It was yet another long and anti-climactic draft weekend.
The Patriots again did what no one thought they would and selected a dozen players. Only a couple will be in any position to help the team immediately, but the rest will restock the depth at the positions that good football teams value the most...along the lines.
As expected, the Pats were frequent trade partners. In fact, only two of the Pats 12 picks were even their own non-compensatory picks. The rest all came via trades.
When the dust settled the Pats had four picks in the first two rounds of 2010, and a number of uniquely talented prospects.
Patrick Chung, S, Oregon
He's a good complement to James Sanders and Brandon Meriweather. He's sturdy, plays with an edge, and should excel playing close to the line of scrimmage. With Sanders and Meriweather both signed thru 2011 and now the addition of Chung, the Patriots have a solid young corps of safeties.
Ron Brace, DT, Boston College
This pick scared me, or at the very least put the possibility of seeing Vince Wilfork depart in my head. Though Todd McShay says he could play defensive end, this guy looks like a nose tackle to just about everyone. Hopefully, he's a three-technique as well and he's more like a replacement for Jarvis Green rather than a replacement for Wilfork.
Darius Butler, CB, Connecticut
Don Banks had us taking him at 23rd overall, a move I wasn't a big fan of, but at 41 I'm excited to get Butler. He's played some receiver as well, not a shocker, he's versatile. Ultimately Butler made Ellis Hobbs expendable and now we're looking at a Shawn Springs, Leigh Bodden, Terrence Wheatley, Jonathan Wilhite, and Butler battle this summer.
Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston
Sometimes I think Belichick just does it to mess with us. There were two times in the first two rounds where a pick was made and the mock draft-wielding experts didn't have a graphics package prepared.
The first time was by the Raiders and it was met with utter shock and disapproval. The second was Vollmer, which of course, because it was Belichick, was met with awe and admiration. He's from Germany, barely speaks English and is now a second round pick by the Pats. Oh, by the way, he's 6'7" and nicknamed "Seabass." You can't make this stuff up.
Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina
Tate and Percy Harvin were the only two morons to test positive for pot at the combine. I'm pretty sure 70 percent of the NFL smokes weed so I don't really see what the big deal is. I think Randy Moss and Wes Welker will show young Brandon what it takes to succeed in the NFL and either he'll get it or he won't. It's not like Chad Jackson left any big shoes behind to be filled.
Look, it's always exciting when you add a playmaker even when he's got some negative baggage, just ask Bills' fans. And Brandon Tate looked like a playmaker before tearing his right ACL against Charlie Weiss' Fighting Irish. He can basically take the year to get healthy if he needs too and in 2010, we'll see what we've got.
Tyrone McKenzie, LB, South Florida
It's pretty clear this guy will project inside and he fulfills a definite need. Now McKenzie, Ruud, and Guyton will compete to see who could be Tedy Bruchi's eventual replacement. I came across McKenzie in my draft research and if you haven't heard his story you should definitely check it out. This guy's going to be a lot of fun to root for.
Rich Ohrnberger, G, Penn State/George Bussey, OL, Louisville
Two developmental players to enroll in the "Dante Scarnecchia School of Blocking and Mauling."
Jake Ingram, LS, Hawaii
I guess when you're as good as the Patriots, you can afford to spend picks on guys who are known only for their long snapping prowess.
Myron Pryor, DT, Ketucky/Darryl Richard, DT, Georgia Tech
Ok, so these two at the bottom mean the Patriots drafted three players all who look more like Vince Wilfork than Richard Seymour. I am starting to wonder if Wilfork's looking to break the bank.
Julian Edelman, WR, Kent State
This is another guy not even invited to the combine. From the limited information available on the internet about "Ju Ju" I'm pretty sure he's the white Pat White. Edelman ran the short shuttle so fast at his pro day that the scouts asked to see him do it again, and he lowered his time. The time would've been the fastest of anyone at any position at the vaunted combine, so yes, I'm kinda curious to see what he can do.
Overall, this was yet another example how you never know what the Patriots are going to do. With everyone saying there was no way they would ever draft eleven players, they drafted twelve.
Clearly the makeover of the defense is nearly completed. With the departure of Ellis Hobbs the Pats cleared up $2.4 million in cap space. Whether or not that's enough for Jason Taylor remains to be seen.
But the stage is set for the fierce battles that will take place at both cornerback and linebacker once training camp rolls around.
Mike Dussault is a Patriots Community Leader and just getting over a cold. If you wish to send him an email as he descends into the Second Void of the NFL year, you may do so at PatriotsPropaganda@gmail.com.
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