I find it amazing how the Patriot Nation Fandom adopts a certain story line and then is upset when Bill Belichick, the ultimate realist and proponent of "...It is what it is..." refuses to go along. We managed to convince our selves that the Patriots biggest needs were a 5 technique DE to take Richard Seymours place; and a rush 3-4 ROLB. We were upset when Belichick viewed the needs differently. Consider that we have Four former First Round defensive linemen under contract for a 3 man line, and four more who have each found a niche that makes them uniquely valuable as situation substitution players. You can never have enough Richard Seymours; but why do you think picking at #17 would get you a once-in-a-decade Seymour? Seymour was chosen with the 6th overall pick. Vince Wilfork, Ty Warren, Gerard Warren and Marcus Stroud were all first round DLs. Brace, Deaderick, Wright, Pryor and Love all have proven their usefulness. What was so damn urgent about picking a 3-4 Defensive End, to the exclusion of all else? In the first 8 games of last season, playing lots of rookies and sophomores, the Pats Defense was giving up 23.5 ppg, and were dead last in sacking the QB. Over the last 8 games of the season, when they played 5 Playoff clubs including both the SB opponents, they gave up only 15.6 ppg. No Pats Super Bowl club yielded on average only 15.6 ppg. Over those last 8 games, the Pats sack rate was the second best in the league. So where is the overwhelming, desperate, urgent need for a pass rusher? BB studied the issue, saw the misrepresentation of looking at the annual stats only, and then looked elsewhere, to help his club. He saw an aging Offense with age and FA problems on the Offensive line. The Pats had found only one new O-line starter in 6 years. So he drafted a foundation LOT in Nate Solder 6-8 320, who is just coming into his own. Nate has even more of the rare athletic abilities than Sebastian Volmer does, who is a Probowler in his sophomore season. He also drafted a mountain of a man who was judged to be another LOT candidate, but realistically was headed to ROT or a Guard. Stephen Neal, the former All-American wrestler just retired at Right Guard. I cannot imagine a better replacement, if Herr Dr. Frankenstein was making one in his laboratory. Marcus Cannon does not resemble the typical lard-belly Guard. He has the size and athletic agility of Leonard Davis, who was a top 5 LOT pick of the Cards; and is now a permanent fixture in the massive Dallas Cowboy line. BB noted that he had more than 6 adequate Safeties but only 4 or 5 start-able CBs. So he added another potentially good CB. You need that many, when Teams play 4 and 5 receiver sets, these days. BB saw that his RB corps was aging too, and ready to retire. So he chose a pair of 1200 yards/year RBs, who both have the unique talent of NOT fumbling. Neither has ever fumbled, joining BJGE in that unusual ability, of both being a good runner and good receiver, yet not a fumbler. Finally, Belichick saw that he has been gambling carrying only two QBs, even if both are good, and one is a GOAT. When presented with a Gift Horse, a First Round, potential "Franchise QB" talent in the third round, he snapped him up. This is similar to the situation and rumors that caused Dan Marino to fall to Don Shula, only more so. Shula was confident in his coaching abilities, willing to take the effort and chance with Marino; Belichick is willing to do the same with Mallett. As far as I can see, Belichick exited this draft with the equivalent of having drafted perhaps four, 4, F-O-U-R, First Round talents in this draft, while simultaneously getting himself another First and Second Annuity next year too !!!!! I heartily concur with Sporting News in giving him a grade of A+.