Okay, I have read all the posts about how we squandered this draft and how horrible BB is. Well, now it is time for some good ole fashioned logic for this draft so far. I will get to the picks in a second, but lets get a few things out of the way first. 1. This whole draft class may be squandered no matter who was picked and where. With the CBA still in limbo, these players may not even see a playbook until August. Training camp is going to be shortened as well as pre-season games. Every year we talk about how hard it is for ANY player to make the transition to the NFL when things are under normal conditions, now we will be asking all these players to make impacts on a 14-2 team from last year under extreme circumstances. Bringing in conversion projects to be OLB only makes the process harder and there is no way the Patriots could count on guys that had to make such a drastic schematic change in such a limited amount of coaching time. A year from now, all the people clamoring for these conversion guys would be on this very same message board claiming they are busts. RB, OLine, and CB seem to be positions that can come in and play without having a big learning curve, so making picks at those positions could help these guys get on the field faster. Now, lets look at the picks: 1. Nate Solder-I cannot believe this was not on everyone's radar. Basically he is Sebatian Vollmers twin with more football experience. You just do not find guys with those physical tools that can move like they do. Is he perfect? No, but he has what cannot be taught and what he needs to improve on is easily fixed. 2. Ras-I-Dowling- Its not an OLB and that makes people mad, but I refer back to my original statement. Dowling again has size and speed you just can't teach. He was hurt, yes, but it was one year. All of these people who say he is always hurt have not done their homework. He played 35 of 36 games before his senior year. He got hurt, tried to come back to early, and re-injured himself. Team captain, really smart. Bodden is coming of an injury and anyone who feels comfortable with Arrington as a key player in that secondary is kidding themselves. The only negative to this pick is that Butler has not developed like we had thought. But wait....everyone loved that pick that year and wanted him in the 1st and all the draft pro's on this board so happy we took him, now they are the same ones calling him a bust. 3. Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley- I think these 2 picks mark a fundamental change to the offense. In that playoff loss we saw the Jets dare the Patriots to run the ball and the Patriots were ineffective doing it against a 3 man front. BJGE and Woodhead are the only 2 RB's on the roster, and BB always carries 4, so 2 were needed. Vereen is more than just a 3rd down back, I think anyone saying that has not watched film on him. He is a lot like Jahvid Best, not as explosive but with much better hands and pass protection skills. I will admit that Ridley went higher than I expected, but when you consider that BB had been working on the trade with Oakland for many hours, he probably had to reach for a guy the patriots TARGETED. Is that not what we want the patriots to do? Take guys they target not just let players fall. Also, anyone who says we would have been there in such and such a round is crazy, we have no idea how teams boards stack up. Just because Kiper and McShay say its a reach don't mean anything. 4. Ryan Mallett- For months now, we heard about how this is a QB league and you have to get your QB or you cannot win. The Mallett pick is classic BB. We watched and laughed as we saw 4 QB's go in the top 12 and I cannot find a single person who believes these QB's were worth that pick. The Patriots, in a draft that looks weak right now, gets a top 15 talent quarterback. He is the most physically gifted of all the QB's in the draft class and is said to be a film junkie and a football rat. Just what you want. There are off the field issues, but if you could have Ben Rothlisberger for a 3rd round pick, you would probably do that. If he develops he has top 10 QB talent and that gives BB flexiblity. It is picks like this that have given the Patriots the additional draft picks in early rounds that have allowed the patriots to stay competitive. Some other thoughts: It is hard to win the Super Bowl people. I know we got spoiled for a while there, but the reason football is so great is that it is very competitive and very difficult to remain on top. The patriots have been so consistent and have at least put a team on the field that has a chance to win even if they do not every year. Someone last night wrote that the Patriots are drafting to get younger on an older offense and will use free agency to bring in experience to a younger defense. I think that makes perfect sense. It is possible to get too young, too fast. Free agency would be a logical place to bring in some veteran help at OLB and other defensive positions. Lets remember, the puzzle is not complete yet, so lets not bash it until we can see the whole thing complete. Sorry for the long post, but some sanity to this board was needed.