2015 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Version 4.0

Which FSU OL will be joining Bryan Stork on the Patriots?

Which Florida State Linemen could be joining Bryan Stork on the Patriots?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

Bill Belichick and the Patriots are notoriously difficult to project when it comes to the NFL Draft. No one truly knows what Belichick is thinking or what the perceived needs are in his mind. This year is no different, if anything it’s even tougher to project the direction the Patriots will go with their early round selections. Some clear need areas exist on the roster such as Interior Offensive Line, Cornerback, and Defensive Tackle. However, this year’s draft class is as fluid as I can remember, making it tricky to lockdown possible fits for the team. As we stand 10 day out there are still many different ways the team could go with their early round picks. Here is my latest attempt at projecting the Patriots 2015 NFL Draft Class.

If you haven’t done so yet, make sure you pick up my 2015 NFL Draft Guide. It features 280 full color, full page scouting reports for all the top players in the class. When Bill Belichick goes off the board and picks an obscure Safety in the 2nd Round you’ll be properly prepared. Here is all the information on how to purchase the guide.


Here is a direct link to Purchase: https://gumroad.com/l/rXhwN

Now on to the draft…


First Round (32) – If the plan is to address the Interior Offensive Line early in the draft, the smartest play is to move down 10-12 picks to acquire an extra third round pick. If Cameron Erving is there at 32, the Patriots could jump at the opportunity to select him, otherwise drop down to pick 40 where there is better offensive line value.

Second Round (via Trade Down – Option A) – T.J. Clemmings, OL, Pittsburgh
I’m trying to think outside the box on some of these projections because all I’ve seen in most mocks are the same 3-4 names repeated over and over. Clemmings hasn’t been publicly connected to the Patriots yet, but it won’t surprise me if he’s on their draft board. Clemmings began his career on the Defensive Line before transitioning to Right Tackle before the 2013 season. During the draft process it’s become pretty clear that Clemmings isn’t ready to contribute on the outside as a rookie. However, his skill-set makes him a highly attractive Offensive Guard candidate, especially for a team like the Patriots. Clemmings is versatile, extremely athletic, has great length, and is only scratching the surface of his potential. Clemmings can begin his career at Left Guard and add depth at multiple other positions as he develops.


Second Round (via Trade Down – Option B)Laken Tomlinson, OG, Duke
The other scenario is that the Patriots will trade down a few spots and move into position to pick a pure, “plug and play” Offensive Guard. Tomlinson has rapidly climbed draft boards since January and has now cemented his status as one of the best pure Guards in the draft. While Tomlinson lacks versatility and isn’t the best fit in a Zone Blocking Scheme, he’s rock solid in all the important areas. He’s the best pass protector of any Interior Lineman in the draft. Tomlinson is extremely smart and durable. He’s adept at using angles to complete his blocks and generates plenty of movement off the line of scrimmage. He’ll have no trouble learning an NFL system of adjusting to NFL lifestyle. Former Patriots OL Coach Dante Scarnecchia has spent time working him out privately over the last week. When I spoke with Tomlinson at the Senior Bowl he struck me stereotypical Patriots type prospect.

Second Round (64) – Benardrick McKinney, ILB, Mississippi State
The Patriots have made offers to multiple Linebackers in free agency only to strike out thus far. As they head into the draft Linebacker along with Offensive Guard are the thinnest positions on the entire roster. Jerod Mayo is coming off his second season ending injury and Dont’a Hightower could miss time at the beginning of the season as he recovers from shoulder surgery. The Patriots have very little “quality” depth behind their top three, making it very likely they address the position early in the draft. McKinney is a linebacker who fits all the prototypes of a Bill Belichick linebacker. He’s big (6’4″), versatile (can play inside, outside, and in both 3-4/4-3 defenses), and fast (4.66). The Patriots have tapped into the the Mississippi State program multiple times over the last few seasons to add depth to the defense (Deontae Skinner, Dwayne Cherington, Kyle Love), making the fit of McKinney stand out even more. Adding McKinney to an existing core of Hightower, Collins, and Mayo would give the Patriots the biggest and one of the most dynamic Linebacker groups around.

Third Round (Acquired in Trade Down) – Trè Jackson, OG, Florida State
An all Florida State Interior Line for the Patriots? It’s not as crazy as you think, especially if they stay put in the first round to target Cameron Erving. Jackson is another Florida State product they’ve done plenty of homework on heading into the draft and he seems like a logical candidate to fill one of their Guard positions. Jackson is a big-bodied and powerful drive blocker with three years of starting experience at Right Guard. While Jackson isn’t the most mobile blocker in space, he operates well in tight spaces and elevated his stock with a dominating performance at the Senior Bowl. Jackson is a superior run blocker right now, but he has a strong anchor and knows how to mirror interior rushers in the pass game. While he doesn’t fit the traditional Patriots OL model, no one expected the team to select Cameron Fleming, Jon Halapio, or Marcus Cannon in recent years. Perhaps the model is changing a little bit. Jackson has a chance to step in and play significant snaps as a rookie Right/Left Guard.

Third Round (96) – Marcus Hardison, DT, Arizona State
Many feel the Patriots need to replace Vince Wilfork early in the draft, but I believe Wilfork’s replacements are already on the roster. Sealver Siliga’s snaps will increase next season and Alan Branch was brought back on a multi-year deal after an impressive second half with the team. There are a finite number of Nose Tackles and Run-Stuffers available during the first two rounds and if the Patriots miss out on them, it makes no sense to reach for one. Instead the Patriots can add a dynamic, disruptive, and versatile Interior Pass Rusher to partner with Dominique Easley. Unlike Easley, Hardison brings great size and length to the position. Hardison can play just about anywhere on the defensive line and most scouts believe he can also play 3-4/4-3 Defensive End. Even though he’s not overly stout vs. the run, he’s disruptive as he’s shown an ability to slip blocks and penetrate gaps. Hardison would be a great addition to the Patriots sub-package defense in 2015.

