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First Round: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado
Other Key Picks: Stevan Ridley, RB, LSU; Shane Vereen, RB, Cal; Ras-I Dowling, CB, Virginia; Ryan Mallett, QB, Arkansas; Marcus Cannon, OT, TCU
Overall Grade: B
The Pats essentially traded Richard Seymour; it was a deal to keep the Pats viable Super Bowl contenders for years to come but because Solder stepped in and did an admirable job as Tom Brady's blindside protector, they can claim a victory on that move, even if it meant giving up a perennial All Pro.
Adding the two young running backs (Ridley and Vereen) was also a wise move to keep New England's potent offense on schedule. Sure they could have went after Mark Ingram with the 28th pick but knowing that the running game is secondary they traded down and still got two high quality ball-carrier to carry the load in case BenJarvus Green-Ellis left...which he did.
And while adding both Marcus Cannon and Ras-I Dowling should also help the Pats reload rather than have to rebuild, the choice of Ryan Mallett is a curious one.
Yes, they should start to consider a life after Tom Brady and Mallett might very well be a superstar in the making despite his checkered past. But they reportedly love Brian Hoyer as their second-stringer and potential Brady fill-in. So the Mallett choice will only make sense if they deal one of those two backups. And as of yet, they haven't.