BOSTON (CBS) –The NFL Draft is less than a month away and the uncertainty of which position the Patriots will address first has opened up a debate.
The New England Patriots hold the 29th overall pick and while there are obvious needs at certain positions, there are some that are considered a higher priority than others. Drafting a new tight end to pair with the oft-injured Rob Gronkowski and a defensive lineman to play alongside the aging Vince Wilfork have climbed to the top of most mock drafts.
Mock drafts — meaning, they’re not real.
It’s become the silly season on the NFL offseason calendar, where speculation and paralysis by analysis is rampant. One segment in particular on the Patriots’ upcoming draft on the NFL Network has drawn the ire of Andy Gresh and Scott Zolak.
Brian Baldinger said, “The Patriot way is different than a lot of others in this league, but what happened to the philosophy of finding your trigger man, finding your quarterback and then building around him? You guys both mentioned it, tight end, maybe [Austin] Seferian-Jenkins at 29 if available, maybe Carlos Hyde at 29 at running back…”
Despite their fondness for Baldinger, this one particular quote forced an early airing of grievances of sorts on Wednesday morning.
“It would be a major upset, hell it would be freaking shocking, if someone took this guy [Carlos Hyde] with his injury history in the first round,” said Gresh. Not to take anything away from Hyde, he’s a legitimate second round pick and worthy of being the first running back drafted, but he’s just not what the Patriots are looking for, especially with their first round pick.”
During the segment, another analyst proposed that the Patriots draft a wide receiver, which Gresh and Zo completely disagreed with. According to the NFL Network segment, wide receiver Marqise Lee would be the intended target for the Patriots.
According to Gresh, “After Mike Evans and Sammy Watkins, the rest of these guys are not across the board graded to be first round picks. After you get past those two, there is a pretty big drop off into the B group where a lot of those guys are going to go in the second and third round. The crop is deep but there’s only two home run first round picks.”
Analyst Charles Davis really ticked Zo off when he continued his “expert analysis” of the Patriots drafting a wide receiver with their 29th pick in the first round– something they haven’t done since taking Terry Glenn in ’96.
“This is what Charles Davis does all the time. He just goes down a list and reads names. We get it buddy! We get it. You study. You know all the names. Tell me something about each guy. Don’t just read a list of six names. We could do that for four hours! Try and be better than that!” said an angered Zolak to close the discussion.
When it comes to the New England Patriots and the NFL draft, the only certainty is uncertainty, so the moral of the story is this: don’t pay attention to the draft “experts” this time of year.
Listen below for the full discussion: