Weekly Musings: June 21st-June 28th

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

Hi all,

Sorry for my lack of participation on the site over the last couple of weeks. I am working on a huge project that finally ends this weekend. In my limited free time, I have been working on a historical draft piece that I am hoping will be a good reference guide as well as a new way to approach my draft grades. It has been more work than I anticiapted but I am excited about its possibilities.

I wanted to give the site a place for people to chat while we wait for training camp to open up without the threads getting too long, so I came up with this. With the Patriots signing David Harris today, I thought there would be some interest to talk about him and his potential role.

 

53 Responses to “Weekly Musings: June 21st-June 28th”

  1. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Welcome to Boston Gordon Haywood! Thank You Fenway Park.

  2. GM-In-Training says:

    This 53-man projection makes a lot of sense to me.
    https://www.patsfans.com/patriots/blog/2017/07/03/patriots-early-53-man-roster-projection-1-0-pre-training-camp/

    It’s pretty decisive in project players that have run out of time (Grissom, Richards), older players giving way to younger/higher upside players (Freeny, Bolden, Waddle).
    It’s most on-the-bubble guesses I’m not sure about are waiving Elandon Roberts (good but not a 3-down LB), Matt Lengel (closest TE in size to Gronk, and has caught a TD from Brady).

    My guesses for the practice squad to go along with the above 53-projection would be:
    RB DJ Foster
    OG Chase Farris
    OT Conor McDermot
    OT Max Rich
    WR Devin Lucien
    TE Jacob Hollister
    DT Woodrow Hamilton
    LB Trevor Bates
    CB DJ Killings
    DB Jason Thompason

    • steve earle says:

      Agree very solid early projection my only question at this point is will Cyrus Jones be able to recover from last years disaster? If not we are still in good shape depth wise for the 53 and C Jones would likely clear wavers and could make the PS. If he can comeback he could be a valuable asset no question. It’s how his mentality is or is not.

      • macspak says:

        Langi over Roberts? I think all these prognosticators feel driven to add a few UDFA’s just because. Just like drafting only 4 players in what supposedly was a deep draft maybe the depth of this team will preclude any UDFA’s from making the team this year.

        • steve earle says:

          Yea Mac, agree Langi is a “hope” but Roberts has decent value in hand so it will be one of those things to watch in camp. All these early projections are guess and hope affairs but give us something to think here in football purgatory (early July).

        • steve earle says:

          Oh and another thought. BB acquired LIB Harris likely because Bill thinks Langi will need a year or two to develope. If that’s the case Langi might be a PS candidate unless he really does well in camp.

  3. steve earle says:

    Football sites saying TB 12 either confirms or does not deny Gisele’s claims of his concussions. I wonder if Tom is feeling pressure to go for one more SB ring then retire? If so it would go a long way to explaining BB’s position on Jimmy G no trade. What do you guys think?

    • macspak says:

      I think it more speaks to the dynamics of a wife/husband relationship. TB could not publicly disagree with Giselle. I have no reason to believe anything other than his repeated statements he plans to play until 45.

      Age being what it is BB is hedging his bets with JG. Any decline at 40 can be abrupt especially on top of injury

    • td says:

      It seems the only thing that could de-rail this team would be TB12 going down and in that light BB must feel if that did happen Jimmy G could guide this team into the playoffs. It’s a good contingency plan in case a 40 year old TB12 gets injured ala 2008.

    • steve earle says:

      Agree both scenarios of Mac and td are perfectly viable too. I am not predicting, just throwing thoughts against the wall with the hope of stimulating relevant feedback. It is early July after all! Mike just wrote he’s working on new stuff to get started for coming season. Can’t wait I’m starting to babble about politics here at home, Heeeeelp!

  4. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Celtics have talked with Danilo Gallinari. I for one think think this would be a major
    signing for Celtics. Another go to person at end of game besides Isiah. Slowly but surely
    all the young talent on this team will kick in. One final thought the 76ers are doing a lot to improve.

