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Old 04-27-2012, 11:56 AM    (permalink
kennyb
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Josh Robinson looks impressive, never enough CBs.

I'm hoping they pick up a DL like DaJohn Harris or Kheeston Randall in the 4th or 5th. Or Malik Jackson.

I guess they'll trade down at least once.

Interesting that Alshon Jeffrey is still there...very tantalizing pick. He's like a bigger Hernandez at worst, I think.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:01 PM    (permalink
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Give me some Sanu.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:06 PM    (permalink
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Jones and Hightower could be so versatile and project to so many schemes, that is why combined with their talent they are such great picks to me. Remember some teams even viewed Jones as a guy who could bulk up and potentially play the 5-tech. He is that long rangy athletic rusher who has a JPP like raw skill set about him, but people also think he could put on 15 or so pounds and be a Tuck type player. Hightower can play all over the field and he really could be a menace if we use him properly, which we should. We know how to move our players around and put them in good positions, but we have just lacked the talent. We just added two serious talents where we needed them.
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Old 04-27-2012, 12:15 PM    (permalink
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
Jones and Hightower could be so versatile and project to so many schemes, that is why combined with their talent they are such great picks to me. Remember some teams even viewed Jones as a guy who could bulk up and potentially play the 5-tech. He is that long rangy athletic rusher who has a JPP like raw skill set about him, but people also think he could put on 15 or so pounds and be a Tuck type player. Hightower can play all over the field and he really could be a menace if we use him properly, which we should. We know how to move our players around and put them in good positions, but we have just lacked the talent. We just added two serious talents where we needed them.
This is pretty much how I feel about the picks right now (maybe I'm just overly stoked that we traded up for two pass rushers (well sort of)). I'm real excited about our line backing core as of right now. One of my buddies who just graduated from cuse texted me telling me that Jones was one of the best talents he saw on the team, and he wouldn't be surprised to see him beast for us (He's also a Denver fan so he was pretty upset about the trade). I'm excited about the potential, at the very least as people have said, we didn't trade down to take some mid round DB who will be cut in two years or just plays strictly special teams.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:48 PM    (permalink
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Give me some Sanu.
**** no. That would be awful.
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Old 04-27-2012, 01:54 PM    (permalink
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Stacey Dales on NFLN reports to look for T. Johnson (whoever her source is seems to be pretty good) but the more I read on that guy the more I don't want him. In addition to the info I posted in an earlier thread I found this on another forum:

Quote:
You shouldn't be a big fan of Johnson. He is a poor tackler (always goes for a big hit and rarely wraps up a ball carrier), routinely beaten down the field when in coverage, often out of position on both running and passing situations and he may have been a part of the sexual assault/rape charges on UMontana campus that has, thus far, seen the AD and head football coach get the axe. (Neither were technically fired, both contracts were not renewed.) These charges have seen 3 players dismissed and will most likely see 4 more including the starting QB.

I watched Johnson play the last 2 seasons, 6 of those games in person.
If as it's being reported we're not interested in Jenkins I don't understand why we would be interested in Johnson.

Edit: Dales also reporting NE interest in WR and OL.

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Old 04-27-2012, 02:29 PM    (permalink
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We could go in so many different directions right now, this is awesome. We may trade one of the picks away but I really feel our first round set us up to take the BPA on our board. We could take a DB, WR, OL, DL, RB, who knows. What is we took a guy like Curry or Upshaw? It could happen you never know, or maybe Fleener. So much is still available and we have two picks. This is a nice spot to be in for a team that was a play or two away from winning it all.
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Old 04-27-2012, 02:41 PM    (permalink
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So even after sleeping on it, I'm not really seeing the logic of the Hightower pick. I seem lower on him than a lot of people are talent wise and I could be off a bit there. But even if I'm off in my assessment of his abilities, I just don't see how it helps fix the issues we have in our linebacking core(which were down the list of things that needed to be tweaked). Going back and looking at some games, Hightower probably helps out the pass rush a little bit(more as a blitzer than a rusher though), but he still seems like an upscale version of Brandon Spikes...with similar deficiencies. I can't see how this doesn't further weaken us in terms of covering the backs and tight ends....which further exaggerates the issues we have on the back end. You can't lug players like that around for first and second down the way you could five years ago. Not with the ability teams have to pass and the rise of the athletic tight end. If our defense was an upcoming opponents, I would be licking my chops about what Gronk and Hernandez would be able to do to them. Granted, not everyone in the league can throw out the type of tight ends we can, but I stand by the sentiment.

