NEPD Editor: James Christensen
After fourteen long months scouting 2012 NFL Draft prospects, I’m narrowing the 300 or so draftable prospects down to just six guys that I think the Patriots will take a hard look at.
Click here for my full 2012 NFL Mock Draft.
The Patriots need some help at the DE/OLB position and I imagine that they will use one or more of their picks on the position, unless they choose to trade up or a valuable DT, WR, or CB falls.
If a team wants to trade back into the first round and is willing to give up some good picks, I’m sure Coach Belichick will be all ears.
Mike Mayock and Michael Lombardi said that Jones “is the best defensive player in the draft.” If that is the case, which I clearly don’t believe, there is no way that he is on the board for New England unless they trade up.
I do see how Jones could become the best defensive player in the draft, he certainly has the length and size to develop into a scary 3-4 or 4-3 DE. Right now, he just doesn’t have the production or tape to justify a top 15 selection.
Curry is kind of the opposite of Jones. He is all production and little sizzle. He can play 4-3 DE and could eventually transition to a 3-4 OLB with some work.
If the Patriots want a safe pass-rusher that isn’t a big liability against the run, Curry could be their guy.
Coverage was an issue on all three levels for the Patriots; short, intermediate and deep routes were all problems. Drafting three talented coverage players would bring a smile to Patriots fans and defensive coaches alike.
Johnson is a small-school corner that has the makeup of an ideal free safety to me. He has good instincts, can tackle and has the size/speed to compete in the NFL.
David is an undersized linebacker that could easily upgrade the position that Gary Guyton tried to fill over the last few years. As much as the Patriots are in sub-packages, he could see a lot of snaps as a rookie.
Brooks didn’t get a lot of media exposure at LSU due to Morris Claiborne and Tyrann Mathieu (rightly) hogging the spotlight. What you get with Brooks is a versatile player (slot, outside, safety) that has big-game experience and fantastic physical skills.
126. Greg Childs, WR, Arkanas (Scouting Report)
The Patriots have added a lot of depth to their receiving corps this off-season, adding Brandon Lloyd, Donte Stallworth and others. Still, adding a talented young receiver is never a bad thing to do.