New England Patriots 2008 NFL Draft Grade
The Patriots pretty much struck gold when they ended up picking early, thanks to the Niners’ trade a year ago. Jerod Mayo was a late riser for gurus across the country, much like Joe Flacco. The highly touted linebacker from Tennessee will fit nicely in the middle of the 3-4 defense in New England. With the hogs taking up blockers, this rangy player will have plenty of success. He's a sideline-to-sideline talent drafted as a safety net in case Seau doesn't return. Even if he does, he may challenge for playing time.


Linebacker was apparently a big concern, for the Pats took Shawn Crable a super fast, slender outside linebacker who was hard to miss on Saturdays. He has a big frame and could blow up to about 270 pounds, making him ridiculous to match up against. Look for Pro Bowls in these two kids' futures. Also there was Terrence Wheatley, corner from Colorado. He was kind of a surprise since there seemed to be bigger names on the board. Wheatley is a good value pick, however, as he seems to have a low bust probability. He's a little undersized but has nice speed and agility. He showed the ability to be a top corner but struggled with injuries along the way; he could be a nice pick. A guy I don't like is Kevin O'Connell, not that he shouldn't have been drafted, just not in the third round. He is a project, athletic, scrawny kid who can definitely add weight. He has a huge upside, with a low release point and footwork problems. He may be a couple of years away. With Tom Brady, what’s the hurry?

 

Bo Ruud, may be the sleeper on a team that finds late round gems. He will compliment Mayo in the middle potentially in years to come, playing TED to Mayo's MIKE. He's a run stopper that manned the middle in Nebraska. Huskers were awful but they always produce talent. Until then, enjoy a Special Team ace until Bruschi is done. 

Bo Ruud, may be the sleeper on a team that finds late round gems. He will compliment Mayo in the middle potentially in years to come, playing TED to Mayo's MIKE. He's a run stopper that manned the middle in Nebraska. Huskers were awful but they always produce talent. Until then, enjoy a Special Team ace until Bruschi is done. 

Round 1 (10) – Jerod Mayo – OLB – 6’1” 242 – Tennessee 

Round 2 (62) – Terrence Wheatley – CB – 5’9” 178 – Colorado 

Round 3 (78) – Shawn Crable – OLB – 6’5” 241 – Michigan 

Round 3 (94) – Kevin O’Connell – QB – 6’5” 225 – San Diego State 

Round 4 (129) – Jonathan Wilhite – CB – 5’10” 185 – Auburn 

Round 5 (153) – Matt Slater – WR – 5’11” 195 – UCLA

Round 6 (197) – Bo Ruud – OLB – 6’4” 234 – Nebraska

New England Patriots – Draft Grade – C+

By T. Lewis, 20Yardline.com
May 7, 2008