It Is What It Is
Follow football writer Christopher Price at In addition, get the latest updates at
A Patriots Blog Blog Network

Five names to keep an eye on at No. 33

04.29.11 at 9:33 am ET
By   |   Comments

With the Patriots holding three picks in the second round (Nos. 33, 56 and 60) and two more in the third (Nos. 60 and 74), the Patriots have plenty of options on Friday. They’€™ll kick things off with the first pick of the second round, though Bill Belichick showed everyone Thursday that you can never count out the possibility of a trade.

This is an interesting situation for the Patriots. Generally a top pick in the second round can be flipped for a future first. With the Pats already possessing two first-rounders in 2012, would they actually consider going for another?

Assuming the Pats don’€™t move, here’€™s a quick look at names to consider with the 33rd pick.

Da’€™Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson

Bowers was the first overall pick in many early mock drafts, including ours, but knee issues have hurt his stock. Even if he’€™s healthy, he would not be a fit on the Patriots line given that he measures in at under 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds. He was a bit of a one-year wonder, but his one year (this past season) featured 15.5 sacks. He is one of the most talented pass-rushers in this draft, but system-wise is not a fit unless that Pats feel he can play outside linebacker.

Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona

Reed is a bit more logical of a choice than Bowers when it comes to the Patriots. He may not have as much upside, but he is a better fit as an outside linebacker in their scheme. His height (6-foot-2 4/8) might scare the Patriots away. Reed, 24, had seven sacks in his senior year.

As for a history lesson, the Patriots did a pretty good job in taking an undersized Arizona defensive end back in 1996 with Tedy Bruschi.

Brandon Harris, CB, Miami

The Patriots have spent a pick in the first two rounds on a cornerback in each of the last three years. Two of them (Devin McCourty and Darius Butler) are still with the team, while they ended the Terrence Wheatley era early. At 5-foot-9 and 193 pounds, Harris has the prototypical size of a Pats corner. Harris came out after his junior year, but given that he was a three-year starter, there are not experience issues.

‘€œEvery year my confidence rose,’€ he said at the combine. ‘€œI’€™m at the point right now that my confidence is so high and I believe in myself a ton.’€

Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland

Smith is a major risk/reward pick. He could be great downfield threat or he could be the next Darrius Heyward-Bey. While Smith’€™s speed has led to comparisons to his former Maryland teammate, he doesn’€™t want anyone getting him confused with the former Raiders first-rounder.

‘€œI feel like it’€™s ignorant for people to compare two completely different people,’€ he said at the combine. ‘€œJust because we went to the same school doesn’€™t mean anything. If he didn’€™t go to Maryland or I didn’€™t go to Maryland, we wouldn’€™t be having this conversation. At the end of the day, we’€™re two completely different people. I went on a completely different path than he did.’€

Smith had 1,055 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.

Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech

Williams is another one-year wonder, and though he may be one of the more overrated players in the entire draft, he could be an option if the Pats decide to go with a running back. A sophomore, Williams has less mileage than the other backs in this draft, though he followed his 1,655-yard freshman year with an unproductive 477-yard sophomore campaign that was slowed by injury and decreased carries.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Brandon Harris, Brooks Reed, Ryan Williams

Adam Schefter on D&C: ‘At some point you’ve got to start picking players’

04.29.11 at 8:35 am ET
By   |   Comments

ESPN’s Adam Schefter joined the Dennis & Callahan show Friday morning to talk about the NFL draft. To hear the interview, go the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.

The Patriots took Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder at No. 17 and then traded the No. 28 pick to New Orleans for a second-rounder this weekend and a first-rounder next year.

The Patriots have the first pick of Friday’s second round. Schefter said people he spoke with after Thursday night’s opening round predicted the Pats would trade the No. 33 overall pick, but he’s not so sure.

“Is it going to surprise me if they trade out? Not at all,” Schefter said. “But I’m sitting here, I’m saying to myself: You’re New England. You’ve already stockpiled double [first-round picks] for next year. At some point you’ve got to start picking players. And there’s some pretty good players on the board.

