2013 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Final Edition

Phillip Thomas NFL Draft

Will the Patriots pick another safety from Fresno State in the 2013 NFL Draft?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko 

Zero hour is before us. After months and months of speculation the 2013 NFL Draft is finally here. It’s without a doubt the most exciting time of the season for most fans. No matter what happens this weekend your team is going to add players to their roster, and with each selection there’s a possibility that your team’s next star is born. It’s what makes the draft so much fun. Forget about all the “this is the worst draft in a while” non-sense.

There will be stars drafted in this year’s draft and it’s up to your team to find them. Here is my latest Patriots only projection based on what I think is likely to happen over the course of the weekend.  Have at it draft fans!

First Round (29) – TRADE
The Patriots have a group of players they are targeting at pick 29. If those players are off the board I expect the Patriots to trade back into the early second round to pick up at least another 3rd round draft choice. In this scenario I have the Patriots trade this pick to the Arizona Cardinals for their 2nd Round Choice (38) and 3rd Round Choice (69). In this scenario Arizona (or a similar team) comes up to get a QB in the late first round.

Second Round (38) – Keenan Allen, WR, California
After running a slower than ideal 40 time Keenan Allen slides into the second round and right into the Patriots lap. Allen is a trues “X” receiver that adds size and physicality to the perimeter of the Patriots offense. He won’t stretch the field with speed or explosion, but what he can do is catch the ball. Allen is one of the best route runners in the draft, has played in a pro style passing system and knows how to beat different coverages. His body positioning is very good as is the way he tempos his routes. Once thought of as the top receiver in the draft a PCL injury and the inability to workout at 100% pre-draft drop him to pick 38. The Patriots are likely to have a group of receivers graded closely together. If their top choice is off the board it makes sense for them to move down and pick up the extra selection.

Second Round (59) – Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn
Wreh-Wilson is a cornerback name that has been heavily connected to the Patriots in recent days. His stock is fluid in NFL circles with some teams viewing him as a late first round pick, while others view him as a third rounder. Wreh-Wilson gives the Patriots another big athletic CB that excels in zone coverages. He has experience playing a number of different coverages and displays very good zone instincts. Not only can he play off-coverages, Wreh-Wilson has the package to potentially develop into a situational press corner. Initially he can back-up Aqib Talib for the 2013 season and take over if Talib leaves via free agency. Bill Belichick was on hand at the UConn Pro Day and a lot of attention was paid to the talented UConn DB. BBW was a team captain and four year contributor in college. He’s got great speed for a bigger corner and fits the trend the Patriots have began to follow at the position.

Third Round (69) – Phillip Thomas, FS, Fresno State
The one thing I took away from Nick Caserio’s press conference the other day was the way he highlighted the impressive depth at both cornerback and safety. He went out of his way to point out how many safeties have been asked to play different roles in the secondary. Perhaps no player has played more positions than Phillip Thomas. He played everywhere for the Bulldogs; box safety, single high, cover 2 safety, blitzer. Thomas has been well coached and has been praised for his smarts on the field. A natural “ballhawk”  and maybe the best in the entire draft, intercepting 8 passes this past season. I was recently told, not to rule out the safety position with one of their first three picks simply because there are only a few set roster spots at the position. After listening to Nick Caserio on Monday it makes me think they take a guy like Thomas on day two of the draft.

Third Round (91) – David Bahktiati, OT/OG, Colorado
The Patriots lost Donald Thomas via free agency and they have yet to add any interior OL to the roster this off-season. You can guarantee that will change before the weekend is over. Bahktiari is someone the Patriots should be familiar with. He was Nate Solder’s teammate at Colorado and have spent time watching him over the last three seasons. What makes Bahktiari special is his ability to play almost every position on the line. He faces a likely to move inside to Guard, but it’s not out of the question that he plays center in the NFL either. An early entry after only his Junior season, but he has shown enough athleticism and versatility to be considered a great fit for the Patriots. While there are no current starting positions open on the offensive line, a player with Bahktiari’s versatility can be invaluable because he can step in at any position on the line if injuries arise.

