How to improve the WR position

Cellar-Door

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I’m beginning to think he won’t make it to 14 but he’s my pick. I saw a video of JSN somewhere on Twitter of him running a hoss juke variation. You’re not going to find a receiver like him on the free agent or trade market. Hopkins—but wrong side of 30 + will cost #46 and $20M of cap space is your best trade option. You should be able to find a right tackle in free agency for $16-$18M.

We can’t run it back with Meyers/Henry/Parker/Thornton but + BOB and a tackle upgrade. You’ve got to give Mac something to work with that isn’t a bottom 3 receiver room in the NFL this year to properly assess him.
If they re-sign Meyers it's definitely not a bottom 3 room. Just off the top of my head the following were worse last year: CHI, GB, NYG, TEN, HOU, and probably a few more depending how you value depth and TEs: CAR, BAL, ATL (would be definite, but I assume Pitts falling off a cliff was temporary).

I think people really have no grasp on what other teams' talent levels are in terms of WR/TE. Honestly, if you just go WR the Patriots have more talent than KC. This is an average WR/TE corps that just doesn't have a true #1.

Not a lot of site rank entire Corps, but PFF does, and they had NE around 20th in both pre-season and in-season rankings.

If Mac Jones can't have success with this group and better blocking he's not an NFL starter.

Edit- this isn't a knock on JSN, he's good and if they draft him that's reasonable, but the idea that you need to chase a WR in round 1 to justify your round 1 pick 2 years ago is a bad process. They should explore WR upgrades for sure, but that shouldn't dictate what they do at 14, which is an opportunity to add elite talent. I mean, I'd much rather they draft who they think the best player is at 14 regardless of position. There are lots of avenues to WR upgrades, and also.. you can live with this corps and a mid-rounder, there is talent there that wasn't used well by Patricia last year (see Bourne in particular).
 
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j44thor

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I hear "just doesn't have a true #1" a lot as if depth somehow equals it out. A bunch of 2s/3s do not dictate coverage like a true #1 does. Once you have a true #1 that teams have to game plan for that allows your #2s/3s to be much more effective. Who was the last top QB, excluding rushing, that didn't have a top 15 receiving option? KC - Kelce, PHI - AJB/Smith, CIN Chase/Higgins, MIN JJett, SF CMC/Kittle/Samuel/AIyuk, LAC Allen/Williams/Ekeler, GB - Adams then Arod fell off a cliff. Even Lamar had Andrews/Hollywood in his big passing years.

If your top receiving option is Rhamondre Stevenson you can't expect your QB to be a top end QB.

edit: the one QB who has probably done more with less, outside of prime Brady, is Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was also considered a generational talent when he was drafted #1 overall when Mac was drafted 15th. No one should expect Mac to outperform Lawrence.
 
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Cellar-Door

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I hear "just doesn't have a true #1" a lot as if depth somehow equals it out. A bunch of 2s/3s do not dictate coverage like a true #1 does. Once you have a true #1 that teams have to game plan for that allows your #2s/3s to be much more effective. Who was the last top QB, excluding rushing, that didn't have a top 15 receiving option? KC - Kelce, PHI - AJB/Smith, CIN Chase/Higgins, MIN JJett, SF CMC/Kittle/Samuel/AIyuk, LAC Allen/Williams/Ekeler, GB - Adams then Arod fell off a cliff. Even Lamar had Andrews/Hollywood in his big passing years.

If your top receiving option is Rhamondre Stevenson you can't expect your QB to be a top end QB.
Meh... last year Jared Goff had a great year, his #1 was Amon-Ra St. Brown, who I love, but is a similar level of WR to Meyers, Lawrence had a big year, his #1 is Christian Kirk, not a true #1.
Beyond that, there are a lot of guys who are probably "true #1s" in your eyes, where a lot of it comes from the QB/offense, and a guy like Meyers could have similar success with a top QB/offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson wasn't the top option it was Meyers, and it most definitely was not Meyers letting down Mac, but the other way around (also the playcalling stunk).

Edit- it's also weird to have this issue constantly come up when we literally spent 2 decades watching a team win that had a true #1 for about 2 years out of 20.
 

BigSoxFan

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Meh... last year Jared Goff had a great year, his #1 was Amon-Ra St. Brown, who I love, but is a similar level of WR to Meyers, Lawrence had a big year, his #1 is Christian Kirk, not a true #1.
Beyond that, there are a lot of guys who are probably "true #1s" in your eyes, where a lot of it comes from the QB/offense, and a guy like Meyers could have similar success with a top QB/offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson wasn't the top option it was Meyers, and it most definitely was not Meyers letting down Mac, but the other way around (also the playcalling stunk).

