Over at Mocking the Draft, SB Nation's NFL Draft blog, Cameron O represented the New England Patriots in their two round mock draft. He did an excellent job of addressing team needs and adapting to how other teams performed in the mock draft. Here's what Cameron O managed to snag for the Patriots:
17. Derek Sherrod, OT, Mississippi State
28. Cameron Heyward, DE, The Ohio State University
33. Rodney Hudson, OG, Florida State
60. Jabaal Sheard, OLB/DE, Pittsburgh
Cameron did a great job today. All of the top positions of need were filled with top prospects. I know that Jeremy Beal (who I will be talking about non-stop until April) was one of his top choices, but was drafted in the middle of the second round. Sheard isn't able to drop into coverage like Beal, but 60th overall is great value for a guy who commands tight end help when he's rushing the quarterback- and for a guy who cannot be run against. Sheard also has the finishing step that Cunningham doesn't possess, so I believe they would complement each other as pass rushers and run stoppers.
Read the rest of my thoughts after the jump!
Sherrod is my pick for "the most NFL ready" tackle in the draft. While I believe that Gabe Carimi is too slow off the snap to be a great left tackle, Anthony Costanzo is a 10-15 lbs too light, and Nate Solder has terrible technique, Sherrod is the most ready to step on the field and play. That said, I feel like Costanzo and Solder have higher ceilings than Sherrod and will be better a few years down the road- so if the Patriots resign Matt Light for a 2-year deal, I would advocate the drafting of Costanzo or Solder and letting them go through Scarneccia U for a year or two before putting them on the field.
Heyward is the best fit for DE if the Patriots grab a solid run stopper like Sheard. If the Patriots drafted a contain defensive end like Cam Jordan (think: Ty Warren), then the Patriots would have to take a speed pass rusher, like Justin Houston, to compensate for the lack of a pass rush by Jordan. However, with Heyward, the Patriots get a guy who can face double teams and chase the quarterback, while Sheard can watch the gap and prevent an outside scramble. Heyward and Sheard complement each other extremely well.
Hudson is one of the top interior linemen in this draft and has been one of the best guards in NCAA for a couple seasons. However, his small size (6-2, 282 lbs) will scare off some teams that would ask the guard to immediately step onto the field and perform. I don't think his size will worry the Patriots since Ryan Wendell, the guard who filled in for Dan Connolly at the end of the last season, is only 6-2, 290 lbs. Hudson is a great player and has such a great skill set. He also has the intelligence to slide over to center, if needed.
Overall, I think Cameron O did a fantastic job with this draft, filling team teams and finding complementary players. Bravo Cameron and thanks for your work!