On Monday's ESPN Boston radio show with Adam Jones, the Patriots' 2011 draft was a hot topic of discussion. ESPNBoston.com Patriots reporter Mike Reiss was a guest on the show and the following topics were explored:
1. How the No. 33 pick defined the Patriots' draft. Looking closer at the selection of cornerback Ras-I Dowling and how that meant the Patriots wouldn't be selecting a top pass-rusher.
2. Vote of confidence for players on roster. How Bill Belichick's decisions in the draft reflect well on the defensive players already on the roster.
3. Ras-I Dowling and how his role might affect Leigh Bodden's. In the short-term, Dowling is a good insurance policy if Bodden doesn't return to top form after a shoulder injury cost him the 2010 season.
4. Analyzing the heavy focus on offensive players in the draft. The Patriots selected six offensive players with their nine picks, which was a surprise. Analyzing the selection of Ryan Mallett and why it looks like a good one.
5. New look at the running back spot. How Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley project to give the Patriots a new look at running back and an area where Vereen was undersold by analysts. Also, Kevin Faulk's future with the team.