Third Round (97)Stefon Diggs, WR, Maryland
It’s safe bet that the Patriots will add a Wide Receiver at some point in the first three rounds. You need an enigma machine to figure out the way the team evaluates receiver prospects, making it nearly impossible to project the ones they’ll draft. In my mind Diggs is a pretty good fit. He’s coached by Keenan McCardell whom Bill Belichick coached while he was in Cleveland, so there is a relationship in place. Diggs is a supremely gifted receiver who has been held back by injuries each of the last three seasons. Diggs can play both outside or in the slot and will add significant Special Teams value as a return man. There is a large “boom or bust” factor with Diggs, which seems to fall in line with all Patriots WR selections. The things to like are his short area quickness, separation skills, and his ability to create big plays after the catch. Diggs physique also translates a little better to the NFL when compared to other inside-outside WR in this class.

Fourth Round (101)Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
With so many picks between the 3rd and 4th Rounds, the Patriots will be sitting in prime position to “steal” a talented running back prospect. The team made the decision to walk away from both Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley this off-season, transforming the Running Back depth chart. Ideally, they’d like to add another back that can catch the ball and play on 3rd Down, but one that offers a little more inside running ability than Shane Vereen.

In this area of the draft the Patriots will surely consider the likes of T.J. Yeldon, Tevin Coleman, Buck Allen, Duke Johnson, and Mike Davis. I went with Davis in this mock because there has been a considerable amount of buzz surrounding him and the Patriots’ interest. He possesses a strong and compact frame that is built for the NFL Game. He’s a very good receiver out of the backfield and runs with power between the tackles. If they choose to draft a Running Back a little earlier I think Yeldon, Coleman, and Johnson all become strong candidates.

Fourth Round (131) – Steven Nelson, CB, Oregon State
Steven Nelson won’t replace Darrelle Revis or Brandon Browner, but what he will do is give the Patriots a feisty, aggressive, and competitive corner. Nelson harasses receivers at the catch point, refusing to give up easy completions. He has average size, but he plays more physical than his frame indicates. Nelson can play both man and zone coverages. He’s not afraid to play from the line or use his hands to disrupt timing. Nelson has amassed 122 tackles over the last two seasons showing a willingness and aggressiveness to defend edge runs. He’s the best tackling corner in the draft, a trait that won’t be lost on Bill Belichick. He has experience on Special Teams units and can return kicks if needed.

Sixth Round (178) – Bobby McCain, CB, Memphis
McCain is a quick-twitch Nickel Corner with some of the best agility times in the entire draft. On film McCain exhibits great burst out of his peddle and the ability to “click and close” on routes in front of him. He’s at his best deployed in zone coverage where he can see the ball and read the Quarterback. He’s able to transition his coverage smoothly and his sudden change of direction allows him to mirror shifty slot receivers. McCain possesses a filled out 5’9″ frame that holds up well in run support. He does his part to fill edge run lanes and plays with a surprisingly physical edge about him. Like Nelson, McCain can play on Special Teams and return kicks if needed. McCain has already has a private workout with the Patriots leading up too the draft.

Seventh Round (220)David Parry, NT, Stanford
Stout, powerful run defender that holds up well when asked to 2-Gap. Parry has good anchor strength and can occupy blockers to allow others to run free. Parry will give the Patriots some depth at Nose Tackle and add another defender that can play in odd-man fronts. The Patriots have begun to tap into the Stanford program more often as of late and it was rumored that Nick Caserio spent extensive time with Parry at his Pro Day. There’s nothing flashy about his game, however Stanford coaches considered him an invaluable piece to their front seven success over the last four seasons.

Seventh Round (254)A.J. Derby, TE, Arkansas
Purely a “boom or bust” selection. Derby switched to Tight End from Quarterback before the 2014 season and flashed exciting potential at the position. He has good speed and created a number of big plays in SEC play. He’s extremely raw and has a long way to go in terms on his blocking ability. However, he showed enough potential in his short time at Tight End to warrant a developmental selection in the 7th Round.


48 Responses to “2015 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Version 4.0”

  1. Harry K. says:

    Rather than guessing about the availability of certain players I think we need to look at BB’s long track record at drafting and team building. Early in the draft the Patriots will be selecting potentially cornerstone players with excellent positional size, speed, and toughness. They will likely have been a team captain, a three or four year starter, a versatile, athletic player who tested well at the combine especially in short burst drills. Character, football intelligence, special teams ability, good techniques taught in trusted college programs that played against the highest competition are all considerations. SEC schools are favored as is Florida State or Ohio State. Jersey guys get an extra point because BB likes Jersey guys, tough guys who can play in all weather conditions and not back down from a challenge. The Patriots will not be selecting guard only types with no position versatility, or guys that abuse women, or guys who quit on their teams when the going got tough. Tomlinson, DGB, and Marcus Peters will not be early round Patriots selections no matter how talented they are. There are too many other options available. Guys who better fit the mold, who provide more ‘value’. Positional need is not the primary consideration. The Patriots are more likely to make a selection based on future need than a perceived current need. Later picks will be used to add depth and competition at perceived current positions of need. Early picks are the cornerstones of future championships and players selected will fit The Patriots mold of big, smart, tough, versatile players who will be the leaders of future teams and in the short run will learn their positions, play special teams, and will reliably do their jobs when called upon. Usually while it may not be so obvious to us, the current perceived need has already been addressed in the previous draft, or with an unheralded free agent signing, or with a change in scheme to better fit the talents of the current team personnel. We get too hung up on expecting rookies to fill immediate perceived gaps. BB is looking for year one contributors who can develop into team cornerstones in the future, the leaders of his future teams, on the field, in the locker room, and as a representative of the organization in the community. With a deep young roster already in place there is a very good chance that one or more of these picks will be traded into 2016 to give themselves flexibility in future drafts or to use as trade chips when needs arise during the season.

