A few follow-ups on NFL draft-day stories that were hot topics surrounding the New England Patriots, with one additional thought:
1. Ryan Mallett and a potential trade. The league-owned NFL Network pumped a possible trade of Mallett to the Texans multiple times during its three-day broadcast of the draft. Because of the draft's popularity, and the NFL Network's large platform, it was a story that created a natural trickle-down effect to reporters who cover a team and added another layer of work. We couldn't substantiate anything in regards to Mallett from a Patriots-specific or Texans-specific standpoint, to the point that it was our belief the sides had hardly talked about the possibility, if at all. Yet the NFL Network reports were so strong, and persistent to the point that it was mentioned again on NFL Network the day after the draft, that we figured maybe we just didn't have good information on the topic. The Patriots' team-operated website picked up the NFL Network report as well. Now comes this tweet from the well-connected John McClain of the Houston Chronicle:
Texans will not be trading for Ryan Mallet.
— John McClain (@McClain_on_NFL) May 13, 2014
That same day, Mallett tweeted the following:
— Ryan Mallett (@Ryan_mallett_15) May 13, 2014
2. Seahawks' interest in Easley. The Patriots might have scooped the Seahawks by picking defensive lineman Dominique Easley in the first round (No. 29). One story that built momentum quickly after the draft was that the Seahawks quickly traded down after Easley was off the board, and a live feed in their draft room showed a reaction that could have been viewed as disappointment. But ESPN.com NFL insider Mike Sando, who covered the Seahawks for more than a decade, cast some doubt on that turn of events.
Don't think #Seahawks were going to take the DT at 32. They were eager to move back. Said so repeatedly before draft.
— Mike Sando, ESPN.com (@SandoESPN) May 13, 2014
3. Dreaming of Andre Johnson. With Houston Texans receiver Andre Johnson saying he is unsure about his return to the team, the Twitter inbox filled up with questions about the possibility of the Patriots making a run at him. That would be a dream-like scenario for the team and one I'd rate as a longshot at this point. The primary thought is if the Texans get to the point that they do consider trading Johnson (a big "if"), it would be better business for them to do so with an NFC team (keep Johnson out of the conference). One additional thought not related to the Patriots in this situation: If Johnson has done his homework on new head coach Bill O'Brien, it's hard to imagine why he wouldn't want to play in his offense. It's receiver-friendly, for sure.