2020 Pats: Roster & Beyond (non-QB edition)

BigSoxFan

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I think the lack of explosiveness and lack of receiving ability go hand-in-hand in some ways. They have guys like White and Burkhead who can line up in the slot and catch a slant against a LB; they don't need Michel to have that skill set. But you can't even throw a dumpoff in the flat or a screen for Sony, because he's not the least bit dynamic in space.
Yup. Doesn’t really have any wiggle so dumpoffs to Michel just aren’t effective even if he actually catches them. It’s why I find Burkhead to be the most interesting RB we have because he is the only one who is an equal threat at running and receiving.
 

BaseballJones

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Sadly, BJGE was actually more productive than what we're seeing last year and so far this year from Sony.
BGJE's best years, yes. Not his average year, but I certainly take your point. And really, it's why teams should never - unless there's a game-changing talent there - take running backs high in the draft. It's just too easy to find a decent replacement.
 
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I would like the team to TRY throwing it to Michel more than a time or two bc more than a few reporters who watched training camp last year said he looked far more dynamic than expected - training camp reps disclaimer, but still - and I believe Ivan Fears praised him too. Obviously, there’s something going on and they think he can’t do it, but I do wish they’d try it a tiny bit more often in real games, just to mix it up a little so Ds couldn’t know with absolute certainty that he wasn’t going to be a target EVER.
 

SMU_Sox

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Last year Sony ranked near the bottom of the league for yards after contact and broken tackles.

This year for RBs who have at least 13 carries (so 100 carries+ in a full 16 game season) he is 33rd of 48 for yards after contact at 1.9 which is worse than last year (small sample size obviously), and 41st out of 48 with 0 broken tackles. The line didn't help him last game but given how bad he is as a receiver the only thing he can hang his hat on is pass pro. He's not a special back. Typically as a back you have 2 ways of winning. You either win with power, elusiveness, or a combination of both. Start-stop, athletic traits help too. Sony offers you nothing special. He isn't powerful. He isn't explosive. He doesn't have great start-stop. He isn't athletic now that his injuries have sapped him of that. He is not elusive. Bring on Harris.

Statistics courtesy of Sports Info Solutions.
 

BigSoxFan

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Last year Sony ranked near the bottom of the league for yards after contact and broken tackles.

This year for RBs who have at least 13 carries (so 100 carries+ in a full 16 game season) he is 33rd of 48 for yards after contact at 1.9 which is worse than last year (small sample size obviously), and 41st out of 48 with 0 broken tackles. The line didn't help him last game but given how bad he is as a receiver the only thing he can hang his hat on is pass pro. He's not a special back. Typically as a back you have 2 ways of winning. You either win with power, elusiveness, or a combination of both. Start-stop, athletic traits help too. Sony offers you nothing special. He isn't powerful. He isn't explosive. He doesn't have great start-stop. He isn't athletic now that his injuries have sapped him of that. He is not elusive. Bring on Harris.

Statistics courtesy of Sports Info Solutions.
I just don’t understand how his injuries have sapped him of what he had at UGA. He’s had some ankle, knee, etc. issues but nothing really catastrophic. I don’t get it.
 

SMU_Sox

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I just don’t understand how his injuries have sapped him of what he had at UGA. He’s had some ankle, knee, etc. issues but nothing really catastrophic. I don’t get it.
You and me both. I remember watching him in Athens (my partner is a UGA alum and we visit the family once a year during college football season to catch a game) and thinking if the Patriots got him or Chubb we'd have an offensive weapon. What I didn't realize was by getting Sony he was only offensive to expectations. I Greek oracled myself.

If you look at his college tape he's so much more explosive. It's sad.
 

BigSoxFan

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You and me both. I remember watching him in Athens (my partner is a UGA alum and we visit the family once a year during college football season to catch a game) and thinking if the Patriots got him or Chubb we'd have an offensive weapon. What I didn't realize was by getting Sony he was only offensive to expectations. I Greek oracled myself.

