2014 NFL Draft: Post-Combine Patriots Mock Draft

In 2014, Notre Dame is the new Rutgers.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

One more piece of the draft puzzle was completed over the weekend. With the NFL Combine in the books, we now have confirmed height, weight, and, speed numbers on most of the prospects, which brings some clarity to which players could fit the Patriots draft profiles. The combine, like always, creates some movement on draft boards. As player injuries are revealed and lack of speed is exposed, players are moved down or dropped off of draft boards. How did the combine change the Patriots potential draft haul? Here’s my latest attempt at projecting their 2014 Draft.

Draft Needs: DT, TE, DE, OG/OC, WR, SAF, LB

I normally refrain from projecting trades in my mock drafts. However, with such a deep draft class and recent history being our guide, it’s something that needs to be accounted for. As I’ve said multiple times on Twitter, I believe it’s vital that the Patriots come out of the first two rounds of the draft with the Defensive Line upgraded and one of the top 4-5 Tight Ends. It may take some moving around the draft board, but it’s very possible. Unlike last year where the Patriots entered the draft missing 4th, 5th, and 6th round picks, they enter this year’s draft with a full compliment (no 5th, but two 6th), making it easier to move around.

First Round (29)TRADE 

Last year, the Patriots traded this pick for a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 7th round selection. That was a great deal value wise. While I think that may be a little too optimistc to project this time around, It’s not unrealistic to believe they could trade down into the first half of the second round and add and extra 3rd and 5th round pick. It’s too difficult to project the exact team they will trade with, but picks 29-32 are always prime spots for teams to move up for a Quarterback.

Second Round (Between 42-45)Stephon Tuitt, DT, Notre Dame
Stephon Tuitt measured in at 6’5″ 304 pounds at the NFL Combine. He played Defensive End at Notre Dame, but I like him to kick inside and play a hybrid DE/DT role in the Patriots front. Tuitt will help fix two problems, lacking on the Patriots Defensive Line last season; size and versatility. Tuitt gives the Patriots a huge, yet athletic body that can stop the run and push the pocket from up the middle. It’s no secret that the Patriots haven’t been able to find a player like Tuitt on the free agent market in recent years. It’s hurt their ability to alternate their front seven alignments with success.

Doctors found a hairline foot fracture during Tuitt’s physical at the Combine and he will undergo surgery in the next few weeks to fix it. The foot injury, along with an inconsistent season spent recouping from hernia surgery drops his stock into the second round. The Patriots are able to trade out of the first round, get their big defensive lineman, and acquire more draft capital in the process.

**Trade**  Patriots Acquire a 2nd Round Pick and a 4th Round Pick for their 2nd and 3rd Round Selections.

Second Round (Between 48-52)Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
This is where the Patriots make their move to grab one of the top Tight Ends in the draft. None of the top Tight Ends stole the show in Indianapolis, which is actually a good thing for the Patriots. In all honesty I’m not 100% sure more than one Tight End (Ebron) goes in the first round, when all is said and done, but I expect them to come off the board quickly in the second round. The Patriots can’t risk missing out on the top tier and give up their 3rd round pick (and pick up a 4th) to move up 10-12 slots and get their guy. Niklas is a massive and athletic speciman. Out of all the Tight Ends, his ceiling as a blocker is the highest and he provides another massive receiving threat in the middle of the field.

Why Niklas over the others? If the Gronkowski injuries persist, then they will need someone to play his in-line role. Niklas can do that and be split out as a receiver. He just provides some more options for the Patriots and that’s something they value highly. In 2014, Notre Dame is the new Rutgers. Bill Belichick has been to the campus each of the last three years to do coaches clinics and he has a very good relationship with Head Coach Brian Kelly. He will have intimate knowledge of all Fighting Irish prospects in this draft class, and there are upwards of 10-12 prospects that could interest the Patriots from South Bend.

Third Round (74-78) - Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
The Patriots weren’t happy with their defensive end depth chart last season. They felt the need to release the majority of it at the end of training camp, including recent draft bust Jermaine Cunningham. Old man Andre Carter needed to be signed a third of the way through the year just to provide sub-package pass rush. It’s painfully obvious to all observers that Jake Bequette’s days in Foxboro are numbered. He’s failed to do anything that could be remotely mistaken for making an impact on the football field, so another defensive end is needed. This is a position they could ultimately use a first round pick on, but for the sake of this mock they wait until the third.

Scott Crichton is in the second tier of rushers in this draft. He posted impressive numbers in Oregon State’s defense, winning with power and a relentless motor. Crichton’s knock is that he can’t bend the edge. He’s stiff in the lower body and has to defeat blockers by using power, because he can’t get around them. On the surface his measurables and workout numbers match what the Patriots look for on the edge. Adding Crichton to Stephon Tuitt will instantly add size, power, and boost the pass rush potential at two positions.

Fourth Round - Brandon Coleman, WR, Rutgers
“I thought you said Notre Dame was the new Rutgers?”. I did and it is. But, Rutgers has one last draft class of prospects with the Greg Schiano influence and Brandon Coleman is at the top of that list. Coleman is exactly the type of Wide Receiver the Patriots don’t have. He possesses rare size and combines it with staight line speed to create chunk yardage. Coleman has averaged over 19.0 yards per possessions, ripping off monsterous plays in big situations. He is a supreme Red Zone threat and would give the Patriots that sorely needed big bodied, vertical receiver. His intangibles are immacculate as well. He’s a team captain, will graduate this semester, and has perserved through four different offensive coordinators and horrendous QB play. People may freakout if Bill Belichick picks another Rutgers player, but in this case it would be welcomed.

Fourth Round (126)Christian Jones, LB, Florida State
Looking at the Patriots LB depth chart really isn’t pretty right now. Behind the starters there are no established players that can step in an play major snaps at either position. This is another need that’s been understated by most observers of the team. Christian Jones is a big, athletic, and versatile linebacker. He can play both Outside or Inside and can stay on the field in passing situations. He’d add athleticism and versatility to the depth chart, with Jerod Mayo coming back from injury that is needed.

Fifth Round - Chris Watt, OG, Notre Dame
We’ve seen Bill Belichick do this before and take a handful of kids from the same school. In 2010 it was Florida, in 2013 it was Rutgers, and in 2014 it’s Notre Dame. Watt has been overshadowed by Zach Martin, but he’s a good player in his own right. Watt is a tough kid that will battle and maximizes his talent. The type of hard-nosed kid the Patriots covet. If you discount Logan Mankins (he was drafted as a Tackle and stuck at Guard), then the Patriots have only drafted three true Offensive Guards in the Bill Belichick era (two if you discount Mike Elgin who would’ve played Center) and none before the 4th round. While many mocks have the Patriots selecting an interior Offensive Lineman early, it’s just not something Bill Belichick does.

Sixth Round (182)Tyler Gaffney, RB, Stanford
Gaffney helped himself as much as any Running Back in the draft with an awesome combine performance. His speed doesn’t necessarily show up on film, but Gaffney is a tremendous natural athlete that gave up a baseball career to return to Stanford. Gaffney is a tough, determined runner. He likes to go through people and doesn’t waste time dancing around the line. Gaffney isn’t flashy, but will get what’s blocked. The Patriots don’t need flashy running backs and they like their runners in this mold. Since Belichick has been in New England he has never drafted a RB under 205 pounds, so keep that in mind when projecting RB to the Patriots.

