Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats

April, 25, 2010
4/25/10
6:00
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Quick-hit thoughts from around the NFL and with the Patriots:

1. When the Patriots hold their rookie minicamp next week, Brian Ferentz will be coaching the team’s young tight ends. The Patriots have yet to officially name a tight ends coach, but all signs point to Ferentz -- a coaching assistant with the team in 2009 -- as the coach who will work closest with young, promising prospects Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.

2. It’s stunning how different the Patriots and Jets are in their approach to the draft – and each way can be successful. The Patriots selected 12 players in the draft for the second straight year. The Jets have selected seven players over the last two years.

3. I think Broncos coach Josh McDaniels made one of the most curious decisions in the draft when he traded a 2011 fifth-round draft choice for two 2010 seventh-round draft choices (to select California defensive back Syd’Quan Thompson and Indiana linebacker Jammie Kirlew). A decision like that is very un-Belichickian.

4. I’d also put the Carolina Panthers’ trade with the Patriots as a head-scratcher. Giving up a 2011 second-round pick for a 2010 third-rounder which is 89th overall doesn’t seem like smart business. If Appalachian State’s Armanti Edwards becomes the player the Panthers think he can, then maybe it will be worth it, but right now it seems like curious decision-making given the current makeup of the team.

5. I’m assuming that the Jets’ trade of running back Leon Washington to Seattle is contract related, because that looks like a downgrade going from Washington to fourth-round pick Joe McKnight. Washington has annually been one of the toughest matchups for the Patriots.

6. I’m interested to see the Philadelphia Eagles’ defense in 2010. The Eagles made an NFL-high 13 draft picks, nine of which came on defense. There was a heavy emphasis on pass-rushers.

7. I think the best draft that few will talk about, because it doesn’t include many skill-position players, is the Pittsburgh Steelers. Like the Patriots, I see the Steelers getting back to a more physical identity.

8. While UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse probably got drafted lower than he hoped (second round, 61st overall), I think he landed in the perfect spot for him with the New York Jets.

9. The Buffalo Bills didn’t draft a quarterback until they grabbed Troy’s Levi Brown in the seventh round. Barring a veteran acquisition, that means it’s another year of Trent Edwards, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Brian Brohm.

10. I think the Kansas City Chiefs are going to be a team on the rise. General manager Scott Pioli added five players within the draft’s first 93, and all should become key contributors – from first-round safety Eric Berry to third-round tight end Tony Moeaki.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter

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