Mike Loyko’s Pre-Combine 2014 NFL Mock Draft

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

It’s been a full week since the football season ended and the focus of the football universe is entirely on the NFL Draft. Even though it’s early, there is nothing fans love more than a mock draft. Fans love to dream of possibilities and envision which player their favorite team could end up with or find out where their favorite player might end up.

Free Agency hasn’t started yet and the combine is just over a week away,  which means this mock will be irrelevant in a matter of weeks. But, without further ado, here is my pre-combine mock draft.

1. Houston Texans – Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M
Momentum continues to build for Johnny Football and I believe this really is the most logical scenario come draft day. The most exciting player in the draft and a Texas boy is too much to pass up for Bob McNair and Bill O’Brien. After the success of Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, and Cam Newton, teams are determined to find the “next big thing” and Johnny Manziel is that thing.

2. St. Louis Rams (via Wash) – Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
Defensive End isn’t their biggest need, but when your picking this high and you already have your franchise QB*, you take the best player available. Adding Clowney to Robert Quinn, and Chris Long, is a downright scary thought. Remember the Rams play in the increasingly tough NFC West, building a strong pass rush to counter some of the offenses they will face makes a lot of sense. With another pick in the middle of the round, the Rams can get the best player in the draft and still get the Offensive Tackle they need.

3. Jacksonville Jaguars – Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
The Jaguars are in a position where they can sit back and take the last of the top three players available. For them, getting Bridgewater at #3, has to be considered a best case scenario. Bridgewater gives them a legitimate QB of the future and a face of the franchise player to go with a young up and coming coach. Things could change quickly in Jacksonville if they are able to pull this pick off in May.

4. Cleveland Browns – Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
This has to be the worst case scenario for the Browns, who are dying to land Manziel and if he’s not there one of Bridgewater or Clowney. With all three off the board the Browns can’t reach for a QB here. It makes sense to take the best player on the board, who is Sammy Watkins and try to get their QB at the end of the first round. Pairing Watkins with Josh Gordon and TE Jordan Cameron should be an exciting thought for Browns fans. However, I fully believe when the actually draft rolls around the Browns will do whatever it takes to get the QB they desire at the top of the draft.

5. Oakland Raiders - Greg Robinson, OT, Auburn
The Raiders are in a position where they have to take the best player available and get some immediate returns on the pick. GM Reggie McKenzie is about to be on the hot-seat and after making some curious selections at the top of the draft last year, they can’t afford to miss. Robinson’s upside is ridiculously high. They can kick Jared Veldheer inside or to Right Tackle and strengthen two positions at once.

6. Atlanta Falcons - Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M
Thomas Dimitroff has really failed to upgrade the offensive line during his tenure as GM. His recent draft’s have not been strong along the OL and DL especially. Picking in the top 10 they will get a shot at a very good player and Matthews can play right protecting Matt Ryan’s blind side. This pick would be tough to screw up.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers – Anthony Barr, OLB, UCLA
The Buccaneers are always in need of more pass rushers. Barr is raw, but his natural athleticism and ceiling as a pass rusher is unmatched. His explosion and acceleration off the ball is awesome, as his sudden change of direction and closing speed. Barr may take time to reach his ceiling, but he can be successful rushing the passer as a rookie and do so at a high level.

8. Minnesota Vikings – CJ Mosley, LB, Alabama
The Vikings have a big need at linebacker and could use some leadership on the defensive side of the ball. Mosley is a plug and play starter that can have a big impact as a rookie. Mosley is a high-character, team leader, and a play making machine. This is the rare pick where BPA meets team need perfectly. Mike Zimmer gets a defensive centerpiece to build his defense around.

9. Buffalo Bills – Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina
Ebron is an athletic freak and a mismatch for defenses. He is essentially a big, agile, Wide Receiver playing the Tight End position. Scott Chandler is a free agent and even with him on the roster, the Bills tight end position is pretty bleak. Surrounding EJ Manuel with more weapons is a logical idea and Ebron has more value than a WR here, because of the steep drop off in TE talent in the 2nd round.

10. Detroit Lions – Marqise Lee, WR, USC
Calvin Johnson can’t keep doing it on his own (okay maybe he can), but the Lions at least need to get Matthew Stafford another target to throw to. Adding a dynamic route runner like Lee should take some of the coverage away from Johnson and make the Lions tougher to defend. It’s possible the Lions could opt to add a pass rusher in this spot to fill the void left by Cliff Avril.

11. Tennessee Titans – Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo
The Titans are another team that’s always in search of pass rush help and Mack will do that immediately. A violent, physical, and aggressive player that can play as a 4-3 End or 3-4 OLB. While Mack played at a lower level of competition, he consistently dominated the game, even when he did get to play against BCS level opponents. If Mack is available at #11 for the Titans they better sprint to the podium and turn in the card.

12. New York Giants – Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Hakeem Nicks is likely gone and even if the Giants do decide to sign him, he’s been a train-wreck the last two seasons. We all know how much Eli Manning loves throwing to coverage receivers, just throwing it up and pray it gets caught. That’s where Mike Evans wins. He’s physically dominant at the catch point, winning contested ball after contested ball. The Giants have other needs, but Mike Evans would be a huge upgrade and nice compliment to Victor Cruz.

13. St Louis Rams – Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan
This is the reason the Rams should take Clowney with pick #2 if he’s there. In all likelihood the Rams will be able to get one of the top five Offensive Tackles with the 13th pick after taking potential All-Pro player at #2. If the Rams come out of the draft with Clowney and Lewan, Kouandjio, etc. It should be considered a huge success. Jake Long is recovering from ACL surgery and Lewan can fill in there until he’s healthy, at which point he flips to the right side creating University of Michigan bookend tackles.

14. Chicago Bears - Timmy Jernigan, DT, Florida State
The Bears defensive line is a mess, especially on the interior. Besides Henry Melton, there isn’t a player on the roster, that I’d consider a starting caliber talent. On top of that Melton is a free agent and coming off an ACL tear. Jernigan is the best DT in the draft, playing a disruptive brand of football. This is a position that must be addressed early in the draft and they get the best one in this scenario.

15. Pittsburgh Steelers - Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State
Ike Taylor is just about finished and allowing Keenan Lewis to walk in free agency last year, doesn’t look very smart right about now. The Steelers secondary is about to be rebuilt from top to bottom. Right now the position is old, slow, and undisciplined. Dennard is the best cover corner in college football and gives the Steelers a dependable player to rebuild their secondary around.

16. Baltimore Ravens - Cyrus Kouandjio, OT, Alabama
The Ravens offensive line really let them down this year. Both of their starting tackles, Eugene Monroe and Michael Oher are free agents. Monroe could be back, but Oher is likely gone. Kouandjio is a Maryland native and with Ozzie Newsome’s ties to Alabama the pick makes sense. Kouandjio has as high an upside as any tackle in the draft.

17. Dallas Cowboys - Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, S, Alabama
Not even Jerry Jones could screw this up. The Cowboys safety position is the worst positional grouping in the NFL. Clinton-Dix is the best safety in the draft. The extreme need fits with the best player available, it can’t get any easier.

18. New York Jets - Kony Ealy, OLB, Mizzou
The Jets would love to get one of the top three receivers, but with them long gone, they opt to upgrade their OLB position. Calvin Pace is on his last legs and Coples is a square peg in a round hole. Ealy is a bit raw and could take a year or two, but has the all the tools to be a quality NFL edge rusher.

19. Miami Dolphins - Zach Martin, OT, Notre Dame
Jeff Ireland is gone which means the offensive tackle position is now allowed to be upgraded. Martin is rising quickly after his awesome Senior Bowl performance. Martin has four years of experience at LT, but can kick inside and play OG if necessary. On top of that he’s a high character player.

20. Arizona Cardinals – Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
The Cardinals barely miss out on one of the top Offensive Tackles, but get one of the best natural pass rushers instead. Ford might not fit their 3-4 OLB perfectly, but he can rush the passer and as long as he’s allowed to do that, he’ll be successful. Regardless of where the team that drafts him decides to play him.

21. Green Bay Packers – Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
The Packers have needs all over their defense, but let’s not forget about the holes they are about to have on offense. James Jones is a free agent and word from high ranking Packer sources says that Jermichael Finley is finished, not just in Green Bay, but his career is over due to cervical vertebrae injury. Amaro is a great receiving tight end and offers a team’s offense a ton of matchup versatility. The Packers have to replace a lot of weapons on offense and getting a dynamic TE like Amaro early makes sense.

22. Philadelphia Eagles – Calvin Pryor, S, Louisville
The worst kept secret at the Senior Bowl was the Eagles are aggressively trying to find big, physical safeties in the draft. Pryor is the best of the bunch, showing the ability to line up anywhere in the formation and bringing a violent mentality to the backend. He’s probably the best all-around safety prospect in the entire class, something the Eagles badly need.

23. Kansas City Chiefs – Odell Beckham Jr., WR, LSU
The Chiefs need to add more speed and receiving weapons to the perimeter of their offense. Dwayne Bowe is the only consistent (alright he’s really not consistent) receiver they have on the roster. Odell Beckham can change that. His ball-skills, playmaking ability, and speed are all things lacking in Kansas City.

24. Cincinnati Bengals – Aaron Donald, DT, Pitt
Defensive tackle isn’t a huge need, but it’s a tantalizing idea to envision Aaron Donald playing with Geno Atkins. Both players are extremely explosive and quick off the ball. The combination would be incredibly distruptive and tough for opposing teams to match up with. While this pick might not happen in the actual draft, if Donald is available it’s something the Benglas have to think about at least.

