Patriots 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Receivers in Focus

Robert Woods 2013 NFL Draft

Are you looking at the next Patriots wideout? (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

One week from today, the 2013 NFL Draft will be in full swing. Here is one scenario of how things could play out for the New England Patriots next week.

Round One: Pick 29

Robert Woods, WR, USC (SCOUTING REPORT)

The Patriots have needs on both sides of the football, but none sticks out bigger than the dearth of depth at the wide receiver position. Julian Edelman is the only player that has caught a pass from Tom Brady on the receiver depth chart.

Danny Amendola has a chance to have a Welker-esque impact on the Patriots offense, but free-agent acquisitions Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins are complementary pieces.

Robert Woods brings the savvy, hands, body control, football IQ, and athleticism needed to thrive in the Patriots offense. Woods most likely won’t be around when the Patriots make their assigned second round selection, so this might be their only chance at landing him.

Clemson’s Deandre Hopkins is another potential selection here, but I’m guessing that we won’t be available. Tennessee receiver Justin Hunter is a boom/bust player that Belichick could also gamble on in the late first round.

If the Patriots choose to add to their defense, defensive line and defensive back are two positions that should have some talent available in the latter parts of the first round. Alabama DT Jesse Williams, Purdue DT Kawann Short, Boise State CB Jamar Taylor and Mississippi State CB Johnthan Banks are all names that have been linked to the Patriots.

Trading down to acquire more picks is also a distinct possibility – especially with teams anticipated to trade back into the first round to pick quarterbacks. However, I ultimately see the Patriots making a pick here.

Round Two: Pick 43 (acquired via projected trade)

Kawann Short, DL, Purdue (SCOUTING REPORT)

It is no secret that the Tampa Bay Bucs aren’t enamored with their current quarterback Josh Freeman. Greg Schiano and Bill Belichick’s friendship and working relationsship (see Aqib Talib trade) is also not being held under wraps. Could these two come together and work something out that is beneficial for both teams? I think they can.

In exchange for Ryan Mallett and a 7th round pick, the Buccaneers send the 43rd overall pick and a 5th round selection to New England. Tampa Bay gets the quarterback competition it needs, while the Patriots get paid off on their investment in Mallett and add to their meager amount of 2013 selections.

Adding Short to the likes of Vince Wilfork, Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick would give the Patriots more of a penetrating presence that can make some splash plays in the backfield. Combined with newly acquired Armond Armstead, they could have some success getting after the quarterback up the middle – making it harder for teams to block Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich or any other edge rushers that the Patriots trot out there.

Short isn’t a guy that can play the amount of snaps that Vince Wilfork does at this point in his career. His motor has improved, but it is still a work in progress. If you plan on having him be part of a rotation – keeping everybody fresh in the process – I think you can get 35-40 quality snaps out of Short per game.

With the plethora of options at receiver and defensive back projected to still be available at the end of the second round, I can imagine the Patriots waiting on those positions and adding to their defensive front seven with Short here.

Round Two: Pick 59

Traded to San Francisco for a 3rd and 4th round selection

The Patriots and San Francisco 49ers have been trading partners multiple times before and this year a trade seems beneficial for both parties. San Francisco has 14 picks but few open roster spots. The Patriots have only and a handful of picks.

I see the 49ers trading their 3rd round selection (#74 from Carolina) and 4th round selection (#128) in exchange for the 59th pick.

Round Three: Pick 74 (acquired via projected trade)

Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall (SCOUTING REPORT)

The Patriots have successfully “double dipped” before at skill positions. Hernandez and Gronkowski. Ridley and Vereen. Will it be wide receivers this year?

Aaron Dobson is a big receiver with unreal hands. He doesn’t have elite speed – despite his 4.4 combine time – but he is still a vertical threat with his ability to separate at the top of his route, track the ball, adjust, and make the circus catch.

Giving Tom Brady this many toys isn’t going to make AFC defenses very happy.

If the Patriots wait to add another target for Tom Brady, a late round option that I like is Minnesota QB/WR/TE MarQueis Gray. I think he could be an excellent “Joker” in the future.

