Reflections On Patriots First Day Of Draft
With the first round of the 2013 NFL draft in the books, here are some rapid reaction thoughts regarding the Patriots’ activity on night one, and how other teams’ picks could impact the Patriots season as well.
-- It’s now obvious the Patriots wanted nothing to do with the top-ranked receivers in this year’s draft. Aside from Tavon Austin and DeAndre Hopkins, everyone else was available at pick No. 29 before the Pats traded down and out of the first round. The pick, which was traded to the Vikings for four later-round selections, was used on Tennessee receiver Cordarrelle Patterson. The Patriots don’t select again until pick No. 52 (20th overall in the second round), and by then guys who were thought to be first-round talents like Justin Hunter, Robert Woods and Keenan Allen could be off the board.
-- With the four additional picks the Patriots received from the Vikings, they could be feeling confident in mid-round defensive back talent. If draft viewers tuned in to ESPN last night, they witnessed Jon Gruden obsess over Tyrann Mathieu, a.k.a the Honey Badger. Gruden went as far as to say Mathieu was the best cornerback in the draft. But realistically, who is going to take a chance on him this early? Maybe, just maybe, the Patriots like their chances to nab the 5-foot-9 ball hawk from LSU with one of their second- or third-round selections. The team now has two picks in each the second and third rounds, one in the fourth, and three in the seventh after the trade with the Vikings.
-- Watch out for the Dolphins. They made it clear they want to seriously contend for the AFC East title this year by trading up to the third overall pick and taking Oregon’s Dion Jordan. How have other teams beaten the Patriots in the past? By pressuring Tom Brady to no end, and Jordan is a great pass rusher. The only question for this rebuilt Dolphins team is, is Ryan Tannehill up to the challenge going into his sophomore season?
-- The Jets took Alabama corner Dee Milliner with the ninth overall pick, seemingly replacing Darrelle Revis. In an interview after his selection, Milliner was asked about the prospect of facing Tom Brady. “It's always a good challenge to go up against one of the greatest quarterbacks in our division. I'm looking forward to that. Hopefully I get my hands on a couple of his balls and take them back,” he said. Assuming he was talking about footballs, I’d say he’s fired up and ready to help the Jets rebuild.
-- The Patriots were pretty high on Washington corner Desmond Trufant. So when the Falcons traded up from pick No. 28 to grab him, that may have sealed the deal for Belichick on trading down and out of the first round.
-- Round two begins Friday at 6:30 p.m.