September 3, 2014

Making History: A Look At Drafts Past

by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff

Though it’s been said that those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it, sometimes repeating history isn’t such a bad thing. In honor of the Patriots’ better-than-average run over the past nine years, we’re naming 2009′s picks after previous selections.

(For a handy reference, New England’s drafts under Bill Belichick were recapped round-by-round in a PD column from January).

Round One (23 overall), The Jerod Mayo Pick

Last year a debate raged over what linebacker the Patriots would take: Keith Rivers or Vernon Gholston. New England traded down a couple of spots to number 10 overall and nabbed Mayo, a guy projected at 20 who did nothing more than earn Defensive Rookie of the Year honors.

Candidates: Amid the blood feud between the Connor Barwin/Larry English/Clay Matthews/Rey Maualuga camps, wouldn’t it be something if the team picked up Clint Sintim (Virginia) or James Laurinaitis (Ohio State)?

Round Two (34), The Wes Welker Trade Pick

Named for the 2007 trade that got New England rolling toward a record-setting season of offense (the Moss trade came two rounds later), number 34 gets exchanged for a veteran who will provide immediate help in an area of need.

Candidate: To Carolina for Julius Peppers. Salary cap be damned.

Round Two (47), The Bethel Johnson/Chad Jackson Pick

Hey, they can’t all be gems. This pick goes to the overrated receiver who will view the Patriots playbook as an inconvenience, yet show just enough ability to keep fans expecting a breakthrough that never comes.

Candidates: Kenny Britt, Rutgers; Hakeem Nicks, North Carolina

Round Two (58), The Eugene Wilson/Terrence Wheatley Pick

Here’s hoping number 58 provides the Pats with a rookie who shows the ability to contribute right away (minus any injuries).

Candidates: Mike Mickens, Cincinnati; Rashad Johnson, Alabama

Round Three (89), The IR Pick

Here’s a list to make you shiver: Shawn Crable, David Thomas, Guss Scott, Brock Williams, J. R. Redmond. Of their third-round picks, only Ellis Hobbs (2005) has avoided significant injury issues.

Candidate: Chase Coffman. The Missouri tight end already has a broken foot.

Although I don’t consider myself superstitious, I feel it’s best we continue.

Round Three (97), The Asante Samuel Pick

Samuel left New England for the sunny, cheery climes of Philadelphia. His production in the NFC led to the Patriots getting the highest compensation possible (a small consolation, but consolation nonetheless). Will the team try to fill Samuel’s shoes? I say no and seek to bolster the defense with a pass rusher instead.

Candidates: Paul Kruger, Utah; Lawrence Sidbury, Richmond; David Veikune, Hawaii

Round Four (124), The Jarvis Green Pick

Green made his career as a backup defensive lineman ready to replace any starter at any time. New England would be happy to get a similar performance out of a rookie found here.

Candidates: Corvey Irvin, Georgia; Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU

Round Five (170), The Matthew Slater Pick

With Kelly Washington and Larry Izzo gone, the Pats could repeat the Slater pick and nab a special-teamer whom few fans have ever heard of before.

Candidate: Dudley Guice, Northwestern State. Guice – unlike Slater – actually has the potential to contribute as a receiver.

Round Six (199), The Justin Rogers Pick

Unheralded out of SMU, Rogers showed flashes of potential as an outside linebacker during 2006 preseason contests. Dallas plucked up Rogers after he was cut from the New England roster, a fact lamented by many Patriots fans. (As a backup, Rogers has managed 34 tackles in the past two years. Judge that however you wish.)

Candidates: Brandon Long, Michigan State; Pierre Walters, Eastern Illinois

Round Six (207), The Tom Brady Pick

Oh, you want a Hall of Fame player with the team’s second pick in the sixth round? What are you, high?

Candidates: Tom Brandstater (Fresno State) is a skinny QB who won at the college level. Believe me, if I could predict stuff like this, I’d be at a racetrack somewhere paying off the mortgage.

Round Seven (234), The Matt Cassel Pick

In honor of a player who might take years to turn into something but could make it worth the wait, this pick must also get overlooked despite his time on a highly-ranked team.

Candidates: Chris Crane, Boston College; Andy Brodell, Iowa; Tyler Lorenzen, UConn

That’s all we’ve got for your pre-draft enjoyment. Thanks for checking in with Patriots Daily. Now snack up, settle in, and savor the weekend.

Chris Warner can be reached at [email protected]

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