(Editor's note---the conversion from Word to typepad blows ass, so you get what you get when Matt writes---no spaces)
Article by El Matteo:
I’m back for another pick! Does that mean you like me? You really, really like me?! (My guess is “probably not”, but Joker just doesn’t want to do 32 picks by his damn self. I’ll take what I can get.) So far, so good, even if the mighty Joker didn’t like my Dane Cook reference. Sorry for the jab, but I can’t pass up an opportunity to gig the man who constantly berated me with chants of “picklessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss”. I didn’t laugh then, but I am laughing now. Oh yes, I AM laughing now. (chuckle)
Moving on to the pick. The Patriots with the 4th pick is just completely and utterly unfair. When the season wraps up, they could even draft as high as #2. Good job, San Fran. Dumb moves like this (and drafting Alex Smith) are why the good ol’ days of Montana-Young and Rice-a-Roni, the San Francisco treat, are going to stay distant memories. Although I must award major propers on Patrick “Club Hand” Willis. (SEC fans know what I’m talking about here.) A quick glance at the box score from this weekend shows a nice 17 tackle day. He’s a stud.
But this is about the Patriots. What can be said about the Patriots that hasn’t already been said? They’re the greatest-team-ever-this-season-until-ESPN-finds-a-new-story-to-beat-into-the-ground-like-they-do-with-every-thing-Nick-Saban-does. (That may be the longest hyphenated phrase ever. Editor, check me on that one.)
The Patriots are awesome. They are above-average-to-great everywhere. They do have some big decisions to make in the off-season and this draft pick is a nice little arrow in the quiver of the evil genius, Mr. Belichick. (It is also a nice little middle-finger salute to the Commish and the rest of the league for that draft pick they lost due to Spygate, another story ESPN Hiroshima’d.) They have to decide what to do with Moss and Asante Samuel. Rodney Harrison, Vrabel and Seau aren’t getting any younger and a Lombardi Trophy could send one or all of them to the golf courses of Florida and Arizona.
So, the Pats will more than likely have some holes to fill. While there are some very talented players still available at this position, I just have this gut feeling that Beli’ will dangle this pick and try to pick up a nice little stash of additional picks. He can move back in the draft, pass up the high salary, and fill more holes. With the Pats successful draft run and astute eye for talent, this would probably be a good idea. I won’t even attempt to predict the who’s and why’s and where’s, so I’ll just state that I envision the Pats trading.
That being said, this is a mock draft and I have to make a pick. With the Pats history of being a desired destination for cagey veterans (Seau, Harrison) and those in need of career rehab (Gaffney, Stallworth, Dillon), the draft has almost become a luxury for the Patriots, which leads me to the pick. I'm going defense. If you have to pick a weakness, I think that's where you look. So, who to take? What does Belichik value in defenders? Besides obvious talent, he wants smarts and versatility. Who has that? My eyes are looking towards Charlottesville, VA. Everything about this guy screams Pats-smart, versatile, an incredible lineage and white skin. I don't know what else needs to be said about the guy.
With no further delay, with the 4th pick the New England Patriots select Chris Long, DE U. of Virginia. I can see this guy as a mainstay in Boston for the next 12 seasons. Plus, Tom Brady needs someone to pimp models with. Yes, the rich get richer.
Now, for my Unoffical El Matteo Pick:
I guess it doesn’t matter because it would take too many swaps and would get confusing, but I love Ali Highsmith, the LB out of LSU and I think he’d be incredible on the Pats. I also know that Kenny Phillips could be drafted and thrown back there with his old buddy from Da U, Brandon Meriweather. I also think Quentin Groves would flourish with the Pats. So, as you can see, I’m really torn on who to take here. I think #4 is too high to take any of those guys and NE could possibly get any of those guys a little later in the first round. Too many other options, too, all of them make sense, and I’m too wishy-washy to choose just one. So, for the first time, and probably not the last, because I think he’s an absolutely perfect fit for them, I’m going to draft Chris Long here, too.