Oh I don't know, Its not like this wasn't my first Bill Bellichick draft. We've had enumerable threads talking about the EXPECTED WTF moments.. We all saw this coming....didn't we? So before I find the usual ray of sun shine that an optimist like myself seems to discover....I think I'd better vent. Even a full nights sleep hasn't gotten me to rid myself of the frustration and anger I have building since around 11:30 last night You almost have to feel that ALL that time you spent on the draft board, looking at mocks, and listening to podcasts were wasted I suspect only the catharsis of this missive will help ease the pain How do I begin. 1. The draft couldn't have started out better. The run of over rated Qbs started at the top and didn't stop until 4 had come off the top and the NFL network hosts could get their bearings. Great we thought, more players we all liked coming into play. 2. Soon it became apparent that even some players we had thought were beyond our reach began to fall, Sure we all had a twinge when JJ Watt was gone at 11, but look at the bounty, Quinn, the Prince, Kerrigan, and Jordan were all in play. Surely one of them would get to us, EVEN if we chose to stay at 17. 3. Visions of the unbelievable defensive backfield with Boddin, McCourty and Akumara danced in my head. Jordon become the elephant LB we have been looking for since Willie left Kerrigan becoming the next Mike Vrabel or the 2nd coming of Clay Mathews. My God, even the âimmortalâ Robert Quinn was right there to grab for merely a 3rd round pick if we wanted him.. 4. Then it happened. Quinn goes to the St Louis. Then the freakin' Redskins, who already HAVE a great OLB/pass rusher in Orakbu, takes Kerrigan. What's that about. Since when do the Skins start making âvalue picksâ Don't they need, like, Olmen, Dbs, Rbs. Instead EVEN THEY see the wisdom of improving their pass rush. Not just one, but NOW the Skins have TWO!!!!. 5. But that's OK. Its our pick. Jordan and the Prince are right there for the taking. Either one will improve our Pass defense, Right? 6. Well needless to say, ONCE AGAIN a rain of solid objects (hopefully soft) were flung at TV sets all across Patriot Nation as Nate Solder's name came off the board. The air went out of all our bubbles and heads were scratched in unison 7. OK â Let it sink in and we will figure out the wisdom in all this. Clearly this kid was rated VERY highly. I hear that the Giants were REALY pissed. He;s got all pro OT written all over him.....in a few years. But what about NEXT YEAR! The kid has only been an OT for about 2 years. He is still has a lot of work to do to get NFL strong. So if we think optimistically and Dante works his magic, can we really expect him to be better than Matt Light next year. Sure maybe better in a year of two, but what about NEXT year. If he somehow managed to play just as well as Light did, it would be an awesome accomplishment his rookie year, but better?. Surely we didn't draft him at 17 to sit a year? So if we ask the question, are the Patriots a better team for NEXT year with this pick. Even a died in the wool optimistic homer like me, has to say NO! 8. But that's OK! We still have #28. here are a lot options still left to get a Heywood, Wilkerson, or even the oft mentioned Robert Ingram. Maybe the best defensive move would be to get a âclock killin'â runner to keep the D off the field. But at this point I was running out of rationalizations Maybe, I thought to myself. Maybe BB will shock us all and make a small move up from 28 and pick up Jordan in the early 20's. How much could that cost, right 9. And then what we all really expected in our hearts would happen, HAPPENED. We trade the pick. Sure we got a great deal. But realistically and hopefully, what exactly IS the value of 2 first round picks at the VERY BOTTOM of NEXT year's draft....if there is one. 10. And speaking of the Saints. I found it very ironic that they wound up with the 2 picks MOST associated with Pats this mock draft season. How many times did you see the Pats winding up with Jordan and Ingram. Well now they are BOTH New Orleans Saints, and they are a better team NOW than they were a few hours ago. Some day after a draft, I'd like to feel like Saints fans feel today. THEY entered the draft with merely a late round first, and wound up with one of the top DE prospects in a draft rich with them, and the best running back in the draft. WE enter with 2 first round picks