The NFL Combine is almost upon us. Indianapolis will of course play host to dozens of NFL hopefuls. I'm squirming in my chair, waiting for Mike Mayock's break down of a projected last day pick. The player will be coming out of Middle Tennessee, or Georgia Southern. This is what intrigues me to watch the combine. Finding that gem, or undervalued guy. This is where front office personal, makes their paychecks. The combine sets the table not only for the present year, but also the future. Ask the Raiders how much the combine means. God rest Al Davis, but man did he suck at drafting players at the end. Think Jamarcus Russell, or Heyward-Bey. Just wasting cornerstone picks, on guys who had question marks coming into the league. Not only did Al not set the table, he took food right out of his teams mouth.
Now that I took a shot at a legend, let me move on. The New England Patriots, need to have an Italian style family dinner this draft. They need everyone to come to the table and have a good meal. I was thinking about this the other day. If Belichick wasn't the GM, as well as Head Coach, I believe he would of already had the GM fired. I mean look at some of his picks, in the last five years. The one that still to this day truly has a bee under bonnet is the 2009 NFL Draft. He trades out of the first round, passing on Clay Matthews. Who does he take with his first selection in the second round, Patrick Chung. Chung struggled with New England, while Clay has become a marquee face in the entire NFL. You had the chance to get a perennial pro bowler, who by the way had former blood lines in the NFL, (Father and Grandfather). That's strike one Bill.
Strike two for Belichick comes with his love for scarlet knights. I understand you have a professional relationship with then Head Coach Greg Schiano, but why must you continue to take players who play inferior competition. Give me a player from the SEC, Big 12, or Pac 12 over a Conference America "standout". That's my view, I want the player whose still learning, because his competition makes him get, better. I don't want the guy who knows he can get away with doing this incorrectly, because his competition is sub par. There were a lot of good depth players left on the board when he took Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon back to back in the third round. Barret Jones for example was there. I'd like to see him go else where for talent, especially in the defensive backfield. Rutgers doesn't play any quarterbacks that are going to shock you with talent, inferior competition.
Lastly free agency, and a big strike three. How, how do you let the best receiver in Franchise history go, for two million dollars? I mean, Kraft and company makes that payroll up, when Kenny Chesney comes to town! No it's Belichick, and it's my way or the high way attitude. Think Emmanuel Sanders as well. The Patriots went after him for what they thought was fair, but Pittsburgh had enough under the cap to match. Knowing the cap situation, Belichick should of pushed the figure, so the Steelers would have had no choice. That's Bill though, thinking everyone is going to take Bruschi's famous, "Patriots' discount".
That's three strikes Bill,it's time Belichick realized that ruling with an iron fist, and pinching pennies isn't getting them where they need to be. The combine is a great chance this year for The Patriots head coach to put out some new plates, invite some old friends back to the table and try a new recipe.