  5. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Celtic fans and Celtics Organization have to think real. The big stars are just too much money.
    A solid additions to keep team getting better and better.

    1 J.J. Reddick SG
    2 JaMichael Green PF/C

    Also I like signing Kelly Olynyk he has a solid all around game for a 6-11 player those
    players are hard to come by.

    Oh by the way I can’t wait for football season to start.

    • macspak says:

      Reddick to the 76’s but I agree with you. The next championship will be built around their young core not their current veteran core. Teams want too much in trades and players want too much money. George and Hayward together were not bringing a championship. Keep the picks. i in around the edges. Hope for luck. Even Auerbach was dependent upon luck.

  6. GM-In-Training says:

    Do the patriots have a shot at a mismatch move TE this year?

    With Cleveland drafting David Njoku, there’s renewed interest in athletic, smaller move TE in 2017.

    The Pats have not had one for 3 years. Will this year be different?

    On the roster right now they have James O’Shaughnessy and Jacob Hollister.

    Here’s how they project presently.

    O’Shaughnessy Hollister
    Height 6’4″ 6’4″
    Weight 248 239
    40-dash 4.68 4.64
    3-cone 7.2 7.12
    10-Yard-dash 1.61 1.62
    Can they catch? Y Y
    Can they block? – –
    Athleticism? ok slightly more ok
    Special Teams? Y ?
    Mismatch against above-average LB? ? ?

    Those agility numbers don’t put starting LB to shame.

    It’s a tough call.
    According to http://nesn.com/2017/05/jacob-hollister-film-review-patriots-tight-end-brings-big-play-potential/ Hollister probably has more athletic upside.
    But, neither of them seems to be a mismatch threat today. The fact that there are two of them suggests the Pats either really want a Move TE option, or want to be able to practice against a Move TE.

    I think it would be hard to make the roster just on the strength of special teams. The Pats have so many outstanding special teams candidates this year. Slater, Ebner, King, Jones and most of the UDFAs DB run ~4.55 40 or better.

    If I had to guess which one sticks it would be Hollister based on upside and affordability, but he feels like a project. O’shaughnessy may just be training wheels for Hollister.

    Thoughts?

    • steve earle says:

      Couple of things. One, when we had two TE, one being a move TE, it may have been because our WR corpe was rather weak at the time and Bill adapted. It worked out well. Second this year we have a very strong WR Corpe including an abundance of slot receivers able to give even most good LB’s fits. My question is which one of our receivers should we sit in favor of an O’Shaughnessy or Hollister? I would think only in case of a rash of injuries. Am I wrong?

      • macspak says:

        astute observations Steve E.

      • GM-In-Training says:

        …or a team with big CB who jam really hard at the LOS.
        …or a team with really fast, light LB just asking to be rushed on, and the Move TE acts as an FB
        …or a team with really short slot CB where the 6’4″ height advantage is extra useful

  7. GM-In-Training says:

    Journalists are starting to post 53-man roster projections for Pats.
    http://www.scout.com/nfl/patriots/story/1787431-new-england-patriots-53-man-roster-projection

    http://www.csnne.com/new-england-patriots/first-53-man-roster-projection-2017-patriots-defensive-back-receiver-depth

    I’m kind of unimpressed by them.

    The common question marks are at Safety (who has special teams and backup value), LB, and TE.

    I think the Pats try out various ideas each year in training camp that they sometimes abandon.

    This year do they want to have move TE again, or no? Do they want lighter LB or no? Do they want one or two developmental OT on the roster? Do they have enough depth to cover training camp collateral damage?

    • steve earle says:

      Agree with the 53 projections, ho hum. Always these project established guys from past year and always an unexpected guy gets traded or cut, an UDFA makes the squad along with someone BB brings in so all these predictions do is tell us what we already know but not what we can expect to happen. Buy hey these writers have to put something out, it’s called job justification. We will have fun poking fun of them in late September.

