Rebuilding The Patriots For 2021 And Beyond

Inspector_50

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What NFL team won a super bowl by tanking?

I guess the colts were pretty bad when they drafted Manning, but looking back on it there aren’t many teams that tanked their way to success.
Yeah not in the NFL. The player gather thing rarely works. The go all in spend a ton in free agency rarely works. Tanking is just a crap shoot because even the can't miss be all end all QB in the draft might not be what you think when he is drafted.
 
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chevss454

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Mazz22

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I'm guessing no way BB will pay the money Godwin will get. I'd rather have 2 $8M/ WRs than 1 $15M/ WR anyway.
I agree. That being said, Godwin is probably the only WR I would break the bank for because he is such a great fit for our offense being the best slot receiver in the game.
 
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I agree. That being said, Godwin is probably the only WR I would break the bank for because he is such a great fit for our offense being the best slot receiver in the game.
I can name 3-4 slot receivers in the draft who will be available to us just as fast and athletic and talented as Godwin is.
 

Mazz22

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I can name 3-4 slot receivers in the draft who will be available to us just as fast and athletic and talented as Godwin is.
Do you mind listing them for me? I don't follow college football much at all. Would like to know who you favor to see if the Pats take one. I would much rather get one through the draft.
 
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Do you mind listing them for me? I don't follow college football much at all. Would like to know who you favor to see if the Pats take one. I would much rather get one through the draft.

Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC


In terms of a player who may play as a pure slot in the NFL, St-Brown may be the best of them all. The traits St-Brown possesses showcase everything a team would in a slot receiver. The suddenness, vice-grip hands, and yards after the catch ability are terrific in the case of St-Brown. With football bloodlines, St-Brown is going to be a guy with his stock through the roof.

Related | USC wide receivers Vaughns and St. Brown have NFL potential in 2020

All of those traits are just the base of St. Brown’s game, however. He has elite body control and delightful ball skills in addition to that. If a team wrote up an ideal middle of the field target, St. Brown could be that guy. With those route-running skills, St. Brown threatens all directions of the field and all levels as well. This young man will hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft, as he deserves.

Rondale Moore, Purdue


If I were to mesh Atwell and Waddle together, Moore is the guy you would somehow come out with. He is one of the most dangerous gadget players I have seen in recent memory, but he is a much more refined route runner than Atwell is at this stage. This is a guy that is a legitimate playmaker with the ball in his hands on manufactured touches, but he can torch the defense deep from the slot too.

It is Moore’s toughness through contact that makes him so special. He can put guys on skates, but he is a tough football player who will take the shots to make those tough catches over the middle of the catch. I think Moore still can project on the boundary at times, but from the slot with his speed, free releases, and manufactured touches, he could be devastating for defenses. All those come together to make one of the best slot receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Elijah Moore, Ole Miss


Moore has a massive issue of being horrific against press coverage, and that is why he lands on this list easily. The hand-fighting just is not there with his light frame. However, what he does have working in his favor is smooth route running and quickness. From the slot where he will be aligned off the ball, Moore thrives in the Ole Miss offense.

Moore works against off-man coverage with ease. He is not the fastest guy out there, but he has great route deception and attacks leverage as well as anyone on this list. Moore routinely won using those skills, but also elite body control and awareness along the sideline. He will not shake guys out of their shoes after the catch, but he creates a lot of separation and does so reliably.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa


Smith-Marsette is one of the most graceful route runners I can remember watching at the wide receiver position in a bit of time. He moves in the open with fluidity and crisp footwork. As a route runner, he has quick feet and loose hips, which allows him to run sharp routes and stems. He can get separation with those skills.

The real issue is when Smith-Marsette is contacted at the line of scrimmage and must fight through press coverage. He has not shown the strength to beat that just yet, even if he plays with a physical side to his game. Listen, Smith-Marsette is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and can make guys miss as well. At his size and with his physicality, playing in the slot and using his size and fluidity to create separation would be a perfect match for Smith-Marsette.

