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Heading into January, the Patriots are poised to make a deep run into the playoffs. However, with the end of the season on the horizon, the NFL Draft is beginning to come into conversation. One of the more pressing issues as of right now is the current CBA agreement. If a deal is not made, the 2011 players drafted will not receive a salary for the season. This may make some underclassmen reconsider whether or not to declare for the draft.
One player that is monitoring the situation is Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. Seth Emerson, of macon.com, spoke with Green about his potential decision.
“That’s really gonna play a big part in my decision,” Green said. “Because if they’re talking about a lockout, there’s really no point in me leaving.”
For the time being, everything stands like it has in the past. With that said, let’s look at who we have the Patriots selecting in April.
Thus far in the 2010 season, the Patriots have had success with the running back duo of BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. However, moving forward, the Patriots are going to need a back that can carry the ball 18-24 times a game.
Devin McCourtey looks like the real deal and Leigh Bodden will be back after spending 2010 on IR. But, outside of those two, the depth at the cornerback position is slim. Kyle Arrington has exceeded expectations, but you don’t want to have to rely on him week in and week out. Jonathan Wilhite and Darius Butler haven’t fit the bill and look replaceable.
Ty Warren has had a hard time staying healthy over the last few years and the ceiling for Mike Wright isn’t too high. The Patriots need some young speed off the edge. Adding a pass rusher like Cameron Jordan allows Jermaine Cunningham and Tully Banta-Cain to generate pressure from the outside linebacker positions.
After losing Randy Moss, the Patriots haven’t had that “big” down field wide receiver. While Deion Branch and Wes Welker are great possession receivers, Leonard Hankerson and his 6’3” 205 pound frame is the guy the Patriots need. With poor quarterback play at Miami, Hankerson still had more than 10 touchdown receptions and 1,000 plus receiving yards. Still, the Patriots might like what they see with 2010 third round pick Taylor Price, who has yet to play in a game this season.
Matt Light isn’t getting any younger. With Sebastian Vollmer manning the right side of the line, the Patriots will look to ensure the left side. Although underrated, Gilbert has had a stellar career at Florida and we all know how Bill Belichick loves Urban Meyer’s Florida players.
Behind Dan Koppen there really isn’t a efficient center. O’Dowd may be the top ranked center in the 2010 NFL Draft class.
Pat Delvin has a big-time arm and is a good developmental prospect that can sit behind and wait 3-4 years.
Quinton Carter possesses great size with a hard-hitting nature. Off the field, Carter is often seen giving back to the community. He’s a great guy and good football player.
One time considered a first round pick, Matthews fell off this season. Still, because of his “vitals” he should get a look by a team late. The Patriots are always looking to upgrade their defense, and when playing up to his ability Matthews is a steal at this point.