2014 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Edition 1.0

Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins has the tools to be the first tight end taken in 2014. Could he be on New England’s radar? (Photo: USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

It’s hard to believe that the 2013 football season is almost at the halfway point. By now the Patriots and their fans have a pretty good grasp at the strengths and weaknesses of their football team, as well as areas that need to be addressed in the future. Despite a tumultouous off-season the Patriots have kept up with their winning ways, but have done so in a much different fashion.

The 2014 draft will give the Patriots another opportunity to restock the cubbord and fills holes that were created in the past year. What could the Patriots 2014 draft class look like? Here is my early projection.

Team Needs:

TE – The Patriots didn’t come close to replacing Aaron Hernandez this year, his loss combined with Rob Gronkowski’s injury situation elevates this position to the top of the list.

DT – Vince Wilfork’s injury has thrust two young late round/UDFA into starting roles. Joe Vellano and Chris Jones look like they can be contributors for the long term, but a big body run stuffer is needed.

DE – Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich are locked in as starters, Michael Buchanan has flashed, but the depth after that is non-exsistant. Adding at least one pass rusher during the 2014 draft should be a priority.

OG/OC – Ryan Wendell is a free agent that I expect to be back, but Dan Connolly can be upgraded upon.

WR – The offense is in transition and a number of young WR were brought in, it’s probably a good idea to keep adding young talent to the position in Tom Brady’s final years.

CB – This need is reliant upon Aqib Talib re-signing. If he leaves this need jumps way up the list.

RB – Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen are productive when they play, but as we’ve seen this year the Patriots miss Danny Woodhead and don’t have a pass catching threat when Shane Vereen is out.

Draft Picks and Compensatory Selections:

The Patriots have their full compliment of draft picks in 2014, one pick in each of the seven rounds. Based on research and numbers from past years the Patriots are expected to receive a few compensatory selections this year. The loss of Wes Welker is cancelled out by the signing of Danny Amendola. However, the Patriots lost both Donald Thomas and Patrick Chung to fairly large contracts, as well as Danny Woodhead to a smaller contract. Based on previous years I project the Patriots to receiver two 6th Round Selections for Thomas and Chung, and possibly a 7th round pick for Danny Woodhead. This will give the Patriots 10 selections in the 2014 NFL Draft.

2014 Patriots Mock Draft: Edition 1.0

Round 1 (29) – Austin Seferian-Jenkins, TE, Washington (6’6″-276)

There is no doubt the Patriots miss Aaron Hernandez and his production on offense. Hernandez and his unique skill-set are not coming back and can’t be replaced. What can be replaced is the match-up nightmare and middle of the field production that the Patriots produced out of their two tight end sets from 2010-2012. Seferian-Jenkins is a power forward playing tight end, he’s got a massive catch radius and outstanding measurables.

Seferian-Jenkins, when paired up with the Patriots current monster TE Rob Gronkowski, would create a size and physicality mismatch that is incredibly tough to defend. Seferian-Jenkins does have a few red flags on his resume-nothing compared to Colt Lyerla mind you-but if the Patriots get the opportunity to add this type of TE and replace Aaron Hernandez this quickly, they better take it.

Round 2 – Trent Murphy, DE, Stanford (6’6″- 261)

The Patriots have shifted gears at the defensive end position. Gone are the days of the 6’6″/310 pound defensive ends that specialize in stopping the run. The Patriots now look for big, long, athletes on the edge that can do a variety of different things. Trent Murphy strikes me as a Patriots type of player. A hybrid OLB/DE in college, Murphy projects best as a 4-3 end at the NFL level.

Murphy quite simply is a playmaker, using his strength and smarts to track down the ball-carrier or generate pressure. Murphy is a very cerebral player, he doesn’t necessarily jump off the screen with his quickness or explosion. But, over the course of the game he is going to make 2-3 huge plays. With little depth behind Chandler Jones and Rob Ninkovich, adding a defensive end like Trent Murphy should be a priority. Murphy’s teammate Ben Gardner is another Stanford DL that could interest the Patriots in later rounds.

