One issue that increases skepticism for whether the Pats (specifically the Pats) will take Barwin higher than Mayock, Brandt, or others have him ranked (roughly a mid-2nd-rounder) is that there are MANY talented DE and OLB prospects this year. There have been many classic draft threads through the years on this forum, speculating on methodology, value groupings (by rookBoston I believe), and the myth or explaining of the Pats 'reaching' for certain players. Based on these understandings, it isn't convincing or consistent why the Patriots would use a #1 pick on Barwin. I believe it goes against Belichick's history and his own draft strategy. Belichick took Watson and others (like Mayo) "early" because he saw a major drop-off in the next best available talent by the time his next pick came around, and possibly because he couldn't predict how long that player would last. He also moved/traded up to grab certain players because he likely projected that player to be the last left in the same caliber/talent grouping, and wanted to nab him before certain teams he knew were interested could pick. He also stayed pat and took Seymour and Warren when there were other more touted defensive players he could have traded up for (no matter how much the media hyped up those other players). Finally, he has never drafted a major positional conversion project before, especially with a high pick. All of these reasons make it hard to believe Belichick would use a 1st round pick on a player when it's very likely there will still be similarly comparable players still left on the board.