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April 14, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Mike Reiss

Mike Reiss
  (11:56 AM)

Good afternoon and welcome to today's Patriots chat. I'm here at Gillette Stadium as Director of Player Personnel Nick Caserio is holding a 1 p.m. news conference to go over the pre-draft process. I'm looking forward to it.

Mike Reiss
  (11:56 AM)

One question posed earlier today on our Patriots blog on ESPNBoston.com was in relation to the "four-headed" mock draft we had on our site. Based on the way the scenario unfolded, who would you have picked?

Mike Reiss
  (11:56 AM)

Let's lead off with some responses, both from a Patriots and overall NFL perspective.

Nate (Andover)

I would take Justin Houston at 17. Four OTs and four potential DEs are on the board. Houston is the only available OLB worth taking until Sam Acho. We can see that Taylor and Wilkerson would have been there at 28. I like their fit for the Pats at end much better than Jordan's. Maybe we get lucky as well and an OT falls to 28 and we get Solder or Sherrod there. Maybe we get lucky and get an OT and DL with 28 and 33 to go with Houston. That's a successful first round. If we don't take Houston, we don't get a first round quality pass rusher.

Casey (Plymouth, MA)

Re: Today's lead in question.The closer we're getting to the draft, the more questions/concerns I'm starting to have about the talent in this year's draft. I saw the '06 Draft re-do on nfl.com and it hit me: that is very similar to this year's draft! Skill positions have more question marks, and there aren't really that many sure-fire hits for teams. I'm almost willing to gamble and take a wait-and-see approach, and if the value of the board isn't there at 17 or 28, trade one away for another chance next year or take your chances with free agency, whenever that happens...I don't think the Pats should jump up for someone like Robert Quinn, but rather sit back for safer bets to help build some depth along the O and D-lines, specifically DE (Watt, Jordan or Heyward) and anywhere on the O-line (Pouncey, Castonzo or Carimi)..

Tim (Newton)

Hey Mike, in this scenario, I'm staying put at 17 and taking Cameron Jordan as well. From everything I've seen, he not only has the physical skills, but also a workaholic type attitude that Bill loves. With the 28th, I look for a trade. I think Dalton and/or Locker are still hanging around here, and a team in the early 2nd (Bills, Bengals, Cardinals, Titans, the list goes on). Grab their 2nd and possibly a 2nd next year? I think you can grab an OLB, interior lineman, or maybe RB or WR with those 3 2nd rounders from there.

John (Miami)

Just a thought on the Panther's first pick. I know you have them taking Cam and I am going to go in another direction with an explanation. I think then should either pick the player with the best grade or the best DL man available.Reason:-In there division, there is no pick they can make that will significantly up their win total for this year. In fact, I am tempted to say they are odds on favorite to win the number 1 pick over all next yr. Think about how they would rue picking a QB in this draft if they have the chance to pick Luck in next yr draft. Also, who would want to have to pass and Luck because you have used 2 high draft picks on two QB in successive years. The DL from Alabama would therefore be the best pick or, if they can trade down and get a WR for luck next yr. Any thoughts on this line of thinking

David B (New York)

MikeI think you nailed both picks. If, as in your mock, Anthony Costanzo is sitting there at 17, I think BB would consider it (more than he would Pouncey). But Cam Jordan would be such a shot in the arm for this D. And Sheard would be an excellent addition too, although I must be the one person who is still high on Akeem Ayers. Good job...

Mike (DC)

In the four headed draft scenario, wouldn't there be more value in picking pouncey at 17 than Jordan? There don't seem to be any other first round interior line guys and two of the three DE's I think the pats will target (Heyward, Jordan and Watt) are still on the board. Couldn't the Pats get Pouncey then wait and if they get really worried about bringing in a DE, they could trade back up with 28 and a 3rd/4th to get their man? or does this indicate you don't think Heyward checks out physically?

Al (Back Bay)

Hi Mike in your scenario I'd pick Cameron Heyward at 17 and Anthony Castonzo at 28. Do you think the Pats would be will to package picks and move up to number to select Von Miller. Carolina needs picks, so they may accept the offer.

DFWPatsFans (Arlington, TX)

Hi Mike, I went through your mock draft with other commentators and found the analysis much better than what I've been watching on TV. You should consider hiring Mr. Scratch and the others during draft season to provide such excellent analysis.This draft is exciting and depressing at the same time. Exciting to see what the next generation Pats look like; depressing that there might not be a season to see them in action. What is the probability now for an NFL season? How can fans help in this process?