and wind up with a developmental OT project, albeit a very good one, but STILL, we CANNOT say we are a better team this morning....and NOTHING like what the Saints pulled off OK I said what I needed to say. Its off my chest. I feel better I'm sure many of you feel the same way. I'm sure this is just one of many posts that are either up on the board right now or will be by today, having similar thoughts. Well, now the ray of light starts to shine through. Now I'm hoping for some sort of insight that will help me understand what BB has in mind with the big picture. Here's what I came up with. 1. BB made a comment fairly early in the off season that could be very telling. He said, and I paraphrase, that this draft will be ultimately be judged on how well you have evaluated the deep DE class. I can only guess that AFTER Dareus, Kerrigan and Watt went off the board BB just didn't think that guys like Jordan, Heywood, and Wilkerson were worth the 17th pick or were ranked even close to where they had Solder. He had to know that it would be doubtful for any of them to be there at 28, though they passed on Wilkerson AGAIN. 2. Could it be that BB didn't think any of them were better than Ron Brace, or Pryor, or Deadrick, at least not THAT much better, enough to make them a first round pick? 3. Could it be that BB has some FA's in mind that he had evaluated to be as good if not better? Don't forget that I have said OVER and OVER that this will be the deepest and richest FA class in NFL history.... BY FAR. Great players will be there to be had, and not just the most hyped/expensive FA's Who is to say that BB has n't already identified some mid level OLB prospect who might come in an be the next Mike Vrabel. Some tweener DE who has spent the last 3 or 4 years getting the experience to make the conversion at SOMEONE ELSE'S expense, only to blossom here. Maybe its Matias Kiwanuka. Who knows, if the Pats aren't going to pay Matt Light, they will certainly have enough room to get even a big name, impact defensive player. Someone BETTER for next year, than who was available to us last night. 4. And then there is TONIGHT. Three 2nd rounders (do we now expect any less). Last season that round produced no less than 3 starters for a 14-2 team. Would getting one be too much to hope for this year. And that just the 2nd round. The Pats will have FIVE picks on Friday. Who knows how many will translate into players, but I'm guessing at least 4. 5. Have we considered that, in a very young defense, BB has determined that adding more rookies to that mix would make us TOO young. Would take reps away from guys already in development That he expects improvements out of guys like Ninko and Cunningham going into this year that made adding players there less of a urgent need than WE think. 6. We all talk about having to improve the D, but just with the return of Boddin and Warren, plus the addition of Stroud, the D has been massively improved. That's not including the usual jump in effectiveness you see between player's first and 2nd years. 7. I just had a thought on the OL. Perhaps, BB has this plan. Move Volmer to LT, while Solder interns on the right side. Then re-sign Light and have him make the long anticipated move to RG. I have always thought that he's be a better OG than LT and he's was a pretty damned good LT for a lot of years. Now THAT OL COULD end up being a better OL than than last year 8. Bottom line here friends, there is a lot more to building a Championship team than picking in the first round. Also we don't have any idea what went on last night. Who knows. Maybe BB tried desperately to move up to get Quinn and couldn't find any takers at 10-13. Maybe Kerrigan was the target all along and Washington screwed us. We don't know and we WON'T ever know the real story., so why dwell on it. 9. Regardless of who we pick in the next 2 days, and who we add in FA, the Pats will be in the mix. A favorite to go to the playoffs and have a shot to go all the way.. THAT wasn't going to change not matter who we got....or didn't get last night. OK, . Have I made you feel better? I didn't think so. , but that comes with the territory of being fans of the NFL. I mean, c'mon, the last 11 years haven't been so bad...have they? We'll all get over this minor disappointment. Of course not until we have kvetched about the next 2 days for a while I hope you enjoyed. I know I did, and pardon me for any redundant comments.