Colleague Mike Reiss of ESPNBoston.com has an interesting blog item on the Patriots' recent draft philosophy, illustrating how Bill Belichick is stockpiling picks in the first three rounds. I'm mentioning it here because their approach is dramatically different than what the Jets are employing, and ... well, you know how us media types love comparing the Jets and Patriots.
Consider: In the 2009 and 2010 drafts, the Patriots drafted 11 players in the first three rounds. Right now, they have five picks in the first three rounds of the 2011 draft. That would bring up their total to 16, an impressive haul in terms of numbers. This is a clear example of the quantity-over-quality method.
The Jets? They're just the opposite. Currently, they're in position to have only six players from the first three rounds of the 2009-2011 drafts. Here's a breakdown:
2009 -- First Round: QB Mark Sanchez. Second Round: Traded to Browns for Sanchez pick. Third Round: RB Shonn Greene.
2010 -- First Round: CB Kyle Wilson. Second Round: LG Vlad Ducasse. Third Round: Traded to Browns for WR Braylon Edwards.
2011 -- First Round. Second Round. Third Round: Traded to Chargers for CB Antonio Cromartie (Note: Can improve to second rounder if certain performance incentives are met.)
It's interesting how GM Mike Tannenbaum has shifted to a quality-over-quantity philosophy. It began in 2007, when he traded up for CB Darrelle Revis and LB David Harris. Tannenbaum's method has produced some terrific players, but there's also risk because there's a smaller margin for error. If he misses on a high pick, it's a crushing blow. If Belichick misses on half his picks, he'll still have eight good players.
There are two ways to skin a cat, except in this case, we're talking Colts, not felines -- as in, the best way to overtake the Colts for AFC supremacy.