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Monday, March 28, 2011
QBs in draft & Pats' haul of picks

By Mike Reiss

NFL.com analyst Pat Kirwan writes on how the high number of quarterback-needy teams, coupled with the Patriots' draft position, puts New England in a favorable position in this year's draft.

"Teams are going to look at the Patriots' No. 28 spot as the right place to get the QB they want before the draft's first night adjourns," Kirwan writes. "Teams will get nervous about waiting overnight, knowing that teams will work the phones trying to move up. Take a look at the teams near the top of round two that need a quarterback, and it's easy to see the Patriots getting flooded with calls. ...

"What makes the Patriots unique in a team's pursuit of a quarterback is that they also have the first pick (33 overall) of the second round and could easily take on another trade situation for a second team looking for a quarterback. ...

"The demand for quarterbacks in this draft could wind up putting the Patriots in a position to have eight picks in the top 92 if they want that many. It's becoming clear that the Patriots could end up steering teams toward the quarterbacks they want. ... Again, Bill Belichick is in the driver's seat."

ANALYSIS: Bill Belichick said last week that he views draft picks as an important part of the team-building process and this type of scenario is one reason. Teams looking to get back into the first round for a quarterback know the Patriots are willing to sell if the price is right. It would be a surprise if Belichick and the Patriots wanted eight of the top 92 picks this year. A preference would probably be to pick up an additional first-rounder next year, pushing at least one of their assets into 2012, while adding an additional pick this year. This will be one of the subplots to monitor in the draft -- when does the run on second-tier quarterbacks begin? If it starts early -- in the 12 or 15 range with Minnesota and Miami -- the action could come earlier than the Patriots' 28th pick.