This is of course being posted well beyond the actual Draft, and at The Worst Possible Moment: At the Break of Camp, when Fans are at their collective Peak of Fidelity to The Moves that their Team actually made... And this, hilariously, is not my Final Version, as I'ave many Prospects lef to peruse... But of course my Purpose is merely to Get It On The Record. *** Any Mock Draft ~ even a Back Draft ~ must in practical terms be discounted if it comes after the Draft, as my BackDrafts do. But I believe that more Value is gained than is lost...for Mock Drafts are riddled with Picks picked hopefully, but proven to be far too optimistic in terms of when the Prospect would've actually been available to Draft!! BackDrafts, on the other hand, score 100% in drafting Prospects that would've actually been available at those Spots, yes? As always, please allow me to acknowledge that everything that follows ~ particularly the order in which Prospects were drafted ~ benefits from 100% Crystal Clear HindSight...but is written with none of Mad Bill's Insider Knowledge!! Regarding Continuity ~ "Roster Stability" The Crippling Effects of The Infernal Salary Cap compel every General Manager ~ real and Phantasmagorical ~ to manage Professional Teams very much like College Teams, where Talent is continuously departing and must therefore be relentlessly sought out by every means possible. I have corresponded with those who endlessly blathered on about Continuity, oblivious to this Reality that the Salary Cap inflicts upon us all. Continuity is of real Value, but both the Tactical and the Strategic LandScape are in constant Turmoil, and one must either drive Change...or face Extinction. I am an American Infantryman ~ not Active, mind you, but there are no "former" American Infantrymen. When I Served, my best Battalion Commander and his Subordinates always preached "Pushing It DownField." That was a Tactical Philosophy, but one that applies Strategically, as well: It would be wonderful if we could plan and prepare our Conflagrations and have Events & Enemies comply with our Visualizations. But it doesn't work that way. The Fog of War disrupts all The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Men. Or as General Douglas MacArthur put it: Brandin Cooks Trade. For one thing: He's a SlotBack. Julian Edelman is arguably the greatest SlotBack on the Planet when it matters ~ in the Winter ~ and while I'm an huge Fan of doubling down on Players whose composite Talents can provide a diabolically dramatic Advantage...I don't consider SlotBack that kind of Role. 2nd, this is a guy who squawked about not getting enough Targets after an enormous Win, when the Saints were fighting for their Lives. FootBall is a Team Sport, the last I heard, and I've got absolutely no use for the kind of Player who puts himself before the Team...And I could've sworn that Coach Belichick felt exactly the same way!! 3rd, we have, what with Christopher Hogan, Malcolm Mitchell, and, should Mad Bill have taken a Chance, Michael Floyd, an extraordinary Crew of young, talented, potential Stars...whose Development is going to be crippled by having Brandin Cooks around, gobbling up Practice Reps all Year long. What an incredibly foolish, asinine Mistake. 4th, and above all the others: What in Hell was Mad Bill thinking of, trading a 1st Round Draft Pick and giving up additional Draft Value by swapping a 3rd for a 4th, for a young Veteran who's gonna soak up at least $10,000,000 a Year out'f the Salary Cap in the very near Future, unless Mad Bill simply cuts'm loose??? That's how Dynasties are destroyed. Hey, I gave Cooks a Top 10/SuperBeast Grade & Rank a few Years ago, when he was rated as a borderline 3rd Rounder, and he and the Saints have proven all'f us correct...But to make this Move??? Horrible, horrible Trade. 02 ~ Malcolm Butler. I've always been concerned that Butler ~ who is built like a Slot Corner, after all ~ might not hold up to the Rigors of playing as a Boundary Corner forever...But the time to Cut Bait with such High Risk Players is usually when they're up for their third Contract, not their second. Butler is entering the Prime of his Career. Pay the man. 03 ~ Stephon Gilmore. An excellent Move. I do not approve of paying Top Dollar for CornerBacks, because I find their Value tends to be overrated, as I see things, relative to the Trench Gorillas, in who I am always happy to invest...But this is an unusual OffSeason, in that the Salary Cap is lurching violently upward...and so, consequently, is the Salary Floor. If you've got to spend a few Bucks to meet Minimums, it might's well be on Top Shelf Players entering their Primes...and Stephon Gilmore, who I gave a 1st Round Grade to, back in 2012, is most definitely that. 04 ~ Dwayne Allen. Oh, boy. It's not the kind of Move that I necessarily would've made, but it's one that I definitely applaud. Allen's Contract may horrify many, and I can't blame'm. But I value Players differently than most. Allen hasn't racked up much Yardage in his Time, but he hasn't been deployed to do so, nor do I think that he ought to be. Allen is a Tight End ~ not a Flex End like Aaron Hernandez but a classic Tight End like Rob Gronkowski ~ who possesses a remarkably compact Frame that is built to last...and the Power and Motor with plenty of Agility to develop into one'f the best Tight Ends in the Game, a bruising Blocker and a reliable and formidable Receiving Weapon. And he's entering his Prime, tied up for all'f it. His ostensibly Bloated Salary may in short order get revealed to be the startling Bargain that it already actually is. 05 ~ Martellus Bennett. Consequently, cutting loose Bennett, who looks like he's wearing out, is looking smart. 06 ~ Donta HighTower. Oh, Boy. I dunno...He's entering his Prime, and he's a great Leader with an extraordinary Mind and an excellent Motor...But he's got a Dragon's Frame, being asked to play MidFielder...That ain't natural, and I simply don't know how long he's gonna last. He's already missed a lot of Snaps, and I don't see that situation improving. 07 ~ Alan Branch. Terrific Deal. Branch is 32, so there's Risk, but he's been phenomenal, the last 3 Years, in a Rotational Role, and makes the other 10 Players far, far better, when he's out there, crushing the Trenches. 08 ~ Kony Ealy. Good Trade. Moving back from 64 to 72 for a 1 Year Flyer on Ealy? Not, again, what I would've done, but not a Trade that I'll squawk about. Ealy has some Talent, and it's a cheap Flyer that could pay off Big. 09 ~ Rex BurkHead. Magnificent Move. I split HalfBacks into SpeedBacks and PowerBackss because it's asinine not to, but BurkHead actually lies at that beautiful Confluence of Skill Sets where you could label'm as either...and where he exhibits the very best Aspects of both: Speed, Fluidity, and Power...and awesome Intelligence and Drive!! Rex BurkHead is a Top Shelf Talent, capable of racking up 2000 Yards a Year as a Lead Back, were the Patriots foolish enough to take that approach...and we've got'm at classic Bargain Basement Pricing!! Woot!! 10 ~ Lawrence Guy. Not a bad Signing at all at 3.3 or so a Year...but it doesn't get me all Hot & Bothered. But enough Commentary on what Bill The Mad (Genius) did. Onward with my Twisted Vision!!