Round 3 – Darqueze Dennard, CB, Michigan State (5’11”-197)

The Alfonzo Dennard pick has worked out so well for the Patriots why not go back to the same family tree and pick his cousin who is a similar type player. Darqueze reminds me a lot of Alfonso with the way they attack the ball in coverage and show no fear in coverage. Darqueze is bigger and definitely more fluid on film than Alfonzo was coming out of collge.

Dennard (both of them) show very good toughness and strength when matched up 1 on 1 down the field, that’s a tough trait to teach a cornerback. Darqueze showcases all the skills to play man to man coverage in the NFL and is a very good fit for what the Patriots are currently doing on defense.

Round 4 – DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State (6’3″ – 318)

Sooner or later the Bill O’Brien Penn State to New England connection will start flowing and it could start with DaQuan Jones. Jones is a thick, strong, powerful run defender in the middle of the defense. He finds a way to make a ton of plays around the line of scrimmage and produces numbers that a defensive tackle shouldn’t produce. This year the Patriots brought in two young defensive tackles in Joe Vellano and Chris Jones, probably the two most productive defensive tackles in college football last season, but both men lack some of the size and power needed to hold up consistently at the line of scrimmage. Jones is a similarly productive player, that takes on blocks, eats double teams, and locates the ball quickly.

There is no guarantee that Vince Wilfork is coming back to be the same player he once was. Even if he does, he’s a free agent after the 2014 season and the Patriots face a tough decision on him. By adding another smart, productive playmaker on the interior defensive line, the Patriots protect themselves and add depth at a position of need.

Round 5Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin (6’2″ – 190)

This seems like the perfect match. No matter what game or what situation, Abbrederis just makes plays. He’s perhaps the most dependable WR in college football and one that I think can fit the Patriots scheme. Abbrederis can contribute a lot of the same things that Julian Edelman does for the team right now, but with more ability to get vertical and make plays deep downfield. Abbrederis has become a very solid route runner and has the versatility to play in the slot or on the outside depending of the formation.

A former walk-on that has worked extremely hard to earn his spot and develop into one of the most productive players in college football. Abbrederis has the kind of work ethic that is needed to succeed in the Patriots complex scheme, which asks WR to think fast and make decisions on the fly.

Round 6 – Spencer Long, OG, Nebraska (6’4″- 315)

The Patriots offensive line is one of the most consistent units in football and a unit that should be together for a long time once Ryan Wendell is resigned. The one spot that can be upgraded is at Right Guard, which is currently occupied by Dan Connolly. Not only is Connolly the least productive Patriot OL, he also makes a lot of money, making him a candidate to be cut after the season. I expect the Patriots to target an OG at some point in the draft. Long could possibly go a round or two higher than this, however the problem is Long suffered a knee injury and is now out for the season.

Long’s knee injury is likely to force him to miss most of the post-season and draft process as well. Long is a three year starter, team captain, and all-acadmic selection. He reminds me a little of Logan Mankins coming out of college because of his nastiness and toughness in the run game. He’s a physical player that looks to physically and mentally demoralize his man on each play.

Round 6 (Comp) – Caraun Reid, DT, Princeton (6’2″ – 305)

Notice a theme to these draft picks yet? The majority of the players picked so far are smart, dependable leaders that play the game the right way, so why not pick a defensive tackle from Princeton? Reid is one of the best small school players in this year’s draft and a very productive pass rusher from the DT position. Despite being faced with constant double teams the past two seasons, Reid has still managed to generate 13.5 sacks and 25.5 TFL. Reid would give the Patriots another productive interior DT and one that has shown he can get to the QB.

Round 6 (Comp) – Antonio Andrews, RB, Western Kentucky (5’11” – 212)

Antonio Andrews is the best all-purpose RB in the country right now. Andrews is a workhorse RB, with reliable hands and can even return kicks. The Patriots depth at RB has been tested this year and has shown that when Shane Vereen isn’t on the field, they don’t have a player they can consistently rely on to catch the ball. Andrews could be a weapon on passing downs specifically, but has the build and size to become a productive lead back in the NFL.

