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New England Patriots Links 5/01/12 - 2012 NFL Draft: Rich Get Richer

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<em>The Patriots maintain elite status despite consistently drafting in the lower end of the first round each year</em>.
The Patriots maintain elite status despite consistently drafting in the lower end of the first round each year.

Mike Freeman (CBS Sports) NFL Draft highlights brainpower gap between haves, have-nots.

Entering this draft the Patriots and Giants were the best teams in football. Leaving this draft, the Patriots and Giants are the best teams in football. They only got stronger. That's because they know what the hell they're doing. The Patriots' defense last season was like something from a sitcom. So what does Bill Belichick do? He drafts a quartet of defensive players in the first three rounds. Imagine if even half of them catch on. The Patriots went to a Super Bowl with no defense. What happens if they get one?

Jason Cole (Yahoo! Sports) 2012 Draft Grades - New England Patriots: Grade A.

Analysis: Anybody who watched the Patriots' defense last season knows they were extraordinarily lucky to reach the Super Bowl. It might have been the second-worst overall defensive unit to get to the Super Bowl. To that end, Patriots coach Bill Belichick went defense, defense, defense and more defense in this draft. He also traded up twice in the first round to nab two terrific athletes to plug into the front seven. Jones is a great pass rusher and Hightower is versatile enough to play inside linebacker and defensive end (a rarity).

Alex Marvez (Fox Sports) Breaking down the Draft picks team by team: New England Patriots.

What was addressed: The NFL’s 31st-ranked defense in 2011. After relying on free-agent pickups the past few years to provide the pass rush, the Patriots traded up in the first round to select Syracuse DE Chandler Jones. New England’s next five picks were all used on defensive players as well, highlighted by inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower (first round) and cornerback/free safety Tavon Wilson (second).

What wasn’t addressed: The offense, but it’s not like the Patriots were hurting on that side of the football. Northwestern wide receiver Jeremy Ebert (seventh) was the only offensive player tabbed. Knowing the Patriots, Ebert may someday get a look at playing defensive back as well a la Julian Edelman.

What’s next: Recovering from the sting of losing to the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLVI. There is a psychological toll that comes with making it so far only to come up short. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick must help his players wipe the slate clean as New England tries to become the first franchise since Buffalo in the mid-1990s to return to the Super Bowl the season after losing in the title game.

TEAM TALK

LOCAL LINKS

  • Mike Reiss highlights Bill Belichick's guest appearance on Sirius XM NFL Radio's Movin' the Chains program. /Interesting thoughts from Hoodie on his draft picks.
  • Mary Paoletti reports the New England Patriots will re-sign defensive lineman Gerard Warren, according to a source.
  • Mike Reiss highlights Gerard Warren's value and his contributions to the team.
  • Jeff Howe says the Patriots strong draft punctuates a solid offseason, as the team gears up for 2012 favorites to reach the Super Bowl.
  • Karen Guregian tells us what's up with all these quarterback turned receivers on the roster.
  • Christopher Price takes a closer look at all seven of the Pats’ picks, as well as some comparable skill sets and how they might be utilized as rookies.
  • Mark Farinella runs down the list of head-shakers and eyebrow-lifters the Patriots drafted in the later rounds this year.
  • Paul Kenyon reports the draft picks show just how the Patriots value versatility on defense as well as offense.
  • Mark Farinella scoffs at the Pats draft beyond the 1st round, saying Belichick should have just used his 62nd pick for 'someone with a chance to make the team" and gone home.
  • Christopher Price discusses the Patriots focus on versatility in this year's draft.
  • Boston.com posts a photo gallery to introduce the new Patriots.
  • Christopher Price tells us who the Patriots draft picks are being represented by.
  • Tom E. Curran notes the Patriots will have five draft picks in 2013, without multiple picks in any of the first three rounds.
  • Jeff Howe notes the Pats' recently signed UDFA WR Matt Roark has eight degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. /couldn't resist that headline.
  • Mike Rodak reports Kentucky WR Matt Roark is joining the Patriots as an undrafted free agent.
  • ESPN Boston reports Mel Kiper gives the Pats draft a B-.
  • Shalise Manza Young Patriots Notebook: Bill Belichick had positive things to say about his first-round draft picks during a Monday afternoon radio appearance; DL Gerard Warren, 33, has resigned with New England; Unofficial UDFA signings include: WR/QB Matt Roark (Kentucky), OL Markus Zusevics (Iowa), TE Brad Herman (Iowa), DL Marcus Forston (Miami) and G Jeremiah Warren (South Florida).
  • Jim Hand writes about 10-year old Brandon Morabito, the local kid who got to announce Nate Ebner's draft selection, and how he responded to the loud booing from those always-classy New Yorkers.

NATIONAL NEWS