Curran: The Draft According to Me

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Curran: The Draft According to Me

"So who the Patriots picking?"

It's an innocent question posed by people who know what I do for work. Same as me asking a CPA on April 12, "So, you kinda busy with taxes?"

In both instances, the person posing the question knows the answer.

My answer: "Man, hard to say. Tell me who's there and I'll tell you who they'll take."

The CPA's: "Taxes are due in three days, what do you think, moron?"

It's with that in mind that I present to you my annual draft day treatise on what the Patriots should do and what they will do in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft.

All rights to gloat if this particular blind squirrel finds a nut? Reserved.

No. 27
WILL DO
Last year, Bill Belichick raved about the front-seven talent in the draft, specifically the edge rushers. So I did everything but build a wooden altar to Cam Jordan and then the Patriots passed on him. This year, they don't pass, they take the edge rusher and his name is Shea McCellin from Boise State. Does it give me pause that Mike Mayock has the Patriots taking Nick Perry? Sure. And it gives me even more pause that Mike Lombardi has them taking Vinny Curry from Marshall. Any of the above will work. McClellin works best, though, and his smarts win out for a team that was burned by going for athleticism with Jermaine Cunningham in the second round two years ago.

SHOULD DO
I'm good with Shea McClellin as well. If, as Mayock says, this is a 10-year NFL starter Mayock will bang the table for, that's good enough for me.

No. 31

WILL DO
The Patriots trade back right here. They get a team in the 30s that's got an itchy trigger-finger to move up, the Patriots fall back to the spot in the 30s and take free safety Harrison Smith while adding a third in 2013.

SHOULD DO
It's too early for Harrison Smith who can be had by dealing back into the second round. It's probably too early for a wide receiver that the team has any reservations about as well. It's not too early to go safe on the offensive line, though, and 6-4, 314-pound Kevin Zeitler -- a guard from Wisconsin -- is the pick here. Kendall Reyes is also a recommendation here and that's even if they've taken McClellin.

No. 48
WILL DO
Having grabbed Smith and McClellin and still needing some late-draft picks so they aren't idle in Rounds 5-7, the Patriots trade again, dealing back and adding picks for Saturday. If they do not deal, look for them to take either Vinny Curry (Lombardi must know something) or watch out for a surprise pick with South Florida's Jeremiah Warren, a guardcenter.

SHOULD DO
Going by what they've done in the Draft According to Me, they've gotten a defensive end and an offensive lineman. Now it's time to get a young, strong, smart, productive wide receiver and that's Mohamed Sanu from Rutgers.

No. 62

WILL DO
Now we're deep into the Best Player Available portion of the program. There's good and varied depth at running back and wide receiver, though, and the Patriots are going to find the successor to BenJarvus Green-Ellis and grab Virginia Tech's David Wilson here because they are stunned -- stunned -- to see him still on the board.

SHOULD DOPatriots need to go Best Fatty Available here. Try and find the low-cost replacement to Vince Wilfork with a guy who's got some upside but question marks to conquer. Belichick loves to go risky in Round 2 and the pick in that case should be Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman.

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

Wednesday's Pats-Bills practice report: Jimmy G., Brissett both 'limited'

FOXBORO -- The highly-anticipated first Patriots injury report of the week was released on Wednesday afternoon, and it was fairly predictable. 

Both injured quarterbacks were active but limited in their practice participation, the report indicated. That comes as little surprise as both Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder) and Jacoby Brissett (thumb) were spotted throwing passes early in Wednesday's practice. Neither appeared to be experiencing any significant discomfort as they made their warm-up throws. 

Patriots linebacker Dont'a Hightower (knee) and tight end Rob Gronkowski (hamstring) were also limited. Gronkowski admitted that the team was taking it slow with him in his first game back on the field last week -- he played just 14 snaps in New England's win over Houston -- but he said on Wednesday that he hoped to go "freakin' crazy" on the field soon.

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
QB Jacoby Brissett (right thumb)
OT Marcus Cannon (calf)
G Jonathan Cooper (foot)
LB Jonathan Freeny (shoulder)
QB Jimmy Garoppolo (shoulder)
TE Rob Gronkowski (hamstring)
LB Dont'a Hightower (knee)
CB Eric Rowe (ankle)

BUFFALO BILLS

DID NOT PARTICIPATE
TE Charles Clay (knee)
OL Cyrus Kouandjio (ankle)
OL Patrick Lewis (knee)
WR Sammy Watkins (foot)

LIMITED PARTICIPATION
DB Colt Anderson (foot)
DB Ronald Darby (hamstring)
QB Cardale Jones (right shoulder)
DB Jonathan Meeks (foot)
WR Greg Salas (groin)
DB Aaron Williams (ankle)
OL Cordy Glenn (ankle)

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

Garoppolo: Not pressured by Patriots to return last Thursday

FOXBORO -- Jimmy Garoppolo spoke Wednesday for the first time since getting his shoulder separated by the Dolphins’ Kiko Alonso. Standing by his locker, Garoppolo was predictably vague about the status of his arm, unless you consider, “Getting better day by day,” as being insightful. 

The only two responses offered that were worth a damn came when asked if he could have done anything different when he got squished by Alonso while retreating and buying time.  

“Just have to be smart I guess,” said Garoppolo. “I mean, it’s football and stuff’s gonna happen like that, but have to be smart in those situations.”

Asked if he regretted holding the ball as long as he did on a third-down play with the Patriots up 21-0, Garoppolo replied, “After it’s all said and done it’s easy to say that, but it’s one of those things, you’re in the heat of the game. But bottom line I have to be smarter than that.”

Agreed.  

Meanwhile, as he worked last week to get back for Thursday night’s game against Houston, The Boston Herald reported that the Patriots were “putting pressure” on Garoppolo to be ready for the game. Working hard to get key players ready for upcoming games is standard operating procedure for a medical staff. Trying to force a player to perform is not. 

I asked Garoppolo if he felt unduly pressured. He replied, “No.”