The one argument I can buy for this is that it helps establish an identity for our defense...something we've been sorely lacking. I'm just not sure it's an identity that's going to work out all that well.


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Josh Robinson is my most likely Patriots pick; I believe one of our area scouts or assistant coaches recruited him to Central Florida and Robinson posted one of the top cone drills of any defensive back at the Combine.
I would really like that. Robinson has some impressive film against quality receivers and the measurements to back it up.

As far as other potential targets go, it's hard to say. I would like to get someone who can help us at safety still and bigger end would be nice too. I don't really see any of the wide receivers left on the board as nice fits/worth the price assuming we stand. There's some fourth round lottery tickets I'm fond of though.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:11 PM    (permalink
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Leadership will be a huge factor for Hightower, imo. We have severely lacked it and regardless of how awesome Wilfork is, he can't really provide the front 7 (and overall team defense) leadership that we need.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:18 PM    (permalink
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I just find things like that to be inherently unpredictable(....and unknowable to an extent from our end). That's really nice when it works out, but we heard that Spikes, Chung, and a few other guys we've brought in. Shoot, every guy we bring in is a team captain in college or certainly not all that far away from that status....and yet as you said, we still seem to lack that element from our angle. The elements of team chemistry aren't something you can build artificially(or instantly for that matter) or pluck from scouting reports.

Certainly doesn't hurt that Hightower has that type of reputation, but I think that stuff is a bit overplayed.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:20 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
Jones and Hightower could be so versatile and project to so many schemes, that is why combined with their talent they are such great picks to me. Remember some teams even viewed Jones as a guy who could bulk up and potentially play the 5-tech. He is that long rangy athletic rusher who has a JPP like raw skill set about him, but people also think he could put on 15 or so pounds and be a Tuck type player. Hightower can play all over the field and he really could be a menace if we use him properly, which we should. We know how to move our players around and put them in good positions, but we have just lacked the talent. We just added two serious talents where we needed them.
Quote:
Leadership will be a huge factor for Hightower, imo. We have severely lacked it and regardless of how awesome Wilfork is, he can't really provide the front 7 (and overall team defense) leadership that we need.
You're gonna abso-freaking-love Hightower!!

Bellichick moved around all over the place but kept his focus where it was needed the most: on improving the pass defense, pass rush 1st.

Love him or hate him it's why he's the best HC in the League.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:30 PM    (permalink
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Originally Posted by Don Vito View Post
We could go in so many different directions right now, this is awesome. We may trade one of the picks away but I really feel our first round set us up to take the BPA on our board. We could take a DB, WR, OL, DL, RB, who knows. What is we took a guy like Curry or Upshaw? It could happen you never know, or maybe Fleener. So much is still available and we have two picks. This is a nice spot to be in for a team that was a play or two away from winning it all.
Ayup. I don't think we can go wrong with BPA regardless of position.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:42 PM    (permalink
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What I like about the Hightower pick is...
when the O sees him coming on the field... they have no idea what position he's going to play.
Is he playing inside? Outside rusher? DE? The O would have to look at all other 10 players before they can narrow down what Hightower is playing
Even with that though... we're so versatile that it's never a given.
I'm pretty excited.

