I thought I’d never see the day that Belichick and the Patriots organization would trade up to get a player. Year after year, the Patriots have been known to keep trading down to the point where you knew they weren’t going to use the next pick. But I really liked what I saw last night, the Pats trading up to fill positions they need. You can always use help defensively and I think that the Pats tried to fill a hole that has been there achilles heel for years now, the defensive line. Chandler Jones, a defensive end from Syracuse, brings a pass rusher to a defense that hasn’t had one since the Richard Seymour trade. Jones, is considered a good run defender, has good initial quickness and does a nice job of anticipating the snap count… a physical defender who competes through the whistle on every snap… size, strength and scheme versatility…Took on more of a leadership role in 2011, taking extra time to help coach up teammates from every defensive position on the team’s scheme and expectations, says CBSSports.com writer Rob Rang. Jones is a player that will be able to fit the Patriots system and could possibly fill a void right away.
The Patriots second pick in the first round, Dont’a Hightower, is a high motor linebacker who can play all over the field. Hightower, like Spikes, was the mental and emotional leader of a National Championship defense. Both played under Bill Belichick disciples and both are known for dishing out the big hits and being powerful inside the tackle box. You can never go wrong with selecting a player that you know will bring his all every time out. Nick Saban, Head Coach of Alabama, said, “Inside linebacker, nickel backer, defensive end and odd rusher, he does all those things very well, he is very smart and he has leadership qualities.” Hightower will be able to play any of the 3 linebacker spots in the Patriots defense, more than likely filling in for the somewhat aging Rob Ninkovich.
Overall, I am a happy camper and can’t wait to see what Bill does with these two players. I am ready to see these two dominate and hopefully they will be able to step in right away and play. Now, on to day 2 of the draft, where Bill has truly been able to work his magic.