If you look at his college tape he's so much more explosive. It's sad.
It really is. I was so fired up when we got him. He was a different type of back than we’d really had under BB other than maybe early Maroney. But, for whatever reason, he’s turned into a complete plodder out there. No explosion. Zero elusiveness (admittedly never a huge part of his game). Zero pass catching ability. His 2018 version wasn’t as explosive as UGA but he was still quite good, especially in the playoffs. And even that guy is seemingly gone forever. Still only 25. His contract may protect him next year but I don’t anticipate that he’ll be employed in the NFL in 2022.
 

tims4wins

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It really is. I was so fired up when we got him. He was a different type of back than we’d really had under BB other than maybe early Maroney. But, for whatever reason, he’s turned into a complete plodder out there. No explosion. Zero elusiveness (admittedly never a huge part of his game). Zero pass catching ability. His 2018 version wasn’t as explosive as UGA but he was still quite good, especially in the playoffs. And even that guy is seemingly gone forever. Still only 25. His contract may protect him next year but I don’t anticipate that he’ll be employed in the NFL in 2022.
See I think more Ridley than Maroney. Ridley was stronger, Maroney was faster. I thought Sony was in that speed / power blend. Ridley was really good for the Pats until he got hurt.

Edit: of course, Ridley was a 3rd round pick. When you think of the success the Pats have had in that range with guys like Ridley, White, Vereen... it makes me even more mad they wasted a 1st on Sony.
 

SMU_Sox

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It really is. I was so fired up when we got him. He was a different type of back than we’d really had under BB other than maybe early Maroney. But, for whatever reason, he’s turned into a complete plodder out there. No explosion. Zero elusiveness (admittedly never a huge part of his game). Zero pass catching ability. His 2018 version wasn’t as explosive as UGA but he was still quite good, especially in the playoffs. And even that guy is seemingly gone forever. Still only 25. His contract may protect him next year but I don’t anticipate that he’ll be employed in the NFL in 2022.
My eyes tell me you were right but I wonder how much of that was just better blocking in 2018.

His yards after contact in both 2018 and 2019 were the same, 2.4. His broken tackle rate was also almost the same 2018: 11%, 2019: 10.9%.
 

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My eyes tell me you were right but I wonder how much of that was just better blocking in 2018.

His yards after contact in both 2018 and 2019 were the same, 2.4. His broken tackle rate was also almost the same 2018: 11%, 2019: 10.9%.
The blocking of that 2018 offense, -- OL + TE's + FB -- was simply ungodly, by the time the end of the season rolled around and on into the playoffs.
 

tims4wins

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My eyes tell me you were right but I wonder how much of that was just better blocking in 2018.

His yards after contact in both 2018 and 2019 were the same, 2.4. His broken tackle rate was also almost the same 2018: 11%, 2019: 10.9%.
We've rehashed this over and over but they lost Gronk, Allen, Develin, Andrews, and a starting LT (for the majority of the season with Wynn out) from 2018 to 2019. Plus Mason and Cannon were worse (possibly as a side effect of the personnel changes). Blocking was without a doubt worse.
 

BigSoxFan

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See I think more Ridley than Maroney. Ridley was stronger, Maroney was faster. I thought Sony was in that speed / power blend. Ridley was really good for the Pats until he got hurt.

Edit: of course, Ridley was a 3rd round pick. When you think of the success the Pats have had in that range with guys like Ridley, White, Vereen... it makes me even more mad they wasted a 1st on Sony.
Yeah Ridley may be a better comp. He was a good RB before the injuries.

You never know how things work out with a different RB in there (I think many could have replicated Sony’s success given the blocking) so you take the title any day of the week and deal with the related disappointment now but there were a lot of intriguing guys we missed out on:

Nick Chubb
Darius Leonard
Courtland Sutton
Harold Landry
Dallas Goedert

Too bad.
 

tims4wins

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Yeah Ridley may be a better comp. He was a good RB before the injuries.