Sixth Round (190) - Aaron Colvin, CB, Oklahoma
Colvin tore his ACL at the Senior Bowl and will miss his entire rookie season. At this point in the draft I’d like the Patriots to continue with their strategy of taking high risk high reward players. It paid off with Alfonzo Dennard as they were able to secure a starting cornerback in the 7th round of the draft. Colvin has starting potential and was off to a great start in Senior Bowl practices before blowing out his knee. Take the kid, stash him on Injured Reserve, and the team essentially has an extra mid-round draft pick in 2015. Colvin deserves a chance to be drafted after getting injured in such an unfortunate manner.

Sixth Round (Compensation) - Brock Vereen, SS, Minnesota
The last two drafts have seen the Patriots reach for Safeties and yet they still have needs at the position, especially at strong safety. In fact if Steve Gregory is let go this is a position I can see them target much much earlier. As of now there will be no reaching and no surprise names. Brock Vereen is the brother of Shane Vereen and possesses a high football IQ like his brother. A former Cornerback, that moved to Safety halfway through his career and has steadily developed into a draftable prospect. Vereen had himself a great combine. He’s a physical safety that isn’t afraid to put his body on the line. For a team that receives almost zero physicality from their Safeties that edge would pay dividends.

Sixth Round (Compensation) - Rob Blanchflower, TE, UMass
Bill Belichick loves to take Tight Ends as evidenced by selecting 9 in his first 7 drafts in New England. He has doubled up at the position multiple times including 2006 and 2010. With so many late selections in this draft I can see Bill Belichick double dipping at the position and taking a chance on the local product that has battled injuries all year. Blanchflower played his high school ball at St.Johns-Shrewsbury and played his college “home” games at Gillette Stadium. He’s someone the team should know very well. If he wasn’t injured this year he could have gone much higher, he’s well worth the risk in the late 6th round.

Seventh Round (221)- Jay Bromley, DT, Syracuse
Bromley is a disruptive interior defensive lineman that had 10 sacks this past season. He’s a big bodied kid that can penetrate and make plays in the backfield. Usually when the Patriots have extra compensation picks, they like to use them to add depth to both the defensive and offensive lines. Bromely is a good value in the 7th, with the potential to stick as a developmental tackle.

Tags: Brandon Coleman, Stephon Tuitt, Troy Niklas

102 Responses to “2014 NFL Draft: Post-Combine Patriots Mock Draft”

  1. Josh says:

    I like what this mock draft has done in terms of trading down and still nabbing some very good players with star potential, on top of this, I think the dream scenario will be the above mock draft’s trades + Trade Mallett for 2nd round assuming someone bites. That’ll give us an extra 2nd round pick which we can use on a quality player that slips or even trade that 2nd round into lower round picks maybe a 3rd and a 4th/5th to add more depth and with those picks.

  2. J H TARBORO says:

    Guys, last year in the Pats camp last summer, we had a real intriguing WR that was here only a week, and I don’t know if he was injured, it was Oregon’s Lavasier Tuinei 6’5″ 220. If he’s healthy, I would like to see him back with the UDFAs. If you never seen him before check him out on YouTube.

    • Pete H. says:

      Enunwa is another WR I would not mind seeing in camp as an undrafted free agent.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Nebraska’s Quincy Enunwa was a RB that became a reciever, and plays the game with toughness and reminds you of Anquan Boldin. Enunwa is 6’1 or 6’2 220 and ran an unofficial 4.40 at the combine before pulling a hamstring. He mentioned that loves knocking DBs out, watch for this kid, he would be one of the first WRs we would want as a UDFA.

    • Russell says:

      Great point on WR Tuinei, wonder where he is now??

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    College pro days start tomorrow!

  4. J H TARBORO says:

    NFL.com reported that Amendola name was floated around at the combine about trade talks.

  5. J H TARBORO says:

    Nick Casario and Michael Lombardi has some work to be done if we’re going to accumulate some picks, put your salesmen hats on!!!

  6. J H TARBORO says:

    After doing a little research the trade down scenario might become a little tough this year, the Colts and the Redskins don’t have a #1 pick. Cleveland has multiple picks in the 1,3,4. Jaxonville has multiples in the 4th and 5th rounds and San Fran has the most picks for the second year in a row. If you really want to have depth and build thru the draft, then some trades has to happen, possibly Mallett or Ridley or both.

  7. Ken W says:

    I like a lot of the picks in this mock draft. I do think the return for the first round pick was maybe a little high but we are all guessing at this point. So here is the list of players I like and about what round the Pats could get them.

    I agree with what a lot of people that are saying that DL isn’t a big priority depending on what they do with Vince. If Vince, Kelley and Armstead come back healthy I think the Pats would be fine on the DL.

    1st: Aaron Donald (DT) Think he will be gone before 29th but if Vince is gone or unhealthy.
    Ra’shede Hageman (DT) I could see BB going for him looking for a Seymour type potential.
    Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE) think he has Antonio Gates potential with his bball background.
    Calvin Pryor (SS) physical hard hitting safety that would add an edge to the Pats DB’s.
    Kyle Fuller (CB) instinctive CB and if Talib isn’t back we will need another CB.

    2nd: C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE)
    Xavier Su’a-Filo (OG), Weston Richburg (OC) , or Travis Swanson (OC) Keep Brady protected.
    Kyle Van Noy (LB), Jeremiah Attaochu (LB) playmaking LB’s
    Deone Bucannon (SS) Big rangy safety that could be a great fit next to McCourty.

    3rd: Telvin Smith (LB) fast cover linebacker that could help the Pats become faster at LB.
    Craig Loston (SS) from what I hear he is a versatile safety that does everything well.

    4th: Brandon Coleman (WR) Big WR 6’6″ that the Pats don’t have, plus he is from Rutgers.
    Jake Murphy (TE), Arthur Lynch (TE), Jacob Pedersen (TE) good second options at TE

  8. Trev says:

    Great mock! This would be a dream scenario. I really hope that NE can trade back from 29 in a similar fashion to the one you described. Do you think they actually have a decent shot at finding a trade partner again this year?

    • Matt says:

      Why should the Pats trade down?

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Depth!

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Because quality players with starting potential can be found in almost every single round this year.

        Because the #29 pick is essentially a second round pick anyway.

        Because if a trade back allows you to have both Tuitt (who is projected to fall back to the second in this mock) or Hageman (who I personally believe will slide back to the early-mid second round) AND Troy Niklas, plus one or two other later round picks, that is far better than getting either Amaro or Nix III alone.

        • Trev says:

          Couldn’t have said it better myself. Problem is that everyone knows this is a historically deep draft, so I highly doubt that we will be able to find a trade partner who is willing to part with a few valuable mid -round picks .

