An NFL record 25 players set to attend the draft in New York on Thursday, April 28th. I find it incredible that a record 25 players would come to the NFL draft with the unsettled labor situation. Granted, Judge Susan Nelson did lift the lockout but, the NFLPA did rumor to ask players to avoid the NFL’s draft day event. Never the less, here is the full list of players who will attend this year’s draft:

If any of you caught the “Brady 6” special on ESPN two weeks ago, it was pure TV gold. However, I thought it was very entertaining how ESPN went from this special to their special draft show. Ironically, they opened with if the Patriots needed to draft a quarterback in round one. This of course, stemmed from the reports Washington QB Jake Locker visited with the Patriots this week. Please do not read into this. This is pure smoke and mirrors. Who wants to trade up to 17 and snag Locker? That’s what BB’s doing here

Da’ Quan Bowers Knee has been the topic of conversation between draft analysts the last few days. Bowers, could make one of the most precipitous drops the NFL draft has seen in years. Once deemed the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, he now might be fortunate to be selected in the late first round. With the reported knee injury more of a long term concern, most teams could shy away. But, should the Patriots be one of them? A talent like Bowers might be worth the risk if he falls into their lap later into the draft.

Cam Newton is one of my favorite prospects in this years draft. I know a lot of people will disagree with me about this, but i love this kid. He is an unbelievable talent and just plain wins. However, this lockout could really hurt his pro potential. Not only him though, but many other prospects coming into the NFL this year. If this lockout continues, these rookies will not have the playbook for more than a few weeks, how can we expect the majority of them to succeed?

Mark Ingram is another prospect I seem to like more than other Patriots fans. But I am curious, is this because we might have to draft him early in the first round? There are a lot of reports that Ingram could fall late into the first round. Personally, I feel if the Miami Dolphins pass, he could be there at pick 28 or possibly at 33. Now, if the Patriots were to keep either one of those picks and they address there outside linebacker pick earlier, would this pick be more appealing? I think Ingram could be a great fit in New England. But then again, there could be other running back targets later in the draft.

Last week, I had an exclusive interview with Arizona defensive end Brooks Reed. He could be an option for the Patriots later into the first round or early into the second. Reed is transitioning from defensive end in college to most likely 3 – 4 outside linebacker. Based on our conversation, I feel confident he can make that transition. However, he could be getting pushed up a little to high by some draft analysts. I would like to see Reed on the Patriots team, but no earlier than our late first round pick.

The lack of consensus in this years NFL Draft is incredible. Everyone has an idea of the prospects that will go in the first round, but now in a specific order. Last year, the top of the draft was much easier to predict and this year will certainly prove to be “mock draft busters”. While this may not be ideal Mel kiper Jr. or Todd McShay and company, it will offer a high level of excitement for fans.

There are plenty of rumors surrounding the Patriots draft selections. Sure, the idea of the team trading down is not surprising at all. Especially because even though this draft is not made up of elite players, there are still plenty of solid prospects in the mid rounds. However, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted Monday afternoon the Patriots are among the teams open to trading up if the right player is available. But don’t get carried away. There is still three days away from the draft and Belichick is unpredictable. If I were a betting man, I would not expect the Patriots to stay at the current draft position they were slotted too.

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