I wonder where BB's mindset will be for this draft?
Clearly the Patriots are more in a 'win-now' scenario than they are a 'build-for-the-future' one... for starters, the staff has some tenure and experience under its belt, compared to 2010 when the Pats didn't have an OC or DC and had been bleeding coaches for years.
The Patriots have done a solid job 'building-through-the-draft' since 2010. With the only clear disappointment in those three drafts being Ras-Dowling. And the Patriots avoided a mass-deconstruction (like the Ravens were hit with this year) hanging onto vets like Talib and Vollmer, both of whom would have been tough to replace with equal talent.
The Patriots, under BB, have never traded a future draft pick to move up in a current draft... but if there was to be a draft when they do so, I would imagine this to be it. There are two reasons why this could be possible this year, for one, they have few picks to work with in 2013. For another, the talent is deep in this year's draft, and all three of their top 3 picks have value...as quality players run through the 3rd round... making it unlikely that they would trade any of their top 3 picks out, or to move up... there will not be better value next year, and using any of them to trade up would be like losing a quality player.
And while one could argue that the Patriots don't have any major immediate need areas, they do have long-term needs at CB, DT and WR which matches up well with this year's draft insofar as those positions are considered deep in this draft.
I could see a situation where Desmond Trufant, Johnathan Hankins or another player falls far enough in the draft to make sacrificing a future pick seem viable to move up a short range in the first round to select them.
I could see the Patriots making a move in the second round even more, depending on who is still there in the 40s and 50s.
While the Patriots are not a team that I ever see selling out the future to try and 'win now', like the Jets did back in 2010... I do feel that they realize that there is a good opportunity for them this season, better than they may have in the future, to be the best team in the AFC... and they may be willing to sacrifice a future pick, to secure a more solid prospect in this year's draft.
As for who I would target:
1 - Desmond Trufant CB Washington (Trade Partner - Chicago #20 or St. Louis #22)
The Patriots have wasted a lot of picks in prior drafts trying to find a solid CB, Trufant is as solid as they come, and he is well worth drafting at 20 or 22. He will be at least as good as his brother Marcus in the NFL, and because of his lengthy college experience starting, as well as his brothers being NFL players, he is more pro-ready than many prospects/rookies.
2 - Aaron Dobson WR Marshall
A lot of doubters out there as far as Dobson goes, they typically are made up of fans who don't do much more than look at stats, or listen to a Mock-guru's opinion, and go with that.
Good things come in 3s... and in this case, the three I am speaking about are Troy Brown, Randy Moss, and Aaron Dobson. The Patriots would be doing themselves a favor in drafting this Marshall product, they have only had some of their best success when having a Marshall WR on the roster.
As for those who wonder why this exceptional talent had limited production in his Senior season, he had to miss some of the season with a knee injury.
Gerard Parker, the current tight ends coach at Purdue and former wide receivers coach at Marshall commented on how Dobson's injury impacted their offense.
“It changed us a little bit,” said Parker. “It changed us from being able to take the top off and throw the ball down the field vertically. We missed the home-run hitter.”
Dobson tried to remain a leader for his team despite the injury.
Despite being underrated coming out of high school and the injury this past season, Dobson always remains very positive.
Every day, Dobson sends out two tweets. One of them which says “Positive Thoughts… Positive Outcomes,” and the other, “Tgfad blessed,” which means “Thank God For Another Day.”
“Basically, just thinking positive about everything,” Dobson said on his outlook on life. “A lot of negative things happen in life so you can’t get down about it. I just try to stay positive and make something bad a positive. My parents always told me to stay positive and thank the Lord that I have another day on earth.”
Parker said that “AD is a good guy,” and commented on how he matured during his time at Marshall, learning the type of work that needs to be put into being a great player.
“There is always room for improvement,” Dobson said. “Working on my routes, speed, hands, everything. Always room to improve.”
The NFL is waiting just around the corner for Dobson, and it’s something that Parker believes he is ready for.
“If he stays healthy and gets in there with a good group of a wideouts, I think the sky’s the limit for him,” said Parker.
3 - Barrett Jones C/T/G Alabama
Jones was only the most prominent and productive player on the Alabama O-line for the past four years, starting at just about every position over the course of those four seasons. I can't imagine the Patriots having any interest in a player with that type of versatility and football intelligence, but you never know.