Mike’s Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Version 3.0

AJ Jenkins NFL Draft

A.J. Jenkins could fit in well with the Patriots WR corps.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

A mere 16 days away from the beginning of the 2012 NFL Draft. I make yet another attempt at predicting the Patriots picks. It’s always a difficult job trying to figure out what Bill Belichick and the Patriots will do, so this time I take a different approach.

Here is my latest attempt at how I think the Patriots 2012 NFL draft could shape up.

1st Round (27) - Nick Perry, DE, USC
Using the best player available approach, the Patriots take Nick Perry at #27. I think the Patriots are going to focus heavily on the defensive line and the linebacker positions early on in the draft. When you look at the roster those are the two thinnest positions remaining after free agency.

With Nick Perry the Patriots would be getting an edge rusher that can play with his hand in the dirt, but can also stand up and provide some edge rush. He is 6’3″ 271 lbs., he fits that type of Willie McGinest “Elephant” role. Perry is big enough that he can play the run and shouldn’t be a liability on 1st and 2nd down.

This is a pick the Patriots might not have made a few years ago, but with the offense locked and loaded, I believe Bill Belichick is going to get Tom Brady help on the defensive side of the ball. I could envision the Patriots taking a player like Brockers here, but I believe there will be a run on DT from pick #17 on.

1st Round (31) - Jerel Worthy, DT, Michigan State
It seems every year the Patriots are projected to take 50 different players and they always seem to pick a player that no one projects them to take. I believe Worthy is a player that could interest the Patriots. First of all, I just can’t see the Patriots selecting a DT in the first round who is under 300 pounds.

I love Kendall Reyes, but I agree with something PFW’s Nolan Nawrocki said this week about him. He thinks Reyes will and should shed 10-15 pounds to get back down to 285 where he was much more dominate as a junior, that would take him off the Patriots radar at least as a first round pick.

Worthy is 6’3 310 pounds and has an explosive first step. He can anticipate the snap count and fire off the ball better than any DT in this year’s draft. I truly believe the Patriots are going to try to get more athletic with their defensive front this season. With these first two selections they take a page out of the Giants playbook, by loading up on explosive DL that can get to the QB. Worthy has some question marks, but also has incredible potential.

He is a natural 4-3 DT, but I believe Bill Belichick will find ways to get creative with him. I have not heard his name connected to the Patriots at all this year, so I am throwing it out there.

2nd Round (48) - Bobby Wagner, LB, Utah State

Wagner’s name was first mentioned in connection with the Patriots by SI.com Tony Pauline and upon thinking about it I think it makes complete and total sense. If we take a look at the Patriots free agent moves this off-season, they have targeted specific roles to be upgraded instead of specific positions. One of the weaknesses of this team last year and the year before that is the role of coverage linebackers.

Besides Jerod Mayo, the linebacker position as a whole is not very athletic. Brandon Spikes is a downhill linebacker and a physical specimen, but he’s not very agile. Ninkovich has improved each season, to the point where he is a legitimate NFL OLB, but he has his limitations.

I think we will see the Patriots try to get more athletic at the linebacker position through the draft and that’s why I think the pick of Bobby Wagner makes sense. He is one of the best all around LB in the draft. He is fast, agile, can drop into coverage well, he can blitz, can play both OLB and ILB equally and he is a special teams demon. While his measurable might not match up with the traditional Patriot linebacker, it’s all about getting more athletic on the front seven. Wagner is going to be a stud either way, but it would be nice to have an athletic coverage linebacker like him on the Patriots.

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Tags: Bobby Wagner, Brandon Boykin, Jerel Worthy, Patriots Mock Draft

27 Responses to “Mike’s Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft: Version 3.0”

  1. Rick R. says:

    1 (27) Shea McClellin OLB/DE, Boise State
    1 (31) Peter Konz C/G/T, Wisconsin
    2 (48) Harrison Smith SS/FS/OLB, Notre Dame
    2 (62) Jared Crick DE/DT, Nebraska
    3 (93) Josh LeRiebus G, SMU
    4 (126) Derek Wolfe DT/DE, Cincinnati
    FA Tyler Shoemaker WR, Boise State
    FA Cody Pearcy WR/KR/ST, Huntingdon

  2. Caleb says:

    I’ve always liked this

    1a. Janoris Jenkins
    1b. Michael Brockers
    2a. Alshon Jeffrey
    2b. Shea McClellin
    3. Harrison Smith
    4. David Molk

    • Ken W says:

      Jeffery, McClellin, and Smith would all have to fall quite a bit for that to happen.

      I would be very happy if it turned out that way but might be a bit optimistic. I like how all the major needs are filled with some good talent though.

      What about this:

      1a. Stephon Gilmore CB
      1b. Michael Brockers DE
      2a. Shea McClellin OLB
      2b. Georgie Iloka S
      3. Marvin Jones WR
      4. David Molk or best C available

      • AM says:

        Love this draft, although I think Brockers will probably be gone by then. Iloka is a curious one, as he might go anywhere from mid-second to low fourth.

        What about:

        1a. Shea McClellin
        1b. Kendall Wright
        2a. Kendall Reyes
        2b. Harrison Smith
        3. Chase Minnifield
        4. Lucas Nix or best interior OL

        Might be a bit rich for McClellin, but I have a feeling he could be gone to Green Bay at 28 otherwise.

        • Ryan says:

          Solid draft. I like Chase Minnfield a lot more than most. If we walked away with this draft I think our team would be dramatically better.

        • Ken W says:

          ok ok, what about this:

          1a. Stephon Gilmore
          1b. Shea McCellin
          2a. Crick or Reyes
          2b. Georgie Iloka
          3. Marvin Jones
          4. Best interior OL, preferably C

          Iloka is a curious one because he is a tall safety which causes him be be a little less smooth in transition from backpedal to sprint and a little tight in the hips, but I think he could be great. Student of the game, coachable, and could be the answer to covering those athletic TE’s that are catching on in the league.