You never know how things work out with a different RB in there (I think many could have replicated Sony’s success given the blocking) so you take the title any day of the week and deal with the related disappointment now but there were a lot of intriguing guys we missed out on:

Nick Chubb
Darius Leonard
Courtland Sutton
Harold Landry
Dallas Goedert

Too bad.
Agreed. They won #6. Sony scored 6 TDs in 3 games. Maybe anyone could have done that. But the playoff run alone makes me not totally regret the pick.

Cross-sport comparison, but JD Drew was a better acquisition for the Sox than Sony was for the Pats. And he got totally shit on. But big moments trump all.
 

BaseballJones

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You know my view on this:

(1) Unless you have an absolutely transcendent talent available, I'd never pick a RB in the first (or probably even second) round. It's just too easy to find a good enough player at that position without spending the draft or financial capital.

(2) Sony was not just along for the ride, but he was *instrumental* in the Pats' last SB run. He was absolutely fantastic during those three games (and at the end of the regular season, when they started getting their running game rolling). Could someone else have done it? Sure. But Sony *DID* it. Not just in theory, but actually, on the field. We cannot take that away by saying that someone else could have done it. I mean, someone else could have broken up Cooks' potential TD pass in the SB, but Jason McCourty DID it. So he gets credit for it. If every 1st round draft pick the Patriots make would end up "only" being instrumental players in ONE Super Bowl run, that's pretty awesome.

(3) I'm more than ready for Damien Harris to play instead of Sony at this point.
 

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Sony’s problem in the passing game is that he doesn’t know when to get tackled if no one is around him.

Thanks for #6, and at least he has a functioning alarm clock.

I’m also ready for Harris.
 

Captaincoop

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You and me both. I remember watching him in Athens (my partner is a UGA alum and we visit the family once a year during college football season to catch a game) and thinking if the Patriots got him or Chubb we'd have an offensive weapon. What I didn't realize was by getting Sony he was only offensive to expectations. I Greek oracled myself.

If you look at his college tape he's so much more explosive. It's sad.
I watched him zero in college, but going back and reading a couple of pre-draft scouting reports on him, there are some ominous notes about how he was able to both power through and elude second level players against the Vanderbilts and weaker OOC opponents, but against the metal of the SEC he had a lot of runs where he got exactly what was blocked by his massive O Line, and nothing more
 

RedOctober3829

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I watched him zero in college, but going back and reading a couple of pre-draft scouting reports on him, there are some ominous notes about how he was able to both power through and elude second level players against the Vanderbilts and weaker OOC opponents, but against the metal of the SEC he had a lot of runs where he got exactly what was blocked by his massive O Line, and nothing more
He had 11 carries for 181 yards and 3 TDs in the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma that year which included a 75 yard TD. That that 75 yarder out and he averaged 10 yards a carry against a top flight team. So he had explosiveness at UGA and it's now gone. It's a big mystery.
 

A Bad Man

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Sony has degenerative chronic issues in the cartilage of the knee he blew out in high school. He's had at least two arthroscopic procedures since being drafted.

I haven't read the Patriots forums much at all over the past few years, but I assume this has been discussed at length.

I have no idea what the medical staff was thinking when we drafted him; maybe it was hubris on their part that they could overcome it? Maybe they overthought it and believed they were buying low? Or maybe BB got a crush on him for some reason and wouldn't be talked down?

This is likely just a dead horse beating, but I can't see how the Michel pick wasn't a complete failure in judgment.
 

Super Nomario

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Sony has degenerative chronic issues in the cartilage of the knee he blew out in high school. He's had at least two arthroscopic procedures since being drafted.

I haven't read the Patriots forums much at all over the past few years, but I assume this has been discussed at length.

I have no idea what the medical staff was thinking when we drafted him; maybe it was hubris on their part that they could overcome it? Maybe they overthought it and believed they were buying low? Or maybe BB got a crush on him for some reason and wouldn't be talked down?

