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

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
37,253
Welker tore his ACL in week 17 and played the next season. So, no.
In theory, no, but there aren’t many spots in the NFL for 31 year-old RBs coming off ACL surgeries. Sadly, this may be it for Rex. He’s an expiring contract and the Patriots will almost surely move on there. Maybe someone else gives him a look but most will have already filled their spots via draft/FA before he gets healthy.
 

Shelterdog

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
SoSH Member
Feb 19, 2002
12,517
New York City
Holes all over the roster, outside of OL (but Thuney’s leaving) and secondary (minus Gilmore), take a QB if you love him, but otherwise BEST PLAYMAKING ANYBODY in the first round.
So vague. Is a Richard Seymour or a Mayo a playmaker? I think yes but most people don’t mean a player like that when they say playmaker
 

DourDoerr

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Oct 15, 2004
2,248
Berkeley, CA
All things being equal, I'd go QB, and then either DL or LB as the positions that would have the biggest impact on this team. I trust BB's evaluation of a DL far more than a WR. For WR, I'd prefer a trade or FA signing since that's been his best avenue to a quality WR and with cap room, it should be doable going forward. But, yes, give me a playmaker - I don't think anybody's turning that down.
 

SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
20,727
A Scud Away from Hell
If Burkhead can make a reasonable recovery, I'd be happy to see him back on a vet-min salary.

Having him at the end of the games to close them out has been one of the joys of watching the last few playoff runs.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,761
Dallas
The initial assessment is that this is one of the weakest IDL/DT classes in memory especially at DT. Edge is not as strong as in years last either.

There is a chance that Micah Parsons could slide to the Patriots. If that’s the case and the Pats somehow get to draft a generational ILB prospect I want my moniker changed to “The Micah Parsons Project”.

There are some bigger DTs as well as some penetrator projects in the draft who should be there on day 3 or late day 2.

Personally I’d love to see them take one of: Lawrence (obviously won’t happen), Fields (99% sure won’t happen), Wilson, Lance, or Parsons.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,073
Posted in another thread, but hoping more eyes may see it here: What's the view here of Mac Jones? Putting up awesome numbers (again) for a great team in the best conference in America. Absolutely destroyed two top-25 opponents. He seems to have great mechanics, great field vision. Yes his receivers are better than the CBs defending him, so maybe it's easier for him than for guys at other schools. But he seems to have all the tools. And he doesn't seem to be a top guy whenever people rank the best QBs in this class. So he probably could be had for NE in the first - or maybe second even - round.

Thoughts on Mac Jones?
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,561
Santa Monica, CA
I can't find the other thread where we were discussing this - but some interesting numbers on N'Keal Harry and why he shouldn't be on the field:

Harry’s 5 yards per target this season only ranks higher than one other qualified NFL receiver (A.J. Green of the Cincinnati Bengals). His 8.8 yards per catch is fifth-worst among qualified NFL receivers. He’s 135th among 153 wide receivers in Football Outsiders’ DVOA. The Patriots are averaging .2 fewer yards per pass when he’s on the field.
 

ehaz

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 30, 2007
3,043
Posted in another thread, but hoping more eyes may see it here: What's the view here of Mac Jones? Putting up awesome numbers (again) for a great team in the best conference in America. Absolutely destroyed two top-25 opponents. He seems to have great mechanics, great field vision. Yes his receivers are better than the CBs defending him, so maybe it's easier for him than for guys at other schools. But he seems to have all the tools. And he doesn't seem to be a top guy whenever people rank the best QBs in this class. So he probably could be had for NE in the first - or maybe second even - round.

Thoughts on Mac Jones?
The comp I've seen the most is AJ McCarron, but I don't know enough to judge whether or not that's just kind of lazy. I mean, it's clearly not the same type of Alabama offense as the game manager era of QBs there. He's extremely accurate and it's not like Jones is only making the easy throws. But he IS throwing to Waddle/Smith which makes things way easier.

