Mike’s Patriots Mock Draft 2.0

Will Shea McClellin be the pass rusher the Patriots target?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With the free agent frenzy settling down and the dust beginning to settle, the draft needs of the Patriots are becoming more clear. This is the first post free agency Patriots mock draft.

With the Patriots addressing almost all of their needs on the offensive side of the ball and added depth to already strong positions, they appear close to set on that side of the ball. On defense the team added three quality veteran players who should contribute next year, but there a more holes to fill. With that being said, I expect the Patriots to be active on the defensive side of the ball on day one and two of the draft.

Round 1 Pick 27 (via N.O.) – Devon Still, DE/DT Penn State

The Patriots have brought in a number of players along the defensive line during free agency and have signed just one player there so far, signaling to me they are looking to improve the position. At #27 it’s unlikely the Patriots will be able to get one of the top 3 DT on the board, however getting Still here would add a big, strong play maker to an aging line.

I was really impressed with Devon Still’s body at the combine, he has extremely think shoulders and long arms. While he played mainly 4-3 DT at Penn State, Still has the ideal combination of size, strength and length to play 5-Tech in the Patriots 3-4. He  also has the ability to kick inside and provide interior pass rush, which is something they have been trying to address in free agency.

Round 1 Pick 31 – Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn

Alot of people might not understand this pick, however, if there is one position I can see the Patriots double dipping at in this year’s draft it’s DL. Elite DL come off the board early and there is a drop off after Reyes.

If you look at the Patriots defensive depth chart, it’s tough to get excited about the talent on the DL. They have Vince Wilfork who played over 80% of the snaps last season and they have to decrease his work load. They have Jonathan Fanane who was just signed to be a Mike Wright type player. Ron Brace has been a bust and hasn’t provided anything, Myron Pryor can’t stay healthy, Brandon Deaderick is best suited for a reserve role and Kyle Love is a solid, but unspectacular player.

If we have learned one thing in the past few years, it’s that you build your defensive line through the draft. Between 2001-2004 the Patriots used three first round picks on defensive lineman and created one of the strongest lines in the league. So, while on draft day this will be a move that has causes people to scratch their heads over, it is something Bill Belichick has to consider. Reyes like Still can play all across the DL. I like him inside as a 3-Tech and a potential back up to Vince Wilfork at NT. He can penetrate, get into the backfield and gets off the ball as good as anyone.

By drafting two stud DL it will allow the Patriots to turn their attention to the secondary in round two, where the value of the position is in this draft.

Round 2 Pick 48 (via Oak) – Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

McClellin is a prototypical Patriots OLB. He measures in at 6’3″ 266 lbs, so he fits the size requirement. He has played with his hand in the ground and standing up, which is imperative for a Patriots OLB. McClellin is ultra versatile, with the ability to play DE, OLB and even ILB. McClellin is just a pure football player. He gives it all he has on every play and his passion for the game is evident on the field. His leadership and emotion rubs off on his teammates.

McClellin is also one of the best edge rushers in this year’s draft. He has proved throughout the post season that he is more athletic than people thought, by posting a 4.62 forty he erased any doubt about his speed. The Patriots have lost Mark Anderson in free agency and McClellin would be a natural replacement. There isn’t much McClellin can’t do. He has pretty good coverage ability, but obviously has to work on his drops and reads to be an every down player.

When I talk to agents, scouts and other players the words used to describe McClellin are coachable, versatile, a leader and athletic. That sounds like a Patriot to me.

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47 Responses to “Mike’s Patriots Mock Draft 2.0”

  1. Jeff says:

    I definitely agree with your statement about the names of players not being important, as the Pats look waaaaay beyond the “big names” on draft day.

    However something esle to add to context…BB never drafts based off NEED.

    He takes it into consideration, for instance if 5 players have the same rating on the Pats board when they pick, and one of those players is a position of need, they’ll take him.

    However, if there’s a better player at a position that is NOT needed as much…BB will still take him.

    The only time I think he varies from this is when the best player is not needed at all , and would force a good player at that position off the roster (TE for example).

  2. Lundahl says:

    no safety ? And no center ? Other than that, I love it !

  3. Justin says:

    Probably the best Patriots mock draft I have seen so far

  4. Ryan says:

    Looks like the Patriots will move higher in the draft, courtesy of the Saints (lost 2nd round pick) and Raiders (used a 3rd round pick in last year’s supplemental draft). Never hurts for a small move up from 63 to 62 and 95 to 93.

