By Dan Pieroni PatriotsInsider.com Posted Jun 28, 2008
Ever open a present and love what you got only to see something even cooler in the store the next week? It's the same with NFL Draft picks. We tend to wonder what would have been if only we picked that OTHER guy. PI looks at some recent Draft picks to see if year two told us whether it would have been a better move to draft that "other guy."
It's an age old football argument: Why did a certain team take a certain player with their first round pick when they could have drafted someone who has turned out to be a better player instead? Once a player is drafted, it's easy for football fans to ponder what might have been, especially if the draftee fails to live up to expectations. What is often overlooked, however, is the fact that often times the NFL draft is akin to playing the lottery: sometimes you hit the jackpot, while other times you strike out. Keeping the aforementioned facts in mind, let us now take into consideration how well the Patriots draftees within the last five years have performed during that period. With the help of the website pro-football-reference.com, we can compare stats of actual players drafted with players of the same position that the Patriots could have selected later. The question to be answered is whether or not the player made an impact by their second year in the league. Player's rookie seasons have not been taken into consideration because some players take longer to adjust to the rigors of the NFL than others. Lastly, we need to see when, if ever, that player finally has an impact on the Patriots' success. It may take several years before the player makes an impact, but if he's not producing by the end of his second season, how much value does he bring?
2006: The Patriots drafted running back Laurence Maroney (1st-round, 21st overall) and kicker Stephen Gotskowski (4th-round, 118th overall) in 2006. Maroney equaled his touchdown input from his rookie season and rushed for 90 more years in his sophomore year. Gotskowski made one more field goal last year, and improved his extra point percentage by 2.7%.
What makes you think the Patriots would have ran more with Joseph Addai than with Lawrence Maroney? I don't think it matters who the running back was this last year - the Patriots had Tom Brady and Randy Moss and they were going to throw the ball.
I hope they change the offense up this year, but I think it is going to be very pass heavy again. But, considering they have a HOF QB throwing to the HOF WR, you can't really question the logic behind throwing can you?
Statistics are dependant on programs and established procedures. The Patriots could have run more last year and Maroney would have had more rushing yards, but the Patriots would have had fewer passing yards. Would that have made Maroney a better player or the Patriots a better team?
I doubt it. You have to play towards your strengths.
Addai over Maroney is an easy one to point out but the even bigger 2006 snafu was ignored in the article. Maybe it's because the two best from that draft were taken well later in the draft, but Brandon Marshall (4th rd 119 overall) and Marques Colston (7th round 252 overall) have done a hell of a lot more than Chad Jackson (2nd round 36 overall).
For the 2007 draft I still 100% disagree with Morpheus and will argue this to the death. I couldn't give the Patriots a higher grade for that draft. It was one of the worst draft classes of recent history. You heard plenty of people saying this leading up to the draft and you saw it first hand with one of the more lackluster rookie classes we've seen. The Patriots drafted a need position in their first round who we haven't seen enough to really evaluate and after that they stockpiled future picks including the number seven pick in the 2008 draft and traded draft picks for Randy Moss and Wes Welker. That sounds like the best draft anyone had that year. Seriously, go look at the 2007 draft and see if you can find a team that came out of it with anything near as good as Merriweather, Moss, Welker and Jerod Mayo.
I believe StealthDog hit a good note on this one. Addai(sp) better than Maroney.
I dont know. Different systems. Different running styles. Different QB's. I Think I'd still stick with Maroney. He shows flashes of magic more often than not. Addai for one thing has had more chances to put together strings of plays. Maroney unfortunatly has not had as many chances but when he does get them, and he gets comfortable with the flow, he is as good.
Maroney's only problem is the Pats haven't used him consistantly enough.
The whole 'Hitting the hole' problem that many talk about basically comes down to timing. That's what he needs more of. Time in the game. I can't believe the guys afraid to hit the hole. He's played since High School. and then through college and now in the pros, He knows what its like to get smacked around.
I think Maroney was a good choice for the Pats. This is the year for the Irish to celebrate. This is the year for our man Maroney.