As I stated in the draft thread (go and look) my guess was that BB targeted three or four players in the 1st (Trufant, Rhodes, Reid, good DT with depth at position) and when those players were gone (and they were) I knew BB was going to trade down. I wanted DE, but frankly there may have been depth at the position but I don't think there was a single DE with as much upside as Chandler last year so why not trade down. Also I said the Bills trade back into 1st to get a QB. Ideally the Bills 2nd was higher than the Vikes, but no way is a divisional opponent going to trade with BB (even though Manuel would have been there at 29). Part of trading down is finding value later in the draft and not wasting a 1st on a marginal player you can get late in the 2nd or 3rd.
The media circus that surrounds the draft is always ready to annoint a draft winner(s) and a draft day loser(s). The simple truth is you can't properly evaluate a draft until approxiamately three years later. The media also plays a large role in determining the "impact" players. I like Kiper as much as the next guy, but do you rate his knowledge ahead of people like Ted Thompson, Belichick, Jerry Reese, and Ozzie (eg; people that have won SBs). I hope not.
Now the Pats draft. People complained incessantly last year about the secondary and how the whole NFL was racking up yardage against the Pats pass D; and all belichick did was re-sign Talib, sign Adrian Wilson (2 yrs), sign Armstead (pass rush?), drafted LB/S hybrid (Collins) and draft 3 DBs in the first 5 rounds. It's pretty clear that BB is doing all he can to improve the secondary; if you thought he was going to sign Ronnie Lott and draft Deion, well, that was never going to happen and when the Pats trade down there is almost always a chorus jeers on this board. Even though some trades down have netted decent players. For me the acquistions on D were about improving the pass rush and improving the 3rd down, nickel and dime defenses. BB is about situational football and a sub package coverage LB who can cover TEs or RBs is valuable even if he doesn't get 10+ sacks or 4+ INTs. Ryan might be the only DB drafted who can start in the near future, but that does not mean that you can't still acquire/draft players who are capable of playing well in certain situations (3rd and long). I want to reiterate that the higher the pick the greater the impact is a concept often posited by draftniks and the media; the Pats (with their record) are seldom in a position to draft a top 5 impact player; that obviously does not preclude a player from being great all it does is slightly increase the expectation; high pick=high expectations (see Vikings this year). Belichick tried to improve his secondary and only time well tell if he did. Personally I see Ryan and Collins as potential starters and the other defensive players as sub-package or ST players. If BB wants to trade up for player he will (Jones, Mayo), if he doesn't then he can't find a partner or believes the value is in the later rounds.
If the secondary was complaint #1 then WR depth (loss of Welker) was board complaint #2 or 3 (see pass rush). Dobson with sub 4.5 and great hands looks like he could be good, but good in this offense could mean catching 40-50 balls (is he going to take touches away from Amendola, healthy Gronk, and Hernandez I doubt it). If anything WR depth means Brady could easily have more options or at least different options in the pass game. In this respect you can complain that Belichick did not draft the WR you wanted, but he did draft and acquire WRs to improve the team. Calvin Johnson (or his caliber) was not in this draft and the Pats don't usually draft so high that they can grab the best WR (also high bust rate). It's a copycat league and now more teams are trying to grab a speed TE (Hern) and power TE (Gronk) to alter their sets. BB often makes the playoffs; he does not necessarily need impact players, but players he can use in different roles (spread, 3WR sets etc....).
The 7th round guys often end up on the practice squad. Dennard appears is the exception rather than the norm.
Overall I see this a depth draft. Depth for the secondary and depth at WR with good LB. I would have liked to see a OLineman, but BB has done an okay job, and ,as aforementioned, this draft will withstand better evaluation in two or three years. At best could yeild three starters; at worst some solid contributers, but no superstars.
Sorry about the length guys.