stand corrected; Ocho signed a 3 year deal at ~15million with 4.5million guaranteed, he has a 3million base salary over the next two years so by cutting him the Pats will only pay out 500K.

      Even though it looks like it should be $0 dollars by saving the 3mill in 2012 base salary and paying the lump sum of his remaining bonus which is also 3million…… there seems to be a 500K penalty for cutting or trading a player….hence they would pay 500K to free up a roster spot for someone who can learn the playbook.

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