2020 NFL Regular Season: COVID Cases Rising, Teams Getting Hit

Aero

Integral Poster
Especially after Jason Kelce's rant on tanking a week or so ago.

Imagine trying to sell the idea of needing to evaluate Nate Sudfeld, who's been on the roster since 2017, instead of seeing more of that promising young QB you just drafted.
 

snuffbox

Integral Poster
Priefer is a Very Fine Person. Knows a lot about nukes, believe me, a lot about nukes.
 
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HarleyQuinn

Laugh This Off... Puddin'!
Staff member
If you look at what the Pats drafted the last ten years? Almost definitely Brady. Their draft record is abominable and now that shit is coming home to roost.
Brady definitely was a huge factor in the system's success offensively. Was he all the success? No. New England went 7-9 while finishing 4th in rushing yards (definitely aided by Cam of course) with one of the worst passing offenses in NFL history. Michel & Harris missed games and still averaged 5.7 and 5.0 YPC respectively. They didn't just stumble into that ass over teakettle.

Did they whiff on players? Absolutely. Did they miss on players? Absolutely. But as a Patriots fan, I'd say they've hit way more overall as a team than they've whiffed. The issue is it's predominantly been related to defense and special teams rather than offense. The problem gets highlighted when fans of teams see their own team draft Josh Jacobs & Henry Ruggs III and try to equate that talent level to a team that is geared towards specified roles over pure talent. Also not helped is that said team emphasizes defense over offense usually.

Hits: Devin McCourty, Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Nate Solder, Shane Vereen, Stevan Ridley, Marcus Cannon, Chandler Jones, Dont'a Hightower, Tavon Wilson, Nate Ebner, Jamie Collins, Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, James White, Malcom Brown, Shaq Mason, Joe Cardona (long snapper), Joe Thuney, Elandon Roberts, Deatrich Wise Jr, Isaiah Wynn, Sony Michel, Ja'whuan Bentley, N'Keal Harry(?), Joejuan Williams, Chase Winovich, Damien Harris, Byron Cowart

Now, are all of these guys All-Pro Super NFL Stud Gods? Not even close BUT the great majority of them have started multiple seasons (especially on defense) or played key roles that were not quite starter level but not bench warmer level either.

Cannon, Thuney, and Mason have been key starters on the OL. Gronk is/was Gronk. Michel/Harris have been productive in RBBC roles and James White has been a stud. Vereen/Ridley were solid until they went elsewhere. McCourty/Hightower are still staples on the Patriots D and Chandler Jones/Tavon Wilson/Logan Ryan/Elandon Roberts/Jamie Collins/Duron Harmon were key starters for a long while. Ebner was one of the best ST cover guys behind Matt Slater before Bethel came over from Baltimore and Ebner left. Cardona's been the team's long snapper since being drafted. Joejuan Williams and Chase Winovich saw more starting time this year.

The last 3 years, New England has drafted 29 players (not even going into the productive UDFAs they've gotten such as CB JC Jackson). If the Patriots have landed even 7 or 8 starters out of that group, that's arguably a win. That's a 1 in 4 starter hit rate.

Let's be clear. Nobody's gonna confuse the Patriots with the 49ers of the 80s or the 00s Colts in terms of drafting & hitting on offensive talent at the WR/TE skill position. Even Pats fans have acknowledged this. They've been solid at RB and OL though. Jury is still out on N'Keal Harry (wasn't high on him even when he came out) but UDFA Jakobi Meyers has looked solid and Gunner looks like he could be a find on punt returns & maybe settle into a Danny Amendola type future.

Would it be great to have a Randy Moss talent drafted? Absolutely but the Patriots are not a team that is predicated on needing that type of talent level.
 
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