Good afternoon and thanks for joining the chat.
If you're like me, the draft can't come soon enough. I love all the analysis beforehand, but by this point, I almost can't handle it any more.
I want to start by remembering Will McDonough, the late great sports reporter from the Boston Globe. Growing up in suburban Boston, I used to always look forward to this day to see what Will had to say and who the Patriots were picking.
Hey Mike, everybody seems set on drafting Sergio Kindle from Texas. I personally am wary of drafting such an inconsistent player in the 1st round. Do you think it would be better value to trade down a few spots and get a 5th and then draft Jerry Hughes? I like him a lot better than Kindle but from the looks of the mocks many people have getting drafted after 22.
I actually picked Kindle in our fan mock draft on this site yesterday, Byron. I later learned that some teams have concerns with his knee, which moved me off Kindle in my final mock draft. This is one of the parts of the draft that adds to he intrigue. Some of the medical stuff comes to light. As for Jerry Hughes, he's a top pass rusher, although my reluctance to slot him to the Patriots is that he is a bit shorter than average for that position. If you're picked in the first round by the Patriots, my general feeling is that everything needs to check out.
Do you think the patriots still give Terrence Cody a glance in the 2nd round if there?
I'd be surprised if they look at Cody because I see him solely as a nose in this 3-4 scheme. With Wilfork there, I'd think they'd like to look elsewhere and draft a player who can emerge as a starter.
Something tells me the Pats are going to make a big move/trade. Are you hearing anything?
At this point, it's quiet. If I had to guess, there would be a higher probability of a trade down.
I see the Pats going DE, OLB, RB, TE, WR, DE, OL, trading a couple picks, QB, and then grabbing the best available afterwards. You?
Looking at the first 4 picks, I think it's "best available, regardless of position" in the first round, and then I think they go OLB, DE and "best player available". I think they have to come out of this draft with a top-level OLB and DE.
Hi Mike - do you have any idea if the Pats were in on Tedd Ginn before the trade to San Francisco? I think one of the major shortcomings of last year was no game breaking ability in the return game. i think that aspect of his game alone was worth a fifth rounder. Thanks
I don't know for sure, John, but I'd be surprised if they were.
Maybe the Patriots take Toby Gerhart in the second/third round? He seems to be surprisingly underrated for a Heisman candidate and fills a team need.
Tedy Bruschi likes that pick for the Patriots, too.
How likely are the Pats to draft Tebow
My personal feeling is that it's highly unlikely.
Mike, BB always picks safely in the first round (Mankins, Meriweather), so I see him doing the same and going with Pouncey from Fla. Gotta get the most value with no surprises with 1st round. Your thoughts?
I have been high on Pouncey for a while now. I think he's the safest first round pick from 10-32 in this draft. A few concerns: He had a very low Wonderlic score and that might give the Patriots pause; he might not be there at 22.
Mike, look into your crystal ball. If one of these were to happen today, which is more likely- Drafting Bryant at 22 or trading down and picking up another pick?
I think it would be a trade down to pick up another pick, assuming they think they can get the player they really want later.
Why is it so many draft "experts" and scouts seem to talk themselves out of guys who were obvious studs as we get closer to the draft? Guys like Ed Reed, Warren Sapp, Adrian Peterson were all guys who slipped a little for various reasons, and were picked behind workout warriors. Why do so many fall into this trap? Eric Berry is talked about by ALL as the next Ed Reed, and people say barring injury, he'll be a multiple time pro-bowler. If so, why on earth would he slip out of the top 3? I realize the money is high for the position, but are you telling me if Ed Reed was a rookie today, he's not worth #1 overall money?
Great point, Rick. It seems like the more time "experts" have to analyze, they can find holes in anyone. The counter-point on this is "positional value". A lot of teams don't view safety as being important enough to select in the top 3, especially when considering that no player coming out of the draft is a sure thing. QB and LT would have the highest positional value.
Your esteemed colleague Bill Simmons had the Patriots trading up for Dez Bryant (Simmons admitted himself its more fantasy than reality). More generally, is Bryant on the radar if he miraculously falls to 22?
Wish I knew, Aaron. If I had to guess, I'd say no.
Have you looked at Troup, DE from UCF? Seems like has ideal size as 3-4 DE and is a potential surprise Pats pick in 2nd round.