    • acm says:

      nicely put

    • KNOWLEDGE says:

      I agree 100% about the BB loving versatility with his offensive lineman. Which is why I completely dismiss the Pats taking guys like AJ Cann or Laken Tomlinson anywhere in the top 50. They much rather catch one of the top 5 OT’s. I only see the Pats drafting an OL at 32 if Erek Flowers or La’El Collins (Best lineman in the draft and I’m shocked some of the “Experts” having him as high as 9 and as low as pick 38). Clemmings has great upside, but I think he is too raw to be a plug-in play guy. I think they can get an immediate starter in round 3, I like Tre Jackson and would love him in the 3rd.

      To get back to your point about versatility and who I see being perfect at pick 32. Landon Collins is a top 15 talent at SS and seems to be slipping to the mid to late 20’s. I guarantee Bill loves this kid. He has the ability to fill the void at SS that we have lacked since Rodney Harrison. At 6’0 228, he is like a extra LB on running plays and has great range and cover skills for a guy his size. Not to mention he is an Alabama guy and was dominant in the best conferance. I wouldn’t be surprised if BB trades into the early 20’s or possibly trading with Billy O’Brien as high as 16. I guarantee he is a top 15 guy on their board and would be a great pick anywhere from 16-32. This is who have drafting in round 1, I am just unsure at what pick.

      Another guy that reiterates your profile of the Pats type of guy and has great value and versatility is Shaq Thompson. Although not a typical 260 pound Pats LB, if a kid as talented as Thompson falls to 32, BB will jump all over him. I can hear the media asking BB if he thinks Thompson is a LB or SS and bill Bill saying “he’s a football player”. And Bill will love having a guy who can play LB and cover or a missile at SS, not to mention he would probably the best RB on the roster as It currently stands. I think this is the pick if they stay at 32.

      Lastly, there are some really good running backs in this draft. The Pats need a legitimate running back that can be a player other teams have to game plan for, thus taking some of the load away from Brady. I have a man crush on Tevin Coleman. He has prototypical size and blazing 4.35 speed. Unlike Melvin Gordon who played on a really good team with a great Wisconsin offensive line. Coleman played on a bad Indiana team and still rush for over 2000 yards 15 TD’s and he led the nation in runs of 60 yards or more. He can run 25 times a game and is a good pass catcher. BB has met with him and is rumored to really like him. This guy will be the player everyone thought Darren McFadden would be. A steal with that end of 2nd round pick!


  2. nflgenius says:

    Just best available player who’s not a quarterback in round one; if a potential star player is not on the board, then trade.
    I would love to see a guy like Collins fall to us in round one. An upgrade to Pat Chung is needed now that our DBs are just average.

  3. Nuf Ced says:

    Loyko if ur draft happened to turn into reality I would be giddy with excitement

  4. KNOWLEDGE says:

    I just don’t see the Patriots wasting a 1st round pick on an interior offensive lineman. There will be plenty plug and play starters in rounds 3-5. I think that Bill genuinely is considering drafting a WR in the 1st or 2nd round and I’m positive Stephon Diggs isn’t worthy of getting drafted any where close to the 3rd round. He is a one trick pony and I wouldn’t draft him until the 6th round.

    I am not going to try to predict any trades, so this is based off their current positions.

    1. Dorial Green-Beckham- Top 10 talent that gives you big target that pluck the ball out of the air and dominate with his size and ability to beat up smaller corners and have the ability to break tackles a

    • acm says:

      I think MM-II genuinely wishes you were a GM in the NFL :)

      • MM-II says:

        Exactly! Such a draft certainly could net the Pats a 2016 pick in the middle of the 1st round.

        • acm says:

          LOL … didn’t mean it that way – hadn’t even looked at the mock. Was more referring to DGB falling to #32 and presumably being a top-notch talent who could entice other teams trading up their 2016 1st rounder for him.

    • KNOWLEDGE says:

      Continued from first post.

      1st. DGB will be a menace to bring down and will excel with yards after the catch.

      2nd. TJ Yeldon RB- At 6’2 220 with soft hands reminds me of Eddie George and Laeveon Bell. Pats might have to move up 5-10 spots to grab this 3 down back that will give Brady something he hasn’t had in over 10 years.

      3rd. Henry Anderson DT- Dominant and relentless with a great motor. Can play the 1 and 3 technique and also play outside in a 3-4.

      3rd. PJ Williams CB- 1st round talent that could be a steal in round 3

      4th. Josue Matias G- Another FSU guy that has great value in round 4.

      6th. Jamison Crowder WR- At 5-8 with incredible quickness and is well built and can be a nightmare matchup in the slot with the ability to play on the outside despite his size. I think he can also be used as a 3rd down back similar to Darren Sproles. LOVE THIS KID!

      7th. Hauoli Kikaha LB- Would be a steal if you could get him this late.

      7th. Austin Hill WR- After a huge 2012 season leading Arizona with over 1400 yards receiving. Tore his ACL and missed 2013. Wasn’t the same player when he returned in 2014. Only had 750 yards receiving, but wasn’t 100%. 2 years removed from surgery, he could return to his dominant form from 2012.

    • Nuf Ced says:

      Please just stop with the irrational Beckham love… ITS NOT HAPPENING in a post Hernandez world

      • KNOWLEDGE says:

        Dorial Green-Beckham is not a gang banging murderer and I am positive they aren’t making their draft board with any thoughts of Aaron Hernandez. Proof and point, they made a $4 million offer to Rolando McClain! This guy is a sociopath. He owns more semi automatic weapons than most 3rd world countries. Not to mention he fired a gun towards a guy to intimidate him. The DGB is a a choir boy in comparison to Rolando McLain and he is a better football player as well. If the Pats like him as a player and he is the highest guy on their board when they pick, they draft him. Possibly with their 2nd round pick because you got some other guys moving up and he could fall and be a steal.

