Hi everyone. These are some ideas I have had when thinking and reading about the draft, and who the Pats would want to take.
First things first. I don't want the Pats to trade up, nor do I think they will. Look at Gronk- of all the players who joined the Pats in 2010, he arguably had the biggest impact on offense and he wasn't even a FIRST ROUND player, much less a top-10 pick. If you have to trade up to the top 10 to get impact players, your drafting wrong.
I also don't think the Pats will keep all their picks. As such, I will be saying "mid first round" or "early second round" rather then 17th or 33.
So lets get started.
With our first first round pick, I would select OT Gabe Carimi of Wisconsin. If we can't get him at 17, we won't likely have to trade up more then a few spots. Our offensive line needs help, Carimi plays with more anger and aggression than most of the other O-linemen the Pats are looking at, and can play both tackle positions. To me, this makes him one of the best if not the best choice of players who will still be around in the 11th-20th pick range.
Next, I would take DE Cameron Heyward of Ohio State with the late first round pick. He's just a very solid overall player, and what he lacks he will easily learn when he starts to play pro. The only issue I see is if he will be around in the late 20s range, but if not the Pats should have no trouble trading up.
With our first second round pick, I would try to take any decent players who are still left over from the first round, preferably OLBs, DEs, and linemen. Most importantly, I think we must trade the 33rd pick. Hopefully we have already gotten our must-have players, and combined with its increased value from being the first pick in the second round we could gain alot more from trading it then using it. Trading parts of it to get Heyward is what I'm thinking of, and if thats not necessary then swapping it for a late first/early second in 2012 seems like the ideal choice.
With the next pick we should be looking at a running back or wide receiver. I lean toward running back, as they can help with pass protection also.
In the third and fourth rounds and beyond I'd be looking for cornerbacks, O and D line depth, a tall moss type wide receiver, a running back if I didn't take one with the previous pick, and maybe a big blocking tight end. There will also be players who have dropped and are just too good to pass up, which is to keep in mind and take advantage of if possible.