Mike Reiss
  (12:02 PM)

Great stuff. Appreciate your feedback on that. A couple of follow-up thoughts. I considered Pouncey at 17 and then coming back with a DE at 28, but I don't think Cameron Heyward will make it there. I also thought about Heyward at 17, but felt it might be a little bit of a reach, as much I like him based on a limited experience at the combine. I do think we'll have an NFL season.

Mike Reiss
  (12:03 PM)

Today's plan is to chat until about 12:40 -- a little shorter than usual -- so I can get over to Nick Caserio's news conference today.

Zac (Boston)

Mike, I have a comment about your tweet on the expensive ($60) parking at Fenway. I agree that's a high price, but then again it was downtown Boston on a midweek afternoon. As Bob Kraft's fifth son, would you ever criticize the exhorbitant, and still rising cost to park at Foxboro?

Mike Reiss
  (12:04 PM)

Zac, I thought we decided I was no longer Robert Kraft's fifth son, and that my seat at the table has been taken away? No, seriously, I would criticize the parking at Gillette. I wouldn't pay it. I think it's exorbitant.

Chris (Bryant)

Hey Mike,Was just wondering how much influence a player's family has in the draft. For example Mike Pouncey had his twin brother have a great year for the Steelers last year, and it seems to have helped his draft stock. Cameron Jordan's dad was also a great NFL tight end, which can't hurt him. What do you think about a player like Casey Matthews? He is projected in the middle rounds, but because of his brother do you think a team will jump at him a little early?

Mike Reiss
  (12:06 PM)

Chris, I do think it's a factor, but not an overriding one. Teams generally like NFL bloodlines, or the idea of a coach's son. I could see Casey Matthews possibly coming off the board a bit earlier than maybe the standard because of this -- and also because his position is a bit thin this year.

JGovil (NY)

At this time last year, what were you & other analysts picking for the Pats in the first round?

Mike Reiss
  (12:07 PM)

Sergio Kindle was a hot name, JGovil. That's probably a good reminder that it's a good thing Bill Belichick is making the picks and not us analysts :)

David (North Attleboro,Ma)

I still have some interest in the draft but not as much as I would if there wasn't a lockout. Am I the minority in feeling that way or do you feel the most fans still have the same sense of excitement for this draft?

Mike Reiss
  (12:07 PM)

David, let's put it out there to some of the folks on this chat. What do you think?

corky decker (destin fl)

Hi Mike: What are your thoughts on drafting a running back? Do you think we would be better off picking up a free agent like maybe Williams and use our picks for a pass rusher or three?cheers

Mike Reiss
  (12:09 PM)

Corky, I think the Patriots will work hard to try to come out of this draft with a running back. The way I view it, you have BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead as locks. Then you have two other roster spots to fill and I'd think one could come from the draft and the other either internally/free agency. I'd go the draft route over paying big bucks to DeAngelo Williams.

Chris (Orlando)

Mike, Based on who was on the board when the Pats' picked in the 4 headed draft, I think the Jordan/Sheard combo was a good pair of players to come away with. The only way I could see it differently is if the Pats envision Jordan as more of an elephant position, in which case I could make a case for Wilkerson at 28.

Mike Reiss
  (12:09 PM)

I missed this one, Chris. Sorry about that. Like your thoughts. Maybe offensive tackle Nate Solder at 17? I didn't want to do that, though.

Tim (Newton)

Hey Mike, wanted to touch on something most Pats fans are a bit in denial of. I'll first say I think Tom has 3, 4, maybe 5 great years in him. With Brady, especially after watching the Brady 6, who knows. But obviously we've heard whispers of "grooming" his eventual successor. In my view, there's absolutely no need to use a 1-3rd round pick on a QB. I've been impressed with Hoyer. What do you think the Patriots will do? And what do you personally think they should do? (either draft one with the thoughts of using Hoyer as trade bait. or stick with Hoyer for down the road)??

Mike Reiss
  (12:11 PM)

I agree, Tim. I like a Greg McElroy (Alabama) in the fifth round or later, if he's there. That's the type of developmental QB I'd be looking to come out of this draft with. If you don't get one, I don't think it's devastating. Brian Hoyer is still solid in the No. 2 spot and you still might have something in Jonathan Crompton, a 2010 fifth-round pick of the Chargers who spent last season on the New England practice squad.