25. San Diego Chargers – Xavier Su’a-Filo, OG, UCLA
The Chargers filled one gapping hole last year by drafting DJ Fluker, as he looks like the long term solution to their Left Tackle problems. It’s time for the Chargers to start rebuilding their interior offensive line which is aging, and underperforming. Su’a-Filo is an athletic and explosive OG that can dominate with his strength. He’s the best OG in the draft in my eyes, and fills a big need for the Chargers.

26. Cleveland Browns (via Colts) – Blake Bortles, QB, UCF
Bortles could very well end up going much higher, but I feel like this is a better representation of his talent level. It’s not worth it for the Browns to reach for him at pick #4 when they can get one of the elite players in the draft. Bortles is a bit of a project and even though I am not sold on him, others around the NFL are.

27. New Orleans Saints – Bradley Roby, CB, Ohio State
Rob Ryan really turned the Saints defense around in a short period of time last year, especially in the front seven. There secondary is still a mess and on top of that Malcolm Jenkins is a free agent. The Saints need to add more talent at cornerback. They are in a division and conference where they will face top tier passing offenses each week. They need to have better corners to match up with the talented receivers they face down the field.

28. Carolina Panthers – Kelvin Benjamin, WR, FSU
It’s about time the Panthers get Cam Newton some help on the outside. Steve Smith can’t continue to be the only viable weapon, as he is going to breakdown any day now. They really lack a physical presence at receiver and Kelvin Benjamin can change that instantly. He’s built like a TE and runs like a receiver. He’s simply too big for most DBs to match up with down the field.

29. New England Patriots – Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
The vast majority of mock drafts have the Patriots taking Jace Amaro or another TE with this pick, and I don’t disagree. If they are going to get a tight end in the draft it better be early, because I believe there is a tremendous drop off in talent after the second round or so. I believe the defensive line is the biggest need on the team, whether it’s the tackle or end position, I think it’s an area that will be addressed early.

Louis Nix is exactly the type of player the Patriots need with this pick. A big, athletic, mobile run stuffer, that can plug into the middle of their defensive line. Even if Vince Wilfork does come back, it’s time for the team to start playing for life without him, by grooming a replacement. The Patriots were gashed up the middle way too often throughout the season and really turned out to be a fatal flaw. T

he Patriots need to improve their pass rush from the edge as well. I feel like it’s an area that let them down in the biggest games, struggling to generate pressure from players besides Jones and Ninkovich. A third pass rusher would allow a more consistent and evenly distributed rotation up front. Nix is a player that can take on blocker to let LB run free, but he’s also athletic and explosive enough that he draws the attention of blockers.

This will free up others to rush the passer. I have no problem with a Tight End going here with the pick, I just think the best bet is to pick Nix here and trade up into the middle of round two for Austin Seferian-Jenkins, filling both needs early in the draft.

30. San Francisco 49ers – Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State
The 49ers could really use some speed and big play ability from their receivers. Cooks is one of the most dynamic players in all the draft possesses great speed, acceleration, and change of direction ability. He can compliment the 49ers bigger receivers and give Colin Kaepernick another downfield target to spread the offense.

31. Denver Broncos - Justin Gilbert, CB, Oklahoma State
Champ Bailey is just about finished, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie is a free agent, and Chris Harris is coming off a torn ACL. The Broncos secondary has a ton of questions marks entering the off-season. Gilbert is one of the top corners in the draft and the Broncos would be lucky to have a shot at such a quality corner at pick #31.

32. Seattle Seahawks – Stephon Tuitt, DE, Notre Dame
The Seahawks are going to have some very tough cap decisions and DE Red Bryant could be one of them. Tuitt is a massive Defensive End that could fill a similar type of role as Bryant. The Seahawks don’t have many holes on their team, so they could go in any direction, including trading down.

Tags: Johnny Manziel, Mock Draft, NFL Mock Draft

142 Responses to “Mike Loyko’s Pre-Combine 2014 NFL Mock Draft”

  1. bmp1113 says:

    No one sees how crazy all this, lets release or trade danny and keep edelman because of injuries is. They have the same number of completed seasons, 1. Danny is a great player and injuries happen. Edelman is awesome and id like to see him stay at a reasonable price, but there is no reason to over react. Football players get hurt, especially the ones who play with no fear like amendola and edelman, that doesnt mean they are made of glass. Gronk had 2 full seasons but playing in 18 the next 2 must mean he is some how bridle. His torn acl is definitly related to the fact that he rushed a broken arm by using a plate instead of letting it heal, just so he could be there for the playoffs. It has nothing to do with him being a large guy who runs faster than someone his size should, meaning more momentum, and had a guy dive full speed into his knee. What happened to Stafford, polamalu, even bush has only missed 3 games in the last 3 years. Yes some habits like running style are conducive to injuries but you cant predict chance. Im just sick of over reaction every year and week in sports with no realization of the things they got wrong in the past.

  2. Joe says:

    no way in hell Nix is there at 29.
    if he is I will be beyond ecstatic. but no way he’s there in my opinion.
    Hageman, Donald and Tuitt are all much more realistic options at DT which we should use first round on

    • bmp1113 says:

      I think it is possible. Every year the guys who flash pass rush ability and run fast at the combine like Donald and Hagemen get pushed up the draft board. I think nix would be the best pick but if not I think amaro then daquan jones would work well too

  3. Bobthebuilder says:

    Who’s in favour of a forum for this community?? Look at how many comments are on this one post! There has to be and can be a better way for the community to talk!

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      How would that work? What would work differently? Better in what way? I think I share your frustration, but I don’t know a better way of organizing the reader contributions.

  4. R.C. says:

    I’m going to start with….hopefully the team and Big Vince can get an extension done to save some on his cap hit this year, a Mankins restructure would also be helpful. Cut Adrian Wilson, Gregory, Sopaga (that will save 5-7 mil this years cap after the hit for dead moeny). Also fingers crossed for some cap relief on the Aaron Hernandez situation.

    Pats own Free Agents, Talib is as close to a must sign as you can have. Sign Fletcher for LB depth (it’ll be a reasonable contract. And my hope is to sign Edleman, he’s a heart and soul player, hard worker, one of the best punt returners in the game, and one of Bradys best friends. Plus I don’t trust Edleman. Blount and the rest of them I think you let walk, already have 3 good RB’s, draft another young guy for extra depth to develop.

    Free Agency. As of now they don’t have much money to work with but if the above happens (cuts/extensions/restructure/cap relief) the Pats will be in good shape). If Edleman walks, I like the idea of Decker to put on the outside with Dobson. I know he didn’t look great in the Super Bowl, but he has been very productive the past two years, is a big target with good hands and would also take a weapon away from the Broncos! If not Decker due to money, I could see a cheap flyer on Kenny Britt (big target/coming off two injury years/probably could be had for an incentive laden one year deal).

    Next I would try and sign Jared Allen to team with Ninky and Jones cause we desperately need a 3rd Pass Rusher to rotate to keep them fresh and get more consistent pressure! Other then that, I don’t see any big splashes unless they try and pluck Alex Mack or one of the free agent safeties T.J. Ward, & Jairus Byrd.

    My Mock Draft has their original slotted picks along with one compensatory pick even though they may get two. Also would love to see them trade Mallet for a 2nd or 3rd!!

    1st – Louis Nix III

    2nd – Austin Sefarian Jenkins or C.J. Fiedorowicz

    3rd – Stanley Jean-Baptiste or Pierre Desir

    4th – Deone Bucannon or Dion Bailey

    6th – Richard Rodgers

    6th – Aaron Lynch

    6th Compensatory – Russell Bodine

    7th – James White/ Kapri Bibbs/ or De’Anthony Thomas

    • Pretty good mock R.C. good job. I do wonder if “letting Blount and the rest walk” and expecting some rookies to pick up the slack might not be as much hope as realistic. If your like me, sometimes I talk myself into the grass is always greener somewhere else syndrom. Your reasoning as to acquiring cap space goes is valid though is it the best long term move?

      • R.C. says:

        Hey Steve, releasing Sopaga and Wilson won’t hurt depth seeing Wilson was on IR this past year and Sopaga was inactive the last few games. Assuming Wilfork and Kelly come back healthy along with Armstead as well as the rookies Jones, Silliga, and Vellano there is plenty of depth on the interior and thats before a draft pick or free agent signing. Gregory would have to be replaced depth wise but an improvement is needed! And the reason I say not to resign Blount is Ridley is by far the best RB on the team with Vereen the Pass Catching Back. Blount just takes carries away from Ridley. I know he had a monster last month but I think it was just a perfect storm of porus defenses, bad weather, and teams wearing down.

        • Yea I agree with Sope and Wilson I’d also release Ebner and Gregory and look to replace them with serious upgrades. Lot’s of posts are saying we should cut Ridley, you are saying we should let Blount walk. So I took your post to mean both Ridley and Blount. Yes things fell in line for Blount and realisticly we can expect that kind of weather again next Nov/Dec plus Blount is a viable option to Ridley if the latter keeps droping the ball. So unless Blount want’s a really big pay jump I’d think he is still a good option. If you want to replace one or both who do you suggest as their replacement. If your going to count on 3rd day RB’s in the draft I’d be concerned. Sure bring in a couple young guys to camp and let them compete. If they beat out the vets fine but lets keep our options open.

        • bmp1113 says:

          I also think blount should walk. He isnt that good to deserve a big contract and players like him drop off out of no where. His big runs vs the colts were wide open lanes. Everyone wants to mention ridleys fumbles and act like blount didnt put his share on the ground. Ridley is the most talented back on the team by far. Id also like to see what bolden can do with some carries again.

