NEPD Mailbag: Too Long For Twitter

Matt Light Patriots

If Matt Light retires, how will the Patriots offensive line stack up next season?

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

Where does the Patriots offensive line stand? Which players are good enough for the Patriots to stand pat in the draft for? How will the Patriots address their WR needs?

Those are some of the questions I’ll be answering in my weekly “Too Long For Twitter” Friday mailbag where I take questions from Twitter that warrant, deserve or need answers longer than 140 characters

If you have a question about anything, tweet it to me @DougKyedNEPD, and I’ll try to include it in the column on Friday. If you aren’t on Twitter, feel free to throw in a question in the comments section.

@tonygoodrich84
@DougKyedNEPD do you think with the Mario Williams signing in buffalo official, Pats will be addressing O-Line? Also great show last night.

First off, thanks for the compliment. If you guys haven’t already, please check out NEPD Radio here: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/nepd. In the latest episode, me and fellow NEPD Editor Mike Loyko talk about all the free agent movement. We do a show at least once a week, so please follow Me, Mike and James on Twitter to find out when we’ll be going live.

Now that that’s out of the way, yes I think the Pats will absolutely address the O-Line, but I also think they were going to anyway. They’ve already resigned Dan Connolly, which leaves Dan Koppen unsigned. Matt Light and Brian Waters have both threatened retirement, so we will almost definitely see some new faces either protecting Brady or sitting on the bench.

Currently under contract are starters Light, Logan Mankins, Waters and Nate Solder/Sebastian Vollmer and reserves Marcus Cannon, Connolly, Kyle Hix, Matt Kopa, Nick McDonald, Donald Thomas and Ryan Wendell.

There’s not a stud center in that group, but Connolly, Wendell and McDonald all proved more than apt to handle the duty last season. I do expect the Patriots to add a center through the draft, but at what point is the question. If it’s in rounds 1-3, he’ll likely be a starter, if later, it will depend on who falls.

If both Light and Waters retire, I’d love Solder and Cannon to vault into the starting lineup, but at the same time, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Pats kept Cannon on as a reserve tackle and either drafted or signed a RG. We saw Cannon play 160 snaps at tackle last year and zero at guard. With Vollmer’s health a constant issue, and Solder having value as a third TE, Cannon could see a lot of snaps as a reserve tackle, where he would hold more future value.

The Pats may have the best OL coach ever in Dante Scarnecchia and it seems like whoever they throw out there, whether it’s a castoff like Donald Thomas or an All Pro like Logan Mankins, produces. New England’s offensive line is in good shape for the future with Solder, Mankins and Cannon, but it’s a little nerve racking to have holes or injury risks elsewhere.

As for what this means for Mario and the Bills? One move I definitely expect to see is to bring in another TE to stay in line and block, plus create even more match up problems for the defense. The Pats only have two TEs on their roster currently, and that will need to change.

@JeremiahDaly25
@DougKyedNEPD if the Patriots grab Lloyd or Wallace in FA is there much of a chance of them grabbing a WR in the 1st 2 rounds?

Maybe not the first round, but I could still see them taking a WR in the second round despite what moves they make in free agency. They need to have at least one young WR on the roster, and Julian Edelman is such a specialist that he doesn’t really count.

I’ve said it a thousand times, but I really love this WR class, and I’ll be very disappointed if they don’t come out with one or two of my favorites from this group.

@WCPCUPBLOG
@DougKyedNEPD Who would have to fall in the 1st round to get you to reconsider wanting to trade out?

Here’s my list, and some of them will obviously be out of the question: Kalil, Claiborne, Richardson, DeCastro, Reiff, Kirkpatrick, Coples, Blackmon, Upshaw, Wright, Brockers, Martin, Still, Glenn, Floyd, Cox, Poe, Perry and Ingram.

Hightower and Gilmore are both questionable to me. I’d love to get either player, but I’m also not sure if I value them enough to not grab those extra picks because of them.

So that leaves 19 definites that I would pick at 27 or 31, and two that I would strongly consider. Unfortunately, those 21 players will likely be gone by the time the Pats are picking, which is why I’m so strongly for them trading out.

‏ @ffmadeeasy
@DougKyedNEPD can you give an updated patriots roster including new free agent additions to begin to see how the team is being constructed?

Shockingly, the best place to see the Pats roster all mapped out with acquisitions added almost immediately is Wikipedia. That’s where the image below is from.

Click here to see the roster bigger.

I’ve mentioned it before, but there are holes all over the Patriots roster, basically from top to bottom. I like the moves they’ve made so far, and they’re certainly not done. I’d say the biggest gaping holes they have right now are at WR and pass rush. Since Welker hasn’t signed his franchise tag yet, and Andre Carter and Mark Anderson are still free agents, those need to get filled.

@SportsHutch
@DougKyedNEPD Belichick has made a habit of collecting draft picks. When is he going to cash them in for some actual game breakers?

Might be this year. @NFLDraftScout has been sending out some feelers that the Pats might be interested in packaging picks this year to trade up. I wouldn’t be opposed to it, but I also wouldn’t be opposed to trading completely out of the first round.

