Patriots Mock Draft: 2013 NFL Draft Projections for New England

Quinton Patton Senior Bowl

Quinton Patton could be the target if the Patriots look to add another offensive weapon early. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Staff Writer: Dan Hope

The New England Patriots’ focus has shifted to the offseason and the 2013 NFL Draft, in which they hold the No. 29 overall pick in the first round following their loss in the AFC Championship Game.

While Patriots fans unfortunately do not have a Super Bowl to look forward to this Sunday, they are already thinking ahead to what players will make up the next rookie class in New England at the end of April.

The Patriots currently have five draft picks, with two seventh-round picks but no picks between the fourth and sixth rounds. Trading up or down the draft board is always a possibility — and a likelihood as long as Bill Belichick is running the show in New England — but for this Patriots mock draft, we focus on who the Patriots could select if they keep the selections that they currently do have.

Round 1, Pick 29: Quinton Patton, WR, Louisiana Tech

Whether Wes Welker and Julian Edelman are back or not, at least one more wide receiver is needed to start on the outside across from Brandon Lloyd in slot receiver formations. There are many talented receivers who are fringe first-round picks, but the best choice for the Patriots may be Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton.

An athletic receiver with great hands, body control and ball-tracking ability, Patton can be the additional outside receiver the Patriots need. But while not the speed burner that some of the class’ other receivers are, he is a great fit for the Patriots’ offense, which is predicated on the intermediate passing game.

Patton is an outstanding route-runner who does a terrific job of getting open. He has the skill set to line up both outside and in the slot, and that versatility combined with his playmaking ability would make him a great choice regardless of which free agent receivers the Patriots bring back.

The ideal first-round pick for the Patriots would be a pass-rushing defensive tackle such as Florida’s Sharrif Floyd, or a playmaking defensive back such as Mississippi State cornerback Johnthan Banks or Texas safety Kenny Vaccaro. But if the top players at both positions are all off the board, then the best choice may be picking from a talented crop of receivers.

Trading down is also a strong possibility if there are no great values available at either defensive tackle or in the secondary. But if they end up keeping their pick, Patton is a player who could be an immediate playmaker on their offense.

Round 2, Pick 59: Datone Jones, DE/DT, UCLA

The Patriots need to bring more pressure against opposing quarterbacks, especially from the inside, which in turn would take some pressure off the Patriots’ oft-maligned secondary. If Datone Jones is still available when the Patriots are on the clock in Round 2, he would be a terrific choice to help rectify that problem.

Jones is a big yet very quick and explosive defensive lineman who has experience playing both defensive end and defensive tackle. This would make him a great addition to the Patriots, for whom he could join the defensive end rotation on run defense downs while he would be a great fit to kick inside as a pass-rusher next to Vince Wilfork in passing situations.

Jones is being considered by some as a first-round pick, but with inconsistent collegiate play and a fifth-round pre-Senior Bowl projection from NFL scouts according to NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah, the second round seems like a more likely landing spot for him. Although best suited to play in a 3-4, he would be a very good fit for what the Patriots need on their defensive line.

Round 3, Pick 91: John Simon, DE, Ohio State

On paper, John Simon may not be the best choice for the Patriots even in the third round, but if he is still on the board at this point, do not be surprised if the Patriots pounce on him.

Simon could be yet another strong addition to the defensive line rotation. He is undersized for the position and does not stand out athletically, but he is a strong player who is sound against the run, has good pass-rush technique and a constant motor.

A Mike Vrabel/Rob Ninkovich type player who can be a defensive end/linebacker hybrid in the Patriots’ defense, Simon’s style of play has future New England Patriot written all over it, and he has obvious connections to Bill Belichick as well. Vrabel was Simon’s defensive line coach at Ohio State, while Belichick has a well-noted friendship with Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer.

A cornerback like William and Mary’s B.W. Webb would also make sense if available at the end of Round 3, but the Patriots could find themselves hard-pressed to pass up Simon if he is still on the board.

