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Sunday, April 4, 2010
Quick-hit thoughts around NFL & Pats

By Mike Reiss

Quick-hit thoughts around the NFL and with the Patriots:

1. Listening to Patriots senior football adviser Floyd Reese address the team’s season-ticket holders at a first-class draft event Saturday night, this comment resonated: “This draft is strong and deep, and our choices are strong and deep. We have four of the first 53 [picks], which is significant when you have a draft of this depth.”

2. One of the interesting parts of the Eagles trading cornerback Sheldon Brown to the Browns last week is that it bumps former Patriot Ellis Hobbs into the starting lineup opposite Asante Samuel – at least for now.

3. If I’m the Rams, I wouldn’t pick a player – whether it’s Sam Bradford or one of the top defensive tackles -- without a contract in place. That’s one of the benefits of having the No. 1 overall pick; teams can negotiate and have a deal in place before making the pick.

4. I value Tedy Bruschi’s opinion, so when he says Texas defensive end/outside linebacker Sergio Kindle is exactly the type of player the Patriots need, it puts Kindle near the top of the list if he’s available with the 22nd overall pick.

5. Also, when Mike Mayock of NFL Network says that Cal defensive lineman Tyson Alualu is one of his favorite players in the draft – and envisions a productive career ahead – it makes me wonder if the Patriots will pounce on him in the second round.

6. Reaching agreement with free-agent defensive lineman Damione Lewis seems like a nice, low-cost move by the Patriots to fill the void left by Jarvis Green’s departure to Denver. They still have a significant need on the defensive line, though.

7. The Patriots have three seventh-round compensatory draft choices. One of the primary benefits of those picks is that they can be used on players the team would be targeting as rookie free agents, as they won’t face competition for them.

8. If an impact defender isn’t there at No. 22, the Patriots could do worse than selecting Florida center Maurkice Pouncey if he’s still available. He looks like the safest pick at that point in the draft to me and would add toughness and bulk to the interior in a division with burly nose tackles.

9. When LaDainian Tomlinson says “everything was taken away from me” in describing his final season in San Diego – and blaming his lack of production on everything from the coaching style to personnel decisions -- does he realize how poorly that reflects on him?

10. After all the talk about how deep restricted free agency was this year, and the possibility of more players signing offer sheets, there has been little activity. The deadline for teams to sign restricted free agents to offer sheets is April 15.