Post Draft Potpourri

NEPD Staff Writer: Mike Gerken

I am home! If you follow me on twitter you may have read I had an epic journey to get home from the draft yesterday. What should have been a two hour flight turned into a twenty two hour day that included flight cancellations and multiple plane transfers, topped off with mechanical issues that led to me getting home fourteen hours after I was originally supposed to. The only saving grace was that it game me an opportunity to watch some tape of the newest Patriots players, even if it was only on my phone. Needless to say, my eyes are a little sore from the lack of sleep over the past few days and staring at a tiny little screen for ten hours yesterday. Even through all the chaos yesterday, it didn’t dampen my excitement to get back to my real computer where I could finally talk Patriots and Draft will my favorite people, you.

I didn’t get a chance to read the comments coming in about the picks in real time and I wasn’t able to interact near as much as I would have liked over the draft weekend. I had a ton of fun over the weekend, but next year I might have to reconsider how I handle my draft experience. It has been a blast to go back and read the comments. I first want to say hello and welcome to the newer names I didn’t recognize and I hope you all decide to stick with the site throughout the year. I also noticed most people were not overly excited about the players, or at least the positions, the Patriots drafted, especially early on in the draft. I will get into more detail about each of the Patriots picks over the next few days, but here are some of my general thoughts about the team in general post draft:

  1. We have all heard the expression “actions speak louder than words” and I think the actions of the Patriots over draft weekend are pretty telling. Obviously Belichick and this staff had real concerns about the offensive line moving forward and I don’t think this came up just because Solder left. This time last year, it was reported that the Patriots had planned to take Dan Feeney, the Guard out of Indiana, but he was chosen just before the Patriots could take him. Fast forward to this year and now the Patriots have used a first round pick on Wynn and traded for Trent Brown. Again, I will get into the specifics of Wynn later, but it was telling that they announced him as a Tackle and I think they fully intend to at least give him a shot at the Left Tackle job. Brown seems like a short term insurance plan for Wynn and even Garcia as both try to develop. The Tackle position has always been expensive, but the team may have seen the writing on the wall when Solder got that massive contract and may look to develop multiple guys for the position as a way to keep their salary cap under control at the position.
  2. Fans have to be encouraged by the long term outlook the team has for the Brady/Belichick era to continue for longer than maybe we expected going into draft weekend. Maybe the team really wanted one of the “big 4” QB’s in this class but they all went too early to get, but they had multiple chances at every single QB that went outside the top 10 and didn’t take one until the 7th round. That says to me that the team and Brady still see their window being open for more than just this year. The other aspect that makes me think this duo is not calling it quits anytime soon was the fact that the team made so many draft day trades to acquire picks next year. If this was a one year window, I think we would have seen a draft day that looked completely opposite to what just transpired. For me, this is one of the more exciting aspects to come out of draft weekend. I like seeing the Patriots contend for Super Bowls year in and year out, and right now, having Brady and Belichick give the team the best chance to do so.
  3. I like to think I put in the work doing this, but every draft, I realize that I can only scratch the surface. I am sure every fan base feels the same way, but it seems the Patriots really know how to keep us on our toes. I think everyone from beat writers with as close to insider knowledge down to the most casual fan would have expected the Patriots to look at Defense early on in this draft. Instead, they take a T/G (again, more on the players later) with the first pick and a RB with their second. I don’t think anyone would argue the players they took are very talented and (spoiler) good value where they were picked, but I don’t think anyone would have said the Patriots are going to take a RB in the first round.
  4. Speaking of defense, the Linebackers the Patriots chose are an interesting duo. While i had Sam on my big board, I did not have Bentley. I remember PFF having a very high grade on him, but I was so focused on Linebackers with better athletic traits and honestly moved away from Bentley. Again, this is where the team tends to make a guy like me look silly.
  5. I only watched Danny Etling casually. I watched a lot of LSU offense this year because of the talent at other positions, but nothing about Etling really grabbed my attention either positively or negatively. He was the one player I really dug into yesterday. Again, I won’t give away everything because I want you all to keep coming back, but there are some things to like about his game.

