Maybe it was the buzz surrounding the trade for Randy Moss. Maybe it was the fact that the Patriots only made 1 pick on the first day. Maybe it was the fact that about 100 players were selected in between Meriweather and Kareem Brown. Whatever the reason, the rest of the Patriots draft went relatively unnoticed.
The Patriots added a great deal of depth with their draft, after filling in major missing pieces via free agency. The Patriots also acquired picks in the 2008 draft.
In the 4th round, the Pats got Kareem Brown, DT out of Miami (FL). This was the first time in team history that the first two players selected went to the same school.
Brown is 6' 4", 290 pounds, was Miami's defensive player of the year, and was 2nd in the ACC with 11.5 sacks. He is versatile. He can play at tackle or at end on the D-Line. He played with Meriweather, obviously, and spent 2 years as Vince Wilfork's teammate. The two already have somewhat of a mentor-protege relationship.
We needed some depth on the line, especially at defensive tackle. When Wilfork was hurting, or needed a breather, Mike wright was called in. Wright did a decent job, but I think Brown will be an improvement.
As we saw in the playoff loss to Indianapolis, defensive depth is vital. Our defense was worn to the turf as Indy kept driving on us. The front 3 were particularly exhausted. Brown adds another option for the line.
In the 5th round, the Patriots selected OL Clint Oldenburg out of Colorado State.
Clint is 6' 5", 298 lbs. He played tackle as an upperclassman, but also played guard and even tight end when he first played for the CSU Rams. Having a versatile O-Lineman like Oldenburg can really help. The Patriots have had very good depth at O-Line these past few seasons, and drafting capable players like this guy is one of the reasons for that.
In the 6th round, the Patriots selected DE Justin Rogers of Southern Methodist.
He's on the left. This was the best "action" shot I could find of Rogers. He wasn't even expected to be drafted by many people. Rogers had 9.5 sacks last year for 13th in D-IA. He led Conference USA in sacks as a junior with 7. He's 6' 4", 250 lbs. rogers suffered a neck injury last year, but only missed one game.
Funny side-story regarding Rogers:
"I was a little low on money and a little low on ideas and I had just killed a coyote. I was flipping through a catalogue and I saw a coyote rug and I thought, 'I can do that,' so I skinned it out and gave it to her [his step-mother]. She still has it. It's in our living room."
I just think it's funny that he was like "And I had just killed a coyote."
Rogers might have some trouble making this team. From this point on, the Patriots are pretty much drafting practice squad players. But who knows where one of these guys might one day end up.
The Patriots then drafted CB Mike Richardson, Notre Dame.
Mike is 5' 11", 188. This pick kept alive the tradition of Bellichick drafting players from "affiliate" college teams. By this, I mean college teams coached by guys associated with Bill in the past. Fresno State, LSU when Saban was there, and now Notre Dame. Richardson might make the team as the bottom CB of the depth chart.
With their next pick, the Pats selected RB Justise Hairston, Central Connecticut State.
Justise is 6' 10", 210 lbs. He's a native of New Britain, CT. He transferred to CCSU from Rutgers. He rushed for 1,847 yards on 277 carries his senior year at CCSU, including a 332 yard performance. He also ran for 20 TDs. With Maroney, Morris, Faulk, and Evans, Justise will have difficulty making the team.
The Pats drafted OT Corey Hilliard out of THE Oklahoma State University.
Hilliard is 6' 5", 308. He started 34 games straight for the Cowboys to end his college career.
In the 7th round, the Pats got ILB Oscar Lua out of USC. Lua lost his starting job this season to an underclassman.
To end their draft, the Patriots selected OL Mike Elgin of Iowa. Elgin can play both guard and center. He has little to no chance of making the team. But I'd feel bad if I didn't put a picture of him up.
So, we added some depth on defense, and maybe a little on the offensive line. Meriweather has a good chance of playing. Brown should see some time, too. The others might have trouble making the first team. That's not a bad thing, though. It's important to have a team that is very difficult to make it onto.