Round 7Austin Wentworth, OT, Fresno State (6’5″ – 305)

The Patriots haven’t selected and Offensive Tackle in the NFL Draft since picking Marcus Cannon in the 5th round of the 2011 draft. With all their picks entact, I expect them to use one pick on a versatile, developmental tackle type. Wentworth is a three year starter that has experience all over the line. As a Sophomore he started six games at Right Tackle and seven games at Right Guard. As a Junior he made the move to Left Tackle and plays there this year as well. Wentworth was developed by former Bill Belichick diciple Pat Hill and would joining Logan Mankins and Ryan Wendell as the 3rd Fresno State OL on the Patriots roster. Wentworth might profile best to Guard, but he has shown he has the versatility and skillset to be a dependable swing tackle or back-up, all-purpose OL in the NFL. That in itself is a valuable commodity.

Round 7 (Comp) Glenn Carson, ILB, Penn State (6’3″ – 235)

Brandon Spikes’ future with the Patriots is in doubt and as we’re seeing right now it’s never a bad thing to have linebacker depth. Glenn Carson, like many Penn State LB before him, is an intelligent, gritty, player that has developed into a vocal leader on the field. Carson is an Academic All-American candidate that has already graduated and is now working on his second degree. Carson would provide depth and special teams capability to a team that values both things greatly.

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39 Responses to “2014 New England Patriots Mock Draft: Edition 1.0”

  1. Henry Carmen says:

    This is not the year to trade out of the first round. At least at this point in the process. Simply too much talent to be had in the 1st round. Now in the first there are a few guys i feel the Patriots should target. In no order-Ra’Shede Hageman, Jordan Matthews, Jace Amaro/ ASJ, Ryan Shazier, Gabe Jackson. Anyways, heres a mock based on the compensatory picks you gave us.

    1st- Ra’Shede Hageman (DT Minnesota)
    2nd-Jace Amaro (TE Texas Tech)
    3rd-Michael Sam (DE/OLB Mizzou)
    4th-Daquan Jones (DT Penn State)
    5th-Cody Hoffman (WR BYU)
    6th-Jarred Abredderis (WR Wisconsin)
    (C)6th-Aaron Donald (DT Pittsburgh)
    (C)6th-Spencer Long (OL Nebraska)
    7th-Brett Smith (QB Wyoming)
    (C)7th-Shaquil Barret (LB Colorado St.)

    • acm says:

      Good mock but with the following caveats, imo:

      I like Sam and another similar player, Khalil Mack, but I think those would be redundant picks in light of the Pats getting jamie Collins last year. I know he is being played in a different role right now but I think BB’s experiments would soon finish and he will figure out the obvious – Collins is a Ninkovish replacement at DE/OLB … not Mayo #2.

      So, in place of Sam, I’d rather see them go for an actual 3-down backer like C.Jones (unlikely to fall to late 3rd), Smallwood or even a Spikes replacement in Shane Skov as I don’t see Spikes sticking around for next year.

      And I really don’t think Abredderis falls beyond the 4th round. Hoffman on the other hand, I can see fall to the 5th and even beyond, considering the year he’s having.

      • Henry Carmen says:

        Michael Sam is a 3-Down 4-3 DE. Fantastic Player. Will be late first early second round value come may.

        • acm says:

          So why would you mock him in the 3rd round then?

          Don’t get me wrong, I like Sam a lot. But he has the same measurables and natural role on the field as a player the Pats just drafted – Jamie Collins. My point was they’d be better off spending those early picks on a larger DL-man or a 3-down backer or who knows, maybe a even a SAF/CB who doesn’t suck for a change.

