Forgive the indulgence, but As we get so close to the draft, I have a bunch of thoughts rumbling round in my head and I just wanted to sort through them. 1. Terry McLaurin and Mecole Hardman are two of my favourite WRs to be picks for the Patriots. Not necessarily because I think they’re great receivers (although I really like McLaurin) but because I see an easy route for them to be on the roster. McLaurin is the next gen Slater. Ace gunner and a leader in the dressing room and I think will ultimately be an upgrade to Dorsett. And Hardman is all about the returns. We lost Patterson and I really would rather not have Edelman back on punt returns. 2. Noah Fant. I do think there’s a strong chance he’ll be on the board at 21 and be in position to trade up with the Seahawks. But I’m conflicted. I’m not too worried about his blocking because he shows willingness and can be coached up. But his drops concern me, as does his seeming lack of wiggle after the catch. I was hoping he’d be like Hernandez after the catch, but he’s more direct than that. His burst certainly gets him YAC but ideally I’d like more. On the flip side though, we don’t often get a chance to draft someone with that level of upside and he’s effectively a WR in a TE body and I love the mismatch that creates. I’m leaning towards the trade up being the right thing to do because you don’t often get to transition from one star player at a position to another potential one relatively seamlessly. I’m not saying he’ll be as good as Gronk obviously, but that he can be a key featured part of our offense. So long as he doesn’t become Eric Ebron...which is my concern. 3. With the glut of OTs and WRs we’ve had reported contact with, two we haven’t that we know of are Parris Campbell and Max Scharping. Which is interesting when you consider that Campbell’s comp is Percy Harvin, a player we know BB loved, and that Scharping is one of the few OTs that has genuine flexibility at both RT and LT. He’s a genuine swing tackle. 4. I’m warming to the idea of triple dipping at WR. I’ve seen some boards with McLaurin in the 3rd round as well as some in the top 40. He’s all over the place. If he does last that long, I quite like the idea of Boykin, McLaurin and then maybe a slot like Hardman or Garry Jennings. Now there’s no guarantee they’d all hit, but that gives you an x, a Z and a slot for the next four years (effectively 3 because I don’t think their production will be that high this year). But it would mean the core of our receiver corps (pardon the pun) will be super cheap for the next three years. 5. Nick Allegretti (IOL Illinois) and Nick Easley (slot WR Iowa) are two of my favourites for round 7/UDFA. Both are ideal Patriots. 6. I’m coming round to Irv Smith if we don’t trade up for Fant. I don’t love him and I certainly don’t at 32, but I do like the relatively high floor. 7. I do like Jarrett Stidham’s upside. Yes, he’s a mess right now, but “we can rebuild him” - showing my age there. I see him a bit like Ryan Mallett. Take him in the 3rd and see if you can get something out of him. There’s plenty of upside to be tapped into. More to follow.