I took a trip down to Foxboro on Wednesday. It was my first time checking out the Patriots’ media workroom and some of the surrounding area. It’s pretty quiet there now — but something tells me that will change next week.
With 12 picks (as it stands) in the upcoming NFL draft, it could turn out to be a busy stretch of days for the Pats. Four of those 12 picks are in the first two rounds, and head coach Bill Belichick admitted there is already interest out there.
“We’ve already received quite a few calls related to our second-round picks from teams that are interested in those for one reason or another, and that isn’t surprising to me,” Belichick said. “Not saying anything will or won’t happen.”
Unless they move up or down, the Patriots will have one pick to make next Thursday night: 22nd overall. Friday could promise to be the busiest day of the draft with picks 44, 47 and 53. Of course, as many draft scenarios as there are out there, the stretch of days always has the promise of surprise. You never quite know what the Patriots — or any of the other teams — might decide to do.
Belichick did say that, “having four picks in the first two rounds certainly gives us the flexibility to move up from where we’re at if we feel that’s the right thing to do.” Going into draft day, flexibility is definitely a good thing, especially because this Patriots team has needs. And though it’s only on paper now, the other teams in the AFC East have made a number of moves aimed at improvement.
Asked to evaluate the draft, Belichick said it has pretty good depth at a number of positions. Even though you assume it’s true for every team, it’s interesting to hear the head coach speak about how the team has has a “standard on every position.” That standard includes everything from height, weight and speed to arm length. True, the teams aren’t out there telling you their standards — but I always find it intriguing to learn more about the mindset that goes into the makeup of an NFL team.
As far as the players the Patriots have brought to Foxboro for visits, Belichick admitted that physicals account for more than 50 percent of the reasoning. Nothing earth-shattering, no. Just another interesting factoid as the countdown to draft day ticks down.