2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft 3.0

Michael Brockers NFL Draft

Can Michael Brocker's be the dynamic 3-4 DE that the Patriots have missed since Richard Seymour? (Photo: ICON SMI)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The Patriots were a few inches from gaining that precious fourth ring. It will take a good crop of youngsters in the 2012 NFL Draft to push them over the top in next year’s Super Bowl.

Here is our third version of what the Patriots might do come late April.

1st Round, Pick 17: Michael Brockers, DL, LSU (SCOUTING REPORT)

Many Patriots fans are shaking their heads right now. “Trade up? Are you crazy?”

Believe it or not, Bill Belichick has done it before and will do it again. He moved up for Chad Jackson, Daniel Graham, and Rob Gronkowski, all within the first 50 picks of the draft.

While only one of those players has had the impact that Belichick desired, I don’t see him shying away from grabbing a player that he feels can dynamically improve his team.

By sending the 31st and 48th (1020 points according to the trade value chart) to the Cincinnati Bengals for the 17th pick and a 5th round pick, the Patriots may be in position to draft a fantastic young 3-4 defensive end.

Michael Brockers, fresh off his own disappointing championship game defeat, is a prototypical five-technique end – which means he might not make it past pick 10, let alone pick 20. Measuring in at 6’6″ and over 305 pounds, with the frame to add a few more, the former LSU Tiger has the length and size to draw double teams and dominate his two gaps.

If he kicks inside in sub-packages, he has the power and first step to be a good pass-rusher as well. With a bit more polish, he could truly be the closest thing to Richard Seymour that we’ve seen in New England in a long time.

Three other potential trade-up targets are wide receivers. Justin Blackmon, Michael Floyd, and Kendall Wright might all be gone before we’re halfway through the 2012 NFL Draft. That said, if any of them start to slip – especially Blackmon or Wright – the Patriots might be tempted to grab an elite talent at a position that is aging rapidly.

However, if the speculated reunion of Brandon Lloyd and Josh McDaniels comes to fruition, receiver may once again become a secondary need for the Patriots front office.

Courtney Upshaw (DE/OLB, Alabama) and Quinton Coples (DE, North Carolina) are two other players that have certainly drawn interest from Patriots scouts this off-season, but I don’t see either of these elite prospects falling into the range where the Patriots can go and get them.

CLICK ON PAGE 2 FOR THE REST OF ROUNDS 1 AND 2

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Casey Hayward, Dale Jones, Marvin Jones, Michael Brockers, Nick Perry, Patriots Mock Draft

40 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft 3.0”

  1. TD says:

    I expect BB to trade one or both 1st rounders unless someone he rates highly is still on the board. If he can get multiple 2nd/3rd round picks it will represent great value.

    The biggest impact players for any team are in the top 10-15 and we are never in a position to get at that level without making a trade the year before and it would have to be raining pigs for BB to make a deal to go that high.

  2. Shecky says:

    Ras-I Dowling…”if healthy?”
    I read where it was a ligament tear in his leg that was causing his hip discomfort. Haven’t heard about any complications or concerns that would run into next season.
    I was not comfortable with this pick at all last season due to how high he was selected (#33) and his history of injuries @ UVA.
    We CANNOT afford another Darius Butler highly drafted CB bust.

  3. Bruschi54 says:

    Both 49ers safeties, Goldson & Whitner are FA’s as well as Landry from the Redskins. Landry may command a big cap #, but he is a younger version of Rodney Harrison and would bring incredible toughness to the back end of the defense. They can probably bring Asante back from the Eagles for their 3rd or 4th round pick, letting them continue with “the best available player” in the early rounds. I am hoping for one of the two Bama LB’s to slide or a trade up, but I have a feeling that BB is hoping Konz is on the board at 27 to complete his OLine overhaul for Koppen.

  4. Lundahl says:

    You have to factor in free agency.

  5. qwerty says:

    Patriots will do what they did for first round last year. Whoever is the highest rated player left on their board, that is who they will take.

    Last draft, they would have taken robert quinn ahead of soldier if he was still there.

    They have a few first and second rounders so do have option to move up.

    Unloading one of their 1st round draft picks will be difficult because there are only a few teams who would likely trade their next years first rounders

    Once they create their draft board, the only teams they have to figure out are GB,BAL and SF before they select #31 pick.

  6. Great article James! Keep it going!
    GPA C

  7. United States Heavyweight Champ says:

    I can see the Pats having the ability to trade up in the first round being that they 1) have the ammo to do so and 2) no longer have the excuse of cost being a prohibitive factor due to the new CBA. However, I believe that the volume of picks they have in the first two rounds can be used in various ways that will improve the team. First off, if there is a versatile o-lineman sitting there when their first pick comes up, I see them taking him.

    Despite all of the talk about the line being in good shape, giving Dante Scarnecchia more tools to mold a dominant line in front of Brady as he ages is a supreme priority. A guy that can swing between the RG, C, and LG is an optimum choice and will ensure the stability of the unit until Brady’s more recent contract has expired.