    • Jeff says:

      I would love to see the first 4 picks used on the D. It obviously needs an upgrade on talent.

      3 out of the first 4 picks need to be accross the D line. The other pick NEEDs to be on a SS/FS. Here is hoping for Baron to fall.

      • DWE 2012 says:

        Still don’t understand the fasination with BARRON “until” updated reports on his double hernia are substanciated.
        Inguinal? Hiatal? Ambilical? Just what kind of hernia is it???

        Anyone who know’s about them know’s it takes a while for them to recover even with the best of care, double no less!

        Pull in Harrison OR Iloka instead. We’ve had issues regarding injury with Vereen & Dowling all recently that put off major playing time and reconfiguring due to it.
        Add on the ACL W/ Mankin’s, question’s with Connelly & Vollmer, Koppen coming off his…….the “INJURY” list is and has been way too long on this team and it’s just what may have actually cost us that elusive forth ring!!!

  5. JoeT says:

    Yeah I like this mock, but honestly I could see them going somewhere on the offensive line in the first round. With Mankins undergoing ACL surgery, Light and Waters probable to retire within the next year or two, or now, they need help. Cannon is a question mark also. Connolly is injury prone…

  6. qwerty says:

    great selection of picks. way better than all those other mock drafts.

  7. Larry says:

    They are going to draft a Center with one of their picks……

  8. Ken W says:

    1. Devon Still DE
    1. Trade back into early 2nd and get a 1st round pick in 2013
    2. From trade – Jayron Hosley CB very good corner and was on Sports Science just like Ryan Mallett, Devin McCourty, and Nate Solder so you know the Pats are picking him.
    2. Shea McClellin OLB
    2. George Iloka S
    3. Marin Jones WR
    4. Derek Wolfe DE
    Bonus picks from moving around – OL and RB

    • Jim R says:

      Trade the 31st to atlanta for 55 and a 1 next year. I like those picks BTW.
      A name to watch for Greg Childs in the 3rd round. That was Mallets boy in Arkansas

  9. td says:

    I don’t see them drafting a WR to develop or can play right away after all the guys that have been signed.

    IMO, it’s OL depth, DL and DBacks. Maybe a guy like Hightower as Spikes’ contract is up in 2013 and Guyton is probably gone.

    • Dan says:

      Yes, I can just see BB in the draft room having to make that decison…developemental WR, or a much safer OL, DB, whatever. He may have had a slight plan to include one of these guys, but pulling the trigger will be tough after what he witnessed last year on his defense and losing the Super Bowl, again, in the late 4th.
      I agree…if Hightower is there (getting past the Steelers!) it will be tough to pass on him, especially with his flexibiltiy and being a winner in the SEC and for Saban (team capt…national champs etc…). BB may go into convulsions and the thought of some unproven wideout would quickly go away.

  10. John M says:

    How high of a priority should the S and CB positions be for the Pats? When (which round) should the pats draft these positions? I already know that they have to draft a DE or DT in the 1st round. Losing Mark Anderson and having Andre Carter unsigned with an injury is a giant blow to the defense. A young wide receiver would be nice but I don’t see that happening with the pats major needs. Also another G or C would be nice in the early rounds but they have to fix their defense first.

    • Dan says:

      Jeff, I don’t mind the double-dipping on the DL, I’m just thinking it will never happen with both picks in the 1st round. Going after another even as soon as the 2nd round wouldn’t bother me one bit.

    • Dan says:

      I think they need some top talent (first 2 rounds) to come in and compete at DB. Now, whether that’s a safety, CB, or someone to make a switch from one to the other I’m not sure, and I really don’t care. They simply need more talent back there…to state the obvious.
      I’m really hoping that Barron slips to them…gets by the teams like Dallas, Jets and a few others, because of his injuries limiting him to no testing so far and maybe no off-season on field work outs.
      He’s someone who could just add to the talent…whether they let him down low as SS, situationally, or try him at FS in our system, which I would love to see.
      Either way, I can’t see them avoiding this gapping hole. The brought in Gregory, but he could be insurance, and assurance, that they have “somebody/anybody” to upgrade. I never liked Landry for the position. Gregory can always add to the depth and play special teams, and if he completely sucks he could be gone next year.
      It’s one of the most interesting aspects of the Pat’s draft this year…what they do will tell the story, whether it’s being agressive, going after H. Smith (who I’m not so in love with, would much prefer Barron), but either of these guys would be an upgrade; infact, anyone in the first 4 rounds would be an upgrade.

