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Karnage84

The Patriot Way - Draft Analysis and Impact on the Lions

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With the pending arrival of Matt Patricia to join up with our GM Bob Quinn, many of us have been wondering what that will look like. Much has been said about both guys coming from the Patriots and being on the same page.

I've broken down the Patriots drafts from 2010 - 2017 to try and figure out some tendencies in their picks. This is not about quality of selection - are they a pro bowler or a bust. Free Agency and trades were also not accounted for. This is purely based on the draft picks and the selections made at the time. The breakdown is as follows:

Rounds

  • High (1-2)
  • Mid (3-5)
  • Low (6-7)

I started off by looking at which side of the ball each draft placed an emphasis on.

  • 2010 - Offense 58.33%
  • 2011 - Offense 66.67%
  • 2012 - Defense 85.71%
  • 2013 - Defense 71.43%
  • 2014 - Defense 66.67%
  • 2015 - Defense 63.64%
  • 2016 - Defense 55.56%
  • 2017 - Even split

Despite the talk about how the focus is on the offense and the Patriots make do with a bunch of scrubs on defense, their draft focus is clearly defensively oriented.

POSITIONAL BREAKDOWN OF PICKS

I then looked at a positional breakdown compared to the rounds they were drafted in.

  • QB - 4 (1H; 2M;1L) - 6.15%
  • WR - 7 (1H;3M;3L) - 10.77%
  • RB - 3 (1H;2M;0L) - 4.62%
  • TE - 4 (1H;2M;1L) - 6.15%
  • OL - 12 (1H;7M;4L) - 18.46%
  • DL - 12 (3H;5M;4L) - 18.46%
  • LB - 10 (4H;0M;6L) - 15.38%
  • DB - 11 (5H;2M;4L) - 16.92%
  • ST - 2 (OH;2M;0L) - 3.08%

You can clearly see an emphasis on OL, DL, LB and DB within their draft philosophy. RB is the lowest major category while there is a significant a focus on the trenches.

Doing a further breakdown, it gives us a probability of what will be picked and roughly where.

  • High (Rounds 1 - 2): DB 7.69%; LB 6.15%; DL 4.62%
  • Mid (Rounds 3 - 5): OL 10.77%; DL 7.69%; WR 4.62%
  • Low (Rounds 6-7): LB 9.23%; OL, DL, DB 6.15%; WR 4.62%

The tendency is to draft DB, LB or DL in the first two rounds. There are some outliers like Gronkowski, Solder, Vereen, Dobson and Garrapalo. Everyone but Garrapalo was drafted when the Patriots had an additional 2nd round pick.

They are generally adding OL or DL in rounds 3-5. This is also where they could add a TE or WR. James White is the only other drafted Patriots RB in this timeframe and he was taken here in Round 4.

Lastly, the Patriots tend to double dip at key positions. This seems to come with an emphasis on LB, OL, DL, DB

HOW THIS IMPACTS THE LIONS

If we look at the Lions last draft (where Quinn was in full control) you can see some of these tendencies come to life

2017 Detroit Lions Draft
       
Round Selection Player Position College Source
1 21 Jarrad Davis LB Florida [48]
2 53 Teez Tabor CB Florida [49]
3 96 Kenny Golladay WR Northern Illinois [50]
4 124 Jalen Reeves-Maybin LB Tennessee [51]
4 127 Michael Roberts TE Toledo [52]
5 165 Jamal Agnew CB San Diego [53]
6 205 Jeremiah Ledbetter DE Arkansas [54]
6 215 Brad Kaaya QB Miami [55]
7 250 Pat O'Connor DE Eastern Michigan [56]
  • HIGH - We had a glaring need at LB due to loss of Levy. We followed the tendency and selected Davis and Tabor in the first two rounds.
  • MID - Golloday and Roberts follow the pattern for where the Patriots add WR's and TE's. They've also double dipped in two of their key positions, LB and CB in these rounds
  • LOW - Like the Patriots usually do, Quinn addressed the DL and double dipped with Ledbetter and O'Connor. They already had taken LB's previously and addressed other positions of focus. They also added another QB to the room just as they did with Rudock the year before.

SUMMARY

Quinn seems to have followed a lot of the Patriots' tendencies in his draft methodology. It will be interesting to see how things play out with another longtime Patriot in Patricia in the room.

**ADDENDUM**

I have further broken down the Conferences and positions to see where there are preferences. This will bring into account probabilities that a particular position group from a particular conference is selected in a particular range of rounds.

Out of the 68 selections the Patriots made from 2010 - 2017, the SEC is the highest represented conference. Not really surprising as they are considered the best conference by many in college football.

  • SEC - 19 Players (27.94%) - 6 DL; 5 LB
  • ACC - 13 Players (19.12%) - 5 OL; 5 DB
  • BigTen - 10 Players (14.71%) - 2 WR; 3 DB
  • PAC-12 - 7 Players (10.29%) - 3 OL
  • BIG12 - 6 Players (8.82%)
  • FCS - 5 Players (7.35%) - 4 LB
  • C-USA - 4 Players (5.88%)

*Anyone not represented was not prominent. May have had 0 or 1 picks at particular positions

If we look at the breakdown above, we can figure out what the probability is of a particular position group from a particular conference is taken.

HIGH (Rounds 1 - 2)

  • LB (SEC) 0.45%
  • DL (SEC) 0.41%
  • DB (ACC) 0.34%

MID (Rounds 3 - 5)

  • OL (ACC) - 0.79%
  • DL (SEC) - 0.68%
  • WR (BIG10) - 0.14%

LOW (Rounds 6 - 7)

  • LB (FCS) - 0.54%
  • DL (SEC) - 0.54%
  • DB (ACC) - 0.45%
  • OL (ACC) - 0.45%
  • WR (BIG10) - 0.14%

According to this this analysis, assuming the Lions follow "the Patriot way" there is a higher probability that we will be selecting a LB from the SEC and a DL from the SEC with our first two picks. We'll likely wind up selecting OL from the ACC in the middle rounds and bring on a LB from the FCS in the later rounds.

