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2011 NFL Draft Discussion Thread: Five Patriots Predictions

Say what? Draft day? No way! It's draft day! Hooray!

Okay, sorry. Can't help but be a little giddy. As I'm writing up this thread, it's 9:00 AM in the morning, but I still have no expectations for this years draft. With so many picks, I have absolutely zero idea what is going to go down. Yeah, of course, I follow the Patriots, so I never have any idea. But this year, I can't even pretend to have an idea. That being said, to get some discussion going, I'm going to come up with five "wacky" predictions:

1. Patriots might not select a position of need with 17th pick. Instead, we see the team move up for an impact player, or see that player fall to them at pick 17. Players that fit this category: Robert Quinn, Julio Jones, Prince Amukamara. In other words, expect the unexpected. However, I still think Gabe Carimi or Anthony Castonzo will be the first pick.

2. Patriots do select a running back by the end of day two. Of all of the positions in the pre-draft process, the only position we've seen the Patriots express a lot of interest in is the running back. I fully expect the Patriots to take a running back in the first three rounds, although I'm not sure who or where. I think we can narrow the list down to: Mark Ingram, Mikel LeShoure, Ryan Williams, Jordan Todman, Kendall Hunter, DeMarco Murray, and Daniel Thomas.

3. Patriots will trade up at some point in the first two rounds. People always seem to think the Patriots only love to trade down and acquire future and value picks. While this is true, I really see the team moving up at some point in rounds one or two. There's a big gap between picks 33 and 60, and I don't think the Patriots like that. I could also see the team trading up from 17.

4. Patriots will also trade down, but the trade will be an absolute steal. Yes, I think the Patriots will trade up. But I also think they will trade down, either with the 28th pick or the 33rd pick. Interestingly, this puts the Patriots in somewhat of a conundrum. If there's a run on quarterbacks early, that diminishes the trade value of pick 28/33. If there's no run on quarterbacks, the Patriots might not have the player they want slip to them at 17, but they could pull something off along the lines of getting a mid-second round pick in 2011 and a 2012 first round pick from a bottom dwelling team.

5. Bill Belichick will acquire a bounty of late round picks. As of now, the Patriots only are slated to make three picks on day three of the NFL draft. I don't think Bill Belichick is happy with this, especially considering that as of now, we don't know when teams will be able to acquire rookie free agents. In one of the expected trade downs, I fully expect Belichick to pick up a couple of 6th-7th round selections.

For now, feel free to use this thread for all of your pre-draft discussion. The 2011 NFL Draft begins at 8:00 PM ET on ESPN and NFL Network.