Edit- it's also weird to have this issue constantly come up when we literally spent 2 decades watching a team win that had a true #1 for about 2 years out of 20.
Not sure I get this point. We literally had the best QB ever to walk this planet at QB during those 2 decades. Now? We have someone much, much worse. What worked for Brady isn't necessarily going to work for Mac, for obvious reasons and the league has emphasized passing more now than it did 15 years ago. Additionally, j44thor was including TEs here so, clearly, Gronk would qualify as a #1 receiver during his prime years. This discussion tends to focus on WRs, and I'm guessing that's what you were assuming it was, but the larger point is that this team doesn't have anyone who defenses truly need to worry about, whether at WR or TE. Can you win without one of those? Sure. But the margin for error is smaller. Now, I think it's perfectly valid to argue for improving the lines vs. WR upgrade because nothing matters if you're getting blown off the line on either side of the ball.
 

Was (Not Wasdin)

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I hear "just doesn't have a true #1" a lot as if depth somehow equals it out. A bunch of 2s/3s do not dictate coverage like a true #1 does. Once you have a true #1 that teams have to game plan for that allows your #2s/3s to be much more effective. Who was the last top QB, excluding rushing, that didn't have a top 15 receiving option? KC - Kelce, PHI - AJB/Smith, CIN Chase/Higgins, MIN JJett, SF CMC/Kittle/Samuel/AIyuk, LAC Allen/Williams/Ekeler, GB - Adams then Arod fell off a cliff. Even Lamar had Andrews/Hollywood in his big passing years.

If your top receiving option is Rhamondre Stevenson you can't expect your QB to be a top end QB.

edit: the one QB who has probably done more with less, outside of prime Brady, is Trevor Lawrence. Lawrence was also considered a generational talent when he was drafted #1 overall when Mac was drafted 15th. No one should expect Mac to outperform Lawrence.
This is where I am. The lack of a true #1 with any kind of gravity really weakens the entire group. Teams don’t have to do anything special to defend a bunch of #2/#3 type guys.

The real problem: according The Athletic‘s football podcast, the 2022 Pats had the the highest total comp for the “pass catchers” (TE+WR). That’s a bad combo, by value they probably are at or very close to the bottom of the league. If you have only 2s and 3s, they need to be paid as such.
 

j44thor

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Meh... last year Jared Goff had a great year, his #1 was Amon-Ra St. Brown, who I love, but is a similar level of WR to Meyers, Lawrence had a big year, his #1 is Christian Kirk, not a true #1.
Beyond that, there are a lot of guys who are probably "true #1s" in your eyes, where a lot of it comes from the QB/offense, and a guy like Meyers could have similar success with a top QB/offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson wasn't the top option it was Meyers, and it most definitely was not Meyers letting down Mac, but the other way around (also the playcalling stunk).

Edit- it's also weird to have this issue constantly come up when we literally spent 2 decades watching a team win that had a true #1 for about 2 years out of 20.
I did edit my post to include TLaw who I forgot but he was a generational talent never attainable to anyone but Jax so not really worth comparing. I disagree that Meyers and Sun God are comparable. Amon's 2nd season was significantly more productive than any of Jakobi's first 3. If you want to say Jakobi is a poor mans Amon then sure but that is why one is a top 12 WR in the NFL and the other a top 40 or so WR.

I like Jakobi and am pretty neutral on Mac. I don't think either are true difference makers but with the right supporting cast can be productive.
 

ehaz

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Meh... last year Jared Goff had a great year, his #1 was Amon-Ra St. Brown, who I love, but is a similar level of WR to Meyers, Lawrence had a big year, his #1 is Christian Kirk, not a true #1.
Beyond that, there are a lot of guys who are probably "true #1s" in your eyes, where a lot of it comes from the QB/offense, and a guy like Meyers could have similar success with a top QB/offense.

Rhamondre Stevenson wasn't the top option it was Meyers, and it most definitely was not Meyers letting down Mac, but the other way around (also the playcalling stunk).

Edit- it's also weird to have this issue constantly come up when we literally spent 2 decades watching a team win that had a true #1 for about 2 years out of 20.
Not a knock on Meyers or anything but I think Amon-Ra is on another level and even if he’s not a “true #1” that’s kind of what I’m lookin to get from JSN.
 

Cellar-Door

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Not sure I get this point. We literally had the best QB ever to walk this planet at QB during those 2 decades. Now? We have someone much, much worse. What worked for Brady isn't necessarily going to work for Mac, for obvious reasons and the league has emphasized passing more now than it did 15 years ago. Additionally, j44thor was including TEs here so, clearly, Gronk would qualify as a #1 receiver during his prime years. This discussion tends to focus on WRs, and I'm guessing that's what you were assuming it was, but the larger point is that this team doesn't have anyone who defenses truly need to worry about, whether at WR or TE. Can you win without one of those? Sure. But the margin for error is smaller. Now, I think it's perfectly valid to argue for improving the lines vs. WR upgrade because nothing matters if you're getting blown off the line on either side of the ball.
Oh I think we need to improve the pass-catchers for sure, the point was more that the idea that QBs can't succeed without elite pass-catching corps is generally not true, and that people's definitions of what an elite passcatcher is tend to often stretch when that person is paired with a top QB, and it is often the QB (or OC) who is the separating factor between that guy and similar guys in worse situations who get declared #2 or fringe guys.
I think the Patriots' problem is partially that the combo of OC/QB was bad last year, and only the OC was good the 2 years before. I think if you handed our pass-catching corps to Reid and Mahomes they'd have a strong year.
The Patriots have a mediocre at best pass catching corps, that needs improvement, but other areas are a bigger cause of the offense struggling last year (playcalling, QB play, and Line play), and the idea that adding a WR is going to fix everything is just setting up to say "Why can't they get good WRs?" The systemic problems are bigger.

I did edit my post to include TLaw who I forgot but he was a generational talent never attainable to anyone but Jax so not really worth comparing. I disagree that Meyers and Sun God are comparable. Amon's 2nd season was significantly more productive than any of Jakobi's first 3. If you want to say Jakobi is a poor mans Amon then sure but that is why one is a top 12 WR in the NFL and the other a top 40 or so WR.

I like Jakobi and am pretty neutral on Mac. I don't think either are true difference makers but with the right supporting cast can be productive.
I was comparing skillsets not production with St. Brown. He's probably a bit better than Jakobi, but he's not a Chase or something in terms of a freak, he's a 4th round pick with mediocre athleticism who wins with routes and has great hands, and gets his # in part because the offense gives him an insane target share... he saw 146 targets last year and produced at 8 Y/T. That's Jakobi's career Y/T in fact last year Jakobi had 8.4 Y/T.... he just only saw 96 targets. That was kind of the point, in the sense that St. Brown is maybe a richer version of Jakobi, but his production is insane because of offense, and if you flipped him with Jakobi, I don't think St. Brown is still a 1,200 yard WR, and Jakobi an 800 yard WR last year.
 

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rodderick

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I'm convincing myself more and more that Brandin Cooks actually makes a ton of sense for them considering the pieces they already have in this offense. I think the fit for him and the guys they've added is much better than the Hopkins fit in terms of skillset.
 

tims4wins

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I'm convincing myself more and more that Brandin Cooks actually makes a ton of sense for them considering the pieces they already have in this offense. I think the fit for him and the guys they've added is much better than the Hopkins fit in terms of skillset.
It's a $34M cap hit for the Texans. Not sure it is reasonable. He also has an $18M base salary, so if the Pats were to make a move, they'd probably have to (or want to) restructure it.

Edit: it's actually only a $16M cap hit via trade, and if post-June 1, it reduces to $8M. Much more reasonable.
 

Arroyoyo

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I’d like to get younger at WR and gamble less that “this won’t be the year” a 30+-year-old speedy WR starts slowing down.

Get Jeudy and you have two years of control, in two “show me” years before FA, both at reasonable cap hits, during his age 24 and 25 seasons.

This also stacks the roster a bit with young talent around Mac to tell you, by the end of the 2023 season, if his 5th year option is worth picking up. It becomes a true “put up or shut up because we can find someone else to work with top skill players” year for Mac.
 

BigJimEd

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Cooks' $18M salary is guaranteed this year so Texans are probably open to move him. However, any restructure would start with that guarantee.

Houston's young QB will need someone to throw to as well.
 

Arroyoyo

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I want to know what we have in Mac. This is the year to find out.

The last thing I want to see in January 2024 on SoSH is “well Hopkins, Cooks, and/or Parker were washed so all he had was Henry, Thornton who appears to be a bust, and Smith-Schuster who is really a #2, so let’s pickup his fifth year option and get him real weapons,” type of arguments.

