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PFW's Pre-draft questions 2009

All the anticipation and analysis comes to a head this weekend with the 2009 NFL Draft. But before we get there, the boys of PFW check in with a few last minute, pre-draft predictions.

Considering the bounty of first-day picks, will the Patriots trade up, trade down, trade out or make their selections on Saturday?

Andy Hart: While I think Bill Belichick could very well move around a tad in the second round, I think he'll still leave the first day with four players.

Paul Perillo: I think they'll sit tight at 23 but once that second round starts Belichick will make like Monty Hall and start dealing. He'll pick up at least one pick for next year in the process.

Erik Scalavino: I don't see them trading up for anyone, and they have plenty of picks on Day 2, so I don't think they'll trade down, either. Staying put and making all four first-day selections seems like the most likely scenario, unless they pull off the rumored Julius Peppers trade, in which case, they'd probably have to surrender at least one of those top-100 picks.

Which top-rated player will fall the farthest in the draft?

AH: Pro Football Weekly rates Malcolm Jenkins as the sixth-best overall prospect in the draft but concerns about his speed will likely push him to the mid or latter parts of the first round.

*PP: *With the uncertainty of this draft in general it could be anyone, but I'll go with Malcolm Jenkins.

ES: James Laurinaitis. And not necessarily because of anything he's done to hurt himself. It just seems that some other players are seeing their draft stocks rise, and inside linebacker doesn't appear to be a pressing need for too many clubs in the first round this year.

What will be the most surprising pick/development of the weekend for the Patriots?

AH: With all the focus on defense, the Patriots will go offense with the first pick in the draft to select either a wide receiver or a running back.

PP: The Patriots will take Pat White late in the second round.

*ES: *I've said all along that Peppers would end up a Patriot this offseason and I'm sticking with that prediction. Much like the Randy Moss rumors in 2007, which started early that offseason but didn't become reality until draft weekend, I believe the Peppers saga will play out the same way.

List the top four positions (in order) you think the Patriots will target on draft weekend?


*PP: *OLB, CB, S, slash/Pat White


Which prospect will end up having the most productive NFL career?

AH: B.J. Raji. Everyone, even Vince Wilfork himself, thinks Raji is a lot like the Patriots nose tackle. I think the B.C. star will be a stud in the middle of some defense for the next decade.

*PP: *So much depends on where a player lands, but I think Michael Crabtree is the most talented player in this draft and will have the most productive career.

*ES: *The most versatile, athletic players have the best chance of succeeding long-term, which bodes well for guys like Connor Barwin, Pat White, or Darius Butler. But how many 6-8, 380-pound athletes have you ever come across? LSU's Herman Johnson is one. Given his monstrous size and relative athleticism, I think he will be a dominant force on some team's O-line for the next decade, at least.

Which first-round pick will be the biggest bust?

*AH: *The higher you are the farther you have to fall. That means the answer here is Matthew Stafford. He's got a strong arm, but there are questions about the rest of his game. He'll be rushed into action, not be worth his huge contract and will be the latest in the long line of first-round QB busts.

PP: I think Beanie Wells and Josh Freeman have bust written all over them, but neither is a lock for the first round. So, I'll go with Brian Cushing.

*ES: *Aaron Maybin. Some team will reach for him in the first round, based on less than a full season's worth of production at Penn State. His best football may very well be ahead of him, but given the enormous expectations that accompany high selections, this underclassman will have even more to prove at the next level.

Who will be the Patriots first-round pick?

AH: WR Percy Harvin joins New England as a dynamic athlete who will develop into one of the keys to the offense in the next couple years. No, I haven't forgotten Chad Jackson. Harvin is a very different player.

PP: Larry English, but I'm hoping for Everette Brown.

ES: Northern Illinois' Larry English makes the most sense to me, even if the Pats trade for Peppers. He's a proven playmaker at a position of need (OLB) and will either be able to step in right away and contribute or ease into the role by learning from the likes of Peppers and Adalius Thomas.


Now it's the fans' turn to share their opinions in this debate. Vote now on who you would like the Patriots to pick with the 23rd pick.

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