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Cleaning out the Pats notebook

A few leftovers while cleaning out the Patriots' notebook from over the last few weeks:

1. Two years ago, the Patriots were the oldest team in the league. They have since drafted 24 players. Prior to this year's draft, the defense ranked 21st youngest in terms of age. The offense, with Tom Brady and Randy Moss leading the way, was still the league's oldest.

2. It was probably a coincidence, but the Patriots drafted five offensive players, six defensive players and one specialist in 2009. This year, the numbers were flipped: six offensive players, five defensive players and one specialist.

3. One of the hot topics before the draft was how having former Patriots staffers spread across the NFL (e.g. Josh McDaniels in Denver, Scott Pioli in Kansas City) might impact New England. One example came late in the third round when the team had narrowed its 90th choice to three receivers, all of whom had the same grade. One of them, Minnesota's Eric Decker, went 87th to the Broncos.

4. Offensive tackle Thomas Welch, the seventh-round draft choice out of Vanderbilt, opened his college career as a tight end. His transition to offensive tackle and overall body of work drew comparisons to former Patriots offensive tackle Tom Ashworth in the scouting process. Ashworth played for the Patriots from 2002-2005, appearing in 37 games with 30 starts.

5. The way things turned out, the signing of veteran Alge Crumpler takes on added importance. A seasoned veteran, his presence is considered important in helping 20-year-old draft picks Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in their transition into the NFL.