Tutu Atwell, Louisville


I am a firm believer that size does matter in the NFL, but Atwell is so, so talented that it may not in his case. At 5’9″, 175 pounds, Atwell carries a thin and less than compact frame at the moment. Make no mistake, this young man is a good football player, but those size limitations will hurt him no matter his role in the NFL.

Related | Tutu Atwell’s size pushes requirements for NFL

Atwell’s speed and shiftiness make him a potent gadget player. Expect offensive coordinators to heavily mix in Atwell on motions, jet sweeps, mesh plays, and misdirection because he is a threat with the football in his hands. Even with the light frame, his contact balance is elite. Still, he has some trouble fighting through contact and press coverage. Allowing him to face man coverage and get free releases with his speed and quick feet out of the slot would only benefit the talented receiver.

Shi Smith
Jaelon Darden
Kadarius Toney
Anthony Schwartz
Dazz Newsome
 
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chevss454

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Bedard's thoughts on possible cap casualties the Pats might target

Cap casualties are going to be the most bang for the buck, if you pick some good ones, and you’ll still be in line for compensatory picks.

I would expect the Patriots to be interested in quarterbacks, tight ends, receivers, defensive linemen and linebackers. With that in mind, here are my players to keep an eye on, in order, grouped by the timing/intensity of the Patriots’ interest:

HOT AND HEAVY (POSSIBLE OVERPAY)

WR Mike Williams, Chargers
: Likely will get an extension, but he would also solve the opening for a big body on the outside.
TE David Njoku, Browns: So talented, so injured but man … if he pops, that’s one big void filled. Will have suitors.
DT/DE Grover Stewart, Colts: Patriots need to get bigger on the line to actually force teams into third downs. Reminds of Lawrence Guy in Baltimore at 6-4 and 333 pounds.
DT Kawann Short, Panthers: Now you’re talking some beef in the middle of the line.
TE Jared Cook, Saints: Maybe the second time is the charm in the Patriots’ pursuit?
TE Cameron Brate, Bucs: If he’s done taking paycuts, he’d be welcome here with open arms.
Edge Devon Kennard, Cardinals: If you’re looking for buying low on a guy with a lot of talent, this is it. Was never the same after Covid.
DE Carlos Dunlap, Seahawks: One of the more underrated players in the league would sure up one end.

COMPETITIVE (BUT AT PATRIOTS’ VALUATION)

TE C.J. Uzomah, Bengals
: Coming off a torn Achilles but was ready to pop at the time of the injury.
OLB Preston Smith, Packers: If he’s cut loose, there might be a bidding war and the Patriots will have their limit.
LB Jaylon Smith, Cowboys: Was in the wrong scheme last year and still has his best ball in front of him.
DT Akiem Hicks, Bears: Was a stud in Foxboro, New Orleans and Chicago. Time to bring him back home.
DT Sheldon Richardson, Browns: Likes his money and sometimes motivation is questioned, but when he’s right, he’s right.
WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Set to be released, Jackson seems to have matured a bit and can still make plays. Will be interesting to see if the Patriots think he fits in the locker room.
DT Shamar Stephen, Vikings: A very underrated player who would be excellent as a 3-4 DE.
WR Jamison Crowder, Jets: Very solid and professional receiver who would help, but he’s far from a No. 1.
DT Allen Bailey, Falcons: An excellent player in Kansas City who would be perfect for this scheme.
ILB Kenny Young, Rams: Young and athletic but not definite he’d take to this scheme so I’d proceed with a little caution.
DE Henry Anderson, Jets: Whether with Indy or the Jets, I’ve always liked this guy as a Richard Seymour-type. He would work very well here.

