Originally Posted by jeffbiologist
BB the tradesman was at it again but lets take a look at the trades and see which ones we agree on and which ones we dont.
Try looking at it this way. Belichick specifically wanted Solder, Dowling, Vereen and Ridley. His goal in the draft was to get those guys and maximize the value of all his other picks (trading them, taking targeted sliders).
While I have no idea if it is true or not, it does seem to jibe with what happened:
#17 - Solder was gone to the Giants or Colts so the Pats needed to take him at 17 or lose him. If they were interested in Quinn or Kerrigan, their interest in Solder trumped any thoughts of trade up to get them (and likely any thoughts of taking them at #17).
#28 - Reasonably confident Dowling will be there at the top of the 2nd round, this pick becomes a choice between taking a slider (nobody really qualifies) and trying to get a 1st rounder in 2012. Saints had the best offer.
#33 - With Buffalo a possibility at #34, Dallas at #40 and Houston lurking with a possible trade-up from #42, it would be risky business moving down from #33 and expecting Dowling to be there. Considering Buffalo stuck at #34 instead of trading down with a team looking for a QB, it indicates the trade action at the top of the 2nd was more lukewarm than you might think.
#56 - Small possibility that Detroit takes Vereen at #57 but a greater chance that Cleveland continues to trade down with a team (Miami, Green Bay) looking to get ahead of the Pats at #60 for a RB. They must really like Vereen specifically to not risk it.
#60 - Too early for Ridley with J.Houston (obviously not interested) and Mallett (not interested yet) being the obvious slippers. Texans gives the best offer to move down (though not a great one) so better to get something.
#73 - Still too early for Ridley but the run on RB is ongoing and Washington is sitting there at #79. Better to get him now and declare mission accomplished on the draft objectives.
#74 - With the main business done, the quest for value begins. Now Mallett looks like a much better bargain. That value likely trumped any standing offers to trade into 2012.
#92 - Now the room goes into full-tilt 2012 mode. Let's see. Want a 2012 2nd round pick even though all we have are picks after this draft's talent cliff. Bonus if the team has the potential to suffer a biblical collapse and have that 2012 pick be a near 1st rounder. 1-800-CRAZY-AL.
#138 - Now we are at the point in the draft where nobody will trade up using 2012 picks. Tremendous luck with Cannon still on the board.
Rest of draft - Lee Smith may have been a specific target and they allocated pick #159 to get him. Or the TE draft tick finally kicked in. The last two rounds were for whoever the ST coaches wanted.
This scenario makes far more sense than the notion the Pats just let the draft play out and made it up as they want along.