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2014 NFL Mock Draft: SB Nation Slots DL Louis Nix to Patriots

Dan Kadar of SB Nation has released his first three round mock, and he has Notre Dame DT Louis Nix going to the Patriots in round one.

Jonathan Daniel

Now that Super Bowl XLVIII has come and gone and the 2013 NFL season has officially ended, we are officially in NFL Draft season (with 93 days to go). The draft may seem a long ways away, but with the Senior Bowl having already been completed and the Scouting Combine just over two weeks away, it is time to dive right in.

That being said, Dan Kadar of SB Nation’s Mocking the Draft released his first three-round mock draft yesterday.

With the 29th pick in the first round, Kadar has the Patriots selecting Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix:

Don't pigeonhole Nix because he played nose tackle in Notre Dame's 3-4 defense. He's much more than that. The Patriots were near the bottom of the NFL in run defense and tried to get by with Chris Jones and Joe Vellano, who are solid rotation pieces. Nix plays a lot like Vince Wilfork, who could be a cap casualty because he's due more than $11 million in 2014. While Nix shouldn't be considered just a nose tackle, he would give the Patriots the versatility to shift between three- and four-man fronts.

Regardless of whether either or both of Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly return in 2014, the Patriots need some serious young depth at the defensive tackle position. Nix could be a potential first and second down player in either the 3-4 or the 4-3 as a rookie and is more nimble than advertised and could therefore potentially play in some sub-packages as well. He’d be the future replacement for Vince Wilfork, and valuable insurance for the future. The general consensus, at this point, is that Nix could go anywhere from the middle of the first round to early in the second round. This spot would seemingly represent good value.

At 62, Kadar has the Patriots shifting to the other side of the ball, and going with wide receiver Davante Adams out of Fresno State:

While the Patriots did just draft two wide receivers last year and added Kenbrell Thompkins, Adams is too good to pass up. At the least he would save the Patriots from signing an overpriced free agent or banking on someone like Thompkins.

Adams is a 6-2, 215 lbs early entry who could play the x-receiver position for the Patriots. He’s not particularly fast, but is a physical receiver who dominated his level of competition and can find ways to make plays down the field with his strong hands and ability to win battles when fighting for the football. Those are traits the Patriots need if they are to target a receiver, although I personally have to wonder how much of an upgrade he’d be over Kenbrell Thompkins, Josh Boyce, and perhaps even Aaron Dobson.

Finally, Kadar has the Patriots selecting California tight end Richard Rodgers with the 93rd pick:

Rodgers isn't the highest-rated tight end left on the board, but he's the best receiver.

Rodgers is a prospect that most have rated as an early day three prospect. Prior to last season, he was more of a traditional in-line tight end at 275 lbs, but became more of a big receiver after coaches asked him to drop 30 lbs. This might be a bit early for him, but he would be an interesting compliment to Rob Gronkowski as a “move” tight end.

What are your thoughts on Kadar’s Patriots draft? Is there anyone you would have preferred to see the Patriots select at the above slots?