New England Patriots 2009 Draft

Patriots Picked Twelve Players In the 2009 Draft

The 2009 NFL draft is over. The New England Patriots picked four players in the second round after trading out of the first round entirely, two in the third, one in the fourth, and one in the fifth, two in the sixth and two in the seventh for a total of twelve players drafted.

Three of the picks are defensive linemen and three are offensive linemen. The Patriots also picked a cornerback, a safety, a wide receiver, a long snapper, a quarterback, and a llinebacker.

The team traded for two second-round picks in next year’s draft. The Patriots traded away starting cornerback and explosive kick-returner Ellis Hobbs.

Grading the New England Patriots Draft

The Patriots almost entirely eschewed the 2009 draft as an opportunity to find impact players with an immediate impact. The only player with drafted with a shot at earning a starting job his year is cornerback Darius Butler. Safety Patrick Chung might be able to break into the top two pf the three-man rotation at safety but that isn’t likely to happen until late in the season, if at all.

The four second-round picks are almost guaranteed to make the 53-man roster as they would be highly unlikely to go through the waiver process unclaimed to land on the practice squad. Fitting them in on the roster should be fairly easy except for defensive tackle Ron Brace, the selection of whom might well spell the end to back-up LeKevin Smith’s spell as a Patriot.

New England Patriots 2009 Draft Picks and Trades

(overall draft pick order in parenthesis)

Pick Origin Selection or Trade
1-23 (23) Assigned Selection To Baltimore Ravens for picks 26 and 162
1-26 (26) From Baltimore To Green Bay for picks 41, 73 and 83
2-2 (34) From Kansas City Patrick Chung, S, Oregon
2-8 (40) From Oakland Ron Brace, DL, Boston College
2-9 (41) From Green Bay Darius Butler, DB, Connecticut
2-15 (47) From San Diego To Oakland
2-26 (58) Assigned Selection Sebastian Vollmer, OT, Houston
3-9 (73) From Green Bay To Jacksonville for picks 232 and Jags’ 2010 2nd
3-19 (83) From Green Bay Brandon Tate, WR, North Carolina
3-25 (89) Assigned Selection To Tennessee for 2nd round in 2010
3-33 (97) Compensatory Selection Tyrone McKenzie, OLB, South Florida
4-23 (123) From Baltimore Rich Ohrnberger, OL, Penn State
4-24 (124) Assigned Selection To Oakland
5-1 (137) From Philadelphia To Baltimore
5-5 (141) From Philadelphia To Baltimore
5-26 (162) From Baltimore To Green Bay for picks 41, 73 and 83
5-34 (170) Compensatory Selection George Bussey, OL
6-25 (198) From Baltimore Jake Ingram, LS, Hawaii/td>
6-26 (199) Assigned Selection To Oakland
6-34 (207) Compensatory Selection Myron Pryor, DT, Kentucky
7-23 (232) From Jacksonville Julian Edelman, QB, Kent State
7-25 (234) Assigned Selection Darryl Richard, DL, Georgia Tech
New England Patriots draft picks 2006-2009
The following are the players drafted by the New England Patriots 2006 – 2009. They are listed in the order they were drafted by the Patriots.
Still with the Patriots
With other team
No longer in the NFL
2006 2007 2008 2009
Laurence Maroney Brandon Meriweather Jerod Mayo Patrick Chung
Chad Jackson Kareem Brown Terrence Wheatley Ron Brace
David Thomas Clint Oldenburg Shawn Crable Darius Butler
Garrett Mills Justin Rogers Kevin O’Connell Sebastian Vollmer
Stephen Gostkowski Mike Richardson Jonathan Wilhite Brandon Tate
Ryan O’Callaghan Justise Hairston Matt Slater Tyrone McKenzie
Jeremy Mincey Corey Hilliard Bo Ruud Rich Ohrnberger
Dan Stevenson Oscar Lua - George Bussey
LeKevin Smith Mike Elgin - Jake Ingram
Willie Andrews - - Myron Pryor
- - - Julian Edelman
- - - Darryl Richard

First Round: Trades

New England Patriots traded the 23nd pick of the first round to the Baltimore Ravens for picks 26 (1st round) and 162 (5th round). Patriots traded picks 26 and 162 to Green Bay Packers for picks 41, 73, and 83. Seems like Patriots head coach Bill Belichick thinks about as little of this year’s class as he thought of of 2007′s.

Second Round: Patrick Chung, safety

Patrick Chung is a safety from Oregon who, judging from a couple of highlight tapes I found on YouTube, has noteworthy speed but tends to hit too high when he tackles, a combination that reminds me of James Sanders. It will be interesting to see how the two end up on the depth chart. Patriots could have had Louis Delmas, by many regarded the best safety in the draft, had they not traded out of the first round.