Last night, I was confused at first. Didn't know where he'd play but today, I'm the opposite of EE, after sleeping on it... I love the pick
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:43 PM    (permalink
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I just find things like that to be inherently unpredictable(....and unknowable to an extent from our end). That's really nice when it works out, but we heard that Spikes, Chung, and a few other guys we've brought in. Shoot, every guy we bring in is a team captain in college or certainly not all that far away from that status....and yet as you said, we still seem to lack that element from our angle. The elements of team chemistry aren't something you can build artificially(or instantly for that matter) or pluck from scouting reports.

Certainly doesn't hurt that Hightower has that type of reputation, but I think that stuff is a bit overplayed.
This, I couldn't agree any more. Chung, McCourty, Mayo, Wilfork, most likely Carter, and Dowling. All these guys are high character guys. It's not 2009 anymore there are no leadership issues on defense.
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Old 04-27-2012, 03:43 PM    (permalink
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I just find things like that to be inherently unpredictable(....and unknowable to an extent from our end). That's really nice when it works out, but we heard that Spikes, Chung, and a few other guys we've brought in. Shoot, every guy we bring in is a team captain in college or certainly not all that far away from that status....and yet as you said, we still seem to lack that element from our angle. The elements of team chemistry aren't something you can build artificially(or instantly for that matter) or pluck from scouting reports.

Certainly doesn't hurt that Hightower has that type of reputation, but I think that stuff is a bit overplayed.
Spikes was a known knucklehead. Chung wasn't really touted as such, though I think he is ok in that regard. It's tough (for both, really) to grow into a leadership role while injured, but I really see more from Hightower in that regard anyway.

Mayo never had it and it seems like that's not likely to change. I think the ability to bring pressure from anywhere has been lacking and Jones + Hightower is a huge step towards fixing that. I still see Hightower as an upgrade over Ninko, which makes the Spikes portion of the discussion a little off-base.

Not that I'll argue with you, as you know I work off very limited research and generally rely on you and a few others here for breakdowns on what guys really bring to the table. I just see a much more pro ready guy with far greater athleticism and skill when compared to our current LB core that really was only Spikes & Mayo. I love the splash plays we get from Ninkovich, but our entire D was in need of help at every level.

Try to be happy?
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:27 PM    (permalink
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Spikes was a known knucklehead.
Citations;
1

Quote:
Aggressive player and an emotional leader.
2

Quote:
Named a team captain for the 2008 season and was a member of the 2008 UF Football Leadership Committee…
3

Quote:
He's a heady middle linebacker who can lead a defense and be a coach on the field. He's a student of the game and it shows in his excellent recognition skills.

Spikes is a versatile linebacker who could handle playing in a 4-3 or a 3-4. His strength and intelligence should make him an immediate starter at the next level.




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Chung wasn't really touted as such, though I think he is ok in that regard.
1

Quote:
... but has good leadership skills...A very good tackler with some leadership ability
2

Quote:
Shows solid leadership characteristics and a love of the game.
3

Quote:
A true leader on the field, Chung inspires fear from opposing quarterbacks, making smart decisions and punishing blows.

Those are just some choice quotes/examples. It was part of the chatter for those two for sure, even more so with Spikes before the infamous eye poke incident.

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Originally Posted by FlyingElvis View Post
Try to be happy?
I seem to be getting a reputation around here lately for being negative for the sake of it. I'm not sure I really understand that...and it bothers me a little bit. If there's one thing I try my hardest to do, it's to expand the discussion beyond the scope and breadth that it goes to on the base levels....as well as be objective as possible. I suppose that can come off as negativity to some, but that's not where it's coming from.

Having said that, lately I've started to disagree with the things this team does with personnel at a very basic level due to prolonged lack of results from the draft and letting HUGE holes on the defense exist for years when the other side of the ball has been championship caliber. We've made our mark on the game already, but I can honestly say that I think that the mismanagement of the defense and the unwillingness to draft potential impact players(as well as the whiffs on second rounders, actually, mostly that) has held us back from at least two Super Bowls. My tolerance for that stuff ran out a few years ago. Every year, the team makes personnel decisions that are confounding and we all just sort of convince ourselves that they were the right move. It used to be because Bill(and company) was thought of as being that much smarter than everyone else, but I really don't think I can say I feel that with conviction with regards to the draft and roster construction. I'm not going to participate in that whole thing anymore.

