Those NFL-minded folks around the office know that I beat this drum every chance I get. The Patriots of old (early 2000s) had defense. Real punishing, smothering, lockdown defense. Who wouldn’t, with the Pro-Bowl likes of Mike Vrabel, Tedy Bruschi, Asante Samuel, Ty Law, and Lawyer Milloy?
With the departure of Vrabel and retirement of Bruschi, the newer, younger Patriots defense has had some good seasons statistically, but they’ve lacked in one area: good, consistent, old-fashioned pressure on the quarterback. (Pressure, not necessarily sacks.) As a result of this, the abilities of the cornerbacks and safeties have often been unfairly called into question.
So what will Belichick do with two picks in each of the first, second, and third rounds? I have no idea. (If you’re reading this, Bill: I love you, man.) But what I would like is if they picked up a good OLB — a Clay Matthews type. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they pick up someone for the offensive line, which is both experienced and aging. (As Doc Rivers once put it, “When we win, [they say] it’s because we’re experienced, and when we lose, [they say] it’s because we’re old.”)