by Scott Benson

9:20 PM

The second round pick is Terrence Wheatley, the speedy but oft-injured cornerback from Colorado.

Surprise – most draft pubs had Wheatley slated to go in the third round at the earliest. The Pats continue to confound the draftniks.

Here’s the scoop on pick 62:

Scouts, Inc.

Overall: Wheatley suffered a right wrist dislocation in ’03, undergoing three surgeries over three years to repair the injury (including 2005, when he sat out the season and was granted a medical redshirt). In September ’06, he broke the metal plate in his wrist but continued to play (he had another surgery after the season). In ’07 he missed the Buffaloes’ final three games because of a hairline fracture in his foot. He also left games early in ’06 (concussion) and ’07 (knee sprain) but didn’t miss any more time as a result.Wheatley has the cover skills to develop into an effective sub-package corner and he is a lot tougher against the run than his size would indicate. However, his upside is limited by his lack of size and he is going to have problems matching up with bigger receivers. In addition, his inability to stay healthy at the collegiate levels coupled with his size raises questions about his ability to stay healthy over the course of a 16-game season.

NFL Draft Scout

Compares To: ELLIS HOBBS-New England…Like Hobbs, Wheatley is a solid shutdown cornerback, thanks to outstanding timed speed and a good understanding of route progression. He is fully recovered from wrist problems that hampered him earlier in his career and showed much better tackling form and power behind his hits as a senior. He has excellent timing and leaping ability competing for the ball in flight and brings added value as a kickoff returner. He makes good adjustments on the move and is an efficient cut tackler who knows how to lower and drive with his shoulder to take the blockers out of action. He will need to continue adding bulk to his frame, but that should not impact his exceptional acceleration. Like Hobbs, he is smart enough to play a variety of roles in the secondary and his versatility will be a plus earlier in his pro career.

I don’t know how some Pats fans are going to take that Hobbs comparison, but if I had to pick between the two of these blurbs, I’m favoring the second. Wheatley ran a blistering 4.37 forty recently, which may explain in part why the cornerback-needy Pats turned to a player with a spotty (oh, let’s face it, blighted) history with injuries. I’m guessing this pick doesn’t do a lot for Pats fans at the moment. I’ll reserve judgement, except to say that I kind of like Ellis Hobbs.

So if I’d told you a week ago that, with their first two picks the Patriots would add a linebacker and a cornerback, would you have been okay with that? That’s what they ended up doing, though by – characteristically – drafting players that had for the most part gone unnoticed by local draft chatters, namely me, who listed several other corners above Wheatley on the faux draft board posted here Friday. Naturally, this means less than nothing.

By the way, here’s something that does mean something – both Mayo and Wheatley were among the players to visit Foxborough in the run up to the draft, proving (like Brandon Meriweather before them) that sometimes those draft rumors aren’t just blowing smoke.

The Pats are going to be one of the major players right of the bat tomorrow, and there’s the added dynamic that for the first time, these will be third round choices. And they’ll be three big ones for the Pats, as they have just single choices in the 4th, 6th and 7th to follow. Will New England trade one or more of those third round picks for additional choices in the 4th or 5th, or will they lay all their cards on the table in the third round?

I’ll be here in the morning to find out. Before I go, I’ll just mention that Adam Schefter is saying that Bill Parcells may now be willing to deal Jason Taylor for a third round pick tomorrow after an earlier deal with Tampa fell through. Perhaps they’ll trade him to a team that just happens to have a third round pick to spare.

8:15 PM

Seven picks before the Pats return to center stage of the 2007 NFL Draft,.

So far the Pats haven’t traded up, and as a result, it looks like they will start tomorrow with three picks in the opening round (the 6th, 15th and 31st). Any trade up at this point would be very minor and probably wouldn’t involve a pick of that value.

It’s their iconoclastic nature that makes it difficult to know in what direction the Patriots are headed with their second round pick. Linebacker, not cornerback, was addressed in the first round, so will a defensive back be up next? Five of the top ten corners on Pro Football Weekly’s prospect list are already off the board, and maybe the Pats will choose from a short list of Oklahoma’s Reggie Smith, Iowa’s Charles Godfrey, Patrick Lee of Auburn, or Terrence Wheatley of Colorado.

Safety DeJuan Morgan of NC State is seen as another top secondary prospect, but most obervers saw him as a safety.

An edge rushing linebacker could still be a need (maybe Purdue’s Cliff Avril, or Georgia Tech’s Darnell Robertson), and NFLN’s Mike Mayock is saying that now is the time to get value at the receiver position. One possibility may be slot man and kick returner Dexter Jackson of Appalachian St., though Andre Caldwell of Florida could fit as well.

Tight end Martellus Bennett of Texas A&M offers versatility and upside.

6:24 PM

“Okaaaaaay, Jets fans!”

The little fellas have traded up to #30 in order to draft a tight end named Dustin Keller. You know the Jets and their ability to draft tight ends, especially early, so I’m sure we’ll remember this day for a long time.

The Jets fans seemed to like the pick, or I’m totally misunderstanding the red faces and clenched fists.

So much for Cason. He ended up as a first rounder too, to San Diego.

Pick #31 would have been next. Thankfully, the hole it left has been sandwiched by New York picks, and of course by now half the Jets fans have left, vowing never to return.

5:09 PM

First, a little contract conjecture in respect to the Patriots’ Jerod Mayo, the 10th pick in the 2008 draft.

The 10th pick of the 2006 Draft was Matt Leinart of the Cardinals, who got a six-year, $50.8M deal with $14M in guaranteed money.

