2013 New England Patriots Only Mock Draft: Version 4.0

Stedman Bailey West Virginia

Are the Patriots planning a double-dip at receiver this April? (Photo: US Presswire)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

We are officially in the month of April meaning the NFL Draft is almost here. In less than four weeks we will have answers to all the questions we have been asking for five months.

The Patriots have done well in free agency to get the majority of their own players resigned and replace the ones they lost. The Patriots roster still has a few (glaring) holes that will be filled in the draft, because the free agent market is all dried up at those positions.

This is my latest projection for how the Patriots will use each of their selections in the upcoming draft.

Current Needs: 

Wide Receiver (2) – Despite replacing Wes Welker with Danny Amendola and adding two other free agent wide receivers in Donald Jones and Michael Jenkins (ugh) the Patriots still have a big need. They lack an outside the numbers receiver, preferably one with a combination of size and speed to stretch the field a little bit. I would also like to see them add a more athletic possession receiver that can replace some of Brandon Lloyd’s production. This is the biggest need because the free agent market is bleak at the position.

Cornerback – The Patriots best move of the off-season was getting Aqib Talib to resign to an affordable contract. Having Talib in the fold for next season along with Kyle Arrington and Alfonzo Dennard gives the Patriots continuity they haven’t had in a long time. The team still needs one more impact corner that can be at least their #3 next season if necessary. By resigning their players, the need isn’t as vital as before, but this is still far from a strength of the team.

Defensive End – This is an area I anticipate the Patriots to still address in free agency via a veteran pass rusher. (Yes, they are still very much interested in John Abraham. They are holding firm to their price and will be the one that comes to their price, not vice versa). Even if they do add another veteran pass rusher this is a position that should be addressed every year. A team can never have too many pass rushers and adding a young bookend pass rusher to Chandler Jones should be a priority.

Defensive Tackle – If there is one position that the Patriots could surprise people and use a first round pick on it’s Defensive Tackle. They did sign Armond Armstead out of the CFL, essentially giving them an extra draft pick, and that may limit their willingness to use their top pick there, but they still have a need there. Kyle Love and Brandon Deaderick are serviceable players, but neither one offers much upside, pass rusher or penetration ability. Finding a big-bodied DT that can take some of the workload off of Vince Wilfork is still a big need.

Linebacker – The starting linebackers are set for at least next year (and likely beyond). The team lacks depth and coverage linebackers on the roster. Adding some speed and athleticism to the position in the later rounds is a possibility.

* Keep in mind the NFL expanded off-season roster limits to 90. Currently, the Patriots are sitting at 67 on the roster and only have 5 draft picks at their disposal. I anticipate a much larger UDFA class than 2012 as well as some UFA depth signings up through June.

Patriots Mock Draft 

First Round (29) – DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson
Every time I evalute the wide receivers in this draft to try and find fits for the Patriots I always come back to DeAndre Hopkins. Hopkins is one of the most polished outside receivers in this year’s class. He catches the ball extremely well, demonstrating great body control and the ability to impact the passing game at multiple levels. Hopkins is a controlled and savvy route runner, knowing how to set up the defender to get open.

On film, he comes off as someone that understands the position and got better each game. To play Wide Receiver in the Patriots offense, the number one requirement is that the player is football smart. They have to be able to make sight adjustments and adjust their route at a seconds notice, and I believe Hopkins can do some of those things. While he isn’t a true vertical threat, he would add size and athleticism to the perimeter of the defense. The Patriots haven’t had a wide receiver in Hopkins mold in a long time.

Second Round (59) – Stedman Bailey, WR, West Virginia
There is no doubt the biggest weakness on the Patriots roster right now is at the wide receiver position. Lucky for them this draft is loaded at the position from picks 30-75. The Patriots are sitting in a position where they are poised to “double dip” at the position if they want to. After adding a big-bodied, versatile receiver with great hands in the first round with DeAndre Hopkins, the Patriots come right back and grab another explosive receiver. Bailey has been overshadowed by Tavon Austin, but his game translates just as well to the NFL level.

Bailey has hands that are very good and he exhibits amazing body control to drift or fade away from defenders to haul in catches. The way he tracks the ball and can adjust his body in tight coverage reminds me some of Brandon Lloyd. Bailey is already a good route runner and has an explosive element to his ability. With the way he sets up his routes and his quickness will allow him to play in both the slot and outside. At the NFL combine he was one of the top performers in the 3-Cone drill which the Patriots love. The team has worked out both Bailey and Hopkins privately, only furthering the speculation they may be interested in the two.

