Preparing for the 2011 NFL Draft

Derek Havens
February 17, 2011 at 03:46am ET

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After an abrupt end to the New England Patriots 2010 season, the focus of Patriots nation has now turned to the off-season. Even with free agency process being postponed by CBA negotiations, the draft will take place April 28th – 30th regardless. With less than 70 days to go before the 2011 NFL draft (but who’s counting) now is the time for player projection. There are several areas on the Patriots roster that could use improvement. The following are the areas I deem of need for the Pats this April.

  • 3-4 OLB (Pass Rusher)

  • Defensive Line

  • Offensive Line

  • Running Back / Fullback

  • Wide Receiver

  • Defensive Backs (Corner or Safety)

Luckily for the Pats, they are stacked with picks throughout the draft. This will give them the ability to move up or down the draft board to acquire any player(s) they desire and address any areas of need. The following is a list of the draft picks the Patriots have going into the draft process:

2010 Patriots Draft Picks

1st Round – #17 (OAK – Richard Seymour)

1st Round – #28

2nd Round – #33 (CAR – 2010 3rd Round)

2nd Round – #60

3rd Round – #74 (Min – Randy Moss)

3rd Round – #92

4th Round

5th Round

6th Round (NO – David Thomas)

* Compensatory picks will be awarded later *

Picks traded away:

4th Round – Traded to SEA  for Deion Branch (via DEN Maroney trade)

6th Round (DEN – Laurence Maroney)

7th Round – (Traded to ATL – Quinn Ojinnaka)

Conditional Draft Pick – (KC Jarrad Page) – Unknown

In the coming days, I will be evaluating and rating college prospects that Patriots Fans should focus on in the coming weeks. The annual NFL combine event will be held Thursday, Feb. 24 through March 1st. More than 300 top prospects for the 2011 NFL Draft will be invited to participate at the combine in Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

Hopefully, these lists and evaluations will give all fans some ideas of who to focus on during the NFL combine. Be sure to comment and let me know who you might be interested in, as the event takes place.

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