Belichick worked him out during the pre-draft process, so he has commanded the Patriots' attention. Scouting reports indicate that the second round might be too rich.
Mike, if the Patriots end up taking Dez Bryant, they will have a pretty large number of WRs on the roster, who do you think makes the final cut?
Obviously the competition will dictate, but I'd say Randy Moss, Julian Edelman, Brandon Tate, Torry Holt, Sam Aiken, Dez Bryant and Matthew Slater, with Wes Welker on PUP.
No way tebow falls past minny at 30, right?
I could see Tebow falling below that, as the Vikings might be enticed if a corner slips there. But after they signed Lito Sheppard, it gives them some more flexibility to go Tebow if he's there.
Do you think the patriots have any shot at drafting Ronlando McCalin? I can see them trading up for him. I think he might be the absolute steal of the draft.
Seems like 15 would be the spot to get to, as I would think the Giants would grab him if he's there. I'd be surprised if the Patriots go up that high for him.
In your mock draft I see that Sean Weatherspoon slipped too the 26th spot, say it works out like that would he be a fit for the Pats, I saw for a long time he was top 15 talent and heard he is a fierce competitor and that he is a well rounded OLB?
He's be playing inside in the Patriots' 3-4 alignment and I think it's already crowded in there with Tyrone McKenzie, a 2009 third-round pick, possibly ready to emerge. I also don't see him as a downhill-type ILB for the Patriots' scheme.
I read that the Jags would like to get out of the first round and pick up a second, do you see it possible the Pats trade our 1st and 2C for there 1st and 3rd or 1st and 4th? Getting to the 10 spot would put us in strong contention for a guy like Derrick Morgan.
Morgan is an interesting guy, because some say he could be a 3-4 OLB, but one scout I spoke with said he believes he's a pure 4-3 end. While one opinion doesn't necessarily reflect the Patriots' view, it made me think Morgan probably wouldn't be a target to move up and grab.
Hey Mike, I think we can all agree that the Patriots sorely lacked a dynamic player on offense and special teams. Who do you think is more dynamic and who would be a better fit for the Patriots, Dexter McCluster or Javid Best?
McCluster is a little safer in my view, as a team has to be comfortable with Best's concussion history.
My question is in regards to player evaluation. Do you think the success the Patriots have had has hindered the evaluation and selection of the players? Basically are they drinking to much of their own 'Kool-Aid' and not evolving their selections to the way the league has evolved over the last few years?
I asked Scott Pioli a similar question on the Patriots' defense, asking if maybe the scheme is no longer suited for today's NFL. He laughed at me. "That's what they said in '86 with the Giants before they won a Super Bowl." That's one opinion, of course. My opinion is that the Patriots' scouting process is sound. Comparing their work to the rest of the NFL, they grade out favorably.
Hey Mike, Is there any Top 10 player that the Pats would consider going after if they drop out of the top 10?
In the unlikely event Suh dropped out, that would be the name that stand out to me.
Who is your #1 sleeper in this draft and why?
At the Patriots' pre-draft party for season-ticket holders, I went with Louisville WR Scott Long. Strong blocker and had best 3-cone drill at combine, a reflection of solid change-of-direction skills.
Do like Jerry Hughes as maybe a 2nd rd pick for the Pats , I know he s a little short for there type?
In the second round, I like it a lot. There is a little risk there in the first, because you'd be projecting him to outside linebacker from defensive end. But in the second round, or even late first, I think assuming that risk is more reasonable. The worst case scenario is that he becomes a nickel rusher and special teams contributor. You'd like more out of a first rounder, of course, but at least you'd have something to show for it.
Mike -- When I looked at the schedule and saw that the Patriots have a bye after only four games, my instinctive reaction was that I hated it. After all, with a veteran team, you'd like the week for healing and resting to come deeper into the season. But a closer look reveals that the Pats will get such a break later on anyway, because there's an 11-day gap between their Thursday (Thanksgiving) game and the Monday night game on Dec. 6th. The players will surely have four or five days off after Turkey Day, including a long weekend to relax and watch NFL football, before returning on Tuesday or Wednesday to start preparing for that Monday nighter -- and won't that feel very much like a bye week? It's almost like we'll have two byes this season! Thoughts?
Right on the money, Brian.