**Scenrio #2**

Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB, UConn
I honestly think the Patriots are set up well to double dip at either Wide Receiver or Cornerback. In the first scenario I had the Patriots take Bailey, adding two WR in the first two rounds. In this scenario they add a top-flight CB and set themselves up to grab another one in the third round. While it’s conceivable they use their first round pick on a cornerback, I think it’s more likely they select a corner in rounds two or three as opposed to the first. The simple reasoning being because their is so much depth at the position, that’s where the value is. Very little separates the #3 CB in this draft from #13 (honestly), by taking a top WR in round one they are able to maximize the value at both positions.

Wreh-Wilson is a great fit for the Patriots system. He’s a big, athletic cornerback that has been a two time captain at UConn. Wreh-Wilson is a very efficient zone corner, excelling in reading routes and anticipating throws. His size and athleticism allows him to play at the line and play some press coverage. He’s an aggressive run defender with the ability to come up and strike the ball-carrier. At 6’1″ 195 pounds he will give the Patriots another big corner that can develop this season and then potentially replace Aqib Talib if he should leave. Wreh-Wilson was one of the hardest workers on the UConn team, is a good student and a natural leader with passion for the game.

Think he fits the mold? He tore up his pro-day in Storrs, CT last week which Bill Belichick happened to be at.

Third Round (91) – Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU
I have put Mathieu in this slot for months and I am going to continue to do it. The Patriots have been one of the teams linked closest to Mathieu throughout the draft process. Recently, he was on NFL Network saying the Patriots were one of the teams that were most interested in him and now he is scheduled to visit Foxboro next week. Mathieu is a playmaker plain and simple. There is a part of his game that can’t be quantified by numbers or statistics. He plays much bigger than his size indicates and has an innate ability to create turnovers.

The Patriots had no viable back-up at slot CB last season and once Aqib Talib went down in the AFC Championship game the Ravens exploited an overmatched Marquice Cole. Mathieu would provide an immediate upgrade on Cole and gives them a special teams standout, especially on punt returns. A lot has been made about Mathieu’s off the field behavior, but we have seen Bill Belichick take these kinds of risks before and they have paid off.

Seventh Round (226)-Brandon McGee, CB, Miami(FL)
It looks like the Patriots hit a home run with last year’s 7th round pick of Alfonzo Dennard. Despite wasting early picks on corners, Bill Belichick has had some success picking corners late in the draft. McGee is a corner who has come into his own late in his career. He is the typical Miami(FL) corner; fast and athletic. He is raw in most of his ability he has the potential to develop into a very solid number 3-4 corner.

I was extremely impressed one of his interviews on NFL Network, where he came off as very sharp and showed a high football IQ. Belichick was the only head coach down at the Miami Pro Day this year, so it’s likely he got a real good look at McGee.

Seventh Round (235) –Robbie Rouse, RB, Fresno State
The Patriots don’t have a huge need a RB, but the loss of Danny Woodhead makes me think they will try to find a replacement for that role. Yes, they brought in Leon Washington, that may help but, there is no guarantee he even makes the team. Washington is only on a one year deal and wasn’t heavily involved in Seattle’s offense last year. Robbie Rouse is undersized, but uber-productive all-purpose RB. He’s got a thick lower body which allows him to run through tacklers and demonstrates more physicality than you would think from a back of his size.

Rouse is a very good pass catcher and can be effective out of a hurry-up spread offense. He didn’t have a great combine, but was able to improve his numbers across the board at his pro-day. Rouse strikes me as a Patriots type of player. He is a very good football player who will be undervalued because of his size. During Senior Bowl week, no player enjoyed their time there as much as Rouse. It was clear he loves the game of football.

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42 Responses to “2013 New England Patriots Only Mock Draft: Version 4.0”

  1. J H TARBORO says:

    Tank Carradine, Trufant, and WR Kenny Stills will be in NE soon for visits and possible workouts.

  2. James says:

    T.O the only reason i would sign him. If it was mentor the young receiver that they hopefully draft. But this could be bad idea , not to sure about this though.

    • AM says:

      Even if he has anything left in the tank (not sure if he does or not), I’m not sure that he’s the guy we want mentoring young receivers. I’d rather resign Deion Branch as the 5th receiver, and let him take over that role.

      • J H TARBORO says:

        AM i definitively wouldn’t sign D. Branch but i feel like every time that we’re not sure we always step back to the past, that’s not happening this year, again the binky syndrome and BB recognised it, not just with Brady but himself.

