NFL Draft Day Primer: New England Patriots

Patriot Picks

The Patriots have the following picks in the 2008 NFL Draft:

Round 1: 7th overall (from San Fran)
Round 2: 62nd overall (assigned)
Round 3: 69th overall (from Oakland)
Round 3: 94th overall (assigned)
Round 4: 129th overall (assigned)
Round 5: 164th overall (assigned)
Round 6: 197th overall (assigned)
Round 7: 238th overall (assigned)

Patriot Needs

Priority One: Cornerback

Sources are saying that Ty Law is going to sign with the Patriots very soon. We are not
saying that Ty Law, Ellis Hobbs, Brandon Meriweather, and Fernando Bryant are a great
cadre of corners, but we did win a Superbowl with Earthwind Moreland and Hank Poteat
covering opponents. Law would bring a strong veteran presence, and given enough help
over the top, would not be a liability. His signing would drop CB from priority one to
priority two or three. We expect at least one, if not two, defensive backs to be
selected over the weekend, just not during the first round.

Targets: Brandon Flowers, Charles Godfrey, Antoine Cason

Priority Two: Linebacker

Linebacker has been a “priority” for the Patriots for the last three years, according to
the media. For Bill Belichick, however, this may finally be the year that he agrees.
The Patriots’ linebacking corps is still playing at a high level, but 30+ year-old
players have a knack for dropping off quick. Eric Alexander and Pierre Woods provide a
little depth, but this position needs an upgrade. With the exception of USC prospect
Keith Rivers, no linebacker grades out as a top fifteen pick. There is a host of
prospects available in the late first, eary second round area that may prompt the
Patriots to package some picks together and move up.

Targets: Keith Rivers, Cliff Avril, Shawn Crable

Priority Three: Offensive Line/Tight End

Patriots observers wouldn’t have deemed this a need until the Superbowl, where the Giants exposed the right side of the line to a barrage of rushes and blitzes. In order to shore up some small deficiences on the average right side of the o-line, a guard or tackle could be brought aboard to provide Kaczur and Neal some competition. This pick could come as early as round one, or we may wait until day two to work on the line. Whoever they get, I hope they can grow a beard.

Targets: Branden Albert, Duane Brown, John Greco

Patriot History

Under Bill Belichick the Patriots have drafted the following positions in the first three rounds:

Offense – 10 picks
RB – 1 time (Maroney ’06)
WR – 3 times (Jackson ’06, Johnson ’03, Branch ’02)
TE – 3 times (Thomas ’06, Watson ’04, Graham ’02)
OL – 3 times (Mankins ’05, Kaczur ’05, Light ’01)

Defense – 9 picks
DL – 4 times (Wilfork ’04, Hill ’04, Warren ’03, Seymour ’01)
DB – 5 times (Meriweather ’07, Hobbs ’05, Scott ’04, Wilson ’03, Williams ’01)

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