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What will draft bring for Patriots?

Posted by Greg A. Bedard  April 26, 2012 08:44 PM

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FOXBOROUGH – Well, the draft is away and it's nuts.

We've already had six trades heading into pick No. 8, including the previous Redskins deal for No. 2.

What will the next three days bring for the Patriots?

Do I think they’re going to trade up in this draft? No, I don’t. There’s too many holes on the 2013 roster that need to be addressed.

If the Patriots did trade up, it would likely be for Alabama SS Mark Barron (already taken), Syracuse DE Chandler Jones, LSU DT Michael Brockers, or DE/OLB Shea McClellin … if those goes start to fall to pick 12 or later.

Barron would obviously have an impact, but I think Brockers is more needed immediately. At 6-5 and 322 pounds, he is the type of body type the Patriots haven’t had since Richard Seymour. It’s the same type the Patriots tried to add in free agency with Seahawks DT Red Bryant and didn’t get a chance at because Seattle re-signed him. Same body type as Albert Haynesworth and Marcus Stroud, whom the Patriots signed last year (Stroud never made it camp). Brockers is immovable against the run, though he won’t give much with in pass rush.

The other most immediate needs for the Patriots at positions where help is needed in ’13 but could work their way into the starting lineup this year would be:

  • Cornerback
  • Wide receiver
  • Safety
  • Elephant end (end/OLB type that is around 6-4 with long arms and 270 pounds…basically Andre Carter)
  • Cover linebacker
  • Right guard
  • Right tackle

If the Patriots stay put in the first round, this is how I came up with the pick of Montana CB/S Trumaine Johnson in the first round:

  • I had McClellin, Jones, Barron, LB Dont’a Hightower and WR Kendall Wright all gone at that point.
  • WR would be the most pressing need and of decent value with Georgia Tech speedster WR Stephen Hill, but Belichick has never taken a WR in the first round.
  • He’s also never taken an OLB in the first round, and doesn’t like to take guys that are projections – would play a different position in the NFL than what they played in college. That eliminated Marshall OLB Vinny Curry for me, at least in the first round.
  • Belichick also prefers to go fairly safe in the first round, so that took out CB Janoris Jenkins. It should take out Trumaine Johnson, who had a few incidents in college, including being tasered by police. But he’s so tall and talented, can play press man coverage and be moved to safety, that he made the most sense. I know the Patriots like him – I just don’t know whether he’s viewed by the them as a second-round, or first-round talent.
  • If a guy with some issues like Johnson takes him out of the first round, then that DT body type is still a need. But Devon Still and Jerel Worthy all have motor issues. They’ve taken plays and quarters off. I don’t think Belichick likes that.
  • If Belichick really wants to play it safe, then UConn DT Kendall Reyes (6-4, 299 with room to grow) makes the most sense. A guard like Kevin Zeitler also wouldn’t surprise.
  • I do expect the Patriots to add a WR somewhat early, in the first or second, and likely another late.
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