        • acm says:

          True but the chance of that happening decreases more and more with every round you go deeper into the draft, severely decline by the 4th and plummet beyond that (the Shermans in the 5th and the Bradys in the 6th are the rare exception that proves the rule, not the rule).

          It really depends on what players are available at 29 (what value the Pats have on them) and what trades you actually have on the table. What if there aren’t any teams that would be willing to deal with their pockets turned out like Minni last year? What if the best you can get for dropping 20-25 places is a mid 4th in 2014 and a 4th in 2015?
          All in all a trade has it’s pluses and minuses, determined by the circumstances and the best decision (best value) may not always be pulling the trigger on said trade; one cannot just freely assume that you would get a 2nd a 3rd and a 4th or even better for that 29th pick and that the players you like would be there for the taking.

  9. Bill Vermont says:

    That’s would be a great draft for the Pats if that happened, But I can’t see trading from 29 to mid 40′s going to net you a 3rd and 5th. The trade last year was with a playoff team in Minnesota, so their picks were later. And if this is the draft of the decade, where’s the trading partner coming from?

    In this draft I don’t think the DL is in all that bad shape or is not that critical to the success of the team. Wilfork, Kelley, and Armstead will be there, and they can’t all fail. Sealva, Chris Jones, and Vellano will all be a year more experienced, and the team will carry 5-6 at most.

    Signing Talib is a priority, and Edelman (and Brady) deserves a new contract for him.

    The way to compete with San Fran and Seattle ( as well as Carolina and Jets )is with a more talented OLine to make them use more than 4 men rushing. We need to have a big physical line so those guys can’t manhandle us like they do

    Here’s my draft:

    1- Ryan Shazier. I believe this guy can play SS and be a hybrid LB/DB that can play 3 downs and make this defense faster and more opportunistic. With He, Mayo, Hightower and Collins, you would never know where the extra pressure is coming from. An aggressive 4-3

    2- Marcus Martin One of the analysts said Martin was only center who could start right away and they all rate him near the top of the center list.

    3 CJ Fiedorowicz. Did well enough at combine to be a pretty good and safe 3rd TE. This will give Gronk a chance to be more of the move TE, and that might help preserve him

    4 Brandon Thomas OG he’d be a very good backup G with Cannon available to move to OT when Vollmer goes out.

    6A- Jerrick Mackinnon Avery interesting RB to develop and replace Bolden. He could be an understudy to Vereen and run back kicks

    6B Larry Webster DE/ TE Small school BB player and his dad was a longtime DE in NFL

    Compensatory Pick(s) There may be 1 or 2 late picks awarded and there’s a good place to maybe draft a QB (Jeff Matthews) If your looking for Brady’s successor, you’ll need to use a #1 pick. Lightning doesn’t strike twice. This would be a backup to develop when Mallett moves on.

    • acm says:

      Wouldn’t mind Shazier one bit, even at 29 if the conditions for a good trade aren’t there, but honestly don’t see it happening. Also, I think the Pats need a starter quality OG more than a new OC – Connolly is a lot better at C than G. So, with that second pick, I would prefer to see them take say Su’a Filo, if he’s still there, or maybe Niklas/CJF there and then bitonio/Dozier in the 3rd. Or;
      1 – Su’a Filo
      2 – Niklas/CJF (big needs should be a priority)
      3 – Telvin Smith (here is your hybrid LB/SS)
      4 – Demarcus Lawrence (pass rush improved with an edgy player to complement the good guys already on the roster ;) )

      With the later picks, assuming 2 comps somewhere, I’d go with – a developmental QB (Mathews); a big, physical corner to come in for Talib in the 5-6 Reg Season games+the AFC title game he is bound to miss, again (Aikens, Gaines); a change of pace RB to back up Vereen (Perkins) and a wild card player for the move-TE role (Lyerla, Millard, Leonard).

  10. John says:

    Beside the major TEs and Shazier, does anybody know who the Patriots have had meetings with?

  11. acm says:

    A pretty good article on comparison between Niklas, CJF and ASJ and how they fit in the Pats system as the Y-TE:

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/1976118-patriots-2014-nfl-draft-all-about-the-y-tight-end

    • Bill Vermont says:

      Thanks, I just read it. It makes CJF either a smarter choice, or brings them all closer together as picks. ASJ just had surgery on his foot, so his pre-draft performance is probably over. That’s may push him down and present an opportunity or at least a gamble.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Thanks. I’ve been adamant that ASJ was the way to go. Now I am believing to think Niklas might be more of an offensive weapon. If Niklas can be had in the latter part of the 2nd or early 3rd, I believe the Pats have to take him.

  12. carlos strada says:

    couldnt have done it better than this. The only presences of tuitt and niklas at the begining is a huge boost on both o and D

  13. MaineMan says:

    Again, very thoughtful work on the mock, Mike.

    WRT the actual selections:

    TUITT is a very realistic possibility. He’s sort of a younger version of Tommy Kelly (6056/325, 35.5″ arm) who was playing very well (before he got hurt) in exactly the role you envision for Tuitt. I’m not 100% convinced that BB actually drafts a priority DT (depends on what happens in FA), but Tuitt (over Hageman, for sure) or a 320+ pound block-eating, run-stopper would seem to be the best guesses. The Pats already have quite a few “penetrator undertackle” types. If BB does NOT go for a DT here, it’s kinda wide open for safety (Jimmie Ward, e.g.) or even LB or WR (or TE).

    FIEDOROWICZ appears to be the safest choice among the top TEs (established blocking cred, decent receiving skills, almost-great athleticism). But the 2nd round seems to be where BB takes chances on flawed/imcomplete guys with upside. “Upside” seems to be NIKLAS’ middle name, so he appears to be the most likely on that basis. BB might have to take Niklas with the first pick in the 2nd, though that would merely swap the positional selection.

    CRICHTON, DE (3rd) I’m not as familiar with as others (of the many decent DE’s available). I’ll do some homework, now that you’ve suggested him.
    JONES, LB (4th) Another good choice (though among a number of other who should be available in this range)
    COLEMAN, WR (4th) Another good choice, even if BB has already taken another WR earlier. Honestly, I’m not sure that the 2013 draft was at all the end of BB’s effort to refresh the WR corps with draftees. Dobson and KT *should* be at least okay as sophomores, but Boyce, Harrison and Moe are still big question marks. Even taking TWO WRs from this apparently very deep and talented WR class wouldn’t surprise me much.

    My feeling is that, whatever BB ends up with for 3rd & 4th round picks, DE, WR and LB and even DB, not necessarily in that order, are the most likely positional selections (unless one or another has been filled earlier). And there’s likely to be a pretty useful selection left in all four (assuming that you’re mainly looking for solid reserve/rotational players, rather than starters).

    5th-7th rounds:

    COLVIN (INJ) would be a perfectly typical BB “redshirt special” in this range.

    RB I have my doubts about, though. Assuming Blount is re-signed (and I think he will be), the 2014 Pats will feature perhaps the best all-around RBBC they’ve ever had in BB’s tenure, with Jonas Gray and (very, very speedy receiving back) Sam McGuffie for Camp interest. BB might pick up another RB as a UDFA, but I don’t see him spending even a late-round pick on one.