Mike,Any chance the Patriots would consider dishing out a 2nd round pick for Albert Haynesworth - the Redskins' draft selections are looking sparse, and given AH's recent complaints about the 3-4 system, he might be looking for a move.-Nick
I'd do that in a heartbeat and switch to a 4-3 defense, with Wilfork/Haynesworth inside, Ty Warren at one end, and then I'd look for that pass-rushing DE to fill the right side. I don't think Haynesworth's contract is much of an issue because the Redskins absorbed the big part of it. We've talked a lot about generating more pass rush, and because of the 3-4 scheme the Patriots play, a lot of attention has been placed on edge players. But you add Haynesworth and put him at defensive tackle in a four-man line and you're pushing the pocket with authority.
Knowing that it takes 3-4 years to evaluate this year's draft, can you give me 4 names that you feel will be solid pro bowlers then?
Honestly Jeff, I can't do that. I always feel slightly uncomfortable at this time of year commenting on players I have hardly seen play. A lot of my opinions are formed based on scouting reports I read, and I'd rather put my name behind something that I see for myself over a consistent period of time.
Hey Mike, thanks for all your draft info. I check it out daily and thoroughly enjoy it. With McKenzie coming off injury and Guyton better suited for nickel/special teams. I feel the Pats lack that inside run stuffer ala Ted Johnson. Any chance the Pats take Brandon Spikes in round 2? He fits the mold and comes from the Patriots farm system; aka Florida.
The thing that stands out with Spikes is that 40 time (4.95). Belichick wants his linebackers to be able to run, and I think that's one of the reasons he passed on Jon Beason in 2007. With that info in mind, my thought is that they wouldn't use a 2 on Spikes.
Mike, as you have now seen the 2010 schedule, what is your very early estimate on the Pats record next year? I am thinking 11 - 5 best case.
I picked 11-5, too, Kristen, although it was a painful exercise for me to go through each game and pick a winner. While it's fun in a sense, it goes against what I believe in -- in terms of how a football team evolves over the course of the year. So picking a 16-game slate is an exercise that makes little sense to me. The 2008 season comes to mind. Everything changed when Tom Brady went down.
Mike, in my opinion, the Pats philosophy of trading down in the drafts to get "value" with the pick has left them with a roster of solid, if unspectacular, players. Do you see them staying put with their picks this year and getting some playmakers, or trading down and out as usual?
Interest point, Danny. When the Patriots trade down, it's usually because they think they can still get their guy, in addition to someone else. I wouldn't be surprised to see them trade down again this year. Last year, to me, is a good example. I predicted they would take Darius Butler in the first round. They ended up with him at No. 41. Had they stayed put and taken Butler at 23, the perception of the pick would be totally different than what it was.
Hey Mike. I heard Mike Lombardi of the National Football Post say that in order for the spread offense to be effective you need a good running back. The Patriots do not have one. I'm wondering if you think they'll address that tonight (or this weekend) and why you haven't considered RB as a major need for the Pats. Thanks and keep up the good work.
I like listening to Mike Lombardi as well, Bill. Running back is one of those positions that I could see going either way -- I think they can get by with what they have this year, but I also see a future need with Morris, Taylor and Faulk in the final years of their contracts. So that's why I've had that position in the middle of any needs assessment. If Ryan Mathews is there at 22 tonight, it wouldn't shock me if they pick him.
It seems like with the draft being so deep its going to be hard to tradedown and grab more picks but then again with a team like the Bears not having a single draft pick till the third round maybe packaging our 2a and a 4th for a 3rd and the TE Olson? ( far fetched, I know)
I don't think the Bears will be trading Olsen, Ryan, and I also don't think it will be hard to trade down. Teams looking for a QB often start calling around 22. Even a small move down the board with Baltimore to 25 could be something that comes together quickly. The Patriots and Ravens are frequent trade partners.
Hey Mike,Happy draft day, finally! If the Pats most glaring needs are at OLB, DE, WR, and TE, which position do you think is least likely to be addressed in rounds 1-3?Thanks for the work you do; it's much appreciated.
Least likely to be addressed, I'll say TE. Part of the reason is that the top 2 TEs didn't play in 2009 because of injuries and I think that will give them pause.
Hey Mike. Quick question: I see you had the Pats taking Kareem Jackson, who goes beyond the usual suspects (Kindle, Odrick, Pouncey, Bryant). Any other guesses on a surprise Pats pick?
