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Sunday, April 3, 2011
A feel for the 17th draft pick

By Mike Reiss

Now that compensatory draft choices have been awarded by the NFL, the exact spots of each Patriots draft pick is known.

1a. 17th overall
1b. 28th overall
2a. 33rd overall
2b. 60th overall
3a. 74th overall
3b. 92nd overall
4. 125th overall
5. 159th overall
6. 193rd overall

A look at some of the recent players picked in those spots have been highlighted. The 193 spot was in focus, followed by the 159 spot, 125 and 92 and 74 and 60 and 33 and 28.

Today, the series wraps up with the 17th spot (first round):

2010: G Mike Iupati (49ers)
2009: QB Josh Freeman (Buccaneers)
2008: OT Gosder Cherilus (Lions)
2007: DE Jarvis Moss (Broncos)
2006: LB Chad Greenway (Vikings)
2005: LB David Pollack (Bengals)
2004: LB D.J. Williams (Broncos)

ANALYSIS: Josh Freeman is the standout of this group, serving as an example of how a team can still find a franchise quarterback at this point of the first round. Freeman was the third quarterback selected in 2009, behind Matthew Stafford (No. 1, Lions) and Mark Sanchez (No. 5, Jets). The Buccaneers traded up a few spots to select him. Perhaps the No. 17 spot is where this year's No. 3 quarterback goes, with the Patriots potentially receiving some trade interest from QB-needy teams. Elsewhere, both D.J. Williams and Chad Greenway emerged as top-caliber starters, while Mike Iupati appears to be on his way after starting 16 games last season. The Patriots and other teams could look at a top-rated guard/center like Mike Pouncey and compare him to Iupati when assessing the strength of the 2011 draft and if Pouncey is a good fit at 17. Injuries derailed David Pollack's career, while Jarvis Moss didn't pan out in Denver.