Of course, that was a quarterback. The 10th pick in the 07 Draft was DT Amobi Okoye of the Texans, who signed a six-year deal worth $17.7M, with $12.8 in guarantees.

But first, where do the Patriots go next? It says here cornerback, where there are a number of second and third round prospects who are considered potential NFL starters. The question is whether they can sit tight and get their man at 62, or even 69, or if they’ll have to give up one of their three third-rounders to cut another suitor off at the pass. If I had to put money on someone, it would be Antoine Cason of Arizona, who the Pats seemed to take an interest in.

After that, they could still use some youth and speed at outside linebacker, and there’s a ton of waterbug wide receivers-kick returners that make sense in the middle rounds.

4:13 PM

It’s the apparent reach.

The Patriots have chosen LB Jerod Mayo of Tennessee with the 10th pick.

The Patriots actually used a first day pick on a linebacker. Before this, the earliest selection the Bill Belichick Patriots have used on a linebacker was Ryan Claridge, the 170th pick in 2005.

The buzz on Mayo to the Pats has been pretty strong the last few days, and now he’ll be expected to bring youth and speed to the middle of the Patriots defense. Here’s the quick skinny from the web sites:

Scouts, Inc.

Overall: Mayo has experience playing inside and outside linebacker at Tennessee. While he showed NFL potential in both spots, he seems like a more natural fit on the weak-side where he will get more protection. Mayo is far from a finished product. He is blessed with an outstanding combination of size, speed and athletic ability, which was on display at the combine. But in order to become a good starting linebacker in the NFL, he needs to be more consistent as an open-field tackler and learn to take on blocks more effectively. Mayo has too much potential to last long in Round 2 and that’s if he doesn’t sneak into the bottom of the first round.

NFL Draft Scout

Compares To: RANDALL GODFREY-Washington…During his prime, Godfrey’s ability to play on the outside or inside proved invaluable. While Mayo proved that he has the field smarts to handle middle linebacker, he might lack the bulk to do so at the next level, unless the team has big defensive tackles to absorb the blocks and protect him. With his range and closing speed, he could be a better fit on the weak side, whether aligned outside in a 4-3 or inside in a 3-4. He could be a perfect fit to team up with David Harris in New York’s 3-4 defense. Still, with his history of injury problems, one has to wonder if he can survive a full season at the next level.

Either there was another team lurking in the weeds of the next several picks, or the Pats couldn’t trade back any further without losing the shot at Mayo, who they clearly placed a priority on.

I’m going to let some picks come off the board for awhile, but we better stay on our toes – the Pats now have three third-round picks, and there may be someone else in the mid-first to mid-second range that they have their eye on.

4:06 PM

Pats are back on the clock again, as the Bengals have taken Keith Rivers, who was thought to be a top Pats prospect.

Who would the Pats consider here? McKelvin or one of the other corners? Albert or Clady? An apparent reach, like Jerod Mayo?

Or is another trade on the way? Is there anybody here that Dallas would want?


The Pats have traded the seventh pick to the New Orleans Saints. Details have not yet been announced, but it’s safe to assume the Pats are now choosing tenth. I’d like to think the Pats also got the 40th pick in return for the right to draft Sedrick Ellis, but it’s probably more like the Saints third-rounder, number 78.

Schefter just said the Pats gave up a fifth rounder (#164) for the 10th choice and pick #78. So after the first round, the Patriots pick 62nd, 69th, 78th and 94th. Unless they trade again in a few minutes.

The Ravens have traded #8 to the Jags, who selected Derrick Harvey, the DE/OLB from Florida. So it wasn’t him who the Pats were sliding back for.

3:45 PM

Thank God it’s finally here because I can’t keep this up.

“Okay, Jets fans,” says Goodell. You bleeping son of a……

It’s Gholston, and I think I just saw Ron Borges telling a bunch of Jets fans that they outmaneuvered the Pats.

I think I just heard some booing, so here we are. You can’t say this draft has fallen too well for the Pats so far, and the thoughts of a major deal are evaporating.

3:39 PM

Oh, Herm. Well, Dorsey is off the table, and now its likely that the Jets soon take Vernon Gholston away too. The good news is that the Saints weren’t able to move up to grab Dorsey, so they are still in the market for a DT. That keeps the trade options open for the Pats, who are moments away from being on the clock.

3:28 PM

I don’t know why I always think of Al Davis as being unpredictable when he does the same thing every time. The Raiders take McFadden, and Dorsey and Gholston are just two picks away. How likely is it that they go in exactly that order right now?

Herm, you have got to build from that offensive line out. You know that.

3:12 PM

I just realized this thing is going to run backwards if I keep putting the new posts at the top. Think of it like that reverse episode of Seinfeld, I guess.

No trade at number two. Chris Long is off the board. I wonder how real the Pats’ reported interest in him was. Now he goes to St. Louis, and its great tradition of defensive………oh. What is it about the Rams since they moved to St. Louis? I just tried to think of one great St. Louis Rams defensive player, and I couldn’t. DeMarco Farr? Holy smoke. Good luck with all that, Chris.

Now its Matt Ryan at three to Atlanta, and now the NFL’s crazy uncle hidden in the attic holds a ton of chips at four.

3:01 pm

Welcome to the second annual PD draft blog. NFLN is playing its intro package now, so I’m going to go watch for awhile. Adam Schefter is reporting that both Oakland and Kansas City are entertaining offers for the 4th and 5th pick from teams that want to draft LSU DT Glenn Dorsey.

There’s Goodell, and in a fit of mercy, he announces Jake Long right away. That puts them Rams on the clock and the Ravens at the door.