Belichick knows what he’s doing, and the eleven straight winning seasons can attest to that. The Patriots easily could have been the Colts. They had one of the best QBs ever, and only have one ring to show for it, and have now completely bottomed out.

Building through the draft, trading down, amounting mid-late round picks is how the Patriots have had their success, and it’s how they’ll have their success in the future.

It would be nice to get a Fletcher Cox, Nick Perry or Kendall Wright, but it will be just as good, and far less risky to pick up three or four players for the price of that one.

Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, 2012 NFL Free Agency, NEPD Mailbag, offensive line, Patriots, wide receiver

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

  1. dslave says:

    Dwe, nobody makes package trades like that for someone elses role players. Hoyer will get interest after all the other qb’s are settled.

  2. Jim R says:

    We should do what the Bills did, Do not let Lloyd or Landry leave until the sign a contract. Ha Ha

  3. Ken W says:

    The Pats need Dline help and I think that should be addressed early in the draft. Besides Vince there are just average players on the line sure Carter and Anderson played well this year but they need some impact and some youth at the position. I would like to see something like this…

    1. Fletcher Cox DE (most likely gone) Plan B – Devon Still DE
    1. Most likely trade back unless a player falls like Gilmore CB or Konz C
    2. Trade back spot – safety like George Iloka or Harrison Smith
    2. Ronnell Lewis OLB – bring some pass rush and plays special teams
    2. Marvin Jones WR or Marvin McNutt WR
    3. Derek Wolfe DE

  4. Mark says:

    “Who would have to fall in the 1st round to get you to reconsider wanting to trade out?

    Here’s my list, and some of them will obviously be out of the question: Kalil, Claiborne, Richardson, DeCastro, Reiff, Kirkpatrick, Coples, Blackmon, Upshaw, Wright, Brockers, Martin, Still, Glenn, Floyd, Cox, Poe, Perry and Ingram.

    Hightower and Gilmore are both questionable to me. I’d love to get either player, but I’m also not sure if I value them enough to not grab those extra picks because of them.

    So that leaves 19 definites that I would pick at 27 or 31, and two that I would strongly consider. Unfortunately, those 21 players will likely be gone by the time the Pats are picking, which is why I’m so strongly for them trading out.”

    What about Konc, Barron, Branch, Curry, Zeitler, Jenkins, Brown and Mercilus? I have seen their talent level rated end of 1st round in mocks and lists…

  5. willie says:

    do you think the pats will move hoyer to try to pick up an extra pick?

    What would he be worth?

    2nd? 3rd rounder?

    • Jim R says:

      3rd or 4th rounder. If they can get a second for him, thats stealing

      • DWE 2012 says:

        Agreed, he’s unproven unfortunetly…..But as I have stated previously, if you “PACKAGE HOYER” with 2 other’s like say a Guyton, a Cunningham, even a Ron Brace for that matter.
        Then we can push the envelope on his worth in a trade and talk a 2nd and/or 3rd rounder, VS. a 3rd or 4th.

      • qwerty says:

        at a 4th rounder, i would consider that giving him away

        i would value him at 2nd round

        doesn’t matter what other teams think he is worth

        he is good back up qb at the very least to patriots even if just this year

        • Tom says:

          Agreed. And teams overvalue the QB position (look at what Kolb demanded and Hoyer won’t require the same type of contract as Kolb). Looking at all the teams that are QB needy, someone will be without a QB after the 1st round and make an offer.

        • Jim R says:

          In this draft (Rd 4) you could get somebody who will contribute this year. Hoyer was a UFA correct. Only got a second for Cassell after a 11 win season. anything above 5th round is great

        • Liam says:

          @Jim R – Only got a second for Cassell because of Bill’s friendship with Piolli and our lack of leverage (Cassel had been franchised, ie we HAD to move him). QBs can go for some pretty insane values (Kolb, Palmer), but a 2nd for Hoyer is probably optimistic. A 3rd in 2013 is possible though.

  6. Phil says:

    I would love having Anthony Gonzalez back-up Welker over Julian Edelman. But I still think Edelman has value to the team as he played on offense, defense and special teams last year. I really like him as a nickel cb.

  7. Jim R says:

    If they stay in the first round, I hope they take a fatty or front 7 on D. WR’s, DB’s they can get in the third or 4th round. Not much difference from round 2-4 in those positions.

  8. Dan says:

    I don’t see the Pats having interest in Wright…just not a route runner and not their type. I think the only receiver that they could possilby take later in the first would be Randle. Of course I’m saying that Blackman & Floyd would be long gone.
    I’m never worried about our offensive line…they seem to get it done every year. Volmer’s health is key, and I’m hearing he’s doing fine. Cannon will be a big-time player wherever he ends up, and he’ll have the flexibility to play G or T.
    If they bring in Gonzalez, or some other slot receiver (to hedge against troubles with Welker etc…) then Edleman is in trouble. I know BB loves him, but if the kid can’t find a main position than this could be the year he’s replaced. I thought he would be the replacement for Welker, but maybe they’re not sure on that. I would seem that way.

    • Billy C says:

      There’s no way Edelman is replaced on the roster this year. He’s to valuable as a punt returner and his flexibility to play multiple positions.






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