This is likely just a dead horse beating, but I can't see how the Michel pick wasn't a complete failure in judgment.
My understanding (from reading Bill Polian's book, for example), is that medical staff is basically a binary signoff: can he play, or not? Sony has been able to play 35 out of 38 career games (counting playoffs), so it was probably the right call from that standpoint. He wasn't showing dropoff down the stretch in his last year in college; it was probably unfortunate timing as much as anything.
 

E5 Yaz

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Running backs are fungible. The average career is basically three seasons and most of those who careers last longer either become specialists (third-down backs, pile pushers, pass catchers) or are outliers like Gore or AP.

They got a stellar postseason run out of Sony, so it's all good. You can rightly argue that he wasn't worth the first, but if you don't pick him, do they get that Super Bowl?
 

Shelterdog

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Running backs are fungible. The average career is basically three seasons and most of those who careers last longer either become specialists (third-down backs, pile pushers, pass catchers) or are outliers like Gore or AP.

They got a stellar postseason run out of Sony, so it's all good. You can rightly argue that he wasn't worth the first, but if you don't pick him, do they get that Super Bowl?
They also really really needed a running back for 2018/2019, especially since it was the end of the brady era, so using a late first to fill that pretty big need makes a lot more sense than it might in other circumstances.

I also think folks need to look a little more carefully at running back drafting, which changes over time. We're not in an era where you routinely get an Orlandis Gary popping off for 1400 yards Right now almost all of the top 25 or so backs in the league are picked in two top rounds. The careers are pretty short, but you're also highly unlikely to get a league average or better back without devoting real draft capital to the proposition.
 

DJnVa

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We're not in an era where you routinely get an Orlandis Gary popping off for 1400 yards Right now almost all of the top 25 or so backs in the league are picked in two top rounds. The careers are pretty short, but you're also highly unlikely to get a league average or better back without devoting real draft capital to the proposition.
Just to put names on it, from last year's top 25 rushers you had:
Carson, 7th round
Mack, 4th round
Montgomery, 3rd round
Jones, 5th round
Lindsay, UDFA
and at #26 Drake, 3rd round
 

SeoulSoxFan

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Sony hasn't worked out but what can you do? It seems draft picks are always a dice roll, even for 1st rounders.

He was a big part of NE's last Lombardi and in a way, that is good enough for me. Now let the Harris era begin.
 

Shelterdog

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Just to put names on it, from last year's top 25 rushers you had:
Carson, 7th round
Mack, 4th round
Montgomery, 3rd round
Jones, 5th round
Lindsay, UDFA
and at #26 Drake, 3rd round
Right--which means 20 out of 25 are first and second round picks. It's not impossible to get a good back after that but good backs do generally get picked up high.
 

BaseballJones

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Sony hasn't worked out but what can you do? It seems draft picks are always a dice roll, even for 1st rounders.

He was a big part of NE's last Lombardi and in a way, that is good enough for me. Now let the Harris era begin.
All depends on what you mean by "hasn't worked out". He's played 31 regular season and 4 postseason games for NE (35 total), and started 28 of them. He's accumulated 1,899 regular season and 397 postseason rushing yards (2,296), to go along with 20 total rushing touchdowns. He was an instrumental part of a SB champion.

Do we wish for more from a 1st round pick? Absolutely. But I don't know that I'd say he "hasn't worked out".
 

Super Nomario

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Just to put names on it, from last year's top 25 rushers you had:
Carson, 7th round
Mack, 4th round
Montgomery, 3rd round
Jones, 5th round
Lindsay, UDFA
and at #26 Drake, 3rd round
This probably isn't a lot different from any other position, if you get right down to it. Among the 2019 top-25 receivers, you've got several third-rounders (Chris Godwin, Travis Kelce, Keenan Allen, Michael Gallup, John Brown, Tyler Lockett) and a handful of guys drafted later (Stefon Diggs, Julian Edelman, George Kittle).

There are a handful of positions (left tackle, edge rusher, quarterback) where it's really hard to find quality players after the second round, but at most other positions I think you'll find this pattern.

