4th Round (126) – Greg Childs, WR, Arkansas (Scouting Report)
Brandon Tate. Marcus Cannon. Two recent examples of Belichick’s willingness to take a talented player that has dropped due to health issues. Tate was an important role player, but never lived up to his 3rd Round selection. Cannon has already outplayed his draft position, playing important snaps on a playoff team mere months after cancer treatment.
An addition to this list could be the extremely talented Greg Childs, who suffered a devastating patellar tendon injury during the 2010 season. He wasn’t himself in 2011, but showed off his new-found health at the 2012 NFL Combine by posting some explosive numbers.
If Childs can play to his early 2010 form, where he looked like a sure-fire 1st Round pick, the Patriots would be getting a true “X” receiver outside of the first round – an incredible steal.
Marvin McNutt, Brian Quick, Tommy Streeter and Juron Criner are all other high-upside guys that the Patriots could target this April, although all four of them would probably be off the board at this point.
5th Round (via Arizona) – Tom Compton, OT, South Dakota State
The Patriots have failed to pick an offensive lineman only three times during Bill Belichick’s tenure in New England. I don’t see it happening during the 2012 NFL Draft, especially with some of the injury and retirement issues facing Matt Light, Logan Mankins, Brian Waters and Sebastian Vollmer.
Compton is a project, but at 6’6″ and 310 pounds, the athletic tackle could end up playing nearly any line spot after a year with offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia.
Marcus Zusevics and Chris Anzevino are just other two of the many possible late-round offensive line additions that the Patriots might look at.