2012 NFL Draft: NFL Insiders Predict the Patriots Selections

Patriot Writers Agree: This guy could be a Patriot on Thursday.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The Patriots are one of the hardest teams in the league to try and project in mock drafts. Here at NEPatriotsdraft.com we have discussed the possibilities in the first round at length.

To change things up and get a different perspective I spoke with Patriot beat writers, NFL Insiders and NFL Draft Analysts to get their predictions for the Patriots first two selections. The results were very interesting.

Here are the various predictions for the Patriots picks:

Andy Hart – Patriots Football Weekly:

27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Jones’value has been on the rise of late, but if he is at/near 27? He’d be a nice young, athletic addition to the edge of the New England front. He may not be an elite pass rusher, but he has the versatile skills that Bill Belichick covets for his front.

31. Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
Johnson has the size (6-2, 204) that teams seek at cornerback to deal with the modern big-bodied receivers. There are some questions about the level of competition he’s faced and his top-end speed, but with his size he could probably move to free safety. Either way he’d help out the back end of the New England defense.

DJ Bean – WEEI.com:

27. Whitney Mercilus, DE, Illinois
Could be the next college one-year-wonder turned elite NFL pass-rusher. Look at how Aldon Smith and Jason Pierre-Paul have fared in recent years and imagine them in the Patriots system. Mercilus could become that.

31. Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
Johnson is another big and physical defensive back who could stick at corner or learn the ropes at safety.

Christopher Price – WEEI.com:

27. The Patriots will use this pick and some other combination of other picks to move up and select Alabama S Mark Barron. Look for Kansas City to be a spot that the Patriots could target for a trade up.

31. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
McClellin could be off the board, but if he’s there then he makes sense for the Patriots as he is a versatile LB who reminds some people of Mike Vrabel.

Evan Silva – Rotoworld.com:

27. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
Need and scheme fit converge when the Pats select a pass rusher with versatility to excel at four positions.

31. Brandon Boykin, CB, Georgia
Another versatile playmaker. Boykin shuts down the slot, turns punts into points, and covers kicks on special teams.

Dane Brugler – CBS Sportsline :

27. Dont’a Hightower, ILB, Alabama
Dont’a Hightower lined up at inside linebacker at Alabama but, man NFL teams project him as a pass rusher either standing up or with his hand in the ground at the next level. He is thickly put together with natural strength to work through blocks and find his way to the ball carrier. Hightower is a player who will be best utilized both inside and outside to create different match-ups.

31. Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn
The Patriots love versatility at all levels of their defense and Kendall Reyes would give New England a flexible player to work with along the defensive line. A former LB, Reyes is quick-footed with the range and natural strength to be effective against both the pass and the run. He has the skill-set to play both inside and out at the next level and helps address a major need for the Patriots.

Greg A. Bedard – Boston Globe:
My two shots in the dark:

They are going to try to trade at least one of the picks. It could be for a team wanting Brandon Weeden, or it could be for a player that drops. In any event, these are my two picks for the Patriots if they don’t trade:

27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
Not knowing who’s going to be available, I’m going with the one player that fits the Patriots’ need at Elephant end the best. The Patriots will likely get Andre Carter back once he’s healthy, and he’ll be the starter, but beyond this season, there is a huge need for a player to fill that role, especially since Trevor Scott is on a one-year deal. This draft is more about 2013 than this season. Jones is not the sure thing Belichick usually takes in the first round — he’s more of a second-round pick for them — but he’s everything they’re looking for: height, length, speed…he just needs to get stronger.

31. Kendall Reyes, DT, UConn
Had a really hard time with this pick. The Patriots really need a CB/S in this spot but I just don’t see anybody worth a pick here. Trumaine Johnson was considered, but I think it’s a little too early. Maybe the Patriots won’t and take him. The other glaring need is a big, active guy for the front to pair with Vince Wilfork. Jerel Worthy and Devon Still were both considered. Too much bust potential for Belichick in the first round. Vinny Curry…definitely a possibility, but, again, I don’t think Belichick sees that position as a first-round pick. So I’m going with a safe player who you know will be there for 10 years. The Nashua, N.H. natives rock solid.

Shalise Manza-Young – Boston Globe:

27. Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State
McClellin played defensive end, outside linebacker and even some inside ‘backer at Boise State, and he says he has tried to mold himself after versatile former Patriot Mike Vrabel. With the Pats switching between three-man and four-man lines, McClellin’s versatility would be an asset.

31. Devon Still, DT, Penn State
Vince Wilfork isn’t going anywhere anytime soon and the Pats have some young talent at the position, but New England’s defense has always been at its best when the line is strongest. Polished and possessing a high motor, Still could step right into the rotation

Erik Scalavino – Patriots Football Weekly:

First off, given recent history with this team, I don’t expect the Patriots to stay put. My guess is they’ll move out of one or both spots in the first round, most likely to trade down or out. However, if they do keep the 27 and 31 choices, I think they’ll target their two biggest areas of need, starting with a DE/OLB. Better options will already be off the board, so, I see New England taking the best available option.

