Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mike

Mark Barron Patriots Mock Draft

Would Mark Barron provide an upgrade for the Patriots secondary?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

This is Mike Loyko’s first official Patriots only mock draft. An in depth look at each Patriot selection in the 2012 NFL Draft. What will they be looking for and who will they be targeting?

This is my first version of a weekly update. I will change the Patriots picks as new information comes forth, as free agents are signed and as players help and hurt their stock. It is hard enough projecting the proper players to the picks, so I do not and will never project trades.

We all know the Patriots will be active and probably will make a ton of trades, however for the sake of this article and my sanity I will not project any. This year the Patriots currently don’t own any picks after the 4th round. I will however add one player to rounds 5-7 because I can’t fathom a scenario where Bill Belichick goes 3 full rounds without a draft pick.

Round 1 (27)- Fletcher Cox, DT, Mississippi State
A lot gets made of the Patriots refusal to draft pass rushers and that is entirely true. However this year if the Patriots are able to resign Andre Carter and Mark Anderson pass rusher won’t be the biggest need on defense. The Patriots have struggled to replace Richard Seymour ever since they traded him to Oakland and have sorely missed having stability at that position.

Bill Belichick is willing to spend 1st round picks on defense linemen and Cox is someone who fits the Patriots prototype. With the Patriots likely to switch back to a 3-4 defense getting a long-term solution at DE will be vital.

Cox has the frame to hold up as a 5-tech and actually can stand to add 10-15 pounds. The Patriots like their DEs to be about 310 pounds and Cox surely has the frame to put on the weight without effecting his game.

Cox is a tremendous athlete for his size he can attack gaps and get into the backfield. He has a very good motor which helps him make a lot of plays. He exploded onto the college football scene this year winning multiple SEC Defensive player of the week honors. Cox would help sure up the front seven not only in the run game, but is athletic enough that he can collapse the pocket and get to the QB.

Round 1 (31)- Mark Barron, S, Alabama
This is such a cliche pick since everyone has the Patriots taking him or another Alabama defender with this pick. The truth is, at the end of the first round the best players available will likely be one of the Alabama defenders and if Barron is there at 31 he’s too good to pass up regardless of injury.

The Patriots safeties were awful last year, especially coverage wise. They really lacked leadership and consistancy at the position and have since Rodney Harrison retired. Barron is more of an in the box, “come up and hit you in the mouth” safety, but I feel like he can be interchangeable.

He was one of the leaders on the Alabama defense and has a very solid understaning of the game. Barron will miss the combine and likely the whole pre-draft process due to double hernia surgery so he won’t get anther chance to help his stock this offseason. While it likely won’t hurt his stock in theory, it’s out of sight out of mind, which could make Barron slip to the Patriots at 31.

The Belichick-Saban relationship when it comes to the draft is overblown, but this could be one instance where his access to the Alabama program will come in handy. There is such a drop off after Barron, that if the Patriots want to fix this position in the draft they have to do it early on.

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Tags: 2012 NFL Draft, Fletcher Cox, Harrison Smith, Jaye Howard, Joe Looney, Jordan White, Patriots Mock Draft, Rueben Randle, Shea McClellin

19 Responses to “Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Mike”

  1. Brian says:

    I think it depends if Light is retiring and what they do in Free Agency around that and OC. But I think he will retire and so I say they use his $$ along with other freed-up $$ for Mario Williams or Defensive Line (Jason Jones or Red Bryant or Paul Soliai) and then use the draft to grab another G/T combo guy like Cannon (Cordy Glenn) at end of RD 1 or in RD2.

    I really don’t like any OLB prospects, not impressed with any that they could be much better than Ninkovich or Cunningham (if healthy) – especially at the end of RD1.

    So I say Hightower at 27 and trade 31 for a high/mid-second RD and third RD picks, plus a 5th or 6th.

    Then in RD2 – Shea McClellin OLB, Reyes DE, Sanu WR, Jones OC and a CB in RD3 and a OT/OG in later RD3.

  2. dslave says:

    Alot of needs this has are available by free agency and the draft. Except for safety.Im hoping someone gets cut the BB like because Barron is a SS. Love his size and smarts, he wont be there at 27. Aaron Henry from wisconsin fits what they may want to develope.

