Did the Patriots want Mathews?


By now, those of you who follow the draft process are very aware of Ryan Mathews.

The Fresno State tailback led the nation in rushing last year, played for Bill Belichick protege Pat Hill, and came into this draft as the consensus No. 2 player at his position.

Would you believe that last night, when things kicked off, he was the apple of New England’s eye? Maybe you should …

Yahoo! NFL writer Jason Cole, in his draft overview, quoted a member of the Patriots front office as saying, on Mathews, “That kid is special.” Then, there’s what Fresno State coach Pat Hill told me about the kind of fit Mathews would be in New England.

“[Mathews] loves to play. He’s a football player. The guy
loves football. He’s their type of guy, and I can say that very easily,” said Hill, who would know.
“Absolutely, their type of guy. Just a beast of a back and a great person.”

If the Patriots drafted Mathews, it could’ve alleviated other needs too, because he likely would’ve changed the face of their offense to a certain degree. So why couldn’t it happen? Because, simply put, of San Diego’s aggression.

Chargers GM A.J. Smith told me last week that, really, he felt like the only huge deficiency his team had was in the running game, and that the brass was happy with the roster otherwise.

So knowing that, it makes sense that they would package a handful of picks and move to get in front of a team like Seattle (picking 14th) to get their man. Remember, the major piece of currency it took to move up 16 spots was the 40th pick, which the Chargers got as a result of dealing off third-stringer Charlie Whitehurst and the 60th pick, while getting a 2011 third-rounder in return.

And with all that interesting maneuvering, Smith got his man, and quite possibly the Patriots’ man, as well.


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