12) Audie Cole, LB, North Carolina State
One common factor with all the prospects being discussed here is versatility and Audie Cole is certainly another one of these versatile players. During his time at North Carolina State Cole played both the inside and outside linebacker positions.
On top of that, he has the size that the Patriots look for in a LB, standing over 6’4″ tall and 246 pounds. Cole isn’t a big time athlete, running only a 4.72, but instead possess solid instincts and above average read and react skills. Cole is a team first player moving positions multiple times to accommodate other players.
Cole isn’t likely to go until the mid-rounds, so in round 4 or five Cole is a nice fit.
13) Antonio Allen, SS, South Carolina
Mark Barron gets all the headlines at safety, but Antonio Allen might have been the best Safety in the SEC this year. Allen is a physical, aggressive, in the box safety who makes a ton of plays near the line of scrimmage.
While Allen has played both near the line of scrimmage and the deep safety at South Carolina, Allen is best suited to play only the Strong Safety spot in the pros. While watching South Carolina film this year Allen continually stood out making play after play. He’s a great tackler who delivers a real blow to opponents. He’s a good blitzer, he reads run plays, and shoots the gap very nicely.
Even if the Patriots take a safety early in the draft, they will likely be looking for depth at the position since it was such a mess this year. Allen in the 4th round would make sense to me.
14) Derek Wolfe, DT, Cincinnati
Wolfe is another one of those blue-collar, hard-working interior DL. He’s someone that is going to be able to play all over the defensive line and might be best suited for the 5-Tech.
At Cincinnati this year Wolfe was a disruptive force recording 21.5 TFL. Wolfe is someone who really impressed me at the combine with his flexibility and proved to me he’s a better athlete than initially thought. Wolfe is a fierce competitor who has a tremendous motor. He is the exactly type of hard working kid that the Patriots organization prides themselves on.
Wolfe is over 6’5″ so he gets too upright at times, but with his long arms and upper body strength (33 reps) that isn’t too much of a concern. Despite his tremendous post-season at the Senior Bowl and at the combine Wolfe is still under the radar a bit. With one of the last picks in the 4th round Wolfe is someone to keep an eye on.
15) Trenton Robinson, S, Michigan State
Robinson is another safety who should be on the Patriots radar. While he’s undersized compared to other safeties, he showcases skills that will be very attractive to NFL teams.
Not only does he has really good instincts for the safety position and above average coverage skills, Robinson is able to contribute on every single special teams unit. Robinson was a team captain at Michigan State, something that the Patriots always take into account.
To go along with his solid senior season and Senior Bowl week, Robinson had an outstanding combine running a 4.46 and 35″ vertical leap. Robinson is another one of those players to keep an eye on with the Patriots 4th round pick.
5 Others to Keep and Eye on:
Shea McClellin, DE/LB, Boise State
McClellin is a player I have talked about at length. His athleticism and positional flexibility, along with his edge rushing a blitz capability will put him on the Patriots radar in round two.
Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Still is another DL that could be in the mix for the Patriots in the first round. He has a great frame, had very solid ball awareness and is someone who just took over games this season.
Janoris Jenkins, CB, North Alabama
It once looked like Jenkins would go much to high for the Patriots to have a shot at him. He is a great cover corner who has fantastic hips and can click and close. If he’s there at #27 the Patriots should pull the trigger.
Andre Branch, DE/OLB, Clemson
Branch looked like one of the more natural DE to OLB converts at the combine, which really put him on the Patriots radar for me. He has the perfect size and speed combination for the Patriots OLB position
Jamell Fleming, CB, Oklahoma
Fleming is another one of those CBs whose numbers are the combine and style of play on the field match up with what the players look for. In the middle of round two Fleming is an attractive option.