Friday, April 27, 2007

THE DRAFT WHISPERER

Every year everyone seems to make the same mistakes in trying to come up with who the Patriots draft. Logan Mankins? Even Mel Kiper was shocked he was a first round pick, and now he is the star of that draft class. Even last year, the Pats got beat-up on draft day and the days afterwards for drafting Laurence Maroney in the first round when NOBODY had the Pats taking a running back. How about the Pats being stuck with Ty Warren, instead of moving up for their supposed target Jonathan Sullivan or being ridiculed for holding pat while the Jets made the bold move to trade up and get Dwayne Robertson (it is official, everyone in the NFL would rather have Warren at this point as he dominated from week one through the AFC Championship last season). Remember the chuckling by the draft gurus when the Patriots went out on a limb and drafted Ben Watson? Forget that, does anyone remember when I blasted Belichick for drafting a defensive lineman (some fat guy with an attitude problem and bad work ethic named Seymour) instead of the sexy pick of wide receiver David Terrell? I believe I said something about if he was dumb enough to draft Tommy Vardell, a fullback, in the first round at Cleveland, I believed he could screw up the number six pick in New England. OK, Rickles remembers, but I think the memory suppression drops worked on everyone else.

Since then, EVERYONE has struggled to predict who would jump off the board for New England. Would it be a position of need? A position of strength? Best available? A trade down? A trade up? Someone no one has heard of? The free-faller? The sleeper? Another Florida wide receiver? A tip from an old assistant coach? A tip from a friend of a friend of his father? The only person in the media I think could possibly fathom what Belichick and Scott Pioli would do is someone plugged in, like Mike Reiss perhaps. Reiss has been running his lists of possibilities in the Globe and on his blog (Reiss’ Pieces), but even with this info it seems difficult to fathom.

My thoughts? A trade down with 24 to the second round (and also picking up a mid-round 2008 pick) and a trade-out with 28 picking up a 2008 1st and a third round pick.

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