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What They’re Saying

03.23.10 at 12:46 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 weekly looks at potential Patriots, this is the place to be leading up to draft weekend, April 22-24.

Another week this time of year means another batch of mock drafts, fresh from the fingertips of draft enthusiasts across the Web. The Patriots have been projected the same handful of players to this point, but this week we find some new names mixed in with the usual suspects.

With the 22nd pick, NEPatriotsDraft likes Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick for the Patriots. The website explains that Odrick “still gets after the QB while staying stout against the run.”

Following up on our recent look at Odrick, Kevin Weidl of ESPN Scouts, Inc. lists the Nittany Lion as the biggest riser of late based on his Pro Day performance.

Chad Reuter of CBS Sports has the Patriots adding to their skeletal tight end arsenal by going after Oklahoma’s Jermaine Gresham. Reuter uses the first-round selections of Daniel Graham and Benjamin Watson as rationale.

Al Fronczak  of East Coast Sports News sees the Patriots grabbing Michigan DE/OLB Brandon Graham, adding that “Defense, defense, and more defense is the outlook for the Patriots’ draft.” NewNFLDraft.com is in the same boat, citing Graham’s motor as a reason for the Patriots to take the Michigan sack master.

A very intriguing Patriots target is brought up in Charlie Campbell’s mock from Pewter Report. Campbell projects that the Patriots will “try to straighten out another problem child wide receiver” by selecting Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant. The junior was handed a season-ending suspension for lying to the NCAA about meetings with Deion Sanders.

Josh Levin-Scherz of Draft Empire projects Texas pass-rusher Sergio Kindle to the Patriots, saying that the Longhorn “could provide a boost for New England’€™s anemic pass rush.”

Pro Football Talk has the Patriots going after a receiver in the first round, but it isn’t Bryant or Illinois’ Arrelious Benn. Instead, it is Georgia Tech’s Demaryius Thomas, with Evan Silva explaining that “Thomas’ sub-4.4 speed and ability to stretch the field may prove too tempting for Bill Belichick & Co” in Randy Moss‘ contract year.

STOCK WATCH

Trying to rank the cornerbacks in this year’s draft is extremely difficult because of how many players at the position could have a late-first-to-early-second grade. Among those a a few weeks was Florida State’s Patrick Robinson ‘€” who, in addition to being a heck of a story, could be a heck of a problem for opposing quarterbacks. After his Pro Day, he just may have given himself the nudge he needed to be a surefire first-round pick.

Robinson, who overcame a bad ankle in a 2009 season during which he established himself as one of the country’s top cover corners, didn’t wow anybody at the combine. His 4.46 40 time was marginal for someone of his size (5-foot-11 1/4). However, the 4.38 he ran recently at his Pro Day is more what scouts were looking for. Robinson is far from flashy and might not rack up a ton of picks (he had just one in his final two seasons combined after having six as a sophomore), but his ability to stick with receivers, which is supported now with a sub-4.4, is what teams will covet.

Robinson is a different case than perhaps anyone in this draft. He has had to overcome a lot ‘€” he was arrested prior to attending FSU for a prank gone wrong with his friends ‘€” but character issues haven’t come up in the news with Robinson since he established himself in the NCAA. He has a very bad speech impediment that can be nearly entirely vocally crippling, yet his confidence in spite of the unfortunate stutter is admirable. Every draft has a few guys that deserve a round of applause that lasts outside the Radio City Music Hall when their names are called. Robinson is one of those players this year, and if his private workouts go as well as his Pro Day did, he may hear his name called a lot sooner.

Read More: 2010 NFL Draft, Brendan Graham, Dez Bryant, Jared Odrick
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