Patriots Mock Draft: Another Defensive-Minded Draft Approaching?

Cornellius Carradine could remind Bill Belichick of Chandler Jones. (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones

New England may unfortunately enter the 2013 NFL Draft with more needs than draft picks, having traded away their fourth, fifth, and sixth-round selections in deals for Aqib Talib, Albert Haynesworth, and Chad Johnson, respectively. The Patriots could use young wide receiver talent, depth along the offensive line and defensive front seven, and starters in the defensive backfield. Read on to find out how they might choose to allocate their draft selections in order to address these areas of their roster.

1.29. CB Johnthan Banks, Mississippi St.

Banks may have struggled through a disappointing senior campaign, but he remains an attractive option for New England in the first round. Banks’ prototypical size (6’1” and 185 pounds) and long arms could remind the Patriots of 2010 second-round pick Ras-I Dowling, whose career has been seemingly derailed by injuries.

With rumors that New England is apprehensive about signing left cornerback Aqib Talib to a long-term contract, it makes sense that the Patriots would target a replacement defender at the position. Banks is experienced in both man and zone coverages, with intriguing press coverage skills as well as a smooth, polished backpedal.

2.59. SS Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma

Jefferson is one of the most versatile defensive backs in the entire draft class; he is most comfortable playing as an in-the-box safety, functioning almost as an extra linebacker, but the Sooners have employed him in the slot and in deep zone coverage as well. Jefferson is considered an excellent tackler and an effective run defender.

This versatility could draw New England’s interest, with the Oklahoma safety eventually stepping in as a starting option opposite free safety Devin McCourty. Steve Gregory and Tavon Wilson are both on the roster, but neither of the two has established themselves as a playmaker in the defensive backfield.

3.91. DE Cornellius Carradine, Florida St.

Carradine tore his ACL against Florida on November 24th, but until then had dramatically increased his draft stock with impressive performances as an injury replacement for Brandon Jenkins. Carradine, who has played on both sides of the line, recorded 80 tackles and eleven sacks in just over eleven games; his excellent size (6’5”, 265 pounds) and length could remind New England of Chandler Jones, last year’s first-round pick.

Carradine can be a little bit slow off the line at times, but most of his flaws appear correctable. Starting left end Rob Ninkovich is a dependable, well-rounded player, but it would be hard to pass on a potential first-round talent at this point. (from Buccaneers) WR Marquess Wilson, Washington St.*

Considered a second-round pick entering this season following a 2011 campaign in which he caught 82 passes for 1,388 yards and twelve touchdowns, Marquess Wilson was expected to take his game to another level under incoming coach Mike Leach. However, the season turned out to be a disaster, with Wilson ultimately quitting the team in early November; the wide receiver cited the coaching staff’s “abuse” for his decision.

At this point, Wilson is considered a risky pick, but it would be wise for the Patriots to investigate selecting him this late in the draft. Like cornerback Alfonzo Dennard, a seventh-round pick last season, New England could find a starting option simply by giving Wilson an opportunity; he’s undervalued at this point. DT Kapron Lewis-Moore, Notre Dame

The Patriots have some options at the defensive tackle position heading into next season; starters Vince Wilfork and Kyle Love are returning, joined by Brandon Deaderick, Myron Pryor, Marcus Forston, and incoming tackles Armond Armstead and Tracy Robertson. However, increased competition at the position is always welcome; if New England opts to add to that stable of tackles, one possible option is Notre Dame defensive lineman Kapron Lewis-Moore, a team captain this season who recorded six sacks for the Irish this year before tearing his ACL in the BCS Championship.

Lewis-Moore may not be ready for the start of training camp, but New England could potentially stash him on the PUP list to begin the season. Be sure to check back later this week for NEPD’s interview with Lewis-Moore.

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30 Responses to “Patriots Mock Draft: Another Defensive-Minded Draft Approaching?”

  1. Big w says:

    The only player we should trade is Tom Brady get the most picks, and it’s time to move on just like Indy had the guts to do . Trade up down whatever setup forTaj Boyd and get a descent corner or reciever for this year.

