NFL Draft Live Blog: Patriots Select Devin McCourty

NFL Draft Live Blog: Patriots Select Devin McCourty 1:01 a.m.: Wrapping up this party here. It was definitely a surprising night — both around the league and in New England. Check out the rest of our draft coverage on, and don't forget to join us again Friday for the second and third rounds.

12:09 a.m.: Bill Belichick said the signing of Torry Holt had no impact on the draft, which basically meant the Patriots were never going to use a first-round pick on Dez Bryant.

11:51 p.m.: Just wrapped up a 15-minute news conference with Bill Belichick, who said the Patriots were going to take Devin McCourty with the 22nd pick but believed they could make those two trades and still wind up with him at No. 27. Whether you agree with the pick or not, you've got to at least credit the execution. I'll have more detail in a separate post later on.

11:14 p.m.: Just got off a conference call with Devin McCourty, who wasn't exactly expecting the Patriots to draft him at No. 27. So much so that he was in the bathroom when the pick came down and the phone rang.

11:04 p.m.: With the final pick of the first round, the Super Bowl champion Saints picked Patrick Robinson, a defensive back from Florida State. The pick was announced by Madden NFL 11 cover boy Drew Brees.

10:54 p.m.: The Colts have taken TCU defensive end/linebacker Jerry Hughes, who was widely believed to be heading to New England about an hour and a half ago. Remember this night if Hughes gets into New England's backfield next season.

10:47 p.m.: The Lions moved up to No. 30 and selected Cal running back Jahvid Best, who was loads of fun to watch in college. Detroit is really loading up its offense this offseason.

10:37 p.m.: The Jets selected Kyle Wilson with the 29th pick, adding even more depth to their defensive backfield. They also gained some leverage in case Antonio Cromartie thinks he's worth a little too much money after his contract runs up next year.

10:30 p.m.: The Dolphins have taken Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick, which could turn out to be a pretty good get after they moved back 16 spots.

10:22 p.m.: The Patriots have drafted Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty, ignoring bigger needs at defensive end, outside linebacker and tight end. The Pats already have a good group of cornerbacks, so this is a little more curious of a decision. And even further, I thought Kyle Wilson was a higher-rated corner than McCourty. He's a good player, but this is a mysterious pick.

10:17 p.m.: The Cardinals took Tennessee defensive tackle Dan Williams with the 26th pick, and the Patriots are on the clock for the third time.

10:13 p.m.: Remember this for the rest of your life: Tim Tebow was drafted ahead of Jimmy Clausen.

10:06 p.m.: And there it is. Denver acquired the 25th pick from Baltimore and took Florida quarterback Tim Tebow. Oh boy. Hey, if anyone can develop a quarterback, it's Josh McDaniels. The Broncos sacrificed a second-, third- and fourth-round pick to get Tebow, which is straight stupid, but he'll have a good chance to learn under McDaniels.

10:00 p.m.: Here are the trade details. The Patriots sent the 24th and 119th picks to the Cowboys in exchange for their 27th and 90th selections. The Pats now have a third-round pick.

9:58 p.m.: Well, so much for that. The Cowboys have acquired the Patriots' pick and will select Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant. The Pats move down to No. 27.

9:55 p.m.: ESPN is reporting Dez Bryant will be the Patriots' pick. We'll see.

9:51 p.m.: Call the police. Green Bay committed a robbery with the 23rd pick, taking Iowa tackle Bryan Bulaga. That's just a great steal. Bulaga should have been a top-10 selection, and the Packers were in serious need of some offensive line help. And once again, the Patriots are on the clock.

9:44 p.m.: The Patriots announced the fourth-rounder they received from Denver is the 113th selection.

9:43 p.m.: The Broncos have taken Demaryius Thomas at No. 22, leaving Dez Bryant on the board. Denver sent its fourth-round pick and No. 24 to the Patriots. 

9:40 p.m.: The Bengals officially drafted Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, and the Broncos are on the clock at No. 22.

9:39 p.m.: The Broncos have reportedly traded with the Patriots, who will fall to No. 24.

9:37 p.m.: The Texans got their cornerback in Alabama's Kareem Jackson. The Bengals, meanwhile, have announced they've taken Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham. That means the Patriots are on the clock.

9:31 p.m.: Sean Weatherspoon let the cat out of the bag when he Tweeted, "I'm a Falcon!!!" Atlanta has taken the Missouri linebacker to bolster its boring defense. Neither the Texans or Bengals will take Sergio Kindle, so the Patriots might just have their man. (That is, of course, if they even like Kindle.)

9:28 p.m.: The Steelers grabbed Florida interior lineman Maurkice Pouncey, who will give a big lift to Pittsburgh's front curtain. Anyone who wants Sergio Kindle in New England has to root hard against the Falcons taking him here.