Get the right guys now, see what you have with your QB, if he still sucks, get someone else in ‘24.
 

rodderick

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I’d like to get younger at WR and gamble less that “this won’t be the year” a 30+-year-old speedy WR starts slowing down.

Get Jeudy and you have two years of control, in two “show me” years before FA, both at reasonable cap hits, during his age 24 and 25 seasons.

This also stacks the roster a bit with young talent around Mac to tell you, by the end of the 2023 season, if his 5th year option is worth picking up. It becomes a true “put up or shut up because we can find someone else to work with top skill players” year for Mac.
I love Jeudy, just don't think he fits the traditional outside receiver mold and this offense has a ton of guys that operate better either from the slot or running inside breaking routes. Cooks is a traditional perimeter receiver with some wheels. I'd rather have Jeudy because of the upside, but in terms of fit between what they have and what they need, Cooks might be a better piece.
 

SMU_Sox

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I think with Juju and Bourne (and Thornton to a much lesser degree) you don’t really need to target slots or Zs. Jeudy makes sense but the Broncos want a 1 for him and imo it’s not worth it. They need the draft capital for an OT and a blocking TE. It wouldn’t surprise me if they trade back in the first and ended up with 4 top 76 picks. You could then target an OT, blocking TE, and have 2 picks that you can do BPA on. For example they could draft a slot or an edge, an IDL, etc. As for names….

Xs who fit: Tillman, Mingo (best blocker in the draft at WR), Rashee Rice (2nd best blocker) and who reminds me a ton of Parker stylistically. You can probably get all 3 of these guys at 76 minus maybe not Tillman. Mingo has the most work to do but he’s a huge dude with a nice ceiling to him. Both him and Rashee are high character leader types who are the hard nose type on the field. Rashee is more or less pro ready as an X. Day 3 Bryce Ford-Wheaton is also a special teams ace and tested off the charts. He has a lot of work to do too but high upside.

Slots or Zs: JSN, Flowers, Addison and Josh Downs are your top guys but there are some nice day 3 options like Charlie Jones, Xavier Hutchinson, Michael Wilson, and Puka Nauca are guys that all fit too.

There are some vertical slots or Zs in this one too like Marvin Mims and Jalen Reed. I’m not crazy about them in NE but if they want to take a shot at another field stretcher they can with those two.

If I had to guess I’d think they might trade up for Flowers as they have been highly linked to him. You could take a shot or two though and target Bryce Ford-Wheaton later on because if he fails as a WR he’s going to be a demon on special teams. Michael Wilson reminds me a lot of another Michael, Michael Thomas as a big slot. His issues are injuries though and he’s unfortunately had a ton of them.

It isn’t the best year for WRs in the draft but there are 5-10 solid to good fits.

Quick Edit: Puka Nauca reminds me a lot of Bourne and he’s probably someone you can get late day 3 or even as a UDFA. He’s a huge sleeper and someone who deserves a lot more credit than he is getting.
 

Cellar-Door

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I want to know what we have in Mac. This is the year to find out.

The last thing I want to see in January 2024 on SoSH is “well Hopkins, Cooks, and/or Parker were washed so all he had was Henry, Thornton who appears to be a bust, and Smith-Schuster who is really a #2, so let’s pickup his fifth year option and get him real weapons,” type of arguments.

Get the right guys now, see what you have with your QB, if he still sucks, get someone else in ‘24.
If Mac struggles this year there are going to be people saying it was his passcatchers' fault, it doesn't matter if we added Davante Adams, that's just how fandom works, and the importance of QB. But also, the pass catching corps now is strong enough to evaluate him, if anything the line is where you could argue he has an excuse. Even then though... this is Mac's season, if he's bad with what we have... well he's probably never going to be a top QB, and pick up the option or not you're looking for the next guy.
 

NortheasternPJ

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If Mac struggles this year there are going to be people saying it was his passcatchers' fault, it doesn't matter if we added Davante Adams, that's just how fandom works, and the importance of QB. But also, the pass catching corps now is strong enough to evaluate him, if anything the line is where you could argue he has an excuse. Even then though... this is Mac's season, if he's bad with what we have... well he's probably never going to be a top QB, and pick up the option or not you're looking for the next guy.
I don’t see any planet right now where this is the case. Fans were ready to run him out of town for Zappe
and booing Mac at home. If he’s bad, he’s going to get run out of town.
 

