In dryheat44's nearby, encyclopedic, 7-round mock ... the thread touches upon a separate theme of some importance. How many new players shall ... or should ... our braintrust take? Some discussants take dryheat to task for transforming our picks into 13 actual players selected. How will so many fit onto the roster? I join their quarrel. With 11 picks, if i count correctly, we lead the league. A number of teams follow with 10. Having such a solid roster that we end up having to cut good players ... is a meaningful problem. But that is not even the principal reason ... why the Patriots probably exercise no more than 8. The main reason is that having a surfeit of picks ... makes Piolichick the go-to guy on draft day. The Pats become the NFL's equivalent of Knight Capital Group on Nasdaq. Having the most inventory means we hold the best inventory. Anyone who thinks of trading up or down ... thinks first of Piolichick. We get the first call. We become known as the guys capable of doing business. Further, we now have a reputation for being willing to do business - on either side of the market! The Patriots also are not shy about trading up, tactically, or about initiating trades instead of merely waiting for the phone to ring. Being in this position is a distinct advantage. Each time someone comes to the Pats for a trade, we gain some incremental edge. These accumulate and carry forward. Because our roster is strong enough that we can "defer gratification" (trade down, trade forward) ... the picks in inventory tend to become higher and/or more numerous. When you are the marketmaker, you collect the spread. When you are the house, you get the vig. Wholesalers sell at retail. And none of this is because Kraft is a power at NFL hq. Or because of the gourmet dining room at The Razor. Or the pulchritude of some players' wives. It's because we've got the goods. When it's meat you want ... go to the butcher. Flowers, the florist. Available draft slots ... the Patriots. Count on it. Sunday night, when all is tallied, the Pats will be rolling forward into 2007 more or better draft picks than anyone else.