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Brief Draft Preview

As luck would have it, my employer is moving its headquarters this weekend, and my endeavors to present a comprehensive draft preview have been thwarted.

But really, I don't have too much more to say in terms of what the teams needs are and the kinds of players they'll go after. It all depends who remains on the board when the Patriots picks come up.

I expect New England will probably trade at least one first-round pick, and they'll probably try to angle for picks next year, instead of trading down into the second or third rounds. I see little chance they'll try to move up. Any of the players worth trading up for will be taken by No. 8, and the Patriots will likely be unwilling to give up what those teams are asking.

If Reggie Nelson is on the board, I think New England will take him. If he isn't, it's "anything goes." Possibly Jarvis Moss if he's there. Anyone else is anyone else's guess.

I believe the reports that New England is confident they'll complete a deal with Asante Samuel, and they will not draft a cornerback in the first round. Even if a deal with Samuel becomes impossible, I don't think Bill Belichick wants a rookie starting if he can possibly avoid it.

For the same reason, I don't see Belichick and Scott Pioli taking a linebacker (except maybe Paul Posluszny) in the first round. If they do, expect to see him playing linebacker part-time and more on special teams.

The reality is: The Patriots have few key holes and -- barring injury and defection -- don't really need to draft any immediate starters. Most of the players they take can be groomed for the future, but a lot of those players can be found in the middle rounds.

And whatever you expect, expect it to be wrong. How often do the Patriots pick exactly who everyone expects? And how often do they pick total busts? Not often in either case.

So, we'll just have to wait and watch and wonder. We'll be blogging live during the draft. We'll have an open thread and post all the Patriots picks and trades. See you then!