Daily Archives: April 28, 2011

Your Patriots Draft Day Primer

Published April 28, 2011

North Carolina's Robert Quinn (42), left, and Zach Brown (47) sack Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis during a 2009 game. (AP)

North Carolina's Robert Quinn (42), left, and Zach Brown (47) sack Duke quarterback Thaddeus Lewis during a 2009 game. (AP)

Who will be the next players to join the Patriots after the first round of the NFL draft tonight? Short answer: no one knows. The Pats and their famously tight-lipped coach aren’t giving many clues. Plus, the team and Bill Belichick have been known to trade draft picks in order to get themselves better situated for the future.

We do, however, have ideas on what the Patriots should be looking for and we know who the experts surmise will be donning the blue and silver. The NFL draft stretches over three days. In advance of tonight’s first round, here’s what you need to know:

Patriots’ picks: The Pats have two first-round picks: No. 17, obtained from Oakland in a trade two years ago, and No. 28.

Patriots’ needs: There’s no question that the Patriots will be looking at a defensive end or an outside linebacker who can rush the passer. Both the offensive and defensive line need help, as ESPNBoston.com’s Mike Reiss told Morning Edition today. The Pats could also look to pick up a running back or a cornerback.

Five names to know:

Robert Quinn: DE, North Carolina. At one point Quinn was considered a star prospect before the NCAA ruled him ineligible for the 2010 season for taking improper benefits. Still, he has the speed and strength the Pats covet.

Muhammad Wilkerson: DE, Temple. Reiss has the Pats taking Wilkerson at No. 17.

Mike Pouncey: G, Florida. The brother of standout rookie center Maurkice Pouncey, who plays for the Steelers. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King thinks the Pats will take him at No. 17.

Danny Watkins: G, Baylor. The Canadian-born Watkins is known as a tough, lunch-pail kind of guy, perfect for the Pats. The Herald’s Karen Guregian thinks the Pat’s will take him at No. 28.

Mark Ingram: RB, Alabama. The 2009 Heisman Trophy winner would be a bit of a surprise pick by the Pats, who generally don’t give running backs first-round grades. But, he’d fill a need.

Best bet: Look for Belichick to draft a pass-rusher at No. 17 and trade away the 28th pick to a team looking to jump back into the first round to draft a quarterback. But with the Pats, anything could happen.

Thursday Morning: Boston Makes Education Moves

Published April 28, 2011

Hailed by some as a historic education agreement, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino tentatively agreed to a deal with the city’s 14 independent charter schools that could end years of squabbling. Under the compact, charter schools would take more neighborhood students and special needs students. In return, the city may lease empty school buildings to charters.

In other education news, the city’s school committee approved a new contract for Superintendent Carol Johnson, allowing her to stay on until 2015.

The Bruins are in the Eastern Conference semifinals after a crucial overtime win over the archrival Montreal Canadiens. The game-winning shot came at 5:43 of the extra period in Game 7, giving Boston a 4-3 win. The team will open the conference semifinals in Philadelphia on Saturday.

While the NFL and its players battle each other in court over labor issues, at least one player is using the time off productively. New England Patriots punter Zoltan Mesko is trading his football pads for a pad and paper while interning at a private equity firm in Philadelphia. Mesko — a former business major at the University of Michigan — is working the cubicles and waiting to return to his day job with the NFL.

Sen. John Kerry is taking a less critical approach toward Syria‚Äôs President Bashar al-Assad. Kerry hasn’t called for al-Assad’s resignation, like he did with Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak and Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi.

What we’re following: We’ll continue to report on the proposed education agreement, the House budget and a drop in Massachusetts home sales.