MarkJ (Japan)

Mike, how was your experience in-studio with Adam Jones on ESPNBoston radio on Tuesday? Are you making a weekly appearance?

Mike Reiss
  (12:12 PM)

Had a nice time, MarkJ. I think the show is a good addition to our site. Nothing planned in terms of a weekly appearance, but figure it will be something like that during the season.

rick (ct)

Mike, any chance, after the lockout ends, that the Pats take a flyer on Matt Leinart? Have him learn from BB and TB12. He will be a free agent and hea??s hoping to find a chance to get his career back on track.

Mike Reiss
  (12:12 PM)

Rick, I don't see the Patriots exploring that. My sense of Leinart's temperament is such that I don't view it as a fit for this program/system.

Dan (Leominster, MA)

Mike,Read your piece about Patricia and Graham. I don't remember hearing anything about Peppers. Will he still be with the club,or did someone lure him away? I'm drawing a blank here! Thanks

Mike Reiss
  (12:13 PM)

Dan, defensive line coach Pepper Johnson is still on staff.

Eric (MA)

Most mock drafts project the Pats picking Watt, Jordan, Heyward, etc but typically their DEs are 300+ lbs. Are Watt and company too light? Or will they end up picking someone like Wilkenson who fits their DE size proto type? I'm hoping they pick a lighter end for pass-rushing reasons.

Mike Reiss
  (12:15 PM)

Eric, I don't think it's a matter of heavy or light with these players as much as it is body type and technique. Heyward, from my view, could probably add 10-15 pounds and be a strong 310. Jordan, on the other hand, might be a bit more limited in that area. It's a good question and one that requires looking through various lenses as to how a player will fit. I don't necessarily think lighter is bad, especially when considering all the different fronts you can play in a Bill Belichick defense. It's not just 3-4, but over/under fronts etc.

Morten Kristensen (Denmark, Europe)

Hey Mike. Seen a lot of fancy things going on in mock drafts lately and quite a few is making Mark Ingram going all the way down to pick 28. So let's say he drops this fare down and Bill is on the clock and suddenly a team with a need for a QB, Titans, Vikings; Cam Newton and Blaine Gabbert is off the board at this time and with the picks they have they can find more value picking at the DE/DL/OT than taking perhaps Mallett here. This would also go for the Cardinals if Panthers take Cam Newton and Bengals go for Blaine Gabbert. So roughly we have 3-4 teams who want a QB, if they want to opt in here at 28 to get Mallett, do you think Bill would make the deal? Out with the 28th pick overall, which will send Mark Ingram to another team most likely, for a first round pick in 2011 draft and something like a 3rd or 4th pick this year?

Mike Reiss
  (12:16 PM)

Morten, I do think Bill Belichick would make a deal in this scenario. Trader Bill has probably already checked the phone lines to all 31 teams so they know business is open.

Casey (Plymouth, MA)

Hey Mike, what are your thoughts on Pat Kirwan's 2-round mock draft he posted to NFL.com on the 12th? He has the Patriots selecting Castonzo at 17, trading 28 to the Bengals for their 35th this year and 2012 2nd rounder, and opening the 2nd round by trading the 33rd to the Redskins for a 41st this year and 2012 3rd rounder. Then they make the picks at 35, 41, and 60 with Muhammad Wilkerson, Danny Watkins and Ryan Williams, respectively.Do you see it as a real possibility to trade away 28 AND 33 and only get a 2nd and future 3rd for that #28? I don't see the value in trading away a chance for a top 30 player for a top 40 this year and a future top 90 player. Your thoughts?

Mike Reiss
  (12:16 PM)

I'm with you, Casey. Don't like the value of those trades.

SteveB7SFG (Millbury)

On the question "Who would I pick if I was BB at No. 1?", toss up between Von Miller or Dareus. Either one is a good pick.Mike, do think its wise for the Pats to wait and address a RB in middle rounds and possibly pick up some depth from FA (if there is any this summer) There are a couple of RBs that could fit in here.

Mike Reiss
  (12:17 PM)

Good stuff, Steve.

Mike Reiss
  (12:17 PM)

I'd go Dareus.

Mike (DC)

Do the comments reported by Mike Lombardi regarding Mark Ingram's knees make you think he will fall further? or are they just now coming out publicly but have already caused him to drop? Does this add value if you can get him in the second or third round? or is the risk still too big?

