2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Doug

Audie Cole NC State NFL Draft

Audie Cole has the perfect measurements for a Patriots linebacker. (Photo: ICON SMI)

3rd Round (94)
Audie Cole, LB, NC State

Cole is one of the few linebackers in this class with prototypical Patriots size. He’s a versatile player who can likely play inside or out in a 3-4 and fits the Patriots system well.

Cole displayed surprising athleticism at the combine, especially in the 3 cone, which is something the Patriots value highly. He also showed up well at the Senior Bowl displaying surprising fluidity and flexibility.

After seeing Gary Guyton, Tracy White and Niko Koutouvides play valuable snaps last season, it’s obvious the Patriots lack depth throughout their front seven. Cole can provide that depth as a situational player, especially on running downs. His biggest skill is getting inside and fighting off blockers with his hands and length. He’s a superior run defender, who could also do some damage blitzing from the outside.

4th Round (126)
Derek Wolfe, DE, Cincinnati

One thing that can go a long way in improving the Patriots pass rush, is getting after the QB from the inside. Wolfe provided that and more at Cincinnati, gathering 9.5 sacks his senior season.

With Mike Wright retiring and Myron Pryor an injury risk anytime he steps foot on the field, the Patriots need depth at that interior pass rush position.

Wolfe showed up at the combine 295 pounds, and then was down to 280 at his pro day, which is a bit alarming. With NFL training, he should be able to stay around that 290 mark, which is prototypical for a Patriots interior pass rusher. Wolfe doesn’t have an explosive first step, but he does a nice job fighting inside with his hands and length.

Wolfe could be a situational player for the Patriots, and add increased depth along the front seven.

5th Round
Chris Owusu, WR, Stanford

Owusu adds further depth to the Patriots WR corp, and adds another over 6’0” player with plus speed and experience in a pro style offense. Owusu runs crisp routes and displays soft hands. He’s best in short and intermediate routes, but his speed can also help take the top off the defense.

The biggest concern with Owusu is his concussion history, but if he can stay healthy at the pro level, he could be an absolute steal in the 5th round.

We’ve seen the Patriots take late round risks for numerous reasons lately whether they be drug concerns (Hernandez), cancer (Cannon) or getting shot (Deaderick). We can add concussion history to that list after Owusu is chosen.

6th Round
Olivier Vernon, OLB, Miami

Vernon is another player who will drop, this time because of suspension due to the Miami pay scandal. He’s a talented player, who’s senior season was a bit of a wash because of his suspension.

He has tremendous upside as a prospect, and flashed that as a junior with 10.5 tackles for loss and 6 sacks. He uses his hands and length well to get into the backfield and should be able to transition into a stand up pass rusher in the Patriots system due to his athleticism.

Vernon impressed at the combine running a 4.68 and had great vertical and broad jumps. He’ll be a bit of a risk due to his character concerns and lack of tape his senior season, but he could very well be worth it.

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30 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Doug”

  1. Kim says:

    I’m all for trading down, however I don’t think that it should be to gain more late round picks. We should be making only enough picks for players who are going to make the final team. What’s is the point for trading down to Cleveland from pick #31, for #36 amd a 5th and 6th Rounder. They could still get their ‘guy’, but why waste two other picks on players who will have a tough chance of making the team? If they are going to do it, trade for #36 and and future 2nd or 3rd rounder.

  2. Lundahl says:

    I don’t know if I agree with Jenkins but I like your choice at CB. Yet, if Barron is available, then in this case I would take Baron. Although, I would draft a safety in the next rounds. But again, lets not forget free agency.

  3. Joe Blake says:

    Since the Pats draft poorly: bottom third in terms of starters and pro-bowls in the last 5 yrs, and since the Giants draft well: ranked number 1 over the past 5 years: follow their lead and go for the best athlete available versus whether or not the player was a team captain and can grasp the alleged complicated schemes: Cunningham was a team captain at Florida and what did that get us, for example.

    • td says:

      Imagine the rioting that would occur if BB had a club that only made the playoffs once every 3-4 years with…..ta da….Brady on probably his last contract.

  4. Tom says:

    Is there any concern about picking another player from UCONN so high? In hindsight, the picks of Donald Brown, Darius Butler, and William Beatty do not seem to be very good (maybe it is unfair to include Beatty). Are these players the product of a system, a weak college schedule, or did they just not pan out the way they were projected? Just curious….

  5. Bill says:

    The reason they say there is no difference between the 20th pick and the 60 th, isn’t because there there isn’t a difference. Its that ther is no consensus as to what the order is. 5 years from now there will be , and I’d prefer having the largest selection to choose from, and not be too cutesy and trying to pick up an extra #199 pick, just because Tom Brady was one, and we might strike paydirt again.

    Keep your #27 and 31 picks, and take the guy you think is the best right there. The nguy you may want may be gone by screwing around. At the end of 3rd round, we should have a 300# DT/DE, a safety or CB, a WR, a LB, and OL.

  6. Joe Blake says:

    My guess is that BB loads up on this years draft by trading 2013 picks to receive 2012 picks. That way he can win a SB next year and retire to the celebrity golf circuit. It won’t leave much of a 2013 draft for Josh M. (his replacement) but with two DTs, an OLB, Safety, WR and CB from this years robust round two and three picks and two OLs from free agency we should be happy. Maybe a stretch, but so is the Jenkins idea.

  7. qwerty says:

    This is a very well thought out prediction scenario.

    I think all your picks are very plausible. I would be thrilled if the Patriots got them all.

    I would normally stay away from Jenkins especially in top 20 picks but after that, it becomes more difficult for a team to resist. Picking him in very late first round is a much safer bet. He has the highest probability of falling on the draft boards.

    You don’t want to draft a head case. Having FOUR kids really calls for an in depth investigation and study of his psychological attributes. If Patriots do their due diligence in this regard, I have no problem with them drafting Jenkins. Hopefully Jenkins doesn’t get wacked for excess child support payments later on. Cromartie’s first million he earns essentially goes to pay off the yearly child support (supposedly 8 kids). Jenkins hopefully doesn’t have anymore kids for a long while. TO pays 600K for one child.

    With the Saints likely facing a loss of draft picks, I doubt they will be trading with BB anymore for a while.

  8. Dan says:

    I could see Jenkins being off their board entirely; and it he’s not and still there I would guess they pass on him and let some other team take on all that potential and potential distraction.
    Remember Dez Bryant? He’s one of the great athletes in the NFL (still), but he’s out of his mind stupid and brings way too much baggage to the table. Actually, a pretty sad case…I don’t like calling someone with big problems stupid.
    I see BB avoiding such players as he gets older…I’m sure he’s learned some valuable lessons; that it’s just not worth it.
    I’m convinced Moss has a mental disorder of some kind, bipolar or something along those lines, he can’t help himself and blows up situations he’s in…destroys a good thing time & time again. Yet, he seems like a nice guy etc…
    I just don’t think the Pats will play with fire with many of these young kids who are so troubled, and Jenkins has many issues it seems.

  9. Phil says:

    Nice mock draft Doug, I really like this one. Maybe I would have taken some lower pick on a guard/center…but still addressed many needs of this team.

  10. Dan says:

    This year will be very interesting on the trading down & out of the first round strategy. Now that the money is more realistic, and less damaging, what the Pats do will speak volumes.
    Although, I think the money part of the strategy was only part of the philosophy; the other part being more picks are better. We all know that good & great players come from all over the draft and even guys that go undrafted. So, the more players you can pick will increase a teams odds at having better players.
    It’s an admission of NOT knowing…doing you best with the facts, and not allowing a few bad picks (salary cap) to mess up your team building.
    I’ve said this a hundred times on this site…just go back and look at past drafts, and redo those drafts and see where the talent was picked. You’ll see busts all over the place, and names you don’t even recall that were sure bet big-time players.
    Nobody knows who will make it in this league…every year it’s the same story, but you have to look at the history to realize the reality and understand why BB drops back for more picks (and picks anywhere…even late rounds…picks are picks…more opportunity for someone to make the team and emerge).
    These other teams, that don’t follow this stategy, are putting their eggs all in one basket; and that’s a recipe for disaster. Just look at the league…these teams have massive holes and 75% of the stink. They should be dropping back and taking more picks…building balance and depth…playing the odds and not letting the odds take them down.

    If BB drops back I will sit back and enjoy the ride; I’ll know he did it for a good reason and look forward to the added odds that some players will hit and others won’t…some years will be busts some years will be home runs.

    Nobody knows…anyone who claims to know is kidding themselves and you. The step up from college to the NFL is a massive leap; then you have injury, system, opportunity, MONEY, youth, confidence, drugs, women, coaching changes, crazy owners, pressure, PEDs (!) etc…

  11. TD says:

    Looks like Doug is going the Captain route, except for Jenkins, although you could say he is the captain of a wayward ship.

    Dang Al Davis had to pass and Saints are in trouble with the Commish, so there goes 2 possible partners for a pick or 2 next year. Maybe Ozzie Newsome likes another OT at bottom of 1st round.

  12. John M. says:

    I hate to say it but Doug’s prediction on how the Patriots will draft this year is pretty accurate. But DWE has the right idea. We need better quality players, not quantity. If a top 10 pick on defense makes it to pick 17 for instance, we have to make a deal to move up. The Patriots should focus on defense, defense, defense with their first 4 picks. Our offense will be fine, even if we don’t draft anyone on offense in the first 2 or 3 rounds. Don’t worry about a WR as a deep threat. We have Welker and 2 great tight ends. We already proved to everyone that we can’t pick WR’s in the draft or in free agency so why waste an early pick. The Patriots proved to us that they are willing to take chances on troublemakers so if Janoris Jenkins makes it to pick 27, I think they’ll take him.