  8. td says:

    I never understood the fascination with Porzingas; he’s yet another perimeter player of which we have a team full of. What we do not have are wing players that can drive and shoot mid range jumpers that are near 6-8. Brown and Tatum could develop into that and help take the load off of IT. If the shamrock’s fall right next year the Celts could have picks 1 and 2, that’s crazy. Get the picks right and we could be Golden State in a few years for the next 6-7 years.

    • macspak says:

      size, height, age and skill set, which is elite. Project the growth in his game and you can see him becoming a superstar who can carry a team for years; something George and Butler never will do. He and Anthony Davis and a select few others are in this category.

      • td says:

        I’ll grant a few such as size and age, but his overall game is definitely not elite nor is Davis unless you are talking the traditional center position, but today’s game is not about the traditional C’s and F’s. You need perimeter defenders and perimeter players that can drive and take guys off the dribble. Elite is left to players like; LeBron, Durant, Curry, Westbrook, Harden and Kyrie and knocking on the door is IT.
        I like Porzingas and Davis, but they are not worth the top draft capital we have.

        • gln826 says:

          I disagree about Davis. The reason no team has a “traditional” center because there are only a few in the league. All the guys playing center out there now are about 6-9/6-10, and the guys 7-0 and taller cannot play, just defend a bit. Because of this, teams have to spread the floor and make the outside shot. A guy who makes 60% from the paint is worth 40% from 3. Making 60% from the paint is much more common than 40% from 3 as well.

        • macspak says:

          Gin,

          Welcome. Football and basketball go in cycles. Presently football defenses are changing to catch up to the offense. Eventually they will and you already see the offenses countering with a return to bigger backs, OL and the running game. The same will happen in BBall. The Warriors style is the current fad until they get beaten by a different style, probably a twin tower or center oriented team and then that will become the model and so on. A Davis, Russell, Jabaar, Bill Walton type will lead that change.

        • macspak says:

          baseball also goes in cycle. Right now it is swing for the fences and hit home runs or strike out while pitching and defenses are using more tape and analytics. Defensive positioning has never been more prevalent.

  9. Jeff says:

    Nice second round picks by the Celtics. Let’s see if Tatum can translate his offense to the NBA.

    I’m looking for trade of Bradley and Smart to Denver for PF Faried. Cut or trade Zeller, D. Jackson, and J. Mickey. Sign Hayward in free agency, and use the mid-level exception to sign Taj Gibson. Starting 5 of Thomas, Hayward, Crowder, Faried, and Horford is upgraded from last season at 2 positions (SG & PF). A bench of Brown, Tatum, Rozier, Gibson, Zizic, Yabusele, Nader, and our 2nd round picks is also upgraded from last season, with the bigs especially being stronger and the only significant loss being Smart, though a more seasoned Brown and Rozier should help cover that loss.

    • macspak says:

      I like the Tatum pick, the trade for him, and the pick at 37. I have no clue who the other second round picks are. Can you help me/us? Do we need older rookie guards?

      Don’t give up yet on Mickey.

      • Jeff says:

        I think the second round guards are probably best suited as bottom 3 guys on a 15-man roster, maybe giving them playing time with the red claws and bringing them up to play backup minutes if injuries come into pay. If there are no trades or free agency signings, you’ll have Thomas, Rozier, Bradley, and Smart all ahead of them on the depth chart (not to mention D. Jackson and the potential to play guys like Brown and Tatum at the 2 as well), so I see them more as potential 5th and 6th guards in the event that trades/cuts thin out the ranks a bit.

  10. Daniel Sullivan says:

    Best of Luck Celtics my final Prediction.

    1 Will be traded to Knicks with future #1 pick for Kristaps Porzingis.
    2 Bam Adebayo C Kentucky
    2 Cameron Oliver PF Nevada
    2 T.J. Williams PG Northeastern

    • Jeff says:

      Hi Dan,

      A Porzingis trade would be so great…
      I’m thinking the 3rd overall pick plus Marcus Smart, throwing in Demetrius Jackson and Jordan Mickey as well. If you need to add a future 1st, that could work, though I wouldn’t be willing to give up the Brooklyn or Lakers picks.

