Clifton Brown (Sporting News) grades the Patriots: A+
No pass rusher, but a slew of talented players led by Nate Solder, Ras-I Dowling, Shane Vereen and Ryan Mallett. Plus they have two picks next year in both the first and second rounds.
Another predictably unpredictable Patriots draft. They took players other teams were afraid to: Ryan Mallett fell to round three because of off-field concerns, while Marcus Cannon fell to round five because of a non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma diagnosis. Both were arguably first-round talents. A pair of mid-round running backs (Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley) should help right away, but passing on front seven help was curious. Nate Solder was perhaps the most talented tackle in this class and could replace Matt Light immediately. Line coach Dante Scarnecchia will know what to do with Solder. Oh, and by the way: The Patriots picked up an extra first- and second-round pick in next year’s draft.
Nate Davis (USA Today) Patriots are winners in the 2011 Draft.
Yet again they worked the board to their advantage and already have two first-rounders and two second-rounders for the 2012 draft ... potentially even more advantageous if the expected rookie wage scale doesn't go into effect for another year. For 2011, they come away with Nate Solder, likely QB Tom Brady's new blindside bodyguard; a deeper talent pool in their offensive and defensive backfields; and two value picks -- QB Ryan Mallett (third round) and OL Marcus Cannon (fifth round) -- potential Round 1 choices who plummeted due to perceived off-field concerns in Mallett's case and medical ones for Cannon. Assuming Mallett never displaces fairly young Brady (34 this season), he could be a valuable trading chip in future years while Cannon, if healthy, could earn a spot on a line in transition.
Andrew Perloff (SI) The Patriots are one of the teams that still have holes to fill following the draft.
The Patriots didn't have a player with more than 5.5 sacks last season and struggled to get teams off the field on third down. But even though they entered the draft with six picks in the first three rounds and this was supposed to be one of the best defensive end drafts ever, they didn't take any pass rushers in the early rounds. Now they'll have to find someone who can get after the quarterback in free agency.
Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) New England Patriots are losers after the Draft.
The Patriots had a major need for pass rushers, but Bill Belichick ignored the outside linebacker position. They could have selected outside linebacker Akeem Ayers, but chose to go with a cornerback instead in the second round. The Patriots were already in decent shape at cornerback, but all the good cover guys in the world won’t matter if you can’t consistently get to the quarterback.
- Jeff Howe assesses the Patriots' risk-taking in the draft and notes now it's all about enduring the waiting game.
- Greg A. Bedard looks at whether the new draftees will cause a shift in the rankings of the AFC East next season.
- Mike Reiss analyzes the 2011 Patriots roster as it looks right now.
- Karen Guregian grades the AFC East.
- Chris Gasper thinks the Patriots should have gone all out to trade up for the best player while Brady is still in his prime.
- Mike Reiss tells us how ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper assessed the Patriots' draft: C+
- Christopher Price gives us ten undrafted free agents to keep an eye on once the lockout ends.
- Karen Guregian notes that Patriots 6th-round pick DE Markell Carter sounds comfortable making the switch to outside linebacker.
- Ian Rapoport posts his video of Patriots RB Shane Vereen talking about his draft experience at Gillette. (4.53 min. video)
- Ian Rapoport posts a video of new Patriots CB Ras-I Dowling from the UVA Athletic Department. (3.37 min. video)
- Tim Graham (ESPN) Mel Kiper grades the AFC East.
- Andrew Perloff (SI) Ten teams that still have holes to fill following the draft.
- Clifton Brown (Sporting News) NFL Draft grades: Lions, Patriots ace their tests; Jets swing and miss.
- Michael Silver (Yahoo! Sports) 32 Post-Draft Assessments.
- Pat Kirwan (NFL.com) Mallett-to-Patriots is best fit among rookie QBs.
- Armando Salguero (Miami Herald) What to do with Henne, and why not Ryan Mallett.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) With Ryan Mallett in tow, Tom Brady says he'll play 10 more years.
- Adam Caplan (Fox Sports) Draft's best and worst.
- Nate Davis (USA Today) Winners and losers from the 2011 NFL Draft.
- Greg Gabriel (Nat'l Football Post) Draft winners.
- Rick Gosselin (Dallas Morning News) As usual, draft turns into Patriot days.
Rob Rang (CBS Sports) Final draft grades. Patriots: B.
- NBC Sports Grades the Draft. New England Patriots: B+
Kerry J. Byrne (SI) Cold Hard Football Facts Draft grades: Patriots: C-
- Lisa Olson (Sporting News) NFL Draft delivers great stories in spite of arduous labor pains.
- Peter King (SI) News of NFL Draft takes a backseat to news of bin Laden's death.
- Dan Pompei (Nat'l Football Post) Sunday Blitz: Examining the Falcons' bold move, best value picks and lots of draft scoop.
- Vic Carucci (NFL.com) Which picks will have a sudden impact on the depth chart?
- Gil Brandt (NFL.com) Devlin tops list of best available undrafted players.
- Chad Reuter (CBS Sports) When lockout ends, these undrafted players will get calls.
- PFW Staff (Pro Football Weekly) Highest-ranked players who went undrafted.
- Richard Deitsch (SI) ESPN, NFL Network tally more hits than misses during draft weekend.
- Sean Leahy (USA Today) NFL draft TV viewership down 16% from 2010.