  5. Markus says:

    I’m not going to give a specific mock draft but a couple of options over the first couple of rounds which I think would be realistic if still available.
    But first, what are the positions where some picks are likely:

    – G: this is probably the most obvious position and there could be a double dip as the current outlook is Wendell, Devey, Kline, Barker, and maybe Fleming or again Cannon (though I think Connolly might be back prior to the draft)

    – OT: Solder’s contract is expiring in 2016 and his agent won’t make it easier for the Pats to resign him for an acceptable price

    – DT: there is a void left by Big VInce’s departure and Branch is already 30, so it seems certain that a DT is added at some point

    – LB: pretty obvious too as the roster is pretty thin there

    – CB: there’s depth for the moment but quality … not so much (and I’m not expecting very much from Butler); also look at the contract length of the (relevant) CBs:
    2015 – Fletcher, Dennard, McClain, Chekwa
    2016 – Arrington, Ryan, Butler
    and with Dennard’s salary at roughly 1.5m$ I guess he could be cut/traded if he’s not regaining/improving his play from 2013

    – WR/RB/TE: there’s solid depth and I think it’s rather necessary to improve the OL than the skill positions

    – DE: with the Sheard signing and some hope that Moore is improving I don’t think a DE in the higher rounds is likely

    – QB/S: weak draft class and already depth


    – a falling OT:
    Andrus Peat, D.J. Humphries, maybe T.J. Clemmings
    also I’m not really sold on later round options so if they want to draft an OT I think it would have to be in round 1/2

    – interior OL where I think only Cameron Erving (apart from Scherff and Collins, of course) would warrant a 1st rounder

    – a remaining one of the strong top tier of DTs:
    Malcom Brown, Jordan Phillips, maybe Eddie Goldmann

    – my sleeper pick at this spot: Shaq Thompson
    he’s smart, dynamic, and versatile and would be a valuable chess piece for BB; also, he would provide instant depth at LB and could move to SS in some situations when Hightower, Collins, and Mayo are together on the field (or all 4 at LB in a 3-4 look, etc.)

    – if none of the above is available I think they would try to trade down because of the great talent in the 2nd/3rd round


    – again interior OL where there should be good value:
    Laken Tomlinson, A.J. Cann, Jake Fisher (as OT/G), maybe Tre jackson (though I think acm is right in saying he is too limited for a combination/rotation between zone and power/man)

    – if they trade back into the upper/mid 2nd round there could be a falling CB who might be too promising to pass up:
    Byron Jones, Marcus Peters, Kevin Johnson, or later Quinten Rollins

    – again a DT:
    Carl Davis, Grady Jarrett, maybe Michael Bennett (depending on scheme)

    – LB: personally, I don’t like any of the LBs which I’ve seen in mock drafts in this range because most of them are pure thumpers and limited in the passing game (McKinney, Anthony) or it’s Paul Dawson who has concerns regarding his character/attitude and football IQ (running himself out of plays); the only mid-round LB I like is Denzel Perryman because though he’s undersized he is quick, instinctive, and a high character guy (however, the 2nd round is too high for him)

    now, those 3 picks within 5 spots are my favorite part of this year’s draft because there are so many intriguing options

    – CB: there are some talents and everybody probably has his favourite; if the Pats trade out of the 1st and aquire a high 3rd that would be a sweet spot for Quinten Rollins if still available; also I like the idea of taking Ifo Ekpre-Olomu and put him on IR so we would have an additional player for 2016 and a successor to Arrington if they let him go after 2016 – this is especially true if the Pats double dip on a CB with an early pick and the compensatory pick for Ekpre-Olomu; a 2016 CB group of (e.g.) Jones, Butler, Ryan, Arrington, and Ekpre-Olomu looks pretty nice (considering more of an emphasis on pressure up front and less man coverage for up to 10s)

    – OL: the 3rd and 4th round is a great spot for aquiring interior OL (see Stork, Bryan) and there are some options like Ali Marpet; now, I’m really unsure about Cedric Ogbuehi because the situation of
    picking him in the 3rd, putting him on IR, and having leverage for the contract talks with Solder sounds great – however, there is the question whether all of his flaws are coachable and the situation described above might be too risky

    – RB: David Johnson! there are other intriguing RBs in this draft but Johnson just screams Patriot to me – great receiver out of the backfield who can also run between the tackles

    – WR: I think this should be the earliest position to draft a WR; however, as Mike Loyko said it’s rather enigmatic which type of WR the Pats would prefer this year; though, I think we would all agree on Kenny Bell :)

    – DT: it’s a deep DT class and there are some solid mid/late round options but the 3rd round would be a nice spot for Marcus Hardison, especially if the Pats aquire an additional (higher) 3rd, as he’s very versatile and probably a great option for BB

    – LB: players I like are Kyle Emmanuel and, of course, Davis Tull and I think the 4th round would be the right spot for both

    Since the later rounds are pretty much for depth, bets on risky investions/boom-or-bust players, and priority FAs the picks clearly depend on the earlier rounds. The only clear cut position for multiple picks is the OL and some mid/late options I like are:

    G Mitch Morse, G Mark Glowinski, C/G Shaq Mason, G Robert Myers, OT/G Jamon Brown

    • MM-II says:

      Excellent breakdown of most of the Pats’ options. Kudos!

    • Tristan says:

      I completely agree on the taking one of the falling OT at 1st round. For three reasons – 1 they can move to LG and fill that void 2 they protect if Nate Solder leaves after this year 3 Not many people have mentioned this but we have no back up players that can truly play LT. All our reserve tackles are RT. We have 0 backups at one of the most important positions on our team. My thought is draft Humphries, Flowers, Fisher, Ervingor Clemmings at the first round selection. All of these guys at least have LT experience and could sub for an injury at min. At least one of these guys should be available at 32. These players essentially are taken over the Logan Mankins role of LG and sub LT. It is extremely challenging to find a player with NFL quality LT skills mid to late in the draft and for this reason I believe this should be the teams first selection. If all these guys are gone then grab Eddie Goldman or one of the first round corners and dark horse pick Nelson Agholor WR USC

    • acm says:

      nicely done, from where I stand. can fall in line with pretty much everything you said.

      just not sure drafting a LT as a potential Solder replacement would be as easy even in the 1st round – just don’t think the talent is there this year to warrant drafting a LT for value as opposed to need.

