Coming into the 2009 draft the Pats had the 23rd overall pick in the first round. They traded out of that spot and swapped with Baltimore who selected Michael Oher whom the movie The Blind Side was based. Sitting at #26 with Baltimore’s pick the Pats traded the pick to Green Bay who selected Pro Bowl linebacker Clay Matthews. And with those two trades, the Pats traded their way out of the first round.
They used their second round pick that they got for Matt Cassell on Patrick Chung who by all indications is a legit player. Then they took Ron Brace and Darius Butler back to back at 40 and 41.
Yesterday they released Butler. This comes a day after the team had released Brandon Tate, their third round pick in the same draft. Butler never really developed into the corner the Pats believed he would. I think the hype of Butler coming out of UCONN was more of a local thing than a national thing. He’s been claimed by the Panthers.
Brace has been up and down. After playing tackle in college he was moved to end last year and was placed on IR prior to the playoffs. He is currently on the team’s physically unable to perform list. With the team bringing in Ellis, Haynesworth, and Gerard Warren you have to think their confidence wasn’t too high on Brace.
So the more we see it shake out, the more I’m thinking that the Pats need to be the aggressor in the draft. Take a page from a team like Baltimore who traded up in the draft and now has a solid team. The Jets did similar things when selecting Revis in 2007 and Sanchez in 2009 (we’ll gloss over the Vernon Gholston bust in 2008).
When they were winning championships and had starters pretty much ingrained at every position you could argue that they didn’t have to hit a home run every time they drafted. That hasn’t been the case in recent years. The turnover on the draft picks has been somewhat alarming. Let’s hope the few the Pats kept on their roster this season develop into decent NFL players.