Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft 5.0

Fletcher Cox NFL Draft

Fletcher Cox would make an immediate impact on the Patriots front seven.

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

A trade. How else would you expect a 2012 Patriots NFL Mock Draft to start? However, unlike most years, I have the Patriots moving up instead of moving down. What prospect could make Coach Belichick change his pattern?

See my full 7-round mock draft after the jump.

1st Round (13 – via Arizona) – Fletcher Cox, DL, Mississippi State (Scouting Report)

The Patriots ship their 27th and 31st picks in exchange for the 13th pick from the Arizona Cardinals. The Patriots also received a 5th round selection. The Cardinals have a lot more than just one hole to fill and their should be some offensive line help available at the end of the first round.

Unlike the Cardinals, the Patriots need talent more than depth on the defensive side of the ball. Adding a player of Cox’ caliber would help on all levels of the defense. It is doubtful that Cox would make it past the Cowboys, Eagles and Jets at 14-16, so the Patriots will have to move up if they want to draft him. Even then, Cox may not make it out of the top ten.

Cox figures to be a defensive tackle when the Patriots are playing 4-3 or in sub packages. He can slice through defenders and make plays in the backfield. When the Patriots are in a 30 front, he has the frame to play a 2-gap DE position. However, that might not be the best use of his skills. The Patriots ran a lot of 1-gap / 2-gap splits last year and I think Cox is a more natural fit on the 1-gapping side.

Many people that watch Cox say that he is “raw”, which is certainly true. Cox, who declared as a true junior, can clean up and improve a lot of his technique. However, Cox was incredibly productive (14.5 TFL, 5 sacks, 56 tackles) despite his “rawness” – unlike other projects such as Michael Brockers and Dontari Poe.

Other possible trade-up targets could be Courtney Upshaw, Quinton Coples or a top receiver.

Jayron Hosley 2012 NFL Draft

Could Hosley fit the athletic protoype the Patriots look for in a cornerback? (Photo: ICON SMI)

2nd Round (48) – Jayron Hosley, CB, Virginia Tech (Scouting Report)

Trading up in the first round essentially ends any possibility of landing the top safety in the 2012 NFL Draft – Alabama’s Mark Barron. After Barron, I don’t feel that any safety is worth a 2nd round pick, although Trumaine Johnson, Harrison Smith and George Iloka all earned 3rd round grades.

The cornerback position, however, is completely loaded. A top prospect like Hosley could fall all the way to the middle of the 2nd round, where in other years he could have easily been a 1st round selection.

Hosley is an absolute ball-hawk, sniffing out routes and breaking on the ball earlier than some receivers. Adding Hosley as a cornerback would give the Patriots a lot depth at the outside cornerback position, allowing guys like Kyle Arrington and Sterling Moore to see time in sub-packages. Devin McCourty would also be freed up to play some safety when needed.

Josh Robinson, Casey Hayward and Chase Minnifield are other corners that might fit the “Bill” at this point in the draft.

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44 Responses to “Patriots 2012 NFL Mock Draft 5.0”

  1. Bmp1113 says:

    I am actually hoping for the same top three except 1Mcclellin 1 reyes 2 Smith. I say grab Mcclellin because his stock is rising fast and hes exactly the player the packers are also looking for and they pick at 28. For that reason I think BB might pull the trigger then if hes interested.

  2. Kim says:

    I’m not that crazy about the trading for the first round pick but I like this draft. Fills needs and gets us some good quality youngsters. Shea McClellin will have to be selected earlier as he seems to be racing up the board every day. I see a typical BB pick at #27 (something that we dont really need now but will soon – so not a defender) trade #31 for a 2012 2nd and 2013 1st (like the NO trade last year). As much as I wanted to win the SB this year, I really want it next year, at the Jets home!!!

  3. JimC says:

    Rounds 2 and 3 are loaded with very decent players. Watch for Bill to trade back and grab some picks for next year.