Second Round: Ron Brace, defensive lineman

Defensive tackle Ron Brace from Boston College is a big guy – 6’3, 330 lbs – who might be suited to play two-gap nose-tackle, either as current starter Vince Wilfork’s back up or as starter if the Patriots elect to let Wilfork slip away. A second round pick is a bit high to be shelved as back up, but reality is that the Patriots have never been able to find a good back-up nose tackle and I imagine Brace is going to need at least one season to learn the ropes of playing the kind of technique required of noses in the Patriots brand of 3-4 scheme. According to Patriots.com, Brace can “easily handle multiple blockers as a nose guard in a 3-4 scheme.” “Easily?” That remains to be seen.

Second Round: Darius Butler, defensive back

Cornerback Darius Butler is a promising player University of Connecticut. He has good speed but, I think, is an even better football player than athlete. He could well be the end of the road for a player like Ray Ventrone. Some have compared his overall abilities to those of Troy Brown but it’ll be quite sufficient if he can play cornerback and some special teams at an adequate level.

Second Round: Sebastian Vollmer, offensive tackle

The selection of offensive tackle Sebastian Vollmer from Houston suggests that Beclichick is still trying to up-size the offensive line, in spite of the meager results produced by the likes of Wesley Britt, Ryan O’Callaghan and Corey Hilliard. Vollmer is 6’7, 312 lbs (Cougars’ web site pegs him at 6’8 315 lbs). He started all 13 games at left tackle in his senior year. Vollmer is a German who didn’t start playing football until he was 14 and reportedly didn’t speak much English when he was recruited by Houston. I’m guessing that his proven ability to learn both craft and language was among the attributes that made him appealing to the Patriots.

Vollmer has been cursed with the ridiculous nickname Sea Bass, which is nothing other than pidgin for Sebastian. I suggest a different name: The Too Tall Teutonic Titan Tackle, or T, for short, as in Sebastian “T” Vollmer. If somebody asks why he’s called “T” you just say “because he’s The Too Tall Teutonic Titan Tackle.” I’m not saying it’s great, I’m just saying it’s a heck of lot better than Sea Bass or Gay Ass or whatever all those geniuses on television came up with.

I guess the Patriots felt pretty good about the second-round talent in this year’s draft and they’ve taken advantage by adding depth. They currently have four third-round picks that could bring strength to the bottom half of the roster.

Third Round: Trades

Patriots sent the 73rd pick to Jacksonville Jaguars in exchange for their 2nd round pick in 2010 and a seventh-round pick (232 overall) this year. They traded the 89th pick to Tennessee Titans for Titans second round pick in 2010.

Third Round: Brandon Tate, wide receiver

Wide receiver Brandon Tate from North Carolina might just be that third wide receiver I have been clamoring for since early last season. The 6’1, 195 lbs pound (6’0, 183 according to NFL) Tate piled up yards catching passes and returning punts and kick offs before suffering a season-ending ACL injury in his 2008 senior year. His highlight tape on YouTube shows a pretty good variety of plays with the major caveat being that a lot of them are coming off of play action passes and gadget plays. On the other hand, playing for the Patriots, Tate won’t be the primary target of any defensive scheme. However, first he probably has to show some ability as a kick returner. If nothing else he might be able to push last year’s returner pick, Matthew Slater, to actually do something. I like the pick. Update: Reading up on Tate I learned he is still recovering from his knee injury and is thus unlikely to contribute much if anything this year so he’s a prospect pick, not a potential third wide out to complement Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Drat.

Third Round: Tyrone McKenzie, outside linebacker

Patriots picked Tyrone McKenzie, outside linebacker from South Florida, with a compensatory pick that cannot be traded, so it’s possible they aren’t going to give him much of a look. He’s a bit undersized for the Patriots scheme so he might be given a shot at inside linebacker.

Fourth Round: Trades

Patriots traded cornerback Ellis Hobbs to Philadelphia Eagles for picks 137 and 141 (5th round). Quite interesting that a starting cornerback and explosive kick returner is only worth two fifth-round picks. Strange. Cap clearance perhaps. Traded picks 137 and 141 to Baltimore for picks 123 and 198.

Fourth Round: Rich Ohrnberger, offensive line

Offensive lineman Rich Ohrnberger from Penn State. Perhaps he’s slotted to take Ryan Wendell’s spot on the practice squad, but a fourth round pick could easily be picked up by another team. Ohrnberger is listed at 6’2 and 297 lbs which are a bit on the low side of acceptable numbers for an interior offensive lineman for the Patriots. He played lacrosse in high school according to NFL’s draft package so maybe Belichick snagged him to talk shop during training camp.

Fifth Round: George Bussey, offensive lineman/tight end

George Bussey is listed as a 6-2, 306 lbs offensive lineman at Louisviolle’s web site. Bussey started out as a walk on, earned a scholarship and “has worked hard to get better as a lineman” according to the site. NFL’s draft tracker has him listed as a tight end. I don’t think Bussey’s going to amount to much but it’ll be interesting to see how he plays compared to late-round picks the Patriots have made in the past, for example Mike Elgin.