Cellar-Door

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I don’t see any planet right now where this is the case. Fans were ready to run him out of town for Zappe
and booing Mac at home. If he’s bad, he’s going to get run out of town.
Some were, and others were saying he was getting screwed, that's how it works, I didn't say ALL people would be, but if you think Mac won't have appologists here and elsewhere no matter what... I've got a bridge to sell you, I know fans who think Cam would be really good if someone just gave him another chance, I know Jets fans who 100% believe that Mike White could be a top 10 QB for the next decade. But also, Zappe stuff was really the other side of the coin... Zappe was the shiny QB who was gonna save us, and even after the Bears' game where it became clear he couldn't make a bunch of throws, people were still hoping.
 

mcpickl

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I’d like to get younger at WR and gamble less that “this won’t be the year” a 30+-year-old speedy WR starts slowing down.

Get Jeudy and you have two years of control, in two “show me” years before FA, both at reasonable cap hits, during his age 24 and 25 seasons.

This also stacks the roster a bit with young talent around Mac to tell you, by the end of the 2023 season, if his 5th year option is worth picking up. It becomes a true “put up or shut up because we can find someone else to work with top skill players” year for Mac.
I think Jeudy is by far the best option by far of all the guys talked about as maybe available for all these reasons.

Go get the guy who you've got for two years at short money, and is young enough that you may want to keep him after that.

I also think Denver leaking out everywhere that they need a first for him is pure posturing. Sean Payton had Cooks in the exact same spot
Jeudy is in now, and he took the last pick of the first round(plus a swap of pick 103 for 118) for him. Cooks was a lot more productive in his first 3 years than Jeudy has been in his. Assuming they are willing to move him, I think Payton knows he's not getting better than a 2nd as the best asset coming back in the deal. I think he's just trying to get a little more value added on top of the 2nd.
 

Super Nomario

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I think Jeudy is by far the best option by far of all the guys talked about as maybe available for all these reasons.

Go get the guy who you've got for two years at short money, and is young enough that you may want to keep him after that.

I also think Denver leaking out everywhere that they need a first for him is pure posturing. Sean Payton had Cooks in the exact same spot
Jeudy is in now, and he took the last pick of the first round(plus a swap of pick 103 for 118) for him. Cooks was a lot more productive in his first 3 years than Jeudy has been in his. Assuming they are willing to move him, I think Payton knows he's not getting better than a 2nd as the best asset coming back in the deal. I think he's just trying to get a little more value added on top of the 2nd.
I'm not sure they actually want to trade Jeudy though. They could very well hold on to him; he was their best receiver last year. It's not like they couldn't use him or they don't have the money to keep him around.

Now Sutton you can probably get for a song because Denver would unload $14M guaranteed. Obviously that makes him less appealing to the receiving team, too. I think you have to look at incentives and motivations here.
 

mcpickl

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I'm not sure they actually want to trade Jeudy though. They could very well hold on to him; he was their best receiver last year. It's not like they couldn't use him or they don't have the money to keep him around.

Now Sutton you can probably get for a song because Denver would unload $14M guaranteed. Obviously that makes him less appealing to the receiving team, too. I think you have to look at incentives and motivations here.
I'm not sure they actually want to trade Jeudy either. I'm speaking in hypotheticals about a guy who's been talked about as possibly being available.

They could very well hold on to him, they could use him, but they could also trade from a position where they have some depth to replenish some draft picks that are out the door for their QB and coach.

Not having a pick til the third round is pretty rough for a new coach trying to build his team. Jeudy is probably the most realistic trade chip they have to grab a pick higher than that.

Those are the incentives and motivations I was looking at.
 

Cellar-Door

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I think Jeudy is by far the best option by far of all the guys talked about as maybe available for all these reasons.

Go get the guy who you've got for two years at short money, and is young enough that you may want to keep him after that.

I also think Denver leaking out everywhere that they need a first for him is pure posturing. Sean Payton had Cooks in the exact same spot
Jeudy is in now, and he took the last pick of the first round(plus a swap of pick 103 for 118) for him. Cooks was a lot more productive in his first 3 years than Jeudy has been in his. Assuming they are willing to move him, I think Payton knows he's not getting better than a 2nd as the best asset coming back in the deal. I think he's just trying to get a little more value added on top of the 2nd.
I don't think Denver is leaking the 1st demand as posturing, I think they're leaking it so teams will say.... hmm Courtland Sutton for a 5th sounds very appealing by comparison. And if no-one does... well then if you get a 1st you suck it up and trade Jeudy, if not you wait out the injuries that are sure to come.
 

j44thor

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I think a viable draft strategy should be to trade back into the early to mid 20s assuming you can get an extra late 2nd/early 3rd and then either hope JSN/Johnston/Addison falls or perhaps trade a later 1st for Jeudy or pony up the extra pick for D Hop. Jeudy isn't worth the 14th but I'd probably trade the 25th for him.
 

nighthob

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I want to know what we have in Mac. This is the year to find out.