  4. qwerty says:

    Trading up for high first round pick has the following implication

    1) you add a very high salary player to the salary cap. a team has to be very selective in who they pay a high salary to or else the team can end up losing other talent due to not enough salary cap.

    2) injuries can derail picks so it is better to have two solid players rather than an elite one in most positions.

    3) the talent separation may not be that great in terms of impact on the actual game.

    4) having enough middle tier talent and depth is critical to winning super bowl.

    5) one factor in deciding to trade up is whether there is a dirth of talent in the draft. This draft has lots of talented WR’s and other positions. Picking late in first is not a disadvantage. It can be a disadvantage picking higher up unless a team is looking for a franchise player.

  5. mike cutting says:

    like this draft a lot. stud d-line help and lots of depth/competition in the secondary.offense is already set so it can handle the high risk/reward picks later in the draft.

  6. TH says:

    There’s almost no chance that Belichick trades up in the first, especially at that price. Cox is really good, but I don’t see why they’d package two first rounders to move up for him when they can just wait and grab Still, Brockers, Reyes, or Worthy instead.

    I like the other picks, though.

  7. TOM says:

    Terrible. There is an unwritten rule that you don’t project trades in Mocks. Why? Because it’s hard enough to predict a pick and near impossible to predict a trade and pick. And sooner or later it turns into radical unrealistic trades. There is absolutely no way BB trades his two 1st to Arizona for Cox. Teams that tend to trade down, trade down. Teams that tend to trade up, trade up. Teams that tend to stay put and pick, stay put and pick. The Jets aren’t going to down in this Draft. They like to make radical moves up the board. The Jags aren’t going to trade up or down in the 1st Round, they like to stay put and pick. BB isn’t going to make a radical move up the board. It is folly to project him doing that. He might trade up to 20 or 23 if Upshaw or Barron fall, maybe. Giving up big picks for radical moves up is not what he does, ever. To project that trade is just foolish and ruins the projection. However, I do like the later Round picks. Except for Shea McClellin, and I love Shea, but he is flying up Charts. I did a TOM’s Tape of him but I haven’t posted it yet. If the Pats want him, they may have to take him at 31. He won’t make it 48. Why don’t you project a trade down with the Browns for Weeden, and the Pats taking McClellin at 37. That could actually happen.

    • Tom says:

      So does that mean it is foolish to project them trading down? Unwritten or not, I think projecting potential trades, up or down, is interesting. Anyone following the pre-draft process knows the potential players that could be available between 27 and 31. At this stage, it is more interesting to think about potential trades (although I do think a trade down is more likely, but with which team, and what player would that team covet?). Projections after the third of fourth pick is just a crap-shoot anyway, why not entertain different scenarios? And radical trades do occur in the draft, just look at Atlanta last year. I still can’t believe they gave up so much for a WR……

  8. Bruschi54 says:

    I would like to see them end up with Cox, but not at that price. With all the safety problems last season they have to draft someone who has experience at that position. If they could trade 31 for a 2 & 3rd they could walk away from this draft with; Still 1st/ McClellin 2nd / Harrison Smith 2nd/ Johnson 2nd/ best available WR 3rd/ Molk or Blake at OC 3rd.

    • Dan says:

      I couldn’t agree more…those are the players I think could be there and I would love to see the Pats end up with. Quality & quantity…and lots of needs filled.

  9. BILL says:

    You got a lot of responses out of that post. I prefer quality over quantity, but Cox is not a 1st round pick better than what will be there at #27 ( likely Kendall Reyes or Devon Still) You are going to need that #31 pick to get a top OLB, like Curry, Branch, or McClellin. McClellin will belong gone by 62.
    My mock would be :
    1A Devon Still or Kendall reyes
    1B Curry, Branch, or McCLellin
    2A Harrison Smith or Trumaine Johnson or Mychal Kendrick
    2B if Smith or Johnson at 2A then I’d take Bobby Wagner or bruce Irvin

    • AM says:

      Reyes, McClellin, Smith would be an outstanding top three. At that point, all options are open at 62–maybe trading out for a 3rd and 2nd next year (or just a 1st next year, if they can find a taker) would be the best option.