Mike Reiss
  (12:18 PM)

Mike, the medical is always the big question mark in these situations. I really have no idea, but it certainly sets up the expectation that Ingram could fall deep into the first round and perhaps beyond.

Hoogie (Lexington)

Mike, who are the three players who you would love to see the Pats walk away with in this draft?

Mike Reiss
  (12:20 PM)

I've been focusing on the pass rush, offensive line and running back. Players I like: Defensive line (Cameron Heyward), outside linebacker (Jabaal Sheard), interior linemen (Mike Pouncey/John Moffitt), offensive tackle (Nate Solder) and running back (Shane Vereen).

Kevin F. (Framingham,MA)

Hi Mike. The Patriots have been known to gamble on players who have dropped in the draft due to injury. Bethel Johnson, Rob Gronkowski, and Brandon Tate come to mind. The Patriots saw "value" in getting those guys in the 2nd and 3rd rounds. I mention this because it seems two players (Bowers from Clemson and Clayborn from Iowa) have injury questions that will drop them in the draft below their perceived talent level. Do you think the Patriots philosophy of gambling on talented players with injury questions, would be applicable to the first round as opposed to just the later rounds? Does the potential salary slotting system for rookies impact the decision to gamble (less guaranteed money committed to 1st rounders)? I personally think the Patriots would gamble with guys in the later rounds, but not the first due to the high cost, but let's say Bowers falls to them at 17. Do they pass for a safer pick? Like Gronkowski, and maybe Tate, Bowers would be "value" at 17, but does your willingness to take on an injury risk change because you are in Round 1 and not Round 2?

Mike Reiss
  (12:21 PM)

Kevin, based on history, I rule it out in the first round. I think there is the feeling that the first round is better for the sure thing, then you take some gambles after that.

Alexandra (Charlotte (via Framingham))

I saw on SportsCenter that the Titans recently worked out Jake Locker. Suppose they or another team team picking in the top 10 really like him -would such a team be a good trading partner for the Patriots at 17? The top 10 would seem to be a bit rich for Locker and it would allow the Patriots positioning to select an elite pass-rusher like Robert Quinn. What else besides the 17th pick do you think the Patriots would have to give up to move into the top 10, assuming there's a player they like enough to make that move, and for which players do you think that trade would be worth making?

Mike Reiss
  (12:22 PM)

Alexandra, that's a great thought. One factor to consider is that the Titans have to make sure Locker gets to 17. I wouldn't be surprised if the Redskins (10) consider him, as well as the Vikings (12), Dolphins (15) and Jaguars (16).

Brandon Mather (Mansfield, CT)

Hey Mike, seeing how the Pats have all these early round draft picks, do you see them trading any of them possibly for an established veteran? It might be a quicker way to add need to a position they are weak at? If so, do you see whom they may target? Thanks

Mike Reiss
  (12:22 PM)

Brandon, that is not an option this year because of the lockout.

Tyler (NH)

Mike, If you could take any player from any team and move him to the Patriots who would it be?

Mike Reiss
  (12:22 PM)

DeMarcus Ware was the first player to come to mind, Tyler. Stud pass rusher is hard to find.

Zack (CT)

Wait - Bill Belichick made a good pick by not choosing Kindle? Did Bill know the dude would fall down steps and crack his head open? Belichick deserves credit, but not on not drafting Kindle.

Mike Reiss
  (12:23 PM)

Zack, there were a lot of clouds hovering over Kindle before the draft. Dez Bryant, too.

Radim (Czech republic)

Hi Mike. I think that the first round is overrated. Of course you have the bigest chance to pick some great player but first rounder doesn't mean starter and future star. Great examples are Bruschi and Vrabel. I just don't think that our future passrusher has to be from first round. So I'd prefer to think who is going to be our next Vrabel or next Matt Light instead who is going to be first rounder. What do you think?

Mike Reiss
  (12:24 PM)

Good point, Radim. That ties into a series we are running on ESPNBoston called "beyond the first round." We've hit on running backs, receivers, outside linebackers, and interior offensive linemen this week.

Mark (Ireland)

Do you think the Patriots will have a keen interest in Randall Cobb? He looks like a Percy Harvin-type player to me. I remember the Patriots being very interested in Harvin in the 2009 Draft. He runs very good routes and has 4-down potential as well considering he had return duties at Kentucky?