“There aren’t many people that thought that Da’Quan Bowers would be sitting there at the top of Round 2. I know he’s got medicals [issues with his knee], but that guy’s a hell of a football player. I’ve heard some front offices compare him to Michael Strahan. I think Bill Belichick can make him work in that system pretty easily.”

Schefter also speculated that Patriots may look at a running back such as Virginia Tech’s Ryan Williams or Illinois’ Mikel Leshoure. Said Schefter: “There’s a great player there for them. It’s just a question of what need they want to address.”

Asked about league-wide surprises from Round 1, Schefter said: “My No. 1 big surprise would be Christian Ponder [going to the Vikings at No. 12]. My No. 2 big surprise would be what Seattle did, taking James Carpenter. My No. 3 surprise would be Atlanta giving up what it did to get Julio Jones ‘€” five draft picks to get Julio Jones. I don’t know when he turned into Herschel Walker.”

As for the Patriots passing over Alabama running back Mark Ingram and trading the No. 28 pick to the Saints, Schefter speculated that concern about Ingram’s health was one a few factors. “I think they liked him, but they just didn’t like the idea of taking a running back,” he said. “The last time that they took a running back that high, Laurence Maroney didn’t fare well. And this is a league where there’s been an increased emphasis on the passing game.

“And quite frankly, as good as New England was last year, and it was the best team in the league during the regular season, it still has holes that it has to fill. And running back, with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, is not a priority when you can go get running backs later on in the draft. And there’s going to be an awful lot of free agent running backs this year as well.”

Read More: adam schefter, Da'Quan Bowers, Mark Ingram, Nate Solder

Nate Solder shows off his skills via video

04.29.11 at 2:44 am ET
By   |   Comments

You want to see a video of new Patriots’ offensive lineman Nate Solder showing off his skills in a recent edition of the ESPN show “Sports Science”? Of course you do. Check him out as he shows off his speed, strength and blocking skills.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Nate Solder,

Packers round out the first with Derek Sherrod

04.28.11 at 11:45 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Super Bowl champion Packers selected Mississippi State offensive tackle Derek Sherrod with the 32nd overall pick to conclude the first round of the NFL draft.

Sherrod, at over 6-foot-5 and 321 pounds, has decent size and has started every game the last two seasons. He dealt with knee and foot issues earlier in his college days.

Jets grab Muhammad Wilkerson, Steelers get Cameron Heyward

04.28.11 at 11:30 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Jets addressed the defensive line Thursday night, selecting Temple defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson 30th overall. Wilkerson has a year of 3-4 experience, which made him a good option for a team like the Jets or even the Patriots.

The Steelers followed the Jets’ pick by selecting Cameron Heyward, son of Craig “Ironhead” Heyward.

Bears select Gabe Carimi

04.28.11 at 11:22 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Bears selected Gabe Carimi 29th overall Thursday night. The Outland Trophy winning tackle out of Wisconsin is plenty confident in his talents, as he made clear back in February.

‘€œI have a better resume of going against better talent than anyone else, so that makes me more ready,’€ Carimi said at the combine. ‘€œI’€™m physically stronger and have more career starts and better knowledge of the game than any other tackle out there. That’€™s why I’€™m the No. 1 tackle out there.’€

Patriots trade down, Saints take Mark Ingram

04.28.11 at 11:16 pm ET
By   |   Comments

The Patriots traded the 28th overall pick of the 2011 NFL draft to the Saints Thursday, acquiring the 56th overall pick and New Orleans’ first-round pick in 2012. After securing the 28th pick, the Saints selected Alabama running back Mark Ingram.

With the move, the Patriots will now have three second-round picks on Friday and two first-round picks in 2012.

Ingram ran for 875 yards and 13 touchdowns as a junior after winning the Heisman in his sophomore campaign.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft,
Latest on Twitter
Patriots Box Score
Patriots Schedule
Patriots Headlines
NFL Headlines
Tips & Feedback