  2. dslave says:

    Any tradewith Mallet, I believe starts with Cleveland. They don’t have a 2nd round pick so Lombardi will have to entice BB with some picks in 2014 and a third to start the conversation.There is no way anyone will give up a first for him. The new CBA has change VALUE and with Weeden still there they cant afford another bust. That would be PR nightmare for Lombardi. A number 3 and 5. In this years draft. You cant overvalue a player because he’s with the Pats or THEY NEED WHAT WE HAVE.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I agree thats why I have the Patriots sending thier 1st in the deal , WITH Mallett, for Cleveland’s 1st #6.

      In the Cards deal I add the Patriots 3d WITH Mallett, for the Cards, 2nd,4th and 7th.
      The Cards get QB Mallett AND keep thier 1st for OT Fisher, and have two 3ds,5th, and 6th.
      The Brown’s Get QB Mallett, the Patriots 1st, and keep the rest of thier choices.
      As a GM both of these trades are fair for both, teams, IF you value Mallett, as better/ equal too, any of this draft class QB’s. AND the Cost value of Mallett’s contract, compared to a 1st/2nd round drafted QB”s rookie Contract.
      And yes money in a contract is value saved!!

  3. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I just saw a Mock that had Cleveland picking a QB at #6, Dumb! I have talked about this before, but Clevland does not have a 2nd pick. So IF they like QB Ryan Mallett, they could trade with the Patriots. Mallett and the Pats 1st pick , for Clevelands 1st pick #6. They get a QB as good as any in this QB draft class, AND a 1st pick to get a player of need. They give up the #6 pick yes, But get two players (Mallett and Pats 1st pick) with out using a 2nd pick they don’t have!
    So What would BB do with the #6 pick???? Trade it back, for more picks? Draft OG Warmack , (future all-pro ) DT Star Lotulelei ?
    Interesting option??

    • acm says:

      I would actually go even further teams like the Browns that need a new QB cannot afford to not spend that 1st round pick on anything else but a future QB because of how uniquely important the position is. So, trading that pick for Mallet alone would be better business than drafting Smith, Barkley, Wilson, Glennon. None of these guys come even close to the college version of Mallet, let alone the one with 2 years of prep under Brady and BB. Lack of NFL tape they say – well, care to show me the NFL tape on any of the QBs from this draft class?

      Even better – drafting a QB early means you have to give them big-time, early 1st round contracts. mallet is still on his 3rd round rookie contract, which would allow any future team that trades for him 2 years to test him on the cheap if he would indeed be their future franchise QB.

      Also, i think an even better suitor for Mallet would be Arizona – their QB situation is way more desperate than Cleveland’s imo … actually, I’d say the only reason why the Browns are being thrown around so much is what their new GM has said in the past about Mallet, otherwise I think Weeden did reasonably well in his rookie year and with McCoy still there, they can afford not go for a new QB for another year.
      As for Arizona, with their new coach having worked for so long with Big Ben at the Steelers, I’d say Mallet may well be a perfect fit for his new QB project. If any team makes a move for RM this off-season, I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the Cardinals ahead of any one else.

      Either way, they would be far better off spending a 1st round pick on mallet than any other QB in this draft class.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        Yes Sir thats what I’ve been saying but getting greef ! Arizona would be the same deal , the only differance is they have a 2nd pick.
        So why not trade QB Mallett and the Patriots 3d for the Cards, 2nd,4th and 7th.
        The Patriots then have; 1st, cards 2nd, 2nd, cards 4th, and three 7th’s.

        Cards end-up with; QB Mallett, thier 1st, 3d, Pats 3d, 5th,and 6th

        Trade value leans toward the Pats alittle, But Mallett, has two years of NFL coaching, over anyone in this years QB draft class.

        • AM says:

          Without getting into my now well-traveled argument that Mallett is worth a fraction of what it would take to move up to #6 (see 2/3 mock draft post), it is highly unlikely that Cleveland goes with a QB at #6. They drafted Brandon Weeden at #22 last year, and even with a putrid offense he showed potential before being injured. Even with a new owner and GM, there’s no way that they give up on him that easily.

