Round (4)- Shea McClellin, DE/LB, Boise State
Bill Belichick is so tough to read when it comes to selecting linebackers. I was ready to give this pick to Audie Cole however after watching both in Mobile and re-reading my game notes on Boise State games, I think McClellin is the better player.
McClellin plays with an intensity and motor that really separates him from most other players. I had the assigment to scout 3 Boise State games this year and watched many others; in most games McClellin was the best defensive player on the field. He is a better athlete than people think and has a tremendous football sense. He is the most versatile defensive player in this draft class with the ability to play DE, MLB and SOLB.
He looked as good as any of the other OLB in Mobile and picked things up very quickly despite not playing the position before. Speaking with McClellin you can tell football is important to him and he truly loves the game. He is someone who just keeps showing up when watching game film. With coaching I think he could be able to become a combination LB switching between ILB and OLB as well as rushing the passer in situations. I have compared him to a much more polished and gifted Dane Fletcher and I think the comp. fits.
*Round 5- Jordan White, WR, Western Michigan
After getting Rueben Randle in round 2, I could see the Patriots going back and adding a more polished possession WR in Jordan White. White is the type of WR the Patriots haven’t taken in the past, but is the type of WR that is usually successful as a late round pick. No WR was more productive the last few years, leading the nation in receptions and receiving yards.
A WR corps of Welker, Randle, Branch, White and Brandon Lloyd would be a huge upgrade over the position last year and add some youth to a position that desperately lacked it down the stretch this season.
*Round 6- Jaye Howard, DT, Florida
Howard is a player I like more than a lot of people. He is an athletic interior defensive lineman who would add some youth and explosiveness to the defensive line. Pairing him with Fletcher Cox would give the Patriots a young athletic tandem to rebuild the DL around.
Bill Belichick loves to take chances on DT late in the draft, especially in recent years. We have seen Myron Pryor, Kade Weston, Daryl Richard taken in recent years. Howard is probably not an every down DL but, he can be utilized as a sub package rusher. Adding Howard would essentially replace Myron Pryor and Mike Wright as interior sub package DT, both players have had success in the past but really struggle to stay healthy.
* Round 7- Joe Looney, OG, Wake Forest
The Patriots will draft an offensive lineman late in the draft, so this pick is a shot in the dark. Looney is a tremendously strong guard who looks kind of like Mike Martin in terms of build. Doing anything more than throwing a name out there this late in a mock draft is just silly.
The theme of this draft would be to add play-makers to a defense that sorely lacks them and add talent to the WR position. If the Patriots were able to walk away with the haul above they will have rebuilt the WR and S positions, added athleticism to the defensive line and added some versatile, smart defenders who will be coached up. This is just my opinion as of this moment in time. It will be changing many times before the draft and already kind of has.