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Ask PFW: Dissecting the Draft

This week's mailbag is dominated by draft-related questions and possible trade scenarios.  

Could the Patriots package Laurence Maroney, A.D., and their first-round pick to move up in the first round? Could something like that possibly get them up to #2 and pick up Ndamukong Suh if available. Maybe my trade is Patriot-lopsided or not, I'm not sure, but I would love to see Suh in a Pats uni. His presence alone would improve the pass rush by pulling doubles and he would fill a gaping hole left by the Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green departures.
Brad Pelletier

You're not sure if your trade scenario is lopsided in favor of the Patriots? Well, allow me to provide some clarity for you, Brad … Yes, it is. Think about it from the other teams' standpoint. Adding a perceived malcontent linebacker who underachieved as a big-money free agent just doesn't make sense. Nor does acquiring a running back who has exhibited nothing but injury, consistency, and confidence issues in his NFL career.

I like where your head is at, though, regarding trading up. To get up to the second overall pick would take a lot, I would think … maybe as much as New England's 22nd in the first round, and at least one of their second-rounders, as well as another pick in this draft or a high-value choice in next year's draft. Kind of steep, but Suh might be worth it. However, the Patriots have a lot of holes to fill and could use as many of their 12 picks as possible. I'd be OK if they wanted to trade up for an impact player (either a pass rusher or a stud RB like C.J. Spiller), but probably not that high.
Erik Scalavino

Hey guys, I was just wondering, what's going on with Adalius? Could we see a nice looking trade coming draft day???Jack Bay

Again, I doubt it. What team is going to want to take on that risk for a potentially minimal reward, especially with exorbitant price tag? The only scenario I could envision making any sense for both teams would be a Seattle-New England swap of Deion Branch for A.D. – both big-money players who've perhaps overstayed their welcomes with their current squads. I wouldn't hold my breath if I were you, though.
Erik Scalavino

Patriots Nation is questioning the lack of team moves in the free agent market not because we do not have patience, or see the wisdom of building from within, but because the top free agents have gone, some to the Jets, and our draft record does not suggest that we will plug all holes in the draft. Getting even one restricted free agent is not going to be easy or sufficient. So what should give us hope that we will become a true SB contender next season?Adam Colleff

Gee, Adam, I find it difficult to disagree with any of your assertions. But many of your fellow denizens of Patriots Nation might argue that the team still has Tom Brady and Bill Belichick. According to those ardent fans, all New England needs is those two to have a chance to win. Are you not on board with that train of thought? I'm not suggesting you should or shouldn't be, but if you're not, that puts you among the growing number of fans whose faith in TB and BB is showing some fissures.
Erik Scalavino

Would Byron Leftwich be a decent veteran backup to have around? Although he hasn't exactly set the world on fire as a starter, I think he's just the kind of guy who can keep the team competitive for a few games if necessary. He'd have to be traded for, obviously, but I think we can spare the what, sixth-rounder it would take?
Haris Hadzimuratovic

No, he wouldn't. Not even for a sixth. You're right, he's not a great starter, but neither is he a capable backup. I have no interest in him.
Erik Scalavino

Hi guys. I have a question regarding the new overtime rule. Let's say team A wins the coin toss in OT and wants the ball. Team B instead of kicking to team A, on-side kicks and recovers. Team B then scores a FIELD GOAL, does the game end right there? Thanks guys, and keep up the good work.
Dante Robinson

Great question. There are a lot of these types of scenarios that either still need to be worked out, or already have but have not yet been communicated by the league. We were discussing this exact situation in the office the other day, and we seemed to think it would constitute a possession lost by team A, and therefore, the game would end on the field goal by team B. But we're just not 100-percent sure at the moment. League execs have said they plan to discuss the new rules further at the next owners meeting later this spring. Maybe then, we'll get some clarifications.
Erik Scalavino

Hey fellas! Love your work. I have two questions. Were you part of the team that was deciding on the "Team of the Decade? And second, do you see BB finally trading up for someone on the 1st round? If so, who?Mark Duloff

Our editor, Paul Perillo, was among the panel of media who voted on the Patriots' Team of the Decade for the '00s. And yes, as I indicated in an earlier answer, I could see New England moving up if a talent like Spiller or one of the best pass rushers was within reasonable reach.
Erik Scalavino

Do you feel this years draft really has first-round talent available in the second round compared to last year? Can't help but believe if that is true, four second-round picks could be an incredible team-building move unlike anything we've seen lately, draft-wise. What could the Pats hope to get for their 1st round pick at 22 as far as a second, plus whatever? Also, do you think they might really go there? Thanks.
Francis Brown

