By now, we all know the names of players like Mark Ingram, Mikel LeShoure, Cameron Jordan, J.J. Watt, Anthony Castonzo, Gabe Carimi, Ryan Kerrigan, Aldon Smith, Akeem Ayers and even players like Muhammad Wilkerson. All those (and others) have been linked going to the Patriots with any of the first three picks.It is of course very important that we get value with those top picks (if it's rookies or trades that gain us that value remains to be seen). However, what truly makes a draft in which you have so many pick as the Patriots do is the fact that they get value even beyond the few top picks.
We saw that last year when we got Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes at the bottom of the 2nd round and continued by finding Aaron Hernandez in the 4th round and Zoltan Mesko in the 5th. They all contributed a lot as rookies.
We need that kind of a draft again to be able to get further in the playoffs. To be able to do that we need to find some gems with our picks starting with our pick # 60 in the late 2nd round. We also have the 74th and 92nd pick in third round and the 124th pick in the fourth round.
What players could we be looking at here and which players do you all see out there that are "diamonds in the rough".
The Patriots always do this as well. They draft players that I've seldom heard of (or at least have seen much below their value in rankings). Usually it turns out great.
Personally I really like a couple of guys as options for our 60th pick:
Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami (Fla.) - Miami has a good history of developing wideouts and Hankerson is big enough to give us another dimension plus the guy has got huge hands. Not sure if he falls this far after a good Senior Bowl week but if we haven't acquired a receiver yet he might be a very good consolation price.
Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona - A guy with a non-stop motor that reminds me of Clay Matthews to some extent. SOme will say he's too limited when it comes to size and playing the run for the Pats standards but when I see Reed on tape he plays the run well. I think this guy could very well turn out to be a better player than Ryan Kerrigan and Akeem Ayers when all is said and done. If Reed is there and we've failed to adress the need for a pass-rushing OLB I would no doubt go this route.
Jabaal Sheard, OLB, Pittsburgh - Comes off as a little bit raw too me. Undoubtedly has got intriguing size and a skill set that could help us in the long-run. If we're willing to be patient (which I doubt at OLB) he could be a future steal.
Danny Watkins, G, Baylor - Yes, he is a bit old. But the guy can play and could start right away if needed. Given we have not yet seen whether Mankins stays or not and the likely retirement of Stephen Neal is around the corner we need inside help.I think we would overdo things by taking a guard early in the draft. I would rather get a tackle if we're looking for o-line additions early.
John Moffitt, G, Wisconsin - Ideal Patriots kind of guy. Has the size we generally like and is a very solid player that doesn't make mental mistakes and overall seems just solid. Can be coached by Scarnecchia to be dominant.
I have a few suggestions for our 74th, 92nd and 128th pick as well:
74th: Brandon Burton, CB, Utah - Jarvis Jenkins, DT, Clemson - Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State - Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma
92nd: Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU - Clint Boling, OG, Georgia - Greg Little, WR, North Carolina - Dontay Moch, OLB, Nevada
124th: Tandon Doss, WR, Indiana - James Brewer, OT, Indiana - Vincent Brown, WR, San Diego State - Bilal Powell, RB, Louisville
Get your comments in, who do you like and which players do you consider better than their perceived worth?