Robert Kraft says draft has good depth but lacks exceptional players

NORTH ATTLEBORO, Mass. – Following a community-based appearance at a local middle school on Wednesday, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft shared his viewpoint on the 2015 NFL draft.

“There’s a lot of depth in the middle area. I don’t think there are a lot of exceptional players, like some other years,” Kraft said of the three-day draft which takes place Thursday through Saturday (televised on ESPN). “Those people who have done the best homework, and understand talent, should be able to do a good job because it’s really deep in that middle area. … Middle-round talent. If you know what you want, and you’ve done your homework, this is the time you can do some business.”

Kraft’s remarks came after he saluted students at North Attleboro Middle School for eclipsing the $1 million fundraising mark (since 1998) as part of the American Heart Association’s Hoops for Heart program.

Kraft’s thoughts on the draft could be viewed as good news for the Patriots, who have five picks within the first 102 of the draft. Kraft also touched on the thoroughness of the scouting process.

“I don’t think general fandom can understand how many people we have out there scouting,” he said. “A perfect example is someone like Malcolm Butler. He was a free agent we had done homework on. We brought him in last May, he came here without a pair of cleats, and that was part of our people doing their homework and really understanding our system and how he could fit in.

“We’re doing that with thousands of young men. You can never do enough homework and then you just don’t know where things will come up.”

Kraft then made the point that the Patriots’ roster currently has 75 players, and with nine draft picks, the team “won’t be as active in the free-agent market afterwards.”