The New England Patriots steal. They steal draft picks and players from teams that don’t know what they are getting themselves into. The Pats have always been known for there thriftyness in trades. However, with the recent Richard Seymour trade to the Oakland Raiders, it doesn’t feel like thriftyness as much as it does straight ripping teams off.
For the 29 year old defensive tackle, the Raiders traded a 2011 first round pick. That first round pick is likely to be a high one. In the last 5 first round picks the Raiders have had, 4 have been a top 7 pick. The Pats have ripped off the Raiders before. In 2007, the Pats traded a 4th round pick for Randy Moss.
To put the crime into perspective, consider this: The Green Bay Packers received a 3rd round pick for Brett Favre from the Jets a season ago. Brett Favre, a first ballot Hall of Famer, has started every game since Week 3 in the 1992 season. Richard Seymour has started all 16 games in a season once in his career and that was in 2002.
I cannot, however, be mad at the Patriots. I would want my team to make every trade that they have made. Hell, the other team (in this case, the Raiders) also has to agree with the trade. There is a reason why teams like the Pats are Super Bowl contenders year in and year out and teams like the Raiders are the bottom feeders of the NFL: intelligence. Some organizations have it, others don’t. Oh yeah and, if it were possible, fire Al Davis.
Needs: CB, S
The Pats draft better than anyone else in the league and find the best players to fit their system. Because of that, the Pats don’t have many flaws on their roster. Age, however, is always a factor. The Pats should look to improving their secondary and linebackers first. First round pick from 2008 Jerod Mayo has turned out to be a real gem. Since the Pats run a 3-4 defense, they may look to boost their linebacking corps. They may also look to take the best player available if someone from the secondary or a linebacker doesn’t catch their eye. Either way, there is a method to the Patriots madness, we peons just can’t comprehend it yet.
Choice #1: Vontae Davis, CB, Illinois
Davis is the best talent at the corner position at this point in the first round. The Pats need a corner back. If you look at their depth chart on espn.com they don’t even have a name at one of the starting cornerback positions. Now, the Pats could probably play one of their receivers or returners at that position and be fine, but they may also want actually pick up another cornerback. Davis is a good fit, but I don’t know if he has the Patriots “attitude” that the team looks for.
Choice #2: James Laureinaitis, LB, Ohio State
The only reason why I don’t think the Pats will take Laurinaitis is because they took an inside linebacker in last year’s first round. That being said, Laurinaitis is the Patriots type of guy. He is productive, hard-nosed, and hard-working. He is a perfect fit for the 3-4 system and would make a mean tandem with Jerod Mayo. The Patriots other inside linebacker is Tedy Bruschi and he is 35. It would be smart to draft another inside linebacker, especially a player of Laurinaitis’ caliber. But, the fear of redundancy may get the best of the Pats (even if they are the best drafters in the league.)