Patriots Mock Draft: Version 4.0 and Roster Projection

Trumaine Johnson could be a Patriot come draft day.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

With the draft one week away I do my best to predict how the Patriots draft will unfold and how the players signed in free agency and any further free agent signings fit into the 53 man roster.

1st Round (27) – Chandler Jones, DE/OLB, Syracuse

Jones is a player who has quickly risen up draft boards. I am under the impression that he has been valued much higher by NFL teams throughout the process than by the media. On the field, Jones is a big, long, powerful edge player. He isn’t the speed rusher that many Patriot fans may want, but Jones can still get after the passer.

He wins with power, leverage and motor. Jones’ best attribute is his long arms (35.5″), he is able to knock down a lot of passes at the line and is able to get his arms into opposing lineman. Jones shows good ability in the run game and does a good job of locating the ball and coming down the line of scrimmage to make plays. Jones has a terrific motor and which ever team picks him is not going to have to worry about his compete level.

At 6’5″ 266 pounds Jones has the body type that Bill Belichick likes to have on the edge of the defense. He would likely be utilized in a hybrid role similar to how Willie McGinest was utilized. By drafting Jones, the Patriots would add tremendous size and length to the front seven.

1st Round (31) – Shea McClellin, OLB, Boise State

The Patriots opt to further address the edge of the defense with Shea McClellin. While Chandler Jones projects more as a down lineman, McClellin will be an OLB in the Patriots system. McClellin is a smart, athletic and coachable pass rusher.

McClellin is the type of player Bill Belichick loves, he can play multiple positions in multiple schemes. He was even asked to play MLB at the Senior Bowl and earned rave reviews from the coaching staff about how quickly he picked everything up. McClellin is another maximum effort player, who always is playing hard and fast.

By adding the powerful Jones to the fast and athletic McClellin the Patriots will have greatly improved their pass rush and the talent on the edge of their defense.

2nd Round (48) – Trumaine Johnson, CB, Montana

The Patriots start to address their secondary problems with a big athletic cornerback. Johnson might not be as well known as some of the other top DBs in the draft because he played for division 1-AA Montana, but Johnson can play.

Watching him on film the one thing that stands out most is his ball skills. Johnson tracks and locates the ball well in the air. He can also go up and get the ball when it’s in the air. Johnson exhibits solid man to man coverage skills which should make him very attractive to the Patriots. The Patriots struggled badly last year when in man to man coverage, continually giving up big plays to opposing receivers. I believe it’s going to be very important for the team to draft some defensive backs who excel in man coverage and have solid ball skills.

With Johnson’s size, range and ability to play physical, he has the potential to play the free safety position, which should make him all the more attractive to Bill Belichick.

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50 Responses to “Patriots Mock Draft: Version 4.0 and Roster Projection”

  1. Ken W says:

    1st 27. Devon Still DE
    1st 31. Trade to STL for #39 and #103
    2nd 39. Shea McClellin OLB
    2nd 48. Jayron Hosley CB
    2nd 62. George Iloka S
    3rd 93. Marvin Jones WR or Brian Quick WR if he falls
    4th 103. Tauren Poole RB
    4th 126. Best OL on the board

    • AM says:

      Except for Still, I love this draft. I’d go with Reyes at that spot, or McClellin/Mercilus and Reyes at 39. Any thought on who STL might move up to grab in this scenario?

      • Justin says:

        Why dont you like Devon Still?

        • AM says:

          My main concern with Still is motor–he seems to have a bit of a Haynesworth vibe in that he tends to go off his game when things are going poorly, and his effort is inconsistent. Beyond that, he has something of an injury history. He has potential, but I’d rather go with Brockers if he is available (no guarantee he would be, of course).

      • Ken W says:

        Well it would depend on who STL got with there 1st pick, but if they didn’t get Blackmon then the trade would be for Kendall Wright or Alshon Jeffery if they slipped a little bit.

  2. Oppitz says:

    Nice draft, but I dont see we going in to the season with only 3 OTs (I know Gallery could play some tackle).

    I would cut Cunningham and add a Tackle.

  3. Justin says:

    I would rather take Devon Still at 27 instead of Chandler Jones. Theres way more potential with Still than with Jones IMO

  4. Billy C says:

    I’m concerned about the lack of safety depth and although he hasn’t committed my guess is Matt Light will be back for one more year (about 7 million on the table). Edelman will be back because he’s versatile, one of the best punt returners in the league and he’s Welker’s backup.

    • Ken W says:

      I think it is all but confirmed that Matt Light will retire.

      • Billy C says:

        What am i missing on this subject. If he was definitely going to retire why wouldn’t he have done it already. i believe he’s not sure yet and as time goes by he’ll continue to get the itch.

        • Billy C says:

          Again, I’ve also read the reports, but have yet to see anything substantial. I’ll believe it when I see it (way to much money to leave on the table).