      Similarly to drafting a DT in the mid rounds with the future in mind (and to take advantage of a good draft class at said position), I would do the same with WR and or RB too (again in the mid rounds). Think the presumed depth at those two positions is a bit deceiving and those could well be positions of need, seemingly out of the blue, for the 2016 season. And we all know how useless rookie WRs and RBs are in the Pats system.

      I also have Shaq Thompson as a wild-card pick but more in the second round, not at 32. Ekpre-Olomu and Smelter are my “draft and put on ice for 2016” hidden-value picks for this draft.

      • MM-II says:

        With the possibility of that Pats maybe partly transitioning to more power-man blocking an open question (though perhaps it’s only an open question to me), Flowers may have more value to the Pats now than he would have in the past. Gurley is far more likely to fall to #32, though.

        Fisher could be there (or a little later), I suppose. But, y’know – meh. And I wouldn’t spend a 2nd on “meh,” regardless.

        Donovan Smith might be kind of a dark horse, developmental candidate in the 3rd round, I guess.

        That’s all I’ve got.

        • acm says:

          I am not really counting on Flowers falling anywhere near the Pats. And not sure I’d draft him as a LT but more of a OL-man, who could potentially fit at LT down the road, among other things. That is, not sure he’d be worth the likely considerable cost of trading up for him.

          As for Fisher, I like him quite a bit (has the athleticism, leadership, edgy attitude, etc) but he’d need at least a year, possibly even two till he’s ready to play LT at a level suitable for the Pats, imo. He should make for a fine LG either way, which is why I like him for the Pats even at 32. Personally don’t expect him to fall outside the top 40-45 picks. Could well be off the board by 32, actually.

          I’ve considered D. Smith too but there are concerns about his work ethic/dedication on top of weight issues and such. In the right system those could potentially be taken of but the point is the concerns with him go beyond just talent level and ability to play the position. As a mid-round prospect might be worth a shot but really feels like we are already scraping the bottom of the barrel.

  6. MM-II says:

    As always, there’s been a lot of speculation in mocks drafts about the Pats trading down from the #32, or even trading up. However, almost no one seems to be considering the possibility of a trade FORWARD into 2016.

    However, if that Pats feel strongly that there’s a significant chance that Solder may not be on the 2016 roster (for whatever reason), and that a realistic potential long-term replacement won’t be available to them in this draft (and isn’t currently on the roster), it seems to me that they might be willing to trade their #32 for the 2016 1st-rounder of a team that currently seems unlikely to finish the 2015 season much better than 8-8.

    Just a thought.

    • Markus says:

      I like the idea of trading down with the future in mind but rather something like this scenario:
      trading this year’s 1st for their 2nd/3rd round pick and swapping next years 1st rounders. This way the Pats would gain a high position next year while simultaneously use the nice value of the 2nd/3rd round in this year’s draft.
      However, I think the Pats don’t want to put a rookie at LT so the successor to Solder might not be drafted in 2016.

      • acm says:

        Scenarios involving swapping future picks are not very likely, imo, as it’s diff to project gain/loss from a year early (yeah, I know the Raiders will likely still be the good ol’ Raiders next year :) ). That’s why I think teams generally would want to have an extra pick in hand (extra ammo one way or the other).

        This being said, there just aren’t good LTs this year – many of those who did play at LT in college project at RT or G at the pros. Ogbuehi, Humphries could potentially be available but , while athletic enough, they have their own shortcomings in terms of lack of strength, injury history, etc.

        Andrus Peat could potentially fall somewhat but he is considered a softie too (and a better fit at RT) and likely won’t even be on board at 32 anyway.

        Don’t see Clemmings falling either – teams are just too enamored by his potential. See him being this year’s Greg Robinson.

        Best bet for a player in this draft that could potentially take over at LT should Solder leave in 2016 would be Cam Erving (looking less and less likely imo he is there at 32) and Jake Fisher, who has the tools but simply lacks the polish to play at OT right now. Fisher is more suited to be LG now and maybe, just maybe, could be good enough to a NFL LT in 2016.

        In short, while Pats like drafting their new LT a year early, this year happens to be particularly tricky for that position altogether. Unless they extend Solder before the draft which I expect they will try to but won’t be able to bring to fruition, I think their best bet for LT in 2016 (should Solder leave) could well be Vollmer, with Cannon moving over to RT. Free agency could also offer some options although half-decent LTs usually don’t go for bargain prices.

      • MM-II says:

        When BB has traded his 1st-rounder for a future 1st, he’s always (IIRC) received an additional pick during the current year’s draft. I think he accepted a 4th from the Niners back in 2007 (which was traded to the Raiders for some WR named Moss).

        My point was that, if the Pats don’t have Solder in 2016 and haven’t drafted his replacement from this year’s crop of OTs (and it seems unlikely that they’ll be able to do so), NOT drafting his long term replacement in 2016 doesn’t seem to leave them with a lot of good options.

        As >acm< wisely suggests below, their first adaptation would likely be to move Vollmer over to LT and replace him at RT with Cannon (or maybe Fleming). I'm not sure that's an optimal long term solution, though it seems like it should work for 2016 while a 1st-round rookie LT gets acclimated. However, if they haven't acquired that rookie LT in the 2016 draft, that process would need to transpire during the 2017 season. That looks like an even shakier situation to me – at this point.

