This may not be a popular post, but this comes from a guy who finishes his beer even before leaving the bar with the prettiest girl...a scientist who assumes nothing,lol. Last year it got me thinking that the Pats just didnt like the talent in the draft, and we did well be trading picks for players. We all know how BB likes older players, and he has to have some idea how many jobs are open before he goes into the draft. I was thinking that last year you couldnt argue with our team on paper, it would have been difficult to improve it....but that our picks from 4-7 did nothing for THIS team. Why dont we get value for these guys? Lets look at the roster before this years draft: QBs-I think we can honestly say that there are 2 openings, but why not trade a 3rd rd pick for a veteran like Todd Collins rather than take another rookie on a team not known for developing QBs?(Bishop,Davey,Kingsbury,Cassel). RBs-Eckel can be upgraded TEs-Spahn can be upgraded OL-we could use 1 inside and 1 outside for competition if nothing else WR-with all our 3wr sets having only 4 wr that arent STers...could add one DL-Wright and Smiths could all be upgraded ILB-We dont know about Seau still OLB-Colvin is gone, Woods isnt the future S-Rodney has 1-2 years left, Andrews has legal problems CB-Bunch of jags, throw em all against the wall and see who sticks? Now to me, going into the draft there are at least 13 roster spots that can be improved. We have 8 draft picks going in. Safe to say we can create competition in at least 6-7 positions right? There are 13 guys that if they get hurt I am not comfortable with our depth.... Now some statistics. 7/8(88%) of our #1 picks have started game 1 in the BB era. Only 5/63(8%) of guys drafted in rounds 2-7 have done the same. To me those statistics are a little disturbing. There certainly isnt THAT much difference between players taken in rd 1 to rd 2 in TALENT. But its the OPPORTUNITY that this team gives first round picks that sets a standard hiearchy(sp?). I suggest this means that its coaching NOT drafting that makes this team. The FO now scares away traders. Using the accepted value chart we lost out in value in every trade yesterday. One at a time: 1-we wanted Mayo. We knew we could trade back for him. We knew Ellis was the 2nd best DL in the draft, we had to know there was more than one team willing to trade up for him. Maybe Cincy is braindead, but why not get them into a bidding war for Ellis? We talked to NO prior to the draft about this scenario....they then offer KC 2 1sts and a 2nd for #5....and all we got from them was essentially a 4th(3rd minus 5th)?? Better than nothing I guess...we got our guy and paid him less.....but not good value. 2-the trade with SD is my bone of contention for the whole thread...Its widely accepted that a 4th in 08 is worth a 3rd in 09 and a 2nd in 10,etc..at the SAME position in the draft. SD gets 69 for a 09 2nd on a REAL good team(likely about #59). Doing the math-69-32(1yr)should be 37...not 59. The only way we break even on this trade is that SD does as badly as SF did in last year! We get a 5th? He isnt going to make the team! Put in perspective, the difference between 59 and 37 is 200pts....which is a mid 3rd rd pick we essentially just GAVE AWAY. If we traded the #94 for this, sure, even trade. Now there is some info out about us calling Crable twice,etc...that just tells me they are overdrafting guys. More statistics. In the 7 years of the BB era the average number of rookies to make the team is 3. Of these, you have 1 starter(1st rd pick), one backup(ST), and the 3rd guy is a backup who becomes a starter every other year--usually by injury or attrition. Knowing these stats, looking back to when BB got here and we werent that good.....these stats remain steady, there is no significant drop due to team's success. Based on these statistics we replace less than 2/22 (9%)starters every year. If we were solely relying on the draft every player would have to play 11 years for this to work. Divide 11 by the average career length of say 4 years. This tells me that FAs are about TWICE as important as the draft. I did the math, so did BB. Looking back on the 3rd round, seeing how well Baltimore did, makes me think. We had more and better picks on the 2nd day than ANYONE. To give away our first pick, reach on the 2nd, reach again on the 3rd...and then play good ole boys again in the later rounds is no way to run a business. Like last year when they hooked up Hairston, the RB from a FO guys college. Guys like Slater and Ruud are LEGACIES everyone had going as FAs. I suggest they INTENTIONALLY sloughed the later picks again because they dont want to deal with rookies. Now looking at their draft again isnt there a demarcation line there after the 3rd? Now maybe we are tired of stocking other teams with our leftovers, but werent there players left on the board in the 3rd rd that could make this team? Is there any question that the 1,2,3 guys make the team, the rest are PS guys?Think about this for a minute, how screwed would this team be without BB/SP/TB?? Our depth is questionable. Our age is a serious problem. Our types of players are only good on a BB 3-4 team. Our teams age continues to get older every year because we dont inject it with enough talented youth. Statistics bear it out. Most of the time this wouldnt bother us, winning cures this pretty quick. With the draft picks we have there should be more of an emphasis on building through the draft... but there isnt. The draft is a tool to build our team, and every year we dont win the super bowl, and even the years we do we have to look to improve in every area. We are leaving bullets in the gun and not maximizing our potential. Sorry for the length. Go ahead, rip away,lol.