That's the big takeaway from looking at ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr.'s 2008 "re-draft" (Insider content), which is neat to look back on and ask the question, "If teams could do it all over again, who would they pick?"
Other Patriots-based nuggets from Kiper's re-draft:
1. Cornerback Aqib Talib, who went 20th overall to the Buccaneers, would move up to 13th.
3. With the 10th overall selection of the re-draft, Kiper slotted defensive end Chris Long to the Patriots. He was the No. 2 overall pick in the actual draft.
QUICK-HIT THOUGHTS: The 2008 draft wasn't one of the best of Belichick's 14-year tenure in terms of quantity, but they got decisive quality of it with Mayo and fifth-rounder Matthew Slater. The players selected between them -- cornerbacks Terrence Wheatley (second round) and Jonathan Wilhite (fourth round), and outside linebacker Shawn Crable (third round) and quarterback Kevin O'Connell (third round) -- didn't stick long-term. But the Patriots also get credit, from this viewpoint, for signing running back BenJarvus Green-Ellis as an undrafted free agent that year.