fb-pixel Skip to main content

FOXBOROUGH — If Nick Caserio is upset or worried about not having a first-round pick in next week’s NFL Draft, he’s not showing it.

The Patriots director of player personnel gave a makeshift state of the team/predraft update Tuesday at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots hold 11 picks in the draft, which starts with the first round April 28, followed by Rounds 2 and 3 April 29, and wrapping up with Rounds 4-7 April 30.

“Our philosophy is we control the things we can control,’’ Caserio said. “I don’t think it really changes the overall philosophy.

“We grade the players and then we’ll evaluate the players and then we’ll look up there and see at the time that we pick, whenever that may be, what one player looks like relative to another.’’

Advertisement



Caserio also touched on the large gap the Patriots face smack dab in the middle of the proceedings. They currently have no fourth- or fifth-round picks. After selecting in the second round at Nos. 60 and 61, and then at No. 96 in the third round, New England won’t have another selection until No. 196 in the sixth round.

Being prepared, being flexible, and being ready are the keys, according to Caserio.

“The most important thing is kind of knowing the draft from top to bottom,” he said. “I mean, a couple of years ago, we had five picks. We were going into the draft with five picks and we ended up with more, so it can move both ways.

“So I think the most important thing is knowing the players, knowing who you’re talking about, and then if you are going to make a decision to move up from where you are, who are you moving up for and what’s the rationale.

“However it works itself out, we’re prepared to pick either way, whether it’s from 96 to 196, whether we move, we’re prepared, we’re flexible.”

Advertisement



Number of items

One of the first things Chandler Jones did after leaving New England was to tweet a shout out to Chris Long, wishing him luck and giving him his blessing for wearing Jones’s No. 95 as a Patriot. Long has done just that. He wore No. 91 as a Ram. Guard Jonathan Cooper, acquired in the Jones trade to Arizona, will wear No. 65 . . . Other new jersey assignments include tight ends Martellus Bennett (83) and Clay Harbor (88); receivers Chris Hogan (15) and Nate Washington (84); running back Donald Brown (34); linebackers Shea McClellin (58) and Ramon Humber (53); and defensive tackles Terrance Knighton (96) and Frank Kearse (72).

Handy man Caserio acknowledged Patriots Hall of Fame finalists Raymond Clayborn, Kevin Faulk, and Mike Vrabel, calling them “tremendous nominees.’’ Caserio said Vrabel, a linebacker and part-time tight end, “probably thought he had the best set of hands of anybody in the NFL. Quick story: we go out there for pregame warmups and I used to throw to him before the game, and if the ball ever hit the ground, it wasn’t because of his hands, it was because the quarterback that was throwing was pretty bad. He always talked about his hands were better than Hines Ward, but that was Mike.” . . . Caserio also had a tip of the cap to director of college scouting Monti Ossenfort and his staff for their draft preparations . . . Patriots Joe Cardona, Brandon King, and David Andrews, as well as ex-Patriot Pete Brock, will lead a football clinic at Naval Station Newport in Newport, R.I., Thursday. It is part of the Month of Military Child celebration and the team’s alumni “Football for You” clinics. Check patriotsalumni.com for more information.


Jim McBride can be reached at james.mcbride@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @globejimmcbride.