    A second dip on TE is almost a given in this range – maybe leaning more toward a “move/H-back” pure receiving type as a complementary piece, but Blanchflower is a good choice.

    But, SOMEwhere in here, unless he’s already taken someone like McCarron much earlier as a “serious” replacement for Mallett, I pretty much expect BB to take a long-term developmental QB, regardless what transpires with Mallett vis-a-vis any trade. I like Matthews (Cornell) and Logan Thomas (more as “athlete” than actual QB), but there are quite a few possibilities.

    In spite of all the OL who are still hanging around from the past draft (Kline, Barker, Cave, Devey, Mattes, Fisher, Schwab and “Mr. IR” Markus Zusevics), there could still be an OL in this range who seems worth adding to the mix.

    And, of course, yet another DB – and I wouldn’t mind Vereen at all.

    • acm says:

      RB is a bit of a tricky/sleeper position of need in the 2014 draft, imo. Even if Blount comes back, he just doesn’t have that “franchise” feel to him and will likely be a short-term solution. As for Ridley, the main reason he on the 53-men roster next year would be that he has little to no trade value right now and would be best to keep him in hopes he fixes his fumbling issues. Bolden has shown flashes but has failed to establish himself as a power RB and he is barely serviceable as a back up to Vereen for the change-of-pace RB role.

      So, I think it’s more than realistic to expect that a year from now, the Pats will be without Blount, Ridley and Bolden at RB.

      Something else to keep in mind – Pats like to have vet experience at RB and give their first-year RBs a grooming/red-shirt sort of a rookie year and move them up the ladder only in their 2nd season. That was the case with both Ridley and Vereen (the latter would have backed up Woodhead even without the injury issues he had in that first year).

      With this in mind, while I wouldn’t be shocked if they stayed put at RB after bringing back Blount, I think one can well expect the Pats to go for a RB in the mid rounds (4th-5th), with that player likely beating Bolden to a roster spot (again, assuming Blount comes back).

      • MaineMan says:

        I understand where you’re coming from on this, acm, but I really don’t see RB as a position of need worth drafting to until at least 2015, even accepting the (good) idea of drafting a year ahead to give a rookie some time to assimilate. I just don’t see the position as being that demanding anymore. At least not with the way BB seems to regard it.

        First of all, BB hasn’t had a “franchise” RB in years, and I don’t think he’s at all interested in having one anymore. Seems to me that the “franchise back”approach ended with Maroney and it’s been RBBC ever since. IOW *all* the RBs on the roster are essentially “short-term solutions”.

        Blount, at age 28, is certainly the “old man” of the current group and he appears to have grown up quite a bit since his rookie season. He’s a smart, solid power back with +elusiveness for his size and not very much mileage on his tires. Signing him to two or even three years would provide veteran leadership and a bridge/continuity into the group of RBs who will likely have replaced everybody else in the current RBBC by the end of that contract.

        The thing about Ridley is that him “fixing his fumbling issues” comes at a cost, and not an unexpected one (for me, anyway). He originally joined the Pats roster with an ingrained habit of carrying the ball low-and-loose instead of high-and-tight (securely). However, the way he carried the ball was a critical component of his truly remarkable balance through contact. It’s a big part of what enabled him to backpedal through/spin out of many tackles for copious extra yardage. In the latter part of last season, he was rigorously carrying the ball more securely, but his balance and, consequently, his elusiveness/escapability visibly suffered. He was still a good runner, no doubt, just not as remarkable as he had been. Now, he may work his way through all that and get back to what he was, at least part way, while still carrying more securely – but that remains to be seen. If he *does* accomplish that, there’s some possibility that he sees a second contract offer from the Pats, but they probably won’t try to out bid another team to keep him. If he doesn’t… So, the odds are high that he’s gone at the end of 2014, either way.

        Vereen is a remarkable route-runner/receiver who can also run the ball (well, somewhat) and, unlike with Ridley, I think (at this point) the Pats will likely put some serious effort into retaining him on a second contract. At least he seems to have a chance at becoming a more long-term specialist back ala Kevin Faulk.

        Bolden is probably one of the best all-around #4 RBs in the league, the emphasis being on “#4.” He’s also among the top 3-4 special-teamers on the roster. He’s certainly not Blount/Ridley running the ball, nor is he Vereen when catching, and he’s unlikely to ever become the full-time #2, much less the #1. He’s note on a “move up the depth chart” career path. However he’s become a very reliable reserve/relief-man both running and receiving and, since he’s still an RFA at the end of 2014, likely to be available fairly cheap through the end of 2015. That’s not to say that he’s immune to all challengers for that #4 spot, though.

        And there’s already some competition, at least nominally, on the roster with Jonas Gray and Sam McGuffie. BB may well seek to bring in more competition, but what I’m mainly doubting is that BB spends a draft pick to do so, especially from this thoroughly unremarkable RB class. It’s much more likely that he selects another guy or two from among the UDFA, many of whom may well be as good as or even better than a 4th-rounder (which has happened more than a few times in the past with similar RB classes).

        BTW, Gray (5096/223) had posted nearly 800 yards rushing at a 6.94 ypa clip and 12 TDs in his senior year at Notre Dame (2011) before tearing an ACL in November and spending his rookie NFL season (2012) on IR with the ‘Fins. Apparently, he passed his physical with the Pats when he was signed at the beginning of January and I’d have to guess that the coaches saw enough to give him a longer look.

        McGuffie (5102/200, almost exactly the same size as Vereen), was a decent RB at Michigan as a freshman in 2008 (118/486, 3 TDs) before transferring to Rice (to be closer to his family in Texas) and sitting out 2009. Resuming his college career in 2010, he posted 197/883 (4.48 ypa) and 6 TDs while also showing some receiving skills – 38/384, 3 TDs. He missed about half of his junior season in 2011 to various injuries, but came back as primarily a slot receiver in 2012, posting 54/603 (11.2 ypc) with 5 TDs. At his pro day a year ago, he ran a 4.36/40 with a 1.45 10-yd split, put up 26 bench reps, and posted a 42″ vertical, 11’2″ broad jump, 3.93 short-shuttle and 6.57 3-cone (better than TJ Moe in the 40/10, the vertical and broad jumps and equal to Moe on the rest). Yeah, McGuffie is also a track guy like Jeff Demps, but is apparently much more committed to football (IOW, he’s NOT pursuing a track career).

        • acm says:

          Don’t necessarily disagree with this, which is why I said I would be shocked to see the RB core stay the same (assuming Blount is gonna be back, of course). However, the Pats need a player there to give them some consistency and that would have to come from the draft, also due to financial considerations. Not saying they have to draft a RB in the 4th no matter what – if the talent is there, I think they go for it, if not, obviously you take somebody else. The reason I mentioned the 4th round is because I think there would be players available there who’d fall deeper than their talent suggests for one reason or another. That was it.

          On Blount – when i called him a non-franchise player, I wasn’t trying to suggest that he shouldn’t be given a 5-6 year contract. Rather that the Pats aren’t likely to give him anything more than a 2 year deal, with only half guaratneed, making it essentially a 1-year deal. Does he take it? Wouldn’t bet on that, tbh. Even if he did, odds are he is not around for the 2015 season. Continuity gone.

