Attitude Draft?

With the draft behind us, I want to take some time to analyze what the local 11 got and how they did.

It’s tough to disagree with Mike Reiss’ assessment that this was an attitude draft.  The Patriots absolutely went after the toughest guy, and some of the biggest guys available at each selection.

I also thought there was attitude in the trade with the Broncos.  Granted the Patriots moved down again in the first round, but I thought there was an element of “go ahead young man, take what you want, I see something you don’t see.”  I think it’s safe to say the Patriots weren’t interested in Tim Tebow at all, but definitely not unless he found his way into the 6th round or so, where drafting a mediocre fullback would be more appropriate.

I like the addition of Spikes at linebacker, and I disagree with Reiss that it won’t improve our pass rush.  If Spikes can play in the middle (which is why the Patriots took him) they can afford to send pressure from the outside more often.

I predicted the selection of Rob Gronkowski in the second round.  He’s going to be a fixture in this offense.  Hopefully he holds onto more balls than Ben Watson.  I also see him making an important impact on the running game.

Obviously only time will tell, but I give the Pats a B+ overall.

McDaniels Drafts Superstar Fullback, God Now a Broncos Fan

I can’t take credit for this headline.  This was one of the possible mast-labels the Denver Post was kicking around tonight.  I have spoken at length about Jay Cutler on this blog.  I’m not a fan, and I never was.  But one important thing to remember is that I have been right about Jay Cutler every step of the way.  The Sanchize will go in the same category in a few years.

My point is not that I’ve studied anything at incredible length, that I have any kind of talent that is worthy of praise, but simply that my gut is good on quarterbacks (bout time my gut was good for something.

I say no to Tim Tebow.

Granted, I hate Tim Tebow, and I have for some two years now.  If there was a chance for Tim Tebow to not be on my you-know-what-list, it went by the boards when his mom made the abortion ad for Superbowl Sunday this year.  I hate his public displays of faith.  I respect his right to make them, but I exercise my own right to hate him as a consequence.

But on top of that, I think he’s headed for trouble.  The one thing that scares me is his will to win, which I cannot deny is incredible, and his religion plays into that.  You can ban every chemical in the world from your league.  You can test sweat, urine, spit, hair and if the union is weak enough, blood.

But you can’t ban fanatical religiosity, and that’s a drug too.  When you think Jesus is on your side, you believe that he’s going to help you win.  When you believe that upon your death, you’re going to paradise, you’re not afraid of getting annihilated by some guy twice your size.  And I believe that Tebow is that hook-line-and-sinker for Jesus.

That said, I don’t think he’s good enough.  He isn’t a great pocket passer, and he’s not going to outrun or truck defenders in the NFL like he did at Florida.  He runs when he’s in trouble, which has never been a good instinct for an NFL quarterback.  It’s been stereotyped (mostly because of actual on the field evidence) as a hallmark of black quarterbacks.  Now that barrier will be broken down somewhat as a white player goes and makes the same mistakes.  The best case is that he becomes Jake Plummer.  Is that what you’re looking for?

I say all this assuming that Denver’s Boy Wonder is not satisfied with his current quarterback (per usual).

If they play it smart and let him sit behind Kyle Orton, it is possible that he learns, that he changes his game, and that he becomes a solid pocket passer.  But I don’t think that’s why they picked him.  I think that McDaniels is looking at him as a starter in the near future.

If you’re throwing him in the fire and his second option is going to be Jabar Gaffney, good luck.  Jesus better be on his side, because the odds are not.

Patriots Mock Draft (Wicked Long)

Now we are going to proceed under the false pretense that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round.  Never mind, you know what?  We’re going to proceed under a number of false pretenses.  The first is that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round.  The second is that I, or anyone else outside of the Orwellian fortress that is Gillette Stadium, has any idea what the Patriots are going to do; ever.  The third is that yours truly knows anything significant about football, which is a generous supposition indeed.

But it’s speculation season, and I love to speculate, so let’s do this!

Assuming that Belichick decides to make a pick in the first round [the one he currently holds at 22], I do not think he goes tight end as many say he will.  I admit that Jermaine Gresham, the tight end out of Oklahoma looks enticing.  I would be tempted to pick him if I were the Patriots and I were indeed keeping the pick.  But I don’t think they will.

It is here that I should also mention the unique situation in New England with regard to the offensive line.  The Patriots had some issues protecting Tom Brady this season, and those issues will not be any less severe considering the fact that both Stephen Neal and Dan Koppen could still retire, and are not what they once were.  So the temptation would be obvious to draft a talented young man in the first round to protect the quarterback.

Enter Dante Scarnecchia.  The offensive line coach has allowed the Patriots to be singularly ignorant of what the draft-rats say about offensive linemen for years.  If you give him a decent athlete, he will make him an offensive lineman.

This team thought it was going to carry on without Richard Seymour, and I’m not complaining about winning the division and going 10-6 (ok, well maybe I am complaining about going 10-6, a little).  But the fact remains that this team couldn’t rush the passer at all.  I think they go defensive end in the first round.  There are a couple of candidates, we will assume Derrick Morgan doesn’t make it to them.   So the pick is…

Everson Griffin, DE of the University of Southern California

 

New England has three second round picks, the first of which falls at number 44.  I view this pick as the inverse of the first.  If the Patriots do go tight end at 22, they go defensive end at number 44 and likewise in the other direction.  Since I took a defensive end at 22, the pick is…

Rob Gronkowski, TE of Arizona

 

The next pick is number 47, soon after Gronkowski comes off the board to wear his blue and silver jersey.  I have a lot of tight and defensive ends on my board at this point as a contingency, but since I’ve picked one of each already [and I don’t expect more than one of each until very late Sunday] I will take out an insurance policy here on Wes Welker.  The young man I will pick here is a small-framed wideout capable of running quick cutting routes much like Wes Welker.  Although we don’t know what Welker’s future holds, an insurance policy is a good idea, and this young man could prove a great weapon opposite Welker in 3-5 wide sets if he is healthy.  So the pick is… Continue reading