  2. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    I would like to see the Patriots sign, free agent CB Kenny Okoro, an undrafted guy who signed with the Chargers and was cut. Okoro was a 4 year started at Wake Forest. I’ve studied/watched this guy alot and feel he could be a great fit for the Patriots. VERY Hard worker and Smart guy getting 2 degrees from Wake.
    I also like Ried Fragel OT/TE 6’8″ 305 lbs from Ohio State who is on Cinn. P-Squad. This guy had a good Combine, and is a Nate Solder type player with a huge upside! Coach Scarnecchia could mold Fragel into a top lineman.
    Tobias Palmer WR/KR is another guy I like alot, who is on the Jags. P-Squad. SPEED and a great Kick returner, smaller as a WR at 5″10″ 175, but huge upside as well. Palmer played at N.C. State and caught balls from QB Mike Glennon. I’ve watch him in person, hard worker, quality guy.

  3. russell easterbrooks says:

    I think the Patriots trade thier first pick in 2014 for; a 2nd , and 2nd 2015.
    I like thier draft to go;
    2nd -LB Shayne Skov
    2nd- QB A.J. McCarrons
    3d- DT Daquan Jones

    • philg says:

      Id love to see the pats get Mccarron… some team will jump on him in the first. Hes having a great season. Pats wouldnt be so lucky.

      • russell easterbrooks says:

        With Mallett’s contract ending after the 2014 season, It’s a big question whether the Patriots resign him. If he’s not the future QB for the Patriots, then this is the year to get the future guy, with Tom playing maybe, two more years. A. J. McCarran looks like the best fit in New England. I think the Patriots could trade thier first pick, and get another 2nd round pick, to get McCarran (30-45 pick), as well as a 2nd round pick in 2015.
        Guys who maybe Out of New England next year;
        LB Spikes
        OG/C Connolly, or staying with a pay cut.
        S Gregory
        KR Washington
        S Tavon Wilson
        DE Bequette
        Guys resigned;
        CB Talib
        C Wendell

    • steve earle says:

      Welcome back Russell good to get your inputs again. I think your right about the trade out of the 1st this draft. Connelly taking a cut and Bill resigning Talib sounds right but not sure about Windell. How do you feel about his play so far? Those FAs you spoke of sound good too. McCarron with a high 2nd possable I think and makes sence. If he’s gone what do you think of Bortles fron CF featured here a few days ago? Not for a 2nd of course. Idea would be to get an OC and a OG to strengthen line somewhere in the draft but we can’t get everything.

      • Russell Easterbrooks says:

        I really think QB A.J. McCarrons will be an important pick to the Patriots, as they may hold the 1st pick to take him. I think Wendell has played OK, with Connolly/ Cannon playing only Fair, next two Wendell, makes evaluation tough. A better OG is a must next year, Cannon could be good may just need more time. I was vocal about drafting an OG last year (Winters now starting with the Jets) which would have helped this year. Tom is taking more time in the pocket this year, nearly 3/4 of a second more, and it expose’s the Oline. The lineman to get in the draft this year is Spencer Long who is out for the year, with a late choice 5th ?
        Other guys I like in this years draft; CB Keith McGill, LB Glenn Carson, TE Arther Lynch, DT Daquan Jones, LB Tana Patrick, FS Tre Boston, and LB Jeremiah Attaochu

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          I also liked Barrlett Jones OG/C (bears) last year. I think Connolly plays better at OC then OG, If he takes a pay cut next year I think he stays. Patriots tried Markus Zusevics at OG which may work, before he got hurt. We also saw Kline play OG in the pre-season ( played along side Winters in College)

        • steve earle says:

          Yes, Tre Boston peaked my intrest also Daquan Jones and I would add Darqueze Dennard as a 3rd CB.
          Somewhere on my list I have Daniel McCullers and Bryan Stark pencled in. Far to early to use the ink yet, but I like what I hear about these guys and think they might fit.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          There is a large class of quality Olinemen this year, and the guy I like best is listed as a 7th round pick.. WRONG this guy is a 3d-4th and a wonderful fit for the Patriots… Mason Walters 6’5″ 325 lbs out of Texas.

  4. acm says:

    Really nice mock although I doubt Murphy lasts till late 2nd and Jones till late 4th. Even less so Abbrederis till late in the 5th.

    My take on it:

    Trade down 1st rounder for a 2nd, 3rd, a 5th and a 7th from one of the numerous QB-hungry teams around.