  5. john says:

    You’re kidding with Bortles at 26???

  6. Bob says:

    If Amaro and Ebron are gone at the end of the first round the patriots should trade down and pick deone bucannon, safety from Washington State. I know we picked Harmon last year and Wilson the year before but Wilson is strictly special teams and Harmon is McCourty 2.0. We need a hitter and playmaker. Watch Bucannon’s highlights on youtube. He is not as big as Calvin Pryor from Lousiville but he plays all out. He is always in the right spots, makes big hits and gets a lot of picks. He reminds me a lot of Ed Reed. I know that is a crazy comparison but I see it. Plus two of his biggest games came against stanford and oregon, two of the best teams in the nation. He made plays for the defense. I have a feeling the Patriots will address TE, DT and OL in free agency. DL we have a lot of young players. The one piece we are truly missing is the hard hitting safety. I think Bucannon is the perfect compliment to McCourty. Here is what I see them doing in the draft as of this point which is a long way away:
    1. Trade back into Early round two for a 3rd and 5th.
    2. Draft Bucannon rd 2
    3. Draft Troy Niklas rd 2
    4. Draft Travis Swanson rd 3
    5. Draft Dominique Easley rd 3
    6. Draft Best available guard rd 4
    7. Draft TJ Jones WR rd 5 (reminds me of steve smith)
    8. Draft Josh Huff Oregon rd 6
    9. Draft LB rd 6
    10. Draft Guard rd. 6
    11. Draft QB

    • acm says:

      I think Bucannon is probably the best SAF prospect out of the 1st round this year that would bring the physicality the Pats so desperately need.

      Not sure about the Niklas pick, tbh. I told someone here that Niklas is probably gonna overshadow better TE in draft on athleticism alone and the possibility to draft their own Jimmy Graham and that’s what seems to be happening. The reality is that Niklas is pretty raw as a route runner and has some work to do when it comes to catching the ball too. He has a higher ceiling than say CJ Fiedorowic but also a bigger bust potential, imo. Don’t think he would be a solid pick for a rookie TE if the intention here would be to have him shoulder the burden of the passing O next year … he will need more time to grow to be NFL ready. Maybe they get a stud TE in free agency but that kind of player also costs a lot of moneys, so I wouldn’t bet on that happening.

      Don’t see the Easly pick happening – BB drafting relatively early an undersized player at DT, coming off an ACL injury and with another ACL injury on his resume? Hard to believe. IMO, more suitable picks in that pick range would be say Daquan jones, Kelcy Quarles, Ego Ferguson, Curron Reid, depending on the type of player they may be looking for. Personally, with Wilfork’s situation so unclear, I think it would be best to invest in a DT or two in free agency as a way to get younger and more athletic at the position and still gain the vet experience they lacked there last season.

      Don’t see two WR taken in the draft, especially when they have more or less the same size and role, tbh. Pats already have Josh Boyce in that mold anyway with Moe under contract too.
      Losing Edelman could potentially justify taking one of those guys if the value is there but after last year’s fiasco with making Brady work with rookie WRs, I would expect them to try finding a solution in vet free agents. Not sure one can rely on finding a difference maker in the late rounds.

      Also, OL is probably better left to the draft too – vet OL-men who’d provide an improvement would be expensive, imo. Centers usually are the most affordable O lineman, so may be they try to get a center in free agency if Connolly doesn’t wanna restructure. Wonder what a center like Alex Mack would command on the market … probably too much.

      • You make very good points regarding Buccannon and Niklas acm, I agree. What’s more I’d expect Niklas to preform very well at the combine and someone will fall in love with his athleticism and reach for him. Probably get nabbed mid/lower 2nd round if I’m right. Also agree about BB preferance for those bigger DT’s. Surprised you didn’t include Justin Ellis in with your list. What are your feelings about him?

  7. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Since the cap hit would be too high to release him, could we trade him to another team for a 6th round pick? Maybe even a 7th? LB Boseko Lokombo will probably be around at 7 and he could be a big deal one year very soon. The Texans are rumored to want Edelman. Offer them On-the-mend-ola instead. That would free up enough money to sign Edelman for about 3-4 million per year and to bring in Bernard Pollard for about 1.5M also.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      sorry….sorry…I was speaking in reference to Amendola. Should have led off with that.

    • acm says:

      I have to say I love your enthusiasm … as for your Q on the Amendola trade, the answer is a NO and is also contained in your own post :)

      Would love to see Pollard but it’s not gonna happen at 1.5 mil. He got 2 mil last year from the Titans and had a very good year even without Ed Reed having his back, which was a big Q mark on him as a player outside that Ravens team.

      Lokombo is an interesting player, a good player … but the number of plugs you have thrown his way make me wonder if there isn’t some kind of a subplot in all of this ;)

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        That’s good info on Pollard. This is the first year I’ve been jonesing for football so heavily that I started looking closely at contract information and draft projections even before the Superbowl.

        As for Lokombo I wish I could be this kid’s agent. I can’t believe no one but me believes he can be a high impact player. He isn’t even projected to be drafted! I think Alex told me about him. I think I have a mint of players with his value in my mock. You should check it out. I kind of cheated by adding so many picks. I’m going to repost on the latest article on this site. I’d value your feedback.

        Guys like you, Steve & Alex make this site awesome.

    • Trading Amendola to anyone would be great if it could happen but what team would go for a guy with a big contract and injury history?

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        You’re probably right Steve. Only the Patriots were misguided enough to sign an injury prone player to a big money contract. :-) I would be willing to pay a team a couple million to take him off our hands. But, I will most likely be eating my words when he explodes into a 110+ catch monster next year with the toughness of Logan Mankins.

    • Bobthebuilder says:

      “On-the-mend-ola”
      Hmmm, PFW in Progess listener??

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Nah. Never heard of it. I live in Georgia. Born and raised. I have become a fan of the Patriots due to the greatness of the coach and QB, as well as the professionalism and overall intellectual approach to the game of the franchise.

  8. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Should we be kicking the tires on Safety Louis Delmas? Dude looks like a hitter.

    • acm says:

      No. Has durability issues and that’s not what you want in a player, especially at the S position.

    • Dan I think because the safety’s in this draft, including LB transition types, are less in number compaired to other positions of need we would be hard put to get a decent one below the 3rd round.

  9. JMC says:

    OK- NE. Patriots, you hired Lombartii and Rob Chudzinski is a very good defensive coach- A good pick up for the staff of ANY team- Would you rather hire the coach, TJ Ward and Mack too, and call it Rutgers- strategy-west, or would you rather sign Talib, or not franchise him?

    If your thinking the draft, are you thinking Stanford and Michigan State, OL and TE (and maybe a linebacker)-?

    You will need one WR but your not weak there- If any WR I would choose Bolton, but Eldelman also plays Special Teams and should be paid for it. He deserved a three year deal before he got hot-

    They have to STOP running Gronk in the seam or try and hit the seam with Gronk for a big gain-They can get a more stocky- TE someplace, maybe high in the draft- Use Gronk for blocking and Red Zone only- or what used to be called ‘a buttonhook’. Only- The offense should run a steady diet of play action-

    • Joe Blake says:

      There is some truth to the contributory negligence theory regarding the misuse of Gronk. Twenty-twenty hindsight concludes: 1. Gronk should not be uses to block on point afters. 2. That he was rushed back too soon for the playoff game against Balt. thus re-injuring his arm, and 3. That he is having to run too many seam routs (thus blowing out his knee). Unfortunately, Belechick and Co. may have wasted a great talent.

      • Well I agree Gronk was rushed back to early from his broken arm but as I saw it he didn’t blow out his knee, a low hit from the side by a DB did that. As for seam routes they are Gronk’s most effective plays, dangerious as they my be though I’m not sure they are any more dangerious then any other route. It just happened on that route.

        • Bill Vermont says:

          I’ve been thinking about the TE position, and I can’t see Belichek giving a 1st rd value to Jace Amaro, aguy who isn’t your typical in line blocker. He may develop into a pretty good blocker, but thats a projection. hernandez and graham were both in that 3-4 rd range. If your going to draft a guy who spends 80% of his time in the slot or split wide, why not go get a WR.
          That brings you back to the 1st rd pick and if there’s a worthy DL, I’d go get him. Tuitt or hageman are 300 # guys who can play anywhere on the line, and I’d think they would be great picks

        • Well your right Bill. Why indeed should BB take a “move TE” ,as they call them, early when a big WR would do the same job? Again your right that brings us back around to the choice between a BB type DT or a big in-line TE. It will all depend on the value Bill places on guys and how he wants his offence to function. I can see a big TE/red zone threat on the one hand because our offense moved the ball up and down the field well but really had to work hard for those TD’s. On the other hand our Run def struggled all season and little or no pressure could be generated up inside which most QB’s hate. It throws off their timing. What I consider is I feel that after the top 3 TE’s the drop off is pretty steep while good DT’s go deeper in the pool. I’d take ASJ ( unless Nix III is available) before a DT like DaQuan Jones and I believe that would fill both needs and values.

  10. Joe Blake says:

    How about we draft Rodney Harrison in say the fifth round out of Southern Illinois, 6’1″ & 205. 4.5 40. He is a hitter and with a little outside help can bulk up to 220 lbs. Oopsie, sorry I slept for 15 year waiting for Belechick to draft a quality SS.

    • Right there for sure. I’ve been saying since last season we need a good SS. I really don’t care if he comes from FA or the draft but what we have doesn’t cut it.

