2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Doug 3.0

How early could Trumaine Johnson come off the board?

NEPD Editor: Doug Kyed

We all know the team needs, but I don’t think anyone’s going to pretend it’s easy to predict how the Patriots are going to draft.

One thing is guaranteed coming away from a Patriots draft, no one’s going to be 100% happy or content with the outcome. In this mock, I have the Patriots keeping all of their picks. It may not be likely, but it’s far less likely to correctly project every move the Patriots make on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Without further ado, here’s how I see the Patriots draft going down later this week.

27. Nick Perry, OLB/DE, USC (Scouting Report)
Every Patriots fan in New England knows the need exists for improved pass rush on this 2012 team. I would argue that the team was an interior pass rusher (after Haynesworth was released and Wright and Pryor got hurt) away from having a very good pass rush last year, but Mark Anderson is gone and Andre Carter is recovering from injury and still unsigned.

Trevor Scott is a start, but a big upside guy like Nick Perry could really solidify the defense. Perry is a big, freakishly athletic player who ran his 40 at 4.64 at 6-3 271 pounds. His 1.56 10 yard split is a Patriots prototypical time… for a running back.

The Patriots brought Perry in for a visit to Foxboro and whether you think that’s 100% smokescreen or not, they thought enough of him to want to take a closer look. Perry fits the mold of the typical Patriots edge rusher, whether that’s Tully Banta-Cain, Jermaine Cunningham or going as far back as Willie McGinest.

Another interesting thing to look into with Perry is that he’s nearly the exact same size that Jarvis Green was when the Patriots drafted him. I’m not saying that Perry is going to evolve into a 5-tech rusher, but it’s been done before.

Other potential picks at #27: Devon Still (Scouting Report), Chandler Jones (Scouting Report), Dont’a Hightower (Scouting Report).

31. Trumaine Johnson, CB/FS, Montana (Scouting Report)

In 2003, the Patriots drafted Eugene Wilson, a cornerback out of Illinois with the 36th pick in the draft and converted him to safety. It’s been done before and it could happen with a first round pick with Johnson.

The Patriots typically have their own mindset of what they look for in a defensive back, and usually it means more speed than what Johnson offers, but if the plan is to move him to safety, it could be a fit.

Johnson lacks top end speed and his man coverage suffers from it, but he does show great instincts, he’s good in an off zone and he has great ball skills, all of which should lend himself well as a centerfield option next to Patrick Chung playing inside the box.

Other potential picks at #31: Doug Martin (Scouting Report), Peter Konz (Scouting Report), Janoris Jenkins (Scouting Report).

48. Kevin Zeitler, OG, Wisconsin (Scouting Report)
Matt Light retired, Brian Waters is on the last year of his deal (and is supposedly contemplating retirement), Sebastian Vollmer has back injury concerns, you never know what you’re getting out of a second year Nate Solder (hello Devin McCourty), Logan Mankins is coming off ACL surgery, Roberty Gallery was terrible the last two years and Marcus Cannon is not without his own concerns.

What does that mean? The Patriots offensive line is anything but a sure thing entering the 2012 season. With Vollmer’s back injuries, it may be best to consider Cannon a tackle for the time being. Between the Patriots use of a lineman as a third TE/OL and filling in for Vollmer, Cannon will more than make value out of his 5th round selection as a reserve blocker.

Zeitler is a smart player who could also become the future center for the Patriots. He has great technique, elite size, great footwork and is a great run blocker. He has some injury concerns and some issues in mirroring as a pass blocker, but as a future starting center/guard, he could be a great value with this pick.

Through twelve years of drafting for the Patriots, Bill Belichick has taken 19 offensive linemen. He’s only skipped the position three years, 2002, 2004 and 2008.

Other potential picks at #48: Brandon Boykin (Scouting Report), Brian Quick (Scouting Report), Casey Hayward (Scouting Report).

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17 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Doug 3.0”

  1. Bob Shannon says:

    It’s interesting to forecast how it will unfold…I think if you draft for best available instead of need your team will be better more quickly…The idea of reaching for a player just makes no sense…trade down to get that player….drafting top 20 players that have fallen is likely, so draft the best players available….#27 Jerel Worthy, Shea Mc’Clellin, Stefon Gilmore #31 Janoris Jenkins, Michael Brockers, Stephen Hill #48 Got Mychal Kendricks name all over it #62 Josh Robinson, Ronnel lewis, Kendal Reyes, Zach Brown, Alemeda Ta’amu, David Wilson, Lavonte David, Bruce Irwin, or Derek Wolfe…..This Pick is all about speed or the perfect lineman. The 93rd pick is for fastest return guy for kick offs and punts, unless trades are made for more picks in the 5,6,7 rounds…. With the 90 player roster expansion bring in as many LB, WR, OL, DL, CB, S that will fill the roster…I like the idea of drafting 2 DL,OLB,DE Rushing Prospects First, then 2 Cover Prospects in the second round or vise versa….

