New England Patriots: Revisiting and Grading the Draft: 2008

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1st Round #10: Jerod Mayo, Linebacker

January 25, 2013; Ko Olina, HI, USA; AFC inside linebacker Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots (51) poses during the team photo at AFC media day for the 2013 Pro Bowl at the JW Marriott Ihilani Resort. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There was a collective groan that echoed throughout New England when it was announced at the 2007 NFL Draft that the New England Patriots had traded their second 1st round pick and #28 overall to the San Francisco 49ers for their 2008 1st round pick.. Further, San Francisco drafted left tackle Joe Staley, who has been a two time Pro Bowl player for them; however, the Patriots ended up with the #7 overall pick based on their 49ers rough 2007 season.

 

As usual, the Patriots were wheeling and dealing on draft day and turned the #7 overall pick (and their 5th round selection into the #10 overall pick and third round pick at #78 overall after trading with the New Orleans Saints.  The Saints drafted a Pro Bowl player and a washout, but definitely not where expected. The #7 overall pick turned into the underachieving defensive end Sedrick Ellis while the 5th round pick tuned into perennial Pro Bowl offensive guard Carl Nicks.

 

For New England they were able to trade down in the draft and leap from the 5th to the 3rd round and still get their player: inside linebacker Jerod Mayo. Stepping right into the interior linebacking role, Mayo had been a rock for New England before finally missing an extended period of time this year with injury. The final tally on the trade down on draft day in 2007 with San Francisco turned out to be the Patriots #28 overall pick in 2007 which was left tackle Joe Staley for the #7 overall pick in 2008 which the Patriots turned into linebackers Jerod Mayo and Shawn Crable and a 4th round pick in 2007 which was traded to Oakland for wide receiver Randy Moss.

 

SHOULD HAVE DRAFTED:

Taken a pick before Mayo at #9 overall, Keith Rivers has been a solid, if unspectacular player.  Defensive end Derrick Harvey went to Jacksonville at #8 overall, the aforementioned Ellis to the Saints at #7 and defensive end Vernon Gholston to the New York Jets at #6 overall. Suffice to say, the pick of Mayo was a solid move by the Patriots.

 

Having invested in running back Laurence Maroney the year previous, Chris Johnson, Matt Forte, and Ray Rice were likely not in the game plan.  The Patriots needed an injection of youth at linebacker and Mayo was the right choice. They traded down and moved up two rounds (which looked good at the time) and still got their guy. Mayo has been the most consistent defender and as a team captain has been the glue that has kept the team defense playoff-worthy despite a lack of talent at times.

 

GRADE: A

 

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