Patriots Use 2009 Draft To Supplement, Not Reinvent


Published: April 22, 2009


... waited, hoped, and prayed for help in their defensive backfield and linebacking corps.  After the record breaking offense of 2007, it was clear that the only question marks on this team were their age at linebacker and their inexperience in the defensive backfield.

Those concerns came to a head when Asante Samuel, the Patriots' most productive cornerback, was sent to the Eagles.  The Patriots’ front office brain trust signed Tank Williams and Deltha O’Neal to ease the transition and bring some veteran experience to the defensive lineup.  Williams was hurt in the preseason, however, and O’Neal had a hard time handling other teams’ wideouts (to put it lightly).

The Patriots were hurt by the loss of Adalius Thomas for most of the season, but rookie Jerod Mayo stepped in and made 128 tackles, earning the Defensive Rookie of the Year Award in the process. Here, the Patriots got great value from the 10th overall pick.

This offsea...

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