    • acm says:

      creating an earlier 1st round pick would be swell but that usually involves extreme/unusual circumstances for a team that drafts late in the 1st, year after year. E.g a trade involving a high-profile player going into the draft, which doesn’t seem to be a likely scenario this year. Or a team desperate to go back into the 1st for a special player, possibly a QB, which this year just doesn’t seem to be the right year for.
      Maybe if Gurley falls to 32, a team pulls a Saints on the Pats but not sure I find such a scenario (of Gurley falling there) all that plausible.

      A team gets stupid enough to think they have unearthed the next Calvin Johnson in Dorial Green-Beckham, maybe? Not completely out of the question – plenty of poorly run organizations out there – but with his baggage … it’s one thing to trade back up using this year’s picks but don’t know if anyone would go as far as mortgaging up their future.

      Just don’t see this Heisman-winning, sparkling talent in this year’s draft and especially not at the end of the 1st round, so the Pats could exploit another team’s desperation and create an early pick next year. They could always pull a Colts and tank the season though ;).

      • MM-II says:

        Apparently you didn’t include the Browns among your “stupidity” variables (snicker).

  7. John says:

    My latest Patriot’s mock:

    1. Laken Tomlinson OG
    2. Grady Jarrett DT
    3. Stefon Diggs WR
    3. Cameron Artis-Payne RB

  8. howie horvath says:

    Let me start by saying Pats grab Gurley if he’s there at 32 as unlikely as that may be. Otherwise:

    1. Jalen Collins – CB (#32)
    2. Cameron Erving – G/T (#42) {trade their 2nd #64 and their first 4th round pick #101 for Atlanta’s 2nd}
    3. Stephone Anthony – LB (#68) {trade a 3rd #96, 6th for #177 and a player (say Duron Harmon) for Oakland’s #68 – “Hey it’s Oakland”}
    3. David Johnson – RB (#97)
    4. Mitch Morse – G/T (#131)
    7. Jamon Brown – G/T (#219) {“Everybody must Jam-On”}
    7. Tyler Varga FB/ST (#253) {Go Yale!}

    You add a talented and athletic press corner (slips to #32 as he’s coming off injury and only one year of game tape), solid and versatile lineman (still there because he’s more G than T), hard-hitting LB that can run and free up Hightower and Collins to create more of a rush, RB to catch what Vereen use to catch, two more sturdy linemen and a steal of a special team’s pass-catching FB to cap things off!

    Counting on one or both of the injured pass-catchers to show up and stand-out (Dobson and/or Boyce – we saw it happen with both Edelman and Amendola so why not two more a year later? Not to mention TE/WR Wright). We have a couple large linemen already and the hope last years #1 (Easley) comes back strong. Belichick will definitely add one more FA on the DL maybe Red Bryant who remains stout against the run. Have to believe Mayo will be back to himself (and well rested ;).

    This draft goes heavy on OL because we have to be more physical and formidable with defensive lines in our conference and in the NFC e.g. Seahawks. I think we currently most at risk there and in the backup linebacker ranks – inside in particular. Seven solid picks that could make all the difference in 2015-16!

    Look for Hightower (only overshadowed in big SB plays by Brady, Edelman and Butler) to have an All-Pro year together with Brady, Collins and Gronkowski – and maybe Edelman. If we can transform our front seven and pass rush this year like we did our coverage last year we’ll be right back in the SB! Though, not without a few more bumps and bruises from our now stronger AFC brethren – ouch!

    • AM says:

      This would be completely amazing. Lukewarm on Anthony, but Collins, Erving, Johnson, Morse makes for a near-perfect draft. I’m skeptical, though, about Erving falling into the 40s.

  9. acm says:

    Good mock, Mike L.

    A couple of thoughts on that:

    1) On signs of Pats moving towards employing more power blocking run schemes than before – I can definitely see that happening and am all for it but I think they are moving towards being more multiple i.e. use both types of schemes as opposed to prioritize power blocking from now on.

    Which brings me onto the mock in question – given the above, OL Tomlinson is definitely a prospect I can see the Pats go for with their first pick in the draft. He is more suited for power blocking but he also has utility in zone blocking. In short, he has scheme flexibility with preference to the power blocking variety. That’s where I have a problem with OL Jackson – I think he is suited ONLY/EXCLUSIVELY to power blocking and offers no scheme versatility at all and a relatively early pick would be a bit too rich for such a player, imo. There is a difference between big and powerful and big and cumbersome.

    Yes, I know they did draft a similar prospect in Halapio last year but they did so in the 6th round and we know how that one panned out. Also, I think people are drawing one too many parallels between Pats getting Stork last year and the rest of the FSU linemen. Pats didn’t draft Stork because he was at FSU, they drafted Bryan Stork the player and being at FSU helped but wasn’t decisive. Similarly, just because Pats may be having wet dreams about Cam Erving in this year’s draft that doesn’t automatically make OL Mathias and OL Jackson a no brain-er too.

    And for the record, last year I had Pats go after Stork or Bodine at OC in the 4th/5th range and Flemming as an OG prospect in the 3rd (close enough, I guess). I did not think Halapio was a good fit for the system and while they did draft him, they did so only in the 6th … and he didn’t make the roster.

    2) On LB McKinney – I like the prospect and the intangibles and won’t be crying myself to sleep if they drafted him at 64. I for one don’t see him falling there but an even bigger issue I have is what (current) scheme fit. For me, McKinney is bit too one-dimensional scheme-wise and doesn’t carry his size as well as I think BB would be looking for his future LBs to. Yes, he ran a great 40 at the combine but his short area quickness and agility in general is rather average and that I think slots as a run stuffing MLB (see him as a bit more athletic version of Spikes). I think a LB like Davis Tull (pretty much a Collins clone) in the 3rd would be a much better value and scheme fit for the Pats these day as he can play on and off the line, inside and out.
    That’s not to say I’d be shocked if BB drafted McKinney, it’s just that that would be a move I think he would have been much more likely to do 4-5 years ago than today.