    Secondly, I see one of the 2nd rounders being used as part of a trade for a veteran player. That player, in my opinion, should be Asante Samuel. He is not happy in Philly due to last years CB acquisitions and his salary should not be prohibitive due to the cap situation for the Patriots. Being a zone based corner, he will be able to use his instincts in locating the ball and preventing plays down the field on a consistent basis.

    He is also a distinct link to the championship days and can be ca stabilizing force in the secondary that could prompt a rehabilitation of McCourty, kicking Arrington back inside and freeing up the team to draft a FS AND acquire one via free agency to compete for staring time. Getting an experienced SS in free agency is a priority since none of us trust the ability of Patrick Chung to stay healthy all season. I see Sterling Moore James Ihedegbo and perhaps Antwan Molden back for depth purposes. The Pats should also look to draft a CB as well that can be brought along slowly but has base skills in supporting the run defense, physicality and flexibility between slot and outside coverage.

    I’ve said it on this site before and will say it again…one of those first rounders will be pushed into next year. That being said, the focus should then be on what will the Pats do with the rest of the draft. I believe that attention needs to be paid to getting a guy that can play next to Vince in the 4-3 and play end in 3-4 (Ty Warren clone). They failed with Ron Brace and fell woefully short with Haynesworth. Getting young dude that can eat up blockers and free Vince to make plays (yes, he is a playmaker) will open up the opportunities for the linebackers and ends depending on the alignment, to make plays. Markell Carter, with a full offseason of OTAs can be a potential asset to assist the pass rush if he indeed has the brain to match the physical skills.

    With what the Pats get for that traded first rounder (a 2nd or 3rd and a 2013 first), they can focus on drafting a WR (Joe Adams is my preference) to pair up with a likely Brandon Lloyd acquisition in FA. Even if they bring Wes and Deion back, I think the drafting and development of a speedster WR in the mold of what they envisioned for Bethel Johnson, Chad Jackson and Taylor Price should be addressed both early and later in the draft.

    The team is not too far off from being right back in the SB next year, so the rest of the draft should be concerned with filling holes depth wise with players that can emerge immediately and contribute. Outside linebacker is a place where this should start.

    • Pats Fan says:

      Agree with bringing back Asante… But how about this draft?

      1/27: Whitney Mercilus, DE/OLB
      Can play DE or OLB(Willie Mcginest type player)
      1/31: Traded for a 1st next year and a 2nd this year
      2/16: Zach Brown, OLB
      If he falls this far Bill would grab him at once, can play OLB in 3/4 and 4/3
      2/17: Traded for 2nd next year and 4th and 6th this year
      2/31: Juron Criner, WR
      Patriots get great value with a big-play receiver
      3/31: George Iloka, FS
      Great size for safety and has cover skills to cover TEs
      4/2: Traded along with Guyton/Ninkovich/Cunningham for Asante Samuel
      4/31: Marvin Jones, WR
      WR with good hands and good size(6’2″)
      5/17: Casey Hayward, CB
      Received in trade for Guyton/Ninkovich/Cunningham.. Provide more CB depth
      6/2: Jaye Howard, DT/DE
      Versatile player who is an all-around good player

      I personally would love this draft.. Tell me your opinion

      • jim r says:

        Thinking outside the box. That is what this fourm is for. You put a lot of thought into this. nice job. I think BB will kill it in Free agency. 1 big name coming here.

  8. TD says:

    After the combine, some teams will fall in love or rate lower picks higher and the whole perceived draft board will change.

  9. Noah says:

    I’m not sure why but Brockers really reminds me of Richard Seymour back when he was coming out of college. If the pats could get another Seymour this team would be right back in the superbowl. We saw how effective a dominant defensive line can be first hand.

  10. Ken W says:

    This is what I would like to see.

    1st Round (Pick 27) If we could trade up and get Upshaw Im all for it (dont see it happening) so Im ok with Hightower LB.

    1st Round (Pick 31) Janoris Jenkins CB. Chase Minnifield as my alternate.

    2nd Round (Pick 48) Joe Adams WR

    2nd Round (Pick 63) George Iloka S

    3rd Round (Pick 94) Marvin McNutt WR or Nick Toon WR

    4th Round (TBD) Derek Wolfe DE

  11. TD says:

    This is going to be fun, I remember last year as if it were yesterday. Everyone including me mocking a LB, DL and WR and BB taking it all in and going with an OT. Good thing he did, Solder was much needed and looks to be a monster w/some more experience.

  12. AM says:

    I’d love to see them take a run at Shea McClellin. He should be available at 48 or maybe even 63, and he’s close to the preferred physical profile for Patriots linebackers. Great pass rusher, good run defender, fantastic motor.

  13. dslave says:

    Defensively, they are short in height up the middle with short arms. they need height at olb, dt, and wr. Guarantee they will address all that in free agency, draft.

  14. Ryan says:

    Chalk this up as an awesome draft. But I have a feeling after the combine Brockers will be a top 10 pick, could be a stretch for Bill. I think Bill will look hard at Sanu and Mannfield. I also think he wants an OC, get back to the ground and pound. I really would like to have Illoka (sorry for the misspell). But as we all know draft day will give us a heart attack ha.

  15. Lundahl says:

    Patriots pick a veteran DB then.