    • Tom says:

      So what if the best available player at 27 is Reif or Martin? I think there is a real likely-hood that either of those players fall to 27. The talk leading up to the draft is focused on the defensive side of the ball (at least on Patriots boards), but if everyone drafts def players, it could let some of the better offensive players, particularly o-lineman, fall.

      • Bob Shannon says:

        Whoever falls to the Patriots pick them be it offense or defense….Best available…..They Need Defense, but if a guy like John Hannah falls to you, lite the fireworks and pick him….I believe this years draft is incredibly deep at many positions and the free agent draft class will be the best in the history of the league….With the new 90 player expansion getting those undrafted players is huge…

        • Tom says:

          I think the undrafted free agents are the most underrated part of the whole process. Each year, BB gets at least one player as an UDFA and frequently picks up another one that gets cut from another team. For example, Sterling Moore was an UDFA signed and cut by the Raiders, claimed by the Pats.

  2. Jim R says:

    Howard is interesting. He does give you options on the line. No Smith or Barron, great. But Doug gotta give my boy Fugger a little love at 126. They will draft big fatty in the first 3 rounds. He will be a good one too.

  3. BILL says:

    Here’s an all -under-rated draft list. Pats trade out of 1st round, picking up 2 later 2nd-3rd round picks picks for a total of 8. Lots of players that could have significan t impact, but if they don’t live up, they’ll always comntribute:

    brandon Thompson
    Cam Johnson
    Markelle Martin
    Jamell Fleming
    Ben Jones
    Demario Davis
    Robert Turbin
    Malik Jackson
    These guys will be players, but maybe not in 2012.

  4. NEtyson says:

    I never really seen anything that sticks out to me about chandler jones but after what his brother did to evans….i might take him at 27 just cuz….maybe his pass rush moves can be as deadly as his brothers elbows …..

  5. psw says:

    This could really happen the way you wrote it.

    I think I’m going to go cry now.

  6. Ryan says:

    Its that time of year when I need to tame my expectations as to what the Patriots will do. Chances of them addressing an OLB in the first very slim. Probably, be some DE, OL or CB. Doubt we address Safety until Round 3 thus giving me a heart attack. But maybe I’m wrong.

    We will need an OC/OG and I’d say there is a high probability of taking one early. We did it in the Light scenario, and I could see it happening again.

    Doubt we take a RB it seems like smoke screens, to get teams to move up. In the second, or late first. But if they take one, it seems like a good draft to take a stab at one or two of them.

    Could definitely see Casey Hayward, or Truman Johnson at 31 maybe even 27.

    • Tom says:

      We might see the Pats draft Smith in the first. I was surprised to see Doug put Johnson at 31 (maybe he expects Smith to be gone by then), but a safety is such an area of need for the Pats and there are so few this year that I think they will draft one (or a convert) with one of their first three picks.

      I too doubt a RB will be selected, but Doug makes a compelling case.

  7. Tom says:

    I like the Zeitler pick for the reasons Doug mentions. It isn’t sexy, but the o-line is not the strength some people suggest. I would not be surprised if the Pats took an OL as early as 27. If the pundits are right, there could be a run on defensive players from 11 all the way through 28 – all those teams need front seven help – and that would mean some of the best OL may fall. I would not be surprised if BB grabbed one of those OL.

  8. Eric says:

    Gee Doug, your mock picks are a real bummer. Is this the best we can do with the 27th, 31st, 49th and 64th picks? I’m really not looking forward to Thursday and Friday – if this is the best we can do.

  9. MJP says:

    Nick Perry ran a 4.5 unofficial which for some crazy reason seems to be more accurate than the electronic times at the combine. His other measurables are insane and his tape is very good, not a polished pass-rusher but has all the bits and pieces just waiting to be put together….he goes top-20 IMO and is worth moving up for (only Fletcher Cox is a better fit for the Pats).

    Chandler Jones is so overrated it’s disgusting, yet to hear anyone describe an on field play that speaks to his ability and upside, it’s all hype.

    Hate the OG pick at 48, means it’s likely to happen, much rather they try to take a falling Jenkins or whomever they like at FS or DE or DE/OLB.

    I’d hope 62 is where they start considering O-line depth or a sleeper DE like MALIK JACKSON…why haven’t you guys mentioned him, at all? This spot is also where they could start trading back to land one of your potential picks (though I’d add Brandon Taylor to that list).

    Mychal Kendricks is a player who has so much talent that we could just draft him in round-2 and worry about how to utilize him later…that’s how much I like that kid’s game.

    Jaye Howard seems like an ideal mid-late round Patriot.


    • Jeff says:

      I love Malik Jackson and I have no idea why he’s never mentioned. Flying way under the radar. Perfect size for 3-4 end, athletic, and productive in the SEC while facing constant double teams. But I’d much rather have Lavonte David than Kendricks. David is going to be a great player in the NFL.

    • Doug Kyed says:

      I’m a big fan of Jackson too. Some players just slip through the cracks as far as mocking them to the Pats. Can’t mock all 750+ players to NE.

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