The first round of the NFL draft is behind us for another year and once again, Bill Belichick made heads turn.
With the 17th pick, the Pats picked up an offensive tackle in Nate Solder (I had Solder pegged to go Belichick's way at 28th in my mock draft). Solder was a great pickup for Belichick.
He is 6'8", the tallest lineman available at the time and packing 318 pounds with room to build an even larger frame. The former tight end will fit in well with the organization and, although he is still learning bit by bit about the game, Solder couldn't have been picked up by a more intelligent front office.
The Patriots also had the 28th overall pick in their grasp but as Belichick seems to do every year, he made a trade that not only helped him this year, but next year as well. The New Orleans Saints traded their second-rounder (58th overall) and first-rounder in 2012 for the Pats pick and grabbed RB Mark Ingram from Alabama.
Where it stands now, New England has two first-rounders next year and will probably parlay one of them when we look ahead a year from now.
The more exciting part is that New England has three second-rounders for this year and has the ability to do some damage with the lead off pick (33rd overall) for Day 2 of the NFL draft. (Pats other picks for the second round are at 56th overall from the Saints trade and their own pick at 60th overall).
What will Belichick do next, now that he has those picks? What needs are left to fill? Could Da'Quan Bowers, a guy who has fallen down the list as fast as Brady Quinn, be bound for Foxborough come the beginning of tomorrow's proceedings? Continue to follow the NFL draft coverage as we set for what looks to be a great 2011 season, despite all the labor talks and disagreements between players and personnel.