2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft 1.0

Mark Barron Patriots Mock Draft

Would Mark Barron provide an upgrade for the Patriots secondary?

With the end of the regular season upon us, it is time to release my first Patriots mock draft of the season. Feel free to chime in with your own version or praise/critique mine in the comments section.

Built using the 2012 NFL Draft Order and 2012 Patriots Draft Picks pages.

1st Round – Pick 30 (via New Orleans)

Vinny Curry, DE/OLB, Marshall (Scouting Report)

It is no secret that in today’s NFL it is very helpful to have a strong pass-rush to help combat the high-flying aerial offenses that are taking hold at the top of the standings. While the likes of Andre Carter and Mark Anderson, both free-agent additions in 2011, certainly helped the Patriots put pressure on the QB, they can hardly be considered long-term solutions.

Curry brings a sudden athleticism to the edge that would fit in both an odd (3-4 OLB) and even (4-3 sub-DE) front. At 6’3″ and 260 pounds, Curry has the size to contribute against the run, although he is certainly much better suited against the pass.

He is not going to be an Aldon Smith sort of player, but has the ability to total double-digit sacks at the next level.

1st Round – Pick 31

Mark Barron, S, Alabama (Scouting Report)

It would certainly be considered an upset around the Boston area if Coach Belichick used both of his first-round picks this year. However, a team that is perhaps only a few players away from being truly special might get Belichick to change his ways.

As Mike Loyko pointed out in his draft needs assessment, safety is a clear area of need for the Patriots, and one that should be upgradable – even with a less than stellar draft class.

Mark Barron is a classic strong safety – strong against the run and able to make some big plays. You’ll see a little of Brandon Meriweather in him if you watch his tape, but I think Barron will respond much better to Belichick than Meriweather did.

Barron would certainly add some depth to the safety position, even if he isn’t a guy that can play both FS and SS. Chung and Barron could be a formidable pair to deal with in the proper scheme.

If the Patriots front office isn’t in love with a 1st-round safety, I wouldn’t be surprised for them to target another offensive tackle – shoring up the future behind the aging Matt Light and the suddenly injury-prone Sebastian Vollmer. Kenny Vaccaro from Texas is a guy we absolutely love as an NFL safety, but he has yet to declare.

2nd Round – Pick 51(via Oakland)

Leonard Johnson, CB, Iowa State (Scouting Report)

The injury-plagued 2011 season has shown that you can’t have too many quality cornerbacks on your roster. If Ras-I Dowling, Devin McCourty, and Kyle Arrington all return to health and form in 2012, cornerback is certainly less of a concern than it is now.

That said, a fourth cornerback could still see plenty of playing time in dime packages, or if any of the three incumbent DB’s get injured again.

Leonard Johnson would provide the Patriots with a corner that can play man, zone, and support the run. Johnson’s name isn’t on the radar of many NFL fans out there, but watch for a lot of hype after the Senior Bowl, where we think he will be a top performer.

Top wide receiver Justin Blackmon had this to say to me after the OSU/ISU game – “[Johnson] was the most physical corner I’ve played this season.” He certainly held his own against Blackmon, as well as shutting down fellow Top 100 receiver Marvin McNutt.

2nd Round – Pick 63

Trade

The Eagles and Patriots have seemingly made a draft-day trade every year since 1970 – why would 2012 be any different. If a linebacker that Philadelphia covets is still on the board, look for Andy Reid to make a move to fill a huge need.

Dropping only a handful of spots and picking up a 5th round pick in the process would be a good deal for New England.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Leonard Johnson, Mark Barron, Patriots Mock Draft, Vinny Curry

27 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft 1.0”

  1. Lundahl says:

    And trade Hoyer, teams will give up a draft pick for him. I really believe you can clinch a honorable draft pick. With that, I’d pick another safety. I do believe that you can find some respectful defensive linemen in free agency. What matters the most for this team is secondary and rejuvenating the offensive line. You can always find strong defensive linemen in free agency.

  2. Lundahl says:

    I agree too, you need to trade down. In those first four picks,I’d get an OT, a safety, a 3/4 DE, and CB. I’m not against drafting two CBs in a row, this league has changed so much, the team with the most depth at the safety/cornerback position will have a crucial advantage. But trading down is a good thing. So I will pick another CB in the third round, and a center. Picking up a DE/OLB in the fourth round sounds good. I agree with Jordan White, I like him allot. There’s going to be an entire hype machine over Alshon Jeffries, but White fits better. I mean wide receiver= catching the ball. For me deep threat is a new trendy word developed after the 2007 Randy Moss season, it got out of hand. Randy wasn’t brought in here because of his speed at first, but because he was an absolute dog. He could snag the ball with his teeth.

