Patriots Chat: Chris Price

Thanks to Chris Price from the great Patriots Blog It Is What It Is for stopping by and chatting about the Patriots and the NFL Draft. Make sure you follow him on Twitter as well.

Much is made each year about Coach Belichick’s penchant for moving around on Draft Day, especially down. Do you see the Patriots staying put this year, or even moving up?

I think they’ll stick with their first round pick at No. 22, but they could make some moves involving one of their three second-round selections, either using some of them to trade up to a later first-round spot or an earlier second-round spot if they think some other team is going to take a player they may be after. I don’t think, however, they’ll take any one of those first four picks and try and move into this year. This year’s draft is deep in areas of need for the Patriots, and they are going to need those this year.

The Patriots have struck gold with some undrafted free agents (Guyton, Hoyer…) and late-round picks (Cassel, Edelman…) in the past few years. To what do you attribute the success of the Patriots at finding the proverbial diamond in the rough?
The Patriots remain one of the best teams in the league at finding players who fit their system. They almost never try and place a square peg into a round hole. And in a copycat league, they also make sure to think non-traditionally when it comes to guys like that — witness what they did with Edelman.

New England is both heralded as a team that holds “character” on a pedestal, but also took chances on Corey Dillon, Randy Moss, and others. In your opinion, how much does character play a part in the Patriots draft process?
Interesting question. A couple of points: I think character does play a part in the Patriots draft process, but it’s not the end all and be all. They will take a chance on a guy in the draft if there are a couple of minor questions about his character–and they might do that with Dez Bryant or Sergio Kindle, two guys two have been linked to the Patriots by several draft gurus but have some red flags in their past. But also when you look at most of the character guys they took chances on, it’s important to remember they were already established in the league and they were acquired, not drafted.

If the Patriots stick at #22, give us who you would pick – both for the offense and the defense.
I think the Patriots need to target a pass-rusher, one of those 3-4 OLB/DE conversion types. Kindle is certainly a candidate to be there at No. 22 if they decide to go in that direction. (I would also look for guys like Brandon Graham–if Graham is there and selected, it would represent a bit of a departure for them because of his size–when it comes to his look, he’s more Elvis Dumervil than Wille McGinest, and they have rarely gone after those smaller pass rushers/edge guys.) If they go for offense, I think a pass-catching tight end is also high on their list of priorities, and Jermaine Gresham of Oklahoma would be a good fit. My “NFL Sunday” partner Christian Fauria made a good point when he said the Patriots like to pair up a veteran and a youngster or someone who is new to the system at tight end, and the combination of Crumpler and Gresham would certainly fill the bill there.


15 Responses to “Patriots Chat: Chris Price”

  1. Jared says:

    I would trade up for McClain because hes may be the the safest pick in the draft for the Pats. He played in Belichicks 3-4 system in college and thrived. He could instantly start next Mayo, the two would be the best tandom in the league in my opinion. Theyre biggest need is OLB but they all scare me. But putting Guyton on the outside with his speed, and two years of knowledge of the defense…. Would make up for the lack of an OLB addition in the first round. You could prioritize other positions this year and next year, the Pats will most likely have a top ten pick and a pick in the 20’s again. They will have their choice getting anyone they want if Guyton and a 2nd or 3rd rnd pick dont do the job. Not to mention another year that they can sign someone or make a deal.
    And as for the safeties, i wouldnt mind if they got Earl Thomas because I think he can be a potential number one corner. But another free safety?? Y ?? didnt Meriweather make the pro bowl last year??
    And they spent basically a 1st rnd pick on Chung, a strong safety…last year. And have J.Sanders and B.McGowan under contract.
    A safety in the top 50 would be pointless, u wanna draft one in the 4th or 5th rnd because you think you got a sleeper thats fine. But adding the fifth saftety to your roster wen you have one starting MLB and one string DE on your team is **cking stupid.


  2. Anonymous says:

    I disagree on the safety picks… berry an thomas are well capable of playing CB or S… thats not a waste.. thats versatility and Bill loves that.. I also disagree on the McClain pick.. why trade up to the top ten for him?? I would rather use one of the 2nd rounders on Spikes… He’s a great player too.. Don’t pay attention to his 40 time.. He is always around the ball making plays..