The main reason not to draft a RB highly is because running the ball is not that important compared to just about anything else on the football field.
 

Captaincoop

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All depends on what you mean by "hasn't worked out". He's played 31 regular season and 4 postseason games for NE (35 total), and started 28 of them. He's accumulated 1,899 regular season and 397 postseason rushing yards (2,296), to go along with 20 total rushing touchdowns. He was an instrumental part of a SB champion.

Do we wish for more from a 1st round pick? Absolutely. But I don't know that I'd say he "hasn't worked out".
He wouldn't go in the first round if we redrafted 2018, that seems pretty certain.

There's no use looking backward, it's time to move on from him as soon as possible.
 

tims4wins

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Yeah, that's too bad - Andrews is super important, and Uche, well, I was hoping for something north of the first couple of Derek Rivers years...
Good news is it is only 3 weeks. So they'll both be able to return after the week 6 bye.
 

tims4wins

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Can Uche be retroactive? Does it matter? Has he had a setback?

I wonder what the corresponding roster moves will be.
Retroactive is only in baseball. The Pats have a bye in week 6 anyway so it doesn't matter too much. But yeah seems like they should have put him on IR last week so he could come back in week 5. But whatever. Get to 3-2 and get healthy,
 

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Retroactive is only in baseball. The Pats have a bye in week 6 anyway so it doesn't matter too much. But yeah seems like they should have put him on IR last week so he could come back in week 5. But whatever. Get to 3-2 and get healthy,
Its interesting that he wasn't on the report on Wednesday, popped up on Thursday as Limited Participation. Then went to IR.
 

FelixMantilla

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He had 11 carries for 181 yards and 3 TDs in the Rose Bowl against Oklahoma that year which included a 75 yard TD. That that 75 yarder out and he averaged 10 yards a carry against a top flight team. So he had explosiveness at UGA and it's now gone. It's a big mystery.
It's all injuries. And he's had plenty of them.
 

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Harry Hooper

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Pats added OL yesterday, per Kyed:

The Patriots released wide receiver Mason Kinsey from their practice squad and replaced him with veteran offensive lineman Jordan Roos, who played 14 games with the Seattle Seahawks from 2017 to 2019.

Roos came into the NFL undrafted out of Purdue. He spent training camp with the Las Vegas Raiders.
 

BaseballJones

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Now that we're five weeks into the season, time maybe to think about some veterans that other teams might be willing/looking to trade....who might be worth pursuing if you're Belichick?

1. WR Golden Tate, NYG. NY is 0-5 and going nowhere fast. Tate is someone BB seemed to love a while back. Still a pretty decent player. Makes a fair amount of $$ - $8.5m in 2020, $5.9m in 2021. But it's not a crazy big amount.

2. TE Hunter Henry, LAC. If the Chargers lose tonight, they're going to be struggling for a playoff spot. Henry's contract is up after this year, so maybe NE could trade a little something for him to get him for the second half of 2020. Base salary of $10.6m for 2020, which the Pats could easily afford. Would be a major upgrade from Izzo.

3. WR Brandin Cooks, Hou. The Texans seem like they're going to struggle to make the playoffs. Cooks is, and always has been, a good player. Just not an elite one. And he is on a pretty big contract: $8m in 2020, $12m in 2021, and $12.5m in 2022 and 2023. But it looks like there's an out after 2020, with no dead cap hit, so they could totally cut him and rework his deal. He's not worth $12m a year. But he is still a good player.

4. WR Marvin Jones, Det. Another team with small playoff hopes. Good size, productive. Free agent after this season, so might not take much to acquire him. Only making a base salary of $6.5m this year so the acquisition cost and financial cost for him might not be much at all, and he's probably better than what NE has at WR right now.

5. LB Deion Jones, Atl. Falcons are a dumpster fire. Jones is an elite coverage LB, and NE has precisely none of those right now. Only 25. Very fast. Making $5.9m in 2020, $8.2m in 2021, $9.6m in 2022, and $12m in 2023. Would likely cost a fair price in a trade, but is a high quality player and has certain skills that NE is sorely lacking. They'd be trading for his age 26, 27, 28, and 29 seasons, meaning his prime. I don't know that Atlanta would trade him (he's a valuable player) but they might given their team situation. He'd be HUGELY helpful to NE, for 2020 and beyond.