  11. luis says:

    Nice mock but we know that there will be 5-10 new names that will push some players down…the pats strategy depends on signing talib at a reasonable cost I think they should sign a pass rush specialist and let edelman walk if its too expensive a slot receiver can be found in this draft like saunders from oklahome or ellington from s carolina and they can be drafted in the 3-4 round and then u can also draft dri archer and u have a better special team player and offensive speed weapon…I would double dip in TE with one of the top 3 TE and a lower round Lyerla or gillmore etc…draft one big corner and a coverage LB

  12. Accuan says:

    Lol none of the big DLs are falling down at #29, no way ! That is not going to happen sorry.

    • Matt says:

      Well there are more then 3 or 4 good DT’s so the odds are not that bad. And you never really know what will happen in the draft.

    • I tend to think your right that none of the big name DT’s will get to #29 but there are a number of good DT’s still around a little later. We don’t need to have the best DT in the draft (wouldn’t turn him down) but a guy who can do the job is just as good.

  13. Matt says:

    OK guys wasn’t to sure on the details of Danny A’s deal. But let me ask this. Does anyone think he is worth it? I don’t

    • trevor says:

      You can see his deal at spotrac.com.

      Amendola sure did not live up to the contract in his first season with the Patriots. He did suffer the torn groin in the first game and was never the same. He did tough through it but obviously did not have a huge impact on the season.

      I think in 2014 we will see what Amendola can really add to an offense over a full season. If you remember the Buffalo game Week 1 he was lights out.

      Disappointment in his first season of the new contract but I am excited about his 2nd season.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Absolutely! If Adamantium is invented sometime before preseason, that is.

    • acm says:

      Obviously not, knowing what we know now but shit happens all the time and hindsight being 20/20 doesn’t make a jack of a difference. If you plan to go thru life in that fashion, you’d always be looking back and pondering irrelevant topics like “How much better life would be if you could predict the future”.

    • jim r says:

      IMO, he gets a pass for last year due to the fact that he was playing hurt most of the year. first year in the system and lack of confidence from Brady. I do not think Edeleman will be back so he will have the opportunity to be a good option in the passing game. I think he will face some tough competition from Moe, Boyce and Maguffe. If one of these cheaper options outplays him in training camp, then it could be bye bye

    • Bill Vermont says:

      Amendola probably wasn’t worth the money he was paid. But all over sports its the 2nd tier of players whose pay is set by top tier, that get overpaid. look at the deals that Cutler and Flacco get because Manning , Brees, and Rogers got huge deals. I’m sure the teams are thinking “who’s better” and “{what else can we do”, so they drop 7-8 MM per. How much guarteed money does Amendola have? Patriots may not have to hang ourt there for 5 years if he is unproductive/hurt.

    • Bill Vermont says:

      I love the combine. To see the guys you basically only read about for 2 months aftrt the season is over to see them match up in a non contact way against their peers:

      All the TE are interesting because the Pats can go in any direction. I would lean to the bigger blocker types who can catch, but they will all be interesting

      Dion Bailey 6-0 200 # Played LB and then switched back to safety. He sounds like a team guy, and I’d like to see how fast/flexible he shows.

      Ryan Shazier / Telvin Smith. Are they fast and fluid enough to be a SS in NFL

      Larry Webster. Son of a NFL DE, moving from Basketball to football, played last years at small school as DE. Great Physicals, could be very interesting developmental player

      All the small school guys. How do they compare to the big boys after making a splash in all star games:
      Dakota Dozier / Billy Turner OL
      Pierre Desir / Walt Aiken CB
      Rob Blanchflower / Joe don Duncan TE
      Jeff Janis WR
      Justin Ellis DT

  14. Daniel R. Martin says:

    Hey guys help me get my head around this. I have just started paying attention to front office type information (i.e. salary cap, contracts, etc.). If Wilfork being cut saves 7.5 million dollars against the cap, does that mean the Patriots could sign most of the following just by releasing Wilfork?

    #1.) Safety Bernard Pollard earned $1.3 Million last year.

    #2.) DT/DE Lamarr Houston earned just $540 K in 2012. He might be signed for about $3M per year on a contract structered in such a manner as to mitigate the up front cap hit to around $2 Million. (He may be coming off of a rookie contract.)

    #3.) Justin Tuck earned $3.2 M in 2012. He is coming off of a knee injury I believe. He’s getting older and could be signed for less money.

    #4.) Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie only earned $800,000 last year. PFF claimed he was a better CB than Talib, though I question the veracity of said claim. Perhaps he could be signed for $2M per. I believe both Cromartie and Brent Grimes could be signed for less than Talib.

    #5.) Kenny Brit earned $708K in 2012.

    #6.) Jon Asamoah earned under 1/2 M in 2012.

    #7.) 6′-05″ WR Danario Alexander could be a steal

    • Matt says:

      Well I think Danny A is due 10 million by March 11. Just think of who they could sign with that money.

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        uggghhh! How could they expect him to be worth so much money? He has likely missed more games than he has started by this point. The Pats have won many games for many years by simply being smarter than everyone else in the manner in which they have approached team building. Well, that and having the greatest coach and QB ever. I can’t fathom how they thought Amendola would contribute so heavily.

        • YESSIR77 says:

          Sad part is, this is not the year to release DA, next yr is. I think he has a pretty high cap hit this yr, he would be at about 8mil….OUCH!!!!!! I hope he is much better next yr. I mean, he has to be…..right?

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          Maybe if he can actually make it past preseason without getting injured.

        • acm says:

          the answer to your question(s) is that you should do yourself a favor and stop assuming that just because someone says something, it’s necessarily true – people pull ignorant stuff out of their asses all the time without knowing what they are talking about.

          Amendola signed a 5 year, 30 mil (give or take) deal with only 10 mil guaranteed. about 6 mil of that was the signing bonus.
          IIRC (just in case, check with google), He has received about 3.5 of that 10 mil guaranteed so far. Long story short, if he is cut after March 11th, the Pats are gonna incur a cap hit for the entire 6.5 mil that’s left of the 10 mil guaranteed money; if they cut him before March 11th, they will incur a cap hit of about 3 mil for 2014 and another 3.5 mil for 2015 i.e. Amendola is still gonna get the whole 10 mil, it’s just that the cap hit for the Pats is gonna be spread over 2 years in the 2nd case as opposed to be applied in a single year.

          All in all, because of the long-term commitment, he may be worth being given another shot (especially if Edelman has lost his mind and asks for some crazy money) but cutting him now isn’t as prohibitive either.

          Moral of the story, for future reference trust your googling skills as opposed to the random garbage people love throwing around way too often.

          cheers.

        • YESSIR77 says:

          DANNY AMENDOLA
          AGE: 28 (11/2/1985)
          STATS: 83 targets, 54 catches, 633 yards, 2 TDs.
          CONTRACT: Expires after 2017
          2014 CAP HIT: $4.7M ($3M salary, $1.2 prorated bonus, $500K roster bonus)
          Came in with a target on his back as the player who replaced Wes Welker. Patriots Truthers insist the team chose Amendola over Welker even though the catalyst for Welker being replaced was Welker’s agents promising him the moon and delivering…not the moon. At any rate, Amendola missed four games with groin issues and a concussion. Time with Tom Brady lost and the fact Amendola was never really healthy after the groin injuries sustained in the opener worked against Amendola. By the end of the season, Brady’s preference was going elsewhere. Amendola saw just 12 passes in the final four games of the season including playoffs. It wasn’t a horrible year for Amendola but it was a disappointing start. It’s too early to consider releasing him and the cap hit is too fat anyway if the Patriots were to do that (over $8M).

        • acm says:

          Amendola already got 3.5 or so in his 1st year (2mil base+1.5 in prorated signing and roster bonuses). That leaves 6.5 mil of the 10 mil guaranteed by the deal. How this 6.5 mil is applied to the cap depends on whether he is cut before (will be split roughly equally over the ’14 and ’15 seasons) or after (will all be applied to the ’14 season cap) March 11th. All in all, how cutting him would affect this year’s cap, depends on whether it happens before or after March 11th.
          It really isn’t rocket science, so I am not sure where this 8+ mil is coming from and all that in one year. And yes, if he stays, his cap hit for ’14 would indeed be 4.7 mil (3 in base salary, only 2 of which guaranteed, +1.7 in prorated signing and roster bonuses)

          Cutting him before March 11th isn’t really completely out of the question but considering they wouldn’t be guaranteed a replacement by such an early date (from the TJ Moes on the roster, or Edelmans and Sanders’ in free agency), it would make better financial sense to keep him for one more year. If he is still a Pats player on march 12th, then it would be safe to say that he stays for ’14 as the cap hit goes up to 6.5 mil or so, which would be just too much to swallow all at once.

        • Philip says:

          keep in mind, that this was Edelman first healthy season.

    • acm says:

      not sure where you got those numbers from but most likely these are the base salaries, which don’t refelct the 1000 type of bonuses (signing, roster, performance, etc, etc) that NFL teams as tools to flex/alleviate the salary cap restrictions.
      So, chances are the answer to your Q is NO!

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        I’m not quite sure who you were responding to. My questions were concerning whether or not we could sign most of the seven or so players I listed for about as much money as we would save against the cap by releasing Wilfork. I also asked if we could sign Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Brent Grimes both for less than Aqib Talib would require.

