Greetings Patriots fans! If you are like me, you have already had enough talk of this cursed lockout. There is a draft coming. The NFL draft may just be the second most popular sporting event, surpassed only by the Super Bowl. We here at Musket Fire want to make sure that you are ready!
But things get a little more complicated when discussing the Patriots and the draft. Trying to figure out or predict what Bill Belichick is going to do on draft day is like trying to guess what outfit Lady Gaga is going to wear next. No one is more active and unpredictable on draft day that the Pats.
This year, as per usual, the Pats are well-stocked with a bevy of picks. The team currently owns two selections in the first round. They have their own pick, number 28, as well as the 17th pick. They acquired this pick from the Raiders in exchange for Richard Seymour.
Who knows if Belichick will actually keep and use both of these picks. My guess is that will not happen. Perhaps the Hoodie will trade up and grab a “can’t miss” player, again highly unlikely. Belichick could also decide that he does not need two first round picks, nor does he want to pay for them and decide to trade down.
So instead of trying to predict what Belichick and the Patriot brain trust are going to do, I am going to discuss prospects that should be available at the 17th and 28th spots in the draft that would meet needs that Patriots currently have.
Most NFL experts and draft analysts believe that the two greatest needs are on the offensive and defensive lines. I would agree that the Pats badly need a pass rusher and also need to do a better job of protecting the Franchise, QB Tom Brady.
Today I will be discussing two players that could be headed to Foxbourgh this fall. First is offensive lineman Mike Pouncey a big, smart 300 pounder from the University of Florida. There are several reasons why the Pats might select Pouncy with the 17th pick, he most likely will not be available much later. First, guard Stephen Neal has retired, so there is an opening at guard. Second, the Pats have had difficulty getting their other guard, Logan Mankins, signed to a long-term deal. Pouncey would give them some flexibility if that remains an issue.
Not only that but Pouncey can play guard or center, providing the Pats with a player who can play more than one position, a trait beloved by Belichick. Plus, Pouncey’s twin brother had an outstanding rookie season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, further proof that Pouncey should be able to make the transition from college to the NFL.
And if those were not reason enough, we have seen that Belichick loves to draft players from programs where he is friends with the coach. Didn’t the Pats draft about fifty guys from Florida last year? Even though BFF Urban Meyer has since resigned from his position at Florida, Pouncey is another prospect developed under his tutelage. The kid has a bright future and probably would not be too hard to sign, if they are ever allowed to sign anyone again.
On the other side of the ball, the Pats might consider selecting DE Ryan Kerrigan out of Purdue. The Patriots have not had a good pass rush since shipping Seymour to the Raiders. Why not use the pick acquired from that trade to fill that need? Kerrigan could be available at either spot. The 2010 Defensive Lineman of the Year is one of those high motor, never give up, football junkies that fit in perfectly in New England.
He ran a 4.67 forty which is excellent for a defensive end. He is not an especially explosive player, according to most scouts, but is strong at the point of attack, a good bull-rusher. Plus, the kid is smart, another characteristic Belichick craves in a player. Some experts think that Kerrigan could play outside linebacker with his speed and size. So this is another player who can bring versatility and create match-up problems for opposing offenses.
Either one of these two players would instantly make the Patriots a better football team. You can read more about these two players here. Or perhaps you think they should go after another player. What are your thoughts Patriot nation?