  16. Lundahl says:

    We need another OT in the 2nd round. Offensive line is crucial, it needs to be perfect. Football= protect your quarterback. Time to fill in Matt Light’s future spot.

  17. Rick says:

    I like your thinking on the trade up, which is possible.

    But, I don’t see them holding onto both #1′s, I expect 1 of the to be traded for a #2 and a 2013. Pats seem to really value the annuity extra picks create.

    • NEPD says:

      I agree, but it takes two to tango.

      If the rest of the league doesn’t wise up, the Patriots should keep the annuity going.

      That said, that well might finally dry up some day.

      • DWE 2012 says:

        Personally, I’d like to see a trade up with Seatle into the No 11 spot.

        Seatle need’s a real QB possability and I say Hoyer can be that for them. Tavarus jackson injury’s and Whitehurst not panning out either.

        Trade Hoyer and one of our lower level 1st rounders for their upper fist rounder. They sit tied at No. 11 with K.C. do they not? and they need a real QB.
        They’d only drop about 2/3 of a round down, + they’d gain real potential at the QB possition which they need.
        Hell, throw in Cunninham and/or Guyton as well.

        • TD says:

          Come on folks, get real. That Seattle spot or there abouts is where teams can get someone like Mayo or better. They are not going to trade us pick #27 or #31 plus a backup QB that was undrafted and barely used.

          Hoyer is not, I repeat, not in the spot Cassell was after 2008 having led a team to an 11-5 record. Hell, BB might tender him a 2nd/3rd round tender or less.

  18. STEVEN G says:

    I love every single choice except the TE(incert a big OC). Though i think Perry will be gone by 27. If thats the case id take a chance on Branch there. Good size n athletic. Everyone else fits to a T, with the last pick being what the draft is all about. Finding that diamond. Id be very happy with this turnout.

  19. Adeel says:

    Yup Love all the picks … But I doubt BB is trading up. He might draft the DE/OLB with 1st pick and then trade 2ns one for another one in 2nd round (and future pick).

  20. brightonbob says:

    1. This is really excellent work as always. You cover the draft for the patriots better than most sites-including the globe your work is really appreciated.

    There 2 things I think to consider before we project the draft.

    a) is free agency-who will and will not be on the roster by draft time. Will they add a mario williams? Will brian waters retire? Will they deal a veteran? Will a veteran get cut? Is welker gone and do they add a brandon lloyd? they have a lot of room under the cap-I think $20 million.

    b)They always seems to trade down, I haven’t figured out if there’s a science to it yet, we need to think that one of these 1s will end up being a 2 and a 1 next year or a 2 will be a 1 next year and a 3 this year ect.

    c) Belichick has show especially last year he’s not really afraid to fly in the face of what some think the team needs. Last year he took 1 defensive player in the top 5 picks and while I don’t think he’ll do that this year. I could see him going offensive line or wr or even safety in the first round rather than pass rusher.

    • Ryan says:

      Another thought is how some of the younger guys progress or how their progression is viewed by the Hoodie.
      1. Cunningham
      2. Markell Carter
      3. Deadrick
      4. Love
      5. Sterling Moore.

      It really throws me for a loop how they treated Markell Carter seems like they really want him and have high hopes for him. But this has happened before.

      • dslave says:

        He came from a small school. We as fans have to understand BB won’t change their philosphospy. If that young man developes, its still baby steps. Clay Matthews, Brooks Reed, Conner Barwin, all have been available for him to draft. they will spend their money on that in free agey.

  21. Adeel says:

    and I don’t think we will trade up ….. ever!!!!

    • beasleyrockah says:

      Again, read the post, or actually follow the Patriots on a basic level. They have traded up before, so your “ever” comment is not even arguable.

      • Adeel says:

        That’s my opinion ….. why because BB’s history of trading up have not worked well. Also remember what he told Dimitroff about Julio Jones trade, ‘he wouldn’t have done it’ …. so that tells me that he isn’t giving up multiple picks to move up …. plus he is never fond of putting all his eggs in one basket (or relying on one pick or player solely); he believes in team ….. and he is fond of getting more picks, not trading multiple picks (high risk) …. SO yes, ever comment is argue-able! Also not sure how you can conclude that I don’t follows patriots at basic level … :)

      • jim r says:

        Ever is a long time

  22. Adeel says:

    We don’t have 17th Pick this year! 27th is the first one….

  23. Phil says:

    I like this mock draft more than the others. Brockers would be HUGE upgrade. I don’t like McCourty at safety so I just prefer taking a free safety earlier.

    • DWE 2012 says:

      Agreed. Regardless of any other perceived need be it young or old, keeping one guy VS. letting another go, as it stands right now, the Patriots need (2) thing’s.

      1/. A Shut down Backfield/Cover guy and
      2/. Another D-Lineman to compliment Big Vince Wilfork.

    • jim r says:

      That would be a huge score. Add in Dowling coming back and I think Sterling Moore can play a lot in this defense. They will take care of a lot of issues. Joe Adams….nice. Bring in Brandon loyd resign Welker and you now have some Offense outside the numbers. Vereen and Ridley will be fine in the backfield






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