Round 2 Pick 63 – Brian Quick, WR, Appalachian State
The Patriots have been ultra active at addressing the WR in free agency. They have brought in all types of WRs except a big, tall vertical threat. Quick is one of the biggest WRs in the draft and offers the Patriots something they don’t have. Quick would serve as the vertical threat and a red zone WR next year, while Wes Welker, Brandon Lloyd and other run and operate in the intermediate and short areas.
Quick is a raw prospect, however the more I watch him the more I like him. His potential is off the charts, as he has only been a football player who five years, so he is just scratching the surface of his talent. Quick, unlike other WR the Patriots have draft would be able to be given a learning curve. The Patriots figure to be very deep at the position this year, so the coaching staff could ask Quick just to do a few things he already does well, like stretch the field, while he learns the intricacies of the offense. I could see him playing the role of a Torrey Smith who only asked to do a few things for Baltimore this past year, but his play making ability made opposing defenses pay close attention to him.
Quick would make the Patriots receiving corps as deep as it has ever been and it’s fun to just think about it.
Round 3 Pick 95 – Donnie Fletcher, CB/FS, Boston College
With this years safety class extremely weak the Patriots are likely going to have to look at CBs who project to play safety in the NFL. Fletcher is a DB who I really like and as a safety I like him even better.
He impressed me a lot at the senior bowl with his ability to play physical. He was great in shed drills and came up to take on blockers and delivered a hit better than any CB in Mobile. At 6’1″ and 201 pounds he has very good size for the position. Fletcher has played almost all zone coverage as Boston College, so playing off the line of scrimmage and reading the QB is nothing new to him.
Fletcher ran a sub 4.4 forty at his pro day this week, which really answered some questions for me. Fletcher can struggle when he is asked to play man to man so his future might be at safety, however he would also be able to play CB if need be. He is a player I know the Patriots have scouted and with Barron and Harrison Smith going long before this Fletcher might be the best FS option available.
Round 4 – Ron Brooks, CB, LSU
The Patriots continue to stock pile picks on the defensive side of the ball. Brooks was part of that vaunted LSU secondary this past year and filled a number of roles for Les Miles. Brooks was used as the nickel back and slot CB at times, but was also able to play the outside CB position when he was asked to. Brooks ran a blazing 4.35 forty which the Patriots love to see out of their CB prospects. Brooks also told me that some coaches see him playing some safety in the NFL. Adding a player like Brooks, would be right in-line with the rest of this draft class.
Smart, experienced, versatile players who would not only add depth but impact to the Patriots defense. Brooks was worked out personally last week by Patriots offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels so, Brooks is definitely a player on the Patriots radar.
* The Patriots currently don’t own picks in rounds 5-7. I think it is HIGHLY unlikely Bill Belichick doesn’t acquire two picks in these rounds by moving around the draft board, there for I will project a pick to them in these rounds, but the picks don’t exsist at this point.
Round 5 – Chris Rainey, WR/KR/RB, Florida
In past years we have seen the Patriots select a long snapper, a punter and players who project to play only special teams. This past season the Patriots really struggled to find a kick returner who could do much of anything. It consistently left the Patriots with poor field position.
Rainey is the best KR in the draft and while that alone would land him on the Patriots radar, he can do much more than that. Rainey would be used as a gadget back and possibly as a WR in the Patriots offensive scheme. He would replace the role of Julian Edelman at least on the offensive side of the ball. It was rumored a few years back that the Patriots really were set on selecting Percy Harvin before the Vikings picked him one slot before them, I could envision Rainey playing a role similar to what Harvin would have.
Rainey is nowhere near the WR Harvin is, but he would give the Pats someone to run reverses, screens and game breaking ability.
Round 6 – Ryan Miller, OG, Colorado
Miller was Nate Solder’s teammate at Colorado last year and someone the Patriots are very familiar with. He is another massive OL, standing over 6’7″ tall. Miller’s best position is OG, but he also has experience playing offensive tackle. The Patriots love taking OL late in the draft to develop them. With Logan Mankins suffering an ACL injury and Brian Waters playing probably his final season, Miller would provide depth and a chance to learn from the best OL coach in the league.
Round 7 – J.J. Jones, CB, Wayne State (MI)
The with the CB position being so deep, there figures to be some good CB prospects available late into the draft. Jones is a small school player who had a pretty good combine. He has already visited with the Patriots so he is on their radar.
*In this mock I tried to take a different perspective. The Patriots NEVER draft like the fans expect them to, so I didn’t want to give them the same old names everyone is mocking to them. Pay more attention to the position being mocked, because I feel fairly certain these positions will be addressed.