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Patriots 2011 Draft Report: Draft Order Partially Determined

2010 First Round Pick Devin McCourty and Owner Robert Kraft. (Photo by Associated Press)

With the playoffs around the corner, the 2011 NFL Draft has been set for the teams not playing in the postseason. For the first time since 2008, and just for the third time under Coach Bill Belichick, the Patriots will hold a pick in the top 20.

The Patriots have the rights to the Oakland Raiders’ first round selection due to the Richard Seymour trade two seasons ago. The Raiders finished the 2010 season at 8-8, their highest win total since 2002, including an undefeated record (6-0) against AFC West opponents. The eight wins were good enough to give the Raiders the 17th pick in the 2011 draft.

Although initially many thought this pick would have net New England a top 10 selection, the Patriots are now in great position to either grab a rookie at a decent price, or trade the selection for future draft choices.

Any time you have a mid-round draft choice, there will be top tier talent available. The Patriots may look to add a skill position player as Alabama’s running back Mark Ingram may be available. Wide receivers Julio Jones or Justin Blackman could drop and then you have a few wildcards.

Perhaps the Patriots look at the quarterback position and draft a developmental guy like Jake Locker or Cam Newton to learn behind Tom Brady. Perhaps a guy like Adrian Clayborn falls into the Patriots lap. Perhaps the Patriots pick the best available player in their eyes and “reach” for a Ras-I-Dowling or DeMarco Murray.

Nobody knows what New England will do, but we have a few months to speculate. Nonetheless, the Patriots are sitting pretty for the April draft.

Along with the 17th selection from Oakland, the Patriots will also have the 33rd pick, which is virtually as good as a first round selection, from the Carolina Panthers and the 74th choice via the Randy Moss deal to the Minnesota Vikings.

Here’s the first round draft order.

1. Carolina Panthers
2. Denver Broncos
3. Buffalo Bills
4. Cincinnati Bengals
5. Arizona Cardinals
6. Cleveland Browns
7. San Francisco 49ers
8. Tennessee Titans
9. Dallas Cowboys
10. Washington Redskins
11. Houston Texans
12. Minnesota Vikings
13. Detroit Lions
14. St. Louis Rams
15. Miami Dolphins
16. Jacksonville Jaguars
17. Oakland Raiders
18. San Diego Chargers
19. New York Giants
20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
21. Seattle Seahawks*
22. Kansas City Chiefs*
23. Indianapolis Colts*
24. Philadelphia Eagles*
25. Green Bay Packers*
26. New Orleans Saints*
27. Chicago Bears*
28. New York Jets*
29. Baltimore Ravens*
30. Pittsburgh Steelers*
31. Atlanta Falcons*
32. New England Patriots*
*- Subject to Playoffs

The Patriots picks are as follows. New England has nine total selections. The actual order where the Patriots are picking is subject to change due to their performance in the playoffs.

1st Round – 17 (OAK – Richard Seymour)
1st Round – 32*
2nd Round – 33 (CAR – 2010 3rd Round)
2nd Round – 64*
3rd Round – 74 (MIN – Randy Moss)
3rd Round – 96*
4th Round
5th Round
6th Round (NO – David Thomas)

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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