        • AM says:

          If there were a viable alternative, I wouldn’t sign Branch either. I meant that if we were inclined to sign an end-of-career veteran to serve as a mentor for our younger receivers, I would prefer him to T.O., or really to any other veteran out there.

          Of course, having said that, I’m not sure if we will have a choice but to re-sign him. At this point, the team’s depth chart is:

          #1: Danny Amendola
          #2: Donald Jones (who is a #3 receiver at best)

          . . . followed by four guys who, in a good year, wouldn’t even be in contention for roster spots. The free agent market is completely bare. I have to think that Lloyd is coming back, and that they go for two WR in the draft.

  3. J H TARBORO says:

    T.Brady worked out today at USC with Terrell (get your popcorn ready) Owens

  4. steve earle says:

    This is clearly the worst mock for the Pats I’ve see so far. 2 WR’s at 29 & 59 then a questionable CB with off field history. Add to that not even a sign of a pass rusher, inside or out. Please.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      How about;
      #29 DE Cornellius Carradine
      #59 OG/T Brian Winters
      #91 CB Micah Hyde
      7th- RB Theo Riddick
      7th- LB Cameron Lawrence

      • AM says:

        Not bad players (I think Cameron Lawrence is a real sleeper), but I do think that they have to come out of this draft with some WR talent. It’s a perfect storm right now of little talent, few free agents, and a very deep draft.

    • AM says:

      Agreed that this would be a very poor result on draft day, but I do think the team needs to pick up some WR talent in a very deep WR class. It is far and away the lowest quality position on the team. Pass rush needs to be improved, but we might be able to address that in the short term via free agency (Abraham, Freeney, Idonije) and by developing existing players (Jones, Hightower will hopefully build on strong starts; Armstead could be a rush factor inside). I don’t think that Aiken, et al. are going to develop into effective passing options.

      • Ryan says:

        Ebert is the only one I think can make it to the 53 man.

        • AM says:

          I’m hoping he will develop into at least a quality role-player. If Edelman leaves, I’m sure he will at least get the opportunity in camp.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          He’s faster than Amendola and has very good hands.

  5. Ryan says:

    Not sure how I feel about this draft. To be honest, I still can’t wrap my head around how the draft this year. Last year I thought was much easier and even the year before that. This year I have to admit I’m pretty lost in terms of what they will do.

    • Ryan says:

      Here I think I like how this flows:

      1. Armond Armstead (treating his signing as our first round pick in hopes of using this pick to move across the draft)

      Mid 2nd: Barrett Jones/Jamar Taylor/Robert Woods/ Stedman Bailey

      Trade original 2nd for 3 and 6

      Use Original 3: For Emmanuel Sanders

      3. Micah Hyde/Wheaton/Tyrann Mathieu/Hunt/Alford/Swearinger

      6. They maybe trade this for 2 7’s so that we can sign as many pre- UDFA’s as possible.

      7. BPA
      7. BPA

      • cc says:

        They also signed former Northwestern DL Jason Vega(and CFL) as well, so the still clear glaring need for a compliment 2Big-Vince may mean that a cleaning of house is in order:
        *Forsten = Rookie?
        *Deaderick = Backup.
        *Kyle Love = Backup.
        BIG VINCE +
        add Armstead DL (CFL).
        add Vega DL (CFL).


        Still need a playmaker DT next to Vince.

        *Go strong on a top DT like Jessie Williams with our 1st, even if it meant adding in a moderate next year pick to jump up!
        Beefing up the front line with at least 1 person other than Big Vince help the entire D-Line, the the entire LB Core, never mind helps what consistency the backfield does actually have all at once!

        2nd & 3rd = A. Okafor and a DRAFT WR in the 3rd. No 3rd rounder for Pittsburgh! Use it!!!!

        7th x2 = another WR & CB combo with these 2 picks, if not a possible OLB/ DE…..

        • Ryan says:

          I agree need some DT help. Haven’t looked at them as much yet. But we have to add a WR before the 3rd.

  6. Ken W says:

    I’m on board with drafting one of each (WR/DE/DB) in the first three rounds. Any combo would do but I think DE and DB should be on rounds 1 and 2 unless they really like a WR that falls like Woods in the 2nd.

    This whole double dipping idea only works when you have multiple picks, which the Pats do not. Don’t waste 2 picks on one position when you can fill another areas of need.

