ESPN's Mel Kiper hosted a conference call that is definitely worth a listen, if you want to know about draft prospects and needs for teams around the league.
After the Boston Globe's Jim McBride asked Kiper about the options at wide receiver for the New England Patriots at the end of the 2nd round, WEEI's Ryan Hannable asked about options at other positions for the Patriots. Kiper went on another roll.
"Yeah, I mean there's going to be great players throughout the draft," Kiper responded. "I mean there's going to be guys go undrafted that will end up making teams every draft, I don't care how good or bad the drafts are. Look at last year, some of the best players in that draft didn't go in the first or second round. So it's going to happen again this year.
"As I said, I mentioned some of the wide receivers that could still be there and be attractive at that particular point, if you look at corners, if you look at the offensive line, if you look at adding different positions that you look at for this particular team, there's going to be good players there.
"I mentioned cornerbacks earlier. There could be second round guys. William Jackson from Houston, KeiVarae Russell from Notre Dame, I just talked about Artie Burns [from Miami], Harlan Miller from Southeastern Louisiana, Eric Murray from Minnesota, there's going to be Daryl Worley from West Virginia, the cornerback position's got some guys- Donte Deayon from Boise State could be a really good fourth or fifth round pick- so I think the cornerback spot's going to give them options and I think wide receiver will as well with the five or six guys I mentioned earlier."
Cornerback is an underrated position of need for the Patriots because of the great youth on the roster.
Practice squad cornerback Rashaan Melvin is the oldest corner on the current roster, at 26 years of age. Pro Bowl cornerback Malcolm Butler is the second oldest at the position (I know, right?) and he turns 26 in a month. Rising sophomore 7th round pick Darryl Roberts is 25, and veteran Logan Ryan is actually the youngest cornerback on the roster, having turned 25 this month.
Exclusive rights free agent Justin Coleman will turn 23 in March and will be the youngest corner when he signs his contract.
Personally, if I were the Patriots, I'd look to add a veteran free agent cornerback like Tarell Brown to stabilize the position, instead of adding another young player, but with Ryan as a free agent after 2016 a new cornerback could make sense.
Of the players he listed, I really like Houston's William Jackson, and I also think Notre Dame's KeiVarae Russell, who is coming off a broken leg and will probably be a late-day 3 pick, could be a wonderful fit.
Mel eventually mocked a player to the Patriots at the end of the second round, and it wasn't a cornerback.
"If the Patriots see [Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo] on the board, it wouldn't take long to get that card in."
I can definitely agree with that.