Mike Reiss
  (12:24 PM)

Mark, the projection is second round for Cobb. I could see the Patriots being interested in him, depending on what else is available.

Mark (Dublin, Ireland)

I've been watching games of Jordan and was curious if he has the size and strength to play 2 gaps? In the Stanford game he was being blocked one on one a lot and the offensive lineman was getting the better of him. Would the Patriots not be better off looking at Heyward who looks a lot more capable of filling 2 gaps?

Mike Reiss
  (12:26 PM)

Mark, I think Heyward probably has the edge in that area, but Jordan is more explosive in other areas. So this would become a question of "do you take the more explosive, consistent player and get creative in working him into your system, or do you take the more standard projection -- an up-and-down talent -- who has a medical question (elbow)?" Tough one.

Mark (Ireland)

Do you think the Patriots would look at Benjamin Ijalana from Villanova as more of a tackle or a guard? He's 6"4 and 320lbs. In what round do you think they would look at him if they are interested?

Mike Reiss
  (12:27 PM)

Doubled you up, Mark. He looks like a late third, fourth-round pick.

Pat (New York)

It seems that the players the Patriots need , linemen with attitude on both sides of the ball, can be had from the bottom of the 1st to the bottom of the 2nd rounds. Wilkerson,Taylor,Ellis,Boling,Moffit,Rackley to name a few,so if Kerrigan isn't there at 17 I say trade down .Jordan seems to small for the line.What are your thoughts?

Mike Reiss
  (12:29 PM)

I like the thought on attitude, Pat. I'd add Heyward and Sheard in there. Don't think Jordan is too small to be effective in this scheme. Think he would help address one of their biggest problem areas (pass rush, 32nd in the NFL on third down).

Snook (Florida)

Mike After watching 'Brady 6', have your thoughts on brady changed at all ... and how many more years and superbowls do you think he will play and win.

Mike Reiss
  (12:29 PM)

Loved the Brady 6. Have always had great respect for Tom Brady. Have even more after watching it. I think he has at least 5 solid years left, assuming good health.

Rob (New York City)

Hi Mike - I think we all agree that the Pats need pass rush help in this draft. There are really two ways to address this - DE or OLB. Do you see the Pats taking one of each w/ their first three picks (17, 28, 33) - or will they take just one DE or OLB and consider the pass rush problem fixed?

Mike Reiss
  (12:30 PM)

I could envision both, Rob, depending on what else is available.

Kyle (Cranston, RI)

Mike, I hate the idea of moving up 5-7 spots if it takes giving up a second round pick. Unless they are dead-set on drafting a specific position and there is the potential for a run on that position within those 5-7 spots, they will still be able to get a similar caliber player at 17 given that they could be targeting around 4 or 5 position groups with that first pick...Does that make sense? For example, is it worth moving up 7 spots to get the next best DE available when they can stand pat, keep their second round pick, and get the best or next best OL available? I think not.

Mike Reiss
  (12:30 PM)

Makes sense to me, Kyle.

DJ (Ann Arbor)

What do you think of this reasoning? The more QBs are picked before the Pats are up -- especially at 28 and 33 -- the more likely a high value prospect at another position is available, and hence the less likely we trade down. The fewer QBs are taken, the less likely one of our first-round graded prospects is still there, and hence the more likely we trade out of the position. (Also, the fewer QBs are taken the more likely there's one left that another team really wants, so more likely they make an offer to good to refuse -- and, again, more likely we trade down.)

Mike Reiss
  (12:30 PM)

Agree, DJ. They want those QBs to go early, because it pushes other prospects down the board.

matthew (uk)

hi mike, two part question, first part-it looks like that robert quinn stock is dropping, so if he is still their at 10 with the redskins being in the position where having no second round pick, do you think that bill would make the move up? and second part- if if he does not trade up and stayed at 17 and cam jordan and JJ watt were still their, do you think that he would be more inclided to go with jordan over watt because of the situation with watt's agent even if he thinks that watt is the better player?

Mike Reiss
  (12:31 PM)

I'd go up and get Quinn at 10, assuming health checks out. Just don't think he'll be there. Jordan vs. Watt -- I do think Watt is the better fit, but that the agent issue could be a factor that sways the decision elsewhere.

easty (westy)

Hi Mike,Merrill Hodge suggested that the Locker visit could be a sign that teams are inquiring about Hoyer. Yes/no?

