|Connelly’s Top Ten: Down Draft||Mike Napoli Should be on the Trade Block||NHL Draft Day Dust has Settled, Now the Bruins Need a Winger||Day One of Draft Shows Major Changes for Bruins|
Here are my predictions for each of the Patriots eight picks this weekend. As a reminder, no projected trades will be considered. The following is a mock assuming the Patriots don’t trade any of their picks (they will).
Easley is a boom-or-bust three-technique tackle from Florida. He suffered a torn-ACL last season, but without the medical issues it’s likely he would be talked about as a top 15 pick. Easley has the potential to become a dominant inside pass-rusher, which is something the Patriots sorely need.
The Patriots will be hoping that Richburg is around when they pick at #62. Richburg will bring versatility similar to Dan Connolly, but has the potential to be a much better player. He could be expected to start Week 1.
Fiedorowicz is an old-school tight end who could be a Patriot for a long time. He’ll be able to fill in for Gronkowski to start the season if needed. Once Gronkowski is back, the two will form an imposing pair along the line-of-scrimmage.
With Ryan Mallett likely gone after this season, the Patriots will be looking to develop another quarterback this season. Murray would be a steal in the fourth round, and could become a solid pro in time.
Johnson could replace the big-play ability left behind by LeGarrette Blount. With no running backs under contract after this season, we’ll likely see the Patriots look to draft at least one this weekend.
Bailey projects as a strong safety in the NFL. The Patriots could use Bailey on special teams this season and look to develop him on defense long-term.
Abbrederis is a prototypical Patriot. He can play both inside and outside, and is an exceptional route runner. He doesn’t have much big-play ability, but he is a tremendous zone-buster who would fit perfectly in the Patriots offense.
A big, 6’4″ 275 lb defensive end out of Stanford, Gardner is a good Patriot fit. He was a Cardinal team captain, and has an incredible motor. I think Gardner would be a teal in the 7th.