    3) On Hradison – love the pick but his stock has been going up and don’t think he is there in late 3rd. Also, I think he’s just the player the Pats may be looking for to complement their current roster and I think they pull the trigger on him earlier. Pats or not, however, I just don’t see him last till late 3rd, one way or the other.

    4) On WR Diggs – like the skill-set, not the injury history; also, he’s not as a good or willing a blocker as some other WRs projected to be available there, who also play special teams. Do I see Pats take Diggs over say Bell, who I like a lot better? Unfortunately, I do (rich injury history alone says Diggs over Bell in this one). Hope BB’s visit at the UM proday, being so obvious and flagrant, was just a courtesy call, tbh.

    5) Like a lot the value of RB Davis and CB Nelson in that range of the draft. Can see Pats make both picks.

    6) Not a fan of the last 3 picks in terms of prospects taken and order/prioritization – not sure I see the point of taking CB McCain there. He’s a decent prospect but does he make the roster? Does he offer anything more in upside than an UDFA or a player taken at that 254 spot? Not sure he does. I know it’s a late round pick but would like to think, in very early 6th round, there would be players with bigger upside left on board (e.g. someone like DL Sokoli, for example, or WR Smelter falling there due to injury).

    DT Parry for me is a typical Patriots pick, maybe even a bit too typical. He’s a high-character guy but with maxed-out frame and NFL potential, average across the board type of player, who will likely swing back and forth between the 53-men roster and the practice squad for 3-4 years before they finally move on from him. Yes, he did play a 2-gapper in college but that is not likely to be part of his NFL role. Can easily see Pats take him, just think they can go with higher upside there and/or build up depth at interior OL because that was a problem last year (OL Austin Shepherd maybe).

    If McCain is there at 254, I’d take him although I’d prefer CB Axel Ofori (U of Maine) there.

  10. YodasLlama says:

    My Patriots Seven Round Mock Draft w/Trades

    1. D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida
    The Patriots sit on the last pick in the first round and draft a talented but risky OT prospect. With Solders contract coming up soon and Vollmer on the wrong side of 30 having a talent like Humphries waiting in the wings should be too good to pass up for New England. His rookie year he can line up at LG or be the primary swing tackle.

    2.(Trade from PHI). Marcus Peters, CB, Washington
    New England has a pretty good track record in rehabilitating “trouble” players. Peters has the size and skill the Patriots want in their corners. Combined with Butler can give New England one of the youngest and most talented corner tandems in the league.

    2. Devin Smith, WR, Ohio State
    The Patriots like Urban Meyer players and Devin Smith has a ton of talent and could be that missing element of the offense that everyone has wanted since Moss left. Smith is talented, smart and could contribute immediately for New England.

    3(COMP). Ali Marpet, OL , Hobart
    If Marpet falls to the end of the third round New England would run to the podium. Marpet is extremely talented but needs a lot of coaching. Raw prospect who played Tackle in college but is a guard in the NFL. Could start Day One for New England.

    4. Gabe Wright, DT, Auburn
    He isn’t Vince Wilfork but Wright has the frame to bulk up and hopefully keep the speed he is known for. A talented DT who played DE for Auburn as well. Could give New England a good rotation of Easley, Silga, Jones and Wright in the foreseeable future.

    4. Mike Davis, RB, South Carolina
    A bowling ball at RB and a player that New England has looked at multiple times in the draft process. A everydown back with loads of talent. Could contribute right away in a RB rotation and then be the Number 1 after Blount leaves next year.

    6. Tray Walker, CB, Texas Southern
    I really like Walker and I think he can be a good player in the NFL. A small school prospect who may have to take a redshirt season. Walker is tall and is a physical press corner. Low risk high reward prospect.

    7. Ty Montgomery, WR, Stanford
    The Patriots have been working out a ton of WR prospects this draft and may double dip again like they did a few years ago. Montgomery isnt flashy and may be nothing more than a solid number 3. However he is smart and with his height 6-2 could replace Lafell in a couple of seasons.

    7(COMP). Nick Marshall QB/CB/ATH, Auburn
    Why not? Its the end of the 7th round and 99% of the time these guys don’t make the team anyway. Marshall is a talented Athlete who may never amount to anything in the NFL but the Patriots can take a flyer on him and see if they can use him in some capacity. High character guy. Worst case scenario is a good guy to have in camp.

    Projected Depth Chart
    * Denotes Rookie

    QB: Brady, Garoppolo
    RB: Blount, Davis*, Grey
    3RB: Cadet, White

    WR1: Lafell, Dobson
    WR2: Edelmen, Amendola
    WR3: Smith*, Montgomery*

    TE1: Gronk, Chandler
    TE2: Wright

    LT: Solder, Humphries*
    LG: Marpet*, Fleming
    C: Stork
    RG: Wendell, Cannon
    RT: Vollmer, Humphries*

    RE: Jones, Sheard
    NT: Silga, Branch
    DT: Easley, Wright*, Jones
    LE: Nink, Moore

    SLB: Collins, Mayo
    ILB: Hightower
    WLB: Mayo, Freeny

    CB1: Peters*, Fletcher
    CB2: Butler, Ryan, Walker*
    CB3: Arington, McClain

    FS: McCourty, Harmon
    SS: Chung, Wilson

  11. J H TARBORO says:

    1) CB Kevin Johnson- Wake Forest
    2) ILB Stephone Anthony- Clemson
    3) OG Tre Jackson- FSU
    3) DL/DE Tavaris Barnes- Clemson
    4) WR Kenny Bell- Nebraska
    4) RB Mike Davis- S.Carolina
    6) FB/H-back Jalston Fowler- Alabama
    7) DT/OLB Kristjan Sokoli- Buffalo
    7) WR Tyrell Williams- W.Oregon
    UDFAs after the draft( if they’re there )
    LB Reshad Cliett- USF
    WR/CB Chris Dunkley-USF
    DT Deon Simon- Northwestern St.
    DT Angelo Blackson- Auburn
    RB/KR Corey Grant- Auburn
    OG David Andrews- UGA
    WR Geremy Davis- UConn

