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Patriots 2011 Draft Report: Mock Draft (March 8)

Iowa DE Adrian Clayborn could help aid the Patriots defensive front. (Photo By Getty Images, Christian Petersen)

There isn’t a team that is in better position in terms of draft picks then the New England Patriots. The Patriots have nine total selections, including six out of the first 100.

Although it’s likely that the Patriots will trade some of their picks, we’re going to take out the trade possibility in our mock because it’s nearly impossible to predict.

Previous Mock Drafts: Dec. 22

Round 1: Pick 17, via Oakland Raiders

Nate Solder, OT, Colorado

While Solder isn’t the flashy pick he does fill a huge need for the Patriots on the edge. Protecting Tom Brady’s blind side is one of the most important responsibilties out of any of the duties on the football field. With Matt Light’s contract situation and age, the Patriots should look to add a replacement — whether if that’s for 2011 or 2012.

Standing at 6’8”, Solder looks like a man against boys. Solder’s build is similar to that of Sebastian Vollmer, expect Solder is more lean. With the success of Vollmer, the Patriots shouldn’t be hesitant to draft Solder because of his size. While some look at his height as a liability, Solder’s nimble feet and technique allows him stay low to the ground and handle defenders.

Round 1: Pick 28

Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

A year ago Clayborn was considered one of the best players in the country. If he would have declared for the 2010 draft, Clayborn would have been drafted in the top 10. However, Clayborn had a down 2010 season, recording just 3.5 sacks in 2010, eight down from the prior year.

With all that said, Clayborn still has potential and the skill-set to be an elite defensive end in the NFL. A key component for a defensive end is his motor, and that is perhaps Clayborn’s biggest strength. For the Patriots, the defensive line hasn’t had a game-changing presence off the edge since Richard Seymour.

Clayborn would provide that.

Round 2: Pick 1, via Carolina Panthers

Jordan Todman, RB, Connecticut

Over the last two seasons, you would be hard pressed to find another running back in the NCAA that has been more productive than Todman. The UConn star rushed for 2,910 yards and 28 touchdowns over the last two seasons, filling in nicely for Donald Brown. At 5’8″, Todman’s speed and elusiveness makes up for his small stature.

Todman’s hands out of the backfield and open-field speed is appealing to all 32 NFL teams. Despite great seasons by Benjarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead, the Patriots need a running back that can carry the load and take some pressure off of Brady. Last season, Todman had 20 or more carries in 10 of the 12 games.

Round 2: Pick 28

Johnny Patrick, CB, Louisville

Patrick may be on of the most underrated players in the entire draft. Patrick had a run-in with the law in July 2010, but he seems to have learned from that mistake.

Patrick possess a nice combination of speed and size, but it is his style of play that has marveled some scouts. Patrick plays mean, simply put. He plays like the next snap will be his last. Patrick’s aggression plus ball-hawking skills makes the Louisville product intimidating for receivers.

With the only reliable corners being Devin McCourtey and Leigh Bodden, the Patriots need to find a reliable nickel corner.

Round 3: Pick 10, via Minnesota Vikings

Greg Romeus, OLB, Pittsburgh

The converted basketball player, Romeus, sat out the majority of the 2010 season with a knee injury. However, the production and potential is there. In 2009, Romeus recorded 8.5 sacks and was considered one of the up-and-comers at defensive end.

With his size and speed, Romeus could be an asset in a 3-4 defense. The Patriots seem to love 2010 rookie Jermaine Cunningham, and still get solid production from Tully Banta-Cain, but there is still a need for a more consistent pass rush.

Round 3: Pick 28

Dwayne Harris, WR, East Carolina

Although the Patriots have a plethora of talent offensively, they are still lacking a deep threat. Harris’ precise route running ability and ability to get open downfield should make him an appealing option at this point in the draft.

The wide receiver need really boils down to what the staff thinks of both Brandon Tate and Taylor Price. If they see something, there really isn’t a need. But, on the contrary, wide receiver could be high on the Patriots’ list.

Rounds 4-6:

  • Round 4: Pick 28: James Carpenter, OG, Alabama
  • Round 5: Pick 28: Ryan Colburn, QB, Fresno State
  • Round 6: Pick 28: Joseph Barksdale, OT, LSU

Follow me on Twitter: @M_Marcantonio

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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Discussion

One comment for “Patriots 2011 Draft Report: Mock Draft (March 8)”

  1. As a North Carolinian; I LOVE the Dwayne Harris pick.

    Posted by Colin | April 19, 2011, 11:55 pm

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