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2015 NFL Mock Draft: Mel Kiper's Patriots Prediction

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I guess the Patriots will be mocked a first round offensive weapon every single year until they finally pick one?

Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN's Mel Kiper has released his second mock draft.

Some people will like this pick; some will not. Kiper mocked Auburn wide receiver Sammie Coates to the Patriots in his first version.

In his second attempt, he projects Michigan tight end/wide receiver Devin Funchess to the Patriots.

Analysis: Tom Brady showed that his window as an elite performer at quarterback is still wide open. And while the Patriots seem to always make it work in the passing game to some extent, that's more on Brady's brilliance than it is about how reliable the pass-catching options are. It's just a reality that Rob Gronkowski has faced his share of injuries. And while Julian Edelman, Brandon LaFell and others proved plenty adequate last season, the Patriots could use more assurances that the passing game won't take a major step back if one of those guys lands on the shelf.

Funchess is more of a big wide receiver than a small tight end, because there's no blocking expected here, but he's a legit matchup threat with a big catch radius and the ability to run routes and create space even against decent cornerbacks. I like where New England's defense is now, though help on the defensive line is never a bad thing. That said, if the board breaks this way, Funchess would be a nice addition.

Funchess is 6'5, 235-lbs in the mold of a Kelvin Benjamin. He's a long strider, but his hips are quick enough to throw off coverage. He's too big for a cornerback and too fast for a linebacker.

After a breakout season from Brandon LaFell, a quality encore from Julian Edelman, and the fantastic recovery by Rob Gronkowski, it seems odd that the Patriots would target another offensive weapon- especially with Danny AmendolaTim Wright and Aaron Dobson already in the wings.

What do you think?