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NFL Draft 2011: Patriots' First Round Debate

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Heeeey! You're hired! (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
Heeeey! You're hired! (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
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The Patriots are lucky enough to have two picks in the first round. The one pick that will dictate the rest of the draft is #17 for the Patriots. If they decide to go defense early on, they might miss out on the top offensive prospects in the draft. If they decide to take an offensive player at #17, then the Patriots will have to fine a gem of a defensive pass rusher in the middle of the draft. I'm going to throw out a very plausible scenario and I want you all to talk about which you would prefer.

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Players we will discuss:

Von Miller, OLB

Robert Quinn, OLB

Aldon Smith, OLB

Ryan Kerrigan, OLB

Justin Houston, OLB

Julio Jones, WR

Cameron Jordan, DE

J.J. Watt, DE

Adrian Clayborn, DE

Prince Amukamara, CB

Jimmy Smith, CB

Brandon Harris, CB

Tyron Smith, OT

Anthony Castonzo, OT

Gabe Carimi, OT

Nate Solder, OT

Derek Sherrod, OT

Mike Pouncey, C/G

Mark Ingram, RB

These are the players in this draft scenario.

Let's take a look after the jump!

Pretend that you are in the Patriots' war room. You have a decision to make and here are the possible options:

1) Von Miller has bulked up a bit to be considered for the 3-4 OLB position and is on the board at #4 overall. Arizona is thinking of picking Miller, but they're open to a trade. If you don't trade, they will take Miller. What do you do?

2) Robert Quinn is available at #9 overall. You hear that the Texans are interested in Quinn to bolster their defense as they transition to the 3-4, so you know he won't last past 11. Washington is not interested in a trade. What do you do?

3) Julio Jones is also available at #9 overall. You have a sneaking suspicion that he is the reason why Washington will not trade. Do you trade with Dallas at #9 to grab Jones?

3) Aldon Smith is available at #12 overall. The Vikings need a DE and they are thinking of taking Smith, but they are open to a trade. They have a 75% chance of taking Smith if they hold on to their pick. What do you do?

4) Prince Amukamara has also fallen down to #12 and the Lions are 50% sure that they'll take Amukamara, and they aren't interested in a trade. Do you trade up to the Vikings at #12 to get Amukamara?

5) The Lions, if they don't take Amukamara, will definitely take Tyron Smith at #13 (which means it's a 50% chance). Do you trade with the Vikings at #12 to take Smith?

6) Cam Jordan is available at #14, with the St. Louis Rams. Rumors are that the Jaguars are interested in reuniting Jordan with Tyson Alualu on their defensive line and the Dolphins won't trade with you at #15. The Jaguars have a 50% chance of taking Jordan. What do you do?

7) The Dolphins are staying at #15 to make sure they get Mark Ingram. Do you trade up with the Rams at #14 to get Ingram?

8) You decide to stay at #17 overall. You have the following options: Ryan Kerrigan, Justin Houston, J.J. Watt, Adrian Clayborn, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Harris, Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Nate Solder, Derek Sherrod, and Mike Pouncey. Which player do you select?

9) You decide you want to trade down, but the only teams in the bottom of the first round that are willing to trade with you are the Eagles (#23), the Seahawks (#25), and Baltimore (#26). Between #17 and #23, the following players have been drafted: J.J. Watt, Gabe Carimi, Adrian Clayborn, Anthony Castonzo, and Derek Sherrod.

9a) That leaves: Ryan Kerrigan, Justin Houston, Jimmy Smith, Brandon Harris, Nate Solder, and Mike Pouncey on the board at #23 with the Eagles. Do you trade with the Eagles?

9b) If you trade down to the Seahawks at #25 or the Ravens at #26, then the only players left on the board will be Houston, Harris, Smith, and Solder. Do you make a trade?

9continued) You can trade down with any of those three teams. Keep in mind that additional players, like Cameron Heyward, Phil Taylor, Muhammad Wilkerson, and Akeem Ayers become feasibly draftable. What do you do?

10) There is some additional interest by some teams who want to trade into the future. These teams include Cincinnati and Dallas. By trading with these teams, you will be trading the #17 pick out of the 2011 first round. What would teams like the Bengals or the Cowboys have to offer to get the #17 pick? Would you do it?

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So there are ten options with the #17 pick.

Mr. GM- What do you do?