        • acm says:

          was responding to your initial post and that was a no, assuming all those figures were juts the base salaries, which is likely the case.

          as for signing DRC+Grimes for less than Talib, that’s another NO. DRC had a great year and will want a long-term deal, of total value near Talib’s, maybe even more. Grimes is getting old, so a multi year deal is out of the question (at most 2 years, imo) but the money he would require for a single season, would all apply to the cap hit for that season anyway (like Talib’s 5 mil did to the Pat’s cap in 2013).

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        Okay. I see now. I thought you were lacing into me about listening to other people’s bad information. Wilfork’s base salary is 6.5 Million. Base salary to base salary, excluding those coming off of rookie deals, it seems as though many quality free agents could be signed by cutting Wilfork.

  15. YESSIR77 says:

    Just wanted to say this. Everyone talks about moving Connelly to C. I think he is gone to be honest. We have Braxton Cave who is on the PS with this team. He was a very good C while at ND. He is taking the road that Wendell did(PS to C). I think we see him get a chance at C, move Cannon to OG. We still have some depth and can pick up some guys in FA. We can use the late rds to get some guys in here and try them out. Assuming we make no big moves in the off-season, cause of Cap numbers. Here is what I would like to see.

    Sign Talib and Owen Daniels(if he is cut). That would solve are TE spot for now, and I think he would fit in well with this offense. Draft:
    1-Nix/Tuitt
    2-Fiedorowicz/Niklas
    3-McGill
    4-Aaron Lynch/DT(not sure who would be here, mind is blank)
    Then for once, take the best player available to this teams needs. Looking at LB/OL/WR/RB…in no certain order.

    • ugo says:

      As the 2nd DT possible draft pick try the DT from California Deandre Coleman, 6’5″ 315 and productive against the pass

      • YESSIR77 says:

        Ugo.

        Got my head straight, had to look at my list. These guys I am listing had a good SR Bowl, or East/West game. Some BIG boys that can be had at that later spot. Even if we do not land Nix, we can get that big boy in RD 4..Take a look.

        Will Sutton- AZ, 6’1 315- Watched him for yrs, very quick for his size.
        DaQuan Jones- PSU, 6’4 323
        Caraun Reid-Princeton, 6’2 301. BB likes smart players…
        Justin Ellis- Louisiana Tech, 6’2 342
        Daniel McCullers- Tenn, 6’7 348—this dude is big! LOL.

        • I really like DaQuan Jones and Justin Ellis as mid and later round pick options but please, please let the Jet’s take McCullers. I watched 3 games he played and he was pitiful. He couldn’t rush the passer, couldn’t colapse the pocket, couldn’t persue left or right and looked like the only tackle he could make was if a RB fell into him. And about stuffing the run he was usless there too. Center and guard double teams opened him like a door with the center disengaging and making blocks in the 2nd level. So I find it hard to believe he could be any better facing veterian NFL linemen.

    • Russell says:

      OC Cave is also a long snapper, he could fill two spots on the roster, and fee up a spot.

      • Cave sounds like a good prospect to come up from ST’s and your endorsement carries weight with me Russell but I keep in mind the old saying ” don’t put all your eggs in one basket”. I’d still like us to draft Swanson, Richfield, or Stork — just in case.

    • Brian says:

      I like the looks of tour draft. But I think we wait until the 3rd for a TE and take the best value of OL or SS in the 2nd. I also really like the depth of the CB class this year and could see bill waiting until the 4th for one.

  16. Pete H. says:

    Potential cuts from other teams that could be attractive to the Pats – what do people think about Sidney Rice from the Seahawks or Champ Bailey from the Broncos? If either would come on short money, might be nice gambles to throw into the mix.
    What other potential cuts have people considered or heard about?

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      I’m not sure Bailey has much left to offer. But to add to this discussion, Will Smith was recently released from the Saints. Could he be a good fit with our system? His price tag shouldn’t be too high. Also, I say sign Richi Incognito. He played with bad intentions before he got what he feels was a raw deal in Miami. Cut Connolly and Wendell to make that happen, I say.

      • Daniel R. Martin says:

        The saints also cut Jabrari Greer , Jonathan Vilma & Roman Harper Wednesday.

      • Pete H. says:

        Will Smith is intruiging, but isn’t he a 6-7 sack per year guy as a starter? I’d like to see a free agent at that position be a pass-rush specialist. Does Smith fit this profile?
        Incognito may be kept under control with Mankins on the line, but with Pats probably drafting several young linemen in the next few years, I’m not sure Incognito is the best locker room fit. I like Travelle Wharton from the Panthers as a stop-gap guard for 1-2 years.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          I’m not greatly familiar with Smith’s production. I do know that he was the second highest paid player on the Saints team, behind only Drew Brees. I assumed any guy with an 11+ Million dollar cap hit must be doing something right. Then again, if he could command even a 1/3 of that money now the Patriots would be priced out of his market.

          The Patriots, having lost Coach Scarnnechia, can ill afford to enter the season depending too heavily on rookie offensive lineman. Nor can they rely on players like Wendell and Connolly any further. Brady must now be given quality receivers to throw to and a strong wall to stand behind. I think the Patriots need to get nastier on the offensive line and throughout all four levels of the defense.

          I believe Incognito will be so grateful for another chance that he will be a model citizen when thrown into the most professional locker room in the league.

          I’ll check out that player you mentioned. I have this unshakable belief that difference makers can be found in all seven rounds of this draft. Check out Boseko Lokombo and Colt Lyerla, for example.

      • I don’t like the idea of Incognito at all. I’ve never liked him, he has a bad attitude and would bring that into the clubhouse. On field he is a prime target for officals to flag they have long since lost any benifit of a doubt where he is concerned.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          I am greatly disgusted by the recent allegations of what would equate to sexual battery (for anyone not earning millions in the NFL) concerning Incognito, which didn’t garner 1/1000th the media scrutiny of the J. Martin scandal.

          I do think that he realizes this is his last chance. I do think he is a quality blocker that can be plugged in and played immediately.

          How much better is he than Connolly and Wendell? He’d likely cost the same or even less than Connolly while he continues to be so heavily scrutinized.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          Maybe not Incognito’s particular brand, but a little attitude is just what the doctor ordered for the Patriots. Especially in the defensive secondary.

        • acm says:

          I think you are confusing competitiveness/attitude with sociopathic behavior, when it comes to Incognito – and the Martin case is just the tip of one big iceberg.

          Wendel is likely gone, Connolly will probably restructure (if he has any value left, it’s in the Pats system, no other team would give him as much) and be moved to OC, where he is better anyway.
          Would love to see them get OC Alex Mack from Cleveland but depedns on the market. Even then, Connolly’s versatility would still come in handy at a lower cost.

          Either way, young blood is needed at OG also because Mankins has been having one too many injuries over the past couple of years and you never know when his body may quit on him. He won’t quit but his body might call it a day.

        • Dan, no offense and I hear what your saying and yes we could use some attitude on the O-line and DB’s but I think acm spelled it out perfectly. Incognieto most likely has and will poison any locker room he might mannage to ever get into. What’s more, I repeat, he is a flag magnet. Officials look at him and throw the yellows at anything that looks like it might be an infraction and after this Martin episode it will only get worse. There are just as good FA linemen out there and plenty of draftable prospects with the upside that don’t have the baggage Incogneto has.

      • acm says:

        Can’t believe people are trying to justify signing Incognito. Not only is he a bad apple but he is a pretty average OL-man too, on top of getting old. Definitely not worth the risk and the drama. plus the Pats need to get younger at the position anyway – Cononlly and Mankins are spring chickens no more.

        As for Will Smith, he’s been in some pretty good movies. Maybe he could add “The Quest for #4″ to his resume.

        • Daniel R. Martin says:

          I suppose I was mistaken. I thought Incognito was above average. He was a pro bowler in 2012, for whatever that’s worth.

        • acm says:

          He;s had his flashes but overall he is not good enough a player to warrant all the media drama and the risk of having to deal with his BS at Foxboro. Plus he is too old already for one to expect that he would change for the better – that train is long gone, I am afraid.

        • acm, again you are right on the mark with this Incogneto idea, we don’t need the guy. You and Dan each have the right idea, we need to get better and younger at OC and OG. You sighted Spencer Long back in Sept I think as a good late pick for us due to injury. I read he played with “attitude” when healthy and I still feel you were right, we should grab him. I’d also like to draft one of the good young OC’s, Swanson, Richfield, or Stork. I’m sure Cave will be in that mix too. I like our chances in this draft to fill some needs with quality/value players.

      • Nuf Ced says:

        Incognito did NOT get a raw deal in Miami, read the Wells report. Incognito is not intelligent, not a professional, divisive and mentally unstable, everything the Patriots have avoided. If we sign him a lose an incredible amount of respect for Kraft and Belichick.

  17. Pete H. says:

    Assuming NO trades and that the Pats pick up 2 6th round compensatory picks (Thomas and Chung), I’d like to see these players picked up after Nix in the first round, and I’ve included their potential roles in parenthesis. I think drafting Nix would mean that Kelley or Wilfork is cut, and he would project to start at DT and be Wilfork’s long-term replacement.
    2nd-TE-Niklas (long-term 2nd TE)
    3rd-C-Martin (long-term starting center, Connolly can fill the role this year if necessary)
    4th-QB-Mettenberger (next backup QB, long-shot to replace Brady, but timing will be better than Mallet, so he’s got a shot)
    6th-TE-Blanchflower (compete with a vet minimum type guy for the 4th TE role)
    6th-LB-Starr (or Michael Sam if he falls?- compete for 5th/6th linebacker role)
    6th-G-Long (late injury knocks him down, but could compete for a starting/top reserve role at guard next season after a season on IR)
    6th-CB-Colvin (same deal as long – start on PUP, perhaps comes in mid-season as a reinforcement, otherwise, a high-quality depth option next year)
    7th-RB-Johnson (4th/5th RB competition/practice squad candidate)

    • Pete H. says:

      If you were able to pick up an additional pick or two from a trade, good targets would be an additional guard and linbacker to fill out depth – the Patriots have lots of bodies at those positions, but more upside would be nice from the depth guys.

