2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition

Casey Hayward NFL Draft

Casey Hayward is a ball magnet. (Photo: ICON SMI)

2nd Round (48)
Casey Hayward, CB, Vanderbilt (Scouting Report)

Even with Ras-I Dowling hopefully returning to the active list in 2012, it is hard to deny that the Patriots need some more talent in their defensive backfield.

Hayward is simply a guy that I want playing for my football team. He fits what the Patriots look for size-wise, and has the attitude, coverage skills and football smarts that will get him in the lineup quickly.

At Vanderbilt, Hayward made an obscene amount of plays – totaling 15 interceptions and 21 pass breakups over his last two years in the SEC. If Hayward could improve his hands, he might have had 25 picks. If he can bring that sort of ball-hawking ability, the Patriots will continue to win the turnover battle.

Hayward does tend to get a little hands-y down the field. He’ll need to clean that up before he starts drawing flags in the NFL. However, his skills in zone coverage should make Patriots scouts and coaches stand up and take notice.

Chase Minnifield (CB, Virginia), Jayron Hosley (CB, Virginia Tech) and Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina) are other 2012 Cornerbacks that could also fit the “Bill” here.

2nd Round (50 – via Chicago)
Cam Johnson, DE/OLB, Virginia (Scouting Report)

Johnson is not a dip-the-shoulder speed-rushing outside linebacker. If you’re looking for the Patriots to draft one of those early, you might be waiting for a while.

What Johnson can do is set the edge with his long and strong body, adding some good lateral movement skills to boot. As I mentioned, this is not Demarcus Ware, but Johnson does have the tools to be an 8-10 sack guy at the next level without giving up much against the run.

Johnson looks decent dropping in coverage and is a sure tackler. His 6’4″ / 265 lb body would be a nice addition to the New England front seven.

Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse), Andre Branch (DE, Clemson) and Ronnell Lewis (DE, Oklahoma) are other 3-4 OLB’s that might be available here.

2nd Round (63)
Marvin McNutt, WR, Iowa (Scouting Report)

The Patriots have lacked a true outside receiver threat, other than the aging Deion Branch perhaps, since Randy Moss left town. While Marvin McNutt is not similar to Moss at all, he has the size (just under 6’3″ and 215 lbs) and hands to give Tom Brady a nice target on the outside.

He made some incredible sideline catches at Iowa as well as showing no fear going across the middle. He is a willing blocker and a team captain to boot.

McNutt is a former quarterback who reads coverages well – a pre-requisite for the intricate sight adjustments that the Patriots offense calls for. I think McNutt could hit the ground running as a rookie in New England.

Marvin Jones (WR, California), Joe Adams (WR, Arkansas) and TY Hilton (WR, FIU) also could get some looks at this spot.

Click on page 3 for rounds three through seven.

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12 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition”

  1. JMC says:

    I don’t mind the trades but I’d rather see BB make the pick at 31, best player or best D-player, than trade down for those picks this year. I’m hoping the draft, esp in the first two rounds, go defense. I would not mind however if pick 31 were used to sign a RFA WR or quality CB-etc.

    • jim r says:

      With the draft picks You know he likes picking in the second/third round. For good reason there is not much of a difference. Lock of the year he will trade 1 of the first round picks

  2. Ken W says:

    I will just say George Iloka in the middle of the second. I think they may move around a little bit like they usually do, to move ahead of teams they think might take their guy.

    • Jim R says:

      I watched Boise a couple of times this year. He really did not stand out. Not to say he would not be a good pick, I just do not think they will secure the safety position thru the draft.

      • Ken W says:

        Yah I would rather pick up a good FA Safety because we have plenty of young guys in the secondary so maybe someone with some experience would be best for them.

        I haven’t seen much of his games just some small clips where he looked pretty good but what caught my attention was his interviews. Seems like a real student of the game, smart, versatile (played a little CB) and coachable. Just sounds like a Bill Belichick player.

        Kept mentioning “details” in one of the interviews and just sounded like a Patriot, so thats why Im saying we get him somewhere in the second.

  3. Jeff says:

    I’m calling this now…if Joe Adams is on the board at #48 he WILL be getting his name called for the Pats.

  4. Jeff says:

    No offense but there’s no way I’d not take Iloka at that spot over Johnson.

    If Iloka is gone then yeah I’d take Johnson, but not in a million years over Iloka.

    As for the trade with the Bears…that does not sound like value that Bill would be interested in. A 1st for 2 2nds…I doubt he’d even blink at that when last year was an offer of a 1st and a 2nd. If that’s the best offer…he’ll use the pick, unless there’s NO ONE they’d want there, but I’d be surprised if that happened either. BB has wanted to keep that extra 1st rounder going for a LONG time, and I can’t see him giving it up for 2nds, cuz it’s just too hard to get it back.

  5. Jim R says:

    2nd round great options. If they can get any of the people you mention in those slots it will be a great day.

  6. MJP says:

    I like Cam Johnson, he has sickle cell anemia, not sure to what extent but his coaches said it wears him down, he’ll need to be managed perhaps on a drive by drive basis, maybe even snap by snap.

    He should be available at that pick and if he can figure out a way to get past this obstacle he’s definitely an 8-10 sack OLB in the 3-4.

    • TD says:

      He just would not be able to play in Denver, like the Steeler’s safety in round 1 of the playoffs, Clark I think.

  7. TD says:

    I don’t see BB using both 1st rounders, especially if this draft is deep. He has his “wish list” of players by ability and value, not need. If his list of guys are clumped close together by the end of round 1, there is no need to take them there, trade into round 2, get one of your guys and receive extra picks or possilbility of a move up next year.

    Sooner or later, if he keeps dealing a first rounder for a first next year, that team will tank from injuries or something else and we could end up eventually dealing a bottom first rounder for a top 10-15 pick next year ala the trade w/49ers that sent #29 (Joe Staley) and we ended up with #7 overall (Mayo eventually).

    • Jeff says:

      This is exactly what BB is waiting for. Desperate teams, with management at the end of their rope and willing to sell out because they won’t be there the year after for the fall out if they can’t make the playoffs.

      Coaches like that are willing to sell the farm for ONE year since that’s all they have left.

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