NFL combine quick hits, Part I

INDIANAPOLIS -- Sights, sounds and picked-up pieces through a Patriots-like lens as the NFL combine begins:

1. With three second-round picks, one NFL scout opined that the Patriots are "sitting pretty." The feeling is that players projected to go in the second round are of first-round quality. This is one of the strongest drafts in recent memory because of the influx of quality juniors.

2. A weak crop of free agents coupled with a strong draft has increased the value of draft picks this year.

3. Receiver David Patten wouldn't have been signed if he didn't have a solid workout. Another aspect of the Patten signing that is worthy of note is that quarterback Tom Brady, at this stage of his career, likes having veteran receivers around him.

4. AFC East chatter is on the schedule today in the media area, as Bills coach Chan Gailey (10:45 a.m.) and Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland (noon) will answer questions from reporters. Former Patriots vice president of player personnel Scott Pioli, in his second year as Chiefs general manager, will talk at 2:15 p.m.