Last season about this time I turned off the draft after the Mallet pick in a rage and composed a rant that among other things predicted the beginning of the end of the Pats dominance. (...and how did that turn out ) Well last night I was so stunned by the Wilson pick, I couldn't feel any rage.....UNTIL....the Pats decided to give away the 62nd pick in the draft for pennies on the dollar. THEN I threw something at the screen....and thankfully missed (proving once again why I was always the grunt and never the "skill player") Fortunately I refrained from embarrassing myself by writing another insane rant, but now feel compelled to write something that will help me explain the events of the last 2 days, which can best be described by the old Wide World of Sports adage, "The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat."......along with some more general thoughts on the draft. The thrill of victory 1. Chandler Jones - Pats fans have waited for over a decade to see BB draft an impact pass rusher. A single player who has the potential to force DC's to adjust to HIM. We have to understand how rare these guys are, and how lucky we have to be to have one fall into an area where we are in a position to draft him. Make no mistake Jones is far from a finished product. If he was, we'd never have had a shot at drafting him. His youth, missing 5 games, and unspectacular production, all conspired to drop him to a point where he BB could leap up and draft the first true "impact" defensive player he's had since Richard Seymour over a decade ago. HOWEVER after this somewhat overly hyped build up, I have to reiterate, Jones is far from a finished product. He has to get stronger and develop those skills and experiences necessary to allow him reach his potential. We only have to look at JPP's experience with the Giants. He had a VERY unspectacular rookie year, where some even called him a bust. IIRC, he had only 4 sacks, before he exploded last season with 16. Well Jones is somewhat a different player than JPP and probably won't get the sack numbers he puts up, but will end up being stouter against the run. But that's not the point. The point is that it would be very unfair to expect instant spectacular impact from him. Its going to take a year or two before we get full value from this pick. IMHO, He'll start out sharing the snaps that Mark Anderson got in the the pass rushing sub packages and then eventually see some time as an OLB in 3-4 looks on passing downs. He will flash brilliance and then make horrible mistakes. His biggest impact next season will be (along with the other additions to the front seven) to allow BB to be much more creative than he has been the last 2 seasons. 2. Donta Hightower - I have to be honest here. I pretty much ignored Hightower throughout most of the run up to the draft. I dismissed him as a great LB, but I viewed him strictly as an ILB and it clearly wasn't a position of need with Mayo, Spikes and Fletcher already here and getting better each year. I also questioned the wisdom of drafting a player that high who plays a position that is shrinking in importance in today's pass happy league. to that end I was always looking at Mercilus, McCellin, Jones, Upshaw, etc as my outside guy, and then adding at DE/DT type with my second pick (Still or Reyes). I sort of conceded Hightower to the Steelers or Ravens as a great player, but not for us. WRONG AGAIN - Because I dismissed him so early in the process, I missed the fact that not only is a better, more explosive athlete than, say, Upshaw; he is flexible enough to play all over the defense. So not only will he provide ILB depth, he can also play DE and OLB as well. He in essence becomes BB's utility/plug and play guy when he creates those week to week match up D's Also, unlike Jones, Hightower should hit the field running. There won't be any ramp up time needed for him. This is an immediate impact player at multiple positions who will make everyone around him better and allow BB to get back to being the creative genius we saw in the superbowl years. Finally what shouldn't be dismissed is that BOTH these guys are "high motor" athletes who will do what's necessary to reach their high potentials. Jerod "Bellichick" now has Donta "Bellichick" as a kindred spirit. Jones might not have quite the ceiling of a guy like Coples but his floor is infinitely higher. BB drafted not only the next generation of talent on the D, but the next generation of leadership The agony of defeat 2. I eagerly awaited the start of Round 2. After Thursday I had high expectations. We had infused the front seven with 2 spectacular prospects and now it was time to help the back end of the defense. I fantasized about Janoris Jenkins, but if he were gone there were several, if not "spectacular" prospects, nice ones that would improve us. Josh Robinson, Trumaine Johnson, George Iloki, Markelle Martin, Hosely, Flemming, and Bently all seemed to guys who might not be MY exact binky, certainly would improve the talent level and depth of the secondary. Besides that, there would also be some interesting DE/DT's available Still, Reyes, Worthy, and Thompson were all still available. Perhaps one of those guys might reach us. And even if I disagreed with the need, there were a ton of OT/OG's that a lot of people liked if BB decided he needed to add depth there. I could live with a DB/DL or DB/OL 2nd round. Well you all know the rest of the story. I won't belabor you with comments that that everyone has already thought and posted. Suffice it to say that it was "disappointing". HOWEVER I will say that none of the disappointment should be directed to Tayvon Wilson. He just might turn out to be a very nice player in the end. There have been a LOT of very good S's in this league who where thought to have middle and round. Rodney was a 4th round pick IIRC. No folks, this pick is an indictment of our own FO. Its hard to believe that these were the same group of people who have so deftly manipulated the draft process so we managed to restock this team on the fly and not suffer even a single 9 win season in the process. Its hard to believe that these are the same guys who brought us such joy, just the day before. NO his pick can't be explained away with Volmer and Mankins comparisons. When Volmer was picked, although he was considered a reach, people at least knew who he was. There was footage of him. Wilson was such an out of the box pick that PFT, who has had a blurb about EVERY draft pick taken in the first 3 rounds, completely blanked on Wilson. Nothing, it was like he was never picked. Now Kiper is often an idiot, but you can't deny his passion or his knowledge of the players who are draft eligible . He's the ultimate draftnik. And he had NO idea who Wilson was at first. Even OTG, who is as good as anyone we see in the media can't justify this move. So, I sat there stunned, trying desperately to justify this pick and hoping that somehow the next pick will salvage the round, only to watch the team pull out of the draft with a trade that you'd expect the Bengals to make, taking pennies on the dollar to move out. BOTTOM LINE: I guess I should be thankful that all my "needs" have been taken care of. It was an all defensive draft just like I wanted. We DID pick up a DB and DE/DT which was my 2nd choice. BUT when I think the DB and DT/DE that we COULD have gotten might have been Reyes and Iloki/Johnson, instead of Bequette and Wilson; my head wants to explode. I tell you what. If that round 5 pick doesn't end up being a 5 year starter down the road, I will always remember the 2nd round of this draft as horrible lost opportunity.