  11. dslave says:

    Shea McClellin may end up sneaking ito the first round or high 2nd. His football iq is huge. I dont see them drafting a small school wide out in the second. Marvin Jones is someone im guessing on late 2nd. This is a great mock. Love the Still pick and agree with the accessement about stockpiling on the d-line. Read in beteween the line what Casario said prior to the combine.

    • Dan says:

      I highly doubt McClellin gets into the first. He seems like the kind of late high riser that is being talked about so much, but when the draft actually unfolds he goes where he was supposed to….late 2nd, 3rd…
      But, I would love to have him…he could take Cunningham’s spot when he’s cut for being useless.

    • Ken W says:

      What did he say and what do you think it means?

  12. Joe Blake says:

    Agree with most of your picks except Quick at #63. They need to get younger and faster on Defense, so lets go with all your picks and spend #63 also on “D”… another LB, SS or CB…and hope Lloyd can go deep in 2012.

  13. Jeff says:

    I love the idea of double-dipping for d-linemen, it’s the one area of the team in desperate need of an infusion of young talent. We’ve spent a number of high draft picks in recent years on skill position players, secondary, offensive line — it’s time to turn to the D-line.

    As for the specific players, Reyes makes a lot of sense. I’m not sure about Still, he’s obviously talented but something about him doesn’t fit the Patriots profile; the “motor” issues are a red flag. I’m wondering if instead they’d be tempted to take a flyer on Ta’amu. I also like Wolfe from Cincinnati and Hamilton from MO in the later rounds.

    I think Quick, on paper, is perfect, both because he brings an element we don’t have and because he may represent good value in the 2nd, given that he has such a high ceiling and is so new to the game. But I think the Patriots may be skittish about drafting another developmental WR prospect, given their dismal track record in that area and their complicated system. One guy who I’ve always thought seems like a perfect Patriot WR, though maybe a bit redundant of what we already have, is Jarius Wright.

    I like McLellin a lot too, but I think he might be duplicative of what they already have (Ninkovich, Cunningham, maybe Scott). A versatile LB that can cover would be nice, ala Lavonte David.

  14. patfanaz says:

    Great draft. Would love it even if we dont get the 5-7 picks. Hits all the areas of need and all can play multiple positions. One can only hope it goes this well.

  15. JMC says:

    Two DLs and an OLB. I like- I still think if Konz C is available at #31 you take him though-

  16. Bill says:

    That’s agreat draft and if thata the way it ended, it would be very exciting. In this opened up 60% passing NFL , don’t pats need to think about speed at LB. McCleenan is a pretty good pick, but how about Bradham or Demario Davis on weak side instead of drafting Fletcher at 3rd Rd.
    brooks seem like a great value pick but it’s hard to see a guy with that kind of speed on such a great team being ignored for 4 rounds

  17. Dan says:

    Ok…just watched more on Quick (and went back to waching McNutt) and I’m thinking Quick is just to raw. I see him having a huge step up to make and not such a great athlete/football player. I would take McNutt over him (very similar measurables).
    Although, I’m not too sure either is the type of outside receiver the Pats will be looking for.
    I use DraftScouts often for listings and ratings and they had Quick much higher than McNutt; so I’m looking alone on this, but I’ll stick with my opinion.

    • STEVEN G says:

      Dan. Been watching some film on Quick lately, n he seems to get better n better. Really growing on me. I c him only getting better.

      • Dan says:

        I just came back to the site to say the same thing…I see it now…see the athlete and potential, and over McNutt…I’m converted. Although, I still see it as a long-shot either way that the Pats him because he’s such a project and from a small school…terrible competition etc…just so tough to judge and tougher to gamble on.

        Also, I’m off the Harrison Smith bandwagon as a high draft pick. I’ve come full circle in this draft year…it’s all about getting Barron…he’s a great one, and I think we may have to move up to get him; I’m just not sure they’ll do it. The only thing they have going for them is that he was injured, but with his talent I think teams will simply grab him after he’s cleared by the doctors…let him heal up. He’s a professional safety and could be a great one.

        • Billy C says:

          Don’t jump off the Harrison Smith bandwagon. I really think the Pats make a move for him in the second. He has flexibility to play both the strong and free and he’s aleader who is very tough. I really like the mock but think the absence of identifying a safety needs to be addressed and to this point the safety position is very weak on the team.