          The Cardinals trade suggested is more plausible (although still a little rich) but only if the Patriots feel that they have a backup plan in place in lieu of Mallett.

  4. Jim R says:

    Ray Ray Armstrong Take a chance on him

    • acm says:

      I also like Ray-Ray, one of the late rounds value picks that may well end up going undrafted. With proper coaching, he can become a special player at safety.

  5. td says:

    Like most drafts the past decade there will be runs on DT’s, OT’s & CB’s while a few QB’s go before their time. That always leaves us with a very good football player.

    My guess is that we have the option of (1) a Safety, (2) 4-3 DE or (3) OL.

    Would be interesting if a decent Safety and Warmack of Alabama were available; which one would BB take.

    • acm says:

      don’t know about Warmack – probably gone in top 12-15 – but would be interested to see if BB would go secondary with the first (CB over S, I think) instead of a DL or OL (Jesse Williams, Kawann Short, Barret Jones are some names that come to mind that may tickle BB’s fancy).
      That’s of course provided he doesn’t trade down that 1st rounder.

  6. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Part the fun of Mocks is looking at all the players, and making educated picks for the team’s future. Here is my second look at my draft board;

    #29- Barrett Jones OG/C Many mocks have dropped jones into the early 2nd round . I think he goes to the Colts, or GB, in the 1st,but if he’s on the Board BB will jump at this guy.
    #59- Markus Wheaton WR This guy looks like Troy Brown to me, has alot of talent, smart route runner, Played with a pass happy team.
    #91- John Simon DE/LB Simon is the most Ninkovich type player in the draft, only stronger, wieght room guy, Tape room guy, 2 time captain at Ohio State, coached by Mike Vrabel.
    7th- Keith McCill CB 6’3″ 202, 4.49 40, great size, played some FS as well , sleeper with very high up-side.
    7th- Demetrius McCray CB 6’1″ 185, 4.4 40 Played for smaller school, but once again high up-side. Played well in the NFLPA bowl.

    • patfan says:

      why do we want a Ninkovich type guy when we have Ninkovich? Wouldnt a DE in the mold of Chandler Jones be more beneficial? I like the idea of the 2 bigger CBs in the 7th rd. Dont think Dowling is going to be that guy.

      • acm says:

        I sort of agree with patfan on Simon, at least given this year’s lack of picks. Simon is indeed a good option and the type of player BB may go for in the 3rd but he is not very good in coverage – mostly just going for the QB as a DE role – and for that I think he may well be surplus to requirements this year. I think that 3rd rounder would be better spent on a CB, S, coverage LB, WR and even OL, depending on free agency acquisitions.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        If we draft a DE like Chandler Jones , Where will you play him? Bench Ninkovich? No I think You get an understudy for Ninkovich, who can play some and give Ninkovich some rest, every so often. Ninkovich is starting his 8th year. Dowling seems to be a bust, it’s hard to know he can’t play without getting hurt.
        Takeing two good CB prospects in the 7th leads to a better chance of one working out. Bye Arrington!

        • patfan says:

          I say you use a C Jones type guy as a situational player in passing downs to get better pressure from both sides and then when Nink starts to decline, he takes over full time. I think Nink is a good player but not really feared by too many OLinemen.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I like your points, and agree to a point. The whole Idea of Ninkovich at DE, alows for him to drop into coverage. A DE Like C.Jones does not have that value. A C>jones like pass rusher on third down is fine, and may bring better pressure than Ninkovich. But you lose the dopping into coverage option. I agree Simon pass drops are notgood, no question, and a DE maybe a better option. I will go back to my orginial guy, Detone Holloman as a SS/LB with the 3d pick.
        Just saw a Mock that Had WR Wheaton in the 6th round??? and Holloman in the 7th???

  7. Josh says:

    I like it, though I don’t know how realistic it is that any of these guys will be available at the spots shown here. Anyway, with a draft like this one, signing Talib, Vollmer, and Woodhead, adding Mike Wallace, I’d feel pretty good going into 2013.