The last thing I want to see in January 2024 on SoSH is “well Hopkins, Cooks, and/or Parker were washed so all he had was Henry, Thornton who appears to be a bust, and Smith-Schuster who is really a #2, so let’s pickup his fifth year option and get him real weapons,” type of arguments.

Get the right guys now, see what you have with your QB, if he still sucks, get someone else in ‘24.
I think we already know what we have in Jones, a mediocre QB that needs to be surrounded by top end talent. Talent that’s going to be very expensive to maintain when he’s on his second contract. If this year didn’t suck so badly for QBs the time to address the future would be now.
 

lexrageorge

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I think we already know what we have in Jones, a mediocre QB that needs to be surrounded by top end talent. Talent that’s going to be very expensive to maintain when he’s on his second contract. If this year didn’t suck so badly for QBs the time to address the future would be now.
The error bars on Mac's projection as a QB in this league are still large enough that he could still be better than mediocre; last season was weird in a number of ways.

Also, the number of QB's in this league that can succeed without being surrounded by top end talent starts and ends with Mahomes (and I still contend that KC's receiving corps >>>>> the Pats WRs in 2022).
 

BaseballJones

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Cooks is weird. He’s been pretty darned good everywhere he’s been but the guy gets moved around a TON. I don’t really get it.
 

Koufax

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Not all. He has to pay state tax in every state where he plays a game (that has an income tax). So about half his income is allocated to Texas and the rest is spread around.
 

Ferm Sheller

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Not all. He has to pay state tax in every state where he plays a game (that has an income tax). So about half his income is allocated to Texas and the rest is spread around.
Oh, that makes sense -- I should have thought of that. Well, at least he keeps it 50% state tax-free.
 

Van Everyman

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So who are the more creative trade targets we aren’t thinking of? My sense is that Jeudy may be off limits and Hopkins too expensive. What talented but under the radar receiver is out there who some non-contending team might be willing to part with in a Welker-like transaction?
 

nighthob

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The error bars on Mac's projection as a QB in this league are still large enough that he could still be better than mediocre; last season was weird in a number of ways.

Also, the number of QB's in this league that can succeed without being surrounded by top end talent starts and ends with Mahomes (and I still contend that KC's receiving corps >>>>> the Pats WRs in 2022).
That’s simply not true, there are a number of QBs that elevate the receiving talent. Mac’s just not one of them. And that second contract’s going to be a killer unless New England suddenly finds the secret sauce for drafting/developing receiving talent. Because once Jones is making $25 million+ you have to make cuts elsewhere. And you can’t afford to be spending prime WR money, Mac second contract money, and still have a good enough D to carry the offense (although they’re admittedly great at drafting/developing CB talent).

So, yes, they pretty much know what they have. Next year’s QB class looks better, so that would be the time to draft a (hopeful) replacement that can continue delivering averagish performance for short money.
 

Van Everyman

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I honestly don’t think you can say anything definitive like that about Mac based on the 2022 season. He may well suck but the idea that we *know* he doesn’t elevate his receivers (whatever that actually means) is false. He kind of did in 2021 (think guys like Henry and Bourne). He def. didn’t last year.
 
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Cellar-Door

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I honestly don’t think you can say anything definitive like that about Mac based on the 2022 season. He may well suck but the idea that we *know* he doesn’t elevate his receivers (whatever that actually means) is false. He kind of did in 2021 (think guys like Henry and Bourne). He def. didn’t last year.
I don't think anyone is JUST looking at 2022, they're just noting that 2022 is what you'd expect to happen if the player he was in 2021, with those weaknesses was put on a team with below average line and playcalling. 2021 is where a lot of the concerns actually start (and no he definitely did not elevate those guys, both had very similar production to previous years). Mac in 2021 looked like a guy who with good protection could mostly execute what was drawn up, a Jimmy G type performance... hit the open guy, trust the playcall and the receiver. He wasn't going to create with his leg, or his arm. And late season particularly you saw better defenses overload what they knew he wanted (middle of the field against zone, short outs, dropped in deep balls) and force him to the ones they didn't think he could make (deeper outs, driven throws, tighter windows) and he struggled.
2021 was a top WR/TE away from being basically an ideal QB situation... very good O-line, excellent running game, deep WR/TE group, top play-caller.