    • I would have hoped to see a SS included somewhere in this mock. Taking an injured CB to come in later is good value and smart thinking just not enough imo. Also like taking Long, another injured prospect, late as another value pick I like too. Picking a QB in 4th, a little higher then I would, but what would be your plan for Mallett?

      • Pete H. says:

        Thanks for commenting Steve. I think you try to trade Mallett, but if you can’t get a reasonable deal, I think it’d be okay to carry 3 QBs for a season and hope that he produces a compensatory pick in the future. I tend to think that guys in the 4th round range typically need a season or so before they contribute in a significant way anyways – just look at the Pats last 5 4th rounders: Boyce, Hernandez, Ohrnberger, Wilhite, and Kareem Brown. Only Hernandez had a significant contribution in his rookie year, and even that wasn’t a full-time starting role. It’s hard to find even a decent backup quarterback after the 3rd round, so I think using a 4th on a guy who is slipping a bit (due to injury) at that position is a good investment. You could also go for a safety or a guard with the expectation that their contributions will likely be as a backup or role-player, primarily after their rookie season. However, if you’re looking for maximum bang for your buck this season, a run-specialist strong safety could project to be used at least situationally, or you could grab a guard to try to push Connolly, Cannon, or another vet for a guard spot, as opposed to Mettenberger who you would hope is never even active for a game after the preseason.

        • I think your reasoning is very sound Pete and sounds like we’re very close on thinking about Millett, no buts about it. If we could get a 3rd +/- I’d take that and run with it. Agree it’s hard to get a QB after the 3rd rd for sure so your thinking of an injured guy is right on the money and there are a couple of them. I have four guy on my short list for our #29. Louis Nix III, ASJ, Amaro, and Hagerman in that order. ( ASJ because of his better blocking) I know I’m out of step with that one but so be it. If none of those guys are there I expect, and hope, Bill trades down.

        • One other think Pete, I don’t think we could get a comp pick for Millett if he leaves after next year because he isn’t someone who plays and contributes so the reasoning would be we haven’t lost anything. Otherwise try to trade him now or later ( after the draft) and try to get a decent deal.

        • Pete H. says:

          Like those guys too. I do think Nix would be the Patriots dream come true as it’s hard to find a guy that has some of the same skills as Wilfork. The wild card I would throw in is if one of the high-end WRs drops (Watkins, Evans, Lee), I could see the Pats building a Broncos style offense with 2 legitimate outside threats (1st round pick and Dobson), using a tight end in free agency to fill in until Gronk can come back (your outside receivers would probably be worse than Denver, but your tight end and running backs could be better, if healthy). If they can’t re-sign Talib, I could also see a cornerback being selected. If Nix is gone, it seems like there may be lots of good options between 29 and 40 or so, so a trade back may be best.

        • Right! About a CB droping, that or any other position might, though how do we predict that? As for WR’s I’d prefer to wait on them in favor of the TE position. A good TE would spread the threats around better. Even another good WR on the outside would not make def game planning as difficult as a TE would. It would be far easier to roll safety help over the top on two WRs then if there is the threat of a big TE going down the seam. We would also benifit from run blocking from a big TE at or near the point of attack something a wide out couldn’t do. Just some of my thinking going into my short list.

    • Russell says:

      I like your Mock Pete, I am Mocking TE Blanchflower, OG Long. CB Colvin is interesting as well. I’m very interested in CB Kyle Fuller early, as the Patriots need more depth at the CB position. I also like the idea of Telvin Smith as a LB/SS.

  18. Philip says:

    now my question is, is there any team that would trade a 2nd, 3rd and 4th rounder for our first like MIN did last year.

    There is good value in the 2nd and 3rd round IMO.

    My idea of a Mock-Draft (first ever):

    2nd (trade) TE-ASJ // TE-Troy Niklas
    2nd (own) OC-Richburg // DE-Jeffcoat
    3rd (trade-Mal) CB-McGill // CB-Desir
    3rd (trade) OLB/SAF-Telvin Smith // SAF-Bucannon
    3rd (own) DE/DT-Easley // DT-Quarles
    4rd (trade) RB-Seastrunk // RB-Charles Sims
    4th (own) OG-Steen // OG-Halapio
    5th (trade-Mal) QB-Logan Thomas // QB-Murray
    6th (trade-PHI) OG-Watt // DT-Carrethers
    6th (own) CB-Andre Hal // CB-Byndom
    7th (own) LB-Glenn Carson // TE-Lyerla

    I think Edelman, Spikes, Wendell and Blount will be gone in FA.
    Hope we can resign Talib and I think Fletcher, Svitek Colie and Hooman could stay for cheap.
    Move Cannon to fulltime OG and Connoly (afer paycut) to OC. Zuscevics as Backup OT.
    A vet-WR would be better than drafting one (Britt, Nicks or Maclin). We can (hopefully)work with Boyce/Amendola/Moe in the slot.
    Cut A.Wilson, Sopoaga and Gregory (even he was serviceable).
    Restructure Mankins and Big Papa Vince.
    I’m unsure about Kelly’s future.
    I would stay away from any big name FA. Too much money we can’t afford.

    This is just my opinion.

    • Philip says:

      and extend DMC ;)

    • Jim R says:

      That would work, nice job with the options

    • Karte says:

      Nice One….One addition to this…. If we are cutting Gregory, we need a SS. So I like Whitner but he would not come for anything less than 5 M a year. I also think they will draft 2 OL in this draft. We also need a pass rush DE. Like what John Abraham went for last year. We should have got him last year. He was signed for 2 yr 4.6 M and look at the production he has had in 2013.

    • Pretty good draft. I’d like to suggest adding Swanson OC to the 2b option list. He and Richberg are my two favorites at the position for us but thats just me. Another good job Philip.

    • Pete H. says:

      Very nice Philip – I’d recommend considering a veteran safety as well unless you feel really confident that Harmon or the 3rd round rookie will be good to go as starting strong safety. I’d also recommend signing a backup quarterback, even if it’s someone cheap (Rex Grossman?), in free agency so if Brady goes down from week 1-week 4 you have someone a little better prepared than Thomas/Murray at QB to give you a chance to win a couple. Finally, I think depth at defensive end is an issue if you get Richburg and not Jeffcoat in the 2nd. There are some intriguing defensive ends on the market that could be interested in a 1 year contract for not too much cash. Other than that, I think the plan looks solid if you believe in your draft picks – I like Steen in the 4th!

      • Philip says:

        I hope Buchanan can make the 2nd year leap.. he showed some promise as a passrusher but struggeld as a run defender.
        A good FA DE signing would be J.Allen.
        M.Johnson and G.Hardy are too expensive.

        Vet QB … what about Cassel?

        • Pete H. says:

          Cassel may be a bit pricey, but we’ll see how that market shakes down. I have a hard time gauging that market. I’ve got high hopes for Buchanan too – I’m hoping he can put on some weight and have a bit more strength to hold up against the run and use a move other than trying to beat the tackle around the outside – it seemed like he was pushed too far behind the quarterback on too many plays – he needs a better counter. I think after next season the Pats will know whether or not he can be their bonafide 3rd DE or if they need to go back to the draft.

      • Richberg, Jeffcoat, Jeffcoat , Richberg it’s the old double edged sword deal. Do we try to protect our QB better or attack their QB better? Where does the greater advantage lay? To me protecting Brady has to give us the best chance to win. We can pick up a pass rusher far easier later then replace Brady.

        • Philip says:

          our oLine was terrible… no doubt bout that … but, there is no pouncey or mack in this draft, so i don’t think BB would start his OC draft pick this season AND Vollmer is back.
          I could imagine that he will try to start.

          It’s interesting to see that BB didn’t drafted the bama guy (went to the RAMS, top OC before knee injury) last year in the 3rd.

    • Russell says:

      Interesting Mock , Phillip! I have watch QB Logan Thomas, in person, I don’t think he has NFL QB potenical , maybe a WR.

  19. YESSIR77 says:

    If we get Nix at 29, I will be very happy!! He is by far, the best DT in this draft for a BB style team. BB wants his DT to take on the blocks and hold steady until the LB come crashing in. Having Vince and Nix next to each other, they will both require a double team. We can release Kelly and save some money there. The only reason Nix slides to NE is because of his injury. You guys should watch some “game” tape on Nix, not highlight video’s. but actual game film. Nix was by far the most dominate DT in this draft. Donald is good, but he is not what BB wants on his line. Jernigan will not be there, and I am not sold on Hageman. Nix gives BB what he wants, hands down! I would be happy with Fideorowicz in the 2nd, he can block and catch the ball very well. He reminds me of Gronk. Then I will take McGill in the 3rd…..

    • Matt says:

      I think your right about Nix. He is a very good DT and would be a great pickup by the Pats. If he goes before 29 then maybe they can draft Tuitt. He is another good DT/ DE he can get in the back field really well. I think if the Pats line him up next to Jones they will make a great D line pair and could give o line men a lot of problems.

      • YESSIR77 says:

        Matt.

