Patriots Add Good Solder To Front Line

What? You were expecting Bill Belichick to do something sexy and unexpected last night?

The Patriots used the 17th pick in the first round last night to select massive Colorado tackle Nate Solder. By all accounts he’s a “Patriots type” of guy – smart, versatile, athletic, and of good character. The Patriots then traded their second first round pick to New Orleans for a first rounder next season and a second rounder today (#56 overall).

The moves didn’t quite generate the outrage and headscratching among fans and media that we saw last year, when the Patriots traded down twice and then drafted Devin McCourty, but there still seems to be a bit of disappointment out there. Let’s see how the rest of the draft goes, OK?

Sold on Solder - Shalise Manza Young with a look at the newest Patriot, and for those wondering why the Patriots didn’t select Anthony Castonzo of Boston College instead, Young notes “it’s interesting to note that Scarnecchia ran the position drills at BC’s pro day, so he got an up-close look at Castonzo.” More on Solder from: Mike Reiss | Ian R. Rapoport | Jim Donaldson | Christopher Price | Tom E. Curran | Tim Whelan Jr. | Jeff Howe | Mark Farinella | Jennifer Toland | Hector Longo | Nick Underhill | Glen Farley  (Did I get everybody?)

Every second counts - Greg A Bedard says that today is when the Patriots need to make their hay on defense.

Day 2 picks are key to Patriots’ draft - Mike Reiss agrees that these picks tonight are crucial.

Bill Belichick Passionately Defends Drafting Philosophy, Sticking to What He Believes In - Jeff Howe notes that the Patriots head coach is used to hearing negative feedback about his draft-day performances.

League tells teams to open doors - Ian Rapoport’s notebook has the NFL opening for business at 8:00 am this morning. The Globe Patriots notebook has more on this, and a look at the trade with the Saints.

Boston Celtics vs. Miami Heat series preview: In-depth statistical breakdown - Tom King with a detailed look at the upcoming series.

Legacies on the line: Paul Pierce and LeBron James - Paul Flannery looks at what is on the line for both teams.

Green’s turn has come - Amalie Benjamin has the young forward feeling more at ease and ready to contribute.

Smooth C’s lie ahead - Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics can beat the Heat if they stick to their plan. Scott Souza says that planning and execution are key for the Celtics, as opposed to the Heat, who can win on talent.

Adrian Gonzalez: Home runs will come - Gordon Edes talks to the Red Sox first baseman about his home run draught thus far this season.

Reddick is unfazed by crowded outfield - Michael Vega’s minor league notebook has the Pawtucket outfielder staying positive.

Bruins vs. Flyers matchups: Who has the edge? - DJ Bean previews the next round.

Series has redeeming quality - Fluto Shinzawa has the Bruins looking for payback.

Edwards passion is undeniable - Chad Finn’s media column has the Bruins voice defending his on-air style.

Boston Bruins Madness Hits Boston - My SB Nation Boston media column looks at the TV schedule for the next rounds for the Bruins and Celtics.

  • APimpNamedDaveR

    After years of watching this, I've come to the conclusion that the Pats drafts are just done in a non-draft sort of way, which is what frustrates fans.

    We're all sort of trained to believe that teams sit in a war room with a list of players at positions that need filling, all sorted by talent, and that when their turn comes up, they take the top name on that list who hasn't already been picked. And I think that's exactly how many teams draft.

    I think the Pats, though, decide who they're taking before the draft given their pre-draft pick selections, then structure their pick trades around where they can obtain those players in the most cost-effective and likely manner possible. So, for example, I assume that last year they decided that McCourty was going to be their #1 target. As the draft progressed, it became clear that McCourty would fall to them in the second round. So they traded their first round pick, as that pick was no longer necessary for them to get the targeted player. Et cetera, et cetera. Combine that with their reluctance to pay high dollars for high-level talent in the draft, and you have a drafting technique that makes it look like they're just stepping aside all the time to let other teams take the flashy marquee players.

