Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:
1. If the Patriots consider trading up in the first round of the NFL Draft, I think Washington’s No. 10 spot is a logical place as a starting point. The Redskins are without third- and fourth-round picks, and by moving down seven spots could replenish their mid-round supply.
2. The biggest benefactor of the NFL’s labor standoff will probably be the United Football League, in part because undrafted NFL players will likely be more inclined to sign with them. When the alternative is to be working out on your own, the UFL all of a sudden looks a lot better.
3. Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant is making headlines for the wrong reasons in Dallas. Bryant generated a lot of buzz in New England as a possible draft pick last year, but looking back, it seems the Patriots were wise to stay away.
4. When free agency ultimately begins, what teams, if any, make a play for Randy Moss? Only the Titans claimed him on waivers last season. I wonder if the Jets will be in the mix this time around.
5. While on the subject of former Patriots, running back Laurence Maroney could have trouble making a roster next season. A free agent coming off a poor 2010 who was charged last week with misdemeanor marijuana possession is not going to appeal to many clubs.
6. Boston College linebacker Mark Herzlich might not have run as fast as he’d hoped in the 40-yard dash, but one scout evaluating him pointed to his 11 career interceptions and made the point that timed speed doesn’t mean everything; he’s proven to be a playmaker. Although there are differences from a health standpoint between Herzlich and Brandon Spikes, I think that timed speed vs. playmaker thought is one similarity.
7. Cam Newton or not? Too risky for my liking if I was a top decision-maker looking for a quarterback.
8. Wasn’t expecting Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko to mention the New York Times best-seller “4-hour Workweek” by Timothy Ferriss during an interview last week. It must have been on Mesko’s offseason reading list.
9. When draft analyst Mike Mayock of NFL Network said North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn has similarities to DeMarcus Ware coming out of college, and envisions him as a possibility as a 3-4 outside linebacker, did anyone else consider him as a possible Patriots target in a trade up? Quinn didn’t play last season, so that adds a challenge to scouting him.
10. ESPN.com’s offseason “power rankings” are scheduled to continue this week with a look at the NFL’s top head coaches. Can’t imagine anyone but Bill Belichick atop the charts.