IF THE PLAYER LACKS SUITORS (AT VALUE ONE-YEAR, PROVE-IT DEAL)

LB Kwon Alexander, Saints
: Was traded last season from the 49ers and instantly was injured. Could be a diamond in the rough.
DT Malik Jackson, Eagles: Annually one of the most productive pass rushers in the league.
WR Marquise Goodwin, Eagles: Opt-out could be cut loose, and he still has good speed.
DT Jurrell Casey, Broncos: One of the best players in the league with the Titans still has a few years left of production.
WR Golden Tate, Giants: A dependable, veteran receiver who’s a gamer. Patriots don’t have enough of those.
WR Brandin Cooks, Texans: Has to be the least desirable six-time 1,000-yard receiver in NFL history. He’ll make the plays that are there, and none that are not.
TE Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: Solid two-way tight end but he’s pretty picky about his pay and where he would be going.
TE Jimmy Graham, Bears: I would certainly be open to have a tall red-zone threat on this team, even if he can’t block.
DT Danny Shelton, Lions: Run defense would instantly get better with his return.
QB Alex Smith, Washington: Hopefully he retires for his health, but a one-year deal with all sorts of incentives wouldn’t be the worst thing (see, I don’t hate Alex Smith).
LB Christian Jones, Lions: Matt Patricia gave him an extension in Detroit so you know he loves him, and he plays special teams.
DT Malcom Brown, Saints: Was always solid and nothing more. If he’s looking for a home …
TE Tyler Eifert, Jaguars: Tight end should be the new receivers in that expect a lot of looks at aging vets to see who has anything left.
WR Adam Humphries, Titans: After turning down the Patriots, you know Belichick would love to force him to take a one-year deal at minimum.
LB Benardrick McKinney, Texans: Houston overpaid him but he’d be perfect if the Patriots didn’t have Dont’a Hightower coming back.
WR John Brown, Bills: Chronic tease but a gamebreaker when healthy.
DE Jerry Hughes, Bills: Would be a typical cheap Patriots veteran pass rusher.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Dolphins: Showed he can play very well in this scheme.

 

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Bedard's thoughts on possible cap casualties the Pats might target

Cap casualties are going to be the most bang for the buck, if you pick some good ones, and you’ll still be in line for compensatory picks.

I would expect the Patriots to be interested in quarterbacks, tight ends, receivers, defensive linemen and linebackers. With that in mind, here are my players to keep an eye on, in order, grouped by the timing/intensity of the Patriots’ interest:

HOT AND HEAVY (POSSIBLE OVERPAY)

WR Mike Williams, Chargers
: Likely will get an extension, but he would also solve the opening for a big body on the outside.
TE David Njoku, Browns: So talented, so injured but man … if he pops, that’s one big void filled. Will have suitors.
DT/DE Grover Stewart, Colts: Patriots need to get bigger on the line to actually force teams into third downs. Reminds of Lawrence Guy in Baltimore at 6-4 and 333 pounds.
DT Kawann Short, Panthers: Now you’re talking some beef in the middle of the line.
TE Jared Cook, Saints: Maybe the second time is the charm in the Patriots’ pursuit?
TE Cameron Brate, Bucs: If he’s done taking paycuts, he’d be welcome here with open arms.
Edge Devon Kennard, Cardinals: If you’re looking for buying low on a guy with a lot of talent, this is it. Was never the same after Covid.
DE Carlos Dunlap, Seahawks: One of the more underrated players in the league would sure up one end.

COMPETITIVE (BUT AT PATRIOTS’ VALUATION)