    Early 2nd – DL Rashede Hageman / DE Trent Murphy / DE Aaron Lynch
    Late 2nd – TE Jace Amaro
    early 3rd – LB Yawin Smallwood
    Late 3rd – DT Daquan Jones
    4th round CB Darqueze Dennard / CB Justin Gilbert
    early 5th: OG Spencer Long / OG Brandon Thomas
    late 5th: RB James Wilder Jr. / RB Carlos Hyde
    6th round: WR Cody Hoffman
    6th (comp): DT Caraun Reid / DT Deandre Coleman
    6th (comp): WR Dri Archer / WR Mike Campanaro
    early 7th round: FS Jacques Washington / CB Keith McGill / CB Marcus Williams
    late 7th: DL Brent Urban
    7th (comp) RB Michael Dyer

    Another go:
    Early 2nd – DL Rashede Hageman / DE Trent Murphy / DE Aaron Lynch
    Late 2nd – LB Christian Jones
    early 3rd – DT Daquan Jones
    Late 3rd – CB Darqueze Dennard / CB Justin Gilbert
    4th round – TE Xavier Grimble/TE Colt Lyerla
    early 5th: OG Spencer Long / OG Brandon Thomas

    … and the rest as above

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      Well thought out draft board. The trick is who will be on the board when the Patriots pick. DT Hageman will be gone 1st round I believe.
      I’m still scouting players, but think Arthur Lynch is the best fit, TE for the Patriots.
      I believe this is the year the Patriots go for a franchise player, and tho Tradeing the 1st pick gives the most value to the Patriots, maybe not this year. I think QB A.J.McCarron could be looked at as the furture of the franchise. So if I was drafting today; remembering Bill drafts the player he wants, WHEN he wants, not as is est. round.
      1st round – QB A.J. McCarron
      2nd round- TE Arthur Lynch
      3d round – DT Daquan Jones
      4th round – CB/S Keith McGill
      5th round -OG Spencer Long
      6th round – LB Glenn Carson

      • Henry Carmen says:

        Why are you so hellbent of McCarron. The Pats do need to draft a q

        • Henry Carmen says:

          As i was saying before my computer went stupid, we do need to draft a qb but definitely not that early-and even in the case we were to take one that early McCarron is not the guy at all. There are plenty of developable underrated guys-Blake Bortles (UCF), Jeff Matthews (Cornell) Brett Smith (Wyoming), Derek Carr (Fresno St.) Jimmy Garoppolo. Those guys are mid to late to Priority Free agents that they can take a chance on. McCarron is barely a top 10 qb in this class at this point (Assuming guys like Hundley and Mariota move on), his upside is greatly limited. Alabama Qbs are not the way to go, they arent asked to do nearly as much as other quarterbacks from other schools (Take Teddy B. for example). Remember how succesful McElroy was? just a product of a system…..name a good starting Bama QB in the game today.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          I agree that QB McCarron is not listed to high, but I think he is the 2nd best guy in the class, and will be available to the Patriots early in the draft. But whats more important, is he fits the Patriot system, is smart, runs a pro style offence, good size, and is as close to a Tom Brady as I have seen in the last few years.
          IF Ryan Mallett is the furture of the Patriots franchise, then McCarron will not be a Patriot, and one of the guys you talk about will be picked late.
          There are alot of if’s for sure, but my guess is Mallett is NOT the furture, in New England, and they wll not pay him big money to back up after the 2014 season is over.
          McCarron (if drafted) will sign a 4 year deal, and learn under Tom for 2 years. Tom will not be the QB for ever, and he is getting sacked more than in past years.
          Next year the Patriots carry 3 QB’s (unless Mallett is traded) with the furture in mind.
          This is the year to plan for the furture at QB in New England.