      If they pick at 62, at least one of Mohammad Sanu, Joe Adams, or Marvin Jones should be available; this draft is so loaded with quality receivers that it seems a shame to not come away with one. Ben Jones or Senio Kelemele would be good options on the offensive line. If they stay defense, I wouldn’t mind a shot at Cam Johnson out of Virginia–more of a Ninkovich-type physical OLB than a speed rusher, but solid. He might be available in the third, though, even in the 90s.

  10. qwerty says:

    Someone like Devon Stills or Alameda Ta’amu fits the Patriots. Not Fletcher Cox.

  11. Ryan says:

    Do you think that Hoyer could be part of a trade package to move up for Arizona’s first round pick?

    • Dan says:

      I think Hoyer is a prime draft-day trade possibility. Not just because of Mallett, but because of carrying 3 QB’s again this year. That roster slot is a big deal.
      Part of the drama. They won’t get a 2nd for him, but they could get a forth and a sixth or something like that, I would guess.

      • qwerty says:

        Those 4th and 6th will end up being waived due to lack of roster space unless those are future picks for next year. May as well just cut mallet. Adding more lower round picks is questionable unless your sure they are raw enough to make it thru waivers.

    • Tom says:

      It is an interesting scenario, but I doubt it. The Cards kept Kolb and all of their backup QBs on the roster have played in regular season games. I thought the Pats would trade Hoyer during, or before, the draft but I think every QB needy team got a one during QB musical chairs this offseason, consequently making a trade for Hoyer now less likely.

  12. AM says:

    Feels like a substantial overreach for Cox; I’d much rather have two players at the bottom of the round. Love Shea McClellin–the most Patriot-like player in the draft, I think–but there is no way he’s available that late. He might not make it to 48, much less 62. Personally, I’d be fine if they went for him at 31; may look like a bit of a reach at first, but has Mankins-like steal written all over it.

    • Jim R says:

      That kid is fun to watch. Motor does not stop.

      • AM says:

        Definitely. Even if the position is a little different, I get a Bruschi-like vibe from him.

        On that note, I think I’d even be fine if they went for him at 27.

  13. Dan M says:

    Fletcher Cox is not that dominant of a player to move up in the teens for. I’ve looked at a good amount of film on him and he is solid against the run but very rarely gets to the passer. Offenses are going to continue to cut up our defense if we can not put sufficient pressure on the QB. Plus the Pats need a more balanced team so they do not have to always rely on the offense to win them the game. If the partiots are going to have basically the same Dbs as last year they will have to put pressure on the qb because no one on their current defense can shut down a WR and most can barely hold their own during the game.

  14. D.T. says:

    Echoing others, I don’t see Bill trading up for a DT. A RB like Richardson? Yes. A WR like Floyd? Maybe. An S like Barron? Possibly. But a DT or DE? Why? There are around 10 prospects with strengths and weaknesses all projected in the FIRST round alone. The draft is deep at these areas and one of these players is guaranteed to be available at 27.

  15. Larry says:

    Not happening…………………….He is not getting rid of 2 first rd picks in a loaded def draft…….There is no one worth these 2 picks…..He is not taking 2 def backs he will take a safety but not a CB…………One of his picks will be a Center………………….

  16. Dan says:

    I know teams use it, and I know BB refers to it, or uses it, or whatever, but I HATE that draft value chart. Yet, it may be BB’s best friend because other idiots actually believe it’s gospel. It’s only a tool…a guideline, and I still think BB knows this is a numbers game…bring in 2 very good players and hope that both are hits, but have better odds that 1 will hit out of the two etc…More picks, more odds that you field a better, deeper, team.