Again, this was just a quick recap of some thoughts I had that I wasn’t able to convey during the draft, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. Just because the 2018 draft is over, that doesn’t mean we are going anywhere. I will have reports on each of the Patriots selections and it won’t be too long until we start our coverage of the 2019 draft.

 

Thanks again for all your support. This is a labor of love for Jeff and I, but it is nice to be able to share that passion with all of you. It is truly humbling to think that people come to this site for our thoughts and opinions on the Patriots and the Draft.

 

4 Responses to “Post Draft Potpourri”

  1. GM-In-Training says:

    So, the Pats have filled their roster, and even have a few punter placeholders coming in for rookie camp tryouts.

    That’s never the end of it for New England.

    There will be waiving of UDFA’s and replacements.

    There may be adding veterans after the June ?? date after which veterans don’t affect the compensatory picks formula.

    There may be trading away veterans that don’t have a clear place anymore, but are too valuable to risk letting hit waiver wire.

    There may be picking up veterans waived from other teams in September.

    There may be adding veterans that cleared waivers in September (because their contracts were too rich), then adding them on reasonable terms (perhaps after week 1 of the season, so their full salary isn’t an obligation).

    There may be early season trades.

    So, what do I think will happen?

    I think UDFA’s Webb, Lacy, and Wimann will wash out pretty quickly and be replaced by other UDFA.

    I think if Brown gets into shape over the summer and Garcia is healthy, LaAdrian Waddle gets traded in August. The guy has started playoff games, is cheap, but the Pats have set up such a big OT competition, he could become bait.

    I think one or two former-first rounder WR (Dorsett or Britt?) could be traded for late round picks.

    I think Hill, Gillislee and TE Allen are all expensive and at risk of being waived…though I really want the Pats to keep at least one 230# RB for short yardage.

    I think the Pats experiment to see if Rivers can play OLB and cover TE/RB, because Rivers is not quite big enough to set the edge as a DE.

    I think the Pats will be looking for a veteran LB or DE to upgrade depth through all of the above.

    I don’t see as many stud special teamers who are also quality depth on the roster as in the past couple seasons, and we might expect to see more additions of SS and fast LB who could play that role. Such ST are usually undervalued, and the Pats tried to be really strong at that phase of the game last year as a result.

  2. kevinz says:

    I think once look back in a few years this draft class will be much better than seems right now.
    Thinking get 4 NFL players if healthy are Wynn Sony Dawson along with Sam. One late pick or one UDFA may make the team as well.

  3. Brian says:

    Ive come off the ledge a little bit in regards to our picks but still wish we would have focused more on adding speed to our defence. However I’ve come to realize over the years that bill doesnt care for “modern line backers,” loves cornerbacks and is as unpredictable as ever.

    I like the Wynn pick but was surprised at how quickly Ragnow went, who I had bookmarked to the Pats. Sony Michel on the other hand took me by complete surprise and all we can hope for now is health and ball security from him to gain Brady and the coaches trust.

    I like to go over the draft and see what I would have done. Then Look back in a couple years to see how my picks are doing. Obviously coaching and situations can dictate player development. But some notable guys I would have drafted include Telvin Smith, David Johnson and Stephon Tuitt, with many busts in between.

    With that said I would have made a hard play to move up for Derwin James, whom I can’t believe made it to 17 and within striking distance of a reasonable trade up.
    Here’s the rest of what I would have done (trades are ball parked)

    1st- Derwin James (trade up to 15, lose 2nd rounder)
    1st- Connor Williams
    2nd- trade down for extra 4th
    2nd- Nathan Shepherd
    3rd gone to San Fran for OT Brown
    4th- Avonte Maddox CB
    5th- Mike White Qb
    6th- Jacob Martin Olb
    6th- Braxton Berrios WR
    7th- Davonte Downs ILB
    7th- Ryan Izzo TE

    • JH says:

      I like to keep track of some of my binkies too. My draft would have also looked much different, but I trust that the Pats are taking the right players. The only things I strongly think were bad ideas we’re taking two linebackers instead of taking Godwin Igwebuike with one of those spots, and taking Etling over McGough in the 7th.

      I think Igwebuike could have been a future starter and I think McGough has a better chance of doing something than Etling does. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on McGough this summer and beyond, and I’m interested to see if my quarterback scouting eye is up to par.

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