        I would take Nix or Tuitt to be honest. Tuitt is 6’6 320. He can certainly move inside if we need him too from time to time. BB talks about his players being versatile, and having a guy like Tuitt who can play DT/DE sure puts him in that category. He moved inside when Nix went down, he kind of had too, ND was very thin at DT this yr. If Nix has a good combine and pro-day, I can see him gone. I am all for either, with a slight edge to Nix….for now! LOL

  20. qwerty says:

    everyone seems to be touting the – trade mallet

    first, any team that wants him will wait a year so they can have him for nothing

    second, if brady gets injured this year, who will be the back up. a decent enough back qb is a must need even if for one year.

    if a trade did go down, a 3rd rounder would be the best they could get. of course, they may have to use it to draft a back up qb

    we don’t know how long brady will last – hopefully till 53 years old

    i can just see it …
    patriots announce Mallet trade on tuesday
    brady gets into car accident and badly injured on wednesday
    patriots sign mark sanchez and tim tebow on thursday
    talk about nightmare

    • qwerty says:

      Haslim buys the Patriots and is new owner on Friday

    • Wow, gloom and doom is right. Never say things like accident and Brady in same context you’ll jinx him. Lol, only kidding but you make a good point. I’m not sure what Mallett would bring in trade before the draft. I’m darn sure it won’t be #33 after that it’s anyones guess, and I mean guess. Lot of guys think Bill will draft another QB this year regardless and it would seem to make sense. My thinking is that Mallett’s greatist value in a trade would be after the season begins and someones starter goes down. Pray it’s not ours. Still what we might get is still a big question.

  21. J H TARBORO says:

    As a first round pick at #29 DT Aaron Donald Pitt is the best DT, despite being undersized. Simply the best defensive college football player at his position, watching him and Hageman at the Senior Bowl, he was clearly the most disruptive DT there. A 1st round pick clearly has to be a difference maker and Donald is a difference maker, and if he’s gone then trade out of the 1st.

    • acm says:

      Donald is an interesting option, definitely one to consider but definitely not the only one either, imo. A lot would depend on who the Pats bring in from free agency.

      I still have reservations about Donald’s size though – people often compare him to Geno Atkins but the reality is he is a 1-2″ shorter and 15 lbs lighter than Atkins … that’s not nothing considering the Cincy DT is already seen as being at the lower end of the size spectrum. And there is not telling how he would perform when he brings his weight closer to NFL standards. Sure Donald had a great 2013 year and senior bowl but he wasn’t exactly playing all-pro level NFL lineman either.

      All in all, because of the Atkins success story and the parallels being drawn between the two, I don’t think Donald drops to the 4th but I think many teams would see him as too risky for s 1st round pick too. My best guess would be, he is taken somewhere in mid to late-ish 2nd round (45-60 range) … unless he shows up at the combine measuring at 6’1″, 300lbs and still flashes that quick step of his.

    • I would be surprised if Bill took Donald with our 1st just because he isn’t the type of DT Bill likes. Bill likes the big guys, those who eat up the blockers, crush the pocket type guys. Frankley I watched the ND game and wasn’t very impressed with Donald. He seems to have gathered quite a following, wish I had seen more of his games. Judging a guy on one game doesn’t give a good basis for ranking him I know but still I’m a little shy of him.

  22. J H TARBORO says:

    2 week ago I mentioned on NEPD, that the Vikings could be interested in Ryan Mallett and Patriots.com just confirmed the story in an article. Mike Loyko, good pre combine mock draft, but I believe that J.Clowney and Greg Robinson go #1 and #2 and Teddy Bridgewater will be the #1 QB off the board come May. At the combine, they’re a few players to watch that aren’t on the radar.
    RB/WR Trey Burton 6’2 230-240 Florida: at the combine working out as TE, he played QB/RB/WR and CB at Florida. He could be a slash or true joker!
    QB Dustin Vaughan 6’5 220 W. Texas A&M The NCAA passing leader this year will be an official passer at the combine, he could be a draft steal, I will be watching intently.
    RB/WR/KR Dri Archer 5’8 175 Kent St. I believe he will be the first to run a sub 4.2 at the combine. If you watch his tape, he’s not even at full speed at 40yds.

    • acm says:

      regarding Mallet, let’s not make it sound like it’s BB or Bob kraft confirmed the news – a staff writer at pats.com was simply relaying a speculation started by another writer, who thinks Mallet might be a option for the Vikings … based on Mallet and Peterson having a coaching connection in the past and the Vikings GM having done deals with the Pats in days long gone. Sounds like something along the lines of a friend of a friend of a friend of my 5-times removed cousin’s friend might have some inside info on a horse race but isn’t too sure :)

      • J H TARBORO says:

        Personally ACM, I have a feeling this draft will be very similar to last years with a twist, players that we didn’t have a chance at getting are going to be there. The experts tell you what a team needs but with no guaranteed order, we’re going to recieve a couple of gems in this draft. I guarantee it!!!

        • Guarantee it?? Hope your right JH, if you are I’ll owe you a coffee and a donut.
          Dustin Vaughn is someone I’m looking forward to watching as well. I’m thinking he could be a real sleeper, good one JH.
          This draft is so loaded with good prospects can’t blame guys for being all over the board with their mocks and wants. This is getting to be real interesting.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          Steve E. I will take you up on the coffee and donut offer! lol

  23. Cal says:

    Brandin Cooks is the guy I’d like to see the Pats get if Julian is let go

  24. I love all the different ideas that get kicked around here. I’ve see all kinds of players suggested as our pick at #29, even a QB. I have to think, what is the most likely? To me that would be between a DT and a TE. Nix III, Hagerman, Amaro or ASJ. I have no data to say this just my gut and it’s not out of the question that I’m wrong, but it’s what I believe. If one of those four are not available then Bill will trade down. As for trading players, I’ll believe it when it happens.

  25. Philip says:

    Maybe we can trade Mallett for a 3rd + 5th round pick to OAK or HOU…. Mal for a 2nd rounder won’t happen

    • Right Philip, this sounds to me a far more likely trade value for Millett if he is traded. The idea that O’Brian would give his #33 for him just stretches my gullibility to far, (no offense to anyone intended) it just would be to good to be true. I would be happy with a 3rd and 5th from any team.

  26. Daniel R. Martin says:

    I’ve been screaming for the Pats to trade out of the first and to trade Ryan Mallet away for additional picks, and then to utilize the earliest selection to draft the best TE available. Hopefully Austin Seferian-Jenkins would still be on the board.

    While I don’t question Tight End is the single greatest need the team has, I am now beginning to wonder of expending the first round selection to draft Rashede Hageman and then taking a TE in the second wouldn’t be a more beneficial course of action. I’m unconcerned with the most prudent course for the team to take because I believe the time to win is now.

    I suppose the answer to this question would depend heavily on how steep one considers the drop off from ASJ to be to another TE likely to be available late in the second round.

    • Pete H. says:

      Hageman and Nix seem to be the DTs with the biggest upside physically. I’d think it’d be hard to pass on one of those 2 if available. What do folks think of the TE Nikklas? Seems like he may take some time to come on, but the upside is there to be a solid blocker and red zone target, and he might be in the range of the Pats second pick. If they can sign a free agent for a year (maybe Dustin Keller?) on a prove-it deal, they could have the foundations of a decent tight end group – albeit one with question marks (injury or rookies) – you just have to hope at least one of those question marks comes through. If you hit on 2 or three of them, you’ll have a foundational position group for a playoff run.

    • Dan you just hit on the $64 question, how deep is the drop off from the top 3 TE’s down to the next 3? Boy oh boy, I wish I knew and hope BB does because I agree we need another good TE maybe two.

  27. Andrew Wolf says:

    My Pats mock draft, Round 1. TE Jace Amaro Texas Tech. Round 2 DT Kelcy Quarles South Carolina. Round 3 TE C.J. Fiedorowicz Iowa. Round 4. DT Daniel McCullers Tenn. Round 6 OG Brandon Linder Miami Round 6. TE Colt Lyerla Oregon Round 7 OLB Khairi Fortt CAL. resign Talib and Edelman if the money is right pick up Arthur Jones and decent FA OG/OTs cut Tommy Kelly. Get VW to restructure or cut him and resign him on the cheap if possible. Another pass rusher is also needed. Thoughts? I gave Tom Brady weapons while also hitting on the on the Defense as well. Still need a outside WR as well.

  28. YodasLlama says:

    Patriots Seven Round Mock Draft (No Trades but a 6th rd comp pick for Chung)
    Hope you enjoy my mock. Bill is never predictable so I try to not mock people he should take because we all know he probably wont. I changed it a little bit since last time.

    Biggest Team Needs Prior to FA
    DL, DB, TE, OL, WR

    1. Calvin Pryor FS/SS Louisville
    Tall and fast safety who could play both safety positions and possibly corner if absolutely necessary. Harmon looked great last year and should develop into a good prospect but their is the slight possibility that the Patriots loose McCourty to free agency after next season. Finding an heir now would be better than after he leaves. Even if McCourty stays he might have to play more CB if Talib leaves. Having talented depth at any DB position is never a bad thing. High character guy that Bill will love.

    2. Troy Niklas TE Notre Dame
    Niklas is an athletic TE who is also really good at blocking. Brian Kelly and Bill became friends last year and I expect New England to draft a couple Notre Dame prospects. Niklas is a Gronk clone which would be good since he may not be back to start the season. Once Gronk comes back Niklas would be a formidable backup for New England.

    3.DaQuan Jones NT/DT Penn State
    Bill O’Brien connection. I expect the Patriots to restructure Wilforks contract to clear up cap space and they have some talented young DTs on the roster, especially Armstead. However they need a another space eating NT to help Silga until Wilfork returns from injury. Jones is big 6’4″ 320lbs and would be the perfect heir to Wilfork inside.