  3. joe b says:

    here are the best two players the pats could get on each side of the ball. for offence dez bryant or ryan matthews i think with holt and moss would keep him in line and trade lawrence marroney for a 3or4 rounder and on defence kindel or witherspoon and i think they both will be gone. so you have to get dez or ryan. I would then trade pats 2011 first rounder for rams 1 pick in 2 round and get hughs (olb) hopefully it would be the difference of 1 or a couple of picks

  4. Ryan says:

    I’d like to disagree with you on the safety picks. Here is why, I’ll bet Sanders gets traded, McGowen should not be starting. That being so if Earl Thomas falls who could play S or CB then, I personally see the versatility that BB loves in guys. But that is merely my opinion.

  5. Jared says:

    Now way they trade up that high. One, they would have to trade serious picks to get there. Two, that pick requires a huge financial commitment and they have two first rnd picks next year. 3, Pierre Paul is a raw talent-and far from a lock to be a stud. If they trade up, its to the ten spot.. Haden and McClain are the best rock-solid prospects to do it for.
    And the Pats have four safeties and only two at a time play on a
    Football field. Safeties would be wasted picks.

  6. brian j donovan jr says:

    the patriots need to trade with the chiefs to get the 5th pick and draft jason pierre-paul then in the second round with 44th pick and if he is there is to get nate allen the would love to see them get allen they compar him to darren sharper

  7. Anonymous says:

    I wouldn’t my ass with a Ron Borges story…The key word here is story, like make believe.

  8. Jared says:

    I never read that Borges piece, thats a good nugget. But if there was no chance of drafting him. They wouldn’t of had him in for one of 30 official visits.


  9. Anonymous says:

    Patriots will not select Jerry Hughes or Jermaine Gresham….both players are represented by Tom Condon….BB and Condon have not talked to each other in 6 years (Ben Watson negotiations) and will never speak to each other again…Ron Borges has written about this in the past….SAD…

  10. Anonymous says:

    This guy seems to forget Brandon Merriweather. So his point is less convincing. I think Pats have no problem taking anyone with personal issues if they come off as contrite and willing to work.

    Also, his answers are typical and a waste of a read.

    viva la stool

  11. Jared says:

    100% agree with Spikes. And he’ll be there at 53.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Brandon Spikes is the most underrated player on the board due to his 40 yards dash times. Spikes is the most qualified ILB in the draft today, maybe as good as McClain. He will be a steal in the second round!

  13. Anonymous says:

    The Patriots need to improve on the inside of the LB Corp before they can improve on the outside!

    Over the last couple of years they have tried playing Mayo on the SILB (MIKE) position when he should be playing the WILB (WILL) position. The WILB slot has been filled by various players that should be playing on the outside. Knowing that the Pat’s cannot get McClain without giving up the farm they should select Kindle @ #22 and Brandon Spikes @ #44 to play the MIKE position – Move Mayo back to Will and rotate Guyton, McKenzie WOLB position and Kindle, Tully to the SOLB side. Dump Thomas the day before the season starts.

  14. Eric says:

    assuming the pats dont move up, don’t you think there is enough depth at tight end this year between guys like jimmy graham, dennis pita, dorin dickerson, that the patriots should 100% go defense? I would rather have kindle, graham, hughes, weatherspoon, or sapp over gresham.

  15. Jared says:

    I think, unfortunately they trade down again. Looking at a million mock drafts, it looks to me like there is a chance their board mite be shot at 22. I wish they would trade up for McClain, ive said a million times on this site. I just think McClain is a lock to be a stud, and will most likely fall out of the top ten where the Pats could move up and get him without giving up the rest os their draft. I think continueously trading down has dilluted are talent. Bill doesnt miss with 1st rnd defensive players and they need a difference maker in the front seven more than anything. Ideal, the need an outside backer, but getting McClain. Would allow Guyton-BantaCain and Adalius to rotate on the outside, and i think could cover up some of our edge deficiences.
    Wishfull thinking on my part probably, at the end of the day…trading down and grabbing an extra 3rd round and “settling” for Witherspoon, Hughes or Sapp mite be the best “value” they can get out of that 22 pick.


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