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Sunday, April 11, 2010
Patriots and 'the short board'

By Mike Reiss

Jeff Legwold of the Denver Post writes a piece on the NFL draft today that has strong ties to the Patriots. It shines a spotlight on the way Bill Belichick puts together his draft board, which is the same way that Josh McDaniels is doing it in Denver.

It's called "the short board."

Here is a snippet from Legwold's piece:

While most teams list all potential picks on their draft board, with grades on everyone from potential first-round picks to rookie free agents, teams such as the Patriots, Broncos and Chiefs work from a much shorter list. Players who don't fit the team's framework, on or off the field, are removed from consideration before the draft starts.

The result is a far smaller pool of players from which to choose. Last April, the Broncos made 10 selections from a board that included fewer than 100 names. The draft included 256 players, and some teams had more than 300 names on their board.

Legwold later includes this piece of information: One year, Belichick entered the draft with just 25 names on the Patriots' board.

That seems hard to believe.

(Update, 3:45 p.m. -- The Patriots tweeted the following today: "Don't believe everything you read. Reports of Patriots past draft boards w/only 25 players on it is fiction & merely a small fraction of #.")