Would it surprise you if the Pats used a first- or second-round pick on a defensive back? Would you support the move?
Jason: I actually had them taking a corner with their late 2nd rounder in our Foxboro Mock, so it wouldn’t surprise me in the least. I could easily see the Pats taking a corner early in the draft, and I would stand and applaud that move since it would help shore up a position of weakness last year. The Patriots have been pretty good against the run in recent years, and they only figure to get better with a young front 7 getting another full season under their belts. Where they have struggled most is getting off the field on third down. While a pass-rusher could help in that regard, another good corner couldn’t hurt either.
Derek: While the cornerback position isn’t the top area of weakness on this Patriots team, I certainly wouldn’t call it a strength. Devin McCourty has shown tremendous promise, but he can only cover one side of the field. Leigh Bodden’s return from a shoulder injury should bolster the secondary, but to have a really stout pass defense, you need a third corner who can come off the bench and be relied upon like a starter. If the right player is there, I’d have no problem with Belichick burning a 1st or 2nd rounder on a defensive back. After all, if nobody is open, it doesn’t matter if you rush the passer or not.
Rick: I don’t think New England should take a cornerback in the first two rounds. Yes, there is a prospect I like at that position in Brandon Harris out of Miami, but cornerback isn’t a huge need on this team that a rookie could fit. They already have one rookie in the secondary in Devin McCourty and eventually you need to find veterans to help these young kids out. Leigh Bodden will be back in 2011 after he missed all of 2010 with an injury. You have Wilhite and Arrington as well. I would take a cornerback on Day 3 for depth, but do not pick a cornerback in the first two rounds. Yet again, I wanted Dez Bryant over McCourty last year.
Stephen: One thing about Bill Belichick is he’s unpredictable. No one thought Devin McCourty would be the Pats’ first-round choice last year. While we do have a lot of depth at safety, and somewhat at corner, if there is a top talent available near the end of the first round or beginning of the second, I would pull the trigger. It can never hurt to draft the best player available.