FOXBOROUGH — New England Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio hosted members of the media Thursday afternoon to explain the process in which the Patriots evaluate draft picks just two weeks ahead of the 2011 NFL draft.
With a mock of the Patriots 2010 draft board as his aid, Caserio broke down what the Patriots do in preparation.
“Generally speaking, it’s actually pretty tame” during the draft, Caserio said. “Where we’ve picked here, the past few years, we’ve been sorta to the bottom of the rounds. So there’s obviously there’s a lot of time that’s available to us during the day. We really don’t know when we’re gonna pick.”
The Patriots, under the guidance of Bill Belichick, have mastered the art of finding value in lower round picks in the draft. The team has also been efficient when working the phones during the draft, trading down for more picks often. Last year, the team made seven draft trades, trading twice down in the first round before selecting Devin McCourty who went on to have a Pro Bowl season.
Caserio touched on the Patriots draft day trade strategy.
“Some of the trade discussions, those usually pick up I would say 5 to 8 picks out. We might get a few more calls. Up to that point, we probably talked through the course of the week — either coach Belichick or myself — have talked to representatives from other clubs, about potential possibilities, but they really don’t manifest themselves actually till draft day. I would say, by and large, there aren’t too many trades, at least from our perspective, that are agreed upon before we go into the draft room.
“I’m not saying it doesn’t happen,” Caserio continued. “But I’m saying by and large most of the discussions take place actually as you get closer to your pick.”
Caserio showed off a mock versions of the team’s draft cards, which include coded information utilized by the team on their draft board. On the card, height, weight, 40-yard dash time and any noted deficiencies are marked, including a player rating ranging from 1 to 9.
The Patriots have nine picks in the upcoming draft April 28. Despite Caserio’s presentation, there was no indication given on who the team might be targeting and which player might carry a coveted 9 rating.
For the full presentation, see the video here.