Note: The Patriots traded their fourth-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for cornerback Aqib Talib and a seventh-round pick. The Patriots traded their fifth- and sixth-round picks in separate 2011 trades for defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth and wide receiver Chad Ochocinco.

Seventh-round pick numbers are not yet known, as compensatory selections for the 2013 NFL Draft have not yet been announced.

Round 7 (from Chicago Bears via Tampa Bay Buccaneers): Dwayne Gratz, CB, Connecticut

The Patriots struck gold in Round 7 last year with the selection of cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, and could look to catch another falling gem at the position this year. An instinctive, physical cornerback like Connecticut’s Dwayne Gratz would be a great player to take a chance on if still available in the seventh round.

Like Dennard, Gratz does not have great length or athletic attributes, but he is a big cornerback who plays well in press coverage, tackles well and has good quickness (Gratz does not, however, come in with the baggage that likely caused Dennard’s drastic fall in the draft).

If Gratz is off the board, there are numerous other potential late-round cornerbacks who could be steals. LSU’s Tharold Simon and Tyrann Mathieu both have the potential to fall steeply, and other potential choices include Nevada’s Khalid Wooten, Oklahoma’s Demontre Hurst and Purdue’s Josh Johnson.

Round 7: Alonzo Tweedy, SS/OLB, Virginia Tech

The Patriots have a history of drafting players for special-teams reasons, and Virginia Tech’s Alonzo Tweedy would be no exception. Tweedy is a collegiate outside linebacker who is far too small to play the position in the NFL, but is a terrific special-teams player who also might be able to be an asset in a “star” safety/linebacker hybrid role.

Tweedy is only 6’1” and 195 pounds, but he is athletic and has a knack for making plays. He is very good at making plays on kickoff and punt coverage, but also has some potential as a blitzing safety and coverage linebacker.

Tweedy may not have a true position at the next level, but for special-teams reasons, he would be worth a flier from the Patriots in Round 7.

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26 Responses to “Patriots Mock Draft: 2013 NFL Draft Projections for New England”

  1. AM says:

    I think if these players fall to the Patriots, it’s much more likely that they get Jones in the first round and Patton in the second round. Hard to imagine Jones slipping out of the first at this point unless he has a Burfict-esque Combine.

    My mock (combination of prediction and idealism):

    1. Desmond Trufant, CB
    2. Aaron Dobson, WR
    3. D.J. Swearinger, S
    7. Brodrick Brown, CB
    7. James Ferentz, C

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I like your picks, D.J. Swearinger S, has played CB some so thats a plus, would like alittle more highth, but sound player. I don’t know much about CB Brown, will look him-up. Ferentz is a solid player. I’m not a big backer of Trufant, would like Jorden Poyer and is IQ better/ tho not as fast a player.
      Another 7th round guy I like is Keith McGill, CB/FS 6’3″ 202 runs 4.48 40. good looking prospect!

      • AM says:

        I’ll check out McGill; don’t know much about him. I wouldn’t object to Poyer either–if DeAndre Hopkins falls to #29, I’d be fine with him in the first and Poyer in the second.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          Don’t think Poyer will be there past 36 in the second as Detroit will take him.
          WR Hopkins is a great player, But i think he’s gone before #29 IF we stay at #29 very doubtful. I think the first player the Patriots take will be Brain Winters ,OG/T if we stay at #29 (no-way) or trade for early 2nd. My thinking could change as we get nearer the draft, but I ‘m quite sure he is a target player. If Barrett Jones drops, where the Patriots can get him then he’s thier man, BUT I see him going to GB or the Colts in the 1st.
          Looked at Brodrick Brown CB, I like him , good IQ, but 5’8″ is not the best, really think anybody the Patriots draft in the secondry will be 6’+.

        • AM says:

          I like Winters as a prospect, but he can be had in the 3rd-4th round range. No need to jump on him so early when it’s really more of a luxury pick, unless he’s really the best player available at #29. That seems highly doubtful.

