Did he just make an interception? Did he just make a great catch? The answer, my friends, is YES. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Here we go again.
The last two rounds of the draft, in most cases, is where coaches tend to take flyers on certain players and hope to find that one guy that everyone else has overlooked but will be able to step in and be a solid contributor to their team. The later rounds of the draft, in a lot of ways, are the most exciting; all of the elite talent - and the massively high expectations that come with it - is already gone, and so whoever joins your team from here on out has nothing but upside. If they don't work out, it's no big deal; very few people consider late round draft picks busts. But if they do work out, then all of a sudden you're a coaching genius who saw ability where nobody else did.
In this case, however, the last two rounds of the 2012 Patriots Flag Football Draft isn't about finding a diamond in the rough; all of the available players have already showcased their talent and proven themselves able to perform at an NFL level. Rather, these last two rounds are when you round out your squad, fill in any necessary holes, and put the final pieces in place to ensure your place in the Winners' Circle. Taking a look at my amazing team, I don't think that there are too many holes, to be honest; I just see elite talent at every level. However, I definitely have been going offense heavy as of late, so it's time to shore up my defense.
I'm actually pretty glad Greg drafted Pat Chung, because I was legitimately torn on whether or not to use him with my next pick. He's strong, fast, and a great athlete, which are all clearly qualities I covet for my team. He also has the size to be versatile as a linebacker and bump receivers at the line of scrimmage, so there would have been a lot of flexibility as to how I would play him. But, I also remember him being only slightly more effective than Julian Edelman when the Patriots used him as their nickel corner a few seasons ago, and I think that matching him up against Edelman or Welker wouldn't bode too well for Chung. He's really more of a pure safety than a cover guy, but his talent and ability can't be ignored. So, I really wasn't sure whether I should draft him or not. But now that Greg beat me to it, I can just go ahead and take Kyle Arrington without having to second guess myself.
Arrington wasn't invited to the combine, so the only meaningless stat I can throw out here is his 4.4 40 time (although his fastest recorded time was actually a 4.38). But we all already know that he's fast, and he has actually developed into a fairly decent defensive back over the course of the last few seasons. He led the team last year with seven interceptions, so he has a nose for the ball, and is just one of those guys who capitalizes on opportunities and always seems to be in the right place at the right time. Plus, at 5'10', he absolutely towers over most of Greg's team, and I think Arrington vs. Edelman would be a really fun matchup to watch.
On offense, I honestly don't really even care what he brings to the table. Between Hernandez, Lloyd, and Gronkowski, I think my team is pretty well set. However, Arrington's interception record shows me that the man can definitely catch, and speed is speed, so I think he'll make a very solid number 4 or 5 receiver. I think I would use Arrington on a lot of mid-range crossing routes that will allow him to build up some steam and use the swivel hips he has developed as a corner to make fast cuts towards the middle. I can also just send him deep to take the top off the defense so Hernandez and Gronk can just wreak havoc all over the middle of the field. Having Arrington will also allow me a lot of flexibility on how to best use Devin McCourty; I may decide to keep McCourty a little closer to home and use him as a runner, line him and Arrington up as part of a trips set, or maybe throw caution to the wind and operate out of an unprecedented 3 Tight End flag football set with DMC joining Hernandez and Gronk to form flag football's version of the Mighty Ducks' Flying V. I could also just send all five of them deep and watch Greg's team desperately try to keep up. The possibilities are pretty much endless.
Ras-I Dowling was also a name I was throwing around for a while, but if I drafted him, it would be purely on speculation and the numbers I've seen on paper. Yes, Dowling is big and fast, but I've seen him play maybe 5 downs of football at any level my entire life, and so I just couldn't in good conscience make that call. I can definitely see Dowling as a player I draft next year should this become a yearly thing, but for now, there just isn't enough evidence to give Dowling a spot on the highly elite, well-tuned machine that is Team Shane.
With Arrington, I now have both of the team's best cornerbacks to go alongside with three of the team's four best offensive weapons. I have the edge in size, speed, talent, ability, and good looks (although Wes Welker is pretty damn sexy, I have to admit). Just one more pick to go, and then I can finally put Greg out of his misery.