  3. Dano S says:

    Pats Mock Draft 1 Stephon Gilmore CB S Carolina 1Kendall Reyes DL
    Connecticut 2 Juron Criner WR Arizona 2 Trumaine Johnson DB Montana
    3 Nick Toon WR Wisconsin 4 Shea McClellin DE Boise St.

    • jim r says:

      That could work. Guys on D look solid. The WR’s, after the first round guys, most of the rest look to be about the same between 6-6’4 run around 4.5-4.65. I guess it would come down to football IQ.

    • Brian says:

      I think McClellin is gone by end of RD2 but I like him alot and I predict BB will too. I also like Nigel Bradham as a cover LB, and Keenan Robinson and later Tyler Nielsen as depth/cover LB guys. I like the Toon pick – a sleeper I think.

  4. AM says:

    Solid draft–absolutely love the McClellin pick, but just like Randle, I think he won’t be available that late by the time the draft actually rolls around.

  5. Dan says:

    Would Mark Barron provide an upgrade for the Patriots secondary?

    Is this a trick question???

  6. Lundahl says:

    I would take a WR in the third. Or basically three DBs in the first four draft picks. I agree with Cox. But again, maybe BB goes for a veteran DB, who knows. Free agency is a big factor.

    • TD says:

      The stars and the moons of Jupiter would have to be in alignment for BB to draft solely on need.

      He will try to address D issues first via free agency.

      The draft is for playing battleship commander and getting his highest rated football players as far down the draft ladder as possible and possible picks for next year.

  7. Ratzalot says:

    I’m not entirely against drafting Mark Barron, but it doesn’t make much sense to me taking him in the First Round. Barron is a Strong Safety ONLY! Barron will not be able to move over to Free Safety. NE already has a very good Strong Safety in Chung who is also a Strong Safety ONLY. To me, taking Barron is essentially drafting a backup Strong Safety. Unfortunately, there are no top-notch Free Safety prospects. If the plan is to move McCourty or Dowling to FS, then it seems to me NE needs a couple more CBs NOT Safeties.

    • jim r says:

      I think they will get a safety and WR thru free agency. That will allow them to draft developmental guys later in the draft.

    • TD says:

      I too do not think Barron is a good pick in round 1. Reading all the draft pundit articles and they say Barron is an in the box saftey they think can cover. What the hell makes them say he can cover????? I saw the Bama-LSU game and he was always in the box!

      BB made a play for Goldson (49ers) last year and he may do it again this year, although the price went up due to his past season and playoffs performance. I’m sure BB & staff are in late night meetings going over whether McCourty is best at FS and others can cover the CB position.

  8. Tom says:

    I really like the picks. The first five picks puts a talented player in a position of need, and I particularly like the idea of picking up the VA Tech DB. Seems like every mock draft has the Pats taking a different WR though. But why do you think the Belichick-Saban relationship is overblown? Saban’s team played against Cox and Randle (as well as many other SEC players being discussed as possible draft targets) and he would be in a position to tell Belichick how he thinks different players compare to one another or if there are players the Pats should take a flyer on in the late rounds/UDFA. Do you think that the amount of information Saban could provide is very little relative to what the normal scouting process would uncover?

    • dslave says:

      i dont think its overblown.I believe theres a solid relationship there. BB has done a good job at working with his former coaches. Pat Hill, Saben, Ferentz at Iowa to a lesser degree. Al Groths requirts at virgina i think we need to keep an eye on are Minnefield and Cam Johnson at olb/de. Had Dowling not got hurt , that defense would have looked alot different.if that kid can stay healty, he’LL BE A VERY SOLID DEFENDER.

  9. jim r says:

    Would like to see them in the first 3 rounds come out of it with LB, DL, corner and a trade. Adress WR and OLine in rounds 3-7
    31- Vinny Curry ar Fletcher Cox
    48- (Cox at 31) Adrian Branch or Chandler Jones (Vinny Curry at 31) get Jerel Worthy
    63-Trumane Johnson
    94-Mike Brewster
    126-Chris Rainey (small) matchup nightmare in a spread

  10. bill ollar says:

    the pats dont have 3rd day draft picks this year

  11. Bruschi54 says:

    Good work Mike, I would take this group unless a solid pass rush OLB/DE unexpectedly slid down the board to us at pick #48. Cox & Baron would be great pieces to add to this defense.

  12. Tyjax says:

    Nice job Mike, like the picks. Also would also like Marvin Jones as a WR in our offense.



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