3rd Round (68 – via Cleveland)
Mitchell Schwartz, OL, Cal
In exchange for the 68th pick and a 6th round pick, I have the Patriots sending Brian Hoyer and a 5th round pick (via Chicago) to the Cleveland Browns. Ryan Mallett should be the future at the position and essentially getting a day two pick for Hoyer is great value.
Mitchell Schwartz is very under the radar, but is the type of prospect that Belichick has gone after before. He played left tackle in college, but I think he will be even better as a right tackle or guard in the NFL. Getting that sort of versatility is key for New England.
Schwartz excels in the run game, but has struggled a bit in space against quick pass-rushers. You can mask that by moving him to the interior at the next level. If Brian Waters retires or there continue to be injuries on the Patriots offensive line, having another talented swing player would be invaluable.
3rd Round (94)
Trumaine Johnson, CB/S, Montana (Scouting Report)
After adding a cornerback in Casey Hayward, the Patriots still need a free safety to help in coverage. Johnson is a small-school cornerback that I feel could be an incredible free safety.
He has the skills to stick with tight ends and slot receivers, while having the size, length and hitting ability to help in run support. Johnson tracks the ball well and has good instincts when breaking on the ball.
George Iloka (FS, Boise State) is another one of our favorite prospects here at NEPD that could help out in the defensive backfield.
4th Round (126)
Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State
Defensive linemen Mike Wright, Gerard Warren, Myron Pryor and Ron Brace all might be elsewhere come the start of the 2012 NFL season. If that is the case, adding depth in addition to Fletcher Cox would also be needed.
Crawford is another 3-4/4-3 guy whose frame could handle trimming down or adding on to the 6’4″ / 275 lbs he has. He has the tools to be a three-down lineman, but is a bit raw rushing the passer.
Given a bit of time to develop, Crawford could become an important part of the Patriots front seven.
6th Round (via Cleveland)
Chandler Harnish, QB, Northern Illinois
I think that an NFL team should draft a quarterback almost every single year – whether it be in the first round or the seventh. The position is just too valuable to ignore. The Patriots have made hay drafting, or signing, Matt Cassel and Brian Hoyer. Harnish could be the next guy to get the same treatment.
Harnish is very mobile with NFL quality accuracy. At very worst, Harnish is an intriguing guy to have as your scout-team quarterback and emergency starter.