  8. Joe Blake says:

    We have a lot of needs to fill. DL, CB, SS, WR, OL…I’m thinking along the lines of trading one of our TEs and relying on Ballard to get some picks or bodies. Wonder what Gronks & Hernandez value would be..unpopular as it seems….

    • McTash says:

      Not so much that it would be unpopular but it completely opposite as to how the Pro offense is evolving and where the strength of this team lies now and in the future. You don’t get better by going backwards or trading your best players.

      • td says:

        Absolutely, BB does not trade/cut guys that produce and Gronk has crazy production. Hernandez could make signing Welker a moot point.

  9. Larry says:

    The one thing the Pats will not draft is a Def Lineman…………….Between the free agent they signed……..The people they drafted last season………..The people returning from injury they already have their Def Lineman on the roster…………..My guess is in the first 3 rds they draft two Def Backs and a Wideout………………..

  10. Phil says:

    I love all those players. My biggest ehhh is Marquess Wilson but he is capable of being a starting WR in the NFL so why not? Tank Carradine is one of my favorite pass rushers in the draft. And now that the Patriots are a little iffy on giving Talib a long-term deal than I can see a big push to finding a CB early in this draft.

  11. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I like CB Banks, I find it hard to believe he will be at #29, if not CB Jorden Poyer should be.
    I have felt for awhile now that an Olineman will be important to the future of the Oline. With Mankins missing time and starting his 9th year as well as Connolly starting his 8th year also missing time. We need to get younger, so at #59 I would take Brain Winters OG/T .
    The 3d is important as a Versitile player, I would take SS/LB DeVonte Holloman. He can add some real bang to our SS spot, as a solid tackler in the run game, at 6’2″ brings great highth to SS, on TE coverage. Holloman can also player OLB in coverage downs, at 235+ he brings good size. The two 7th’s are harder, but if Arrington is gone, another CB would be a good Idea,.. CB Keith McCill 6’3″ 202 4.49 40.
    With the last 7th , WR Aaron Mellette 6’3″ 211.
    If BB can get a 4th or 5th, I would take,. DT Joe Vellano.
    Tank C. is OK but not high on my Board, Marquess Wilson sounds interesting, I will look into him a bit more.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      Also Holloman runs well for his size 235 4.64 40 , and we will see if that stands up in the Combine. I also like Cooper Taylor at SS, at 6’4″ 230 runs 45.9 and would be fairly equal to Holloman, execpt as an OLB. Taylor also is coming back from a Medical issue that needed surgery, but played very well in the Shrine Bowl. I also think you will see BB sign free agent, FS Jim Leonard, as a player to add depth and return punts, at the min. vet. salary, 800’000.

  12. patfan says:

    I like most of this draft but I think we need to give Tavon Wilson some credit and some time to develop before we bring in another rookie to bolster the FS position. He was a 2nd round pick after all (a reach for sure )and they obiviously see/saw something in him. I think the Banks selection would be great however I would like to see a 1st or 2nd round used on a WR this year.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      I agree Wilson will be with the team in some roll, maybe not starting, but is a solid player.

  13. acm says:

    I am a bit torn on Tank C. – he does remind me of C. Jones and would be a good value at the end of the 3rd (if he falls there at all) but at the same time there is quite a risk involved with how he recovers from his injury – some players aren’t affected by it, while others find it tough to fully recover their pre-injury form (more of a mental issue, it seems, than anything else).

    My biggest concern about him has to do with whether his increase in productivity had more to do with his own improvement as a player or the presence of Werner in that FSU D-front.

    depending on free-agency acquisitions, I wouldn’t mind another CB or S in the 3rd or a coverage LB with Talib likely to hit free agency (and f-tagging him makes little sense).

    Personally, if that 2st round pick isn’t traded down, I would prefer a DL pick in the first round (Ansah, J. Williams, Short) and look to bolster the secondary with value picks from free agency and later draft rounds.
    Would really depend on what FAs the Pats can get their hands on before the draft.

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