It's tough because he could end up with a Burrow-lite year in a shortened, pandemic season. Much safer than someone like Trey Lance though, who I consistently see ranked ahead of him despite close to zero track record.
 
Apr 24, 2019
620
This is yet another piece of “analysis“ from PFF that does nothing more than completely call into question the validity of their methods. I love Damien Harris, but that is absolutely nuts, as is of course giving pass pro anything remotely like equal footing with other aspects of the running game. Pass protection is important, yes, and underrated, for sure. But holy Jesus, if it’s helping push Damien Harris past guys like Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook, the point it’s making isn’t that he’s “elite,” it’s that your fucking ratings suck.
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,236
This is yet another piece of “analysis“ from PFF that does nothing more than completely call into question the validity of their methods. I love Damien Harris, but that is absolutely nuts, as is of course giving pass pro anything remotely like equal footing with other aspects of the running game. Pass protection is important, yes, and underrated, for sure. But holy Jesus, if it’s helping push Damien Harris past guys like Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook, the point it’s making isn’t that he’s “elite,” it’s that your fucking ratings suck.
PFF is hardly perfect, but Harris grades out very well across all of the PFF categories. He's #2 overall as a runner (slightly behind Henry, and a touch ahead of Cook) and #4 in pass protection while grading out above average as a receiver. It's not pass blocking pushing him past bigger names in the PFF rankings - it's similar quality running combined with stronger work as a receiver and pass blocker.
 
Apr 24, 2019
620
Which still calls into question their rankings, or at least the value thereof. I love Damien Harris. I love the way he runs, hitting the hole, north and south, with enough burst to make the edge. I appreciate that his pass protection is above average. This is all super promising. Oh, and I LOVE the guy. Mature, patient, a great teammate. This isn’t about undervaluing Harris, it’s about PFF overvaluing rankings that say he’s a top 3 RB. The idea that his performance (even W/O factoring his stellar pass pro “stats”) puts him as even a top 5 back is silly season. Can he be top 5 down the road? Sure, I guess, I certainly hope so. But this is another example of PFF‘s stat models being questionable.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,761
Dallas
I think the biggest disconnect between fans and NFL people wrt RBs is the importance of pass pro and that's especially true with BB and BB teams.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,009
This is yet another piece of “analysis“ from PFF that does nothing more than completely call into question the validity of their methods. I love Damien Harris, but that is absolutely nuts, as is of course giving pass pro anything remotely like equal footing with other aspects of the running game. Pass protection is important, yes, and underrated, for sure. But holy Jesus, if it’s helping push Damien Harris past guys like Derrick Henry and Dalvin Cook, the point it’s making isn’t that he’s “elite,” it’s that your fucking ratings suck.
He's not quite at that Cook/Henry level...yet. But he's close. In terms of metrics like broken tackle %, yards after contact and positive run %, he's just a notch below those guys. The main difference is workload at this point - Plus, the Pats are a woeful passing offense that faces more loaded boxes than almost any other team in the league and Harris is still wildly productive.
 

Average Game James

Well-Known Member
Gold Supporter
SoSH Member
Apr 28, 2016
2,236
He's not quite at that Cook/Henry level...yet. But he's close. In terms of metrics like broken tackle %, yards after contact and positive run %, he's just a notch below those guys. The main difference is workload at this point - Plus, the Pats are a woeful passing offense that faces more loaded boxes than almost any other team in the league and Harris is still wildly productive.
I was starting to write a post about exactly this... it's certainly debatable whether he would maintain his production handling the workload of a guy like Henry or Cook, but in terms of his actual per snap performance he's been exceptionally productive. And this is despite facing an 8 man box on 45% of snaps which is far and away #1 in the league (#2 is 36%, Cook and Henry are both <30%). And, to SMU's point, pass protection is really important - it doesn't show up in traditional stats, but a blown blocking assignment is often the difference between converting on 3rd down or punting and hugely increases the odds of negative plays (sacks/turnovers).

