Good morning! The First Shot provides you with a healthy helping of links to the top Patriots-related stories around the internet to get your day started. Enjoy your breakfast, your coffee, put off your work (just keep an eye out for the boss), and get your early morning football fix. The links begin after the jump…
- Yesterday, Musket Fire’s Salvatore Stefanile continued his examination of 2012 NFL Mock Drafts. Who will the Patriots pick with their two first-round picks?
- Also happening yesterday, I passed along the news of QB Drew Bledsoe’s induction into the Patriots Hall of Fame.
- Speaking of Bledsoe, he gave the thumbs up to the Patriots’ selection of QB Ryan Mallett in the 2011 NFL Draft. Bledsoe notes the importance of having a good backup QB, something he learned about firsthand.
- ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss takes a quick look at the development of some of the younger defensive linemen on the Patriots’ roster. Defensive end continues to be a need in the Patriots’ defensive front seven.
- Comcast Sports Net’s Tom E. Curran examines the wide receivers available in free agency and tries to target some players the Patriots might pursue. Wide receiver was a concern heading into the draft but the Patriots did not select a wide-out to add to the roster.
- The NFL Network has been presenting the NFL’s Top 100 Players as voted by the players themselves every Sunday night, and Sports Illustrated’s Peter King compares numbers 71-100 to the list he compiled of the top 100 players. There are no Patriots in the players’ list from 71-100, but King ranks Patriots CB Devin McCourty as the 75th best player in the NFL.
- On the NFL lockout front, players and owners resumed their court-mandated negotiation talks while the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling that the lockout will remain in place until the appeal is heard on June 3rd.