6. DT Folorunso Fatukasi, NYJ. Within the division, so not ideal. The UConn product is a terrific under-the-radar player who plays big and solid in the middle. Don't know if it would take a whole lot to get him. Makes next to nothing, still on his rookie deal.


Other ideas?
 

vadertime

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I'd make a run at Auden Tate. Has fallen out of flavor in Cincinnati and could probably be had for a late round pick. Still a lot of potential.
 

DennyDoyle'sBoil

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Henry has not been very durable. Watching him, he reminds me a lot of Gronk in how he moves and seems to go into tackles very upright as a big target. He isn’t as elusive as other big guys like that who seem to be able to anticipate contact and make themselves smaller.

I would guess the Chargers will try to extend him anyway. But if he were available I would rather see him as a later season add if the Patriots are in contention given his injury history. $625k a week is a big chunk with 12 weeks left.

Edit — wait is Henry playing under a tag? I am not sure of the rules but doesn’t that put the whole franchise value on the Chargers if they were to trade him?
 
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BigSoxFan

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I’m not trading any picks this year unless they’re a 5th round or greater, which obviously won't generate much. We already lost our 3rd due to that stupid Cincy penalty. As of right now, the 2021 picks are looking like the following:

1: Patriots
2: Patriots
3: Forfeited
3: Comp Pick (Brady)
4: Patriots
4: Comp Pick (Van Noy)
4: Comp Pick (Collins)

5: Patriots
6: Patriots
6: Jets Pick
6: Cowboys Pick
7: Patriots Pick
 

BaseballJones

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That forfeited third pick really bugs me. People can whine about BB's drafting all they want, but this is now the fourth pick they've lost: two first rounders, a fourth rounder, and now this third rounder (which obviously isn't a factor in BB's past drafts).

All for utterly stupid (or nonexistent) stuff.
 

54thMA

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That forfeited third pick really bugs me. People can whine about BB's drafting all they want, but this is now the fourth pick they've lost: two first rounders, a fourth rounder, and now this third rounder (which obviously isn't a factor in BB's past drafts).

All for utterly stupid (or nonexistent) stuff.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the film crew that filmed Bengals sideline are not team employees, correct?

If so, why did the organization get punished for that?

Apologies if I am wrong about this, but I thought that was the case.
 

lexrageorge

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Correct me if I'm wrong, but the film crew that filmed Bengals sideline are not team employees, correct?

If so, why did the organization get punished for that?

Apologies if I am wrong about this, but I thought that was the case.
IIRC, one of the cameramen was contracted out by the Patriots to do the filming for the Youtube series that the Pats were producing.

In any event, neither of them were part of the team's football operations, nor had been directed by the team's football operations division (which are all under Belichick). However, the team's film/PR department is still under Kraft & Kraft and is considered part of the Patriots organization.

It was indeed wrong for Goodell to punish the football operation for a minor mistake made by an organization completely outside football operations. At the same time, Belichick's earlier filming violations and his ignoring the memo from the league office 13 years ago (!) did put the team into this situation to some extent.
 

54thMA

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IIRC, one of the cameramen was contracted out by the Patriots to do the filming for the Youtube series that the Pats were producing.

In any event, neither of them were part of the team's football operations, nor had been directed by the team's football operations division (which are all under Belichick). However, the team's film/PR department is still under Kraft & Kraft and is considered part of the Patriots organization.

It was indeed wrong for Goodell to punish the football operation for a minor mistake made by an organization completely outside football operations. At the same time, Belichick's earlier filming violations and his ignoring the memo from the league office 13 years ago (!) did put the team into this situation to some extent.
Thanks for the clarification/explanation.

Your final point is the crux of the issue ie, repeat offender.