Before we get to Draft coverage, a quick injury note.
This week, during offseason strength and conditioning workouts, Patriots tight end David Thomas suffered a broken foot. According to The Boston Globe, both the severity of Thomas' injury and the timetable for his return to action are unclear.
Don't be surprised if the Pats grab a tight end or two in this weekend's Draft. It might be a surprise, though, if they select a linebacker. Since head coach Bill Belichick took over in 2000, he and player personnel chief Scott Pioli have only drafted five. And of those, only one made the team (Tully Banta-Cain), and he was a seventh-rounder.
"We've had linebackers rated highly on our board and throughout our board," Belichick told the Boston Herald in a story out today. "It's not any philosophy or intent of 'we're not going to take a linebacker here.' We've never gone into a draft thinking that or saying that. We've drafted who we've drafted. It's just kind of the way it's worked out."
Today's piece offers rare insight to Belichick's Draft philosophy. The coach goes on to say, "We've gone back and asked ourselves if our standards are unrealistic, if we've set the bar too high. And I don't think so. We've looked at some of the guys who've been drafted high the last several years around the league, and the conclusion you come up with is that maybe they've been a little overdrafted."
Guessing what New England will do is often a futile exercise. But one Boston-area writer feels that "down and out" would be a great feeling on Draft weekend, particularly for Pats fans.
OK, here's your last chance to find out what the "experts" predict. Final Mock Drafts can be found on NFL.com, ESPN.com, FOXSports.com, and NBCSports.com. And if you're looking for something even more interesting, check out The Providence Journal's feature about why "mock drafts are meant to be mocked."
Finally, we at Patriots.com hope you enjoy Draft weekend. If you're not gathering with family or friends, either at home or here at Gillette Stadium, perhaps you'd like to spend it with defensive lineman Vince Wilfork. He's holding a Draft Party that doubles as a fundraiser to help fight diabetes -- a cause that's close to Wilfork's heart, as you'll see in a story in today's Herald.
Throughout the weekend, make sure you stay close to your computer and keep it logged on to Patriots.com. We'll have a Draft Tracker, highlights of all the Pats picks, radio coverage, and our fan-favorite feature: the blog! You can add your own comments on all the selections the team makes on Saturday and Sunday.