April 25, 2009
As Usual Today's Draft Is a Mystery
BY: Ian Logue/PatsFans.com
The NFL Draft is upon us, and as usual it's more or less impossible to say which way New England will go when the Patriots finally make their first selection later today.
Well, not completely impossible. We know what their needs are and what holes they have on their roster. However, I think it's safe to say that most fans know that trying to forecast which direction head coach Bill Belichick take is like trying to figure out what's for dinner based on the food that's on the counter. In other words, you may have a general idea, but unless you ask the cook you're not going to get the real answer.
We know they need help in the secondary. We know they need more depth on the defensive line and could certainly use another linebacker. We know that they could probably use another tight end (groan). But with 11 picks, how will they go about getting them? Will he grab that guy in the first round or find a sleeper with the 124th pick? Will he grab the media favorite, or a guy they worked out or saw something on film at a smaller school who could go on to become a star in the NFL? The latter is obviously preferable, and given Belichick's track record is certainly a strong possibility.
We've already heard scenarios involving New England moving up into the Top 10 after SI.com reported they were involved in talks with Jacksonville. I'm sure we'll hear even more throughout the day leading up to their first selection. With ESPN already sending Wendi Nix to set up camp in Foxboro to follow what they expect to be drama at Gillette Stadium, there's no question that the odds of something interesting happening are probably pretty good.
There's no question that this year's draft will be intriguing to say the least. And don't be surprised to hear about how this year's selections could define Belichick's drafting ability without Scott Pioli. Although to be honest, I'd have to somewhat disagree with that statement. I'd have to say that next year's draft would probably be more accurate since I'm sure the groundwork was likely in place prior to Pioli's departure. After all, the scouting department has already been hard at work all last season and probably had their eyes on certain players during the college season that will lead to who is selected this weekend.
Belichick has shown a tremendous ability to delegate, along with bringing in intelligent people that he works well with. So my expectations for this year's draft remain what they've been in years past, and I feel confident we'll see some exciting new players in Foxboro this season. Needless to say as usual I'm looking forward to this year's draft, and even more to reading the reactions and hearing from the experts about how wrong it all will be. The more negative we hear, the more confident I feel that we'll be pleased with the results.
Excitement building in Kansas City
Speaking of Pioli, after taking a quick look at the Chiefs he's definitely got his work cut out for him in Kansas City.
When Pioli arrived he was introduced by a team employee who said, "He's the best executive in the NFL and we've got him." After last season, Chiefs fans had better hope he's got quite a bit of magic up his sleeve.
The good news for them is, he's already made a splash. By acquiring Matt Cassel in a trade from the Patriots, he addressed their most glaring need, which was the quarterback position. In Cassel he has a player who is patient and doesn't force the football, and as a result doesn't turn the football over. He's got a guy with tremendous accuracy and a great arm who provided they grab some more weapons for him, should be able to improve the Chief's anemic offense which finished 26th in the league in points per game and 24th in total yards last season.
With that position out of the way he can concentrate on an even bigger problem, which is the Chiefs' defense which finished 31st in the league last year, in front of only the winless Lions. They put little pressure on opposing quarterbacks, finishing with an NFL worst 10-sacks all season (7 fewer than the next closest team). They did add a smart veteran leader when they added linebacker Mike Vrabel in the same trade with Cassel, and fans can probably expect that to be a big help in rebuilding their defense. But if they truly hope to improve from last year's dreadful performance, it's probably not a stretch to expect Kansas City to target defensive players in this weekend's draft.
Fortunately Kansas City fans should be hopeful for a better season from what they've seen so far. Time will tell if Pioli can fix everything that's wrong with that football team, however they should be pretty optimistic. After all, as we've seen in New England, the results tend to speak for themselves.
New Logo In Detroit
The Detroit Lions unveiled a new logo this week, likely trying to rebuild their image after the team finished with a historic 0-16 finish last season. The logo looks a little different from the old logo, although the color scheme remains the same for the Lions. Still, any change is a good thing out in Detroit. That city has been through enough as it is with the recent economic climate doing a number to all the businesses out there. It would be nice to see them start having success on the football field again, and giving the people out there something to cheer about.
Join Us On Twitter Today
The last thing I'll mention is that for anyone who hasn't noticed, we are now on Twitter (Twitter.com/patsfans) and will be "Tweeting" Saturday during the draft. So if you haven't added us to your list of people to follow, definitely be sure to take a moment to do so. Be sure to also visit our messageboard, which will feature "Live Topic" discussions all day long and into the evening as fans post their reactions to each selection.
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