It's now time for the second edition of our 2011 Patriots mock draft! The first edition was January 26th, and it featured some interesting selections including Alabama receiver Julio Jones at 17, Mike Pouncey at 28. While a couple of picks are remaining the same, the spots of those selections are differing greatly. Enjoy!
Round 1, Pick 17: Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin
Unless a Robert Quinn or Julio Jones fall to the Patriots at this spot, I could really see the team trading down several spots. There aren't a lot of consensus top 20 picks that look to be around here, and I think the Patriots will probably like their pickings a little bit more at around 22 or 23. That being said, I considered a multitude of guys at this spot, including J.J. Watt, Cameron Jordan, Ryan Kerrigan, Aldon Smith, and others. Ultimately, I landed on Carimi because I think he is one of the most NFL ready offensive tackles that the Patriots could plug in immediately at left or right tackle, and possibly even right guard. He has tremendous size at 6'7" and 315 lbs, and combines that with great athleticism, strength, and agility. Carimi is one of the most well rounded tackles in the draft (he's my number one ranked tackle, even over Tyron Smith and Anthony Costanzo), and regardless of what happens with Matt Light, he would probably be a big time contributor starting week one.
Round 1, Pick 28: Muhammad Wilkerson, DE, Temple
Get used to seeing Muhammad Wilkerson's name around here. I had him going to the Patriots at 33 in my last mock draft, and I am moving him up to 28 here, although I wouldn't be shocked if the Patriots or some other team took him in the top 20. At over 6'4" and 315 pounds, Wilkerson certainly has the size to play the 5-technique for the Patriots, a spot he often lined up at while playing for Temple (along with some four [inside shoulder/directly over tackle] and three technique). While some see him as a left end in the 3-4, I think he can be disruptive pushing the pocket and getting to the quarterback, and I see him as a great right end. With his combination of size, strength, length, athleticism, and disruptiveness both as a run defender and pass rusher, I don't see any way the Patriots can pass him up if he is still on the board at 28.
Rounds 2-7 of the mock draft after the jump!
Round 2, Pick 33: Brooks Reed, OLB/DE, Arizona
Arizona defensive end/outside linebacker has been shooting up draft boards as of late, and I have him landing with the Patriots with the first pick of the second round here. Brooks Reed, as I've detailed before, has off-the-charts explosiveness off the snap. His 10-yard split of 1.54 was actually faster than that of A.J. Green, who ran a 1.55. While the explosiveness is nice, the change of direction ability he showed at the combine also opened some eyes. He's got great speed and bull rushes, and already has a double move (spin). His hustle and relentlessness getting to the quarterback are also traits to love. I'm a little skeptical of Reed's low sack totals, but physically, all of the tools are there for him to become a great 3-4 outside linebacker.
Round 2, Pick 60: Stefen Wisniewski, C/G, Penn State
Wisniewski has seen his stock drop some as of late, but he would be great value for the Patriots at 60. He's got great bloodlines, and is very tough despite his smaller size for an interior lineman (6'3", 313 lbs). He has good versatility, with the ability to play center or guard equally well. This means that he could step in at guard for the time being should the worst happen with Logan Mankins, or he could be groomed to take over for Dan Koppen in 2011. While he doesn't have great physical tools, he has good technique and lateral agility, which should help him transition to the Patriots' offensive scheme.
Round 3, Pick 74: Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State
Thomas is a good power back who is a BPA pick at this point. Thomas stands at just over six feet and weighs 230 pounds. He's a patient north-south runner who can change directions pretty quick. He's not a home run hitter, doesn't have break away speed, but has solid hands, a good work ethic, and has the size and durability to be an every down back at the next level. Thomas could come in and back-up BenJarvus Green-Ellis as a 1st and 2nd down back in 2011, with the potential to be the full time starter in the future.
Round 3, Pick 92: Chris Carter, OLB/DE, Fresno State
With the Patriots picking up the future starting outside linebacker in Brooks Reed, why not double-dip and take a guy who may be undersized, but could take on a pass rushing role in sub-packages immediately? At just 6'1" and 247 pounds, Carter may not have the prototypical size of a Patriots 3-4 outside linebacker, but he has explosive pass rush ability. He needs work in learning to set the edge and in coverage, but has reportedly been working with former Patriots defensive end/outside linebacker Willie McGinest in preparation for the draft and in transitioning to outside linebacker. Considering the rumor that the Patriots may take a smaller, quicker outside linebacker, and you've got a guy in Carter who really fits that mold. A possibility similar to Carter would be Nevada's Dontay Moch, although I like Carter as a more rounded prospect.
Round 4: Rashad Carmichael, CB, Virginia Tech
There's a lot I like about Rashad Carmichael as a player. He's got top end speed and recovery ability, he's a proven ball hawk, and he's scheme versatile, with the ability to play both off-man and zone coverage. Not to mention the fact that he's a very smart football player who first proved himself on special teams before making his mark as an every down cornerback. Cornerback isn't necessarily a need for the Patriots, but I like Carmichael as a guy who can play both slot and boundary cornerback, as well as contribute on special teams from the get-go.
Round 5: Ahmad Black, S, Florida
Ahmad Black has seen his stock plummet recently due to the 4.7 40 yard dash that he ran at the combine. Not impressive. Nonetheless, Black is a smart player, hard worker, a leader on the field, and a guy who has a knack for coming up with big plays in big moments. Don't let his lack of size (5'9.4", 184 lbs) and speed (4.7) fool you, Ahmad Black is a football player. And with some uncertainty now surrounding the safety position with Jarrad Page a free agent, Brandon Meriweather getting into off the field trouble, and James Sanders entering the final year of his contract, adding a body at the position might not be the worst idea. Besides, Florida player with high production has his stock drop due to a slow 40-time... sound familiar? (Hint: see, Brandon Spikes)
Round 6: Chris Matthews, WR, Kentucky
With the Patriots having a surplus of smaller receivers, why not take a flier on a late round guy with great size (6'5", 224 lbs) that the Patriots have already expressed interest in? Matthews isn't just a raw-size prospect, he actually produced in his senior season at Kentucky, and seems to be a pretty well rounded receiver, although he won't wow you with pure athleticism.