      • Henry Carmen says:

        If you think McCarron is better than Mariota, Boyd, Hundley, Carr, Mettenberger… the stuff your smoking is too strong

  5. russell easterbrooks says:

    The Patriots have 2-3 good looking OL men on injured reserve, ( Fisher, Zusevic ) as well as a slot WR (T.J. Moe ) . These players are in the system, so they are very valuable to the Patriots next year.
    I think Connolly OG/C and Spikes LB are not resigned, so like I called it in last years draft, a LB will be the Patriots first choice. Trading out of the first round is VERY likely as well.
    DT will be an area the Patriots look at in the draft (3-4 round)
    But here’s my surprise, I think the Patriots draft a QB early, and I like the guy from Alabama.

    • acm says:

      I was thinking the same thing about McCarron but had my doubts they go for it before late in the 3rd and think he would be gone by then – expect him to go earlier than many project.

      I think they go for a LB relatively early too, with Spikes likely gone. Thinking a 3-down, more mobile backer as Hightower could play Spike’s role. Mayo should be back next season, no problem.

      Not having high hopes for VW to be back to his best any time soon, and considering his age, DT would be a priority next year, imo, with possibly a big-ish free agent signing on top of the draft.

      • steve earle says:

        McCarron might be around in early 2nd but I must admit picking QB’s is really my poorest history. I do think this draft is pretty solid in developmental prospects just don’t ask me to pick one early. As for that 3 down LB, those being rated the highest presently seem to either be on the slower side or smallish. This may work out with Collins, with a year under his belt, taking Hightower’s spot and, as you say, move Hightower into the middle on running downs and DE in passing situations, This doesn’t omit the chance of Bill looking for another LB later in the draft. We’er all still waiting for Armstead to make it onto the field but if he doesn’t I like Hagerman from Minn for that roll. If VW isn’t 100% next year a couple prospects that intrest me are Daquan Jones and Danial McCullers. No telling at this point how things will shake out though.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          I agree many of the LBer’s this year lack speed /or size. Bill loves LBers, but 245-265 lbs, and must be 6’2″ or more. Finding a guy who runs 4.6 is limited to guys under 230 LBs This is not a great year for LBer prospects, But I see a need if Spikes leaves.
          Maybe Jeremiah Attaochu 6’3″ 245 runs a 4.68 or Tana Patrick 6″2″ 240 runs a 4.56 in the 3-4th round.

        • steve earle says:

          To Russell on LB’s— I’d take a chance on Christian Jones from Fla St. he’s only listed as 232 lbs but at 6-4 likely could put on 10 lbs without hurting his 4.62 listed time.

        • Russell Easterbrooks says:

          Steve; here is two guys to check out I like them very much
          OLB/DE James Gayle 6’4″ 260 runs a 4.58/4.6 40
          OG/C Mason Walters 6’5″ 325, he has played OG for Texas 39 games, and played OC in high school, were he “pancaked” half the guys he blocked. His tape is some of the best I’ve seen at OG, reminds me of Mankins!

  6. Ryan says:

    How do you derive those compensatory picks?

  7. steve earle says:

    This is probably nothing new as I have posted this on other pages of this site but Bill will likely trade down and out of the 1st. A couple good 2nd round picks could be Daniel McCullers DT Tenn and Bryan Stark OC Fla St. Early but for now they seem value picks at positions of need. Nothing cast in stone here but something to consider.

    • steve earle says:

      Oh yea, Safety is also a need, agree with Brian there.

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      Another guy out there is C.J. Johnson OC who played at South Carolina last year. He is on Cinn. P-Squad. Patriots scouted him last year, very smart guy, 6’3″ 305 ,

  8. Brian says:

    Not bad at all. But I want a quality DT in the first or second round just in case of mr wilforks regression. Louis nix would be a dream but I’d happily take his teammate tuitt or Minnesota’s hageman.

    Having two top TE’s is a luxury in my Mind and not a necessity. But if we could grab one in the second I’d be fine with that.

  9. josh says:

    any chance we trade wilfork??? maybe a 2nd round pick?

  10. Yesares says:

    Safety is also a need, Tavon Wilson has regressed from Lady year

    Ed Reynolds from Stanford could be a great adition

  11. Phil says:

    Love this draft a ton. Only thing is I would prefer a DT in round 2 or round 1

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