When we look back on this draft in a few years it will probably be looked at as the point in history that marked the beginning of the end of the Patriots run of excellence. Yes it might take a few years, but THIS was the point where it started to go down hill. There is NOTHING I can think of that explains what happened tonight. Forget about all the missed opportunities we had in the first round. We DID end up with a good player, even if it wasn't at the position of our perceived need. But how can you explain the following. 1. Ras I Dowling at #33 OK you can rationalize the picking ANOTHER CB - He's big, he's versatile, he's got great straight line speed. However he has a LONG history of injuries, a lack of quickness, and reportedly is just an average tackler. Still I could have lived with the pick. What I can't live with is the squandering of the draft position. I find it impossible to believe that we couldn't find a trade partner willing to take the spot. Bill admitted that the Pats had gotten offered on Thursday for the pick. Yet somehow BB felt it was THAT urgent to pick a guy in a position of great depth with a pick that had premium value as trade bait....for a guy many thought was a 3rd round pick. But then it gets worse..... Vereen was one of the RB's I'd come like...but in the 3rd or 4th round, NOT as the 2nd RB to come off the board. He's a nice addition, but he's not a guy that will move the chains with tough 3rd and short runs. That was Daniel Thomas, or Mike Leshure. But OK, BB has surprised us with guys who we thought were picked too early, but turned out great like Volmer. At this point I'm not happy, but I'm still accepting. But then it gets worse.... We pick up ANOTHER RB - Its as if BB is admitting I spent a premium pick on a guy who I know is 3rd down player, so I have go get ANOTHER RB who CAN pick up those "move the chains" tough runs But then it gets worse.....much worse. So instead of picking up someone who can help our Defensive front 7, or compete for the open spot at G, or be the guy who can stretch a defense; he picks up a VERY questionable character guy who in his best usage will be to be traded in 3 or 4 years for a high draft pick. While, if I were Ryan Mallet, I'd be THRILLED to be going to a team where I can spend the next 3 years maturing as a person, and learning the game from the best, it does NOTHING to make this a better team for the foreseeable future....NOTHING GREAT pick for Ryan Mallet, HORRIBLE pick for the Pats BTW - the more I think about Mallet the LESS I understand it. If you want to think of a QB who most resembles him in style and physical skills, isn't it Drew Bledsoe. He's not the guy who will step back and throw bubble screens. He's not mobile in the pocket. He's not athletic. He's a tall guy with a big arm who throws the ball down the field. In other words he's DREW.....at best. Didn't we already decide that is NOT the kind of QB we like. And haven't we tried this experiment before with the kid who was the MVP in Europe, and Kevin O'Connor......and haven't they BOTH failed. The more I think about it the LESS I can understand or justify it. I don't even care who the damned 3rd pick in the round is. It will probably end up being the best FG holder available. Doesn't matter. All I know is that THIS great and rare opportunity to add significant IMPACT players to an already very good team has been lost. NO impact at OLB NO impact at on the DL NO impact at WR NO ONE to replace Steven Neal at G But we do now have the most physically talented #3 QB in the NFL The Pass rush isn't any better The TEAM its self isn't any better. 6 picks in the first 100 and the team isn't materially better than the one that started the damned draft. All we got is a LT for the future, and more depth at RB and the DB. BUT NO ONE who makes the team better for next year. Just one potential starter and he probably would benefit if he didn't have to start. He may have all pro potential, but NEXT YEAR, he isn't going to be better than the All pro he replaces......And as for the rest....totally unexplainable. Bill might recover some in FA. Maybe that was the plan all along to address the rush. But it STILL wouldn't explain the squandering to so many picks at so premium a position. WHAT A WASTE. A draft that was SQUANDERED.....perhaps the beginning of the end?