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Draft Report: Patriots Closely Following the Saints, Raiders

Mark Ingram joined the Saints after a trade with the Patriots in April 2010. (Image from Sports Nola)

We’ve seen some pretty interesting events take place up to this point in 2011 for the Patriots:

  • From Brady’s 517 passing yard performance in Week 1.
  • Followed by 423 yards against San Diego.
  • A come-from-behind win from Buffalo — that shocked everyone.
  • Pay back against New York Jets.
  • Vintage Brady game-winning drive this past Sunday against the Cowboys.

While the season is far — and I mean far — from over, we are (count it!) 190 days from the 2012 NFL Draft. Arguably, the second best football day of the year that’s not the Super Bowl.

As the Patriots prepare for rest and relaxation this weekend, it gives us a chance to look at where the Patriots currently sit in terms of draft picks. Here is what the Patriots are dealing with:

1st Round
1st Round (From New Orleans)
2nd Round (From Oakland Raiders)
2nd Round
3rd Round
4th Round

Now you may be wondering what happened to the picks from rounds 5-7. Let’s break it down.

5th Round: Traded to the Cincinnati Bengals for Chad Ochocinco. The Patriots also added a 2013 sixth-rounder as well to sweeten the deal. There has been differing opinions — even at Sports of Boston — on Ochocinco’s stint in New England. Heading into the bye week, Ochocinco has nine catches for 136 yards and no touchdowns.

6th Round: This pick belongs to the Philadelphia Eagles. Back in September 2010, the Patriots acquired linebacker Tracy White who has been a solid contributor on special teams. In 22 games with New England, White has 24 tackles.

7th Round: Remember Randy Moss? The Minnesota Vikings are still trying to forget the trade they made for the future Hall-of-Fame wide receiver last October. Brad Childress and the Vikings traded a 2011 third-round pick for Moss and this Patriots seventh-rounder. Moss played in four games with his old team, caught 13 passes and two touchdowns, and was promptly released and signed by the Titans.

With that 2011 third-round selection the Patriots drafted Arkansas quarterback Ryan Mallett. By some accounts, Mallett was ranked higher than Florida State’s Christian Ponder (pick 12) and Washington’s Jake Locker (pick 8).

We had Mallett as the No. 2 ranked quarterback. [See 2011 rankings here]

7th Round: Last September, the Patriots traded a conditional draft pick to the Kansas City Chiefs for safety Jarrad Page . Page, who was just 25, came in and had a small role with New England. In 2010, Page recorded 12 tackles with two interceptions.

Checking in on New Orleans, Oakland

Two teams the Patriots are keeping an eye on are the Saints and Raiders.

The Saints currently sit a 4-2 and trailing the inconsistent Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the NFC South. Although their offense isn’t exactly as dynamic as it was in 2009, Drew Bress and Co. are still tough on any given Sunday. Look for New Orleans to reach the playoffs once again in 2011.

The Patriots should expect a pick from 22-32 here where in realty — in Bill Belichick fashion — will be traded for multiple picks later in either the 2012 or 2013 draft.

Now the Raiders. No one thought that by this juncture in the season Oakland (4-2) would be near the top of the AFC West. The Raiders are neck-and-neck with the San Diego Chargers for first place.

However, with a season-ending injury suffered by quarterback Jason Campbell the Raiders may struggle in the second half of the season. This, of course, depends on Carson Palmer, yes that Carson Palmer — who the Raiders traded a 2012 first-round pick (and 2013 conditional pick) for.

At this point, this pick is up in the air. The Raiders could very well be a playoff team, or a team that finished 9-7 or 8-8 and misses the playoffs.

Follow Matthew Marcantonio on Twitter: @M_Marcantonio

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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