My Free-Agent Fantasy Draft Team
My philosophy was simple ... be like Bill. My Belichick-inspired team is constituted mostly of players that were once Patriots, could be Patriots in the near future, or simply fit the Patriot mold. Like New England, I was looking for players others were overlooking for the wrong reasons.
I also strongly considered Bengals offensive tackle Andre Smith, but thought there was plenty of OT depth. And I considered Dolphins cornerback Sean Smith, since he's the kind of tall cornerback (6-foot-3) every team is looking for now because of Seattle's success in the secondary. But Smith was inconsistent last season, and I figured he'd be there at No. 8, which he was.
You may notice how old most of my players are, but that's consistent with the Patriots strategy. Brian Urlacher's fit is a concern, and he certainly isn't going to want to learn a new defense at this point of his career, but mentality-wise he'd be a natural in Foxboro -- like Junior Seau at the end of his career. And I believe a healthy Urlacher is going to have a surprisingly effective season, even at 35.
Meanwhile, you have to believe the Patriots have considered Reed, Woodson and Freeney and will sign one or two of those players. New England may also look at Connor Barwin, who had 11.5 sacks in 2011. Shaun Phillips was probably the worst pick of my draft fit-wise, but he did have 9.5 sacks last season. You can run on my defense right now, but you better not get in 3rd-and-long because we're gonna chase the quarterback.