For draft, it comes up 7

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For draft, it comes up 7

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:37 am

For draft, it comes up 7
High slot is assured by 49ers' poor finish
The NFL released an updated 2008 draft order yesterday, and the Patriots, who traded their 2007 first-round pick (No. 28 overall) to the 49ers for a 2007 fourth-round pick and San Francisco's 2008 first-round pick, will have the seventh overall selection, thanks to San Francisco's 5-11 mark. They'll pick one spot behind the rival New York Jets.
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The high draft pick further enhances a lopsided trade for the Patriots, who used the fourth-round pick they acquired from San Francisco to deal for record-setting wide receiver Randy Moss. The 49ers, who have the Colts' pick in this year's draft, used the first-rounder obtained from New England to draft right tackle Joe Staley, who started all 16 games this season.

The Patriots drafted safety Brandon Meriweather (No. 24 overall) with a first-round pick they got from the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for wide receiver Deion Branch.

New England would have had two first-round picks again this year, but as part of the punishment doled out by commissioner Roger Goodell for illegally taping defensive signals, the team was docked its own first-round pick.

The 1-15 Dolphins have the first overall selection in 2008, followed by the Rams. Atlanta, Kansas City, and Oakland all finished at 4-12 and had the same strength of schedule. The Chiefs finished ahead of the Raiders in the AFC West, so the league will hold a coin flip between the Falcons and Raiders in February to determine who drafts third. If Atlanta loses that flip, another coin flip will be held with Kansas City to determine whether the Falcons draft fourth or fifth.

The tote board
For all the criticism Laurence Maroney endured this year, he actually finished with better numbers than his rookie season.

Maroney, who had 19 rushes for 46 yards with two touchdowns and a key 2-point conversion rush in a 38-35 win over the Giants Saturday night, ended the season with 835 yards on 185 carries (4.5 yards per rush) and six touchdowns, despite missing three games with a groin injury and most of another with what was announced as a foot injury.

As a rookie last season, Maroney had 175 rushes for 745 yards (4.3 average) and six touchdowns in 14 games. It is significant that Maroney finished with the same amount of rushing touchdowns this season because he had zero after nine games.

"I knew that our passing game was doing an excellent job this whole year. If people were going to keep letting us pass the ball, then why not keep passing it?" said Maroney. "Eventually, it was going to come down to where we were going to need to run the ball, and, hopefully, I showed people that we do have a running game."

A little red-faced
The Patriots' red zone defense rating took a hit thanks to Eli Manning and the Giants, who converted touchdowns on all four red zone opportunities. The Patriots entered the game 22d but dropped to 27th in the final rankings (24 touchdowns in 41 possessions, 58.5 percent TD rate). Manning threw TD passes of 7, 3, 19, and 3 yards against the Patriots. The final red zone conversion, a 3-yard pass to Plaxico Burress, came with 1:04 to go and trimmed New England's 38-28 lead to 38-35.

A game of catch-up
Wes Welker's 112 receptions not only set a franchise record, they tied Bengals wide receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh for most in the NFL this season. The Bengals tried furiously to get Houshmandzadeh the league lead. Four of Houshmandzadeh's nine receptions against the Dolphins Sunday came on a late fourth-quarter drive. He could have had 113 but dropped a swing pass on third and 1 . . . While Tom Brady threw 50 touchdown passes this season, he had just eight interceptions in 578 attempts, or one every 72.25 attempts. His plus-42 TD-to-interception differential is yet another NFL record . . . Moss broke Stanley Morgan's club record for receiving yards in a season with his six-catch, 100-yard effort against the Giants, giving him 1,493 yards this season. He also tied Morgan's team record of nine 100-yard receiving games in a season, set in 1986 . . . The 21 sacks the Patriots allowed this season were their fewest in a 16-game season . . . The Patriots' 36.81 points per game ranked as the second-highest in NFL history behind the 1950 Los Angeles Rams, who averaged 38.83.
Copyright 2008 Globe Newspaper Company.


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Re: For draft, it comes up 7

Post  RedMagma on Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:38 am

Pats land No. 7 pick
By Herald staff

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Despite finishing 16-0, the Patriots [team stats] will pick seventh in the NFL Draft April 26-27 in New York.

The Pats obtained the pick in a draft day trade last April from San Francisco, which finished this season 5-11. The Pats would have had two first-rounders, but lost their own as part of the Camera-gate penalty imposed by commissioner Roger Goodell.

The last time the Pats picked in the top 10 was 2001, when they took Richard Seymour [stats] sixth overall.

The first pick will go to Miami (1-15) and the second to St. Louis (3-13). The next three picks go to the Falcons, Raiders and Chiefs, who all finished 4-12 and had the same strength of schedule. The exact order will be determined by a coin flip. The New York Jets [team stats], who also had a 4-12 record but a stronger schedule, will pick sixth.


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