  5. Kemicol says:

    27 take McClelin first a little reach but he’s been compared to vrabel super bowl champion jack of all trades
    31 Harrison smith he won’t be around in the second round we need a center fielder instincts are good needs to come up with more balls but still solid legit starter before bye week if not earlier
    I like the Johnson pick very versatile able to contribute in lots of ways
    Qucik Martin good solid picks

  6. Kemicol says:

    27 take McClelin first a little reach but he’s been compared to vrabel super bowl champion jack of all trades
    31 Harrison smith he won’t be around in the second round we need a center fielder instincts are good needs to come up with more balls but still solid legit starter before bye week if not earlier
    I like the Johnson pick very

  7. Hunter says:

    I like the mock with the exception of Chandler Jones. As Pat Kirwin recently said on NFL Radio Jones is a “Poor man’s 5-technique,” and I don’t see him fitting on this team. I would much rather they went with Still, Reyes, or Worthy in that spot. Of course, I am expecting them to revert back to the 3-4. My favorite of your picks are McClellin (though I feel his stock has been inflated to a point that Belichick will not want to over-reach for him) and Mike Martin. I heard him on the radio yesterday and he is just a solid workhorse that could do some serious work in this defense. I find it funny that you mention “top DL like Brockers” and then say Martin can’t rush the passer. Martin has a lot more sacks than Brockers. I don’t want “Marcus Spears” Brockers on the Patriots.

  8. Dan G says:

    I like the players in the draft, and more importantly, I think you nailed the position that the Pats should draft at each draft pick. Nice balance of need in round 1 – defensive front seven; then moving to the positions that provide the best value (if a somewhat lesser need) with the CB and WR in the round 2.

  9. Irish Skip says:

    Tough call to leave Edelman off the roster…….

  10. Lundahl says:

    Brace, Cunningham, Warren out ?

  11. @59russo59 says:

    3 OLBS is living that sketchy lifestyle

    • Mark says:

      Remember that high first round DE Underwood? He hurt his neck and never got into the game. That was costly.

  12. qwerty says:

    Taking someone in first round with 3 concussions in college kind of discredits this mock draft. i wouldn’t mind taking brian quick by end of second round. Will wait next week for version 5.0.

  13. Dan says:

    Curren scored points tonight by mentioning the Pats moving up only to get Barron…that I liked to hear.

    I still like Branch as an OLB/DE…then Mercilus. McClellin would be right there if he didn’t have the concusion issue.

    • Jim R says:

      Move up to get Barron, they are now talking 12-17. What do you think they would be willing to give up for him. I don’t like the idea of Barron or Smith.

  14. Dan says:

    Did anyone catch Quick Slants tonight? They did a draft special that was pretty good for 30 minutes, but TC described Reyes as a DE/LB. Curren made some nice points…showing he’s done his homework, but that comment really baffled me. Am I nuts or is Reyes a DT/DE??? What LB position is this 300 lb dude playing?

    Also, I see this as an issue with so many…the DT/DE/hybrid/OLB confusion. I like to refer to our 3-4 guys as defensive tackles, realizing they are on the end, but they are tackles. Seymour, Warren, Love etc…are simply tackles.

  15. Dan says:

    I love McClellin, but hearing he’s had 3 concussions (NFL Network) would make it very difficult to take him high. That’s a massive risk for any position, never mind LB. I think he falls because of this…if it’s true?

    I’m not a lover of Jones…I do think his measurables are ideal, but I don’t like his awkward athleticism at all….not in the first.

    I like Taylor…he makes a lot of sense, but like most, I don’t see him there in the 4th…maybe the 3rd, but that would be a nice 4th round pick…hope it happens.

  16. warren schrader says:

    This is the most brutal draft I have seen to date outside of Shea McClellin these guys are bums. A big eight stiff, a kid who went to Montana to play and really didn’t dominate and a small school reciever who plays against small school db’s. If you watch tape of Martin at all you will see nothing no pass rush no blowing up runs, nothing.

    • DJ says:

      Huh? I watched every game he played. Do you know he was in a sling (shoulder injury) for the first 5 games of 2011?

      After that, as a NT — and usually double teamed as by far the best D-lineman at Michigan — his tackle stats were: 7-5-7-6-9-5-6-10. That ain’t nothing.

      If you want to knock him, he might not have the size to play NT, especially since he’s maxed out his strength potential already (being one of the strongest players in college football).

  17. Blackluck says:

    Pretty good job. I think Jones may well be off the boards when we pick, actually. I’m guessing we’ll see a DL/rush linebacker run early. BB is astute enough to figure out how to play Jones effectively if they take him. He has a lot of upside.

    I too think Taylor will be going earlier than 4. Somewhere in the 3rd. As for Quick, good prospect, but I feel if they take either a WR or RB they will have some ST/return ability.

  18. Jon says:

    I really don’t imagine them choosing some of those other WR’s over Edelman. He’s shown too much versatility in all three phases. I think he’s got the inside track over both Ochocinco and Gonzalez.

    Looking at it on paper, I feel uneasy about the safety situation. Especially given Chung’s penchant for missing time.

