2011 Mock Draft Recap

With the NFL Draft just two months away, we, at Foxboro Blog, wanted to share with you guys what other experts think the Patriots will do with their two picks in the first round.  Here are some of the popular names out there:

NEPatriotsDraft.com

#17 – OLB Aldon Smith, Missouri

Their take: One of the best pure pass-rushers in the draft, but will need to improve against the run at this point of his career. He has the frame to do that and his errors are coachable. Smith would give the Patriots another young rush OLB opposite Jermaine Cunningham to wreak havoc with over the next decade.

My Take: Whenever I watched Smith at Missouri, he always made the big play in terms of getting after the quarterback. He had 4.5 sacks in 2010 and that was with missing three games. In Missouri’s biggest game of the year against #1 Oklahoma, Smith’s pressure got after Landry Jones, including a huge interception. He is comparable to a Kyle Vandenbosch type and can be impactful right away in the Patriots’ system.

#28 – OT Anthony Costonzo, Boston College

His Take: Costanzo is a great prospect that will bring some depth and new blood to their offensive line. Matt Light isn’t getting any younger and Castonzo can play both LT and RT, allowing the Patriots to decide where Sebastian Vollmer works best. Defensive end and the skills positions also need addressing as well.

My Take: I can’t see New England taking an offensive lineman this early in the draft unless Matt Light and Logan Mankins are not wearing Patriots’ uniforms come draft night. If that unfortunate event occurs, Costonzo has a football IQ that can step in right away and contribute similar to what Sebastian Vollmer did in 2009. He is a strong left tackle whose specialty is protecting the quarterback. That is perfect for Tom Brady.

 

 

WalterFootball.com

 

#17 – Corey Liuget, DT/DE, Illinois

Their Take: Bill Belichick will probably move down a couple of times, but I’m not going to predict any trades in this mock.  Even with Ty Warren due back next year, the Patriots still need help on their defensive line. It’s evident that they desperately need to upgrade their pass rush.

My Take: Corey Liuget was an unknown for me, but I have a friend that follows Illinois football. After watching clips of Liuget, he is a defensive end that can help the Pats draw pressure to the backfield. With Warren’s uncertainty, the Patriots can use more depth at the defensive line, but the former Illini would not be my favorite choice with this pic.

#28 – Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

Their Take: Do the Patriots need Mark Ingram? Absolutely not. But he’s the best available player and a major bargain with the 28th pick in the first round. It certainly wouldn’t hurt to pair him with BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead.

My Take: Yes, Ingram is not a need with this pick, but I would clap at this pick if the Patriots address defense at number 17. Last year, the Pats passed on wide receiver Dez Bryant. However, if Ingram is somehow available at 28, New England could use the power runner to complement BenJarvus Green-Ellis. This could also help Danny Woodhead ease to a 3rd down back role. Ingram shows up in big games (2009 National Championship, 2010 at Arkansas), and is a powerful back.

 

NewNFLDraft.com

#17 – JJ Watt, DE, Wisconsin

Their Take: The Patriots get a good defensive lineman to help their defense. I had them taking a RB in prior drafts but the way they do running back by committee it doesn’t make sense for them to take a RB this high in the 2011 NFL Draft. So I have them taking Watt who will be a good fit in their defensive line scheme.  

My Take: J.J Watt would not help New England in rushing the passer, but Watt does help on the defensive line. Watt played at Wisconsin and was a constant force in terms of stopping the run. If you put him with Vince Wilfork, the Patriots’ run defense has the potential to be a formidable wall that most opponents won’t be able to run through.

#28 – Mikel LeShore, RB, Illinois

Their Take: The Patriots get a good defensive lineman to help their defense. I had them taking a RB in prior drafts but the way they do running back by committee it doesn’t make sense for them to take a RB this high in the 2011 NFL Draft. So I have them taking Watt who will be a good fit in their defensive line scheme.

My Take: Mikel LeShoure is a versatile running back with both speed and power. He jumped on the scene in his senior season running for 1,700 yards and 17 touchdowns. He culminated his season by running for 187 yards and 3 TD’s in a 38-14 Texas Bowl victory. With his versatility, LeShoure can develop into a great back similar to another former llini in Rashard Mendenhall. This would be another good pick for the Patriots.

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson is the founder of the Bloguin Network and has been a Patriots fan for more than 20 years.

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