PI Exclusive: So How'd They Do? - Part 1

Continuing our series of interviews with NFL Draft experts, Patriots Insider talks to The Huddle Report's Drew Boylhart about the Draft, the players and how teams fared this past weekend. Boylhart shared some of THR's analysis on the draft, as well as how their mock stacked up to the real thing.Boylhart also talks about which teams fared well, and which ones "blew it." From Clarett to the Patriot's linebackers, PI covers all the bases in part one of this two-part interview.

Interview: So How'd They Do? - Part 1
A few minutes with The Huddle Report's Drew Boylant
By Chris Timoney, Patriots Insider

It's been days since the 2005 NFL Draft and everyone from Bill Belichick to Bill Pullman has an opinion on how things went. What teams made good moves? Who blew it last weekend? What does the future hold? These questions and a ton more have been asked about a million times already, so we decided to ask them for the millionth-and-one time to The Huddle Report's Drew Boylhart.

Drew's a Buffalo guy with a lot of insight to what's going on in the NFL. In our 30 minute talk Drew sounded off on Maurice Clarret, the Denver Broncos, The Heisman Trophy and dropped the 4-1-1 on Pac Man, JP Losman and USC backup Matt Cassel and just about everything else.

PI: So, how did your mock draft stack up to the real thing?

DB: My first one was terrible. Although I did get 29 out of the top 32 players I didn't have them in the right spot. Overall for the site we didn't do to bad, but me personally I tanked it as they say.

PI: What jumps out to you as the most glaring thing that occurred in New York over the weekend?

dB: Well, of course the Maurice Clarett situation is a horrible signal that's been sent to all the players in the draft and the future drafts that do nothing but work their heart out to really try to be good people and good citizens and feel that by doing that they're going to get some place in society. It's a smack in the face to everybody. It's a smack in the face to all the players on the Patriots team because that's really what the Patriots try to do in the draft and with their team. A lot of people say "Well they're taking a chance now with Corey Dillon". Corey Dillon paid the price and went through the Bengal's situation, kept his nose clean and by the time the Patriots got him they got themselves a fairly decent young man there. So they wait a little bit for stuff like that, but Denver, what they did there was just a horrible signal that they sent to all the teenagers and all the people who watch the NFL Draft.

PI: Even if you take out all the 'challenging the NFL rules" stuff, in an interview that Mike Shanahan gave it sounds like Clarett will be the number 6 or 7 guy on the depth chart.

dB: It's not even that. When I talk about Maurice Clarett I don't even talk about the court cases, to me that's immaterial. That's not a bad thing or a good thing. It's something that happened, he took a shot at it, it didn't work. I'm talking about getting suspended from his team(Ohio St.). I'm talking about letting his teammates down. I'm talking about causing problems in the locker room. I'm talking about any problem he had off the field.

As far as the kids talent, he has decent talent. He could be a Hall-of-Famer, but that's not really the point is it? Adrian McPhereson, at least he got picked on the second day and that's the signal you need to send to these gentlemen. I actually think that the NFL should make a rule that says if you've got an offense against you, a proven offense, you can't be drafted on the first day. Of course we know they (the NFL) talk about character all the time, but when push comes to shove it really doesn't matter when it comes to drafting.

PI: What teams did the best job at addressing their needs?

dB: There's no doubt about it that the San Diego Charges did an outstanding job. They addressed a lot of needs, they got things done. The Browns did a very, very good job. The Dolphins and Nick Saban. The Patriots are never going to have a very good grade on anybody's draft grade. The reason being is they(the Patriots) don't grade for talent and all the grades are given out for talent. The Patriots draft for a system and they draft a certain style of guy and they don't go for the more talented person, they want the smart person who can evaluate a situation. We did give them a D but to me in their case it's a joke because the whole system is set up on talent and they don't go that way.

The other teams that did well are the Steelers, the Ravens did a real nice job. The Heath Miller pick up for the Steelers is a real need for them and Mark Clayton for the Ravens is a real need for them, a real solid pick for them. The Cardinals did a very nice job of getting Antrel Rolle. Why PAC Man was picked ahead of Antrel Rolle is beyond me. The Bucs and the Cowboys did a very nice job also.

The Lions had a nice draft. What I like about the Lions draft is that they obviously set an idea, kind of what like the Patriots do, they realize they had a lot of prima donna's and talented people but they had no toughness. They had no mental toughness and you talk about Mike Williams and Shaun Cody and Stanley Wilson, Bill Swancutt and Jonathan Goodard. All these guys are players that will play with blood coming out of their noses and that's really what they needed. I applaud them for sticking to a goal and doing it and I think they really have done an excellent job with changing the attitude of the team.

PI: Back to the Patriots, were you surprised they did not draft a linebacker on Day 1?

dB: Yes and no. Dan Klecko is an outstanding football player. I personally think they may move him in to middle linebacker, he's a guy that's going to be counted on a lot. This was a very weak linebacker class. Again, if they didn't feel that there was a linebacker that really fit there system their not going to go out of the way to just pick a body and throw him in there. They'll wait for the June cuts and pick up a couple of guys and there's word already that they're looking at Chad Brown which could be a good pick up.

PI: Patriots fans are just worried that a lot of the starters and stars at linebacker are getting old.

dB: Don't dismiss the Monty Beisel pickup. The Beisel pickup is really going to hurt the Kansas City Chiefs a lot. That guy was all over the place, he's very smart and intelligent guy. He analyzes very well and he's a heck of a pick up for the Patriots. Most people say "oh that's not a big deal", that's a big deal...trust me.

PI: Back to the draft, what teams really blew it?

dB: The Broncos without a doubt. Other than the Maurice Clarett thing they went after corners who were undersized or lack instincts. They just did a bad job all the way around until they got to Chris Myers, the offensive lineman out of Miami, who's a very versatile guy. Domonique Foxworth(CB-Maryland) is not a bad pick. Yet, Darrent Williams is close to being in jail, so they just did a bad job.

The Chiefs got Derrick Johnson and if they use him more like a Derrick Thomas they'll be successful, but if they use him to be a stud linebacker and to stop the run they're in for a shock. He's just not that style of player. They picked up Crophonsoe Thorpe who's had injury problems so I didn't think they did that good. I thought the Colts did a terrible job. They have done very well the last two years but they really went out of their way to try to fix problems. Marlin Jackson is a very talented guy but his instincts are really lacking in both the safety and corner positions. It's going to be difficult for him. Kelvin Hayden is a good pick up but he's a long way away.

I think the Titans picking PAC Man over Rodgers or Antrel Rolle just amazes me. He has really no man-to-man skills at this point. He's played all in zone situations and when they interviewed him he said "Oh, I'll learn the bump and run in two days". So that's what you're dealing with in him.

Be Sure not to Miss Part Two of PI's interview with Drew. In Part two you'll hear more about Buffalo's J.P. Losman, The Travis Henry deal, Kellen Winslow's ego and if Tom Brady should be worried about Matt Cassel down the road.


Related: TFY NFL Draft Coverage : : The Huddle Report

Chris Timoney covers the Boston Celtics for Sporting News Radio's 1510 "The Zone" Celtic Pride postgame show. You also can hear Chris Wednesday mornings talking Patriots football on Sporting News Radio 1320 "The Drive". You can reach Chris in the forums, or contact him here: JakBrown

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