27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
He’s lanky, quick, and athletic, though he’s not a polished pass rusher. He could develop into one, however, and that’s why he’s the pick at 27.

31. Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana
The next move is in the secondary, where New England goes for a versatile, big-bodied player in Trumaine Johnson. He had his struggles with injuries and a suspension early in his career at small program Montana, but has come on strong the past two seasons, including a solid performance versus Tennessee, the toughest collegiate competition he faced. New England went with a big corner last year with Ras-I Dowling in the second round, and they’ll do so again this year with Johnson at the end of round one.

Jeff Howe – NESN.com: 

27. Chandler Jones, DE, Syracuse
He’s got a terrific edge presence who is solid against the run and can get after the passer. Ideal fit for a Bill Belichick coached defense.

31. Lavonte David, LB, Nebraska
The Patriots go with a little bit of a surprise pick here. David is a coverage linebacker that the team badly needs after being exposed in coverage last season. David also provides depth for Brandon Spikes and Jerod Mayo.

Wrap-Up:

There seems to be a consensus that the Patriots will add either a DE/OLB and a DB of some sort with their first picks. It seems like if Chandler Jones makes it to the Patriots pick at #27 then he will be the pick. There is also a lot of love for Trumaine Johnson who has risen up the board in the last view days. All the projecting is done and it’s time to watch it all play out.

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36 Responses to “2012 NFL Draft: NFL Insiders Predict the Patriots Selections”

  1. Rickey says:

    is it just me or would signing mike wallace have been better than anything were gonna get. every edge rusher has ?????? surrounding him whether it b jones ingram mcllellin mercilus upshaw. same goes 4 corners. only worthwhile defensive player i c 4 us is trading forward n getting brockers.. since the de will b terrible then at least with wallace n lloyd on the outside nwelker in the slot n the te,s over the middle n our up n coming dominant oline we could outscore the 2007 team!!!

    • @59russo59 says:

      i see it as with so much QUANTITY of front 7 defensive players we’re bound to hit on one this draft. wait – hasnt that been the Pats draft philosophy in the 2nd-3rd rounds lately? *awkward*

  2. Jim R says:

    That means we are going Oline and WR in first round boys

  3. Mark says:

    What no Scott Zolak insider opinion? LOL

    • Mark says:

      I believe some team will trade into pick 3. That trade will change the course of the draft and will trigger more trades than originally predicted by most. Nobody will get more than maybe 10 picks correct.

  4. dslave says:

    FOUR WEEKS AGO, I predictated that shea mcclellin would be a first round pick. I’ll be irate if they don’t draft him. this is the guy that could have a defensive impact by week 8 or 10. So i expect to be irate.

  5. JMC says:

    I’d like to see 2 picks for the front seven but I still think Konz is a good pick regardless of the Koppen signing- McClellin/Reyes seems like a good combo-

  6. Bill says:

    I like ’em all. Lavonte David?? 1st time I’ve seen his name hooked to the Pats. I’d be happy to see a LB drafted that was one and not just a DE convert.
    I like Hightower and Still. That really appears like a powerful, no nonsense start to this draft. You better pass, cuz you’re not runnin on us.

  7. Jim R says:

    I see a lot of Jimmy Kennedy and Vernon Gholston in some of these front 7 prospects. Beware the land mines.

  8. Mike says:

    Trumaine Johnson is pretty fast, but he tackles like Asante Samuel’s sister.

  9. Joe Blake says:

    A good article next week would be to compare the expert predictions to actual picks for the Pats to determine how much credibility we, as readers, should place on this information in the future. You could also include the best fan picks. Perhaps we should rely on reader input going forward!

    • psw says:

      But then sites like this will have no reason to exist, where will we dump all of our off season nervous energy. Do you expect us to do some thing productive?????

      • Mark says:

        We will have a “WHOSE THE WORST FANTASY NFL DRAFT ANALYST” game. You draft analysts like MEL KIPER and CASSERLY and BRANDT and you assign points for how bad each prediction is. Who ever has the worst analyst wins!

  10. AM says:

    Based on all these predictions, I’m comfortable saying that the two players the Patriots will absolutely not pick in the first round are Chandler Jones and Trumaine Johnson.

    • AP says:

      haha… true! Just go out and find the consensus to learn exactly what they won’t do!

      People keep claiming that they will draft the BPA who falls to them, but historically, they actually tend to reach for players a bit. (i.e. Vereen, Vollmer, etc…)

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Yep…

  11. Jeff says:

    They’ve essentially invested first round picks the past two years in corners (Dowling was more or less a first rounder). They will not draft a CB in round one. The one pick up there that jumps out as a logical Patriots surprise is Lavonte David, who I think is going to be a great player in the NFL, and if he were a shade bigger, would go much much higher. Chandler Jones will not be there at 27.

