Patriots Mock Draft (Wicked Long)

Now we are going to proceed under the false pretense that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round.  Never mind, you know what?  We’re going to proceed under a number of false pretenses.  The first is that the Patriots are going to pick in the first round.  The second is that I, or anyone else outside of the Orwellian fortress that is Gillette Stadium, has any idea what the Patriots are going to do; ever.  The third is that yours truly knows anything significant about football, which is a generous supposition indeed.

But it’s speculation season, and I love to speculate, so let’s do this!

Assuming that Belichick decides to make a pick in the first round [the one he currently holds at 22], I do not think he goes tight end as many say he will.  I admit that Jermaine Gresham, the tight end out of Oklahoma looks enticing.  I would be tempted to pick him if I were the Patriots and I were indeed keeping the pick.  But I don’t think they will.

It is here that I should also mention the unique situation in New England with regard to the offensive line.  The Patriots had some issues protecting Tom Brady this season, and those issues will not be any less severe considering the fact that both Stephen Neal and Dan Koppen could still retire, and are not what they once were.  So the temptation would be obvious to draft a talented young man in the first round to protect the quarterback.

Enter Dante Scarnecchia.  The offensive line coach has allowed the Patriots to be singularly ignorant of what the draft-rats say about offensive linemen for years.  If you give him a decent athlete, he will make him an offensive lineman.

This team thought it was going to carry on without Richard Seymour, and I’m not complaining about winning the division and going 10-6 (ok, well maybe I am complaining about going 10-6, a little).  But the fact remains that this team couldn’t rush the passer at all.  I think they go defensive end in the first round.  There are a couple of candidates, we will assume Derrick Morgan doesn’t make it to them.   So the pick is…

Everson Griffin, DE of the University of Southern California

 

New England has three second round picks, the first of which falls at number 44.  I view this pick as the inverse of the first.  If the Patriots do go tight end at 22, they go defensive end at number 44 and likewise in the other direction.  Since I took a defensive end at 22, the pick is…

Rob Gronkowski, TE of Arizona

 

The next pick is number 47, soon after Gronkowski comes off the board to wear his blue and silver jersey.  I have a lot of tight and defensive ends on my board at this point as a contingency, but since I’ve picked one of each already [and I don’t expect more than one of each until very late Sunday] I will take out an insurance policy here on Wes Welker.  The young man I will pick here is a small-framed wideout capable of running quick cutting routes much like Wes Welker.  Although we don’t know what Welker’s future holds, an insurance policy is a good idea, and this young man could prove a great weapon opposite Welker in 3-5 wide sets if he is healthy.  So the pick is…

Dexter McCluster, WR of Mississippi

 

At number 53, New England will have filled its major holes, save the gaping one in its ability to cover receivers one-on-one.  This will hopefully be fixed by one of the cornerbacks I have singled out as a possibility.  I am a little nervous about picking a cornerback here because I feel that the Hooded One wants to see a lot more than what other teams are looking for out of his defensive players.  He may well satisfy the need for a corner very late and ignore the types of players I’ve focused on.  But assuming I know a little more than I think I do, the pick is…

Dominique Franks, CB of Oklahoma

 

The Patriots do not pick in the third round, so we wait until the fourth, where they will have their corner and their wideout already.  I say this because at this point, my Patriots board is dominated by these positions.  However, I again do not see the Patriots taking more than one player at these positions so high.  Therefore, I will go to free safety, where New England is always happy to take on another talented player who can potentially play a nickel or dime back and spell the likes of Brandon McGowan.  So the pick is…

Kam Chancellor, FS of Virginia Tech

 

The fifth round is where the Patriots generally begin to pick offensive linemen.  As I said earlier, this is where you get Scarnecchia a decent player, and he makes that player part of a unit.  In the end, the whole is always greater than the sum of its parts.  With a view to rebuilding the offensive line, the pick is…

Tony Washington, OT Abilene Christian

 

The offensive line still needs help with the sixth round compensatory pick for the departure of Jabar Gaffney.  At this point, only one man makes sense.  The pick is…

Brandon Carter, OG of Texas Tech

 

Just when you thought the offensive line was taken care of, it isn’t.  The Patriots will add a center with the seventh round comp for the loss of Greg Lewis.  The pick is…

Joe Hawley, C of the University of Nevada Las Vegas

 

There are still seventh round compensatory picks for the departures of Russ Hochstein, Heath Evans, Lamont Jordan and Lonnie Paxton, so if you’re falling asleep reading this…well I don’t blame you.

Round seven will likely yield a practice squad running back who will be used when one of the many moving parts of the Patriots running game goes down.  To fill that spot, the pick is…

Deji Karim, RB of Southern Illinois

 

Now the Patriots will likely take another wideout because who doesn’t love wideouts, right?  The pick is…

Antonio Brown, WR of Central Michigan

 

At this point, New England will probably take a quarterback to stick on the practice squad.  After this pick is made, someone from the front office will turn to someone else in the front office and say, “we got the best quarterback in the draft,” and the Patriots will laugh quietly to each other as they insure that my future children grow up with the same miracle that I grew up with in Tom Brady.  Ok, so that’s not going to happen, but I can dream, right?  The pick is…

Tim Hiller, QB of Eastern Washington

 

With their last pick, the Patriots will choose another offensive lineman for the practice squad in the hopes that Dante Scarnecchia one day makes him a probowler who no one saw coming.  This player is often an undersized lineman (like all of the Patriots’ lineman) or an oversized tight end.  With that in mind, the pick is…

Greg Boone, TE of Virginia Tech

 

Click here for Jim’s mock draft where the Patriots trade out of their first round spot.  You might think, “hey, that just changes one pick, why do I care?”  Remember that story about how a butterfly flaps its wings in Japan and a hurricane hits California?  Well, it’s kind of like that, only the Patriots aren’t going to draft a butterfly…

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