By: Derek Havens
Going into day two of this NFL draft, there are still a lot of quality prospects for the Patriots to select. While the majority of Patriots Nation believes the first round was not ideal for the team, there are still plenty of weapons to be had in rounds two and three.
First and foremost, the Patriots must upgrade their defensive front seven. They need an impact outside linebacker and an upgrade at the defensive end position. I also believe the Pats could add offensive weapons such as a running back or wide receiver. Here are a few prospects the team could target during day two.
Justin Houston (Georgia) – Probably the best option for the Pats at this position. Reports of past Marijuana use may turn some teams off but, that has not stopped the Patriots in the past (i.e Aaron Hernandez).
Brooks Reed (Arizona) – A relentless conversion defensive end with pass rushing ability. He could transition well to the Patriots 3 – 4 system.
Akeem Ayers (UCLA) – Even though Ayers does not seem to fit in the Patriots defense, he still has a lot to offer at the outside linebacker position. He is a playmaker, strong against the run, and has shown the ability rush the passer.
Dantay Moch (Nevada) – This is a big stretch. Moch is only 6’1 and 248 pounds, so he is not the ideal size what so ever. However, he ran a 4.44 40 yard dash at the NFL Combine. He has the ability to get after the passer and is extremely athletic. He could be an intriguing pick for the team.
Da’Quan Bowers (Clemson) – At this point, Bowers comes down to value. Obviously, he did not check out 100 percent medically, but what do the Patriots think of him? He might not be a perfect fit, but he was at one time the top overall prospect in this draft class. At some point, he has to be in the discussion, right?
Allen Bailey (Miami) – An athletic prospect, who offers incredible versatility. He can play across the defensive line and potentially stand up as well.
Kenrick Ellis (Hampton) – Ellis is an absolute monster, measured at over 6 feet and 340 pounds, but still athletic for his size. Some minor character concerns have dropped his stock a little but, he could easily play defensive end in the patriots defense. He reminds me a lot of Vince Wilfork and he would have a great veteran to tutor him.
Mikel LeShoure (Illinois) – LeShoure is a player that really interests me. if the Patriots can pull the trigger on this guy mid way through the second round, it would be a great pick. He has all the qualities of an every down running back but still needs some overall development.
Ryan Williams (Virginia Tech)– Williams could be a great Patriot. He would compliment Ben Jarvis Green – Ellis well, as well as being a dynamic playmaker. He reminds me of DeAngelo Williams from Carolina. He can has everything teams look for in a college running back but has had minor injury concerns that have hurt is value.
DeMarco Murray (Oklahoma) – Murray is a typical Patriots player. He is a jack – of – all- trades type of player that can contribute in many ways. He can play running back, slot receiver, and help on returns. The only knock on Murray is his trouble with injuries and he is strictly a committee guy.
Leonard Hankerson (Miami) – Hankerson became one of the most productive wideouts in college football this past season. He has great size, route running and playmaking ability. He lacks elite speed, but can offer a lot to a football team. His overall skill set, along with solid upside, makes him a great pick – up in either the second or early third round.
Torrey Smith (Maryland) – Smith has elite speed and could develop into a solid receiver that can stretch a defense. I love his 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 and could be the most complete receiver.
Randall Cobb (Kentucky) – Forget Cobb as a receiver, just now him as an offensive weapon. He does not have the capability to be a full time running back and is not polished enough to be a wide receiver. He is, however, a serious play maker. He can be utilized in a change of pace “scat back” role or even be placed in the slot. Cobb also is a deadly return man with good speed and athleticism. I believe he has that home – run type ability. He displays great vision and cut back ability when carrying the ball. Seems like a Belichick type player.
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