BOSTON – Former Patriots linebacker Tedy Bruschi assessed the team’s decision to select Rutgers cornerback Devin McCourty in the first round of the NFL draft.
“In the NFL today, you need three good corners,” Bruschi said in a meet-and-greet setting at Mullen, a Boston-based advertising agency. “You have Leigh Bodden, Darius Butler an up-and-comer, and now you have the third corner in Devin McCourty. I think he was a good pick.”
Bruschi pointed out that Shawn Springs could also factor into the top-3 cornerback mix, but since he’s entering his 14th NFL season, he is more of a short-term option.
Bruschi also noted some of the changes within the AFC East this offseason, and how it adds to the importance of cornerback play.
“Think about the teams the Patriots play,” Bruschi said. “The Jets have Santonio Holmes and Braylon Edwards at receiver. The Miami Dolphins just got Brandon Marshall, a big physical receiver, so you need that cornerback who gets up in receiver’s face and presses him.”
Bruschi then looked around the room and turned it into his own football field, pulling someone from the crowd to explain the finer points of press coverage.
“That’s something Devin McCourty is very good at,” he said.
Later, while answering a question on the Patriots' draft in a Q&A session, Bruschi took note of the team’s selections at tight end, with Rob Gronkowski (second round, 42nd overall) and Aaron Hernandez (fourth round, 113th overall).
He repeated something he’s said in the past, that he believes Bill Belichick is looking for the next Mark Bavaro, the former New York Giants tight end. He thinks Gronkowski could fit that mold, while Hernandez could become almost like a third receiver on the field.