by Scott Benson, Patriots Daily Staff
I have to stop doing this now.
I have to stop with the compulsive surfing for profiles and highlight videos, with the random buying of magazines…all of it. I have to stop with the making of lists, the changing of lists, the changing back of lists, the throwing away of lists, the starting of new lists…..I have to get away from the lists all together.
And the TV! Just how freaking long is this Path to the Draft? This thing’s been on longer than Guiding Light. Naturally, it only makes me crave more.
Such is the life arc of the unabashed draftnik – you know, guys like me, Chris, Larry Johnson…the cool guys.
If you’re still reading at this point, you’re a cool guy too.
Anyway, the point of this post is supposed to be that today we have a PDF draft board of all the first day prospects that we’ll be looking for tomorrow night. We also have Chris Warner’s second day board here.
Why PDF? Because I can’t figure out how to display a chart in Word Press, mostly, but also so that I can print them out. It’s a long story.
I suppose you could print them out too – I’d really like to hear that story, though.
Keep in mind that these boards are stacked vertically, by pick range, and feature only the players the PD War Room has determined suitable for the Patriots’ consideration, or they shall feel our wrath.
Okay, now that I now only the draft-geekiest people remain, let me tell you what happened to my draft board.
So we wrote all these First Day/Second Day pieces over the last month, pointing out the prospects we liked in the pick range we liked them, basically stacking our boards, until I still changed mine all around after we finished.
I moved Malcolm Jenkins into the first column because I haven’t heard anybody say he isn’t the best defensive back in the draft by a fair margin. He’s not falling to 23, so he gets a bump. I moved Darius Butler into the second column, because I’m at the point where I believe everything Mike Mayock says, and he says Butler is the best zone cornerback in the draft.
Elsewhere I bumped Brian Robiskie up a column because I’d like to see the Pats get a young receiver that turned out to be reliable, and again it was Mayock who convinced me that I had Louis Delmas all wrong, so he gets a column jump too. That said, the Patriots won’t draft a single defensive back on the first day.
Serious USC slide in the final days. It may be just subterfuge, but they’re getting dogged something awful. I can’t help but be influenced by that, so naturally, a downward move. I can’t be advocating a trade up for Clay Matthews if he’s going to be on the board at 23 anyway.
I also pushed down Eban Britton because a right tackle in the first round just seemed like less and less of a good idea.
I didn’t include James Laurinaitis in my initial group of linebackers because of how incredibly average he’s supposed to be. But everybody agrees he’ll know your defense and be in the right places and do the right things once he gets there. I’m thinking in the grand scheme of the draft, getting a reliable starter with the 34th pick would seem about right.
I also added Larry English because that’s all the commenters at Reiss’s Pieces ever talk about. I still don’t understand why everybody doesn’t prefer Everette Brown.
Who am I kidding? I’ll be all over this site tomorrow.
In the meantime though, Bill Belichick’s press conference left me with the impression that a trade up could happen on Saturday, so anticipation could be a little greater than usual. How many times have you heard about him talking about trading up as high as ten? Will they pick there for the second year in a row? Probably not, but it’ll be fun waiting for Rich Eisen to say “…and we have a trade…”
I can’t help but feel this will end up being all about defensive line and linebackers. A secondary emphasis on offensive line. All the ball handling positions coming later, including defensive back.
That’s how I feel right now, though. Check with me later.
Scott Benson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org