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Is there a top 3-down OLB/DE type that you could imagine the Patriots trading up for in the 2010 NFL Draft? -@PatsPropaganda
There are quite a few solid 3-4 OLB prospects in the draft, however, I can’t see the Patriots trading up to snag one. Most of them (Hughes, Kindle, Pierre-Paul, Hardy, Sapp…) grade out in the second half of the 1st round or 2nd round, so the Patriots should be able to find one that suits their needs at #22.
Who do the Patriots draft first? Do they go with linebacker or the offensive line? -@patriotfan
I’m in the minority here, but I think the Patriots should shore up their offensive line first. Stephen Neal is all but retired, leaving a monstrous hole to be filled. Mike Iupati out of Idaho is the best OG in the draft, and will probably be off the board in the 1st round. As I mentioned in the previous question, the Patriots should be able to find OLB talent with one of their three 2nd rounders – perhaps even packaging a couple to move into the 1st round again.
Would the Patriots consider trading Oakland #1 pick next year plus their own #1 in 2010 to move up in this year’s draft? -@mordecai67
I think the Patriots will be creative with their trading this year, just like always, and there are some names to trade up for, such as LB Rolando McClain. I’d much rather have them shop their own 2011 1st rounder, as the Raiders pick will be even more valuable if the rookie pay scale comes to fruition.
How far would the Pats have to trade up to ensure getting Mclain from Alabama? Do you think he is someone for whom it worth trading up? Would they do it? -S. Gomez
McClain could go as high as #7 to Cleveland, but will almost certainly be off the board when the Denver Broncos pick at either #9 or #10. McClain is an immense talent that the Patriots would have to think about trading up for. #42 and #22 might be enough to get the job done. However, my gut feeling is that the Patriots will only trade up if McClain falls into the teens, as they have too many holes to fill.
Does Adalius Thomas have a future with the Pats, and if not, what type of trade value could we expect for him. 3rd rounder? -@skifreenh
I think that Adalius has played his last down for the Patriots. That said, Coach Belichick has surprised us all before. If traded, I think you are in the ballpark with a 3rd rounder. Thomas is owed $4.9 million in salary next year, so that might make teams think twice.
Do the Patriots look TE (Gresham, Hernandez) early? How will the potential of guys injured in ’09 (Crable, McKenzie, Tate) affect our 2010 Draft Picks? -@Nathaniel_G
First things first, if Ben Watson resigns with the Patriots, I don’t think the Patriots look at TE’s at all. If he doesn’t, I’d be much more comfortable with them shopping for tight-ends in the 4th or 5th rounds, looking for a Tony Moeaki (Iowa) perhaps. Gresham and Hernandez are great, but TE’s just aren’t the focus in the Patriots offense right now.
I don’t think Crable will factor at all in Belichick’s decisions for the 2010 NFL Draft, but Tate and McKenzie especially will be in his mind. McKenzie should provide a quality option opposite Jerod Mayo at ILB, provided that he has recovered form his ACL injury. Tate’s injury remains a mystery, so how much he will be counted on in the return/passing game is up in the air.