    But more often than not, they've gotten the right people at the right positions through this method (McCourty, Mayo, Mankins, etc.) As Chad Finn pointed out today in his chat, the one time they drafted in what appeared to be the "normal" way was 2006 — when they got Maroney, Chad Jackson, and David Thomas, all of whom flamed out badly.

    • Peter

      I think some frustration this year is due to the fact that more restrictions on cost of high picks are expected with a new CBA, and this would mean they would be less likely to take that value-oriented approach. But no matter what the new system is for rookie wage scales, 2nd rounders will still likely be better values than guys at the bottom of the first round.

      They clearly needed to draft an offensive lineman though because Matt Light might not be retained and he isn’t getting and younger (or better). So I don’t understand anyone griping about that.

    • Tony

      Good post.

      I defer to no one in my belief that knocking the opposing QB on his behind is one of the most important things that a defense can do, and that it should be able to do it well if the team wants to be highly successful. That said, I don't see how anyone can gripe about the player the Pats got last night, and how picking up a "bad" first round pick in 2012 (the assumption by many fans given New Orleans' 2011 prospects) is somehow a negative. The films of Solder run-blocking that I saw last night actually got me jazzed up. I've never seen Light pancake defenders like that on running plays. Besides…lots of time left in this draft and it's far too early to panic.

    • JFP

      APimpNamedDaveR,
      I agree with your assessment about the Pats draft strategy. The local media would probably say I've drunk the Kool Aid, but I trust Belichick. They've been rebuilding this team and been in contention while doing it. Not many teams can say they've done that.

      I only saw some of the draft last night, but Bill Parcell's "Let's not put him in Canton yet" quip was in my head. If you buy what the talking heads are selling everyone taken last night is on his way to the Pro Bowl, when in reality we all know most of these guys are going to wash out.

  • classless

    Well, it would be nice to get some explosive talent once in awhile. Name the last draft pick (excluding McCourty) that other teams need to gameplan around. Can't? Why trade Mark Ingram's pick to New Orleans? You mean to tell me we don't need a RB? Actually we do.

    I admire their savvy drafting and trading, but at some point, those picks need to turn into talent. It gets tiring seeing picks like Clay Matthews, Greg Jennings go to other teams because we're too busy flipping picks over and over.

    • Lance_

      Mayo (Detroit and Cleveland sure mentioned his name a lot last year) and Gronkowski/Hernandez.

      And yeah I too am tired of them passing on talent like Brian Cushing.

  • Guest

    The Pats did not trade down into the 2nd round to draft McCourty, he was the 27th pick in the first round. The Pats moved down a total of just 5 picks in the first round through 2 trades – from 22 to 24, then again to 27.

  • Timbuk3

    Wow, Pats draft a TE, they've already got three good ones. What's next, a kicker?

    I love the Pats and in BB I trust but wow, this is a real loyalty test.

    I guess I will look forward to free agency. If Mankins goes, I guess they'll have some coin to sign someone to rush the passer and set the edge. Perhaps those teams who drafted pass rushers will cut some loose for us.

  • Jack

    I just listened to WEEI's Sports Saturday. I've always been a fan of Bradford but I don't care much for the two jamokes they stuck him with. I have to say though, that they had Jack Edwards on and they did a good job of exposing him as a complete phony. This guy had a plan,. His plan was to say outrageous things and get noticed (probably inspired by the afternoon drive guy on the Sports Hub) and has gone with it. It's worked. A lot of people know who he is that had never heard of him before. But guess what……..it doesn't make him talented.

    • Guest

      That interview was a disgrace and I wouldn't be surprised if the 3 Saturday morning hosts get a good talking to by WEEI management.

      Here's a link to the audio for those interested: http://audio.weei.com/a/39944923/jack-edwards-nes

    • John K

      I thought the opposite. Those guys embarrassed themselves in that interview.

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