What he failed to mention was that the draft brought value for next year. ">
What he failed to mention was that the draft brought value for next year. ">

Value Draft for Next Season

The New England Patriots' draft can be summarized in one quote by head coach Bill Belichick. "This [draft] wasn't need-based," Belichick said. "It was value-based."<br><br> What he failed to mention was that the draft brought value for next year.

In what was a wild day at the draft, the Patriots proved to be the life of the party, trading 4 times and drafting three times. One of the trades will bring the Patriots a gift-wrapped first round pick next year from the Baltimore Ravens. This will give the Patriots 2 first and 2 second round picks in what should be a deeper overall draft than this season's.

The Patriots began their day by switching places with the Chicago Bears to grab Texas A&M defensive tackle Ty Warren. They then traded their 2nd first round pick (#19) with the Baltimore Ravens for first and second rounders next season.

The Patriots then swapped second round picks with the Carolina Panthers, jumping up to #41.

Confused yet? Good, ‘cause there is more.

Then the Patriots traded that #41 pick and a third rounder to the Houston Texans for the Texans' second round (#36) and supplemental fourth round picks. With the #36 pick they took cornerback Eugene Wilson out of Illinois.

The Patriots weren't done in the second round because they then picked Bethel Johnson, a speedy wideout from Texas, with the #45 they got from Carolina.

Belichick will be criticized for playing it safe rather than taking a few risks, such as passing on Willis McGahee. ''Most people said there were not 32 legitimate first-round picks this year. Our focus was to get good value for the pick," he said.

But it's hard to argue with the Patriots' strategy on day one. Their dealings netted them the above draftees and two 1st round picks, two 2nd round picks, and three 4th round picks next season.

Day two saw the Patriots take Dan Klecko, a defensive tackle from Temple. Klecko presents an interesting opportunity for Belichick as he can play either insider or outside. He seems betters suited as a rush end on third down situations because of his quickness and smallish size.

Belichick then went offensive line in the 5th round, grabbing center Dan Koppen out of Boston College.

In the sixth round the team drafted QB Kliff Kingsbury since it was slim pickings for signal-callers at that point. In what has become a rather sad story, Ken Dorsey still went unsigned as the Patriots were just another team to pass on the Miami standout.

As the seventh round rolled around, the team drafted a tight end to compete in an already crowded depth chart. Spencer Neal from BYU has the tools to be an effective blocking tight end, so this looks like another move to shore up the line and running game.

Rounding out the draft, the Patriots selected Tully Banta-Cain from California and Ethan Kelley out of Baylor. The former will be looked upon to compete as a sack and special teams specialist. Kelley will be fighting for a back-up job on the defensive line. He has the ability to play any position 3-4 or 4-3.


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