  3. Pats Fan says:

    How about Courtney Upshaw in the first?

    • cc says:

      Courtny Upshaw is projected +/- @ overall #24 ( give or take who you speak too, what draft site your on and of course, a really obscure & suprise type pick by a team that snagged him, but at a high number that would never had been thought of). I take the #24 specifically from CBS 2012 DRAFT. Other’s ahve him in a similar pick area.

      Upshaw is currently a in the early to mid 20′s pick OVER ALL, and were not picking until about 28 or so with the Saint’s pick and our’s may be @ 30 …..?
      Hopefully 31 and even better 32 of course.

      If I could give a team Hoyer and the Saint’s pick……… I’d take Upshaw

  4. BillB says:

    I like to see Colston to replace Branch. Would be an
    upgrade.

  5. TD says:

    The draft is supposed to be deep in DBacks & DL’s, which means BB will take none of them.

    Seriously, with the need for 3-4 good CB’s and the depth at that position in the draft along with 3-4 teams still needing QB’s there will be a really good player fall to the end of the 1st round, hopefully a pass rusher. Not convinced we need to spend a 1st rounder on a Center after the carousel we had this year without a lot of dropoff. If Koppen does not come back next year, we could probably plug Connolly or Wendell in there.

    • billy c says:

      I agree about the need for not taking a center this year. stick with the defensive theme and limit the offensive picks to only a late developmental center ot tackle that Dante has handpicked.

    • Rockdog says:

      Completely agree. Quality OC’s can be found in the middle rounds. Plus, as you say, our back-ups played very well. We need to improve defense (pass rush and safeties) and find a speed receiver in mid rounds.

      Bottom line: We MUST come out of this draft with at least 2 defensive players who can significantly improve this defense.

  6. Lundahl says:

    We need to draft an OT in the 2nd round and a center. Football= quarterback and protect your quarterback.

    • cc says:

      Very Smart Lundahl, glad someone else see’s that fact. Solder and Cannon, even if they are on point all season long are an after thought when one consider’s that Light is a back-up at best, Koppen is possable for one more but has lost a step for sure, and we added an old vet in there as well. Now consider the wear & tear on connoly, Volmer, and a brused MCL? to of all ppl, Logan “effin” Mankin’s…Just how stiff can that sucker get in the middle of a play? It’ll be fine for next season but damb, the offensive line is a hurting in the waiting.

      Dropping a top notch OT in the middle of what we have currently is the first and smartest thing that the Pat’s can do besides a talk with Wes Welker regarding the number of year’s/actual price per year he’s goning to see fit for himself since it’s contract time and he’s surely earned it.

      We’ll be dropping a few guy’s who weren’t worth it(which should include a QB going with only two this upcoming year considering the circumstances), so I see free agency eye’s being kept wide open, we need that extra roster spot taken by the 3rd QB for sure in other areas.and the cap space as well…
      Current
      Wish List: Assuming we sit between #30-32……

      ILB – Donta’ Hightower in a patriot uniform EST +/- # 25 pick(he and Spikes should set a tone together for sure inside), i’d move up for him! and we’d obviously get to clear a spot on the roster that he’d take up…no issues.

      Dontari Poe in a patriot uniform? EST +/- # 34 pick DL Robert Lesterin a Patriot unform EST +/- #82 pick FS
      Brewster in a Patriot uniform EST +/- # 103 pick C

  7. TD says:

    The one issue for drafting defensive players in 2012 is what D is BB going to install; 3-4 or 4-3. I personally like his 4-3 since there seems to be more pass rushing DE’s like Anderson & Carter around rather than his hybrid DE/OLB types that they cannot find/develop.

    I’m sure one of the 1st rounders will go for a 1st next year and another 2nd rounder. Also, with the rookie wage scale in place one could make the case to move up.

    It looks like there are going to be a bunch of really good WR’s on the FA market this year: VJackson, DJackson, Wayne, Colston, Meachum, Garcon and Stevie Johnson along with our own Welker. Dump Ocho and sign either Wayne or Meachum along with Wes.

    • Ken W says:

      Pats wouldn’t sign DJackson or Stevie because of there antics, but I would be fine with any of the other ones.

