Belichick; still riding this draft like a jockey on crack, Day 3 Recap

A recap and summary of the picks of Day 3, focusing on those which affected or interested New England fans.

Same as the prior one: I'll try to trace a way through what's happened in the third day of the draft, discuss a few points of interest to Pats fans, and try to be concise in what was a rather confusing day (albeit less confusing that days 1 and 2). Rounds 4 through 7 - huzzah!

Onwards and upwards, after the jump...

 


Fourth Round

99th overall: The St. Louis Rams selected WR Mardy Gilyard, who'd had his supporters on Pats Pulpit. However, the Patriots had picked WR Taylor Price only 9 slots above, suggesting that Price was favoured over Gilyard in a head-to-head WR competition. It makes sense; Gilyard projected as a slot-corner in the Welker/Edelman short-range fashion; Price seems to be more of a Jabar Gaffney-type, being a 6'1", fast receiver.

100th overall: The Minnesota Vikings selected DE/OLB Everson Griffen. However, it seems like the Pats had little interest in Griffen; if they had wanted him, they could've selected him with the 89th pick; instead, they preferred to take Carolina's 2011 second-round pick. Griffen would've been decent value at 89, so his non-selection suggests they didn't like him particularly as a fit for the Pats.

104th overall: The Seattle Seahawks packaged this pick with a 6th rounder (176th overall) to get RB LenDale White, DT Kevin Vickerson, a fourth-rounder (111th overall) and a sixth-rounder (185th overall). In other words, LenDale White was ridiculously cheap - the Seahawks moved back 8 spots in the fourth and 9 spots in the sixth and pick up White and a DT? Wow. A while back I suggested that the Pats should move for White; perhaps I was correct.

113th overall: The pick the Pats received from Denver in consideration for moving back in the first round; the Pats selected TE Aaron Hernandez. Another pick, another ex-Gator.

Of note: TEs Dennis Pitta and Garrett Graham were still on the board and selected in the next 5 picks - Pitta at 114 to the Ravens, and Graham at 118 to the Houston Texans. Hernandez outright beat Pitta and Graham for the pick; probably due to Hernandez being ranked as a better blocker than Pitta, and because Belichick has familiarity with Hernandez via Florida coach Urban Meyer.

124th overall: Eric Norwood selected by the Carolina Panthers. Although Norwood had his supporters, he was never an option at this stage - the Pats already had Spikes, making it 4 ILBs on the roster, and Norwood is too small for 3-4 OLB.

Fifth Round

134th overall: The Philadelphia Eagles selected Ricky Sapp; Sapp plunged dramatically through the first and second days of the draft unexpectedly; it can only be assumed that he failed his medicals with some or all of the teams and they treated him like draft kryptonite afterwards. The Pats never seemed to want him, haven given up numerous possibilities of drafting the guy, and already having picked an OLB of somewhat less impressive physicals and college production. Something was wrong with the guy, and the Pats (and seemingly, everyone else) treated him like a leper afterwards. It must've been bad; even Sergio Kindle, who may need severe knee surgery, didn't drop this far. Ouch.

139th overall: The Jets nabbed this pick from the Seattle Seahawks through trading RB and Return Specialist Leon Washington and a 7th round draft pick (220th overall). I'd suggested trading for Washington when he was tagged with a second-round tender; a fifth-rounder seems like a steal for a guy who may have been able to be a Kevin Faulk replacement, long-term. 

Of note: in trading out Leon Washington, the Jets had a hole at RB... which they promptly closed with FB John Connor. Some Pats fans were campaigning for Connor; however, it's not clear whether his popularity is because he's a useful footballer or because he has the name of the leader of the Resistance against the Skynet and the Terminators (PS: next guy picked was named Ed Wang. Just so you know).

150th overall: continuing the awesome name trend, the Patriots select Punter Zoltan Mesco. Some Pats fans are upset about the seemingly high round; however, the next punter off the board was only 22 picks later, and Mesco seemed to be the unanimous top punter in the draft. The Pats got their man, and now they can pair him with stud gunners Devin McCourty and Kyle Arrington and make punt returners in the league soil themselves. Excellent.

153rd overall: The pick New England gave to the Bucs for TE Alex Smith; no players mentioned as possible Patriots were in the area. No harm done?