I think the combination of physical tools and production so far in the NFL indicates a guy with a fairly low ceiling for a 1st round pick, and the Patriots are going to give him another year plus to see if that changes, but I would guess Bill is future planning on the assumption he's a Jimmy G type player, and how to move forward knowing that if he's asking for more than Jimmy G type money.
 

Deathofthebambino

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That’s simply not true, there are a number of QBs that elevate the receiving talent.
Like who, other than Mahomes? I can come up with examples off the top of my head where the talent around a QB went up, and so did their play, see Allen, Hurts, Tua, Cousins, Geno, Justin Herbert (don't believe me, look at his 2022 numbers when his receiving corps was a revolving door of injuries), etc. I can also come up with examples where you take away talent from a QB, their production goes down, Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Stafford, etc. Then you have a guy like Burrow that's always had weapons, and guys without any help that just kind of stagnate like Fields and Lawrence (although he's on the upswing, IMO).

I mean, we all got to watch Tom Brady for 20 years elevate some shitty receiver groups, but obviously he and Mahomes are exceptions to just about every rule. But unless folks want to go 1-16 for a while, and then hope to hit on the next can't miss guy until they find the next Brady or Mahomes, you have to put weapons around every QB to succeed.
 

Deathofthebambino

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2021 was a top WR/TE away from being basically an ideal QB situation... very good O-line, excellent running game, deep WR/TE group, top play-caller.
Although I completely disagree on how deep that WR/TE group actually was, the result of that was a better rookie season than the following guys:

Hurts
Tua
Lawrence
Burrow
Josh Allen
Daniel Jones
Justin Fields
Kyler Murray

And a slew of other guys who completely suck that were taken much higher in the draft than Mac Jones was at #15.
 

Cellar-Door

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Although I completely disagree on how deep that WR/TE group actually was, the result of that was a better rookie season than the following guys:

Hurts
Tua
Lawrence
Burrow
Josh Allen
Daniel Jones
Justin Fields
Kyler Murray

And a slew of other guys who completely suck that were taken much higher in the draft than Mac Jones was at #15.
I mean sure... though all of those guys were on much worse rosters. But that wasn't even the point. Everyone agrees Mac's rookie year was pretty good, the question was always can he grow because pretty good for a rookie is not the same as "let's give this guy a big 2nd contract".
 

BaseballJones

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I mean, we all got to watch Tom Brady for 20 years elevate some shitty receiver groups, but obviously he and Mahomes are exceptions to just about every rule. But unless folks want to go 1-16 for a while, and then hope to hit on the next can't miss guy until they find the next Brady or Mahomes, you have to put weapons around every QB to succeed.
Depends on what you mean by "succeed". The Ravens under Lamar have been pretty solid the past four years, and they really haven't had that much at the skill positions. Andrews is really good but otherwise....? I'd say that Tannehill and the Titans have been pretty solid, while not having a ton of weapons other than Henry. Brown was good obviously but it's not like they've been overflowing with talent on the offense, but the team has been good.
 

Deathofthebambino

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I mean sure... though all of those guys were on much worse rosters. But that wasn't even the point. Everyone agrees Mac's rookie year was pretty good, the question was always can he grow because pretty good for a rookie is not the same as "let's give this guy a big 2nd contract".

Talk about having your cake it and eating it too. So their rosters were worse, they added weapons and their QB's got better, but Mac catches shrapnel because you think his roster was better even though IMO, his roster sucked around him in 2021 too, which is why those same receivers are being jettisoned out of town left and right. Mac inherited a 7-9 team and offense that replaced James White, Julian Edelman, Damere Byrd and Burkhead with umm, Nelson Agholor, Bourne, Rhamondre and Henry/Jonnu. And Mac was a rookie who put up 22td/13ints, 92.5 rating, 228ypg, a sack % of 5.1.

Jalen Hurts, in his 2nd season (ignoring his first, because unlike Mac, he didn't start except for 4 games, because he couldn't beat out Carson Wentz), had Miles Sanders, Kenneth Gainwell, Davonta Smith, Dallas Goedert (you know, the same skill guys, except for AJ Brown that one year later had the 3rd best offense in football and went to the Super Bowl) and he put up 16td, 9int, 209ypg, sack % of 5.7 and a rating of 87.2. You think that group of skill position players that Hurts had in 2021 was worse than the one Mac had in 2021? Really?