        • Alex says:

          Why would we go guard with our first pick?
          Think we are solid there, could be better, but have other areas of the team that could be improved more.
          Would be interested in trading up if Warmack falls into the 20s however, but got to think that’s unlikely.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          Of course it all depends were our 1st pick is. If we stay at 29 , unlikely, but if there is a player BB has targeted then he will get him. As we get closer to the draft, I will be better, set to pick, but for now, if we stay at 29 , I like DE Datone Jones, OG/C Barrett Jones, CB Jorden Poyer, and if these three are gone, OG/T Brain Winters. I feel the Pariots will get a starter type Olineman this year. Mankins missed time this year and is starting his 9th year. Connolly is starting his 8th year, and also missed time. Maybe an Olineman could be taken later, but my experanice with the Patriots drafting is they get the player they want ! If he’s pojected 3d-4th ,they could take him 1st or 2nd. Last year Wilson was a 5th pick , they wanted him and took him with the 2nd.

  2. Alex says:

    Hard to know what we need before FA, but I’m going to be hopeful and say we resign Talib, Vollmer and one of Edelman or Welker.
    The priorities I see are: 1) Pass Defense, 2) Pass Defense 3) Big Strong (hopefully fast) wideout 4) Pass Defense (You get the picture) …

    We don’t need depth at DE, but could do with more top tier quality both in the interior and edge rush department. So I’d look for an early high upside pick, but not a depth guy.
    We need another boundary CB, who specialises in press man coverage.
    We need an upgrade at the second safety position, and while a thumper is all the rage, they have to be good in coverage, not just laying the wood. A big FS type would be ideal.
    We could do with a coverage lb, to find the right guy, we want to look at converted safeties.

    So here’s my mock without trades:

    1) Justin Hunter WR
    2) Margus Hunt DE
    3) Robert Alford CB
    7) Tyrann Mathieu CB
    7) Ray Ray Armstrong SS

    And with trades:

    Orig 1) Trade for mid 2nd and 3rd
    Mid 2) Justin Hunter WR
    Orig 2) Trade for early 3rd and 5th and 6th
    Early 3) Margus Hunt DE
    Mid 3) Robert Alford CB
    Orig 3) Trade for early 4th and 5th
    Early 4) Zaviar Gooden OLB
    Early 5) Chris Harper WR
    Mid 5) Value DT/DE – eg William Gholston DE/DT
    Early 6) Terron Armstead OT
    Mid 7) Tyrann Mathieu CB
    Orig 7) Ray Ray Armstrong SS


    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      My info tells me the Patriots will not take a WR early. Looking at your players, I like , Terron Armstead,OT, Chris Harper WR as players on my board. I don’t think you will see the Patriots take, Hunt,DE, Hunter WR, Gholston DE, or Armstrong SS.

      For Oline I like,- Barrett Jones, C/OG, Brain Winters OG/T, Terron Armstead OT, Matt Summers-Gavin OG/T, and Reid Fragel OT
      For R ‘s I like- Conner Vernon WR, Ryan swopes WR, Mychal River TE, Markus Wheaton WR, Tobais Palmer WR , etc.
      For CB’s – a longer list, but- Darius Slay CB, Jorden Poyer CB, Demetrius McCray CB etc.
      For SS- DeVonte Holloman, SS/LB Cooper Taylor SS, etc.
      I have a few LB’s, a QB, and DT , ( Joe Vellano a sleeper) DE/LB. on my board. Patriots WILL trade for more choices, but still early ,other than logical teams with player or draft chioce needs.

    • AM says:

      Solid mock. Hunter apparently has a history of minor nagging injuries, which is a slight concern, but not enough to warrant a red flag. Hunt sounds like he has a lot of potential, but is a bit of a project; if the team stays patient with him, he could really pay dividends down the line. With trades, I like Zaviar Gooden a lot–good value in the fourth round. I’d stay away from Mathieu, though, even with the talent–not sure the character concerns warrant it.

