Howdy! This will be my third and final mock draft for the season. I have been tracking draft prospects since last August and I really feel like I have a good grip on how the Patriot's draft will pan out...of course I wouldn't be surprised if Bill selects a tight end with the 31st pick...I will not be adding in trades.
Pick #27 - Janoris Jenkins - CB North Alabama (5'10, 192lbs.)
I honestly believe that Janoris Jenkins has the most natural coverage ability out of all the defensive backs in this year's draft. He will immediately come in and bolster the Patriot's 31st ranked pass defense. He lasts until the 31st because of possession of marijuana, he got caught twice, kicked of the Gators, went to a D2 school, he has 4 kids, he switched agents...so what? Patriot's have taken the risk with players with a a bad rep. Ex: Aaron Hernandez, Brandon Spikes (both of whom were Gators like Jenkins was.) Can't forget Ryan Mallett too. He gets a good jam on the receiver at the LOS, fluid hips, makes a lot of plays on the ball, can stick with his receiver downfield, he locked down some of the top receivers in the SEC...Julio Jones, AJ Green...Asante Samuel clone but I believe Jenkins will be a better player.
NOTE: I went with Jenkins over a pass rusher because Jenkins is a sure-fire top 10 talent. He is someone you can plug in and is a potential lock down corner. He would be the best player available. Yeah, the need is not as big as it is at safety. Yeah, we can assume Devin McCourty will return to freshman form but that's just an assumption and in today's aerial attacking league, a naturally gifted corner like Jenkins is hard to pass up especially at 27. Also, all the pass rushers that would be available here, they aren't that "sure-fire" prospect that Jenkins is. I'm saying take Jenkins and address safety in later rounds...(a.k.a. Harrison Smith, Brandon Taylor, Trumaine Johnson, etc...the potential is still there.)
Pick #31 - Shea McClellin - OLB/DE/ILB Boise St. (6'3, 260lbs.)
Very smart football player, high football IQ. He is athletic and very versatile...VERY versatile. Has lined up at OLB, DE, and ILB and has excelled in whatever role he was given. Can rush the passer from a 2 point or 3 point stance. Great off the snap, keeps pad level low, has a variety of pass rush moves. Great tackler and closing speed. Strong motor. Fantastic instincts. Can play the run and sets the edge. Can change direction very well. Special teamer.
I would also like to point out that he models his game after Mike Vrabel!
Other options: Devon Still, Andre Branch
NOTE: Consider this pick the Ras-I Dowling pick of this year's draft...only without the injury concerns! This is a reach for him, just as #33 was a reach for Dowling. Shea McClellin will just fit too well in our system for a team that needs his abilities at his "positions"
Pick #48 - Brandon Thompson - DT Clemson (6'2, 311lbs.)
We need to start adding some young and talented defensive lineman to this defense. Brandon Thompson eats up double teams, and holds his anchor well, he finds his way into the backfield often, gets a good pursuit after the quarterback, great motor, explosive off of the snap. Can be used as a 5 tech DE, but is better suited as a 1 tech/2 tech in a 4-3. Many people have seemed to forget about him, this dude would be nuts in a line with Vince Wilfork next to him. Even Kyle Love! It would give opposing offensive lines a nightmare on who to double team because they all require the double team. Pick your poison I guess. Oh, can he can even play some NT.
Other options: Vinny Curry, Ronnell Lewis, Harrison Smith
Pick #62 - Trumaine Johnson - CB/FS Montana (6'2, 205lbs.)
Perfect size for an NFL defensive back. He is a very physical player and can lay walloping hits. Versatile player, and I believe will excel greatly at free safety. Reads the quarterbacks eyes well, and makes many plays on the ball carrier. Ideal secondary pick for the Patriots...enough said.
Other options: Bruce Irvin, Brandon Taylor, Mitchell Schwartz
Pick #93 - Greg Childs - WR Arkansas (6'3 219lbs.)
Another ideal pick for the Patriots. Childs has great size to man the outside, has the speed to get down the field. (clocked in a 4.48 40) He has long arms and a tall frame and can catch the ball away from his chest. Can win the physical battle between a DB. Can get off jams. Skilled with YAC. Has experience in a pro-style offense at Arkansas. Runs clean routes and can fake out defensive backs. He was considered one of the top receiver prospects in this years draft before his knee injury. He would have been a first round prospect. He's been working his way back from the injury and is ready to prove he still has the skills as first round wide out. Can't forget that he also caught passes from current Patriot's quarterback Ryan Mallett...already developed chemistry. Child's has a high ceiling and would be a fantastic pick for the Patriots.
Could have gone with a WR, RB, or OL here...Greg Childs could end up being a steal. Although he suffered that major knee injury, the talent he exhibited before it just doesn't go away.
Pick #126 - Jaye Howard - DT Florida (6'3 300lbs.)
They could definitely go with a WR, RB, or OL for this pick but I went with another DT because the need for young defensive lineman is such a large one. Howard is a great athlete and very quick of the line, he fires off after the snap. He gets a great use of his hands on the offensive lineman to gain leverage. Uses an array of basic pass rushing moves...(Rip, Swim, Dip) Also has a fantastic bull rush. He has great size has an interior pass rusher...great in a 1 gap and gets into the backfield with his quickness of the line. He does need to anchor better, and he isn't a run stopper, primarily a 1 gap interior pass rusher. Although he is best as a 1 gap interior pass rusher, which I believe he will be used for...I do believe he can play the 5 tech DE. He is lightning quick off the line just as what you would expect for a DE.
With Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love, Brandon Deadrick, Brandon Thompson, Jonathan Fanene, and Jaye Howard...they can get it done up front. (already labeled Ron Brace a bust...and Myron Pryor who?)
I'll see you all after the draft!