  19. Liam says:

    You don’t think Edelman makes the team this year? Decent cover if Welker holds out. Main threat from special teams, plus possessing BB famous versatility.

    • AP says:

      Edleman definitely makes the team… too much versatility…
      1. Welker
      2. Lloyd
      3. Edleman
      4. Rookie (hopefully) R. Randall? I hope! / T. Underwood / ?
      -C. Johnson
      -D. Branch
      -D. Stallworth
      -A. Gonzales

      All competing for 1 spot on the roster…

      • AM says:

        If they draft a rookie, they might keep six (not including Slater). I have a feeling Ochocinco (or is it back to Johnson again?) has a very good camp.

      • Ken W says:

        well if that is the case and Tom has a vote then it will be Branch for the last spot.

  20. AM says:

    Great draft, although I wonder about Jones . . . I’d rather see them take someone with a bit more of a defined position, like Kendall Reyes.

    • AP says:

      Doesn’t another CT scare you a bit? Not one has been a successful pro yet!

      • AM says:

        I had actually thought about that in connection with Darius Butler. I would be more concerned if there were a consistent record of failure at a certain position (e.g., the way Penn State RBs always used to struggle), but there just isn’t that big a sample size here–there are only three or four guys who have been drafted over the last few years total. I think it is worth the gamble, as Reyes has great potential in the Patriots’s system.

        (Also, I think we should have given Butler one more year to straighten out.)

  21. Conrad says:

    Great choices sign me up…hits every need

  22. Nuf Ced says:

    Does this assume the Pats remain primarily in 4-3 base personnel? I can’t see Jones as a DE; Elephant yes but that would require him to play in space and I am uncomfortable with that.

    He is technically raw and weak at the point of attack. I don’t see Jones having a frame to add 30lbs either. I am having issued understanding this pick as a DE

  23. JV says:

    I love Brandon Taylor but I do not see him being there in the 4th round..hell he may slide into the 2nd.

    • Mark says:

      I did a little home work last night and would like to share it with the class:


      PATS 31 = STL(39+103) = ~ 600 TRADE CHART POINTS
      PATS 31 = STL(33+161) = ~ 600
      PATS 31 = PHI (51+78) = ~ 600

      I didn’t go too far with trade downs but there’s a lot of possibilities…

      TRADE UPS:

      CIN 17 = PATS(27+62) = ~970 TRADE CHART VALUE
      SD 18 = PATS(31+62) = ~900
      TEN 20 = PATS(27+95+127) =~850+
      CIN 21 = PATS(27+95) = ~800
      DET23 = PATS(31+95+127) = ~765

      I believe the PATS have and most likely will use the unique flexability of their multiple picks to trade up as high as CIN 17th pick if the one or two players they feel are worth is still there. I also believe if they do that, then they will probably trade down with pick 31 and again slide around for more picks or to target the player(s) BB wants. They have options with every team from 17-23 and these teams may be willing to drop. Which ever 1st rounder they use to trade up, they will then use the other to trade down. They can uses furture late rounders to close the gaps at picks 19 and 22. If they see the players they want where they want them and that team is willing, then they will target most of their draftees because they can. But I’m talking a short list of trigger players as well.

      • AM says:

        Very nice work–I’ve been wondering about this myself. I have a feeling that Cleveland might be a possibility, or Carolina (they always seem to want to trade up).

        • Jeff says:

          Arizona at 13. They have no second rounder. At that spot Cox or Brockers could be available. Then we trade down from 31.

        • AP says:

          Are 27 and 31 even enough to move up to 13?

          I don’t see that happening…

      • Ken W says:

        That STL 39 and 103 would be a pretty good move. I don’t see them moving any higher then CIN at 21 and even that I give a 5% chance.

      • kdog says:

        DET: 23 (760) + 54 (360) + 158 (28) = 1148

        NE: 27 (680) + 48 (420) + 126 (46) = 1146

  24. Scott in Iowa says:

    I can’t see the Pats keeping 6 true WRs who have no ST contributions other than Welker’s PR ability. The Pats averaged around 2.2 WRs per snap last year, and that was without a real #3 TE or a FB on the roster. There’s really no reason to have more than 4 WRs active on gameday, because even having all 4 on the field at once means you’re taking either Gronk or Hernandez off the field. I can see having 5 on the roster, but not 6. I’d have 5 but have Edelman as one of them, because he at least plays on PR, KR, and kick coverage. I think Branch, Ochocinco, Gonzalez, and a rookie are fighting for 2 spots.

    • MJP says:

      Let the Chandler Jones hype die please, how many of his 4.5 sacks this year were junk sacks???

      He’s slow, end of story……his burst is barely sufficient enough to be called a burst…..he doesn’t change directions well and despite his length and decent strength he’s not an ideal 3-4 OLB convert.

      Why do we keep going over this? He’s such a risk in the 1st round it would be the most drastic decision by BB ever and with the plethora of DE/OLB’s in this class it makes NO SENSE to even consider Jones before the mid-late 2nd round.

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