Saturday, April 25, 2009

It's Draft Day at Gillette Stadium

There's a soccer field laid out on the Gillette Stadium turf, but it's all football, all the time in the offices and suites surrounding the field. (Seriously, this draft is big business: I got a security escort up the escalator.)

The NFL Network is laying out its final mock draft -- and has UConn corner Darius Butler going to the Patriots at No. 23.

I don't see it. I really don't. Secondary isn't a need for the Patriots right now, at least in the first round. There are just too many quality linebackers available -- the NFL Network had the Patriots passing on Tennessee's Robert Ayers and Ohio State's James Laurinaitis to take Butler.

There will be quality corners farther down the board. Eugene Wilson was a second-round pick; Asante Samuel was a fourth-round pick. Ellis Hobbs is coming back, and Shawn Springs and Leigh Bodden were signed as free agents to play opposite him.

The Patriots have one glaring hole: Linebacker. Barring a big slide by a top-10-type player like wide receiver Michael Crabtree or defensive tackle B.J. Raji, you have to believe the Patriots will go in that direction.

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