OK, its a beautiful Sunday morning and the earth is STILL spinning correctly on its axis, and I am in good health. I know I have ranted about this draft long and hard. I have made some pretty extreme comments in the heat of the moment. Well its time to come off the ledge and look at the situation in a more rational fashion. Here are some random thoughts. 1. I have narrowed down my complaints about this draft to basically 3 items. and NONE of them are about not getting an immediate impact pass rusher. a. Not getting more out of the 33rd pick. Again, its not about choosing Dowling, its about MY contention that we could have him 4 or 5 picks (or more) later and gotten something for what I saw as a rare opportunity. Yes Buffalo picked a DB right after, but one that most felt was rated MUCH higher than Dowling. In the end I recognize this as not being such a big deal, but to me it seemed like a wasted opportunity. b. Ryan Mallet - forget about the off field concerns. Lets assume he's will be a hard working good citizen. Forget about the concerns that he doesn't "fit the system". Lets assume he develops over the next 3 or 4 years and reaches his potential. (Yes I think BB et al are THAT good) I have stated many times, even in my rage, that THIS was the best thing that ever could have happened to Ryan Mallet. He is now IMHO in the best position of ALL the QBs picked in this draft to actually reach his potential. But my issue is...how does that help the Pats over the next 3-4 years?! Our QB depth MAY be better, but how does that help us ON THE FIELD. We didn't improve our play at QB because Mallet will be on the bench for the next 4 years AT LEAST. I would have rather used the pick on a shot in the dark like Houston, Romeus, an OG, WR, DL or even ANOTHER DB....and FAILED with the pick, than take a QB....ANY QB in the 3rd round. JMHO c. Ridley/Vareen - I like Vareen, but I STILL can't see the Ridley pick. IF you thought Vareen was good enough to he 2nd RB taken in the draft, why do you need make a huge reach to get a short yardage/GL RB with the next pick. Couldn't you have gotten the same skill in FA in a RB you can get for roughly the league minimum? Bottom line, couldn't the Ridley pick been better used to take a shot in the dark on an OLB prospect, OG, WR, etc (see above) d BTW - I still wish that we had taken some of that VAST draft capital an used to get SOMEONE he DID think was worth taking in this draft early....assuming he felt this was a weak draft. Maybe he tried, or Maybe guys he wanted got scooped when he didn't expect it. But its done, over, and we all should get over it (eventually ) because we will NEVER know. That's it. when it comes right down to its JMHO. I do so with the understanding that I don't have 1% of information that the Team does, and I, for all my years in football, don't have 5% of the knowledge, I certainly SHOULDN'T question the decision makers, especially when you consider the DECADE of results they have given us. But I did and I do, because I am a fan, and its my right. . Its just now in hindsight, my issues with this draft are a lot less earth shattering that I thought after Mallet got picked, I shut off the TV and posted an "end of the world as we know it" diatribe. BTW- I loved the Cannon pick, though I don't think he'll be a factor in 2011. I just wish we had made a similar pick on the defensive side 4. One of the interesting and ironic aspects of football is the how we view "sacks". Last year Brady threw the ball 492 times and was sacked 25 times or about 5% of the time. The average of the 5 BEST sackers in the league was 14. If you check you will find most starting QBs had at least 450 attempts (Brees had over 650). That would mean that the DOMINANT rushers in the league had a 3% success rate, and THEY are the guys EVERYONE wants to find and pay 10;s of millions to. You wan more irony. PManning dropped back 455 times last season and was sacked 16, or about 3.5% and the Colts felt the need to draft 2 OLmen with their top picks in the draft. A 97% success rate for the OL and clearly that wasn't good enough. JUST a THREE percent success rate, and you are at the top of the heap in the NFL as a DOMINANT pass rusher. The guy WE all covet...and an offensive lineman with less than a 94% success rate is a turnstile.