    • andy f says:

      Don’t be surprised if we take janoris jenkins if he drops. Great talent with some off-field concerns, but aaron hernandez and brandon spikes were the same way coming out of college.

  12. Rob says:

    I love Trumaine Johnson but in the 2nd. I’d trade with the rams sending them the 31st pick for the 39th pick and the 97th pick.Then use the 97th on Brandon Taylor oe Jaye Howard( dt)
    0

  13. Liam says:

    Holy Sh!t!!! With reaches like that there’s a solid career in the fruit picking industry for these “experts”. Seriously, Trumaine Johnson and Brandon Boykin in the FIRST FREAKIN’ ROUND!? Chandler ‘Potential’ Jones? These would be a nightmare draft.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Agreed!

      I am still trying to figure out why Jones is sky rocketing. He was injury prone and really didn’t produce. He’s not even a one year wonder which is a knock on Mercilus.

      This kid is a complete projection, not a BB type of 1st round pick at all.

      Look for a 3 year starter that was a team captain; BB likes safe 1st round picks (Maroney & Merriweather not withstanding)

      • qwerty says:

        same with me. saying this or that players has good measurements but not much game film so we should pick him first round … YIKES.

        seeing players skyrocket in the draft in such a short time makes me extremely leery of them.

        the key to mock draft picking is not so much who gets which player but guessing which part of whatever round a player goes. it will be interesting to see of these skyrocketing or moving up players actually get picked roughly where they predict

  14. Yesares says:

    I would love that Patriots trade up with 27 and Hoyer to get Dre Kirpatrick (a CB/FS type is more needed than a SS type as Barron) and then with 31 select Shea Mcllelin and with 48 select best Defensive Linemen avalaible (probably Kendall Reyes).

    Then, with the late 2nd round pick can select a CB with return abilities (Boykin?, Robinson?), with 3rd round pick can select a power RB (Chris Polk?, Robert Turbin?) and finally with 4th round pick and Ofensive Linemen to be developed (Jeff Allen?, Tom Compton?).

    IMHO this would be an awesome draft for Patriots

    • Yesares says:

      In depth:

      I will trade with Cleveland Browns, sending them our 31th and Hoyer for his 22th. The difference between this 2 spots over the draft value chart is 180 points (22th=780 pts , 31th=600 points) that matches with 82th pick (middle third round). So, in this trade, both parts valued Hoyer as a third rounder, which i think is fair, considering that Patriots offered him (and signd) a 2 round tender.

      So, with the 22th pick in the bag, the first day of draft, I would try to trade down the 27th pick (680 points) to St. Louis Rams for his 33th (first pick of 2nd round= 580 points) and his 96th (firts pick of 4th round= 116 points).

      This way, Patriots have first selection in Friday (second round) and Saturday (fourth round): a lot o time to think who select or, even,to make new trades if interesting offers are made.

      In this scope Patriots have moved up 5 slots from 27th to 22th (perhaps enough to get a coveted player) and only move down 2 slots from 31th to 33th, giving up Hoyer and getting the first pick of 4th rounder (96th).

      • Jim R says:

        Wow , I got tired reading that. You my man put a lot of effort into that. That could work

      • munchkin says:

        The trading of Hoyer to the Browns makes some sense based on history. With Holmgren’s past success in Seattle trading for Hasselbeck and Hoyer’s potential value as solid competition for McCoy the trade has potential possibilities. It is a long shot but not without merit and the value you placed on him in the trade is reasonable.

      • DJ says:

        I would trade with St. Louis. Pats get picks 33+ 39 +96 and 2013 2nd. Have teams calling all the next day for pick 33.

        Tade with Indy for picks 64 and 2013 1st. Now we start to draft a few players.

        Patriots now have picks 39 48 62 64 93 96 126 and a 1st & 2nd in 2013.

        39 Vinny Curry DE , 48 Brandon Boykin CB/KR/PR
        62 Jared Crick DE , 64 Brandon Taylor FS
        93 Trade for 4th & 5th , 96 Trade for 2013 2nd
        Rest of picks BPA. Next Year Pats will have 2 1sts & 3 2nds…..

  15. Jimmy says:

    There are so many corners that will be left that are all better than trumaine johnson. I hope they go for janoris jenkins, stephon gilmore, or ron brooks as a later round pick. For a pass rusher i would take whitney mercilus, nick perry, kendall reyes, or devon still.

  16. qwerty says:

    >Trumaine Johnson who has risen up the board in the last view days.

    last few days … YIKES

    I feel most comfortable with Donta Hightower

    • Blackluck says:

      If the scouting reports are correct, T. Johnson sounds like a bust waiting to happen: Self-centered, and sense of entitlement (Chad Jackson anyone?) In fact this draft looks ripe with busts.

      I agree, if Hightower is there take him.

      • Mark says:

        Self-centered, and sense of entitlement – Did you see the footage showing Ryan Leaf at the Draft as they called Peyton Manning as the first pick. OMG – never have I seen exactly that on somebodies face so openly – not acting – and with a camera rolling.

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