FOXBOROUGH – The Patriots hosted a draft party for their season-ticket holders on Saturday night, an event which was sponsored by ESPN and ESPNBoston.com.
Patriots senior football adviser Floyd Reese addressed the crowd, and here were a few quick hits from his 15-minute speech:
1. The value of the combine and Pro Days has changed because prospects spend so much time preparing for them. The 40-yard dashes that players run in those settings are probably the fastest they will ever run, Reese said, and that must be taken into consideration in the overall evaluation of the player.
2. Reese said how cleanly a player goes through drills at the combine and Pro Day is looked at closely because teams know the prospects have been preparing for them for more than three months. If prospects don’t go through the drill cleanly, that can speak as loudly as the time the prospect registers on the clock.
3. The quality of a draft varies considerably from year to year. This year’s draft is strong and deep. “There are a lot of good players,” Reese said. “With our first four picks, we will get really good football players.”
4. Decisions on what players will be targeted are being made now. “We don’t wait until draft day, because on draft day, you’re only looking for the unexpected,” he said. All scenarios have been dissected numerous times, weeks in advance.
5. The strategy of this year’s draft will be different because of the three-day set-up. Because of the two overnight breaks – with the second round leading off Day 2 and the fourth round leading off Day 3 – those rounds could feature more trade activity.
6. In the first season without a salary cap, the idea that there would be wild spending by some teams hasn’t come to fruition. This is a result of all teams showing they can effectively manage themselves without the cap, which is something he believes has evolved over the last 5-7 years. Reese said it has been proven over time that teams can’t buy a Super Bowl.