Now we are going to proceed under the false pretense that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round. Never mind, you know what? We’re going to proceed under a number of false pretenses. The first is that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round. The second is that I, or anyone else outside of the Orwellian fortress that is Gillette Stadium, has any idea what the Patriots are going to do; ever. The third is that yours truly knows anything significant about football, which is a generous supposition indeed.
But it’s speculation season, and I love to speculate, so let’s do this!
Assuming that Belichick decides to make a pick in the first round [the one he currently holds at 22], I do not think he goes tight end as many say he will. I admit that Jermaine Gresham, the tight end out of Oklahoma looks enticing. I would be tempted to pick him if I were the Patriots and I were indeed keeping the pick. But I don’t think they will.
It is here that I should also mention the unique situation in New England with regard to the offensive line. The Patriots had some issues protecting Tom Brady this season, and those issues will not be any less severe considering the fact that both Stephen Neal and Dan Koppen could still retire, and are not what they once were. So the temptation would be obvious to draft a talented young man in the first round to protect the quarterback.
Enter Dante Scarnecchia. The offensive line coach has allowed the Patriots to be singularly ignorant of what the draft-rats say about offensive linemen for years. If you give him a decent athlete, he will make him an offensive lineman.
This team thought it was going to carry on without Richard Seymour, and I’m not complaining about winning the division and going 10-6 (ok, well maybe I am complaining about going 10-6, a little). But the fact remains that this team couldn’t rush the passer at all. I think they go defensive end in the first round. There are a couple of candidates, we will assume Derrick Morgan doesn’t make it to them. So the pick is…
Everson Griffin, DE of the University of Southern California
New England has three second round picks, the first of which falls at number 44. I view this pick as the inverse of the first. If the Patriots do go tight end at 22, they go defensive end at number 44 and likewise in the other direction. Since I took a defensive end at 22, the pick is…
Rob Gronkowski, TE of Arizona
The next pick is number 47, soon after Gronkowski comes off the board to wear his blue and silver jersey. I have a lot of tight and defensive ends on my board at this point as a contingency, but since I’ve picked one of each already [and I don’t expect more than one of each until very late Sunday] I will take out an insurance policy here on Wes Welker. The young man I will pick here is a small-framed wideout capable of running quick cutting routes much like Wes Welker. Although we don’t know what Welker’s future holds, an insurance policy is a good idea, and this young man could prove a great weapon opposite Welker in 3-5 wide sets if he is healthy. So the pick is… Continue reading