        • qwerty says:

          that’s the difficult thing about the receivers. even after the top three, there is still lots of WR talent. where to pull the trigger, i am not sure. this is exceptional year for WR talent so I can see them pulling trigger no later than second.

          i think patriots have enough talent on team already where they don’t have to over reach too much. they will let the players fall to them.

        • Jeff says:

          Smith seems like too much the same player as Chung…more SS than FS.

          Quick would be AWESOME, as would McNutt, although I think Quick is going to be a superstar.

          He reminds me almost of a Marquise Colston type big body with great hands. Raw, but could be incredible with some coaching.

          I just really think BB is going to take a WR that can play ST’s…

  18. Dan says:

    I do think the probability is high that they will be taking a “faller” on the D-line, but I highly doubt they’d pick 2. I just don’t see the sense with some decent players, like Love, ready to pick up where he left off; then add in the fact that you’re pushing two rookies at the same position.
    I love McClellin…think they would also, but they may be able to wait till the end of the 2nd or top of the 3rd for him. As much as I like him I think this is a bit early. I believe other teams (with their few picks) can’t reach for guys like this…so he very well could fall to where he’s been projected.
    I see the Pats loving Harrison Smith, maybe the guard from Wisconsin, Zeitler (sp?)…I heard mention of him being a candidate to be converted to center, so he would have that flexibility…great value also, if there at 48, or maybe higher.
    I already mentioned (before reading this) that the addition of Rainey will be tempting, especially in later rounds where most players won’t have a shot at making this team.
    I see it being way too early for Fletcher also, and I have to go right now and watch more of Quick seeing all you people are talking about so highly. See if I like him over McNutt.
    No doubt though that would be a nice draft if the Pats ended up with early part of what you have projected here for fun.

    • Jeff says:

      YES! Soooo many people have projected Konz as the OC, but his teammate can play OG and Center…and he looks like he’d be a beast!

      Molk from Michigan is an option for Center in the 4th round as well.

  19. AM says:

    Love Reyes and McClellin–I’d be perfectly fine if they reached for McClellin at #31.

    • Jim R says:

      They might have too

    • Jeff says:

      Reyes seems much too high at 31…all though I like him…I think he’ll be around until LATE 2nd round…and I think you could potentially get someone like Stephen Gilmore at 31, which would be awesome!

      I’m also very much a fan of Trumaine Johnson as a safety…McLellin would be a fantastic pick…I also wouldn’t mind Andre Branch, but not until round 2.

      I really think that BB will be drafting a WR who plays KR and PR’s though because we are just not going to have enough roster space for one deep threat ONLY guy and no ST’s.

      Like BB has always said…if they can’t play ST’s…it’s tough to get them on the 45 man gameday roster.

  20. STEVEN G says:

    Mike, u read my mind completely. Would be an ideal draft. Spot on.

    • Mark says:

      Yes, holy crap! And they missed winning the Superbowl by an injury to Gronk essentially. I still think they trade down with some high picks to keep the edge going but this would be a talent blitz by BB. The pass rush is on and all of our secondary become much more effective. There’s no question they make it deep into the playoffs – they should be in the title again.

  21. Jim R says:

    Great job on this one. I think Mcelliln can be a contributor right away

  22. Ryan says:

    I have to agree with Josh, this is an amazing draft. I really like the R. Miller pick in the middle rounds, I think the Pats take him. I also like the Rainey pick. Good work, I think they take some DL and maybe an OC somewhere in there.

  23. Jack says:

    I would love to the Stills fall to the Pats. I saw a highlight film of him and it was just silly. There was no end to the plays he made. He looked like a man among boys.

    • Jeff says:

      When he is on…he is unblockable…and I think BB and Wilfork could seriously help in bringing out the beast in that kid.

      I liked the thought of Brockers and his potential in a year or two…but Still has looked dominant.

      I still think that Cox will be an immediate impact player, and could be the best DL in the draft…he and Still have the potential to be Seymour-esque.

  24. Josh says:

    My favorite Pats draft so far. Especially love Brian Quick. I might take an ILB somewhere in the middle rounds, maybe Audie Cole, instead of Rainey. I like Rainey but maybe you can get the same thing out of taking Jeff Demps later in the draft or as a UDFA.

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