Stories of "What if?" are commonplace in the NFL draft, and one of them connected to the Patriots resurfaced on Thursday at the Super Bowl.
The Patriots owned the 23rd pick in the first round of the 2009 draft, and the way receiver Percy Harvin remembers it, that was one of his two landing spots.
"They had a workout [with me] -- it was two days before the draft," Harvin recalled. "I knew it was either going to be Minnesota or [Bill] Belichick with the next pick. They were actually on the phone trying to trade up and flip-flop. Belichick and [Urban] Meyer have been friends for so long. Belichick visited Florida when Meyer was there, frequently, pretty much every year, so we were familiar with each other. So it came close.”
The Vikings ended up taking Harvin at No. 22 that year. The Patriots then traded down twice -- first from 23 to 26, then from 26 into the second round.
Had Harvin been there at 23, might things have been different?
Patriots' 2009 draft picks
2a. Patrick Chung, safety
2b. Ron Brace, defensive tackle
2c. Darius Butler, cornerback
2d. Sebastian Vollmer, offensive tackle
3a. Brandon Tate, receiver
3b. Tyrone McKenzie, linebacker
4. Rich Ohrnberger, offensive line
5. George Bussey, offensive line
6a. Jake Ingram, long snapper
6b. Myron Pryor, defensive tackle
7a. Julian Edelman, wide receiver
7b. Darryl Richard, defensive tackle
This wasn't one of the stronger drafts for Bill Belichick and his personnel staff. The decisive hits were Vollmer and Edelman, and also landing undrafted free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer (now with the Browns). Outside of Vollmer and Edelman, no other draft picks are on the current roster.