NFL Draft’s Most Intriguing Team: New England Patriots

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The lockout has already had an impact on this year’s NFL Draft. Unless it gets resolved by a week from Thursday, this season means teams can only trade draft picks for picks, not picks for players. Which is especially interesting for the New England Patriots, the team that goes out of their EVERY season to trade down and acquire more picks.

Every year, they’re a fun team to watch on draft day. In 2011, even more so, because they amazing have three picks in the top 33!

By Paul M. Banks

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And even though they had the league’s best regular season record, they still have a ton of needs (as that first round upset to the New York Jets taught us). First and foremost are  3-4 DL, 3-4 LB, a vertical threat at WR, OT, and maybe another running back.

And I’ve predicted what they’ll do here. (except trade wise, I don’t do trade predictions in my mock drafts).

So let’s celebrate Patriot’s Day, a civic holiday commemorating the anniversary of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the first battles of the American Revolution.Observances and re-enactments of these first battles of the American Revolution occur annually at Lexington Green in Lexington, Massachusetts, and The Old North Bridge in Concord, Massachusetts.

17. New England (From Oakland) Adrian Clayborn, DE, Iowa

NFL teams are more careful than ever in this era of Roger Goodell’s attempts at legislating morality. Because there are no doubts about Clayborn’s ability on the field. The All-American Honorable Mention had 11.5 sacks last year, and took home the Orange Bowl MVP and National Defensive Performer of the Year Awards.

But a racially-charged incident with an Iowa City cab driver has put his character, and therefore his NFL Draft Stock, into question. After reading this interview/article, any concerns of this sort will be alleviated.

“I would not rather put it all out there. But there were words exchanged that somebody shouldn’t say,” he responded.

Clayborn (who in this incident, was basically the anti-Patrick Kane) has put that situation behind him, as well as his decision to put the NFL off another year.

“I think I made the right decision. Can’t go back on it now, so why think about it?” He said.

The former Missouri state high school player of the year, who finds himself everybody’s preseason All-American, as well as on the watch lists for the Lott, Lombardi, and Hendricks awards, didn’t even put in the paperwork for the NFL draft last spring. But he did take out the NCAA insurance policy protecting his potential future earnings from the catastrophe of a career ending injury.

For an exclusive interview/profile of Clayborn go here and here

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28. New England Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama

It was a shame that ’06 first round pick, Laurence Maroney, out of Minnesota, didn’t pan out. Early in his career, he truly showed flashes of being their legit replacement for Corey Dillon. However, the tandem of Law Firm/Boston Legal and Woodhead have given the Pats the best ground game they’ve had since Dillon left football. Therefore, the Pats will consider tailback with their second first round pick.

For an feature profile/exclusive interview of Ingram go here

NE draft possibilities: 3-4 DE, 3-4 LB, WR, OT, trading down and acquiring more picks (oh, wait- that’s a certainty)

ROUND TWO PICKS

1. New England Patriots (from Car) Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami

Hankerson had a monster Senior Bowl week to propel himself up this far. Pats seriously need more receivers who can get vertical and stretch opposing defenses. Wes Welker just wasn’t the same since without Moss complementing him. Both when Moss was there and after he left, in 2011.

28. New England Patriots Allen Bailey, DE, Miami

How many freaking picks in the first two rounds do they have? How can they not win the Super Bowl when you take a 14-2 team and give them 4 picks in the first two rounds?

ROUND THREE PICKS

10. New England, Marcus Gilbert, OT, Florida

His footwork, strength and size on the edge should allow him to succeed, and let scouts see him as a very capable starter at the next level.

28. New England, Casey Matthews, LB, Oregon

You’ve heard of him??!!! Of course, you have. He comes from that ridiculously talented family with four generations of NFL blood, and he was the anchor of that tenacious defense which took the Ducks to within a play of the national title.

For round one of my NFL mock draft go here

Go here to check that out.

For round three go here

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook

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  1. bob spirt says:

    go pats

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