To little surprise, the New England Patriots traded their No. 29 overall pick and backed out of the first round in the 2013 NFL Draft.
The Patriots traded the 29th overall pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a second (52), third (83), fourth (102) and seventh round picks (229). According to the trade value chart, New England acquired 862 points while just giving up 640 points.
New England will now enter Friday with two picks in the second round (No. 52 and No. 59) and two picks in the third round (No. 83 and No. 91). One thing to take into consideration is that the Patriots might not have a top pick in the second round, but they now have enough ammo to trade up the board if they really like a prospect in the early end of the second round.
With that being said, let’s take a look at the 10 best remaining targets on defense.
1. Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame
It’s certainly surprising to see Te’o still available, but he won’t be available for much longer once the second round starts. There’s no debating that Te’o has what it takes to be a top tier inside linebacker at the NFL-level, but perhaps teams are just over-analyzing his whole “Catfish scandal.”
2. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State
This is something that I figure that the Patriots would target. Taylor is a versatile cornerback as he has experience in both man and zone coverage. Along with being versatile, Taylor is a very physical cornerback and his skill-set should translate nicely at the professional-level.
3. Jonathan Cyprien, SS, Florida International
Jonathan Cyprien is an extremely physical safety and is very passionate about the game of football—he has what it takes to be a “field general” in the back of an NFL team’s secondary. Cyprien should be one of the first players gone once the second round starts.
4. Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State
Tank Carradine certainly has the talent worthy of a first round pick, but he is coming off of a season-ending ACL tear. Carradine plays with a very high-motor and a very quick first-step at the snap of the ball. However, Carradine’s biggest knock if his consistency.
5. Margus Hunt, DE, Southern Methodist
Not too many people are talking about Margus Hunt, but he has a ton of potential and upside. Ultimately, Hunt is a raw player—he has some developing to do. However, if Hunt reaches his potential he could be a successful 5-tech or 3-tech defensive linemen.
6. Jesse Williams, DT, Alabama
The best way to describe Jesse Williams is “thick.” Williams will bring a strong presence to any team’s interior defensive line. Ideally, Williams is a 3-4 nosetackle, however he can play in the 4-3. Williams is a very hard worker and has what it takes to be a leader and shouldn’t be on the board for long come Friday.
7. Arthur Brown, LB, Kansas State
I’m a pretty big fan of Arthur Brown and I would have thought that he’d be a solid fit with the Baltimore Ravens at No. 32 overall. Brown is one of the more passionate players on the board and is ultimately the ideal linebacker prospect that any NFL would be looking for. Let’s just say he’s very well-rounded, he’s not great at anything, he’s just good at everything.
8. Johnthan Banks, CB, Mississippi State
Standing at 6’2″, Johnthan Banks should be able to match-up well against just about any wide receiver that the NFL has to offer. Banks has experience in man and zone coverage, but isn’t the greatest cornerback when it comes to zone. However, Banks is great in man but if a wide receiver does get past him, there’s little chance that Banks will make up that ground he’s lost.
9. Kevin Minter, ILB, LSU
Kevin Minter is someone that I’d like to think that the Patriots would target. Minter has solid sideline-to-sideline speed and will cover a lot of ground at the NFL level. Minter isn’t the greatest pass-rusher, but he’s great against the run and is stout in dropping back into coverage.
10. Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
Johnathan Hankins is a big boy, as he stands in at 6’4″ and weighs a whopping 317 pounds. For being as large as he is, Hankins is actually a pretty impressive athlete as he can balance his body weight very well. Ultimately, Hankins can play all along the defensive line but he’s raw as he’s lacking moves and technique.