Also, keep in mind, PFF grades are a measure of how a player has performed, not a ranking of who is the best player or a prediction about future performance. DJ LeMahieu put up 2.9 WAR to Mike Trout's 1.6 last season - nobody would say WAR argues that he's a better player than Mike Trout, just that he was more productive over those games.
 

Mooch

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
2,009
I was starting to write a post about exactly this... it's certainly debatable whether he would maintain his production handling the workload of a guy like Henry or Cook, but in terms of his actual per snap performance he's been exceptionally productive. And this is despite facing an 8 man box on 45% of snaps which is far and away #1 in the league (#2 is 36%, Cook and Henry are both <30%). And, to SMU's point, pass protection is really important - it doesn't show up in traditional stats, but a blown blocking assignment is often the difference between converting on 3rd down or punting and hugely increases the odds of negative plays (sacks/turnovers).

Also, keep in mind, PFF grades are a measure of how a player has performed, not a ranking of who is the best player or a prediction about future performance. DJ LeMahieu put up 2.9 WAR to Mike Trout's 1.6 last season - nobody would say WAR argues that he's a better player than Mike Trout, just that he was more productive over those games.
Yep.

One more thing to keep in mind: Cam is DREADFUL in the short passing/check-down game which has really limited Josh's use of Harris as a pass-catcher which holds down some of his potential production and allows defenses to key on him solely as a runner.

I'm bullish on Harris in a very big way.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,761
Dallas
There are a few intriguing ideas for trade-ups in the draft. There are 3 teams that have the QB they need (if Dak leaves that changes things) and are going to finish with a top 10 pick: CIN, LAC, and DAL.

Dallas needs corners. We have both JCJ and Gilmore. Both of those guys add value to Dallas. Jerry thinks this team is a few defensive players away from competing. The Cowboys also might have interest in Cannon if he plays his final year and/or Shaq Mason who is on a reasonable contract. I am not sure how tradeable Chung is or if they would want to trade him or if Dallas would have an interest but he's someone to consider as well. These 5 guys could help reduce the draft capital cost of jumping up to snag a QB.

CIN and LAC need OL help and stat. The Patriots, having lost their natural 3rd, have reduced draft capital. They may or may not have some OL surplus depending on if they want to re-sign Thuney and Andrews. JCJ, Gilmore, Mason are probably worth somewhere between a 2nd and a 3rd. Cannon and Chung are probably only worth a 3 at best and most likely day 3 picks.

Hightower is another guy DAL would like but he's expensive, old, and probably worth so much more to Pats than what they could scrap him for.

All of these scenarios are long-shots to happen.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,761
Dallas
Hey guys just a note today that I saw live but Bryant is getting looks at safety. He was doing some split zone work. That’s an interesting development. I like Bryant. I think he’s an NFL caliber player or at least a quality backup. Bryant also crashed down hard against the run.

Jennings had a good game too from what I saw and that penalty was questionable. Again really loved the contributions from the young guys. That gives me a ton of hope going forward.
This was my NB from the Arizona gameball thread - I think we are at a point where we need to ask ourselves if BB found another quality DB. Bryant is getting more time and it seems like he flashes and does something well every time I replay the games.
 

mwonow

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 4, 2005
5,786
This was my NB from the Arizona gameball thread - I think we are at a point where we need to ask ourselves if BB found another quality DB. Bryant is getting more time and it seems like he flashes and does something well every time I replay the games.
Bryant was my training camp binkie - seems to have a hint of Butler (M) around him.
 

bigq

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 15, 2005
6,048
So, who had the 100 yard game, Mitchell?
No but he came close with a 98 yard game against San Francisco.

Aaron Dobson had 5 catches for 130 yards and 2 TDs against the Steelers in 2013.

