Drafting is almost never an exact science.
Perhaps that explains why psychology is such an important part of draft strategy, particularly in New England.
Dr. Robert Troutwine is a expert in this field, and among his many NFL clients are the Patriots. In an interesting feature in today's Boston Herald, Troutwine reveals what New England and other clubs want to find out about players they might draft.
"As much as possible," Troutwine said in the article. "How driven and motivated are they in their approach to things? How do they respond to pressure? What if they move from one position to another? What if they're now in a backup role as opposed to a starter? Are they going to mentally be able to pick up what we're going to teach?"
Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli often interact with prospects numerous times before the Draft. But just how important are pre-Draft visits to the Patriots?
"I wouldn't read too much into it," Belichick said in another insightful Herald story. "There are a lot of guys that we don't have in here who we have all the information on and we think just as highly of. We're not trying to send any message."
One player who hopes to see his dream of being drafted come true this weekend is Zak DeOssie. If the name sounds familiar, he's a former ball boy for the Patriotsthe and the son of former Patriot Steve DeOssie.
Zak's story, how he dreamed of being a quarterback at Brown but is now leaving the Ivy League school as a linebacker, is chronicled today in The Providence Journal.
And whether Belichick and Pioli draft DeOssie or not, Mel Kiper, Jr. is more than likely to be a big fan of the Patriots picks.
"They're phenomenal," Kiper said in an interview with the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. "Everybody has their misses here and there, but Scott knows how to bring in players for their system. He knows who fits them. A lot of these guys wouldn't fit other teams very well, but they fit the Patriots. The bottom line is they know how to put a roster together."
Kiper even offers up his thoughts on who New England will take with its two first-round selections.