...but I am happy we're finally at least trying to do something about the holes on our defense. Chandler Jones and Hightower really don't get me going as much as they do some people, but the way we made the picks and the type of picks they are is a refreshing change from what we've seen lately. Particularly Jones. I don't really see the appeal, but taking a player with serious upside at a position of need is all you can ask for. Jones could bust and it would still be an alright pick simply because we swung for the fences.


But whatever haha. Too many "I's" in that for me to really feel comfortable with. Don't like making those kinds of posts, but I felt the air needed to be cleared with regards to some of that stuff.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:41 PM    (permalink
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I mean what would you have preferred to do with our picks last night? Weve all been asking to address these positions for awhile now, and then when they do we still harp on them haha. Idk let's wait until we see what BB is planning on doing with the both of them before we start being overly critical. And who didn't see the hightower pick coming? It would have been more surprising for us to pass on him then us taking him.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:48 PM    (permalink
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I mean what would you have preferred to do with our picks last night? Weve all been asking to address these positions for awhile now, and then when they do we still harp on them haha. Idk let's wait until we see what BB is planning on doing with the both of them before we start being overly critical. And who didn't see the hightower pick coming? It would have been more surprising for us to pass on him then us taking him.
Hightower was a B- selection. We don't have a drastic need for leadership on this team, and he doesn't really add a ton to this defense. I see where EE is coming from on this one. Yes, he is a unique athlete, but he isn't sudden or explosive, and honestly that is what has been missing. They missed out on an opportunity to get a player who was going to do more to help this team. He'll probably make a mark on this team, but there are definitely guys who are as talented in spots that get more to the crux of what is wrong with this defense. Size and physicality is not what is lacking on D.

Now, Chandler Jones was a great selection. I have no beef with that one.
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Old 04-27-2012, 04:54 PM    (permalink
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Hightower was a B- selection. We don't have a drastic need for leadership on this team, and he doesn't really add a ton to this defense. I see where EE is coming from on this one. Yes, he is a unique athlete, but he isn't sudden or explosive, and honestly that is what has been missing. They missed out on an opportunity to get a player who was going to do more to help this team. He'll probably make a mark on this team, but there are definitely guys who are as talented in spots that get more to the crux of what is wrong with this defense. Size and physicality is not what is lacking on D.

Now, Chandler Jones was a great selection. I have no beef with that one.
How do we not need leadership on defense? We can't stop anyone or finish games. Bringing in a captain on the best defense in college football is perfect. We have great linebackers with this move and great versatility. I love the pick and just based on potential Hightower could've been a top 15 selection. Size and physicality is exactly what we need on defense since we're considered a finesse defense. Opposing offenses considers the NE defense soft and they are! You can't ever get too big or physical on defense as long as it doesn't come at the expense of speed which this doesn't. I like the upside of the defense with this move. The Mammoth Defense....
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:04 PM    (permalink
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Yeah Im not really sure where you got the sentiment that leadership wasn't needed. Is it priority one? No probably not but we are seriously lacking the leadership we had from the likes of Bruschi and Harrison a few years ago. Wilfork being the big leader on this team as someone else mentioned isn't enough. I don't see how you can complain about the leadership aspect or say we don't need it. And honestly this is such a BB move, everyone and their mothers saw it coming.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:07 PM    (permalink
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How do we not need leadership on defense? We can't stop anyone or finish games. Bringing in a captain on the best defense in college football is perfect. We have great linebackers with this move and great versatility. I love the pick and just based on potential Hightower could've been a top 15 selection. Size and physicality is exactly what we need on defense since we're considered a finesse defense. Opposing offenses considers the NE defense soft and they are! You can't ever get too big or physical on defense as long as it doesn't come at the expense of speed which this doesn't. I like the upside of the defense with this move. The Mammoth Defense....
We can't finish games because there is a fundamental lack of talent on that side of the ball. McCourty and Arrington couldn't cover anybody last year. There is nobody on the inside capable of getting a consistent pass rush, our Linebackers and Safeties had major coverage issues as well. We played most of the season without 2 of our better run defenders, and still were able to get away with it. Hightower is a cross between Brandon Spikes and Rob Ninkovich, which is great for a lot of teams, but not the Patriots who already have those guys. Hightower is not good in coverage, just watch the guy, he has very little fluidity and his instincts are questionable.