          On Ridley – what you said about him losing his effectiveness in trying to hold on that ball, is true for any player really. It is basic physics (inertia, momentum, etc), actually. The trick is to figure out how to do so without affecting your play too much. Either way, that changes nothing on his role on the team right now – if he had any trade value, he’d be gone. Imagine what happens to the supposedly deep RB core of the Pats if Ridley fumbles in the first game next year? If he doesn’t get cut right after the game, he probably would be as good as useless for the next half a season and more. Again, lack of continuity due to risk.

          On Bolden – I like the guy too, as a 3rd or 4th RB, more precisely a power RB as I don’t think he is anything more than “barely watchable” as a back to Vereen. Yes, he does bring the extra value of a special teamer, and a decent one at that, but that can keep you on the roster only for that long and the moment a better RB talent rolls in, you may be out, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Ridley – not sure I’d like Bolden so much if he was the 2nd power RB on the team. One other knock on him is his seemingly chronic issue with knee injuries – his game seems to be affected by those and odten leaves the game or makes the 46 men roster as “questionable” and then his role is pretty limited thruout the game … and that’s when he is there at all.
          Not saying he doesn’t have any value to the team, just that said value won’t be enough to save his roster spot the moment they get their hands on a better, more promising rookie RB. He is just not the type of player whose roster spot is “guaranteed”, if you know what I mean, and is a cut in the making. Again, you have a possibility for a lack of continuity from year to year.

          On Gray – I like the move but not sure how much one can rely on a RB coming off a very serious injury. IIRC, he wasn’t exactly a can’t miss talent out of college either. Not that he can’t develop into a reliable player for them, it’s just that he has a better shot at not making the 53-men roster than get a good deal of carries next year and be the starter the next.

          As for McDuffie, I am very weary of youtube legends like this guy. Not to mention that he had a ton of physical issues while he was still playing at RB (numerous concussions and other injuries too). Only after he switched to WR full time, did he seem to put those behind him (seem bein the key word). So, I don’t really expect him to feature at Rb in the NFL at all and for all I know he could be the next Ryan Swope at WR.

          All in all, the seemingly deep RB core is anything but as it consists of players who do not bring any continuity guarantees to the position – they are all (except Vereen) more year-to-year players, who are fighting for their roster spot till 5.00pm on roster-deadline day, than anything else. Which is why, if the talent and good value is there, I think the Pats may well take a rookie RB starting in the 4th round as this is quite possibly the last year of continuity the current RB-core would give them (and that’s assuming Blount comes back).

  14. Russell says:

    I see Dallas as a possible trade partner for the Patriots 1st (#29), to Dallas for 2nd (47) and thier 3nd and 5th in 2015.

    #47- CB Kyle Fuller
    #62- TE Arthur Lynch
    #93- RB Tyler Gaffney
    # 126- OG Jon Halapio
    #182-WR Jeff Janis
    #190- QB Jeff Mathews
    C 6th- S Brock Vereen
    C 6th- DT Justin Ellis
    #221-OG Spencer Long

    • YESSIR77 says:

      I like this one also. I have a hard time seeing NE taking a CB, unless Talib is not back. Getting Talib done is the key to this off season and draft. If we get him back; we have Talib, Dennard, Ryan, Arrington. A guy I like in the later rds is Gains from Rice. Tall, fast CB who has a knack for knocking the ball out. I think he had 18 PD his Sr season. He also have good closing speed and can chase guys down. Watch some film on him; Phillip Gains from Rice…nice player.

      • Russell says:

        I agree in fact if Kyle fuller is off the board, I would take CB Phillip Gaines, in the 2nd round he is that good.

        • acm says:

          I am not as high on P. Gaines, tbh. Yes he tested great at the combine but his game tape has it’s problems – there was a reason why he was graded as a very late pick before the combine. Now he may have moved himself into the 5th round to maybe late-ish 4th even but not higher than that, imo.
          I wouldn’t be shocked to see him get drafted by someone (say the Cowboys) in the 2nd on his combine performance alone, just don’t think his value falls in that range.

    • acm says:

      Like the players but not the value in some of those picks – e.g. Lynch (a 4th rounder for me) and Gaffney (a 5th rounder, maybe even a 6th, imo) there. I don’t think Hilapio is comfortable moving in space, which would make him a bad fit for the Pats, imo. This may give you better value, I think:

      #47- CB Kyle Fuller
      #62- OL Joel Bitonio (or Xavier Su’a Filo should he fall here)
      #93- TE Arthur Lynch
      # 126- RB Tyler Gaffney

      For a moment there I wasn’t sure if DT Ellis falls to very late 6th (in the comp. pick range) but I guess that sounds about right and is reasonable to expect … although I might prefer your guy Zach Kerr over Ellis, tbh

      • Russell says:

        I agree with you, and still feel I need to tweek my board alittle. I would like to see a guy that can spell Nickovich some stay 30 snaps. Phillip Gaines on tape looks very good to me, the compontion is not as strong as say Fuller, faced. Lynch at #93 is safe I think, and Gaffney at 4th alittle risky.

        • acm says:

          O. Gaines is good in coverage but needs to improve in run support, shedding off blocks and tackling. Could bulk up to become an even more physical, press corner. Then there is the level of opposition he’s faced.
          My guess is, he moved himself into the 4-5 rounds range with his combine but is still more of a developmental corner at this point.

  15. YESSIR77 says:

    Brinkley was cut by AZ. There is the vet depth we need at LB. He is great vs the run and will not break the bank. Would love to see him here. He would solve some problems and give Collins and Stevie B some time to grow. We can draft a young LB at some point.

    • acm says:

      not sure it’s the kind of vet depth that the Pats need. Brinkley has been mostly a back-up LB in the NFL so far and making most of his contribution coming on special teams. He isn’t too much of a vet anyway and definitely not with much experience as a starter.
      The Pats need a legit vet, who’d bring starting experience as a defensive leader as Mayo is the only player the Pats have in that role right now. Of course not breaking the bank would require we are talking 30+ yo players here but it is what it is.

  16. YESSIR77 says:

    Love this draft. Top 4 picks are great. For those that say Tuitt is a pile of garbage, well you are entitled to your opinion, but you have no clue. The kid played hurt all yr, gained about 30pds because of his injury and was forced to play inside because of injuries to Nix’s and a few other guys. He was doubled the whole yr after Nix’s went out.ND also lost some DL who committed. Go back and watch his JR at ND, you will see a big difference. Tuitt has lost the weight he put on and is back to where he was a Jr. He is going to be a stud in the NFL. I also like this kid Crichton a lot. He is very explosive off the ball. He weighs more than Chandler, but is a little smaller. Kid has some burst and very good moves. He has climbed my draft board. Niklas has that potential to be a great TE. Good size, speed and is hard to take down. He is baby Gronk. Niklas was brought to ND as a OLD/DE as a Fr. He was moved to TE after that. I think he could have been the 2nd best TE this yr, if it was not for his QB. I like Coleman on his size alone. He would be a HUGE help in the red zone. No height on this team last yr, and it hurt. Edelman, Amendola, Harrison, Dobson, Boyce, Moe, KT, Coleman…..lots to chose from!!