Mike Reiss
  (12:32 PM)

I think it's a little early for that. Don't see Hoyer having enough value on the trade market for the Patriots to trade him, unless I'm badly misreading it.

John (Fort Myers)

We need to come away with a stud pass rusher with this draft. I allmost don't care what we give up for picks. We don't have that many holes on the team. I would like add a couple OL but we can do that in the second round.

Mike Reiss
  (12:33 PM)

John, I think those thoughts echo what many followers are thinking about this draft.

Nel (Boston)

Mike, I keep hearing how terrible the Pats were on 3rd down last year. Is there any consensus regarding the main reason for their poor performance? Lack of pass rush? Poor safety play? Etc?

Mike Reiss
  (12:33 PM)

Nel, if I started a ranking as to the reasons why, I'd put pass rush at the No. 1 spot.

Szabi (Hungary)

Hi Mike! Is there any chance that we can watch The Brady 6 here in Europe, without access to ESPN (like it is the case with Patriots All Acces on Patriots.com)?

Mike Reiss
  (12:34 PM)

We're looking into it, Szabi. But I haven't heard if it is possible.

Bill (B. )

Doesn't this seem like the year that the Patriots should stand Pat and actually draft players with all of their picks instead of trading them for more picks next year? It seems like this years picks if picked correctly could make a 14-2 team even stronger

Mike Reiss
  (12:35 PM)

Bill, I think one goal Bill Belichick will have is pushing one asset into 2012. Right now the team has just 5 picks next year. I think he'll want to come out of this draft bumping that number up a bit.

David (North Attleboro,Ma)

Now that I know that Kraft,Hunt,Richardson and Rooney are involved in the mediation I feel better about it. Should I? Is this good news or this just for show?

Mike Reiss
  (12:35 PM)

I view it as good news, David, but I tend to be an optimist.

Kevin O'Malley (Hoosick Falls NY)

Gotta get to the QB. JJ Watt or Camoran Jordan at 17. Best offensive lineman at 28.(Solder) Outside linebacker at 33..(Reed)

Mike Reiss
  (12:36 PM)

Solid choices, Kevin, although I think that might be a little rich for Reed.

Ben (London)

Can you trade draft picks even though no trades can be made with actual players?

Mike Reiss
  (12:36 PM)

Ben, picks can be traded.

Mike Reiss
  (12:36 PM)

Let's go for another 5 here...

Daniel (District Heights, MD)

Mike as far as late round receivers you left Ricardo Lockette off of your list. Any reason why? He has speed and size. You also left Greg Little from UNC off your list. He has size and strength. He was also a running back before moving to wide receiver. He could be a nice choice as well.

Mike Reiss
  (12:37 PM)

No real reason, Daniel, other than I had to choose just one in each round. There are other good players too.

Tyler (NH)

In your opinion, what would make this draft a success? Assuming they keep all four picks in the first two rounds I wont be happy unless they draft three defensive players and an OL. Lets get back to our roots with a big, physical, smack-you-in-the-mouth defense!

Mike Reiss
  (12:37 PM)

I concur, Tyler.

Daniel (District Heights, MD)

Hi Mike. I would go Gabe Carimi with our top selection. I think the offensive line and protecting Tom Brady is the top need. Pass rusher is important. But there are far too many holes on the offensive line to ignore. A guy like Carimi would be a solid addition. Unless the Cowboys take him at 9.

Mike Reiss
  (12:38 PM)

Thanks Daniel.

Arjuna (Durham, NH)

Mike, how much of this supposed interest in Randy Moss from the Jets do you think is genuine?

Mike Reiss
  (12:38 PM)

I've heard conflicting reports/information on that, Arjuna.

Scott (DE)

Mike, if there is no new cba by the draft, can teams still trade picks for other picks? or would trades be out alltogether? Thanks

Mike Reiss
  (12:39 PM)

Yes, Scott, pick-for-pick trades are legit regardless of the CBA.

JStor (Las Cruces)

I for one am paying less attention to the draft this year because of the labor uncertainty. With the thought that there may not be a season or, at the very least, a sharply abbreviated offseason (meaning our young picks are unlikely to get fully up to speed), i'm just not as interested in the draft as in previous years. And that's sad.

Mike Reiss
  (12:39 PM)

Thanks for chiming in JStor.

Corey (D.C.)