TE C.J. Uzomah, Bengals
: Coming off a torn Achilles but was ready to pop at the time of the injury.
OLB Preston Smith, Packers: If he’s cut loose, there might be a bidding war and the Patriots will have their limit.
LB Jaylon Smith, Cowboys: Was in the wrong scheme last year and still has his best ball in front of him.
DT Akiem Hicks, Bears: Was a stud in Foxboro, New Orleans and Chicago. Time to bring him back home.
DT Sheldon Richardson, Browns: Likes his money and sometimes motivation is questioned, but when he’s right, he’s right.
WR DeSean Jackson, Eagles: Set to be released, Jackson seems to have matured a bit and can still make plays. Will be interesting to see if the Patriots think he fits in the locker room.
DT Shamar Stephen, Vikings: A very underrated player who would be excellent as a 3-4 DE.
WR Jamison Crowder, Jets: Very solid and professional receiver who would help, but he’s far from a No. 1.
DT Allen Bailey, Falcons: An excellent player in Kansas City who would be perfect for this scheme.
ILB Kenny Young, Rams: Young and athletic but not definite he’d take to this scheme so I’d proceed with a little caution.
DE Henry Anderson, Jets: Whether with Indy or the Jets, I’ve always liked this guy as a Richard Seymour-type. He would work very well here.

IF THE PLAYER LACKS SUITORS (AT VALUE ONE-YEAR, PROVE-IT DEAL)

LB Kwon Alexander, Saints
: Was traded last season from the 49ers and instantly was injured. Could be a diamond in the rough.
DT Malik Jackson, Eagles: Annually one of the most productive pass rushers in the league.
WR Marquise Goodwin, Eagles: Opt-out could be cut loose, and he still has good speed.
DT Jurrell Casey, Broncos: One of the best players in the league with the Titans still has a few years left of production.
WR Golden Tate, Giants: A dependable, veteran receiver who’s a gamer. Patriots don’t have enough of those.
WR Brandin Cooks, Texans: Has to be the least desirable six-time 1,000-yard receiver in NFL history. He’ll make the plays that are there, and none that are not.
TE Kyle Rudolph, Vikings: Solid two-way tight end but he’s pretty picky about his pay and where he would be going.
TE Jimmy Graham, Bears: I would certainly be open to have a tall red-zone threat on this team, even if he can’t block.
DT Danny Shelton, Lions: Run defense would instantly get better with his return.
QB Alex Smith, Washington: Hopefully he retires for his health, but a one-year deal with all sorts of incentives wouldn’t be the worst thing (see, I don’t hate Alex Smith).
LB Christian Jones, Lions: Matt Patricia gave him an extension in Detroit so you know he loves him, and he plays special teams.
DT Malcom Brown, Saints: Was always solid and nothing more. If he’s looking for a home …
TE Tyler Eifert, Jaguars: Tight end should be the new receivers in that expect a lot of looks at aging vets to see who has anything left.
WR Adam Humphries, Titans: After turning down the Patriots, you know Belichick would love to force him to take a one-year deal at minimum.
LB Benardrick McKinney, Texans: Houston overpaid him but he’d be perfect if the Patriots didn’t have Dont’a Hightower coming back.
WR John Brown, Bills: Chronic tease but a gamebreaker when healthy.
DE Jerry Hughes, Bills: Would be a typical cheap Patriots veteran pass rusher.
DE Emmanuel Ogbah, Dolphins: Showed he can play very well in this scheme.

Very nice info/speculation. Thanks chevss454
 

Roberto71

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Carlos Dunlap is a very interesting possibility. There's a fit there you'd think with the Patriots.
 

Mazz22

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Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC


In terms of a player who may play as a pure slot in the NFL, St-Brown may be the best of them all. The traits St-Brown possesses showcase everything a team would in a slot receiver. The suddenness, vice-grip hands, and yards after the catch ability are terrific in the case of St-Brown. With football bloodlines, St-Brown is going to be a guy with his stock through the roof.

Related | USC wide receivers Vaughns and St. Brown have NFL potential in 2020

All of those traits are just the base of St. Brown’s game, however. He has elite body control and delightful ball skills in addition to that. If a team wrote up an ideal middle of the field target, St. Brown could be that guy. With those route-running skills, St. Brown threatens all directions of the field and all levels as well. This young man will hear his name called early in the 2021 NFL Draft, as he deserves.

