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Re-setting the draft

Posted by Albert Breer  December 17, 2009 04:42 PM

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My man Don Banks -- the mock-draft master over at SI.com -- did his annual re-setting of the NFL Draft. And, as always, it produced some interesting results.

On draft day, the Patriots traded down out of the 23d slot, receiving Baltimore's first-round (26th overall) and fifth-round picks. They then flipped those two picks to Green Bay for a second-rounder, and two third-rounders. One of those third-rounders was dealt to Jacksonville for a 2009 seventh-rounder and a 2010 second-rounder.

Players involved in those deals are prominent on Banks's list. First, the rundown:

PICKS PATRIOTS SURRENDERED

23d overall -- Ravens OT Michael Oher
26th overall -- Packers OLB Clay Matthews
73rd overall -- Jaguars CB Derek Cox
162nd overall -- Packers OT Jamon Meredith (now with Buffalo)

PICKS PATRIOTS RECEIVED
41st overall -- CB Darius Butler
83rd overall -- WR Brandon Tate
232nd overall -- WR Julian Edelman
2010 second-round pick

Now, in Banks's estimation, Oher should have been the No. 1 overall pick, and Matthews was ninth on the list. Cox is starting in Jacksonville and leads the Jags with three picks. Meredith was cut by the Packers at the end of camp, signed to the practice squad, then poached by the Bills in late September.

Butler's drawing significant time and is a sometime-starter here. Tate has potential, but another knee injury (he tore an ACL last year at North Carolina and was drafted while still in rehab) ended his rookie season. And Edelman has been a rotational player at receiver and special-teams contributor. Obviously, there's one pick, Jacksonville's No. 2 next year, to go.

So if Oher develops into a franchise tackle and Matthews a franchise edge-rusher (he has eight sacks), then this won't look so good.

But ... The Patriots did get Sebastian Vollmer 58th overall, and he was listed, again, by Banks's estimation, as the re-do eighth pick, which is something to hang your hat on, and a softening of any potential blow leveled by passing up on Oher.

(UPDATE 6:09 p.m.: Thanks to a reader comment, I should probably clarify here: This isn't meant to say the Patriots could have had both Oher and Matthews -- that's obviously not the case.)

News, analysis and commentary from Boston.com's staff writers and contributors, including Zuri Berry and Erik Frenz.

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