Round 1A (24) - Patrick Willis LB 6-1, 240 Willis is probably the top middle linebacker in the 2007 draft. He has good closing burst and looks like a sideline to sideline linebacker. And he showed off those skills in the Senior Bowl. The Patriots inside linebacker situation has been deteriorating over the years. First with the retirement of Ted Johnson and now with the decline of Tedy Bruschi. The Patriots have avoided drafting linebackers high in the draft, preferring to plug in veterans, but now might be the best time to add new blood. If Willis is available at this pick I think this is a nobrainer for the Pats brain trust. http://football.about.com/od/nflplayerprofiles/p/patrickwillis.htm http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/profile.php?pyid=17257 Round 1B (28) - Robert Meachem WR 6-2, 210 The Patriots wideout situation is comprised almost entirely of overachieving ex-Florida Gators -- Jabar Gaffney, Reche Caldwell, Kelvin Kight, and rookie Chad Jackson. Chad Jackson may yet blossom with a full and healthy training camp under his belt but until he does so the Patriots wide receiver situation is very much in doubt and NFL defenses will continue to stack the box to stop the duo of Maroney and Dillon. Meachem has the size, speed, and attributes to be a true #1 wide receiver. However because the draft stock of other receivers such as Bowe and Rice have recently been on the rise it is likely that he manages to drop to the lower part of round 1 in good position for the Pats second 1st rounder. He might last into the top of the 2nd round but I would not risk letting Meachem slip further if he drops to #28. The Chargers and/or *gulp* the Colts will probably be more than happy to add a stud receiver to the stable. The Chargers notable shortcoming in their playoff loss to the Pats was drops/lack of production from their wideouts. And if the Colts get another Reggie Wayne type to add to that already unstoppable wideout corps I guess I should just get the noose ready. The point is that not only are the Patriots adding a stud #1 type wide receiver to remedy their weakness but they are also taking that guy away from direct competitors for the crown next year. http://www.footballsfuture.com/2007/prospects/robert_meachem.html http://www.nfldraftdirt.com/2007/un...eachem-to-declare-for-2007-nfl-draft/#more-61 http://proxy.espn.go.com/chat/mailbagESPN?event_id=14354 Round 2 (60) - Chris Houston CB 5-11, 185 The Patriots contract impasse with Asante Samuel is well documented. Thus it behooves the Pats to get a backup plan in place. I am sure they will add a free agent to the mix at cornerback but homegrown talent will usually yield the best performance for the buck if the young player comes through. What is notable about Chris Houston are not his measureables which are good, but the level of competition he has played against and shut down. Notable amongst his victims are several 1st round quality wideouts such as Dwayne Jarrett and Robert Meachem. He is also reported to be an aggressive and physical corner with good jam skills. Those are all valuable attributes for a Patriots system corner. Yes I realized that I just recommended we draft Meachem above. I think this speaks more of Houston's skills then Meachem's talent level which is abundant. Getting a good CB like Houston into the mix is an insurance move that the Pats simply have to make because of the Asante situation. Houston's stock is on the rise however and a good combine showing could rocket him up the draft boards so I'm not sure if he will be there at the Pats pick in the second round. http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/profile.php?pyid=16872 http://www.rotoworld.com/content/features/column.aspx?sport=NFL&columnid=60&article=27697 http://www.hogwired.com/ViewArticle...19&DB_OEM_ID=6100&ATCLID=186515&Q_SEASON=2006 Round 3 (92) - John Wendling S 6-2, 225 This is my sleeper pick of the 1st day. John Wendling has outstanding physical attributes, speed, and athleticism. He has some flaws that should be correctable with proper coaching. He plays for a small school and quality of competition is a concern but you can't teach his natural speed, 4.38 40. He also has pretty good leadership qualities and intangibles that could make him a very good prospect. This is a guy that is flying under the radar now but his name might get a lot more publicity after the combine. The Patriots defense up the middle was exposed against the Colts. Adding a flexible and speedy safety that can keep up with receivers or come up to support the run will help alot against high octane offenses. Rodney Harrison has not been able to stay healthy lately and he isn't getting any younger. Now is a good time to get young blood with high upside to develop behind him. Wendling has experience playing both free saftey and strong safety so his flexibility is a plus and we all know how BB values multiple skills. He is also a senior so he should be more polished and ready than other underclassmen prospects. http://wyomingathletics.cstv.com/sports/m-footbl/mtt/wendling_john00.html http://www.nfldraftcountdown.com/scoutingreports/s/johnwendling.html I think that my 1st day mock draft filled most of the Patriots pressing needs and added talent at fairly reasonable points where they should go in the draft. Of course a lot changes after the combine and the pro days so it could definitely change in the future. If Wendling slips I think he would make an excellent early 2nd day pick. I also have my eye out for Zak DeOssie in the second day. Zak DeOssie not only has NFL bloodlines but he had personal ties to BB and was also a Patriots ballboy for 2 years in the past. He has very good size (6-4 245) to play the ILB position and was a leader of the Brown's defense. It has also been rumored that BB personally went down to Brown's practices to scout Zak. So that is certainly a prospect to look out for on the Patriots draft day. http://www.boston.com/sports/colleg...15/zak_deossie_making_a_case_for_his_defense/ http://www.nfldraftscout.com/ratings/profile.php?pyid=22097 Hope you had fun reading my mock and the links to information about the prospects. It was quite a bit of work digging them all up! Any friendly suggestions or criticism are welcome.