Darius Butler, Patrick Chung Headline Patriots' Solid-but-Unspectacular Draft

Sean Crowe@CroweKnowsSenior Writer IMay 2, 2009

PISCATAWAY, NJ - SEPTEMBER 11:  Brandon Tate #87 of the North Carolina Tar Heels runs the ball against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights at Rutgers Stadium on September 11, 2008 in Piscataway, New Jersey. North Carolina defeated Rutgers 44-12.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Based on the feedback I received this week, it appears that most Patriots fans aren’t all that excited about what went on in last weekend’s draft.

Most of you seem to be upset that the Patriots didn’t address the linebacker position on day one. Remember what I said leading up to the draft about the Patriots and their draft philosophy. They always take the best guy available.

They weren’t going to take a linebacker just for the sake of drafting a linebacker. The Patriots didn’t have any of this year’s crop of linebackers rated as highly as they did Jerod Mayo last year. If they did, they would have traded up to get him.

Overall, the 2009 draft was solid, but not spectacular. Patrick Chung and Darius Butler are probably the only two guys you’ll see play extensively this season.

Butler is the only guy with superstar potential, but he’s in no way a can’t miss guy. Ron Brace should be a solid two-down nose tackle.

Of the day two picks, I think Tyrone McKenzie has the best chance of being a contributor this season.

His skills directly translate to what the Patriots want out of an inside linebacker. Belichick spoke extremely highly of him after the draft. He could be in the rotation by the end of the season.

I’m not sold at all on Brandon Tate. Not even a little.

I understand the pick. There aren’t many first round talents available in the third round.

The Patriots had a ton of picks and could afford the gamble. I’m just not sold the guy is ever going to get his act together, especially with the NFL’s trigger-happy commissioner.

Let me put it this way. Tate knew for four years when his NFL Combine was going to be (well, approximately). How insanely stupid do you have to be to test positive for pot? And if you do test positive, why should I believe that it won’t happen again?

And if it happens again, he’ll be suspended by the NFL. Which makes him useless.

I’d love to be proven wrong, but I don’t think I will be.

I’m rooting hard for Sebastian Vollmer to become a player for a plethora of reasons. The obvious one: his nickname is Sea Bass.

His becoming a player would mean the end of Nick Kaczur, which would be absolutely fantastic considering I’m not sure Brady’s knee can withstand the two or three times a game Nick Kaczur tries to get him killed.

NEPatriotsDraft has the list of undrafted free agents the Patriots (and everyone else for that matter) have signed since the draft ended. Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer is intriguing.

ProFootballTalk.com has a story about Brad Childress bragging about getting one-up on Belichick by drafting Percy Harvin. Childress is a complete buffoon. Good luck with Sage Rosenfels and his druggie receiver friend.

I’ll get into my thoughts on the rest of the AFC East in more detail later, but here are some quick comments:

I can’t believe the Bills didn’t draft a left tackle.

The Jets made the right move giving up what they did to get their quarterback. You need a quarterback to win in the NFL. Before the trade, the Jets didn’t have a single decent quarterback on their roster.

The Dolphins drafting Pat White is scary.

Nobody seems to be all that upset about Ellis Hobbs being traded (well, except Ellis himself). Peter King summed up why he was traded nicely in his MMQB column Monday:

Hobbs is a gutsy, feisty little corner, a confident kid who gave the Patriots some good games covering top receivers. But the Patriots are a totally bottom-line group, and with keepers Terrence Wheatley and Jonathan Wilhite making the team last year, and Darius Butler coming in Saturday, that's three cornerbacks picked in the first, second and fourth rounds of the past two drafts. Bill Belichick figures youth will be served, but I like that acquisition for Philly.

Patriots 2009 Draft Recap:

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Questions? Comments? Insults? You can email them to Sean Crowe at scrowe@gmail.com.


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