It's downright idiotic to say that we lost games at the end because of a lack of leadership. Leadership gives you an edge of staying disciplined and doing the work you need to do during the week. You can have plenty of rah rah guys, but at the end of the day you need to be talented enough to stop opposing teams when push comes to shove. The Pats aren't going to get better in the 4th quarter because Hightower is a great leader. I also don't know where you're getting this idea that the Pats were a finesse defense. Maybe for awhile when we had WR's playing at CB and Mark Anderson starting at RE, but for the most part when you roll out with Kyle Love, Vince Wilfork, Patrick Chung, Brandon Spikes, Jerod Mayo, Brandon Deaderick, Devin McCourty, Ras-I Dowling, and Rob Ninkovich you have a stout defense. The problem is that they can't cover people, and having Hightower does nothing to solve that problem.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:09 PM    (permalink
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Yeah Im not really sure where you got the sentiment that leadership wasn't needed. Is it priority one? No probably not but we are seriously lacking the leadership we had from the likes of Bruschi and Harrison a few years ago. Wilfork being the big leader on this team as someone else mentioned isn't enough. I don't see how you can complain about the leadership aspect or say we don't need it. And honestly this is such a BB move, everyone and their mothers saw it coming.
Every year we get the leadership/captain type guys, and it's the story coming out every time about how high character these guys are. Leadership always helps, but it should be pretty low on the list in terms of how we're building the team at this point.

It's not like I didn't see this move coming, I predicted it in our mock thread, but it doesn't mean that I'm happy about it. We could have done better.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:15 PM    (permalink
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There was absolutely no respect for the Patriots defense last year. That was painfully clear in every game. It's also idiotic (just to use your kind word) to say that we didn't lose games because of a lack of leadership on defense. Hightower has crazy football IQ and is much more gifted than Mayo imo.

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Old 04-27-2012, 05:18 PM    (permalink
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Cmarq basically said what I was going to say better than I could have.

I will add that leadership in football is never as mechanical as people make it out to be in draft circles. Hightower was a team captain at Alabama. That's great. How much of that had to do with him being one of the better upperclassmen as opposed to some kind of tangible "intangible". Reports are that he leveraged that all into doing some nice things on the leadership front...but if I'm a guy who has paid his dues in the league for a few years I'm damn sure not listening to some rookie yap at me and tell me how to do things. Those things have to happen organically....and we'll never be able to tell the full extent of just what is going on with regards to those things.

...but don't construe that as meaning we should stop taking those types of guys. That's certainly a bonus, but I cmarq nailed it in saying that Hightower won't magically make us cover any better because of his supposed leadership characteristics.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:23 PM    (permalink
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There was absolutely no respect for the Patriots defense last year. That was painfully clear in every game. It's also idiotic (just to use your kind word) to say that we didn't lose games because of a lack of leadership on defense. Hightower has crazy football IQ and is much more gifted than Mayo imo.

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Alright, I'll bite.

We lack leadership. It lost us games. Almost every guy we draft has leadership ability/was a team captain. Why do we lack leadership? What makes Hightower a surer bet than any of the previous guys to give us leadership and win us football games with it?
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