  17. Dan says:

    I just can’t see them giving up that much for moving up to get Cox. I really like Cox, and think that he’d be a nice fit; and the need is there, but I don’t think he’s a Seymour type player so I wouldn’t do it.
    The reasons why it may makes sense is that I doubt this team will allow a whole bunch of rookies to make the final roster; especially 6 top round draft picks. So, coupling a few and taking a better player at a higher need would seem reasonable.
    Cox seems like a second tier player, but a high one, I just wouldn’t do this unless I was getting a real blue chip player. Maybe a corner like Claiborne, or someone like that. In this draft I don’t see that type of talent around #11. If the players involved are all 2nd tier players it doesn’t make sense to give away 2 for 1; and that’s how I see this trade….2 for 1, without gaining the superior, low risk, game-changer.

    I could see them moving up a few spots though…into the higher teens or lower twenties. I’m hoping to grab a “faller” or Barron.
    I do like the players taken.

    • AM says:

      Agreed. Cox is a good enough player, but hardly worth the two picks. I don’t really see many in this draft outside of the top seven or eight who are–I’d agree on Claiborne, but given how deep this draft is at cornerback, I don’t think I’d endorse even that move. Better to stay put and pick for value.

      • Dan says:

        Yes, I was just saying it would have to be for that “type” of blue chip and used him as an example…I wouldn’t do it either and it really won’t be an option, most likely.

  18. Dan M says:

    You don’t trade 2 first round picks unless you have a game changer in my opinion. I think you can get 2 good players where they are at pick 27 and 31 so there really is no need to trade for a player that is still considered raw. The Pats need guys who can come in on defense and contribute right away. I think Mark Barron will fall to both of those spots because of injury concerns so they should really take a look at him. Also if they want to grab an offensive lineman late in the 1st round they should have plenty of talent there with the possibilities of Mike Adams, Peter Konz, of Jonathan Martin being available.

    • Dan says:

      Agreed, and I kind of repeated what you just said.

      I do think Barron will be gone in the teens, if not then he’ll be gone in the twenties. I love this player and his need is so obvious on the Pats. I know he’s injured, but he did come back already from his pro day and looked fine. We won’t know the medicals and it will come down to that…just have to wait and see. But, if he’s cleared he’s far too good to slip down too far.
      I’m not saying he’s a Berry or Reed, but he does look like a very solid professional safety; and I do see him being able to move around and play deep in our system. And, I think he could do it much better than what we had this year.

    • Jeff M says:

      You also don’t trade 2 1st rounders when you could trade 1(27) and a 2nd rounder (48) and get up to #14 where the most likely trade partner for your team (Dallas) is waiting and has multiple holes to fill especially after losing their cap space.

      It would also allow Bill to still recoup the 2nd rounder from the 31st pick if he wanted to trade it for a future 1st and a 2nd. Or even a pair of 2nd rounders and lower round picks.

      The 1st is much too valuable to give up because it’s that much harder to get it back if you give it up with out getting a future one.

      27 + 48 for 14 – Cox
      31 for 2013 1st and 2012 2nd
      2nd – Hosley
      62 – McLellan

      And Bill always is able to pick up late round picks also.

      • DWE 2012 says:

        Ditto. I absolutely Love & Preffer the thought of 27/48 for 14th, rather than letting go of BOTH 1st rounder’s……….(YUK).

        & depending on the Hoyer situation and our other need’s……(like we need a Center as well(that can be a guard as well…….)……..I think I’d actually prefer trading a “lower” pick (for example I’d use the #63, 3rd rounder), instead of that 2nd.

        Instead of the 31st for a 2013 1st & a 2012 2nd, how about the 3rd rounder #63, for a 2nd next year and the additional round lower this year. Now that, I’m all over both of those pick trades.

        We could really use that additional better help THIS YEAR, and still get the extras like you mentioned Jeff M!!!