OK, first, I do think this year's draft is deeper than last year's. But that doesn't make me any more excited about the prospect of trading down and out of the first round. Your chances of selecting a playmaker significantly increase the higher you pick. Furthermore, your point about having four second-round picks be "unlike anything we've seen lately draft-wise" … apparently you didn't see last year's draft, when we had, yes, four second-round picks after trading out of the first round. The Pats went 50-50 with those picks, I'd say (Vollmer and Butler appear for real; the jury's still out on Chung and Brace). Every draft pick is a roll of the dice, but I'd rather take my chances on a first-round pick any day.
Erik Scalavino

Could you see the Patriots sliding out of the first round again and adding additional picks – another second and a third, which they do not have right now?Marlon Grier

Could I see it? Yes. Do I want to? Clearly not, as I think I've made clear in my answers today.
Erik Scalavino

Can anyone give me a decent reason why I should think that beast Sergio Kindle will be around at 22?Jacob Hensley

You mean other than the fact that he was an underachiever at Texas ("beasts" are normally expected to be consistent playmakers) who had his best year when he was lined up opposite Pro Bowl rookie Brian Orakpo, who was getting most of the opposing offenses' attention? Or the fact that there's recent precedent, when last year's supposed "beast" pass rusher – FSU's Everette Brown – slipped even further, into the second round? No, I can't.
Erik Scalavino

Hi guys. I know we need a pass rusher and or a linebacker real bad and that's what I would like to see us get in the first round, but I was just wondering what your thoughts might be on taking Dexter McCluster? He seems like he would be really good receiver out of the backfield or maybe on screens that the patriots love to run and might be a pretty good running back. He and Maroney might make a pretty good 1-2 punch.Todd Patton

Love you guys at PFW! First-time e-mailer. With New England's 22nd overall pick, what do you think of them taking Brandon Graham (DE out of Michigan) and with one of the second-round picks, taking RB Toby Gerhart from Stanford. Also, what are your thoughts on moving Maroney to the Kevin Faulk role?
Ed Kortz

As we keep saying in this space, we'll soon be posting on our thoughts on every draft-eligible player. So, thank you for your patience. You'll be able to read our thoughts very shortly … stay tuned. But Maroney in the Faulk role? I don't think he's capable of making the kind of big plays that Faulk makes on a consistent basis.
Erik Scalavino

I am a New England native living near Dallas. I love PFW and look forward to Tuesdays. Thanks for all your work. I was thinking about the draft prospects the Pats can have in for a private workout. Over the last few years which if any of the guys that were in for workouts were actually drafted by the Patriots? Out of the guys brought in this year which would you really like to see in a Patriot's uniform? Thanks a million.Dave DeLuca, Frisco, TX

That's an interesting question. I'm curious to know the answer to that myself. That would require an inordinate amount of time-consuming research on our part, which we can't afford to do given all the work we need to do to prepare for this year's draft. Ideally, we could just ask someone on Belichick's staff, because they would have the answer in an instant – unfortunately, we're not allowed to ask for such information.
Erik Scalavino

The draft is April 22 and starts at 7:30 p.m. The Pats have 22 overall. Which would put their pick around 1:00 am. I think it stinks. I know they're starting the draft during prime time for the money. Do you think this is a one-time thing just to try it out see how people like it? Or will it always be this way.
Matt Lucia

To be clear, the first round starts on April 22, followed by the second and third rounds the following night, and rounds 4-7 on Saturday. I suppose it's possible the first round could last into the wee hours of Friday morning, but in all likelihood, it will go quicker than that. From a purely selfish standpoint, it benefits Team PFW because we now get Sunday of draft weekend off – something we've never enjoyed. But as a fan, I agree with you Matt. The draft was more of an "event" that you looked forward to, giving you an excuse to go to a local sports bar and waste away a Saturday afternoon with your friends. Like many of Commissioner Roger Goodell's ideas, I'm not sure if this one will have legs or not. We'll just have to wait and see how the ratings are, I suppose.
Erik Scalavino

OK, I'm sure you're getting lots of meaningful, important questions about the off-season, so here's a change of pace. I saw a camera ad that portrays the Pats in white shirts and silver pants, with the Chargers in their white helmets and navy shirts. I didn't think that the Pats have worn white/silver in the time since the Chargers switched back to white helmets. But it seems like a lot of unnecessary work to change the images. Did such a uni combo take place? I completely understand if you don't post this question. Thanks for making the off-season fun!!
Andrew Miskavage

Don't be silly … we love answering such trivial questions! I saw that ad, too, and wondered the same thing … for about a millisecond. Then I forgot about it until you just brought it up again. As far as we know, the Patriots haven't changed their uniform combination. Not sure why the ad agency that produced that spot went through the trouble.
Erik Scalavino

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