2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition

Patriots NFL Draft

Will Roger Goodell be announcing a trade up or a trade down for the Patriots this April?

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

The 2012 NFL Scouting combine is right around the corner. Before we start thinking about 40-times, wingspan and 3-cone times, here is one version of how the 2012 NFL Draft might go down for the Patriots.

1st Round (27)
Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State (Scouting Report)

As Mike Loyko stated in his very in-depth post describing Patriots needs, the Patriots are missing a penetrating force at the 3-4 defensive end position. Brandon Deaderick was a decent complement to Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love, but certainly was not a dynamic presence.

Fletcher Cox brings the size, length and sudden athleticism that the Patriots desperately need. He can play the 4-3 DT position while also stepping outside as a prototypical 3-4 five technique defensive end.

If Michael Brockers (DL, LSU) falls to within range of the Patriots he might also get a look here. He doesn’t have the pass-rush skills that Cox does at this point of his career, but his potential is off the charts.

Even though the free agent market is loaded with talent at receiver (Stevie Johnson, Vincent Jackson, Dwayne Bowe, Reggie Wayne, Brandon Lloyd…), if one of the top four draft prospects at receiver fall, the Patriots could pull the trigger here. Justin Blackmon, Kendall Wright, Alshon Jeffery and Michael Floyd all have the ability to be special.

Prospects with premium edge-rushing potential like Nick Perry (DE, USC), Courtney Upshaw (OLB, Alabama) and Dont’a Hightower (LB, Alabama) may all be off the board here. They would certainly all get a long look if they fall to #27 on draft day.

1st Round (31)

It has been New England’s modus operandi the last few years to trade down near the end of the first round for a future first round selection and a second round pick in the current draft.

If the rest of the NFL finally starts wising up, the Patriot might have a harder time finding a good value from a team looking to trade up. I’m projecting the Chicago Bears, who could really use both a top-notch OL and WR, to trade their second round selections in 2012 (50) and 2013, plus a fifth round pick in 2013 for the Patriots 31st pick.

Dropping 19 selections in order to add an additional selection in 2013, a draft where they are very light on picks due to Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth, as well as a late round pick in 2012 sounds like a Patriots type of move.

If trading down doesn’t work out, expect the Patriots to take the best player available – regardless of position. Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall), Stephon Gilmore (CB, South Carolina) and Jared Crick (DL, Nebraska) are all possibilities.

Click on page 2 for the second round and beyond.

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12 Responses to “2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft: Pre-Combine Edition”

  1. JMC says:

    I don’t mind the trades but I’d rather see BB make the pick at 31, best player or best D-player, than trade down for those picks this year. I’m hoping the draft, esp in the first two rounds, go defense. I would not mind however if pick 31 were used to sign a RFA WR or quality CB-etc.

    • jim r says:

      With the draft picks You know he likes picking in the second/third round. For good reason there is not much of a difference. Lock of the year he will trade 1 of the first round picks

  2. Ken W says:

    I will just say George Iloka in the middle of the second. I think they may move around a little bit like they usually do, to move ahead of teams they think might take their guy.

    • Jim R says:

      I watched Boise a couple of times this year. He really did not stand out. Not to say he would not be a good pick, I just do not think they will secure the safety position thru the draft.

      • Ken W says:

        Yah I would rather pick up a good FA Safety because we have plenty of young guys in the secondary so maybe someone with some experience would be best for them.

        I haven’t seen much of his games just some small clips where he looked pretty good but what caught my attention was his interviews. Seems like a real student of the game, smart, versatile (played a little CB) and coachable. Just sounds like a Bill Belichick player.

        Kept mentioning “details” in one of the interviews and just sounded like a Patriot, so thats why Im saying we get him somewhere in the second.

  3. Jeff says:

    I’m calling this now…if Joe Adams is on the board at #48 he WILL be getting his name called for the Pats.

  4. Jeff says:

    No offense but there’s no way I’d not take Iloka at that spot over Johnson.

    If Iloka is gone then yeah I’d take Johnson, but not in a million years over Iloka.

    As for the trade with the Bears…that does not sound like value that Bill would be interested in. A 1st for 2 2nds…I doubt he’d even blink at that when last year was an offer of a 1st and a 2nd. If that’s the best offer…he’ll use the pick, unless there’s NO ONE they’d want there, but I’d be surprised if that happened either. BB has wanted to keep that extra 1st rounder going for a LONG time, and I can’t see him giving it up for 2nds, cuz it’s just too hard to get it back.

  5. Jim R says:

    2nd round great options. If they can get any of the people you mention in those slots it will be a great day.

  6. MJP says:

    I like Cam Johnson, he has sickle cell anemia, not sure to what extent but his coaches said it wears him down, he’ll need to be managed perhaps on a drive by drive basis, maybe even snap by snap.

    He should be available at that pick and if he can figure out a way to get past this obstacle he’s definitely an 8-10 sack OLB in the 3-4.

    • TD says:

      He just would not be able to play in Denver, like the Steeler’s safety in round 1 of the playoffs, Clark I think.

  7. TD says:

    I don’t see BB using both 1st rounders, especially if this draft is deep. He has his “wish list” of players by ability and value, not need. If his list of guys are clumped close together by the end of round 1, there is no need to take them there, trade into round 2, get one of your guys and receive extra picks or possilbility of a move up next year.

    Sooner or later, if he keeps dealing a first rounder for a first next year, that team will tank from injuries or something else and we could end up eventually dealing a bottom first rounder for a top 10-15 pick next year ala the trade w/49ers that sent #29 (Joe Staley) and we ended up with #7 overall (Mayo eventually).

    • Jeff says:

      This is exactly what BB is waiting for. Desperate teams, with management at the end of their rope and willing to sell out because they won’t be there the year after for the fall out if they can’t make the playoffs.

      Coaches like that are willing to sell the farm for ONE year since that’s all they have left.

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