Another look at the draft
I know the draft is over, but there isn’t much else going on so I took another look at what happened in the draft. I was among those who expected the Pats to take Lawson at 21 and was initially surprised and disappointed when they took Maroney. However, I think there has been enough discussion about that. For the moment, let’s assume that getting both Maroney and Jackson was a good deal for the Pats. How did this affect the rest of the draft?
At 85 the Pats take TE Dave Thomas. I thought they might take a TE since it was supposed to be a good draft for TEs, but I did not expect it in day one. Like many of you I expected day one to be more about defense, but at 85 are there any DBs left who are better than what the Pats already have? From this point on I don’t see much point in getting another DB when we have a lot of depth and enough youth. Many of the consensus day one LBs are already off the board too. I am still looking for LB and backup NT and there are still a lot of potential picks available to fit these needs.
The Pats take TE/FB Garrett Mills and K Stephen Gostkowski. This round is really a head scratcher. Mills seems like a definite Pats type guy, but why take Mills after just taking Thomas? Mills could be an immediate contributor on ST and may get some action at TE/FB. Seely must really like Gostkowski. I am glad they drafted a K, but 4th round seems too early. Some of the notable LB and DT/NT prospects taken in round 4 are Victor Adeyanju, Ray Edwards, Gabe Watson, Barry Cofield and Orien Harris.
The Pats take OT Ryan O'Callaghan. It is hard to argue with this pick because O'Callaghan seems to be a good value at this point, but I am really beginning to wonder where is the defense. Some of the notable LB and NT prospects taken in round 5 are Tim Dobbins, Parys Haralson, Mark Anderson and Jesse Mahelona.
The Pats take DE/OLB Jeremy Mincey, OG Dan Stevenson and DT/NT LeKevin Smith. Finally some defense, but since the Pats did not pick until later in the round some more good defensive players were already off the board before they picked. Some of the notable NT prospects taken in round 6 are Babatunde Oshinowo and Montavious Stanley.
The Pats take DB Willie Andrews. I personally don’t expect him to compete much as a DB. Maybe he can make it in the return game.
What happened to all of the good defensive players I was expecting the Pats to draft? After taking Maroney and Jackson many of the top defensive players were gone before the Pats next pick at 85. Is LeKevin Smith a big dropoff in talent as a potential NT compared to Gabe Watson, Barry Cofield and Orien Harris, Jesse Mahelona, Babatunde Oshinowo and Montavious Stanley? Maybe, but maybe not. I am not suggesting that Belioli had Smith in the same value group as all of those guys, but maybe he is not too far off. Some of these guys are better DT prospects and maybe not as suited to NT. Is Jeremy Mincey a big dropoff in talent compared to Victor Adeyanju, Ray Edwards, Parys Haralson and Mark Anderson? Is Freddie Roach a big dropoff in talent compared to Gerris Wilkinson, Tim Dobbins and Tim McGarigle? The Pats did not draft defense early like I expected, but I am not so sure that there is a lot of difference between the players the Pats took in later rounds and those available in the middle rounds for LB and DT/NT. After some time to reflect I like this draft better than I initially thought.
Now let’s hope Maroney and Jackson have productive seasons for the Pats for many years and are part of the continuing Pats dynasty!!
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