158th overall: The Pats traded Le Kevin Smith to Denver for this pick; it was then sent to Oakland in exchange for bumping down the Burgess pick from a third to a fourth-rounder.

Of note: the pick was eventually used on Boston College Center Matt Tennant; he'd been mentioned as a possible Patriot, and the Pats eventually drafted a Center. Could Tennant have been a Pat but for the Burgess trade? Perhaps.

Sixth Round

188th overall: The Pittsburgh Steelers selected RB Jonathan Dwyer. Dwyer had his supporters among the Pulpit; however, he was clearly not preferred by the Pats, who selected a punter over Dwyer.

197th overall: The Houston Texans selected Return Specialist Trindon Holiday; Holliday also had his supporters on the Pulpit to take over the KR/PR role from injured Wes Welker. However, the first-round selection of Special Teams stud Devin McCourty probably put a damper on any plans the front office might have had in selecting a Return Specialist.

205 overall (compensatory pick): The Patriots selected Center Ted Larsen from North Carolina State. Larsen's an interesting player, having only been a recent conversion to Center after spending most of his career as a D-lineman. Playing on both sides of the ball probably makes him an interesting project to Belichick and co; at the very least, the ability to block and tackle might make him a decent special teamer.

207 overall (compensatory pick): Tennessee Titans select S/ILB Myron Rolle. Rolle's an interesting character - a big and quick Safety or small inside linebacker, he's also a neurosurgeon-in-training who is an ex-Oxbridge grad. A very sharp guy, who the Pats had scouted earlier. If the Pats had intended to take him, he probably lost out during the draft - he could've been a stud special teamer, except Devin McCourty owns that role; he could've been an interesting Safety prospect, but that stocks of S are full with Pat Chung and Brandon Meriweather being fairly recent draftees, and he could've been an interesting prospect at (small) inside linebacker, except the Pats had acquired Jerod Mayo, Gary Guyton, Tyrone McKenzie, and Brandon Spikes in that role.

Seventh Round

208th overall: The Patriots traded up with two seventh-rounders (229th overall and the 231st overall {from Denver}) in order to draft Vanderbilt Offensive Tackle Thomas Welch. Welch is a big unit - 6'6" and up to 314lbs - meaning he's a project guy who has the size to play RT. It doesn't quite say whether the Pats are projecting Vollmer as a LT or RT, but it seems Welch has the size to play RT - which doesn't quite clarify things. I guess we'll get to see what Vollmer is later.

231st overall: The pick the Pats got from Denver for Russ Hochstein and then later gave up to take Greg Lewis; no clear Patriots drafting targets in the area, however.

247th overall (compensatory pick): The Patriots selected Alabma Defensive Tackle Brandon Deaderick. After milking the Urban Meyer connection for all it was worth, Belichick tapped his other buddy, Nick Saban, for a draftee. Deaderick looks like he has the size to fit in as 3-4 DE height, being a healthy 6'4" and a decent 287lb. He's got a bit of grit in him; he had a few brushes with the law, and was shot in the arm when he confronted a robber. He had it taped up and played in bandages.

248th overall (compensatory pick): The Patriots selected Defensive Tackle Kade Weston out of another favourite Patriot breeding ground, Georgia. He'll struggle to make the roster - he'd be behind Myron Pryor, Ron Brace, Darryl Richard, Brandon Deaderick, and Gerard Warren as the young/new DTs on the roster.

150th overall (compensatory pick): The Patriots selected QB Zac Robinson out of Oklahoma State. Robinson was a very productive college QB, who, among other things, earned his reputation for throwing to Dez Bryant.

Of note: Robinson is perhaps a little undersized for QB, at 6'2", but has interesting positional flexibility, having played QB, RB and WR in college. Another year, another Julian Edelman or Isaiah Stanback.

Also of note: the Patriots didn't draft several players they looked at, who are now UFAs - FB Mahase Tonga, OLB/DE Brandon Lang, and WR Scott Long.

Further, the Pats chose not to draft Pats Pulpit interest RB LeGarrette Blount, instead seemingly choosing long-shot D-linemen instead. Choosing two DT/DEs when the Pats already have a fair few (including new Free Agent signees Amon Gordon and Gerard Warren), and ignoring Blount, suggests he was never on the radar - discipline issues presumably scrubbed him from the board.

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