(Sports Network) - A lot of NFL personnel people think they are the smartest
guy in the room. Few are ... especially when Bill Belichick enters.
The Patriots coach and general manager is generally two or three steps ahead
of his competition and nothing magnifies that more than draft day.
Belichick and the Pats' brain trust set up their draft day in free agency and
this season New England attempted to remake its wide receivers corps, brought
in veteran safety Adrian Wilson and added former Raiders defensive tackle
Tommy Kelly to an already impressive front seven.
If wide receiver Danny Amendola can stay healthy, he'll be a more than
adequate replacement for the departed Wes Welker in the slot. The real
lynchpin to the Pats' moves at wide receiver, though, was Emmanuel Sanders, a
restricted free agent from Pittsburgh who signed a one-year offer sheet. The
Steelers matched the offer, however, so getting a real vertical threat is
The Patriots could also use some depth on the interior of the offensive line
and at cornerback and safety.
New England, which has the 29th overall pick in the first round, has shown
strong interest in Mississippi State cornerback Johnathan Banks as well as
Boise State corner Jamar Taylor. Meanwhile, if Tennessee wide receiver
Cordarrelle Patterson continues to fall, he could be an option.
2012 Record: 12-4
Top Needs: CB, OG, S
First Three Picks: No. 29, No. 59, No. 91
Number of Selections: 5 (1, 2, 3, 7, 7)
RECENT FIRST ROUND HISTORY: 2012 - Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse), Don't'a
Hightower (LB, Alabama); 2011 - Nate Solder (OT, Colorado); 2010 - Devin
McCourty (CB, Rutgers); 2009 - none; 2008 - Jerod Mayo (LB, Tennessee); 2007 -
Brandon Meriweather (S, Miami-Florida); 2006 - Laurence Maroney (RB,
Minnesota); 2005 - Logan Mankins (G, Fresno State); 2004 - Vince Wilfork (DT,
Miami-Florida), Benjamin Watson (TE, Georgia); 2003 - Ty Warren (DT, Texas
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