by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
In light of the greatest Patriots receiver ever getting traded for a third-round pick, we have to pull the bandage and review the third-rounders during Belichick’s tenure:
2010 WR Taylor Price; 2009 WR Brandon Tate, LB Tyrone McKenzie; 2008 OLB/IR Shawn Crable, QB Kevin O’Connell; 2007 none; 2006 TE David Thomas; 2005 CB Ellis Hobbs, OT Nick Kaczur; 2004 S Guss Scott; 2003 DT Dan Klecko, CB Asante Samuel; 2002 none; 2001 CB Brock Williams; 2000 RB J. R. Redmond.
Thirteen picks, maybe six keepers among them (we’re including Price and Tate in that mix). Add to that the seventh-rounder New England threw in–a round that has brought the likes of Patrick Pass, David Givens, Tully Banta-Cain, Matt Cassel and Julian Edelman to Foxboro–and it becomes apparent that the Pats were willing to settle for a PB&J to set Moss free (and, in the process, be free of him).
All right, on to new, more pressing worries. Baltimore comes to town this week, bringing a great offense, a storied defense and a whole lot of crazy with them.
Raven Lunatic: Say whatever you want about linebacker Ray Lewis (big talk, big heart, big involvement in a double homicide), he has lead one of the league’s best defenses for over a decade. Sure, his pre-game dance makes him look like a poisoned whooping crane, but don’t say I didn’t warn you when the Pats have trouble moving the ball on the ground.
If They Could You Know They Woodhead: We absolutely love lil’ Danny Woodhead and what he’s brought to New England’s running game. We absolutely fear what the diminutive one could face against the Ravens’ monolithic front seven. (Woodhead’s 5-foot-9 the same way a compact car seats five: close, but not really.)
Ate Ball, Side Pocket: Our Tom Brady has done a great job avoiding sacks (credit the offensive line, too), but he’ll see the most pressure since the NY Jets game, and that wasn’t a lot of fun. He and the receiving corps need to get on the same page, which reminds us…
A Rolling Moss Gathered Some Stones: Only Wes Welker caught the rock more than Moss, but no one did as much with it. How will this affect the offense? Will Deion Branch and the younger receivers be able to make up the difference? How about the running backs and tight ends? Will we have a Taylor Price sighting?
All important questions, because on the other side of the ball –
Taking Some Flacco: Barring two ill-advised passes by Miami QB Chad Henne that made Rob Ninkovich into Mike Vrabel for a week, the Dolphins more or less moved the ball at will (see: 400 yards of offense). With Joe Flacco at the helm, Baltimore has developed a multi-layered, dangerous scoring attack. This could look like Godzilla taking on Tokyo.
We don’t know if 12 days is enough time to realign a passing offense and improve a forgiving defense. Let’s just hope the Patriots coaches do.
Email Chris Warner at firstname.lastname@example.org.