  17. hdh says:

    I say they trade 29th pick for a 3rd, 4th & 6th. Trade Ryan Mallet & a 6th to Texas for their 2nd and 6th round pick. Definitely need a TE, S, OL, DL & (rushing) OLB & (Developmental) QB. What comes from the current FA pool vs draft hard to say but I, like a number of other commenters above, like your picks. Think Ras’head vs Tuitt (both Richard Seymour-like) Nix (if he’s there) would be a touch decision.

  18. MaineMan says:

    Great work overall, Mike, but you’re being a bit optimistic about what the Pats would gain in terms of draft picks in your trade scenarios, with significant impact on your proposed later-round selections.

    Based on the Standard Value Chart “ammunition” that other teams actually have to trade up WITH, mathematically REALISTIC trade-down partners for the #29 begin with:
    - TBY at #38 – they’d also give up their 4th and 5th, but get back a 6th from the Pats in “change”
    - JAX at #39 – plus a 4th and 5th, but no “change” (and they have 10 picks to start with)
    - MIN at #40 – plus one of their 3rds (#96, received in an earlier trade) and a 5th (they also have #72 in the 3rd)
    - BUF at #41 – plus their 3rd (#73), but the Pats would have to give up their 4th and both current 6ths in change
    —– OR, BUF would give up the #41 PLUS their 4th, 5th and 7th (leaving them with only two picks)
    - TEN at #42 has no 3rd rounder and would need to use a 2015 pick as part of its compensation to the Pats (not so good for the Pats in a deep 2014 draft)
    - NYG at #43 – plus their 3rd (#74), but the Pats would have to give back their 4th (#126) and 7th in change
    - STL at #44 – plus their 3rd (#75) PLUS a 7th; the Pats would still have to give up their 4th, but would GAIN a 7th
    - DET at #45 – plus their 3rd (#76); the Pats would give up the 6th they got from Philly in the Sopoaga deal (#182)

    For all practical purposes, the cutoff point would probably be about here. Deals below this point would require the Pats accepting compensation that relied on a 2015 pick or the deals would be ridiculously disadvantageous to the other team in terms of how many picks they’d have to give up.
    —–
    As to the follow-up trade up within the 2nd-round — based on the various scenarios above having already occurred:

    TBY/MIN/JAX – the Pats would have to use their own 2nd (#62) and 3rd (#93) to get them back up to #49 (the Jets), but they’d get NO 4th-ROUNDER coming back to them. If they only went up as high as #52 (ARZ), they could get a 5th back in addition, but that’s about it. And, in the TBY scenario for #38, the Pats would already be missing one of their 6ths.

    BUF(a) would be the same as TBY/MIN/JAX, but the Pats would already be missing their 4th and both 6ths.

    BUF(b)/NYG/STL/DET – using the 3rd-rounders the Pats received in those previous trades (#73-#76) + the Pats own 2nd-rounder (#62) puts them up WAY higher than the 48-52 range. Using those acquired 3rd-rounders + the Pats own 3rd-rounder (#93) only gets them up into the #55-#56 range, so the Pats would also have to throw in their own 6ths to get up to #52, OR their own 4th, PLUS the 6ths to get to #48. But, of course, in a couple of the original deals for the #29, they don’t have all of those picks anymore.
    —–
    BTW – according to the terms of the new CBA, a player’s compensatory pick impact transfers with him in any in-season trade. Thus, when the Pats acquired Sopoaga from Philly (who signed him as a free agent from SFO, originally), it counted against the Pats in the comp-pick formula as if it had been the Pats who signed Sopoaga as a free agent. Bottom line is that the Pats are highly unlikely to receive more than one 6th-round comp.

  19. tbuck says:

    hey I like our mock draft everything but tuitt injury prone. pick up red bryant and or Arthur jones and get a stud on offencesive line 1st pick also counting on big vince being back and other d-line making a good second year jump need stud t-e to and can never have to much secondary help and go patriots

  20. J H TARBORO says:

    Seattle’s Red Bryant released.

    • acm says:

      nice. an alternative to L. Joseph for a more athletic plugger in the middle. A bit longer in the tooth but still a play-maker.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        ACM, we like a lot of the same players, but we differ on a few, and that’s ok. I watch a lot of football and study many different offenses such as Wing T, Pistol Wing T, Fly, Spread, and love the old school Beast formation. We mainly have a difference when it comes down to Dri Archer, who would be great in this offense regardless of size, and who was just endorsed by Mel Kiper Jr. as being an offensive weapon. If you remember last year, you had ta talk me off the Tavon Austin ledge but we got Amendola, which wasn’t great. I’m essentially saying I respect your opinion!

        • acm says:

          we aren’t supposed to all think alike, JHT ;)

          I talked you off the cliff on Austin not because I didn’t like the player but because I saw him go earlier than people were even mocking him (and he was being mocked already out of the Pats range anyway).

          Regarding Archer, our opinions on him don’t differ as much as you may think – I like the guy, just don’t see him as a starter with a well defined role in the NFL yet due to him being under-developed as both a WR and RB in a pro-style offense and his lack of size for the Rb position, which is where he tested at the combine. That’s where he differs from Austin – TA was established and polished as a WR already and his lack of size wasn’t as striking for that position. Archer is coming out of a smaller school, is under-developed at WR and needs to gain a good 15 lbs and more to survive in the NFl as a legit option at RB. Maybe he sticks at WR down the road but that’s likely to take some time. All this makes me see him as a “joker” type of player with limited # of snaps in the NFL for the time being. Hence my hesitation to see him as being worth any higher than a 5th-6th round pick this May.

          Cheers and respect.

          P.S. I don’t have much of an opinion on Mel Kiper, tbh. For me he’s a showman first and only then whatever he may be calling himself these days.

  21. colton says:

    trade mallet for 33rd pick while houston takes clowney. trade 33 for later 2nd 3rd and 5th
    29 louis nix
    middle second- kelvin benjamin if available
    our 2nd- best te available
    early 3rd- olb telvin smith
    late 3rd best OL availabe
    late 4th deon buchannon
    early 5th rb jeremy hill/ BA rb
    late 5th aaron colvin cb
    6th- BA QB or sign chad henne and BA DL
    7th fast playmaker highlight reel guy who can help return kicks/punts if not a rb selected before that
    sign lamar houston bernard pollard if no safety is picked

  22. Bill says:

    That’s areal nice draft, but you are using 11 picks to do it. Kind of make believe, if you know what I mean. But I like the picks

  23. J H TARBORO says:

    According to Patriots.com S Steve Gregory to be released today! Patriots also may be interested in former Cleveland LB D’qwell Jackson.

    • Pete H. says:

      If the Pats don’t end up with a guy they like in the draft and the top end free agents price out of their range, I could see Quintin Mikell as a 1 year stop-gap. Older guy, but still productive last year with the Panthers and could help Harmon fill in for a year while bringing experience from a very good defense to the Patriots young group.