      Sign Gordon Hayward in free agency (you have to let Olynyk and other FAs walk to have the salary cap space), then pick up Taj Gibson with your mid-level exception.

      Draft PG George De Paula, SG Davon Reed, and C Jonathan Jeanne with your 3 2nd round picks.

      Your depth chart is now:
      PG: Thomas, Rozier, De Paula
      SG: Bradley, Reed
      SF: Hayward, Crowder, Brown, Nader
      PF: Porzingis, Gibson, Yabusele
      C: Horford, Zizic, Jeanne

      Your starting 5 would be Thomas, Hayward, Porzingis, Horford, and Bradley, Crowder, or Brown (Hayward can play the 2). That’s a roster with a legit shot at challenging Cleveland while separating itself from the rest of the East.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        Hello Jeff,

        My two trades that I like right now.

        1 Davis, Crowder,#3 pick this year plus One Brooklyn pick for Noah (who would fit
        very well in Celtics system) and Prezingis.

        2 Hortford and Thomas to Bulls for Butler.

        Stay aggresive trader Danny!

        • macspak says:

          In general I don’t get the infatuation with Butler or George. I just don’t see them as elite players lifting a team to a championship. They are what they are will be no more. Porzingas, I see him becoming elite and somebody who can lift a team. NY asking too much but I would love to get him at the right price.

      • Daniel Sullivan says:

        No big trade for veteran but the Celtics had a strong draft which has improved the team.

  11. steve earle says:

    On the Harris contract, Pat’s site has the price at 5 mil. Sounds good to me, we’ll see.

  12. GM-In-Training says:

    Who would the Pats possible trade away this year?

    Last year after the start of camp, the Pats traded (or attempted to trade) away:
    Bryan Stork (Undisclosed to Washington, voided for failed physical)
    AJ Derby (5th rounder 2017 from Denver)
    Jonathan Cooper (no takers, released, signed with Cleveland, now doing well with Cowboys)
    Dominique Easley (no takers)
    Probably a few other veterans and rookies released in September and October.

    There was a lot of depth going into camp last year.

    This year, I would consider it a good sign if the Pats had such an abundance of choices that they turned a few of them into future chips, even if they used some of those future chips just before the trade deadline to pick up veterans. Usually it’s veterans with a track record (and no practice squad eligibility) that get traded.

    Who might that be?

    Cameron Fleming (if Garcia looks good enough to be a swing OT)
    Dion Lewis (if at the end of camp everybody else is healthy)

    Less likely to yield a pick are:
    LaAdrian Waddle
    Jordan Richards
    Geneo Grissom
    James O’Shaughnesy
    Brandon Bolden
    Andrew Hawkins
    Darius Kilgo
    Justin Coleman

    Other thoughts?

    • Russell says:

      I think the mostly like to be traded (who has value) is OT Nate Solder. Solder is a free agent next year, is currently an $ 11.4 mil cap hit, he will be 30 years old this year.
      We saw the same thing with OG Mankins, and the dead money for each is about the same as Mankins ( Solder $4.1 mil.)
      There are a number of teams who would be interested. Solder’s value because his contract is done this year, will be based on resigning him. (Cap Space)
      I’m guessing a 4th round pick, is for more likely than a player swap, given the loaded Patriots roster.
      The Vikings???

      • macspak says:

        I agree Solder most fits the profile. I’m not a fan of his. What is in his favor is the dearth of good, never mind quality, OT’s at the pro and college levels.

        • steve earle says:

          Not as neg on Solder as you but he would fit the profile if we ( meaning BB and Scar) are sure we have a LT replacement at least as capable on board. The monkey wrench in any such discussion is as always injuries.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          I think the odds of the Pats parting with Solder this year are very low

          They really don’t seem too worried about “value” this year, because the cap went up and they’re spending big to dominate the 2017 season. Solder fits with that plan.

          Garcia and McDermott both need a year to bulk up, learn their roles, and become reliable.