Mike, the Patriots have a history of being "selectively aggressive", while remaining patient at the same time and not making the huge (costly) splash. Im wondering, with Tom Brady entering what could be his last 2-3 yrs of elite play, do you think the Patriots will become more aggressive in hopes for a ring? By aggressive I mean going after Sidney Rice, trading up, in the draft, etc.

Mike Reiss
  (12:40 PM)

I don't see their core philosophy changing, Corey. I'd be surprised to see Sidney Rice here, primarily because of the cost.

Corwyn (Groton)

Rumor has Bowers falling. If he is there at 17, do you grab him to perhaps play the elephant position or too much risk involved?

Mike Reiss
  (12:40 PM)

Too risky for me, Corwyn.

Andy (Lowell)

Hey, Mike, what are the chances the patriots end the first round without drafting a pass rusher? Am I wrong for half expecting them to trade a pick and grab maybe an OL with the other?

Mike Reiss
  (12:41 PM)

Andy, I think it's entirely possible. Still a chance to get one at the top of round two or beyond.

costa (work)

hey mike, i was wondering because of the potential lockout there dosent seem to be much talk about free agancy, Do the pats have anyone there looking at and could help shift the way they draft in anyway?

Mike Reiss
  (12:41 PM)

Costa, since free agency might not begin for months, I think that's why all the focus is on the draft. I like a veteran running back such as Ricky Williams as a possible target.

Daniel (District Heights, MD)

Mike this is for John from Miami. If the Panthers pass on a qb this season they could regret it for 10 years. They have to do what is best for them. And who says Luck will be a top pro when he comes out? No one knows. The hard work that is being done at this point is why a team works to get comfortable. I think Cam Newton will be an excellent pro. I also think that Carolina's problems on offense last season were not just the qb's fault. There isn't a lot of talent there at all.

Mike Reiss
  (12:42 PM)

Thanks Daniel. It's like a three-way conversation :)

Todd (Boston)

Mike, do you think there are any guys in the draft who could be IR'd this year? This would save a spot on the roster. The guy I have in mind is Carter from UNC.

Mike Reiss
  (12:42 PM)

Good thought, Todd. Greg Romeus of Pitt, perhaps.

Alex C. (Richmond, VA)

Am I the only one who thinks the Patriots need to possibly look into a solid safety in the 2nd or third round? Merriweather had a decent season last year but definitely struggled. Same with Chung-had a decent season but looked off after his injury. We're not even sure how McGowan will look now. Your thoughts?

Mike Reiss
  (12:43 PM)

Alex, McGowan might not be back (free agent), but I like what they have there. I have that lower on the target list, but I could see it if they are thinking ahead with James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather entering the last years of their deals.

theDehule (Boston)

Having watched the "The Brady 6" I was intrigued by the segment when Brady talked about his mentality of never wanting to allow anyone to take his job...with this in mind how much do you think it bother him hearing people say we should trade him and make Cassel our main guy after the success Cassel had in his absence a few seasons ago?

Mike Reiss
  (12:43 PM)

I could be wrong, but I don't think Brady paid too much attention to that.

Zack (Plano, TX)

What do you think of Edmond Gates of Abilene Christian? Do you think the Patriots could take him?

Mike Reiss
  (12:44 PM)

Real fast. For all the talk about "taking the top off a defense", that could be your guy.

Todd (Boston)

I think you're missing the boat on Danny Watkins. Yes, he's older at 26 but Vollmer was 25 when he was drafted. I think Watkins is Mankins 2.0. He can fill in at RG this year then replace Mankins when he gets franchised and traded next year.

Mike Reiss
  (12:45 PM)

Fair enough, Todd. Watkins seems to have some strong things going for him. That was my impression after talking to him at the combine, but I just don't see the Patriots tapping him. Just a hunch.

JJ (Lowell)

Mike, you think Randy Moss is coming back to the Pats?

Mike Reiss
  (12:45 PM)

I don't see it, JJ. Just a feeling that the team has moved on.

Sean (Hudson)

I keep hearing the Vrabel comps on Mark Herzlich. Your thoughts?

Mike Reiss
  (12:46 PM)

I want to see Mark Herzlich succeed. Pro Football Weekly said the team that takes a chance (medical risk) could get a Vrabel-type player. I like the comparison.

Mike Reiss
  (12:47 PM)

Let's end it there. Thanks to everyone for taking the time to chat. Sorry I couldn't get to them all. Off to listen to Nick Caserio on the draft. Let's do it again next Thursday.