@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.
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.
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.
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.
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.