Over at CBS Sports, Chris Trapasso has put together a full seven round mock draft with every pick, including compensatory selections. Some could say that such projections are an exercise in futility, but overall, they provide a nice projection of where prospects are falling throughout all three days.
Here are Trapasso’s selections for the Patriots, as well as my thoughts on each pick:
27. Shane Ray, DE, Missouri. Trapasso has the Patriots trading the 101st pick in the fourth round to the Cowboys to move up Ray has fallen a bit down draft boards due to his label as a "tweener." He has an explosive first step, and could immediately be a factor as a rusher in sub-packages. But with the Patriots already locking up Jabaal Sheard in free agency, would there be any role for Ray to win in years one or two?
64. Tre Jackson, G, Florida State. Jackson fills an obvious need for the Patriots along the interior line, and the Patriots have had Jackson in for a pre-draft visit, so the interest is there. A three year starter for the Seminoles, Jackson has a ways to go in terms of refining his technique, but he has the size and strength to anchor against the mammoth defensive linemen of the AFC East and would become the team’s RG of the future.
96. Ben Heeney, ILB, Kansas. Heeney might not have the prototype size and speed for the linebacker position, but his instincts, tackling ability, and motor are off the charts. Some will compare him to Wisconsin linebacker Chris Borland who had a very productive rookie season for the 49ers. For the Patriots, Heeney would fill the void left by Jonathan Casillas, and would be a good insurance policy for Jerod Mayo.
97. David Johnson, RB, Northern Iowa. The Patriots are arguably in need of a "big" back heading into this draft, and snagging David Johnson would be quite a steal at the end of the third round. He’s big, strong, and has deft hands out of the backfield.
131. Garry Peters, CB, Clemson. This seems early for Peters. He’s a solid bump and run cornerback with average athleticism, inconsistent footwork but the natural quickness and length to have some developmental upside.
178. Joey Mbu, DT, Houston. A big defensive lineman who is best suited for a two-gap scheme as an end or nose tackle, Mbu had quite a forgettable combine. Like seriously.
219. Mario Alford, WR, West Virginia. Kevin White may be getting the majority of the attention when it comes to West Virginia WR’s, but Alford is shooting up draft boards after running a scorching 4.27 40 yard dash at his pro day.
253. Cody Wichmann, OG, Fresno State. A four year starter at Fresno State, Wichmann is flying under the radar heading into the draft, but started all 50 games for the Bulldogs. And hey, Logan Mankins and Ryan Wendell.
Overall, Trapasso two defensive lineman, two interior offensive linemen, a linebacker, running back, receiver, and cornerbacks.
What are your thoughts on this potential haul for the Patriots?