Robert Kraft answered questions about the 2013 Draft Class yesterday (see original post here), and he was extremely positive about how the draft panned out for the Patriots.
When Kraft was asked if, from a fan's perspective, he would be disappointed that the Patriots traded out of the first round he replied:
"As a fan, I could feel that way,” he acknowledged, adding, “But I think we got the equivalent of first-round draft choices in the second and third round, the way I look at it. Time will tell."
Kraft plays politician by acknowledging the Bill Belichick criticizers' disappointment, but then backtracks by saying he loved the draft class, thus reneging in his attempt to sympathize with those who were upset that the Patriots traded out of the first round.
He states his clear view of the draft by claiming that the Patriots got 1st round talent in the second and third round, which is a claim that every draft expert would disagree with considering Duron Harmon was projected to go undrafted, and Aaron Dobson was projected to go in the 3-4th round. Although he elaborated on his claim:
"We picked five players in the first 102, which is more than any other team picked... The real strength of the draft, " Kraft stated.
Kraft believed, and rightfully so, that the strength of this draft was the second and third rounds. Most experts saw the draft as extremely weak at the top, but more talent than normal in the second and third rounds. Kraft went on:
"If we had drafted in the top 20-25, we would have taken the same players that we took later."
This leads me to believe that the Patriots are a safe, and not a very flexible team when it comes to the draft. They pick who they want, and they get them no matter what time. For example, they drafted Duron Harmon in the third round, when most believed they could have picked him up undrafted. The Patriots may not have been expecting to have that pick, because they were prepared to give it up to Pittsburgh Steelers for Emmanuel Sanders before the Steelers matched; therefore, they drafted the next guy on the board regardless of projection. Kraft ends his comments as follows:
"For us, from a cap point of view of having financial flexibility, and the talent, I think this draft wound up very well for us. I understand fans who don’t have the full knowledge of what goes and the value that’s there, how they could be disappointed," Kraft stated.
In short, Mr. Kraft could understand why the uneducated, uninformed Patriots fan would dislike the draft; although, if you understand the full scope of the game, then you should be thrilled with the results of the draft.