Patriots Flag Football: Picking the Winner

Who gets it? Knopping or Shane? David or Goliath? Potter or Voldemort? (Photo by Scott Halleran/Getty Images)

Now that training camp is officially underway and it's back to real football, I figured today would be a good time to officially wrap the flag football draft Greg Knopping and I had that ended last week.

Seeing as how this was our first time doing this, I'd say it was a pretty successful series. There are definitely some things I think we should do differently next time, such as making sure we are both operating under the same flag football rules (there are a ton of variations, and I got the impression that we had different formats in mind as we made our selections) and establishing an all-time defensive player to compliment Tom Brady's all-time quarterback role. For the most part, though, I had a lot of fun, and Greg was definitely a worthy opponent.

One of the things that I really like about series like this one is that it not only allows us to test our own football knowledge, but it also lets us see how other people think when it comes to making moves, building a team, and coming to difficult conclusions. I've always had all the respect in the world for coaches, who have to make about 5,000 more decisions with about 10,000 times more consequences than what Greg and I just did, and if the amount of time I spent thinking over and stressing about my picks for this hypothetical game is any indicator, I'm amazed how any coaches even manage to survive a single season.

I think that we both did a pretty damn good job, to be honest. But, like Sean Connery said in Highlander, there can only be one, and so it's time to determine who had the best draft in the 2012 Patriots 7 on 7 Flag Football Challenge.

Just to do a quick recap, here are the final rosters, with Tommy B as the all-time QB:

Team Shane:

Aaron Hernandez
Devin McCourty
Brandon Lloyd
Rob Gronkowski
Kyle Arrington
Nate Solder

Team Knopping:

Julian Edelman
Wes Welker
Matthew Slater
Pat Chung
Nate Ebner
Donte Stallworth

The difference in our drafting strategies couldn't be clearer when looking at these two lists. I went for talent and athleticism, Greg went for versatility and complimentary football pieces.

Greg's team may not look overly impressive on paper, but I think they could give me some trouble as a unit. Welker and Edelman are exactly the kind of guys you'd want on your flag football team, as strength and size are negated by the lack of full contact. Slater and Stallworth have great speed and experience playing both receiver and defensive back, and Chung is a defensive minded player who will be able to control the middle of the field while being able to at least contribute on offense. Ebner is a total wild card, to be honest; he's fast, he's strong, and he has zero regard for his own personal safety, but how that translates into flag football is anybody's guess.

As for my team, I basically decided to focus on the best players on the roster, and while I definitely had versatility in mind, I decided to let pure talent and physical ability compensate for any lack of experience on the other side of the ball. Aaron Hernandez brings a ton of versatility on offense, with enough athleticism to make him a solid 3rd cornerback/safety. Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington are the two best DBs on the team, and their speed and hands will definitely make them serviceable receivers. Gronk is an absolute offensive force that simply can't be covered, and his height makes him a viable option at deep safety. Lloyd is a great deep threat with unbelievable hands and great speed who played a lot of cornerback in high school, and Solder is a dual pass blocking/receiving threat with the ability to rush the passer.

I think it's pretty obvious which of these two teams would win should this matchup every take place, but Greg and I decided that we were going to leave that up to the community. So, who do you think had the better draft? Me or Greg?

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