Round Three: Pick 91

Traded for a future 3rd and 7th round selection

Although you probably hear this every year, the 2014 NFL Draft is going to be one that is absolutely loaded. Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater, Jake Matthews and Marqise Lee are just a few of the top prospects in 2014.

Having extra draft ammunition in that draft is going to be key to landing an impact player.

Round Four: Pick 128 (acquired via projected trade)

Zaviar Gooden, LB, Missouri

The Patriots linebacking corps, although stout against the run and effective on the blitz, have been exploited in coverage for too long.

Gooden is an undersized nickel linebacker that has the speed to develop into a good coverage option for the Patriots down the road. He is fluid in his movements and has the ability to stick with tight ends and slot receivers on Sunday.

With a fourth round pick, adding someone that can contribute on special teams as well as play in sub-packages on day one is a great pickup.

Round Five: Pick 147 (acquired via projected trade)

Micah Hyde, CB, Iowa (SCOUTING REPORT)

Alfonzo Dennard, Aqib Talib, Ras-I Dowling and Devin McCourty – if needed – as outside corners. Kyle Arrington inside. McCourty, Adrian Wilson, Tavon Wilson, Steve Gregory and Nate Ebner as your safeties.

That list of defensive backs doesn’t scare me. I don’t think the Patriots need to target a cornerback early. Add in another young cornerback like Hyde to compete with Dowling and whichever veteran backup is signed and I think you have a good mix.

Hyde is also a guy that will contribute on special teams. He has experience at gunner, punt returner and on kickoffs.

Round Seven

Sean Renfree, QB, Duke

After trading Ryan Mallett earlier in this draft scenario, the Patriots need to add another quarterback prospect to groom. Renfree might be the perfect guy for that job.

Due to a shoulder injury, Renfree is going to be picked a round or two lower than he should be. He has above average pocket presence, decent size and enough touch and accuracy to have a successful career in the NFL.

Think of this pick as an investment that may pay off in a couple of years – a la Matt Cassel.

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Patriots Mock Draft, Robert Woods, Ryan Mallett

18 Responses to “Patriots 2013 NFL Mock Draft: Receivers in Focus”

  1. Nikolas says:

    No Michael Buchanan?

  2. AM says:

    It would be stunning if the Patriots got this kind of value for Mallett. Schiano is a new coach, but a third round offer would be highly surprising, much less a second and fifth. I have a hard time seeing it, but if the Patriots get anything like this offer from any team, they should jump at it and not think twice.

    That being said, if they follow up the trade by picking Short, it would work out to be a bit of a waste. It is extremely charitable to say that his motor is a work in progress. He is very inconsistent, not to mention poorly conditioned. Strikes me as the second coming of Ron Brace, except that Brace actually flashed work ethic.

    Dobson and Gooden, on the other hand, would be excellent selections in those spots. Aggressive, athletic, physical players with precise skills and good work ethics. Seem like Patriots to me.

  3. Nick says:

    The combo of woods and Dobson would be ideal in my opinion

    • AM says:

      I love Dobson–think he and Hopkins could be the best in this class–but I worry about Woods’s ability to get separation against physical CBs.

  4. acm says:

    Regarding creating picks for the 2014 draft, I am not sure how well one could calculate such a move. Next years draft is expected to be loaded with 1st round talent but could well turn out to be a top-heavy draft class, while lacking depth in talent beyond the 2nd round. None of those players you mentioned in support of trading the 91st for a future 3rd rounder idea would really make it out of the 1st round anyway.

    this year’s draft class is light at the top – which is a strong pro-trade-down argument as there may well not be any players worthy of a 1st round pick left come pick 29 – but is very deep in talent all the way into the 4th round, at least.
    All in all, a late 3rd round pick this year may well be more valuable than a mid 3rd rounder in 2014.

    I would be all for creating future draft picks in the 1st or 2nd but wouldn’t take it for granted that it would be worth doing so any deeper than that.

  5. David L says:

    I too have heard next year’s draft will be a strong one. I prefer to try and win this year. I would rather trade a #2 next year for #3 this year for more depth.

    I agree with many of the comments here as well. I think CB is now #3 on the list of priorities, with WR #2 and DE #1. I keep having visions of Flaco having all day to throw and leading the Ravens comeback with Jones out. A great rush makes all the DB’s look better.

