By: Derek Havens
Here is my 2011 Patriots only mock draft (four rounds):
17) Cameron Jordan, DE, California – Cameron Jordan is an intriguing prospect for the Patriots at 17. He plays with an exceptional first step and pursuit of the ball carrier. He is an absolute force in the backfield and possesses elite tackling ability. Jordan is scheme diverse, plays well with his hands, and has a great motor. If the Patriots go this route, Jordan would be a fantastic fit offering a versatile new addition to the defense.
28) Danny Watkins, OL, Baylor – Watkins might be classified as a “late bloomer”, but has the strength and athleticism to play at the next level. The soon to be 26 year old prospect projects to be a quality starting guard in the NFL. He plays with terrific balance and has the foot quickness to hold in pass protection. He engages defenders very well with his hands and maintains a stout presence when blocking. He could be a starter from day one and has a tremendously high upside.
33) Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona – Brooks Reed has been rocketing up NFL teams draft boards for months. Once labeled as a third to forth round prospect, will now be taken in the late first two early second round. The Patriots continue to address their front 7 with Reed as an outside linebacker. I’ve watched Reed for a few years at the University of Arizona and have great confidence he could transition well to stand up linebacker in a 3-4 from defensive end. Check out my exclusive interview with Brooks to find out more about this Arizona standout.
60) Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland – At first glance, Torrey Smith might not be a great fit for the Patriots. But, if you look closer, he would be a great choice at this point in the draft. Smith has elite speed and could develop into a solid receiver in the NFL. He has the ability to be a playmaker down the field and “stretch the defense”. He possesses great leadership qualities, work ethic, and willingness to run block. He will need to work on maintaining speed throughout his cuts and ability to catch the ball in traffic. Never the less, he most certainly is a quality pick in the second round.
74) Marcus Gilchrist, Safety, Clemson – Gilchrist offers a lot of value for mid round selection. He is a very versatile player, who can be used as both corner and safety. He is a good size at 5’10 and 195 pounds. He has a high football IQ and many scouts describe him as the QuarterBack of the defense. He could develop into a very solid player at the next level.
92) DeMarco Murray, RB, Oklahoma – Murray is one of my favorite players in this years draft class.I cannot think of a better fit for the Patriots. He is a jack-of-all-trades, versatile, playmaker that could make an immediate impact on our offense. His nagging injury concerns could scare many teams away from taking him too early but he seems like a great “value” here. He also can be a dangerous returner, which makes him all the more appealing.
125) Jeremy Beal, OLB, Oklahoma – Beal is another college defensive end converting to outside linebacker who would be an interesting prospect at this point in the draft. With the pass rush issues the Patriots have had over the past few seasons, it would make sense for Belichick to double dip in this area. Beal is a high motor guy with a strong football IQ. He also plays the run well and seems to make a play one way or another.
At this point, through my four round mock draft, the Patriots seem to address many “need” areas. The final rounds and draft selections are true wild cards for the team. In my opinion, drafting more offensive lineman for development would be a great move at this point. With offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia coaching these young players, the Pats could get a steal at some point later in the draft.
Have any thoughts on my mock? Be sure to leave a comment below and let me know how you feel? Which prospects do you like or dislike? Also, be sure to follow me on twitter!