Quick-hit thoughts on Day 2 of the NFL Draft (ESPN, 6:30 p.m. ET):
1. The general consensus on this year's draft is that the overall talent available in the first round was under market, but as we head into the second and (to some) third rounds, this is where the talent is a little bit over market than the norm. The Patriots' first round trade-out reflects that they see it the same way, and now it's up to them to make the right picks and cultivate those picks. Thus, this is a critical day for the Patriots.
2. I thought it was interesting that in some of his initial remarks on the trade with the Vikings, Patriots director of player personnel Nick Caserio said, "We picked up a pick in the second round, picked up another pick in the third round and the fourth round, which we didn't have, and then got a seventh-round pick which we acquired as part of it as well. In years past, those [seventh-rounders] have been pretty valuable: we took [Alfonzo] Dennard, we’ve taken Julian Edelman, and we’ve taken guys like that." Why was Caserio spending more time on the seventh-rounder than the other picks? Probably because that put the deal over the top from the Patriots' perspective. Just an educated guess, the Patriots would have made the deal without it, but it probably gave them an even greater feeling of comfort in the trade. I don't believe there has been another 4-for-1 pick-for-pick deal in Belichick's tenure.
3. The first round was dominated by nine offensive linemen and 11 defensive linemen/linebackers. No running backs were selected, three receivers were picked, and just one quarterback and tight end were picked. So look for offensive skill-position players to be more prevalent in the second round. The Patriots need a receiver, the class is deep, and this remains the most intriguing New England-based storyline from this viewpoint (Oregon State's Markus Wheaton is our top choice). If receivers start coming off the board quickly, the Patriots now have the chips to trade up if they desire.
4. It bears repeating that the Patriots' trade with the Vikings can't be fully analyzed until we know what New England does with the picks, and even then, it will take some time. But from a general perspective, the compensation stacks up favorably when compared to other trades in the first round. Consider these deals:
Raiders from 3 to 12. To move down nine spots, the Raiders picked up a first-round pick (12th) and second-round pick (42nd).
Bills from 8 to 16. To move down eight spots, the Bills picked up a first-round pick (16th), second-round pick (46th), third-round pick (78th) and seventh-round pick (222).
Cowboys from 18 to 31. To move down 13 spots, the Cowboys picked up a first-round pick (31st) and third-round pick (74th).
Rams from 22 to 30. To move down eight spots, the Rams picked up a first-round pick (30th), third-round pick (92nd) and sixth-round pick (198th).
Patriots from 29 to 52. To move down 23 spots, the Patriots picked up a second-round pick (52nd), third-round pick (83rd), fourth-round pick (102nd) and seventh-round pick (229th).
5. Of all the deals in the first round, the Raiders and Cowboys looked like they took a discount. But sometimes looks can be deceiving depending on the viewpoint; ESPN.com's Mike Sando examines all the first-round trades in a unique way.
6. Always interesting to take a temperature of some of the instant analysis on picks, and it caught the eye that ESPN's Mel Kiper includes the Patriots' three AFC East foes among those whose moves he questioned (Insider content), and Don Banks of SI.som was also critical of the Dolphins and Bills.