    4. Anthony Steen G Alabama
    The Patriots would be wise to beef up the Offensive Line given the injury issues they faced last season. Steen is not a high ceiling guard but can be a good pro in the right system. I expect Cannon to win the starting RG spot but Steen could give him a run for his money. Worst case scenario, he is a serviceable backup. Team captain, Nick Saban loves him and I think Bill will too.

    6(PHI). Bennett Jackson CB Notre Dame
    Brian Kelly connection. Jackson is a tweener, capable of playing corner or safety, which should putt him on the Patriots Radar. Talib may not return this season, and even if he does adding more talent to an already good secondary is never a bad thing. Jackson could be the backup safety to Harmon or the 4th corner.

    6. Ross Cockrell CB Duke
    Back to back DBS in my mock and for good reason. This is a CB who I believe will surprise a lot of people. Cockrell has a lot of talent but was overlooked because he played for Duke. He is more of a luxury pick at this point because of all of the talented CBS on the Patriots roster but he is significantly better than Cole who the Patriots keep bringing back.

    6 (COMP). Austin Wentworth G/OT Fresno State
    A raw OT from Fresno State who would probably be better served moving inside. He is a developmental prospect who has a high ceiling with the right coaching. Offensive line depth is also never a bad idea.

    7. A.C. Leonard TE Tennessee State
    Another talented yet troubled TE that I think the Patriots cannot pass up in drafting. Gronk is the best TE in the NFL when healthy but pair him with Niklas and Leonard and the Patriots have an extremely scary TE group. Drafting Leonard in the 7th round is a risk the Patriots can afford to take.

    • Brian says:

      I like this draft a lot. Not sure we need three DBs this draft but like you said it does not hurt especially if Talib does not return this season. You got a steal in Leonard, just hopefully he gets his act together he could be just as good as Hernandez was.

  29. Trev says:

    Great Mock, Mike. Man, I would love it if it worked out this way. I still have serious doubts about Nix lasting into the 20s, let alone to 29, but it isn’t completely out of the question.

  30. Makes great sense to me Mike and I really hope Nix III comes down to us. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was nabbed by someone else though. But if we could draft him that would make the DT position sound for years. Keeping my fingers crossed.
    Queston, who do you see as possable 2nd round picks for us?

  31. alan says:

    i really dont see a wr going in the top 10. Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson and Fitzgerald, weren’t just top 10 picks, they were top 3 picks. Sammy watkins at number 4? I don’t think he is as polished of a prospect coming out of college than those 3. and for value, i just dont see it. you can trade out of your top 10 pick for a later 1st rounder and another pick and still grab tremendous talent a la dez, demaryius,you get my point. don’t know why im seeing so many mocks with sammy watkins going so high

    • alan says:

      dont even think hes on the same level as julio or aj green

    • acm says:

      agree with this. I am also puzzled as to what people see in Watkins that deserves very early 1st round consideration in just about any mock I have seen. I don’t think he is anywhere near the level of the WR talent you just mentioned, in fact I think M. Lee is a much more polished and NFL-ready WR.
      He is a good player and probably worth a 1st round pick on hype alone but I can’t help it but think he would have a hard time living up to expectations at the next level.

  32. OFox0220 says:

    If Gilbert is there at 29 I don’t know how the pats could pass on him. Some Scouts think he is the best CB since Patrick Peterson.

  33. Pete H. says:

    Louis Nix would be an excellent pick IMO – I hope he’s available! Mike, are there other DTs that the Pats would be happy to get in the first if someone else nabs Nix?

  34. Pete H. says:

    One element of free agency strategy is that it is best to be in a position before the draft where you can afford to pass on your targets if truly excellent talents fall to you. For example, let’s say the Patriots want to target a strong safety in the draft. However, if a total stud DT falls to them, and they’d have to reach to get their safety, they can take the stud and build the team around having extra impact at another position while knowing that they can still get at least mediocre play from the safety position with Gregory and Harmon. Of course, they want excellent play everywhere, but the draft can be a cruel mistress, and it’s best to be able to select the best players as much as possible. When building “ideal off-season plans”, it’s perhaps unrealistic to rely too heavily on the draft to fill positional needs unless you plan on over-drafting players at those positions. Again, before I get blasted, low priority doesn’t mean you can’t upgrade the position, but you can afford to try to upgrade in the draft and have higher quality plan Bs than in other positions. I’ve organized the positions into how urgent needs are for free agency specifically, in hopes of hearing people’s opinions.

    High Urgency Free Agency Needs (literally not enough bodies to fill a normal number of roster spots if the season started today):
    TE: With Gronk potentially injured to start the season, you need a player that you feel comfortable putting in the starting lineup, since DJ Williams is your only other guy here. You’d also want to throw in a vet minimum type guy for depth, maybe Hooman or Mulligan, that you will hope to not need by the end of the pre-season because you have 1 or 2 draft picks at the position.
    CB: With just 4 corners on the roster, one of them being Green, you need another player. I’d prefer to grab Talib here, but you could potentially pick up a depth guy if you feel comfortable starting with Dennard and Ryan on the outside.
    DE: Your starters are set, but at this point I don’t think you can bank on Bequette to do anything. A veteran pass-rushing specialist would be a good fit here.

    Medium Urgency Free Agency Needs (you have bodies, but not enough experience to fully count on them to fill all of your roles, even at a mediocre level):
    Interior O-line: You have Kline, Barker, Cave, and Cannon to compete for an interior starting spot next to Connolly, but Cannon is your top backup at tackle, and the other 3 have very little experience. Another body to be able to fill that role in case you don’t get the draft picks you want or they are not immediately ready to start would be nice.
    Outside WR: I’m willing to bet that Dobson, Thopkins, or Boyce will be fine as a starting caliber outside receiver, but I don’t want to be in a position where you need two of them to be ready to be impact starters. A 1-2 year deal for an outside threat could be useful here.
    LB: I think you are targeting a 4th linebacker here (perhaps Fletcher?). You have bodies: Beauharnais, White, Davis, and Reed, but at this point all of those guys would project to 5th, 6th, or even 7th linebacker spots. Not sure you can count on any of those bodies to be your top backup at linebacker.

    Low Urgency Free Agency Needs (if you can get a stud cheap, great – if not, vet minimum contracts or even waiting until after the draft won’t kill the team):
    OT: Solder, Vollmer, Cannon, Zuscevics, Devey, Mattes – could use a guy to develop, but you can live with this group.
    QB: Brady, Mallett – if Mallet is traded, you’ll want a vet body, even if you plan to draft a replacement.
    RB: Ridley, Vereen, Bolden, Gray, Dunn – A cheap vet should be added, or if Blount comes at a reasonable cost, he could be a nice upgrade, but I think this is a lower priority and you can live with this group if you have to until after the draft.
    FB: Develin – you can build depth at this position with undrafted guys if necessary.
    Slot receiver: Amendola, Boyce, Moe, McGuffie – Edelman was productive, but may not be worth a big contract given what the Patriots already have here. Collie could be a vet minimum option.
    DT: Lots of bodies here – if Wilfork and Kelley are cut, you’ll need starting-caliber reinforcements. I’d like to see a high draft pick used on this position, but you have some quality bodies that can fill in if you don’t get one. I’m assuming that Armstead is currently healthy and has the equivalent talent of a 3rd round pick.
    S: McCourty, Gregory, Harmon, Wilson, Ebner – even if Adrian Wilson is cut, you have plenty of roster-worthy guys, even if McCourty is your only impact player. Those who feel that Gregory does not provide mediocre play will want to bump this up.

    • Jim R says:

      Lot of good stuff Pete, I do however think our Safety’s are the weak link here. I would like to see somebody at the back end of the defense who can make a difference. I would also say McCourty is just serviceable nothing special.

      • Jim R says:

        I also think that the coaching has a lot to do with it too

        • Pete H. says:

          Fair enough, I realize I’m in the minority, but I see McCourty as a quality #1 safety and Gregory and Harmon as good #3 safeties. While not ideal, I think you feel more comfortable going into a season with one of those guys as a starter than say Josh Kline (or Cave or Barker) on the interior of your offensive line, DJ Williams at tight end, or Steve Beauharnais as your top backup linebacker. I guess what this is saying is that I’d like to sign a free agent guard, tight end, etc. so that if a great safety is available, you don’t have to reach for a tight end guard instead becuase you would be forced to rely on Kline or Williams or some later round draft pick.

  35. Kyle says:

    I really want to see the Patriots land Jace Amaro in the first round. I see the logic behind the Packers taking him, but I think (hope) they go defense because of how bad that unit played last year. With that being said, the Patriots rarely go with the obvious choice, so I’m expecting an interior OL even if Jace Amaro is still available.

  36. Russell says:

    Very well done Mock Mike! I think it’s important to address who is picking who, to get a better idea of the draft board.
    I have the Giants taking DE Tuitt, and getting an OL Antonio Richardson in the 2nd
    Dallas taking DT Nix III, and getting a S in the 2nd,..Lamarcus Joyner?
    Cincinnati taking S Clinton Dix, WR Jordan Matthews in the 2nd
    I would say if the draft plays out this way, the Patriots may take LB Kyle Van Noy , second round could go many differant ways, but…. 2nd- RB Andre Williams, 3d -TE Arther Lynch.
    Depending what happens to QB Mallett,.. A.J. McCarron is hard to pass.
    Free agents the Patriots sign….. DE Arthur Jones, TE Jeff Cumberland, ..IMO



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