Rondale Moore, Purdue


If I were to mesh Atwell and Waddle together, Moore is the guy you would somehow come out with. He is one of the most dangerous gadget players I have seen in recent memory, but he is a much more refined route runner than Atwell is at this stage. This is a guy that is a legitimate playmaker with the ball in his hands on manufactured touches, but he can torch the defense deep from the slot too.

It is Moore’s toughness through contact that makes him so special. He can put guys on skates, but he is a tough football player who will take the shots to make those tough catches over the middle of the catch. I think Moore still can project on the boundary at times, but from the slot with his speed, free releases, and manufactured touches, he could be devastating for defenses. All those come together to make one of the best slot receivers in the 2021 NFL Draft.

Elijah Moore, Ole Miss


Moore has a massive issue of being horrific against press coverage, and that is why he lands on this list easily. The hand-fighting just is not there with his light frame. However, what he does have working in his favor is smooth route running and quickness. From the slot where he will be aligned off the ball, Moore thrives in the Ole Miss offense.

Moore works against off-man coverage with ease. He is not the fastest guy out there, but he has great route deception and attacks leverage as well as anyone on this list. Moore routinely won using those skills, but also elite body control and awareness along the sideline. He will not shake guys out of their shoes after the catch, but he creates a lot of separation and does so reliably.

Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa


Smith-Marsette is one of the most graceful route runners I can remember watching at the wide receiver position in a bit of time. He moves in the open with fluidity and crisp footwork. As a route runner, he has quick feet and loose hips, which allows him to run sharp routes and stems. He can get separation with those skills.

The real issue is when Smith-Marsette is contacted at the line of scrimmage and must fight through press coverage. He has not shown the strength to beat that just yet, even if he plays with a physical side to his game. Listen, Smith-Marsette is a playmaker with the ball in his hands and can make guys miss as well. At his size and with his physicality, playing in the slot and using his size and fluidity to create separation would be a perfect match for Smith-Marsette.

Tutu Atwell, Louisville


I am a firm believer that size does matter in the NFL, but Atwell is so, so talented that it may not in his case. At 5’9″, 175 pounds, Atwell carries a thin and less than compact frame at the moment. Make no mistake, this young man is a good football player, but those size limitations will hurt him no matter his role in the NFL.

Related | Tutu Atwell’s size pushes requirements for NFL

Atwell’s speed and shiftiness make him a potent gadget player. Expect offensive coordinators to heavily mix in Atwell on motions, jet sweeps, mesh plays, and misdirection because he is a threat with the football in his hands. Even with the light frame, his contact balance is elite. Still, he has some trouble fighting through contact and press coverage. Allowing him to face man coverage and get free releases with his speed and quick feet out of the slot would only benefit the talented receiver.

Shi Smith
Jaelon Darden
Kadarius Toney
Anthony Schwartz
Dazz Newsome
Thanks Chevss. This is excellent!
 
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chevss454

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Carlos Dunlap is a very interesting possibility. There's a fit there you'd think with the Patriots.
Interesting that in that 2010 draft, BB picked his Florida team mate DE Jermaine Cunningham. BB picked the wrong Florida defensive end. :coffee: I knew it at the time. :coffee:

BB picked Cunningham with 53. He only lasted 3 years with the Pats. Then 3 weeks with the 9ers and then with the JETE but never played a single down after being cut by the Pats.
Bengals picked Dunlap with 54. He's 31 and still going strong.
 

Big/Sky/Fly

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Interesting that in that 2010 draft, BB picked his Florida team mate DE Jermaine Cunningham. BB picked the wrong Florida defensive end. :coffee: I knew it at the time. :coffee:

BB picked Cunningham with 53. He only lasted 3 years with the Pats. Then 3 weeks with the 9ers and then with the JETE but never played a single down after being cut by the Pats.
Bengals picked Dunlap with 54. He's 31 and still going strong.
If BB drafted Dunlap, he still would have left...similar to Chandler Jones. Money...
 
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