        • td says:

          We don’t need a center, BB signed Connolly and thomas is in the fold.

          We are in a position to take the best available football player in the first round or trade back and get more picks and still get a good player; that is what BB does. I don’t recall anyone clamoring for Solder last year, but now we have a top notch candidate for franchise LT for next 5 years.

  19. Dan M says:

    You don’t trade 2 first round picks unless you have a game changer in my opinion. I think you can can 2 good players where they are at pick 27 and 31 so there really is no need to trade for a player that is still considered raw. The Pats need guys who can come in on defense and contribute right away. I think Mark Barron will fall to both of those spots because of injury concerns so they should really take a look at him. Also if they want to grab an offensive lineman late in the 1st round they should have plenty of talent there with the possibilities of Mike Adams, Peter Konz, of Jonathan Martin being available.

    • qwerty says:

      Unless the draft pick is a genuine true game changer should such a trade be considered. those game changers are a rare phenomenon. Solid players at reasonable contract price are the core of the roster.

  20. Joey says:

    Like your picks but we all know BB won’t pack his stuff after the 5th round. If we had retained our late round picks I could see them try to trade up in the 1st but without these picks he’ll probably deal one of the 1st round picks to get a 2nd and some late round picks.

  21. Joshua says:

    Love the idea of trading up for a stud like Cox or Ingram but lets be realistic here Bill isn’t trading up in this draft with the defensive talent that will be available when the Pats select. Personally I would rather see Janoris Jenkins and Joe Adams wearing the flying elvis than Hosley and Childs. I like the picks of McClellin and Brooks both can thrive in our D/special teams. Really don”t want to see any linemen drafted, were loaded on the line already (Connolly, Mankins, Vollmer, Solder, Cannon, Waters?, Light?) and have the best O-line coach in the NFL. I think the Pats should draft Doug Martin with their first pick hes a monster and better than Ridley, Vereen, Woodhead.

    • Dan says:

      It would be surprising to see them draft a back that high. I do think Ridley will come back stronger…he was a raw player with very low miles, but he’s a worker and I’m betting he’s putting in big-time effort this off-season.
      Vareen I think will be a stud…much more than a 3rd down back, and he could pass Ridley in training camp easily…the kid is a talent…explosive, very strong, smart and a force catching the ball.
      Woodhead is just a very nice player…great fit…great production, but he may be fighting for touches this year, and early.

    • Jim R says:

      He always drafts a fatty. Waters, light and Mankins might not be there to start the year and two of them might be gone. that leaves you a little thin. Childs will be one of the top wr’s to come out of this draft,thats Mallets boy.

  22. Phil says:

    I really like this one, excellent picks.

    • Jim R says:

      All aboard on this one. They will also pick up some good talent thru UFA’s

    • Mark says:

      Agreement with Phil. However, there’s a really high chance in this draft that some of the nicest talent on the PATS board will fall nicely to them late in the first. Would not Brockers and Cricks out value one Cox? Or Curry and Cricks? I predict a lot of trading in this draft…the longer the PATS wait to trade up for tallent the better. But I like the talent you chose for the scenario envisioned. Shea may not be there at 62. MAybe not at 48?

      • Dan says:

        I agree also, and add on to that the very good possibility that if they keep one and trade the other gaining another nice player. So, now you’ve gone from 3 players to 1.

        I was just thinking about the Saints trading that 1st round pick last year to pick a running back (over-rated at that). It didn’t make sense then and it is only starting to make sense now that they probably could guess that they were losing that pick this year at a minimum. So, they pushed the penalty, so they thought, off in another direction.

    • cj says:

      They are going to trade one of the picks for a first rounder next year. Everyone knows this and maybe even trade both picks to set up more picks in this draft. There are some nice gems down the line in this draft. With what they picked up in FA they will draft defensive backs and linebackers or of course someone and I mean that special someone that they had there eye on all this time just happens to slip to them if you know what I mean.

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