I mean, I could go on and on. In Josh Allen's 2nd year, he put up an 85.3 rating, and the Bills had the 3rd best defense in the league, you think their roster was worse? Or do you believe adding Stefon Diggs made a massive different in Josh Allen, going from a guy who had ratings in his first 2 seasons of 67.9 to 85.3 to 107.2?

Burrow joined a team that had Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Joe Mixon already on it. He starts 10 games and has an 89.8 rating, and then they go and get his buddy from LSU, and then he becomes one of the 3 best QB's in the NFL, IMO.

Tua started 21 games over 2 seasons, and put up a rating of 88.8 with 27td/15 ints, they got get Tyreek Hill, and he leads the NFL in rating at 105.1.

Geno Smith started 29 games over his first 2 seasons in New York and had an abysmal 25tds, 34ints, and a 71.5 rating. He then disappears into NFL obscurity only to show up and put up a 35td/12int, 101.2 rating over 2 seasons with Seattle when you give him Lockett/Metcalf, only to see Russell Wilson go in the other direction when he left there.

I was told that QB's can elevate receivers, that's what I was responding to. I want to see evidence of that, because I've got a ton of evidence its the complete opposite unless we're talking about unicorns like Brady and Mahomes (I'd argue maybe Rodgers too, but fuck him).

I'm also not sure why we're talking about Mac's contract. I mean, he's under contract this year, he's under contract next year, and then the club as the 5th year option. He is not going anywhere this offseason, they aren't going to use a high pick on a QB, and they probably won't be bad enough to get one of the studs in next year's class, so he's probably here in 2024 as well (although like I said before, I'd rather they go for the playoffs this year, or just tank this season altogether if it means Caleb Williams).
 

Cellar-Door

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Talk about having your cake it and eating it too. So their rosters were worse, they added weapons and their QB's got better, but Mac catches shrapnel because you think his roster was better even though IMO, his roster sucked around him in 2021 too, which is why those same receivers are being jettisoned out of town left and right. Mac inherited a 7-9 team and offense that replaced James White, Julian Edelman, Damere Byrd and Burkhead with umm, Nelson Agholor, Bourne, Rhamondre and Henry/Jonnu. And Mac was a rookie who put up 22td/13ints, 92.5 rating, 228ypg, a sack % of 5.1.

I'm also not sure why we're talking about Mac's contract. I mean, he's under contract this year, he's under contract next year, and then the club as the 5th year option. He is not going anywhere this offseason, they aren't going to use a high pick on a QB, and they probably won't be bad enough to get one of the studs in next year's class, so he's probably here in 2024 as well (although like I said before, I'd rather they go for the playoffs this year, or just tank this season altogether if it means Caleb Williams).
All of those teams (except PHI) had terrible records and non-existant offensive lines. The Patriots in 2021 had a very good offensive line, which is really key when you're an immobile QB.

And the entire discussion has been about Mac's long term future with the team.

After this year they have to make a decision on his 5th year option, and whether yes or no, that decision is made partially looking at his FA. After this year is when Bill should have a good idea if he's looking for a new QB or not, you don't start looking year 5 or year 6, you start looking now, because it takes time to get and develop a QB in the draft, and if you are going the FA or trade route you want to do it when you can move Mac for something to help alleviate that cost.
 

Deathofthebambino

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Depends on what you mean by "succeed". The Ravens under Lamar have been pretty solid the past four years, and they really haven't had that much at the skill positions. Andrews is really good but otherwise....? I'd say that Tannehill and the Titans have been pretty solid, while not having a ton of weapons other than Henry. Brown was good obviously but it's not like they've been overflowing with talent on the offense, but the team has been good.
The Ravens under Lamar have won 1 more playoff game in 5 years as the Pats have won with Mac in 2 years. So no, that's not how I'm really defining success. We were talking about improving receivers. Lamar is a weird one (as is Fields) because IMO, he's a running back that sometimes throws. That's his value. In Lamar's case, his career passing numbers over 5 seasons is ok to pretty good, but how much of that is because teams are so focused on not letting him beat them on the ground making it much easier for him to throw? As his injuries mount, and his running slows down, I'm not sold on him as a QB down the road.

Tannehill has had 2 seasons, IMO, that were markedly better than Mac Jones. They also happen to be 2 seasons in which he had AJ Brown and the best running back in the NFL. Over those 26 starts, he put up a 110.6 rating. They still have those guys, the team goes 12-5, but Tannehill falls off a cliff and goes for an 88.9 rating, and they get ousted in the playoffs as he tosses 1td and 3 picks in a 19-16 loss to Cincy. Vrabel does not get enough credit, IMO. If that team had a QB....