9:25 p.m.: Now, that's how you improve your offensive line. After taking tackle Anthony Davis, the 49ers have added Idaho guard Mike Iupati with the 17th pick. Alex Smith doesn't have to fear for his life every time he drops back next season, which has to be a comforting feeling.

9:20 p.m.: The Titans have to be doing back flips after Derrick Morgan fell to them at No. 16. Tennessee needed a defensive end, and the Georgia Tech product was considered by many to be the best in the draft. With this recent run of pass rushers, the draft board has kind of caught up to the Patriots, whose chances of taking Sergio Kindle might be waning. These next three picks will be extremely important in terms of pass-rushing options for the Pats.

9:13 p.m.: So much for Sean Weatherspoon. The Giants selected the Killer P's — South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul — with the 15th pick.

9:05 p.m.: Have to love how the Seahawks used their two first-rounders. They just took Texas safety Earl Thomas with the 14th pick to go along with Russell Okung, who went sixth overall.

9:02 p.m.: The Patriots' Twitter account noted the phone lines in the war room have begun to buzz.

8:56 p.m.: This draft is working out really well for the Patriots. Philly made a shocking decision to draft Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham, who I don't believe is all that good. Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan and South Florida defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul are still on the board. I just don't understand why the Eagles needed to trade up this far — and include two third-rounders to do so — to take Graham.

8:55 p.m.: The Broncos really made out on the most recent trade. They got the 24th pick and two third-rounders from the Eagles for the 13th pick. Denver has now turned its 11th pick into the 24th pick, two third-rounders and one fourth-rounder.

8:52 p.m.: And there's another trade. Philadelphia has acquired the 13th pick from Denver, which has traded down twice in the last 15 minutes. Bill Belichick is quite impressed with Josh McDaniels right now.

8:50 p.m.: Hey, I love me some Ryan Mathews, but that is quite the leap to take him at No. 12. San Diego moved up 16 spots to take the Fresno State running back. Mathews, who wore No. 21 in college, becomes LaDainian Tomlinson's replacement in the most beautiful city in America.

8:47 p.m.: The Chargers have acquired the 12th pick from the Dolphins. This could work out great for the Patriots because the Dolphins figured to be taking an edge rusher.

8:43 p.m.: That turned out to be a weird trade. The 49ers took Rutgers tackle Anthony Davis, who has some serious physical potential but some really questionable character issues. San Francisco needs help on the offensive line, but it didn't need to jump ahead of Miami to get Davis. I'm guessing the 49ers heard some chatter that another team was trying to move up to get Davis.

8:40 p.m.: The 49ers have acquired the 11th pick from Denver in exchange for the 13th pick and a fourth-rounder.

8:38 p.m.: Wow, there goes everyone's mock draft. The Jags selected Cal defensive tackle Tyson Alualu with the 10th pick. This is a curious pick with defensive tackles Dan Williams and Brian Price still on the board.

8:31 p.m.: This draft is flying along. Buffalo took Clemson running back C.J. Spiller with the ninth pick, and Patriots fans should be happy because the Bills haven't addressed one of their many, many needs. Their offensive line is junk, and they don't have a quarterback. The rest of the roster is pretty weak, too, but at least they've got three good running backs. What a dumb pick.

8:28 p.m.: The Bay Area has some serious talent at middle linebacker. The Raiders have taken Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain, who will play across the bay from 49ers middle linebacker Pat Willis.

8:25 p.m.: Now, it's time for everyone's favorite moment of the night. The Oakland Raiders are officially on the clock. I'm really hoping they don't take me here. That would be a disaster.

8:23 p.m.: The Browns have taken Florida cornerback Joe Haden with the seventh overall pick. And for the first time Thursday night, I can say, "I had him in my other mock draft."

8:15 p.m.: Russell Okung is heading to the Seahawks, who used their first of two opening-round selections on the Oklahoma State offensive lineman. Okung is a beast who will be a star left tackle for a long while. Seattle is next up at No. 14.

8:07 p.m.: There was a point in the middle of the last college football season when people thought Eric Berry might go No. 1 overall. Well, those expectations were tempered a little bit over the last few months, and Berry just went fifth to the Chiefs.

7:58 p.m.: The Redskins have taken Oklahoma tackle Trent Williams with the fourth pick. Williams' teeth have more holes than Washington's offensive line, so that's a pretty good fit.

7:52 p.m.: The Bucs have taken Oklahoma defensive tackle Gerald McCoy with the third pick. The draft's first three picks were a lay-up. The next 29 will be a shmozzle. (I might have just shut down the server by writing "shmozzle," which has more red lines around it than Bethel Johnson's Wonderlic test.)