Gronk and Amendola had 143 yards and 122 receiving yards respectively in that game.

 

SeoulSoxFan

I Want to Hit the World with Rocket Punch
Dope
Jun 27, 2006
20,727
A Scud Away from Hell
Given that, it would make sense to trade our established CB (or two) for established WR (or two) from other teams. It will never happen but Pittsburgh comes to mind.
 

SMU_Sox

loves his fluffykins
SoSH Member
Jul 20, 2009
6,761
Dallas

Howe:

J.C. Jackson has given up 4 TDs in four games as the No. 1 cornerback. Stephon Gilmore has given up 4 TDs in his last 37 games.

He's another game goat tonight against Buffalo. He's a good CB2 but they might choose to give him a 2nd round tender and let him go if someone makes a big offer. I think I would try to sign him to a long term deal but only if he got paid like a CB2. If he won't sign here for a reasonable rate even though it would add to their issues in 2021 the right move is probably letting him go and getting an additional 2nd round pick and maybe extending Gilmore another year or two with a raise.
 

ZMart100

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 15, 2008
2,068
Gilmore is 30 and about the only player that might have more value to a team closer to title contention than the Pats. I would shop him for picks.
 
Feb 19, 2015
3,546
Gilmore is 30 and about the only player that might have more value to a team closer to title contention than the Pats. I would shop him for picks.
Agreed. I see no point in signing a 30 y/o corner to a big money extension when the Pats will be rebuilding for at least a couple of years.
 

Captaincoop

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 16, 2005
11,561
Santa Monica, CA
If you let Gilmore and Jackson both walk, you're guaranteeing that there's no fixing this team for the next few years. That opens up a major hole that will likely require more than just the two picks you get back to fill.

Jackson doesn't look like a great CB1, but unless you're planning to spend 2021 totally bottoming out and starting over, you need to choose one of the two and keep him.

(I'm not suggesting bottoming out isn't an option...after the last few weeks I wonder if it's the only option)
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
37,253
If you let Gilmore and Jackson both walk, you're guaranteeing that there's no fixing this team for the next few years. That opens up a major hole that will likely require more than just the two picks you get back to fill.

Jackson doesn't look like a great CB1, but unless you're planning to spend 2021 totally bottoming out and starting over, you need to choose one of the two and keep him.

(I'm not suggesting bottoming out isn't an option...after the last few weeks I wonder if it's the only option)
I don’t think Jackson is going to be let go unless they give him a 1st round tender and someone bites. At 25 and still improving, he’s exactly the type of guy you pay. More than likely, Gilmore is dealt for like a 2nd or 3rd. Honestly surprised he wasn’t dealt this year.
 
Feb 19, 2015
3,546
Yes, I would rather keep Jackson unless it's going to take a top of the market deal. Hopefully they can lock him up with something fair to both parties.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

posts 18% useful shit
SoSH Member
Nov 17, 2010
11,331
I don’t think Jackson is going to be let go unless they give him a 1st round tender and someone bites. At 25 and still improving, he’s exactly the type of guy you pay. More than likely, Gilmore is dealt for like a 2nd or 3rd. Honestly surprised he wasn’t dealt this year.
Yep. I mean, if they have to play less man and more zone against certain receivers - like Diggs - because Jackson struggles, you can work around that. Jackson will never be peak Gilmore, but BB can certainly put him in a position to succeed.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,429
Jackson is exactly the asset a team like the Pats needs to keep. He could very well be a key piece of any rebuild, and we should not read too much into his struggles in a couple of games at the tail end of a lost season. First round tender is a no brainer in his case.

Gilmore should be traded for whatever the Pats can get during the offseason, preferably for a pick in the upcoming draft, but even a following year pick would be OK if it was 2nd round or higher.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,073
I don't know why people say Jackson can't be a true #1 corner. He may not be *right now*, but he's got the size, speed, and he's an absolute ball hawk. Yes he does give up some plays. But here's the thing about Diggs: the guy is GREAT. He gets open on everyone. In his last 7 games, he's had 9, 10, 7, 10, 10, 11, and 9 receptions. If you don't get pressure on Allen, he and Diggs will kill you. And the Pats got very little pressure on Allen, so....yeah.

