Reviewing the Draft: New England Patriots

The draft of April 2003 help the Patriots win a Super Bowl title. This year New England once again ranked amongst the teams with the best drafts and can only be considered a stronger franchise after April's final weekend.

The Patriots began the draft a bit earlier than most teams by trading a second round choice to the Cincinnati Bengals for running back Corey Dillon. While Dillon filled the biggest hole on the Patriots offense the team still continued to approach the draft as the basis for building their franchise as well as an opportunity to reinforce several key positions. 

New England started the first round by grabbing mammoth defensive tackle, Vince Wilfork after he fell further into the frame than most originally expected. This is the third time a defensive tackle has been the Patriots first pick of the draft (Richard Seymour and Ty Warren the other two) and New England should eventually develop into a force up front. As if adding Wilfork wasn't enough the Patriots also hit it big in the second round when they tabbed Marquise Hill.

Hill, a defensive end from LSU, is a big bodied prospect that can be used as a two-gap lineman. At the top of his game Hill helps make the Patriots defensive line deeper and more talented.

With their second pick in the initial frame New England selected Georgia tight end Ben Watson, an athletic prospect known for his blocking. While his selection does not necessarily spell the end for Dan Graham, a first round choice in 2002, it also does not bode well for him as Watson could be starting for the Patriots before the season is complete.

Cedrick Cobbs gives New England a first day talent with late second day health. At his best Cobbs is a terrific running back that can carry a team and wear down opponents at the same time. This could be the perfect situation for both the player and team as the oft-injured Cobbs gets a chance to be a backup while Corey Dillon starts, before possibly replacing him down the road.

P.K. Sam gives the Patriots a big wide receiver to develop though he may spend his initial season on the practice squad.

Late in the draft New England concentrated on the secondary selecting Guss Scott, Dexter Reid, and Christian Morton. Scott is a steady run defending safety while Reid and Morton have shown a lot of inconsistency in college yet both offer a large upside. The trio give the Patriots some flexibility with the players currently on their roster and also offers skill for the special teams.The New England Patriots continue to make sound personnel decisions on draft day and fortified the team with their abundant supply of draft picks. It is difficult to see many teams who has a much better draft then the Patriots, something even more impressive when one considers their positioning in the selection order every round.

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