    • Jim R says:

      Ray Ray is this years Burfict

  3. Lars says:

    Patton is the best receiver in this draft IMO.,But you do’nt draft a WR int he first round, unless you’re the Lions giants or Chiefs. So Daton Jones would be my pick. Then Patton.

  4. acm says:

    Regarding this particular mock draft, I think Patton in 1st round is a bit high but that may well be the only way the Pats can get him with the current pick schedule.
    Really doubt Datone Jones makes it that deep into the draft, though – think he will definitely be in the top 40-50 picks, possibly even a 1st rounder.
    Simon being available at the end of the 3rd is a plausible suggestion but think, with Ninkovich still around (and as you are also suggesting another DE in Jones), it would be a waste of a pick to go for Simon who is pretty poor in pass coverage and would be mostly useful in a DE role, where the pats are very deep already. So, I think that pick would be better spent on a SS/CB, a coverage LB, a WR or the OL, depending on degree of need.

    I myself seriously doubt BB keeps that 1st rounder and stays with just 3 pics in the top rounds, so I’d refrain from coming up with a mock draft of my own just yet.

  5. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Nice Mock ! Datone jones will be gone by the Patriots 2nd pick, 1st maybe, but I have him going to the Saints at #15.
    1st – OG/T Brain Winters
    2nd- SS/LB DeVonte Holloman
    3d – DE/LB John Simon
    7th- DT Joe Vellano
    7th-CB Demetrius McCray
    Would like a late choice or two more;
    TE -Mychal Rivera
    SS- Cooper Taylor

    • H says:

      The highest i have seen Brian winters is the third, and the highest i have seen DeVonte Holloman go is the 4th or 5th. So either your on to something, or your crazy. I say crazy
      1st: Datone Jones
      2nd: Jonathan Cyprien
      3rd: Aaron Dobson/
      7th:Terry Hawthorne
      7th: Alex Carder

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        Crazy right on. I got three of the Patriots choices right last year, so pay attention

        • Alex says:

          Do you have a link?
          Which ones were they? Did you get them in a Pats mock, or in a Pats big board? Did you get the right round, or just the right player.

          I made a kinda Pats big board, with around 100 players on, and I had Chandler and Hightower in the first, and Bequette, Dennard and Forston in the 5th.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          Last year I chose , Hightower,Dennard, and Bequette , But had them in the wrong order (wrong pick) I had Hightower 2nd (he stort of was) Dennard 3d, and Bequette 5th.
          Because the Patriots Pick later and, often trade back, I limit my board to second round players, and later. Currently I have 52 players on the board, and will trim that to, 20-25 in red as likely picks. One week before the draft, I set my picks. This year I will have 5 picks, tho I think we will end-up with 7-8.
          I find Mocks interesting, but put more stock in Patriot type players, entangables, and need. BB stays with the guy he wants , most often, rarely taking a player who is suprisingly still on the board.
          I followed the Patriots for many years (I tried out in 1980 for the Pats) . The year before I got two draft picks right, and in the right place.

        • Jim R says:

          Damn fine job

      • Prime says:

        That’s a pretty good mock

    • TD says:

      The Pats are always good for a reach but I think this is excessive even for them.

    • acm says:

      Winters had a nice Senior bowl week but not sure it would be enough to move him into 1st round consideration. Could move him up into late 2nd but doubt anything higher than that, imo. I like Simon and for the Pats’ needs especially like Holloman but don’t think Simon should be anything more than a early 3rd rounder and Holloman a late 3rd rounder.

      I like all three suggestions by Russell but moved up by a round or so. Still, I think the Pats make a trade – whether they trade Mallet or they trade down that 1st rounder – to increase the number of picks in this draft.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      With a trade, most likely a 2d or 3d AND a 4th , would added to the draft list ,SO I would Add CB Darius Slay. If we get a 5th WR Conner Vernon.
      I would also look for 8-10 undrafted players in camp, ( Tobais Palmer WR a sleeper, maybe a 7th pick.

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