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How The Patriots Can Improve This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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   There is no doubt in anyone's mind that last year's 1-15 New England Patriots need help. The 1990 Patriots' call for help can be answered by one man: Joe Mendes.

Joe Mendes is the New England Patriots' personnel director. Come April he has to make a decision on what to do with the Pat's first overall pick in the 1991 NFL draft; a decision I am glad he is making and I am not.

Here are some ideas I feel Joe Mendes (and the fans) should think about before jumping to any conclusions. The Patriots should concentrate on their offensive line (or lack thereof). With the exception of Bruce Armstrong, the line is inexperienced and not very good. This year's draft is filled with offensive line talent, but is it worth a first overall pick? It may not be, but trading that pick for later picks may be prudent.

Up-and-coming teams such as Dallas, Atlanta and the Pittsburgh Steelers are interested in our first overall pick to draft a former Notre Dame flanker. Raghib (Rocket) Ismail, according to just about everyone in New England, is the answer to the Patriots' problems. Is he? Consider this. The Rocket is 5 feet 10 1/4 inches tall. He weighs 173 pounds. He has a 33 1/2" vertical leap, and runs the 40-yard dash between 4.25 and 4.30 seconds. He can jump like a gazelle and run like a cheetah. Sounds to me like a wide receiver.

Do the Patriots really need another wide receiver? The Pats have an abundance of receiver material, such as 1989 first pick Hart Lee Dykes, not to mention Irving Fryar, Greg McMurtry and Sammy Martin. Oh, draft Ismail, and use the newly acquired Patriot Missile as a kick returner? That would be a very, very, very expensive kick returner. However, this doesn't mean don't even consider drafting Ismial. He is the "Doug Flutie Element" this team is missing, and dearly paying for. The "Doug Flutie Element" is how I describe a big play, action-type player who has outstanding talent and a wonderful personality. Those qualities drive fans into Sullivan Stadium by the droves. Our Patriot Missile, Raghib Ismail could bring the high-powered explosive offense this area desires.

Joe Mendes, good luck, and try to bring New England a well-rounded football team we can praise in the years to come. (Or at least want to watch!) n


This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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