Difference-makers in the fold

In a story now posted on ESPNBoston.com, Mike Reiss writes on what was the most exciting Patriots first round in Bill Belichick's 13-year tenure running the football operation.

"Two trades up the board? Unprecedented," Reiss writes. "There is something refreshing about seeing Belichick, whose reputation is more about trading back and acquiring value, instead falling in love with two players and making the aggressive move up. He had made just two trades up in the first round over the past 12 years (2002, 2003). Quarterback Tom Brady isn't getting any younger, after all."

The focus on difference-makers is exactly what was needed, Reiss opines.

"Improving depth was a necessity, so that was nice, but Belichick knows the best place to find difference-makers at the most reasonable cost is the draft. So instead of quantity, which has been his modus operandi over the past three years when making 33 picks from 2009 to 2011, this turned out to be a quality-driven draft."

To read the piece, CLICK HERE.