  7. td says:

    If the Pat’s do indeed have plans for H-Badger or other returners like him, Edelman will probably not be re-signed before the draft.

    Lot of good players still left in free agency. The only thing holding them back from signing is $$$$$.

    The owners look united, finally in keeping salaries down, even Snyder & JJones.

  8. Rob says:

    Edelman will be resigned, and Bailey would get no run in the slot behind him, or Hernandez. So I think the Pats go CB with that 2nd pick. Markus Wheaton WR, in the 3rd. What are the chances of trading D. Fells for a 4th or 5th to go after Bostic,LB from Florida?

  9. Bobby says:

    Worst mock ever except for hopkins

  10. patsfan says:

    I love the double dipping on WR and think that adding Hopkins and Bailey would really improve the offense by having playmakers in the multiple WR sets. That being said, I do think they need some quality depth at CB so if I had to choose I would take the Hopkins and Wreh-Wilson option with a pass rusher (maybe Sam Montgomery from LSU) or another WR in the third.

    I do think they will trade back out of the first which should work well given the depth of this drath. With (2) seconds they could still get a quality WR (maybe patton) and Wreh-Wilson.

    • J H TARBORO says:

      If the Patriots can’t get the player they’re targeting in the 1st round, then they should trade out of the 1st round and BB should pound Tampa bay to take Mallett, because Schiano doesn’t trust his QB, and he BB are close friends. win win situation!

      • J H TARBORO says:

        look at all the scub QBs getting picked up and nobody wants Mallett?

        • Ken W says:

          I really don’t think the Pats are shopping Mallet. If a team offered them something they couldn’t pass on then I could see it. Why trade a QB that has the potential to be the replacement for Brady in a few years. Has the arm, and few years to learn under Brady can do nothing but help.

        • J H TARBORO says:

          Ken, BB would trade him only for a 1st or 2nd round pick, notice the 2 QBs they bringing in for a workout and draft visits.

  11. AM says:

    Outside of Hopkins, not much here to get excited about. Wreh-Wilson is especially poor–he would be a good zone corner, which is exactly why the Patriots should stay far, far away from him. The system that he fits is the same one that the team has started leaving behind. It became clear last year (post-Talib) that the best approach to mask the team’s lackluster pass rush is a more aggressive scheme, using CBs in physical man coverage while bringing extra rushers where necessary in order to increase pressure on the QB. Doubtful that Wreh-Wilson can fill that role.

    • Ryan says:

      Couldn’t agree more. More physical corners seemed to turn our defense around.

    • Derek says:

      I completely agree with that as well. I would much prefer someone like Oregon State’s Jordan Poyer in the 2nd or 3rd as opposed to Wreh-Wilson. Personally though I think it is going to be impossible to mock the Pats draft this year because they do have so few picks there is no telling what BB has planned. There could still be a Draft day Mallett trade in his sleeve if a team doesn’t get a QB in the first or second that they are wanting and it is almost guaranteed there will be several trade downs this year. I’m just excited to see what happens.

  12. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    Thanks for your work on this site Mike, your thoughts are interesting!
    I’m not sure about BB double dipping at WR or CB, tho your thought are sound. I like several players that the Patriots could draft. I feel OG is an area that BB could look to add depth/future starter. I have a hard time seeing BB passing on Barrett Jones. Scouts scoring on Jones are very high, even tho Mocks have him falling into the second round.
    I also like CB Micah Hyde as a 3d rounder, who is a good tackler, playing both CB positions as well as SS. His punt returning show’s some good ball skills.
    WR I like Mark Harrison (your interview with him was good)
    I also have on my Patriot draft board;
    DT Brandon Williams, CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson, DE Cornellius Carridine, RB Theo Riddick, DE John Simon, OG/T Brian Winters, LB DeVonte Holloman, CB Kenny Okoro , DT Bernnie Logan, and Jake Knott.

  13. Geo says:

    I still don’t see the Pats using the 1`st round pick, unless BB can wrangle a pick from the browns. There are several WR’s with potential in the second round. Hunter, Woods…
    Cb Banks will go quickly thereafter. I hear Pats really Like DJ Hayden too.
    Honey Badger in the 3rd, might not be there? Someone will step up and get him early 3rd maybe even late second..
    7th round? Who knows?

  14. Tommy G. says:

    You’re right Leon Washington will probably hardly be used on offense, but I’m sure he makes the team…one of the top kick returners ever.

  15. Hunter says:

    Any idea why I have to watch your video ads every day even though they claim to last for 72 hours?

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