    So, what DE will be available at #29? I don’t see the Pats trading up with so few choices already. My preference would be Tank Carradine or Demontre Moore. Both these guys played only one year as a starter at DE, yet they stood out. Moore’s poor 12 reps of 225 at the combine was increased to 19 at his pro day. Both these guys give great effort. I hope they grab one of these guys at #29.

    I think we fans worry more about the WR position than BB. The team seems to think Brady can make anybody look good. I would prefer some awesome targets and certainly a deep threat would make other things like running the ball and hitting the TE’s easier. Everybody seems to know except BB.

    That said, I don’t think BB will address WR until #3. So, at the second pick #59 I think they go DB with an outside shot at LB. LB because they brought in Kiko Alonzo and Arthur Brown which makes it seem they are looking to a future without Spikes. I hope not. I think Spikes is a guy to keep. So with their second round pick I think they address CB. I think Amerson may be available and he is the kind of guy that causes turnovers. He had a down year this past season but perhaps he could play safety with McCourty in passing situations and pick off some balls. That is not enough of a reason to use a #2 pick, but I think Amerson may be able to play CB in a year should Talib be let go.

    Not meaning to write a book, but at #3 they finally take a WR. I hope Stedman Bailey would still be around.

  6. jim r says:

    how big of a difference between Woods and Dobson?

    • acm says:

      Not sure what you mean exactly with this but Woods is comparable to WRs like say Patton or Wheaton in this draft, while Dobson – to Hopkins.
      In other words, Dobson is more of a #1 WR prospect while Woods is more of a #2.

  7. Breazy says:

    How do trade value points work when you’re trading a 2013 pick for a 2014 pick?

    There’s uncertainty (you don’t know the exact pick # for 2014) and there’s having to wait a year…so future year picks can’t possibly be worth the same number of points as current year picks. What I think I’ve seen before is that a future picks tend to be worth one round higher than current year picks. For example, SF could trade a 5th round 2013 pick to the Pats for a 4th round 2014 pick…does that sound about right?

    • MaineMan says:

      Trading a current 3rd for a future 2nd or a current 2nd for a future 1st, etc. is the way “trades-forward” have nearly always worked, although there have been some variations – a current 2nd for a future 2nd PLUS a current 4th, etc. Also, if the current-year pick being traded is near the end of the round (#91 is at the end of the current 3rd-round, e.g.), you might get only a future 3rd plus a current-year 6th or something. OTOH, a couple years ago, the Pats traded their #89 to Carolina for their next year’s 2nd (Carolina took Armanti Edwards). Carolina sucked that year and their future 2nd turned out to be the #33, which the Pats used on Ras-I Dowling.

      So far, that hasn’t worked out spectacularly well for either team.

    • NEPD says:

      You are correct, but the Patriots are picking near the end of the 3rd round and a poor team might not want to “pull a Carolina” as MaineMan said.

      Going from pick #91 to perhaps the #70′s – plus an additional pick – is well worth it.

  8. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like the Idea of Mallett going to Tampa, there could be many opitions.
    With next year in mind;
    QB Mallett, #29th and the Patriot 1st pick 2014 to Tampa, for #43, #73 and 1st pick in 2014.
    #43- LB Sio Moore
    #59-WR Markus Wheaton
    #73-OG/T Brian Winters
    #91-DT Jared Smith
    7th- CB Demetrius McCray
    7th- CB Vernon Kearney

    • H says:

      Jared Smith in the third? Yikes. You could get him in the 7th, or as an UFA. If you are going to reach on a tackle, its all about Chris Jones from bowling green.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        DT Jared Smith will suprise many, he has had 6 interviews and there were 4 NFL teams at his pro-day to watch him a 4 other players. The general thought his 4th-5th round.

    • qazmlpgh says:

      Why would the Bucs swap next year’s first rounders? It’s almost a given they’ll be picking higher than the Pats.

  9. cc says:

    Trade back, trade back, trade back…..? Yuk, Yuk, Yuk……!
    Woods & Short I’ll give you. I was willing to go along with it.
    After I saw a complete and total flushing down the toilet of literally every single thing else, I think I coughed up some chunks………..

  10. Bobby says:

    Russ will have an org*** with this mock



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