The New England Patriots 2009 Draft: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios
The 2009 draft is approaching quickly and there is a growing number of mock draft articles, but this is not one of those articles. The draft is not controlled by the fans and these mock drafts articles are spreading like wild fire as though it's actually going to happen the way they predicted.
The draft is controlled by the GMs and coaches. The man behind the Patriots dynasty is none other than the man with the raggedy grey sweatshirt "BB" entitled on it. Bill Belichick loves versatile players and the draft has a good depth of versatile players.
The Patriots currently hold the the 23rd, 34th, 47th, 58th, 89th, 97th, 124th, 170th, 199th, 207th, and the 234th picks in the 2009 draft. So if you do the math, that's one first-round pick, three second-round picks, and two third-round picks. That's a lot of picks for the first day of the draft.
With all those picks it's very possible that Belichick will trade up to try and the player that best fits the Patriots complex defensive scheme. As of right now the Patriots have no major wholes except for outside linebacker because of the Matt Cassel trade which Mike Vrabel was also a part of.
While the Patriots only glaring need is outside linebacker they also need younger players to add depth to positions such as tight end, offensive and defensive lineman, linebacker, wide receiver, running back, corner back, and safety.
Players like Brian Cushing could excel under Belichick and right now that would be a very good possibility because of NFL analysts saying that Cushing will fall to the middle of the first round. With all the draft picks that Belichick and the Patriots have stockpiled up right now it is a big possibility that they could move up in the first round.
Rey Maualuga is another player that the Patriots are looking at, but many scouts say that he will not be a three-down linebacker because he is a liability in pass coverage. That is something that Belichick will not put up with and that means that Maualuga is not as versatile as people thought.
Aaron Curry would be the best player for the Patriots to draft because he can play in any defensive scheme and is good in pass coverage, but he will be drafted in the top three picks of the draft.
Brian Cushing would be a good draft pick for the Patriots if they trade up, but if not I believe Connor Barwin will still be available and everyone in the Patriots Nation is falling in love with the Patriots drafting him.
Connor Barwin's stock has been rising recently and analysts now have the Patriots selecting Barwin with the 23rd pick overall. Barwin played outside linebacker at Cincinnati and is very similar to Mike Vrabel's build, Barwin stands at 6'4" and weighs 256 pounds.
Barwin is also very quick for his size and ran a 4.47 in the 40-yard dash at his pro day. Barwin has also played tight end and defensive end in his high school and college career, which is why I think that Barwin would be the perfect fit and pick for the Patriots in the first round.
Belichick loves versatile players as we all know and Barwin is about as versatile as a player can get, he is currently rated fourth out of this year's draft class and he should be available for the Patriots at 23.
Belichick also recently visited UConn's pro day to see corner back Darius Butler work out. Belichick rarely goes to college pro days and usually sends the scout or the positional coach for whatever player the Patriots are looking at the pro day.
Butler is the third-rated corner back in the draft class, but I think he could be the No. 1 or No. 2 corner back in the draft. Vontae Davis has character issues that teams need to worry about and he often takes to many chances or does his own thing instead of listening to the coach.
The No. 1 corner back in the draft is Malcolm Jenkins from Ohio State, but he ran a terrible 40-yard dash and will most likely be converted to free safety. The Patriots should be wary of him if he should fall to 23, anyone remember Michael Huff when he came out of college and he had everyone saying that he will be the best free safety?
Louis Delmas out of Western Michigan would be a good second round pick for the Patriots and has been compared by many people to Rodney Harrison. The only knock I could find on Delmas is that he only had 12 bench reps, so scouts wonder if he will be able to help out in run support.
If Delmas was drafted he might start over second year safety Brandon Meriweather who would most likely be bumped over to corner if this was to happen.
Patriot's right tackle Nick Kaczur has been the Achilles heel of the Patriot's offensive line since he was drafted. Phil Loadholt of Oklahoma is a behemoth and would definitely start at right tackle over Kaczur. Loadholt is 6'8" and 332 pounds; what a monster at right tackle that would be.
This will be Laurence Maroney's last year with the Patriots if he does not live up to his expectations for being a first-round pick. Sammy Morris, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, and Kevin Faulk are good running backs, but they need a young playmaker to replace Maroney. A third-down running back will also be a necessity because of Faulk's age.
Donald Brown from UConn could be a possibility and if the Patriots do not select a defensive player they might snatch Knowshon Moreno or Chris Wells if they should fall to them. Kory Sheets from Purdue would make an excellent third-down running back for the Patriots, Sheets is 6'0" and weighs 206 pounds.
While wide receiver is not a necessity right now it will be in a few years, Randy Moss and Joey Galloway are both up there in age, but Wes Welker is still young. Brian Robiskie is my favorite wide receiver in the draft and is projected to be drafted somewhere in the end of the first round or in the beginning of the second round.
Robiskie has hands like glue and if you watched any Ohio State games or the Senior Bowl he damn near caught everything thrown to him. Robiskie has good size at 6'2"-6'3" and weighs around 210-220 pounds, he also ran a 4.50 in the 40-yard dash so he is not a deep threat, but could play very well in the slot.
Patrick Turner is another interesting wide receiver, but I'm too scared of him turning into Dwayne Jarret who currently plays for the Panthers. Turner is a big wide receiver at 6'5" and weighs around 220-230 pounds, ran a 4.50-4.60 in the 40-yard dash so, again, not a deep threat, but could be used in the running game because of his size and could also play on special teams.
Many NFL scout are very wary of tall USC wide receivers entering the NFL after Mike Williams and Dwayne Jarret came out and never lived up to expectations.
The Patriots should be wary about Clay Matthews, though; I'm still not sold on whether he is a worthy of a first-round pick or not, but I don't think he would be that much of an impact player for the Patriots anyway.
I'm not saying all of this will come true, but these would be the best and worst case scenarios for the Patriots in the draft.
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