Jackson just turned 25. Gilmore didn't make his first pro bowl until he was 26. He was all-pro at ages 28 and 29. Ty Law was at his peak in his late 20s (1 all-pro, 3 straight pro bowls). Asante Samuel didn't make a pro bowl until he was 26. The point is that just because he's not all-pro right now, doesn't mean he'll never get there. I mean, he should have at least made the pro bowl, and in any other year likely would have, because Gilmore would have been hurt and I'm sure Jackson was next on the list, but because there are no "replacements" on the pro bowl team, Jackson gets left out this year.

The point is: he's really frigging good. Really good. No reason why he can't become a true #1 corner, and likely already is there or damned close to it.
 

Mystic Merlin

Member
SoSH Member
Sep 21, 2007
34,874
Hartford, CT
Jackson is a good player.

They should give him a first round tender (which was about 4.67M this past year), which would mean that any team who signed him would surrender a first round pick to the Pats. Given the dollars Jackson will look for (good corners are pricey), it seems unlikely a team would fork over a big deal plus a first rounder, but I see no downside for the Pats. He is absolutely worth about 5M in cap dollars for next year, and like with Butler they avoid having to make a decision about whether to invest more heavily in him until next offseason.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,085
Mansfield MA
I don't know why people say Jackson can't be a true #1 corner. He may not be *right now*, but he's got the size, speed, and he's an absolute ball hawk.
Ballhawk, yes. Size and speed, not really. He's sub-5'10" and ran in the mid-4.4s, which is good, but not fast enough to keep up with a guy like Diggs. You can put Gilmore on almost literally any WR and he'll be fine. Jackson just doesn't have the physical tools do that. I think he looks a lot better paired with a true #1.

If you lose Gilmore, I think you need to either sign a big-ticket CB to replace him (Marshon Lattimore?) or use a high pick on a lockdown CB type. Or the secondary can go from strength to weakness pretty darn fast.

My problem with this offseason is this team has two areas of the strength (OL and secondary) and both need investment to keep them where they are. Plus you've got three areas of desperate need (QB, skill, front 7). They've got a lot of cap space but it's only going to go so far given all the holes.
 

BigSoxFan

Member
SoSH Member
May 31, 2007
37,253
Ballhawk, yes. Size and speed, not really. He's sub-5'10" and ran in the mid-4.4s, which is good, but not fast enough to keep up with a guy like Diggs. You can put Gilmore on almost literally any WR and he'll be fine. Jackson just doesn't have the physical tools do that. I think he looks a lot better paired with a true #1.

If you lose Gilmore, I think you need to either sign a big-ticket CB to replace him (Marshon Lattimore?) or use a high pick on a lockdown CB type. Or the secondary can go from strength to weakness pretty darn fast.

My problem with this offseason is this team has two areas of the strength (OL and secondary) and both need investment to keep them where they are. Plus you've got three areas of desperate need (QB, skill, front 7). They've got a lot of cap space but it's only going to go so far given all the holes.
I'd love to know what their vision is for the DL because, to me, it seems like such a huge problem. I know sacks don't mean everything but having 3.5 from Winovich lead the team is just...awful. Feel like they need a big ticket signing for this unit.
 

Super Nomario

Member
SoSH Member
Nov 5, 2000
13,085
Mansfield MA
I'd love to know what their vision is for the DL because, to me, it seems like such a huge problem. I know sacks don't mean everything but having 3.5 from Winovich lead the team is just...awful. Feel like they need a big ticket signing for this unit.
The front seven is just a complete mess for next season. Guy, Butler, Wise, Simon, Copeland, Calhoun are all FAs. Hightower is coming back in theory.