Maybe a Kyle Wilson or Devin McCourty. Had one scout mention that this is the type of draft that if a corner falls to you, it's a safe pick, but it's not the type of position you trade up for.
How much of strategical adjustment is being made by teams relative to the draft's new format, e.g., Thursday, Friday, Saturday? Do you think the extra time, especially after the selection process on Thursday and Friday will set the stage for more trades/maneuvering than past drafts?
Big adjustment, Chad. I think we'll see more second-round trades this year, and more fourth-round trades. The overnight breaks, and the ability for teams to re-stack their boards, should spark more movement.
Who will be that one player that falls in this draft? My thought is Gresham.
Whoever it is, my feeling is that it will be the player who has a medical situation that scares off some teams. I don't see Gresham getting past 26.
Do you think the pats made a mistake by not pushing for Taylor? It seems as though the pats (or BB) were never involved. no one has even mentioned any involvement from them.
I would have went after him, Dan. It's possible they were in on it, but just wouldn't extend themselves to the level the Jets did. So I guess I'd say I think they made a mistake. Let's see how it plays out.
around what time tonight will pick 22 roll by?
The Patriots anticipate the pick coming around 9:45 p.m., if they stay at 22.
There was a report earlier saying that Darren McFadden could be available. Do you have any idea if a second round pick would be enough to bring him in? It seems to me that it would be a better value than say Ryan Mathews at 22. Could you see him being a fit for the Patriots?
I'm not sure on McFadden, Keith. My sense is that the Patriots wouldn't be interested.
I predict Matt Light gets traded today. Vollmer handled Dwight Freeney last year really well and showed he can be an exceptional starter.
I think they keep Light because the return in a trade would be minimal. Better to keep the depth at LT, but let's see what happens.
Quick--name a player who will be "overdrafted" tonight.
Jason Pierre-Paul. Too small of a body work for me.
Mike, I saw you pick Gresham on ESPN yesterday-I hope you're joking. If the Pats wanted a tight end, why not just bring back Watson who had the potential to be a great pass catcher-but they just never looked his way? Seems like a waste for a position that's not all that important if you never throw to them...
Bad pick by me, Randy. He is represented by CAA, the group with Tom Condon. Don't believe the Patriots have selected a player with Condon ties since Benjamin Watson's holdout in 2004.
don't the pats usually draft to fill anticipated holes on the following year's team? as in, who's contract is up at the end of this year? we better draft someone to take his place.... ron brace. with this in mind, i expect bb to snag a rb in rd 2
Good one, Brian. I think they do, and part of that is balancing short-term needs with long-term needs.
Any chance they trade Moss? Moss has more value now than next year.
I'd be shocked at that one, Timmy. Given Welker's injury, and the fact that Brady likes being around veteran receivers at this stage of his career, I see Moss here in New England.
In my opinion, the Pats should draft the best available player instead of the positional need. Even if we draft based on our needs, what is the guarantee it will be fulfilled (e.g. Pat Chung was our 1st pick, but how many down did he played, how much of an impact did he make on those plays....he was not Polamalu/Reed'esque was he ?)
Absolutely agree, Arch, with a twist. I wouldn't count Chung (20 percent playtime) out just yet. The Patriots often bring their rookies along slowly. Still, the point that I think is important is that if you draft for need, and reach for a player, it might look good on paper in April but you're still going to have that need next year, in addition to another need. You can never go wrong simply drafting the best player.
Mike, can you give us a final pick of who you think the patriots will take?
Tough one, Matt, because I could see them going in a few different directions based on what unfolds in front of them. So here are a few names that I think they like: Florida C Maurkice Pouncey, Fresno State RB Ryan Mathews, Alabama CB Kareem Jackson, Boise State CB Kyle Wilson.
Mike, dont you think that with all the patriots 2nd round picks they could invest one of them towards an osi umenyiora or albert haynesworth. I know osi has 2-3 years left on his contract while albert has 5 wouldnt this make the pats line explosive?
I don't see where Osi fits here (3-4 OLB?), but Haynesworth is a decisive difference-maker in my view. I make that trade for Big Al if it's an option.
So they passed on Beason, and that's your reasoning why they won't take Spikes? It's pretty clear that they were a little off the mark on Beason. If they see Spikes as a similar player, I have to think they jump all over him in round 2.
