The NFL’s switch to a three-day draft definitely creates an “Are we there yet?” mood.
But for teams, a big advantage to hitting the pause button after Round One is the chance to spend late Thursday and early Friday laying out strategy.
“It’s definitely a restart,” Bill Belichick said Thursday night after the Patriots selected Dominique Easley with the 29th pick. “We’ll take stock of where things are, kind of re-order the board, take a look at what’s there after 32 teams have selected and re-order it and start over again.”
What goes into the preparation?
“There’s maybe a decision or we see something – stars colliding, if you will – then we’ll have to sort that out.” Belichick explained. “[For example], ‘What will we do if we have these two players on the board?’ or that type of thing. ‘Is there a player we want to move up for?’ or whatever. Same type of discussions we had going into today, it’s just that there are 32 less players and some needs have been filled by some teams. It’s a little bit different, but it’s basically the same thing.”
The break also gives a much better opportunity for teams to work on deals.
On Thursday, we reported the possibility the Patriots and Texans could be close on a deal to ship Ryan Mallett to Houston and that conversations had taken place.
Albert Breer of the NFL Network noted that the talks had contingencies for the Texans.
If the Texans and Bill O’Brien can get a quarterback they love – and well-regarded Derek Carr of Fresno State is sitting there with the Texans making the first pick of the second round – the Texans quarterback of the future is landed.
If that comes to pass, adding Mallett to a depth chart that already includes Case Keenum, T.J. Yates and Ryan Fitzpatrick would seem a bit redundant.
Unless O’Brien is so enamored of Mallett he’d make the deal and put another one of those depth QBs on notice.
The Patriots will now have contingencies as well. The second-tier of quarterbacks (at least according to experts – they all seem OK not great to me) is coming up. Jimmy Garoppolo, A.J. McCarron and Tom Savage will likely be going off the board Friday. If the Patriots deign to take one of them, Mallett becomes more expendable. If not, he’s a little more important.
In this very deep draft, it’s been said teams will still be finding plug-and-play starters deep into the third round.
The chase for those guys begins at 7 p.m. And it could be a wild night.