Patriots fans had to wait longer than most for some action during the first round of Thursday night's NFL Draft, but in the end New England did what few thought it would and actually made a selection to close out the night.
The pick of Texas defensive tackle Malcom Brown fills a major need in New England and came after a flurry of erroneous reports that the Patriots might be trading out of the first round. Or even up in the first round.
In reality Bill Belichick stayed where he was at No. 32 and grabbed the big, athletic, mature defensive tackle who'll have a shot to replace Vince Wilfork on the defensive front.
The Boston Globe says the Patriots "went the safe route" by standing pat and make the selection of Brown. The Globe was actually the source that first indicated that the Patriots were trading the selection to the Texans, a report that obviously turned out to be false.
Globe columnist Chris Gasper says that the Bucs taking a chance on a potential franchise quarterback was the right decision.
The Boston Herald *says the Patriots certainly "beefed up their defensive front" with the Brown pick. In fact the *Herald says New England couldn't have made a better move than landing the big Texas defender. The Herald also notes that the Patriots picked up the fifth-year rookie contract option on former first-round pick Chandler Jones. The Herald has Jonas Gray noting that you don't have to hear your name called in the NFL Draft to have an NFL career.
Like so many others, the *Providence Journal *points out that Brown will be looking to fill a big void left by Wilfork's free agent departure this spring.
ESPNBoston.com says that the Brown pick was a sort of throwback to the early years of Belichick drafting in New England. The site has a notebook wrapping up the first day of the draft in New England and looking ahead to Friday's second and third round.
CSNNE.com likes the Brown pick, saying it was the smart move for Belichick's team. The site points out that versatility is one of the defensive tackle's biggest strengths while relaying Brown's Combine comments about how much he's motivated by his family life, which includes a wife and two children.
WEEI.com has Brown's comments in his conference call with the New England media, telling Patriots fans he's "the best player you've ever drafted." The Jets landed premier defensive line prospect Leonard Williams in the draft, and the former USC star is hoping his first NFL sack comes against Tom Brady. Of course New York doesn't play New England until October, so Williams isn't looking to rush into his NFL production. And WEEI.com notes that Belichick isn't shooting down the comparisons between Brown and Wilfork.
NFL.com has positive marks for the Patriots in the sites instant draft grades. Draft guru Gil Brandt has the top remaining prospects still avaiblle heading into the second round.
The Washington Post has its own draft grades, saying the Patriots, Seahawks and Jets "aced" the first round.
The Dallas Morning News says that in Brown the Patriots got one of the very best inside defenders in this year's draft.
The Patriots could certainly look at cornerbacks and guards with their picks on the second day of the 2015 draft.