My Favorite Players for the Pats in the 2006 draft. These are my favorite players whom I believe the Pats have a realistic chance at in the draft. ] 1. OLB Manny Lawson: I believe the Pats greatest need is an elite pass-rusher who can win one-on-one matchups, and doesn't require schemes and stunts to get the job done, a la Vrabel and McGinest. Lawson has as much potential for that as anyone in the draft, but he's a 3-down player, not just a pass rush specialist, and deceptively strong against the run. Voted defensive MVP of his team by his teammates, not Mario Williams. Also the WolfpackĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s Special Teams Captain, showing he is not above getting down and dirty. A senior, which lowers the bust potential. 2. OLB Mathias Kiwanuka. I have been back and forth on this pick. But I believe the Pats greatest need is at pass rush, and that was the reason McGinest was released. McGinest got his sacks on schemes, on coverage, and on OL breakdowns. He rarely beat his man one on one to the passer. When Seymour was injured and the defense was getting torched in Ă˘â‚¬â„˘05, it was because SeymourĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s absence made it impossible to create the mismatches where McGinest and Colvin could effectively create pressure, exposing the Pats defensive backfield. I think BB was fed up and realized he lacked a superior athlete at OLB. Is Kiwi athletic enough to play LB? Judging by combine numbers, Kiwanuka is faster (4.70 to 4.78) and just as quick (4.13 to 4.22 in the 20 yard shuttle) as Chad Greenway, a player Kiwi dwarfs in size. Kiwi is also nearly as fast and just as quick as Demeco Ryans, another player 30 lbs lighter than him. In my opinion there is no question Kiwi has the athleticism to play OLB. If he canĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t manhandle an elite LT, how many times has McGinest or Vrabel done so? Vrabel at OLB used to get his sacks because of the attention paid to Seymour, gaining leverage on LTs forced to make quick kick outs or mismatched blocking RBs. Kiwanuka can do the same as a rookie. 3. WR Maurice Stovall. Stovall is not the best receiver in this draft, but he is the best receiver for the Pats in this draft. His familiarity with the Pats offense from playing for Charlie at ND means that unlike most draft eligible wide receivers, he wonĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t take 3 years to impact. In fact Stovall is a great investment for the Pats, since he will likely be able to comprehend and produce in year one, something extremely rare and valuable in the NFL. 4. CB Richard Marshall. This kid is the CB most likely to start and be effective in Year One in the entire draft. Michael Huff is more gifted, but hasnĂ˘â‚¬â„˘t played CB in two years. Tye Hill is smaller and has poor ball skills. Cromartie only played one year and is coming off an injury. Marshall has excellent ball skills, and played in a defensive scheme where he matched up one-on-one in man coverage against the opponentĂ˘â‚¬â„˘s top WR every week, and usually shut them down, except for Demetrius Williams. 5. RB Maurice Drew. Kevin Faulk is getting older and is injury prone, and the Pats have no effective Punt returner. Drew solves these 3rd down back/PR issues. His massive thighs, patient style, and blazing speed (4.39) suggest there is a chance he could become an every down RB. I believe that chance is very good, which would make him the steal of the draft. 6. ILB Daryl Tapp. I see Tapp as an interesting candidate for conversion to 3-4 ILB. He has the size, toughness, and bull dog mentality to pull it off. I think the Pats should maneuver in the draft to acquire as many of the above 6 players as possible. An ideal draft would be taking Lawson or Kiwanuka in rd 1, Marshall in Rd 2, and Stovall and Drew in Rd 3, although I doubt all will be available at the Pats slots. Another possibility would be trading out of Rd 1 into the top of Rd 2, acquiring in the process an additional high 3rd rd pick, and then taking Marshall and Stovall in rd 2 and Drew and Tapp at the top of rd 3, using the later 3rd round pick (#86) to manuever up as necessary by trade. If Kiwanuka and Lawson are already gone in rd 1 earlier than the Pats are willing to trade up for them, and the Pats therefore can't get one of the draft's elite pass rushers, then I believe the Pats should trade down in the draft and possibly out of the 1st rd altogether.