  12. AM says:

    Would love to see the team accumulate more second/third round picks at the expense of the first-rounder; seems like that’s where the sweet spot is. Barring that, my (in-the-moment) ideal:

    #32: Shaq Thompson, LB
    #64: Grady Jarrett, DT
    #96: Rashad Greene, WR
    #97: D’Joun Smith, CB
    #101: David Johnson, RB
    #131: Mitch Morse, OL
    #177: Austin Hill, WR
    #219: Corey Robinson, OL
    #253: Tyeler Davison, DT

  13. Ryan says:

    Steven Nelson is an extremely interesting pick. On the one hand, he is very talented and will be a good corner for years to come at a low draft cost. On the other hand, he is definitely a bit undersized and he will not solve our size problem in the secondary. So, I would be both excited and disappointed if he grab him.

  14. carlo strada says:

    So far this has been one of the best mocks i ve seen. The O line has been addressed as it should.
    No complaints at all: love the picks of Nelson and particularly the Hardison s. Only thing i ll change is Dawson for over Bernardrick at the LB pick.

  15. MM-II says:

    Pretty fine mock!

    I’ve noticed that, when folks mock an ILB to the Pats in the first two rounds, it’s almost always McKinney, and I’m wondering why not Stephone Anthony? To me, he seems to fit maybe a bit better.

    I’d probably prefer Bell to Diggs at WR, though that’s kind of a minor quibble.

  16. DC says:

    #32 – Shaq Thompson, LB
    #64 – Clive Walford, TE
    #96 – Max Garcia, OL
    #97 – Ifo Ekpre-Olumo, CB
    #101 – Chris Conley, WR
    #131 – Mitch Morse, OL
    #177 – John Crockett, RB
    #219 – Nick Marshall, CB
    #253 – Ellis McCarthy


    • AM says:

      I’d do cartwheels over this draft. Not sure that Walford is the best fit at this point with Chandler behind Gronkowski, but still a great talent from a BPA standpoint.

    • acm says:

      Like the idea of taking Shaq T. but maybe not as early. He’s kind of a wild-card pick imo and wouldn’t go there at 32.

      Used to like Walford as an option at 64 but not anymore. Now, with the way free agency has played out, I think that would be an unnecessary pick.

      IMO, Max Garcia, like Tre Jackson and Jon Halapio last year, is a player who is a fit exclusively for the power scheme i.e. not a good fit for the Pats one way or the other.

      Like the value with IEO in the 3rd. Could be IR-ed in 2015 and replace Arrington in 2016, when he should be fully recovered from his injury.

      Mitch Morse is an underrated, rugged, physical player, who can actually move and has the frame to get bigger, if necessary – the type of prospect I see go to the Ravens, Seahawks, or Packers. Hopefull Pats are on that list too.

      Like Conley as an NFL prospect just not for the Pats system. I see him bust out at Foxboro.

      Don’t care much for the rest, except maybe Nick marshal – interesting upside there, probably worth taking a peak at with a late round pick.

  17. AM says:

    Interesting picks…like the Tomlinsen and Jackson picks a lot, especially if Erving is off the board, though I think third round may be a couple of rounds too early for Diggs. If they are going to go WR in the third-round range, I’d prefer to see Rashad Greene (if he falls a bit) or perhaps Kenny Bell.

  18. menelvagor says:

    What do you think about draft day trade for Evan Mathis? Some picks can be in play in this trade

    • David L says:

      I think the Vikes and Patriots make a deal for AP if he restructures. That’s a big if but if he wants out that bad he will do it. Why the Patriots. 1. We don’t want him in the NFC or on Dallas. 2. To bug the Bills and Jets. Jets got revis and the others to slow down Brady. Good for them now they have to game plan for Pederson. And finally Zimmer like Bilichic. You heard it here first.

      • acm says:

        Wow!!! And I thought I was being delusional for hoping Pats would sign Mike Iupati earlier in free agency.

        • MM-II says:

          acm –

          I’m with you there. Apparently, we both need to upgrade our meds.

          Which I may want to do, anyway, now that I think about it.

      • Hala Madrid says:

        For this trade to happen the Pats need to give a 1st and 2nd rounder at least. There’s no way this gonna happen.

    • MM-II says:

      IDK about Mathis. In many ways, he’s kinda the same guy who the Pats traded away just before the start of last season, but even more expensive. Plus, Mathis is primarily a ZBS guy, AFAIK. If that Pats are, indeed, transitioning to more of a power-man scheme, they’d probably want to go in a different direction anyway.

  19. ReneKicker says:

    I agree with most of the picks, i would change David Johnson for Mike Davis and Kenny Bell for Steffon Diggs.

    • Markus says:

      Exactly my thought, too. Bell seems to have a lot of traits which Bill and the stuff value so much. In my opinion, Johnson would be the RB to combine the value of Vereen and Ridley as a bigger 3rd down back who can actually run pretty hard between the tackles. It would simply increase the options on 3rd down.

  20. Russell says:

    I agree with Mike, if (likely) OL Erving is gone the Patriots will trade back, unless they want OLB Eli Harold (IF Available..likely gone to Baltimore)
    Trading back is sound thinking, and K.C. is my trade partner. IF K.C. drafts OC Erving at #18, then getting the Patriots #32 to draft WR Strong looks great!
    Patriots would get #49 (2d round) and #80 (3d round), and be able to get OG Tomlinson (likey) at #49, and draft DT Micheal Bennett at #80.
    then draft;
    #96- WR Kenny Bell
    #98-OLB Davis Tull
    #101- S/CB Adrian Amos
    #131- OT Corey Robinson
    #177- DT Kristjan Sokoli
    #219- RB/S Karlos Williams
    #253- CB Benard Blake

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