2011 NFL Draft
- Round 1, 17th overall — OT Nate Solder (Colorado)
- Round 2, 33rd overall — CB Ras-I Dowling (Virginia)
- Round 2, 56th overall — RB Shane Vereen (California)
- Round 3, 73rd overall — RB Stevan Ridley (LSU)
- Round 3, 74th overall — QB Ryan Mallett (Arkansas)
- Round 5, 138th overall — OL Marcus Cannon (TCU)
- Round 5, 159th overall — TE Lee Smith (Marshall)
- Round 6, 194th overall — OLB/DE Markell Carter (Central Arkansas)
- Round 7, 219th overall — CB/S/ST Malcolm Williams (TCU)
Top Needs Coming In: OLB – OL – DL – RB – WR – DB
Remaining Needs: OLB – DL – WR
Best Pick: Marcus Cannon – The team made a lot of great selections throughout draft weekend. The reason I selected Cannon as the best overall pick by the team was simple, value. Cannon was thought to be one of the best offensive lineman in the draft but slipped to the fifth round. Obviously, some teams were scared of his recent diagnosis of cancer in the form of non – hogkins lymphoma. However, there are numerous reports that he will be healthy by the seasons start and he could prove to be extremely valuable.
Worst Pick: Stevan Ridley – The reason I chose Ridley as the worst pick by the team, was not because of the player. Instead, because of the position he plays and the players the team passed on. The team had already selected Cal RB Shane Vereen and there were still holes to fill. Outside linebacker, defensive line, and wide receiver had still not been addressed. I do believe Ridley can play a role on this team and contribute positively but, you have to wonder if there were better options available.
Analysis: The team had solid draft by almost all accounts. They solidified the offensive line for the future with Nate Solder and Marcus Cannon. They added two young running backs to the aging committee and I believe Shane Vereen could be a huge asset for this team. They added a very talented quarterback prospect in Ryan Mallet and I am curious to see if they plan on grooming him for the future or plan on trading him to the highest bidder.
I only gave a “B” grade because this team did not truly address their biggest need at outside linebacker. Patriots nation will now turn their attention to Markell Carter, to see if he can solve their pass rushing woes. Overall, some great additions to the team, but further judgement must be made when these players step onto the field. And for that evaluation, only time will tell.
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