What they’re saying
|03.16.10 at 12:24 am ET|
WEEI.com isn’t batting an eye when it comes to the 2010 NFL Draft. From interviews with experts to original mock drafts to weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.
With just over five weeks until the first names are called at the NFL draft, mocks are running rampant, including a bunch from this past week. Here are what the most recent mock drafts are saying about the Patriots and what they might do with pick No. 22.
Scott Wright at DraftCountdown.com updated his mock on Monday and has the Patriots making what I presume to be their dream pick by landing Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick. Wright notes Odrick didn’t play end in college, but many figure he will be best suited as a five-technique in the Patriots’ 3-4 scheme.
Derek Peiffer of NFLSpinZone.com also has the Patriots taking Odrick, saying that in addition to losing Richard Seymour and Jarvis Green, “Odrick provides the size and speed needed for the 3-4 defensive end position.” DKDraft agrees with Wright and Peiffer, saying that “Odrick has top 15 talent” but also makes reference to his 2009 arrest for disorderly conduct.
One of the few mock drafts that has the Patriots going with offense comes from Mike O’Regan of DraftEmpire.com. With Odrick off the board and in an attempt to avoid reaching for defense, O’Regan has the Patriots selecting Illinois receiver Arrelious Benn. The junior, who came out a year early due to the fact that staying would have meant a third offensive coordinator in three years, would likely compete with Brandon Tate to be Tom Brady’s third receiver.
Draft Breakdown also has the Patriots selecting a different wide receiver, with Paul Sawnson projecting Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant at No. 22. Bryant missed nearly all of his junior season for lying to the NCAA about his relationship with Deion Sanders, but Swanson writes that “you cant pass up on top 10 talent with pick 22.”
ESPN draft minds Mel Kiper, Jr. and Todd McShay each unveiled new mock drafts on Thursday, and both of them had the Patriots selecting Michigan defensive end Brandon Graham. McShay wrote that “Graham has been impressive during the pre-draft process and has the burst, tenacity and consistency to make an immediate impact.”
We took a closer look at Graham, who would play outside linebacker with the Patriots, last week. For the closeup on Graham, click here.
Inside the Eagles has Florida defensive end Carlos Dunlap coming off the board with the 22nd pick. The character concerns are there for Dunlap, but so is the raw talent and Meyer connection.
Finally, Nik Edlund of Draft Season has the Pats nabbing Texas pass-rusher Sergio Kindle. “The Patriots defense was a weakness all year,” writes Edlund. “They need to get younger at OLB, and Kindle’s combination of size and speed would be a welcome addition to this aging defense.”
Speaking of the Meyer connection, many have been surprised to see a center in recent mock drafts, but Maurkice Pouncey seems to have sealed himself as one of the draft’s top non-tackle-playing offensive linemen in this draft class.
Pouncey measured in at 6-foot-4 4/8 and 304 pounds at last month’s NFL combine and has experience at both right guard and center in his three years as a starter at Florida. Prior to the combine former Browns scout Daniel Jeremiah, who often has a unique perspective on players prior to the draft, said via Twitter that two scouts he has spoken to prefer Pouncey to former California center Alex Mack, who went 21st overall last year to the Browns.