The Draft Going into the draft I felt that the Patriots needed to address the pass rush, the offensive line, and the running back positions; especially the pass rush. Coming out of this draft with a DE or OLB who could get to the quarterback was absolutely essential. My dream first round was moving up to get Robert Quinn and taking Ingram at 28. The way the draft turned out, we had an opportunity to make my dream come true. Due to quarterbacks going early, the Patriots could have easily traded up in front of the Rams and selected Quinn. Instead BB elected to stay put at 17 and select Nate Solder; a good selection. Solder is a book end LT who will most likely be with the team for a decade. Protecting Brady is always essential. The next Patriot pick was at 28, and sure enough Mark Ingram was available. I was very excited with the prospect of selecting Ingram, or at the very least a DE/OLB who can rush the QB. BB traded out; devastating. To add insult to injury the Saints selected Ingram with the pick. At the end of Day 1 I was unhappy. Looking back, I should not have been. The patriots added a franchise LT, received a first round pick, and moved back 28 spots to the 56 pick. I assumed at the very least we would address the pass rush in the second round. The second day arrived, and with the 33 pick BB selected Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia. WHAT THE F. Once again BB did not address the pass rush; however, taking a step back I now realize what he did do. Ensure that we have a dominant secondary. McCourty is back from a pro bowl year, Bodden is back from injury and Dowling projects to be a good cover corner. Our secondary which was abysmal a season ago has now added two legit cover corners. At the very least that will make the passing defense better, at least one would think. Arrington, our second corner from a season ago, is now our fourth. This is a very good thing. With the next two selections BB addressed one of the needs I identified prior to the draft; running back. Selecting Vereen and Ridley. At first I was angry that we selected vereen in front of Lashoure. Now I realize I was wrong. Who cares what Kiper and McShay think. Our scouts must believe Vereen will be a better player. After looking at his highlight tape, I may agree (YouTube - Shane Vereen Cal Highlights), Vereen could prove to be a very good running back, and if his career rivals Ingramâs then trading back will prove the right move. Ridley should also improve the running game. To me he looks like a better version of the Law firm. Our running game should be much improved. The next pick was Mallett. A pick I liked at the time, especially seeing how the Favre, Rodgers scenario played out. Eventually we will have to replace Brady, and Mallett presented great Value. To end the day we traded a 3rd and 4th for the Raiders second next year. Again a move I liked. At the end of day two I wasnât overwhelmingly happy, again I was wrong. BB was able to strengthen the pass defense, improve the running game, find a potential heir to Brady, and gain a second round pick next season. The team had improved. To start Day three the Patriots selected Marcus Conner, this is where I believe I started to understand BBâs vision. Conner is a mauler at 6â5â 350. He has cancer; however should he return this year he will provide us with an extremely powerful guard. Put him next to Volmer, on the same line with Mankins, and Solder, and all of a sudden we have a massive line. Combined with the new running backs, the tight ends on the roster and the Patriots will have a powerful running game. Teams will be forced to choose between stacking the box to stop the run and having Brady carve them up. A scary prospect for defenses. A power run game will also take some of the pressure off Brady and prevent him from getting hit as much. We cannot allow Brady to keep receiving the punishment he has over the last few years. He is getting older. BB likely wants to give Brady the same kind of help Terrell Davis gave Elway during the latter years of his career. Continuing the trend, the next pick was Lee Smith, coined âthe best blocking TE in the draftâ. He should provide a good replacement to Crumpler, whoâs contract ends at the end of the season. We capped the day with an OLB and CB. Developmental projects, so who knows? In sum, I actually like the draft a lot. BB failed to address what I, and many believed was the Patriots most glaring need; the pass rush. However, BB did add a good CB, who along with McCourty and Bodden, should make a very formidable secondary. The pass defense will be improved. If Warren comes back healthy, and Cunningham and Spikes develop, then our pass rush will be improved as well. Time will tell, although I do believe Cunningham will be much better. The defense should be improved from last season. The offense is definitely improved. We added a bookend LT to replace an aging Matt Light, who was not the best run blocker. We added Conner, who hopefully we will get to see this season. If he does, we will have a dynamic, powerful run blocking offensive line. If he doesnât come back, at least we have Connolly. We then added Vereen, and Ridley to run behind the line. Like I said, who cares what Kiperâs rankings are? One of them is right; Iâm hoping its BB. Finally, we added a possible heir to Brady. I donât know about you, but I donât want to endure losing football for five years when Brady retires. If there is a good QB at good value, take him. Along with this, the Patriots have two first round picks, and two second round picks next year. A pretty good day if you ask me. I would have liked a pass rusher, but who knows, maybe we will add one in free agency. If not, itâs up to guys like Cunningham to develop.