7:49 p.m.: It's definitely not a good sign that NFL Network is listing linebacker Paris Lenon as one of the Rams' key losses this offseason. No wonder they only won one game last year.

7:44 p.m.: Yup, it's Ndamukong Suh. Detroit's defensive line was downright embarrassing last season, but it's going to be centered around a house for the next decade.

7:42 p.m.: I've said all along I'd take Russell Okung here if I were running the Lions, mostly because I'd want to protect the richest man in Detroit. But expect the pick to be Ndamukong Suh, which isn't exactly a bad idea.

7:38 p.m.: Sam Bradford just fielded a $50 million phone call from the Rams, who will build their franchise around the Oklahoma quarterback.

7:33 p.m.: The St. Louis Rams are officially on the clock, and Sam Bradford's life is nearly over.

7:20 p.m.: The Rams will be on the clock in 10 minutes. Don't expect them to make their pick for about 19 minutes and 59 seconds. By the way, teams have 10 minutes to make each selection in the first round, but each pick averaged about six and a half minutes in 2009.

6:57 p.m.: Just sat down at Gillette Stadium, which has been overcome by thunder and lightning. Either that, or I just heard Sergio Kindle tackle God. Yes, he's that good.

4:40 p.m.: As always, there's plenty of trade chatter heading into the first round of the draft. Keep an eye on a few of these teams that are candidates to make some moves Thursday night.

Washington Redskins: New head coach Mike Shanahan has had plenty of late-round success in the draft, and he knows he's got some work to do with the Redskins' roster. They've got the fourth overall pick, which is probably the worst selection to have in this first round — assuming Sam Bradford, Ndamukong Suh and Gerald McCoy are off the board in the first three picks — so look for Shanahan to unload the pick to a team that is very interested in quarterback Jimmy Clausen or safety Eric Berry.

Denver Broncos: If they want linebacker Rolando McClain — and I've had him going to Denver in a bunch of my mock drafts — they'll have to stay at No. 11. But reports are starting to indicate the Broncos are eying Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey or Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham. If that's the case, the Broncos would most certainly be reaching for both of those guys with the 11th pick. Plus, Denver needs to basically remake its entire offense, so additional picks would come in mighty handy.

Philadelphia Eagles: It sounds like they'd be trading partners with the Broncos. Philly reportedly wants to move up for Texas safety Earl Thomas or Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan. This might be a pretty steep price to pay to move up for either of those two guys. Both of them are very good, but the Eagles have some work to do elsewhere.

Buffalo Bills: The NFL Network reported Thursday the Bills have said they're definitely coming away from the first round with a quarterback. If they hope that's Clausen, they really better make an attempt to trade up because the Seahawks, Browns and Raiders are all potential suitors for the former Irish signal caller. Otherwise, Buffalo would be trading up into the late first round to make a play on Texas quarterback Colt McCoy or Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.

New England Patriots: Well, you know the drill.

2:50 p.m.: Over the last week and a half, we've spotlighted 11 players who could be potential fits for the Patriots at No. 22. Check them out here.

TCU outside linebacker Jerry Hughes

Penn State defensive lineman Jared Odrick

Florida offensive lineman Maurkice Pouncey

Clemson outside linebacker Ricky Sapp

Fresno State running back Ryan Mathews

Texas defensive end/outside linebacker Sergio Kindle

Clemson running back C.J. Spiller

Michigan defensive end/outside linebacker Brandon Graham

Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant

Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap

Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham

11:45 a.m.: Here's the best way to sum up what I think the Patriots will do Thursday night: I've got no idea. Bill Belichick has always been unpredictable in the draft, selecting Ben Watson when the Patriots had Daniel Graham, taking Logan Mankins when few had heard of him, picking Jerod Mayo when he was off the top-10 radar and trading out of the first round when plenty of talent was available.

Some of those strategies have worked magnificently, and others led to a heavy wind after the whiff job. We know the Patriots really need an outside linebacker, defensive end and tight end. They could also draft a right guard, running back, wide receiver or cornerback. When the Patriots are on the clock, it's safe to assume they'll focus on overall value a little more than the position of the player.

In my 10th and final mock draft, which was released Thursday morning, I had the Patriots taking Texas defensive end/outside linebacker Sergio Kindle.

8 a.m.: Let the party begin. The NFL draft kicks off on Thursday night with a red-carpet, prime-time special in New York City. The event has been as hyped up as ever, and the draft class is stacked with a deep pool of talent.

The Patriots are loaded with 12 draft picks, including four of the draft's first 53 selections, and they're in great position to improve their team. Stick with's live blog throughout Thursday's first round, as we'll be bunkered down in the press box at Gillette Stadium, where Bill Belichick and company will run their draft headquarters.

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