Sixth Round: Jake Ingram, long snapper

Patriots used the first of their two sixth round picks to select long snapper Jake Ingram from Hawaii. He’ll reasonably have a good shot at making the team since the Patriots lost their veteran long snapper to Denver Broncos through free agency.

Sixth Round: Myron Pryor, defensive tackle

Myron Pryor is a 6’0 320 pounds defensive tackle from Kentucky.

Seventh Round: Julian Edelman, quarterback

New England used the first of its two seventh round picks to select quarterback Julian Edelman from Kent State who’ll get a nice little memory participating in the Patriots pre-season training camp before his football life comes to an end.

Seventh Round: Darryl Richard, defensive tackle

The 2009 draft turned out to be for defensive lineman what the 2007 draft was for offensive lineman. Patriots picked yet another defensive lineman, the 6’3 303 lbs Darryl Richard from Georgia Tech with their last pick in the draft. There is an outside chance that Richard can get a spot on the practice squad, hang around for a couple of years before earning a spot on the 53-man roster.

Patriots Loaded With Picks, Light On Needs Entering the Draft

Entering the draft the Patriots had 11 picks , six in the first three rounds. The Patriots personnel needs were as follows:

1) Outside linebacker. After trading Mike Vrabel along with quarterback Matt Cassel to Kansas City Chiefs the need for another outside linebacker – which already existed because of a lack of depth at the position – became pressing.

2) Inside linebacker As with outside linebacker, inside linebacker has had depth issues ever since Ted Johnson retired and Tedy Bruschi’s looming retirement makes it urgent to add another inside linebacker.

3) Third wide-receiver. The Patriots were hurt offensively last year by their lack of a third wide receiver capable of making big plays. If free-agent pick-up Joey Galloway proves too old to shoulder the burden the Patriots will need somebody else to step in and step up.

General Draft Commentary

It’s kind of funny that Mr. Left Tackle Michael Oher reportedly will be switched to right tackle by the Baltimore Ravens. The Blind Side, a book about how and Oher became the prototypical left tackle, left me with the vague impression that he was a tad over rated. It’ll be interesting to see how he progresses in the NFL but I think he’ll turn out to be pretty average starting tackle.

If Al Davis owned 31 teams the Patriots would win the Super Bowl every year.

I take it that Miami drafted West Virginia’s running quarterback Pat White in order to expand the role of the so-called Wildcat Offense. Sounds good to me, I imagine this is going to be the year the wildcat is blown up by defenses.

The Cowboys just picked Jason Williams, an outside linebacker who was very productive for Western Illinois. There may have been several reasons for why the Patriots passed on him, but I’m guessing his lack of height – he’s a mere 6’1 – makes him unsuitable for the Patriots scheme.

Scott Pioli drafted a defensive lineman from LSU for Kansas City Chiefs and Josh McDaniels picked an offensive lineman from Iowa for Denver Broncos. It’s like they never left the Patriots.

The First Ten Picks of the 2009 Draft

1) Detroit Lions, who last year famously became the first team ever to go 0-16, picked quarterback Matthew Stafford from Georgia. The Lions are such a miserably mediocre team with so many holes in the roster to fill that I find it hard to believe that Stafford will ever get a chance to prove himself. After several seasons in Detroit – some promising, some good, some disappointing – he’ll play out his career as a sometime starter, sometime back up on a string of teams. I should become a motivational speaker or something.

2) Saint Louis Rams selected offensive tackle Jason Smith from Baylor. A little bit of unexpected choice in my eyes but if he can start for eight seasons over the next ten years it should be a good one.

3) Kansas City Chiefs picked defensive end Tyson Jackson from LSU.

4) Seattle Seahawks hope they can bounce back to prominence with an outside linebacker from Wake Forest, Aaron Curry.

5) New York Jets wisely made a move to improve their quarterback position by drafting Mark Sanchez of USC. I think he’ll prove to be better than Matt Leinart and Matt Cassel, but not as good as Carson Palmer. The Jets got him by trading with the Cleveland Browns.

6) Speaking of Palmer, Cincinnati Bengals picked offensive tackle Andre Smith from Alabama.

7) Oakland Raiders picked wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey from Maryland, perhaps based on the rationale that the team’s quarterback won’t suck as bad if he has an early pick receiver to throw to. Who knows? The Raiders are terrible and not really worth much consideration. Heyward-Bey was so unremarkable as a college player that the highlight tape of his that I found on YouTube includes plays against Delaware, a Division 1-AA school.

8) Jacksonville Jaguars chose offensive tackle Eugene Monroe.

9) Green Bay Packers selected defensive tackle B.J. Raji from Boston College.

10) The 2009 Top Ten is rounded out by wide receiver Michael Crabtree of Texas Tech who picked by San Francisco 49′ers.