        • AM says:

          I’d be quite happy with that draft, and I’d vote for Reyes over Crick (though either would be a great addition). I have trouble getting a read on Gilmore, but the consensus seems to be that he’s well worth a first-rounder.

      • Jim R says:

        Like the names on both of these. McCellin will be gone before 48 If they want him they might have to pick him at 27/31. I think whoever gets him is going to be lucky. Kid will be a player

  3. 401patsfan says:

    I’d Take Still over Worthy in a heartbeat. Or trade that sucker. Get a piece this yr & next.

    • Ken W says:

      Im with you on that one, Im also ok with Crick or Reyes in the 2nd if they don’t like the options they have of D-lineman in the 1st.

  4. JimC says:

    Nick Perry = Larry English. The Chargers thought they were getting a gem.

  5. JimC says:

    If Hightower is available at 27 take him. Put him in the middle with spikes and move Mayo to the weak side OLB position. the LB corp would be greatly improved up the middle.

    The rest of these picks are reaches at their respected spots. Plus at #31 you never know who will drop back from the so-called top 32.

    • Ryan says:

      I think Hightower could play OLB, its not a common transition to outside linebacker. But he is awfully tall for an ILB, and would have better coverage out of the box than a DE. Personally, I doubt he makes it out of the teens to early twenties, but if he is there at 27 I’d take him all day.

  6. Larry says:

    None of your first three picks works formeat all.

  7. AM says:

    Jenkins and Taylor are nice picks, but all in all this would be a somewhat disappointing haul. Perry is a great athlete, but I doubt that he has the ability to play consistently in the Patriots’ multiple fronts. He would likely be a 4-3 DE only, which would be problematic given the team’s apparent inclination to move back towards a 3-4-leaning alignment.

    In addition, there are likely to be better options than Worthy, Wagner, and Boykins available at those spots. It seems a little odd to suggest that the team would balk at taking Reyes in the first round because he was likely to play at under 300 pounds, but would be willing to completely blow up its physical prototype at OLB by selecting Wagner. It is worth mentioning that Tony Pauline’s article didn’t actually link the team and player in any meaningful way, other than to say a smaller linebacker who could cover was a need on the team’s draft board. I believe that the comment on the Patriots taking Wagner was “[i]t’s definitely not out of the question.” I would beg to differ, unless they think he can play safety as well.

  8. TD says:

    Since we have a big need on defense and the draft is deep in defensive players, that means only one thing–BB will take offensive players.

    Seriously, any good DL’s & DB’s in rounds 1 & 2. Middle and late rounds any Def and/or Off players that can return kicks in order to improve our un-special teams.

  9. Dan says:

    I like AJ Jenkins, but not sure if he has the brains…seems like a slow kid, no offense, but I guess I just called him stupid…

  10. glen says:

    I got as far as Nick Perry at 27, there’s no way in hell he’ll be there.

  11. Blackluck says:

    I can’t see the Patriots taking Nick Perry with a 1st round pick. I don’t think he can play in space; he would be a situational pass rusher, and although that is a need I believe we would take a guard there before a pure edge rusher. I agree all the premier DT/DE will be gone by 27. There are a small number remaining in the late 1st early 2nd. I’m better we’ll end up trading both first round picks if we can. We’ll take someone for the DL, just do not know who at this point.

    I do agree that we will see a coverage/athletic LB taken in the 2nd, and another DB in the 2nd as well. Also agree on a WR, there a handful of possibilities. My bet is on Greg Childs. I don’t think Brandon Taylor lasts to the 4th.

  12. qwerty says:

    Boykin is pathetic in his highlights. He is a munchkin and weak. Big receivers will roll right over him. He is Wilhite version 0.8. Won’t even be able to play safety. I’d rather have Slater as a CB.

    After watching his highlights, Jenkins is also pathetic. Jenkins will be a bust in the NFL. He also is too small and lacks in talent. I’d rather have Slater as WR.

    Wagner is way too undersized. There are always plenty of LB’s in deeper rounds

    If Patriots pick these three, I will call this draft a disaster.

    Patriots need to probably get one of the top 4 CB’s or maybe a versatile DB.

    The ranking of the WR’s many draft boards have make no sense. It will be interesting on what order the WR go in the draft.

    • Asap says:

      Nick Perry? No way, he’s a workout guy. Worthy? Luke warm. Boykiin is ok, but he’s a def. third round guy in my eyes. I do like Wagner though.

    • Dan says:

      I’m not high on Boykin either…for all the reasons stated, and the Pats seemed to have learned from that model of cornerbacks. I feel they went for those smaller & quicker CB’s to deal with the Colts and the new rules, but it didn’t work and the league has gone large.

  13. Bruschi54 says:

    I think that Perry would be a solid addition, but not a big fan of Worthy. Saw MSU play several times this season and Worthy was hyped up in pre-game every time, but was non factor during the game. I like Wagner, he and Kendricks from Cal are great athletes that would really help the defense immediately. I think they go safety in 2 or 3 round.

    • Big Dan From Maine says:

      I agree, I now live in Michigan and married a MSU Grad. I saw every game MSU played in the last 2 years. Worthy is a part time player at best. THINK ALBERT HAYNSWORTH. MSU took him out on passing downs. He plays very lazy for most plays, and gets easily handled by 1 blocker. The Iowa and Wisconsin Lines handled him with ease. When he wants to make a play he can be awsome, but he also anticipates the snap count alot and gets alot of offsides penalties. Worthy haf BUST written all over him. I dont think BB will draft this guy. Let the Jets pick him and then we can rum all over him all game long.



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