  8. lawrence bridges says:

    I would prefer Whitney Mercilus and Dont’a Hightower in the 1st. Kendall Wright and Robert Lester in the 2nd. Leonard Johnsonin the 3rd.Jake Bequette or Malik Jackson in the 4th. I would really like Dontari Poe in the 1st but he will be gone.

  9. qwerty says:

    I think BB should go UDFA by signing a couple BIGFOOT/SASQUATCH to the practice squad. Once they learn football, BB can put them on the roster and turn them loose on offense and defense.

    The athletic ability of them includes

    they are 8 feet tall with very long arms
    weight 600+ pounds
    can run up to 30 mph
    they will be at least 10-15 times stronger than any player in nfl
    will want to be paid with food so cheap

    on the field …

    each will eat up at least 5 or more blockers from opposing team
    should be unstoppable in rushing the qb
    will be able to run down the fastest player in nfl
    will be unstoppable as a rusher and requires very little blocking
    will intimidate opposing players

  10. George Cain says:

    Barron is going to shoot up, just like JJ Watt did last year. The Pats want to make an impact they are going to have to trade up, like they did during the championship years. Barron is worth it. The Pats defense is designed for a hard hitting safety. You could title the last 4 years “Chasing Rodney.” Meriweather NO. Chung NO. Gotta hit on that position.

  11. D.T. says:

    Since we’re doing trades, I really think you need to change your first round. We all know that BB won’t pick twice in Rd 1. So do a trade for one of them. I like Barron though along with CB Johnson. I think you should go Center somewhere in there.

  12. Phil says:

    Fairly good mock draft. Like others, I’m not sold on Curry but I guess we’ll see. I agree that Mark Barron is not the best safety for the Pats. Hoping Vacarro will declare. I was hoping to see a WR taken with one of the first round picks. I see a ton of potential with Kendall Wright in New England. I like the pick at Center. It’s either between Ben Jones and David Molk (slightly under-sized however.) I also really like your 3rd and 4th round picks. They provide much needed depth at positions that we need the most. Leonard Johnson is also a player I would love to see with the Pats. I believe he would fit in very well on this team.

  13. Josh says:

    I’m generally okay with the mock, but was not really crazy about what I saw of Vinny Curry, though limited to the bowl game and YouTube. I much preferred Melvin Ingram, who seems more athletic and suited to play multiple defenses. I love watching Mark Barron but worry about ability in coverage, particularly when lining up with Chung, who I see as average in this area. They both seem better in the box. Would prefer taking a guy like Kenny Vaccaro in Round 2.

    The guys I like for Round 1 besides Ingram are Vontaze Burfict, who would look great next to Mayo, and Kendall Wright, a WR in the mold that the Pats like, smaller, elusive, great hands, great YAC, and something we haven’t seen in a few years, great separation. The guy is really explosive.

    In Round 2, besides Vaccaro, I like Chase Minnifield, Ras-I’s old teammate at CB, the son of a Pro Bowl CB that BB coached on the Browns. AlsI like Mohamed Sanu, a Rutgers WR in the Anquan Boldin mold, who in addition to developing into a good WR is also very good at run-blocking and plays special teams, and did I mention is from Rutgers?

    • Rockdog says:

      Agree with you that, although I like Barron, I worry about the fit with Chung. Really think we need a ball-hawking FS for this defense. The question is if there is one in this draft.

      Why do so many mocks have us drafting a DT. I think we have studs and great depth at position. DE is not exactly a strength but not a desperate need either. I think our needs are a “Free” Safety, a DE/Rush OLB, an outside WR, and CB depth.

    • NEPD says:

      As I’m sure y’all know, we are huge fans of Vaccaro. If he declares, we’d be fine taking him in the 2nd round.

      Sanu is returning to school – he was a Top 5 WR for us.

  14. Jon says:

    I don’t see BB trading out of the second round. For the past few years he’s made it a point to stockpile second rounders and pretty much make all those picks.

    Given that Welker and Branch are in contract years, and also considering the the drop off in quality WR’s after those two, I don’t see this team waiting until day three of the draft to consider the position. I can see a second or third round pick used here. I could even see them casting out the net with multiple picks to try and get a hit. They took two RB’s in 2011, why not two WR’s in 2012? Quality depth is required here.

    I could see a DB going early given the lack of success in the defensive backfield. I’m not sure about an OLB in round one though. I think if anything BB is still looking for heirs to Warren and Seymour.



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