Thoughts on Kiper's "Grade A" Draft for New England

Derek Havens
April 22, 2013 at 11:36am ET

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In a recent post by ESPN's Mel Kiper, he played the role of every NFL General Manager and made selections for each of the first three rounds. Here is what Kiper had for the New England Patriots. -


Top needs: WR, CB, DE, G/C

Rd. 1 (29) CB Jamar Taylor, Boise St.
Rd. 2 (59) WR Markus Wheaton, Oregon St.
Rd. 3 (91) C Travis Frederick, Wisconsin


Kiper Analysis:

"I'm not sure fans are too excited about Taylor, but he's been a recent riser, hits one of my top two needs and the board didn't break in my favor. If you see the pick-by-pick, both the top two wide receivers are gone, and Xavier Rhodes was taken by Denver just one pick ahead. Late in Round 2, I get an intriguing wide receiver talent out of Oregon State. Wheaton has good hands, and he's run as low as 4.34 in the 40, so he's got some burst; DeAndre Hopkins of Clemson was taken a couple of slots before. In Round 3, we run into a major value gap if drafting a 3-4 defensive end, so I opt for the best center in the draft. Frederick can start immediately if called upon. Last season, Ryan Wendell took over as the starter, and played pretty well, but he can be a liability as a pass-blocker, so at the very least this creates more depth up front, and some competition."

To read Mel Kiper's full story and analysis on all 32 teams, click here.

Quick Thoughts: 

- Jamar Taylor is one of my favorite cornerback prospects in this year's draft. Like Kiper said, the Boise State product is rising up draft boards and could be selected in the late first, mid-second round.

- Markus Wheaton is an intriguing wide receiver, especially for his value. Drawing some comparisons Mike Wallace, Wheaton has great athleticism and could stretch the field vertically; an element the Patriots would love to add to their offense.

- Travis Frederick is considered one of this year's best centers and possesses several qualities that would make him an attractive prospect to New England. He's reportedly a hard worker, strong, versatile and the Pats could develop him. Although, I just don't see the need for a lineman in the first three rounds. I would expect some undrafted free agent rookies to join camp, but there are more pressing needs at this time.

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