 

 

Edited by Karnage84
Added conference breakdown

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Excellent post.  I would love to see a mock based on these numbers.  I've always liked a drafting approach like this, where a team builds inside out.  Hopefully, in the next 15 years this will be the Lions way and not just the Patriot way.

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I was also looking at trade down/up frequency. The Patriots are known to generally trade down and acquire additional picks. One of the reason they're able to double dip at positions is because they have multiple picks in different rounds. We did make other moves to acquire additional picks later in the draft. I'd prefer to see us trade down and acquire additional picks this year. Buffalo is right behind us with a need at QB. A team like the Saints or Steelers could look to trade up and get their "Quarterback of the future". The Browns also have a LOT of pieces to move up into the first if someone fell that they were interested in.

I haven't finished with that analysis and might post it up if either my own self-interest drives me to figure it out and/or if there's interest to get a better picture at what the Patriots do. Tendencies don't automatically equate to success. The Patriots obviously make errors in drafting players just like everyone else. However, when you give yourself 10+ opportunities every year you're going to have a better opportunity to hit. That percentage will increase based on the quality of evaluation.

 

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16 minutes ago, LionArkie said:

Excellent post.  I would love to see a mock based on these numbers.  I've always liked a drafting approach like this, where a team builds inside out.  Hopefully, in the next 15 years this will be the Lions way and not just the Patriot way.

Thanks. I appreciate it! I was curious about how things might play out. I don't think the 2016 draft can be a fair evaluation of what is Quinn's methodology while 2017 alone is too small of a sample. I'd also like to take a look at Schools/Conferences and the rounds selected, etc. It would be interesting to see if they favour a particular school or conference and where they tend to slot these (ex. probability of taking a SEC LB or DB in the higher rounds; take Big Ten OL in the mid rounds, etc.)

It'd be interesting to work out a blueprint and see how far off it is vs reality. If the Lions stay put and draft Guice at 20, it would basically blow the whole thing up. Drafting a RB let alone one in the 1st is contrary to what the Patriots have done for the last 7 years.

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Using Walter Mathieu Football for positioning, I put this 5 round mock together

1 (20) - Trade down with New Orleans or Pittsburgh > Ben Roethlisberger and Drew Brees are both on their last legs. The Bills have two picks immediately after us with a major need at QB themselves.

1(NO/PIT) - Rashaan Evans, ILB, Alabama

2 - Dorance Armstrong, OLB/DE, Kansas

2 (NO/PIT) - Rasheem Green, DE/DT, USC

3 - Braden Smith, OG, Auburn

4 - Derrick Nnandi, NT, Florida State

5 - Kamryn Pettway, RB, Auburn

 

This kind of draft could help us in a variety of spots. We need help at LB, especially if we convert to a 3-4. Armstrong is a highly athletic guy that could develop into something special opposite of Ansah. Green gives us another piece on the D-Line and can play inside or out, depending on the scheme. We have added OL help to plug in either LG or RG (depending on Langs health). Ngata is likely going to come back and Nnandi can be groomed as his replacement. Pettway is a bowling ball that is hard to tackle as he picks up some steam.

This draft follows the methodology above in a few ways: SEC LB with a high pick; doubled up with Evans/Dorance at LB and Green and Nnandi on DL; OL in the middle rounds. Pettway could even be available 6th or 7th. There are likely some other trade downs and/or comp picks that would provide a few other selections in rounds 4-7I would expect them to round things out with a QB (as we've likely lost Kayaa), a DB, a WR and a FCS linebacker.

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I don't know if I've ever said to myself wow the patriots had a good draft...

I would say they draft for need more than bpa

If you can't have your own plan you shouldn't be a gm..im sick of this patriot way bs

Draft the best player it's pretty easy iyam 

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8 minutes ago, Rockcity2 said:

I don't know if I've ever said to myself wow the patriots had a good draft...

I would say they draft for need more than bpa

If you can't have your own plan you shouldn't be a gm..im sick of this patriot way bs

Draft the best player it's pretty easy iyam 

LOL You could be right and it's hard to disagree. At the same time, a) they have a history of success (with and without Brady) and b) we've brought in two guys that come from this background. You have to have a philosophy and a process to narrow down 300+ eligible guys into 7 - 12 selections. Both Quinn and Patricia will have a similar methodology because of their background with the Pats. However, there will also be some individual tendencies and outlooks.

This isn't to say that they're locked into anything. It's more of a matter of frequency - they often take a SEC LB in the first or second round. BPA and/or need come into play and can affect that outcome. In his first full draft season as GM we took a SEC LB in Jarrad Davis. We also had a major need there and he addressed it with that pick. There's something of a "chicken-and-egg" predicament at play here.

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I'm sure Quinn has a plan.  The patriot way works for the patriots.  Hopefully, Quinn develops a successful Lions way!!

 

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On ‎20‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 12:23 PM, lioneye22 said:

I'm sure Quinn has a plan.  The patriot way works for the patriots.  Hopefully, Quinn develops a successful Lions way!!

 

Well he is working for the Lions, so if he doesn't totally screw things up it will be "the Lions way". It just started somewhere else in an eastern town ending in 'borough'.

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On ‎20‎/‎01‎/‎2018 at 3:55 PM, diehardlionfan said:

Restore the Roar!🦁

OnePride

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