    • Pete H. says:

      Stevie Brown could be another option to sign an affordable 1-year deal coming off of an injury.

    • acm says:

      Good news on LB Jackson. Would be a great fit for the Pats, imo. An alternative to D. Smith and K. Dansby for adding some vet presence at LB besides Mayo.

      The Browns are cleaning house and are expected to release DL/NT Ahtyba Rubin, as well.

  24. Ramtha says:

    Mike, you are draft expert, how does Bill take Tavon Wilson with Lavonte David, Osemele, Cameron Hayward, TY Hilton on the board? I think about this and want to jump out a window.

  25. Pete H. says:

    Gregory’s agent says he’s being released… any second round prospects intrigue people? What about Clemonds from the Dolphins? Would he fit with McCourty?

    • acm says:

      In free agency, I’d hope they look at Chris Clemons, Mike Mitchell, Bernard Pollard.
      In the draft – Deone Buccanon (2nd round) and Terrence Brooks, Craig Loston, nickLB Telvin Smith (all these are 3rd rounders, imo)

      • jim r says:

        DBuchannon rd 1 and telvin smith rd 2

        • acm says:

          not sure Bucannon has 1st round talent in him, at this point. I think he goes in the second, probably not dropping out of the top 50 players but not quite in the 1st either.

          As for Telvin Smith, he is projected in the 2nd but I think he falls a good deal due to his lack of size for an NFL LB,. At the same time he lacks the experience and tape at the SS position I like him in. Basically, playing him at SS would be sort of an experiment and he became a starter at FSU only in 2013, so there is that too. A bit too many unknowns and questions and what ifs for a 2nd rounder, imo, which is why I wouldn’t be shocked if he fell to the 4th even.

  26. Landon says:

    Lol you all sound like know-it-alls. Does being a Pats fan give you infinite knowledge on scouting these players? Or the game even? You all seem like arm-chair coaches and should stfu, because none of you know what you are talking about and couldn’t predict a draft if you could see into the future. This is a good article, so all you bashers disagreeing here should just shut it. Let’s not forget the surprises Coach has pulled out of his butt the last few years. One year he’s trading up to grab Chandler Jones and drafting Tavon Wilson in the 2nd then the next year he’s patiently waiting to drop out of the first. There is no telling what the guy and his staff are going to do. So all of your yip yap and know-it-allism is really useless at this point. See what you think after the draft.

  27. Ray Foley says:

    Like Niklas, but would prefer Norwood over Coleman.

  28. Stephen J says:

    Mike
    What are your thoughts on Kareem Martin from UNC does he fit scheme wise as well as what the Pats look for and where do you think he goes in the draft.
    What do you know about the reports about the Pats interest in Marqise Lee is that a smoke screen due diligence or legitimate interest
    I get the sense that the 1st round pick will be traded as well.
    As far as Tuitt I’m not sold on him maybe because I’m tired of injury prone players or maybe because I just don’t see him being productive enough(Vince W like) not sure with that being said I’m not totally against Tuitt either I prefer him over Hageman
    As far as TE my preference would be C. J. Fiedorowicz over Troy Niklas but not knocking Troy just like C J better with all the connections at Iowa as well
    Brandon Coleman doesn’t excite me but is intriguing
    Don’t know anything about Christian Jones so cant say much but what do you think about Jordan Tripp instead of Christian Jones.
    The rest is intriguing as well and I appreciate your insights.
    As far as Brock Vereen goes he said he’d like to play against his brother what better then playing against him every day except for Sunday’s

  29. acm says:

    Good one, Mike Loyko. Just not sure about Tuitt, even though he is a very tempting prospect size-wise and would fulfill a need; would also represent good draft value in the 2nd. Unfortunately, however, Imo Tuitt isn’t consistent enough and doesn’t play with enough aggressiveness/edge to be considered a game-changer/playmaker at the next level. He did play with some injury issues (hernia among others, iirc) in 2013 and maybe that was the reason why failed to equal and build onto his production from 2012. Couple this with his hairline fracture and maybe we have a legit cause for concern from a physical stand-point, as well.

    Also, with Wilfork’s and Kelly’s futures uncertain, instead of drafting a rookie early, the Pats may be better off getting at least one DL in free agency – Arthur Jones, Linval Joseph, Lamarr Houston, Hery Melton. That way they would get younger, yet preserve the necessary experience at the heart of the D.
    Pass rush would also benefit from adding a young but experienced player – the Seahawks likely wouldn’t have won the Sb without the additions of Avril and Bennett last year. Plus the draft isn’t too deep on sure-fire DE talent this year. DE Everson Griffen could be an option; maybe Jared Allen too if the discount is too good.

    Anyways, I am trading back for a 2nd, 3rd and a 5th. Don’t move up in the 2nd or 3rd but trade Mallet and Bequette to Minnesota for their 3rd. Also moving up to early 4th at the expense of the 6th from Philly.
    So, when all is said and done, the Pats have TWO 2nd round picks, THREE 3rd rounders, an early 4th, a 5th, THREE 6th rounders (2 comp.) and a 7th:

    2nd round:
    – early pick from trade: CB Kyle Fuller (rangy, physical CB with great instincts)
    – own pick: TE Troy Niklas (think either he or ASJ falls here)

    3rd round:
    – Minnesota pick: OLB/LB/DE Jeramiah Attaochu (a Khalil Mack/Jamie Collins type of player; plays with an edge, can rush the passer and drop in coverage)
    – pick from trade: OL Joel Bitonio / OG Dakota Dozier
    – own pick: SS/nickel LB Telvin Smith (to do what Adrian Wilson was expected to)

    4th round:
    – early pick in the round after trading up: RB Jeremy Hill / Terrance West (This is likely Ridley’s last year, Blount may well not even be back; Pats need to get their RB for the next 3 or so years)

    5th round:
    – pick from trading the 29th: WR Jeff Janis/Cody Latimer (big, physical WR to complement Dobson down the road)

    6th round:
    – own pcik: QB Logan Thomas / Jeff Mathews
    – 1st comp: CB Walt Aikens / Phillip Gaines / Brandon Dixon (another bigger, physical corner)
    – 2nd comp: TE Colt Lyerla / FB Trey Millard / TE AC Leonard (a player for the move TE)

    7th round:
    – own pick: DT Jay Bromley / NT Zach Kerr (depth/developmental players for the middle; Kerr in particular may well be a much betetr value here than NT Louis Nix as a 1st round pick)

    • acm says:

      In case there may be too many CBs on the roster, other options for one of the comp picks in the 6th could be:
      RB Jerick McKinnon / RB Ladarius Perkins (change of pace RBs)
      WR John Brown (a player similar to TY Hilton and Emmanuel Sanders, should Edelman leave)

      • Pete H. says:

        If you’re worried about too many CBs on the roster, Colvin might be a nice choice, since he will likely land on IR this season (thus not taking a roster spot) but can still add talent to your CB group from a longer-term perspective.

        • acm says:

          Yep, he’d be a good option there too. Best fit for those picks would become clearer deep into free-agency, right before the draft.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      ACM, I like this. Well thought out!

