The NFL has announced the first round order for the 2012 NFL Draft.
We're officially onto NFL Draft season, with the NFL Combine surprisingly only two short weeks away. That being said, the NFL has officially announced the 2012 Draft Order (although we already knew where the Patriots would be picking after they lost to the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI on Sunday). It's important to note that the 8/9 picks (Dolphins and Panthers) and the 11/12 picks (Chiefs / Seahawks) still will have to be decided by coin toss. Here are the Patriots picks:
2012 NFL Draft Order: Round 1
5. Tampa Bay Buccanneers
9. Miami Dolphins or Carolina Panthers
10. Buffalo Bills
12. Kansas City Chiefs or Seattle Seahawks
14. Dallas Cowboys
16. New York Jets
17. Cincinnati Bengals (from Oakland)
19. Chicago Bears
20. Tennessee Titans
21. Cincinnati Bengals
22. Atlanta Falcons
23. Detroit Lions
25. Denver Broncos
26. Houston Texans
29. Baltimore Ravens
31. New England Patriots
32. New York Giants
Patriots draft analysis after the jump!
Patriots 2012 NFL Draft Picks
The Patriots will obviously also have other picks. Currently, the entire New England slate of picks look like this:
Round 1, Pick 27 (From Saints)
Round 1, Pick 31
Round 2, Pick 48 (From Raiders)
Round 2, Pick 63
Round 3, Pick 94
Round 4, Pick ?? (will be finalized once compensatory picks are announced
Draft Pick Analysis
It's not hard to decipher the common theme from the Patriots' picks in this draft - they're top heavy. With four picks in the first two rounds, the Patriots will be poised to add some significant talent early, while also being able to maintain maneuverability. While I wouldn't be shocked if the Patriots used both of their first round picks, they could also be a candidate to move up or even move out in a similar deal to the one the team made with the Saints in 2011 (picked up a 2nd rounder in that draft, their first this year).
The thing that concerns me is the lack of draft picks in the later rounds. The Patriots don't pick again after the fourth round, and while they could pick up a pick or two via compensatory picks, I think the team would be better off trading back at some point to fill out the draft board in those areas.