    • Mark says:

      Why not get both quality and quantity?!! BB always tries for both. I like the flexability that the Pats 2012 pics provide. I’d like to see him trade 27 and 64 for PHI 46 and 51. That would give the PATS 31, 46, 48 and 51. Now that’s value. Philly woould have 2 in the 1st and still have a last 2nd. Then BB would try to trade 31 for a next year 1st pick and peel off a 3rd for this year or next. Then he will trade his 2 thirds for a 2nd rounder next year…and so it goes…

      • Mark says:

        Thats a 27 and 63. Also fix “and still have a late 2nd round pick”.

        Why would PHI do this? Add up those 2 firsts and thier 63 and that put’s them past what anyone else except CLE or CIN could possiby offer STL for RG3 with maybe next year’s first…just saying it’s feasible.

  13. AM says:

    This is a fantastic draft, except for the Jenkins pick. I really think that the child support issues are the icing on the kicked-off-the-team, drug-using cake. Really, the collective weight of the issues are what give me pause. I’d rather see Stephon Gilmore at this spot, or wait on Chase Minnifield (who is one of my favorites in this class).

    Also I’m completely in favor of trading back a few spots to pick up the extra picks, although I think we’re more likely to see a future pick included. I’m not sure, though, that the Browns would be all that interested in moving up such a short distance for any of the QBs available (unless Tannehill falls this far). Carolina might be a better bet, as they have a long history of that kind of move. Who are you anticipating the Browns will target at 31?

  14. TD says:

    Fans may not like it, but unless a free falling talent drops to #27 say adios to those two picks if BB can find some takers.

    I find it hard to believe that those 2 picks (27 & 31) would yield talent that much better than anyone available in the 2nd round.

  15. DWE 2012 says:

    I’d probebly pull my hair out trading down for a lower pick and the addition would actually be for a 5th and 6th rounder??? WOW

    WE DO NOT “NEED” 5th and 6th round pick’s by any mean’s, we have that type of talent lying around……….., we “NEED” th opposite as a matter of FACT. & that mean’s impact player’s for the “NOW”.
    Player’s we can incert inbetween our current roster slot’s and player’s to fill in for other current roster slot’s that just do not cut it. Sorry but 5th and 6th rounder’s are not “that”, more than a considerable amount of time and usually they take a year or 2 to develope.

    Sure, I know, I know Brady was a 6th rounder. Although only an idiot who never payed any attention and was in the thought need of a QB would have passed on him after checking out the history of him and “THAT OTHER GUY” in college.
    Wasn’t Dan Koppen a 5th or 6th rounder, yeas he was as well.
    Hell for that matter Troy Brown was an 8th rounder in 1993!!! *What can brown do for you? He can be picked in the 8th round and become one of the most famous and beloved Patriot’s of all time that’s what Brown can do for you……..
    Ben Coat’s was also actually a 5th rounder…….

    We could talk the Bledsoe/Re-Birth era.
    We could talk the Brady/Current era. We could talk that “OTHER ERA” as well?
    Look, “All” team’s come up with later rounder’s that are Jewel’s for them, But if you collectively put thing’s together;

    Brady came in in 2000 as a sixth rounder, “BUT” the very next year RICHARD SEYMORE AND MATT LIGHT WERE TAKEN # 1 & # 2, on a team that was already 3/4’s re-built after being re-birthed……HELLO.

    Troy Brown was taken in the 8th round in 1993 yes. “BUT”, even though it was only WILLIE McGinest taken #1 the next year…………
    ( o.k. Max Lane was take in the 6th that year as well who was a great player IMO for us that particular year), again look at the next year who was taken though…….??
    Uhm’. Can you say TY LAW #1, Ted Johnson #2, & Curtis Martin #3!!!!

    History show’s if you look at it, that late rounder’s can and do work out very well and even rise to the cream of the crop, BUT ONLY IF YOU ACTUALLY TAKE TOP NOTCH TALENT BEFORE AND AFTER THEM SOMEHOW.

    So I ask you IN RE: Does the New England Patriot’s “NEED” 5th & 6th rounder’s by giving away top rpounder’s……………??? or do they “NEED” clear cut impact now player’s who’s talent level’s will hold an immiediete impact for the greater and long term?

    You trade guy’s who HAVE NOT WORKED OUT AND TAKE UP ROSTER SPOT’S for 5th and 6th rounder’s,(like Gary Goyton, Cunningham for example), NOT GIVE AWAY 1st and 2nd rounder’s for them!!!

    • Doug Kyed says:

      It’s only trading down five spots though.

    • TD says:

      With all the *****ing that has gone on here the past 2 years about moving way up and drafting supposed “studs”, it amazes me that fans still doubt BB’s methods after almost winning the SB.

  16. Jim R says:

    Not 1 O-lineman. That is as sure a bet as them trading one of the # 1’s

    • MJP says:

      I would swap Derek Wolfe with Audie Cole (not a big fan) and take Philip Blake OC from Baylor in the 4th round (or if you prefer take Blake early and keep Wolfe in the 4th round).

      • Dan says:

        I like Blake a lot…maybe the 4th round, or possibly the 3rd. He looks strong and athletic and is said to be pretty smart.

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