Seventh Round (226) – Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
After losing Danny Woodhead the Patriots are able to replace some of Woodhead’s value with a 7th round selection. While the team has signed Leon Washington, I get the sense he is more of a return specialist. Who knows what the deal is with Jeff Demps, but it’s pretty clear he doesn’t love the game of football. With Robbie Rouse it’s the opposite, the kid absolutely loves the game. He walks around with a smile on his face at all times and genuinely has fun playing. He is very small, but makes up for it with a thick lowerhalf and field vision. Rouse can operate in space and catches the ball nicely out of the backfield. As a gadget and spread offense specialist, Rouse can have value. This is the type of pick a team doesn’t mind using, because you know the kid is going to give it his all and not cause any problems in the locker room.

Seventh Round (235) – Jake Knott, LB, Iowa State
With a limited number of selection and the roster openings to sign 15-18 UDFA it’s likely the Patriots swing for the fences with at least one of their 7th round selections. It could be Knott or a similar player that has slipped due to injury, off the field concerns or limited athleticism. Whatever the case may be I look for it to be a boom or bust pick. Jake Knott is a vastly underrated OLB. He’s very good in coverage, is a smart player and should be able to contribute immediately on special teams.

I feel this is an accurate representation of what the Patriots could do this weekend. They fill needs while adding projectable players to certain roles. While everyone is focused on WR and CB early, don’t rule out the DE position. If they go DE early, it will throw a wrench in the rest of the draft as they will have to go WR and CB on day two.

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19 Responses to “2013 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Final Edition”

  1. Winston says:

    I still think DT is an area of high need, both this year and even more in a few years with Wilfork getting older. DE is the only position from which they get pressure on the QB, and they need much more consistent pressure in the middle. I can see them trading down from #29 into the second round if one of their “must have” picks is not available, but I still think they go for a DT with one of the first two picks.

  2. MaineMan says:

    If Allen returns to full health (not a given), he’d very likely become an elite WR. However, he seems likely to start the year on PUP and may not be even able to contribute a lot the rest of the way. He might even need to be red-shirted for the season.

    But, the Pats appear to need a WR who can contribute almost immediately. Wheaton is faster, probably an equally accomplished route-runner, and he’s healthy now.

    Wreh-Wilson is indeed an experienced zone-cover guy, but the Pats CBs, especially the boudary corners, are playing primarily man (and press) now, so there are better fits available. Also, Wreh-Wilson has a rep for inconsistent focus and effort, alternating between appear lost and been over-aggressive. Poyer, likely also available at #59, isn’t quite as fast or explosive, but seems to have superior instincts/awareness in all coverages. He’s also one of the stronger CBs and plays good physical press. His weaknesses appear to be mainly matters of technique and footwork.

    Thomas doesn’t appear to have great instincts or discipline in zone, isn’t particularly physical in man or a great tackler. His “playmaking” as a Senior seemed often to come at the expense of big plays given up. If the Pats are to take a safety at #69, Earl Wolff might be a better bet. Aside from being sufficiently elite athletically to play corner, he has great awareness, technique, discipline and leadership.

    At #91, there are several pretty decent OL prospects with whom the Pats have had contact who are projected to go in the early 4th. However, the best play might be for 6057/323 LSU OT Chris Faulk. He’s still rehabbing a knee injury that caused him to miss his Senior season, but was a very high-quality player before that. He’s risen recently on most boards from UDFA status to 5th rounder, but I think that making a “reach” for him at #91 will eventually look like a “steal.”

    The seventh round often amounts to no more than being first in line to grab up guys who would otherwise be UDFAs – guys who you don’t want to have to compete with other teams to get signed. Rouse and Knott are probably not among those, however, whereas Maysonet and any one of several WR development projects may be.

    BTW – Both Rouse and Thomas are Fresno State guys, but I think whatever magical connection BB had to that roster may have gone away when his buddy, Pat Hill, was fired at the end of the 2011 season (Hill is now the OL coach for the Falcons).

  3. Rick says:

    If they trade out of the first round it will be for a #1 pick next year and a pick this year.

