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What they’re saying

02.16.10 at 12:59 am ET
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WEEI.com isn’t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to on-location coverage of the scouting combine, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24. Before our first mock draft drops on Wednesday, let’s take a look at what draftniks around the web are saying about the Patriots.

Might Penn State's Jared Odrick be on the Pats' line next season? (AP)

CBS Sportsline/NFL Draft Scout‘s Rob Rang has the Patriots preparing for life without Vince Wilfork by taking Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick at No. 22. FootballsFuture.com’s Robert Davis agrees with Rang, adding that “upgrading the front seven is a must” for the Patriots.

Rang’s colleague Chad Reuter, follows history by projecting the Patriots take Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham. Rueter elaborates by adding that the Patriots could also take a look at Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski, which would seem to make more sense than Gresham considering he likely wouldn’t cost them a first-round pick.

WalterFootball.com thinks similarly to Reuter, listing Gresham as a possibility in the first round along with Texas Christian DE/OLB Jerry Hughes. Frank Coyle of DraftInsiders.com also views Hughes as a fit for the Patriots at No. 22, while Draft Zoo rounds out the trio of sites that feel Bill Belichick will be drawn to the sackmaster.

Todd McShay’s most recent mock draft has the Patriots taking undersized-but-driven end Brandon Graham out of Michigan and sticking him at outside linebacker. McShay describes Graham’s work ethic as being “in Bill Belichick’s wheelhouse.” Matt Falk at Draft Season also projects Graham to New England, pointing out that “nobody has seen themselves rise as much as Graham lately.” DraftTek.com analyst Joe Mays also views Graham as pass-rushing outside linebacker for the Patriots and Sideline Scouting agrees.

The gifted minds at DraftEmpire.com like Clemson pass-rusher Ricky Sapp over Graham for the Patriots based on size and speed. Mel Kiper also likes Sapp for the Patriots, citing his versatility in the 3-4.

Ben Standig at FFToolBox.com has the Patriots taking a chance on talented-but-troubled Texas pass-rusher Sergio Kingle. Standig notes Kindle is a Top 10 talent whose place in the first round will suffer due to behavioral issues.

Might the Patriots wait for the second round to address the defense? If they do, Jahvid Best could be an option at running back (AP).

Might the Patriots wait for the second round to address the defense? If they do, Jahvid Best could be an option at running back (AP).

Despite gaping holes in the defense, Draft King projects the Patriots to attempt to solve their problem at running back by tabbing California’s Jahvid Best. Laurence Maroney’s lack of star-power and Kevin Faulk’s potential departure are mentioned as justification for the pick.

Easy folks … Scott Wright at DraftCountdown.com has the Patriots taking Tim Tebow in April and figuring out what to do with him later. Wright describes Tebow as being “2-3 years away from being able to run an NFL offense” but also notes “crazier things have happened on Draft Day.” Not sure that such crazy things have happened under Bill Belichick’s watch.

Ourlads.com projects the Patriots to take the versatile linebacker Sean Witherspoon, citing the Missouri product’s ability to be of use both outside and inside.

Should the Patriots decide they can afford to spend their first-rounder on somebody to team with Jerod Mayo inside, Brandon Spikes may be the guy, according to Saturday2Sundays.com. Cecil Lammey of the Draft Guys calls Spikes “an aggressive head hunter that will bring more attitude” to the Patriots.

STOCK WATCH

Gerogia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan — who climbed prognosticators’ draft boards throughout 2009 — has predictably slipped as the combine grows nearer. Reportedly, Morgan is a hard worker, but his lack of pure athleticism will hurt him in the eyes of scouts. Viewed at times during the regular season as a potential Top 3 pick, he is now seen as a mid-first-round prospect by many, including FFToolBox.com’s Joel Welser, who has him falling to the Titans at 16th overall. Morgan may be viewed as just another 4-3 end in a draft that is loaded at the position. Top 10 teams that run a 4-3 have bigger needs, and the 3-4 teams in need won’t see him as a fit at end or linebacker, thus significantly cutting down the list of teams who might go after him.
Read More: 2010 NFL Draft, Brandon Graham, Ricky Sapp, Tim Tebow Print  |  Bark It Up!  |  Digg It
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