  30. Accuan says:

    A wide receiver in the third round seriously ???? They need a TE not a WR. And there’s no way Tuit is dropping down in the second round besides Notre Dame doesn’t produce a damn football player. T’eo was rated HIGHER than Jamie Collins and the dude is a disaster in the 3-4.

  31. Joe says:

    The choices make sense but my critical need is interior offensive line. After trading back into the second, an early round pick should be the best lineman in the draft. Pats have to stop the pass rush up the middle with better talent.

  32. Pete H. says:

    If the Patriots do release Gregory and target a safety higher in the draft, which players do you think would appeal to the Patriots?

  33. Phil says:

    Great mock draft. There is a lot of depth in this draft on both sides of the line and at WR which means value late. The only thing is too many Notre Dame players, but the draft looks good. If around, instead of Niklas, the Pats should take Lamarcus Joyner. NFL teams are going to make the same mistake with him as they did Tyrann Mathieu. Although a bit undersized, he is instinctual and a big hitter. The pats need a more instinctual hard hitting secondary. The secondary is soft.

  34. Trevor says:

    I hope they do trade down in the some manner like you suggested. The draft is so deep that if Belichick’s #1 player is not there at 29 then build up depth with picks in the 2nd-5th round range.

    I really like the Brock Vereen pick. Him and Duron Harmon can handle the other safety position next to Devin.

  35. SJGMoney says:

    Interesting thinking on Colvin however somebody else will do the grab and stash much earlier. I look at a team like the 49ers who did it with 2 guys last year (Carradine, Lattimore) and see them doing it as early as 4th round.

  36. alan says:

    love this draft. i really liked the pick of jamie collins last year and really think that is the future of the nfl. these 6’3 athletic linebackers who is a jack of all trade and can run with these bigger and faster tight ends and wide recievers. Give me a ryan shazier or telvin smith and i will be very pleased. i am still a huge fan of asj even though people question his yac, effort and now his broken foot. love what he could bring to our offense. he can play both a move tight end and an inline tight end something i fell niklas cant do

  37. nik says:

    mike – for all the football acumen you display on twitter, and here, i am frequently puzzled by your mock drafts. tuitt is a slow to the punch, heap of a human that i don’t see on tape as having any dynamic presence from play to play. as i see the same with hageman, they are big, average speed bodies that don’t create enough separation to be playmakers. i understand you are considering trade scenarios that push them further away from elite talent, but i just don’t get the logic of not taking someone like a kyle fuller, for example. alfonzo dennard was absolutely smoked in the denver game when talib went out. to think we are not lacking playmakers in the defensive backfield is a crucial oversight.

    this team needs PLAYMAKERS on both sides of the ball, desperately. while guys coming back from injury will help, i feel the focus should be on exactly those types of players. athleticism, dynamic. a guy like fuller. could we move a freak like telvin smith to SS? or is that too much to ask from a value standpoint? defensive end is such a huge need but i don’t see any player outside of clowney and mack on an ELITE level. i do like everson griffen from the vikings who the pats allegedly had eyes for coming out of USC a few years back.

    playmakers at d end, cb, s, wr, the, dt. who can help us?

    • Mike Loyko says:

      I try to project what they WILL do, based on what I KNOW they like and who they like. Not some pie in the sky mock draft. I’m curious to know your definition of a playmaker and your definition of elite talent.

      • nik says:

        curious how you would define “pie in the sky”? kyle fuller is “pie in the sky”? telvin smith is “pie in the sky”?
        what i saw last year from the pats, particularly in the playoffs, was a lack of playmaking and athleticism. I’m not asking for them, or for you, to believe mack or clowney is falling into their lap. in the case of d end, i mention everson. athletic, long, speed. sign him, and don’t reach for tuitt. grab a hard nosed, athletic ‘playmaker’ on the outside in fuller early instead. tuitt is a reach for need to me. telvin smith is a straight up athlete. isn’t that what the nfl is moving towards? speed, athleticism at ALL positions, see jamie collins. crichton is just another ninko to me. yeah, the pats have showed to value that type of player in the past. but thats just it, the past. with collins, it seemed bill was showing a need for a change in perspective. we know how they are usually ahead of the football curve. even a mcgill, with an impressive 40 time for his length – thats an athletic enigma for his position. thats what we need to start valuing, IMO.
        niklas i am on board with, and coleman to a lesser extent. i do feel the pats need a bigger body like his on the outside. odell beckham would also be a perfect patriot to me. odds are there is no way he is landing at 29, but talk about a guy who will create separation and position, coupled with sure hands. thats the exact type of outside receiver attributes this team needs.

        • Phil says:

          Nik,

          The defense held up last postseason and held the greatest offense of all time in the 20s without Talib for much of it. That is not bad at all. The problem was on offense in the playoffs. I agree the secondary, along with most of the defense is soft. Letting Spikes walk will be a huge mistake and make them softer. The patriots should spend at least two early picks on a WR, both over 6′ 2″, and a TE. Kelvin Benjamin early and Martavis Bryant in the 3rd. Take lamarcus joyner (CB safety hybrid) and sign TJ ward.

        • kennyg says:

          Just thinking out loud, what if we went TJ Ward instead of Talib.

          FA Pick up’s:

          Everson Griffen, DE (To help Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones on the outside)

          Hakeem Nicks, WR (Outside threat on a prove it deal)

          Julian Edelman, WR, (Keep Brady’s blanket as we got rid of Amendola…Cut, but I hope we can trade him even for a 6th round pick)

          T.J. Ward, S, Browns (We let Talib walk, but we did spend on a top Safety)

          Yes Wilfork is back, restructured his contract

          Tommy Kelly is back on the vet minimum as well (incentive based contract)

          Dan Connolly or Wendell back on a redone contract

          Draft:
          1. Kyle Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech
          2. Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
          3. DaQuan Jones, NT, Penn State
          4. Tyler Larsen, C, Utah State
          6th Round (from PHI – Isaac Sopoaga mid-season trade) Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
          6th Round our own pick – Brock Vereen, SS, Minnesota
          6th round (comp pick for Thomas OL) – Aaron Murray, QB Georgia
          6th Round (comp pick Pat Chung S) – James White RB, Wisconsin
          7th Tyler Starr, LB, South Dakota

  38. Pete H. says:

    This draft makes sense and fills needs. I like Niklas, Blanchflower, and Colvin especially. I’d rather see them grab an offensive lineman in the 3rd as opposed to Crichton, but Crichton fills a need too. With Wendell potentially departing this year and Connolly gone by next at the latest, it would be good to have a strong prospect in the system to groom to be ready to be a solid starter in 2015. Don’t want to leave both center and right guard to undrafted guys or 5th round scrappers, and don’t want to spend big at those positions either.

  39. Ryan says:

    I can’t help but think C.J is the TE they want. He was under utilized so badly at Iowa. He reminds me of Gronk in many aspects. I think he is the guy they take for a TE.

  40. Matt says:

    I hope they don’t trade down. I really don’t think Tuitt will be around in the 2nd. I do hope they draft him though.






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