    • Jeff M says:

      No it won’t. Not with how few picks they have. If they trade it will be like 2008, a 2nd and 3rd and maybe a 5th depending on the spots.

      • td says:

        It could be a No. 1, there are at least 4 teams looking for a QB most likely the 2nd round. The Jags are picking second on day two, so the others may want to leap frog them and take one in late round 1: Bills, Jets, Oak, Arizona, Phila.

      • Nuf Ced says:

        I disagree, there is an undercurrent bubbling up that this draft is weak. Everyone speaks of the depth and the value being in the 2nd/3rd rounds but there are few true difference makers.

        I would rather take the #1 next year and hope the team that trades with us bottoms out like the 49ers did in 2007 and the Pats ended up with the #7 overall in 2008

  4. Jim R says:

    # 91 is this scenario is the “lets take a chance” pick. I think they go Lattimore or Honey Badger……IMO

  5. AM says:

    A reasonable trade scenario. Allen and Thomas would be excellent additions; Allen especially has the tools to be an outstanding WR. Wreh-Wilson, on the other hand, would be ill-suited for what the team has started to do in the secondary–play aggressive, man coverage on a more regular basis. Five years ago, he would have been a great fit for the Patriots; now, we should hope he goes elsewhere.

    • Yesares says:

      Agreed. I would prefer at #59 someone like DJ Swearinger, that can play in various position in secondary and the at #69 take another WR.

      This mock designs a double dip in defensive backs, but I would prefer a double dip in WR. At #69 perhaps someone like Terrance Williams or Aaron Dobson will be already avalaible.

      • acm says:

        I’d love Allen and Dobson in the same draft but BB going for 2 WR with high picks? That is just not gonna happen.

        • AM says:

          Probably not, but he does love to maximize value, and he has recently trended towards complete position revamps in the offseason (TE, RB). Given the thinness of the roster at WR, this might be the year, especially if there is a trade-down to acquire another third or fourth round pick. I could see a Wheaton/Dobson combo in the second and third, for example, as long as there were other picks to build around.

        • acm says:

          There is another factor that makes double-dipping for any position unlikely here – BB doesn’t have that many picks in the early rounds, yet there are a number of positions to be strengthened. In those years they also had more picks in the top rounds, which made double-dipping possible.

          And also there is that considerable investment BB made in Amendola – that kind of makes me doubt even more he is planning to go for 2 receiver high in the draft.

          I can see him go for 2 receivers but one of those I would expect to be in the 7th. Similarly with Secondary – getting a Safety early, would likely mean no CB until late in the draft, because of DMC’s flexibility in terms of position.

      • AM says:

        Swearinger is another great player, and he has good experience covering out of the slot; he’s not exactly another CB, but the versatility is great. Dobson is my favorite receiver in this draft–a double-dip there would be great.

  6. Uematy33 says:

    Nice draft! I like these picks very much!!

    Allen is No.1 receiver among 2013’s prospects, if he’s healty,I think.
    It’s great value pick and I hope really select him!!

    At 59,CB is the biggest need and Wilson is so good.
    However, Darius Slay or Jonathan Banks is better, still on board.

    Thomas is solid safety. There’re a lot of good prospect in safety this year.

    Although pats need OG depth,I wanna add one more receiver such as Aaron Dobson and Ryan Swope etc.

    it’s my dream draft:
    #29 trade for 38th and 69th with Cardinals
    #38 WR Keenan Allen
    #59 CB Darius Slay
    #69 S Phillip Thomas
    #91 & #235 trade for 112th and 126th with Tampa
    #112 WR Aaron Dobson
    #126 DE Michael Buchanan
    #226 OG Jeff Baca

    • Tony, Patriots R. #1 says:

      Your scenario looks much more likely to happen than others I’ve seen. This is impressive.

    • Jim R says:

      Good dream, That would be awesome. rounds 2-4 stuffed with talent. I like the second trade better than the first. I think Dobson will be a 10 year pro in this league. He will kill it in the Red Zone.

    • Bruschi54 says:

      We need to get you in the War Room, that would be awesome draft

    • Jeff M says:

      Zero chance Dobson falls that far. They’d have to take him no later than 69 and he might already be gone.

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