Rick, a 4.95 is an alarming number for a second-round pick. I think Beason was in the 4.6 range. Agree that Beason could have helped them.
can you tell us what the pats' war room is like? do bob and jonathan attend?
I was listening to an interview with Patriots president Jonathan Kraft and he described it as quiet, intense.
Trade a second and a fifth for Merriman.He is one year removed from the knee surgery and should be back to full strength.
I'm not a Merriman fan myself, Darren. I'd rather take a shot at drafting and developing someone.
Mike, what are you hearing about Ron Brace's development? Can we expect a leap from him this year?
Complete wild-card in my view, Kevin. I think his best chance to help is at DE now.
Mike, You just said that they wanted Butler at number 23 last year but I thought they wanted Harvin until Minn took him one spot prior and thats why they traded out?
I was actually talking about my own opinion, about Butler at 23. I predicted them to pick him there. They ended up with him at 41. The point I was trying to make was that if they picked him at 23, the perception of that pick would be totally different.
Hi Mike. Do you think it's easier or more difficult for Bill Belichick to trade with Pioli or McDaniels during the draft? On one hand, the relationships are there and may make dealing with them easier. On the other hand, you are competing against teams that look for similar players. You almost worry that if you trade up or down the board, a player who is an intended target down the line may now be in play for your former colleagues.
I think it's easier Kevin, because there is a trust factor there. When you're making a trade, I think having a comfort-level and trust with the person on the other end of the line is key.
Do you think Tory Holt is going to fill that much needed 3rd WR spot and does that eliminate the need to draft one early?
I think he'll provide insurance for Brandon Tate, but based on last year's Joey Galloway experiment, I'm hesitant to take the plunge right now. Had a pro scout tell me he thinks Holt is still a solid two-level receiver (short, intermediate).
Brandon Grahm will be a Pat and it'll be a good pick...can they get any trade value from Mulroney?
I don't think Graham will be there. Could go as high as 10 to Jacksonville. On Maroney, I don't think he gets traded over the next three days.
Let's go for another 5 here. Wish I could have answered them all. You have filled up this chat.
Mike, a lot of people are projecting the Patriots to go DL or LB with their first round pick. With McGowan's dropoff late last season, I'm thinking they might look to the defensive backfield. What's the possibility that Earl Thomas slides, and barring that, could the Patriots surprise people with a Taylor Mays pick?
I don't see Mays as their type of target, Joel, but Thomas I could see. Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News predicted Thomas to the Patriots.
Why is Graham jumping up the board so much? Early draft previews had him in the early to mid twenties???? What is different?
Safest pass rusher for 4-3 teams.
another war room question - i'm assuming the guy with the mustache and glasses attends also, yes? i forget his name though - the guy that sets up the game plans a week ahead of time and tells bill whether to throw the red flag....
Do see the pats making any big trades? Maybe trading up in the draft or even trading someone like Randy Moss for Greg Olsen and then draft Dez Bryant? Your thoughts
I'd be surprised if the Patriots don't swing a trade over the first two rounds. They made seven during last year's draft.
What are the chances Patriots elect to draft TE Scott Sicko out of NH?
Could be a good late-round option. They ran his Pro Day in Durham, NH.
Hi Mike, it's obvious the Pats are weak at TE right now and are going to draft one. Which of these four TE's (Aaron Hernandez, Rob Gronkowski, Anthony McCoy and Jermaine Gresham) are the Pats going to take, what pick and why do you think the pick will be a good fit?
Hernandez would be my choice. Maybe with their last 2 if he's there.
Do you get the sense that when the Pats appear to have interest in a player, their stock really goes up? Or are we just a little too proud of ourselves?
I think there is something to be said for that. When a player's name is attached to the Patriots (e.g. Tim Tebow), it's usually a good thing for the player.
Mike, Where will you be watching the draft tonight? Will you be doing a live blog?
Let's end on this one, James. We've posted some information on the Patriots blog as to our plans tonight. I don't think you'll be disappointed. We're going to be blogging, tweeting, producing video etc... The plan is to provide the most comprehensive Patriots draft coverage on the Web. I appreciate all the chatters who contributed today and apologize that I couldn't get to all of the questions.
Enjoy the draft and I'll look forward to chatting again very soon to dissect it all.