The New England Patriots sat “still” during the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft until an opportunity presented itself. This time, the opportunity came through the Minnesota Vikings need and bold move to add a third pick in the first round. While some suggests if the Vikings gave up too much, well, apparently from the Vikings perspective it was worth to trade. I’d say from a Patriots perspective, it was very well worth for the Patriots.
Apr 25, 2013; New York, NY, USA; A general view of the NFL shield logo and main stage before the 2013 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall. Mandatory Credit: Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports
I don’t know why but I was expecting Bill Belichick to address the media at the Gillette Stadium after the draft. I guess it was a wishful thinking as I should know better that lately, Belichick sends his director of player personnel Nick Caserio to handle questions, as Caserio does very well. Whether we have Belichick or Caserio at the podium, the answers are basically the same – general and broad with a taste that you’re actually getting some inside information. But make no mistake Caserio, there is and will be plenty to write about it.
While many fans were expecting a pick at the 29th and while it’s customary for the Patriots to engage in trades during the draft, I still think the move to trade was unique and bold, and in this year’s draft it made perfect sense mainly when the Patriots are presented with four draft picks (Round 2 pick 20, 52nd overall, Round 3 pick 21 83rd overall, Round 4 pick 5 102nd overall, and Round 7 pick 23 229th overall) as Caserio later stated:
“We had had conversations throughout, I would say, once we got to a certain point there in the middle of the draft. We had has some exchanges back and forth and as we got a little closer there were a few more calls. Minnesota had expressed an interest and we went back and forth and then we decided that this made sense, so we made the move.”
It was expected that the big names would be gone by the 29th pick, and although some speculate this year’s class lack star power, it does not lack depth. The way Belichick operates, it’s almost sure that a few big names will join our roster as well as the one that under the radar. And again, it will be another round of surprises (at least for us fans) as Caserio does not disregard the possibility to moving up closer in the board, “possibly”, he says. “We’ll see how it goes. I think, based on the number of players that are there, if there are multiple players, then that’s one thing. If some of those players start to come off then we want to make a move up, we have maybe a little more flexibility to do that. I think we’re open to anything at this point, so we’ll have to see how it unfolds tomorrow once we get started.”
We will stay tuned for Rounds 2 and 3 this evening. But I can tell by Belichick’s discrete look in the draft room, he looks “happy” and so should Pats nation.
Follow Celia Westbrook on Twitter @celiawestbrook