2011 NFL Draft Grades: New England Patriots Score Ryan Mallett, High Marks
The Patriots Are A Great Landing Spot For Ryan Mallett
The New England Patriots do things in the draft few even think about doing. Not only do they make bold moves and take risks, they usually seem to pay off.
No one "gets" the draft like Bill Belichick, and there are few who would argue with this point.
The Patriots took Nate Solder with their first pick, filling a big need and starting their weekend off in a relatively normal manner. Then they traded away their second pick in the first round, also not a surprise. No one trades away top-round picks like Bill Belichick.
Ras-I-Dowling and Shane Vereen in the second round both were solid grabs, giving the Patriots sick depth at corner and another option out of their thin backfield.
Then there was Ryan Mallett in the third round. Mallett's stock dropped once team-after-team met with him and characterized him as having a million-dollar arm and a 10-cent head. With the Patriots, there is no doubt who the starter is and where Mallett stands in the pecking order.
No one will be chanting Mallett's name in the stands if Brady throws a pick, and no one in the locker room will be lobbying for Mallett to get more playing time.
Under Belichick, Mallett will get some much-needed time to mature and learn the pro game.
It is the best situation Mallett could have found himself in.
As for the rest of the draft, Marcus Cannon is another steal in the fifth round as his Lymphoma diagnosis scared off a lot of teams. If Cannon has a quick recovery, Belichick and the Patriots will be laughing all the way to the Super Bowl.
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