          Fleming is an okay swing tackle, but would he even be an above average LT? Not that we’ve seen so far.

          If past is any precedent, the Pats brought in 6 young OT to camp this year so that 1 or 2 of them will be developed enough to be relied up on as a starter 2018, after Solder becomes a FA.

          I kind of think McDermott has a higher ceiling than Garcia (certainly better length), and is more similar to Solder…he just needs to add beef.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          …Also, I think they’re pretty confident Solder will net a 3rd round compensatory pick, so not much different than what they’d get in trade.

  13. Mike Gerken says:

    Here is why I like the Harris signing.
    1. It gives the team the opportunity to move Hightower around and allow him to rush more, which could help that aspect of the game. Hightower is a very good rush linebacker.

    2. Harris is a veteran leader at a position that could use some leadership. I think Hightower is a leader, but not a vocal one, where as Harris has always been that type of leader. He has seen it all and is reliable. He should be a good influence for the young guys who are the future at the position.

    3. He brings depth as well as versatility. This system likes to move guys around and with Harris playing that traditional MLB role, guys like Van Noy and McClellen can move around. It means Ninko won’t have to play so much, keeping him fresh and effective for longer.

    4. He is a veteran who has lost a lot. He has nothing else to prove from a personal standpoint and he wants a ring. That should keep him motivated.

    • Russell says:

      Yes I agree; and I think the odd man out is LB Jonathan Freeny, $1.8 mil. coming off an injury.

      • macspak says:

        I think many already has Feeney hit the road being replaced by that BYU FA. I that is the person most at risk unless BB LOVES Langi ?SP) placing McClellin at risk. What are Harris’ contract terms? Is he a lock? We’ve seen other veteran FA’s come in never to make the team.

        • GM-In-Training says:

          LB David Harris got a two-year, $5 million deal. Up to $1.75 million in incentives. $1.25 million guaranteed.

          The $1.25 million guaranteed makes it look like they believe he’s still a 3-down backer…although last year they cut a player with $400K guaranteed, so hard to say.

        • macspak says:

          Does anybody else have trouble typing on this site? $1.25 M is a big guarantee; enough to ensure his spot at least for this year. I wonder what the competition was – teams and money?

        • Mike Gerken says:

          I am not having any issues typing. Let me know if it persists.

  14. GM-In-Training says:

    How much is a 2-year deal on a 33-year-old LB running this days? The Jets released Harris because he was due to make $6.5 Million this season. The Pats waited a couple week to pick him up, so maybe they let him test his value before coming to terms.

    I like that they’re trying to upgrade the LB group. I expected they’d wait until September to trade a late-round pick for a veteran LB, but this approach and letting him practice all summer could be better if Harris still has the range to play 3-down LB. If he’s only a 2-down LB, how is he better than Elandon (really affordable run stuffer) Roberts?

    I’m still worried about LB depth and OG/C depth.

    • Jeff says:

      I’d like to see a player for player trade with the Pats moving a running back for a solid guard. The only other spot I’d like to see upgraded is Ninkovich, as I think Ealy is more of a 3rd down guy and Ninkovich would be better served as a depth option than as a starter across from Flowers. However, I think he was just extended a year last season, so Bill may still appreciate his contributions. If one of the rookies can contribute quickly or Ealy earns major playing time, they may get away with the group that they have.

    • steve earle says:

      I was pleased with the Harris signing and I don’t see it excluding BB picking up another LB at any time going forward if there is value to be had. Also like you I would expect an OG/OC to be added for depth at least. Jeff’s thinking that a RB for OG might be something to watch for. I would also add WR to the possibility.

  15. Jeff says:

    I’ve read Harris posted a pretty respectable coverage grade last season. While I don’t see him as a pure coverage linebacker, if he can be an all-around player, he’ll have a chance to start next to Hightower. I wonder if McClellin will be pushed into more of a Ninkovich role with the depth at linebacker and Ninkovich’s gradual decline in recent seasons. He may be more needed at an end/linebacker role with 2 rookies at the position as well.

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