New England Patriots Draft: Substance Over Flash


The New England Patriots drafted just Nate Solder in the first round, but are loaded with 2nd and 3rd round  picks (the first one seems to be trending towards Jabaal Sheard). Once again the Patriots go in the last direction I expected in the 2011 NFL Draft. All of the indications I had were that the Pariots were enamored with, so much so, that they would consider moving up in the N.F.L. Draft to select Cameron Jordan, but at 17th overall Jordan was sitting there for the taking and the Patriots chose to by pass Jordan.

They also were linked a lot to Mark Ingram, and that would have been a very good fit for the Patriots and Mark Ingram, but they chose on that. There were good Pass rushers from the OLB available and they by passed that. Also, available was Prince amukamara which could give the Pats one of the most talented young secondaries in the league instantly. Instead they chose to go with the unsexy, but generally smart pick along the offensive line. Is Solder the right fit? Maybe. Work is that personnel liked Solder as the 2nd best offensive tackle on the board. He’s athletic for a man his size, even though he’s almost nearly too big to bend and create leverage.

And then at 28th overall the Patriots did what they do best and traded out of the first round, again. I understand it’s always a good option to trade out of the first round to get more picks this year and next year, but the Patriots window to win Superbowls with Tom Brady is closing and eventually they’ll have to make those picks to maximize their chance of winning a Superbowl. To further that though, with the top pick in the second round I don’t have a problem with that move this year.

Which brings us to the second round for the Pariots. I think the Pats should take Akeem Ayers, but it appears that they are likely to take Jabaal Sheard the OLB out of Pittsburgh. Plays tough can play the run and rush the passer, though not a dynamic pass rusher. He’s also not as versatile or good in coverage as Ayers, but it seems like that’s the direction they want to go.

After that I think they could end up with a player like Mikel LeShoure who is Rick Gosselin’s 4th rated RB behind Ryan Williams and Daniel Thomas, which means he’s likely to be available with one of their picks.In my remock of the 2nd and 3rd round I have them taking LeShoure.  I also have them ending up with Titus Young in Round two as well. In round three I have them taking the S Jaiqwan Jarrett out of Temple, and the Nose Tackle Jerrell Powe out of Ole Miss.

But in all likelihood the Patriots will move around some in the draft. Whatever happens we can only hope the second round is as exciting as the first round.

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