There were lots of interesting nuggets coming from the Patriots’ War Room off the All-Access broadcast this weekend, but the dynamic of dealing down in the first round was most intriguing to me.
If you listen closely, as a trade was being brokered with Dallas, Bill Belichick notes that the Cowboys are moving to take Dez Bryant, and then starts to examine the teams between 24 and 27.
“Baltimore’s not gonna take a corner,” Belichick said, “Arizona …”
And it kind of trailed off from there. The key is that the Patriots felt it was important not to move back behind a team that had corner as a need, and since no corners were taken between 20 (where Kareem Jackson went to the Texans) and 27 (where the Patriots selected McCourty), it’s pretty clear that he was the guy all along.
Now, Baltimore traded the 25th pick, which could have thrown a wrench into all this, had it been a corner-needy team, rather than Denver moving to get Tim Tebow. But the point here doesn’t change: McCourty (that AP photo comes from our gallery — check it out) was the target from the time the Patriots went on the clock at 24 on and, assuming they didn’t want Demaryius Thomas or Bryan Bulaga, from 22, as well.
Belichick said as much after the draft. But this gives you hard proof that it’s true.