My guess for the offseason is they spend picks / $$ to keep the secondary and OL strong, really invest to shore up the front seven, and try to just enough to get by at skill / QB. De-emphasize the passing game again and try to win with D and running the ball.
 

lexrageorge

Member
SoSH Member
Jul 31, 2007
11,429
The issue with this team is definitely not the play with JC Jackson. And a competent GM can easily manage the salary cap implications of keeping a first round tender type player, given the amount of cap space the Pats have.

The front seven is just a complete mess for next season. Guy, Butler, Wise, Simon, Copeland, Calhoun are all FAs. Hightower is coming back in theory.

My guess for the offseason is they spend picks / $$ to keep the secondary and OL strong, really invest to shore up the front seven, and try to just enough to get by at skill / QB. De-emphasize the passing game again and try to win with D and running the ball.
The front 7 has been the biggest disappointment, IMO. Their young players (Winovich, Bentley) regressed badly this season after promising starts, while the rest of the squad just seemed to fall apart. D played well against Miami in the opener, got bit by Russell Wilson, but recovered against the Raiders and held their own against a powerful Chiefs team in a game in which the Pats got nothing from their backup QB's. After that, there were few highlights or any signs of improvement from the unit. I would be OK if they cleaned house and tried to start over on the front 7, although they may try to keep one of their pending FA's for continuity purposes.
 

BaseballJones

goalpost mover
SoSH Member
Oct 1, 2015
11,073
Ballhawk, yes. Size and speed, not really. He's sub-5'10" and ran in the mid-4.4s, which is good, but not fast enough to keep up with a guy like Diggs. You can put Gilmore on almost literally any WR and he'll be fine. Jackson just doesn't have the physical tools do that. I think he looks a lot better paired with a true #1.

If you lose Gilmore, I think you need to either sign a big-ticket CB to replace him (Marshon Lattimore?) or use a high pick on a lockdown CB type. Or the secondary can go from strength to weakness pretty darn fast.

My problem with this offseason is this team has two areas of the strength (OL and secondary) and both need investment to keep them where they are. Plus you've got three areas of desperate need (QB, skill, front 7). They've got a lot of cap space but it's only going to go so far given all the holes.
Richard Sherman ran a 4.54 and is one of the all time greatest cover corners. Jackson is fast enough and is big enough. He has trouble with Diggs, but EVERYONE has trouble with Diggs. He gets open on everyone.

And of course, EVERYONE looks better paired with another #1 corner.
 

Cellar-Door

Member
SoSH Member
Aug 1, 2006
18,983
If you let Gilmore and Jackson both walk, you're guaranteeing that there's no fixing this team for the next few years. That opens up a major hole that will likely require more than just the two picks you get back to fill.

Jackson doesn't look like a great CB1, but unless you're planning to spend 2021 totally bottoming out and starting over, you need to choose one of the two and keep him.

(I'm not suggesting bottoming out isn't an option...after the last few weeks I wonder if it's the only option)
Will it? I look at the last few years, and we've had one of the better CB corps in football with:
1. A high priced FA
2. An undrafted FA
3. An undrafted FA
4. A vet they got for trading down 204 to 219 in the draft

If Bellichick has proven he can do 1 thing, it is coach up cheap corners into good players. If you can move corners for good picks, then replace the corners with low picks and cheap FAs, you do it.
I'd tender Jackson and be happy to keep him, but if you can get premium picks for him I'd move on and find the next one. It's harder for this team to find solutions at other positions, and good picks would help with that.

The idea that losing our corners would be guaranteeing we can't fix this team seems bizaare to me. Corners are great, a pass rush is a lot better. This team has a really good secondary, and it gets shredded because we have a bad front 7. I'd rather downgrade at corner and actually get some pressure for once, seems a more sustainable solution than hope your good corners can cover for 9 seconds every down.