2010 draft vital to uphold Patriots

How crucial will the 2010 draft be for the New England Patriots?

Perhaps the most important of Bill Belichick's tenure, Mike Reiss writes for ESPNBoston.com.

The franchise's future success could depend on it.

The Patriots are the only club with four selections in the first two rounds of the draft, and they're all within the first 53 slots.

What bodes well for New England is the belief this year's draft class is extraordinarily deep. NFL Network analyst Charley Casserly said this will be the most talented first round since the gold-standard crop of 1983. Scouts believe first-round caliber players will be available in the second round and, depending on the position, the third round.

Reiss sketches out the Patriots' recent draft classes in explaining why an infusion of young talent is desperately needed. They haven't been as highly efficient in their selections as they were in Belichick's early years.

But this will be a chance to get back on track.