|What They’re Saying||04.13.10 at 12:56 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 a week until next Thursday’s NFL Draft, trying to stop mocks from being produced at an incredible rate is like trying to silence Michael McDonald in the chorus of a Steely Dan song — you can’t do it. Here’s what some of the big guns in the draft world are saying about who could be in New England next week.
Don Banks of Sports Illustrated has his most recent mock draft sending Texas outside linebacker Sergio Kindle to the Patriots with the 22nd overall pick. Banks describes Kindle as “a 3-4 outside linebacker prospect who plays in the other team’s backfield.”
The minds over at ESPN are once again disagreeing regarding the Patriots’ pick. Mel Kiper likes Kindle while Todd McShay has the Pats grabbing USC outside linebacker Everson Griffen. Kiper writes that Kindle is the “best stack-and-shed outside ‘backer in this class.” He also calls Kindle “just a decent-to-good pass-rusher, but any Patriots fan realizes that Bill Belichick doesn’t just want a player for one specific role. Versatility and ranginess are important, and Kindle fits the profile.”
Meanwhile, McShay defends his pick pf Griffen because “the Patriots’ primary needs on defense are pass-rush ability and size to defend the run and Griffen offers plenty in both of those areas.”
The four draft guys at CBS Sports have all updated their mock drafts since last week. Rob Rang, who had a new one out on Monday, has Penn State defensive tackle Jared Odrick going at No. 22. “The long-term contract for Vince Wilfork solved one problem,” writes Rang, “but the Patriots suffered last year without Richard Seymour.” Rang has the Patriots grabbing Golden Tate, Tim Tebow, and Arizona tight end Rob Gronkowski in the second round.
Chad Reuter has a couple of the same guys going to the Patriots as Rang, but in a different order. For starters, he sees Michigan outside linebacker Brandon Graham as the pick in the first round. Reuter sends Gronkowski, Tate, and Arkansas St. defensive end Alex Carrington to the Patriots in the second round.
Clark Judge also likes Graham for the Patriots, writing that “with Adalius Thomas in Bill Belichick’s doghouse he’s the right guy in the right place.”
Finally, Pete Prisco sees the Patriots taking Gronkowski with the 22nd pick despite his back issues (a defendable pick if Odrick and some of the pass rushers are gone — I believe he’s the top tight end in the draft though it wouldn’t be surprising if some NFL teams disagree). Prisco believes Gronkowski would be a “perfect fit for the New England offense.”
For a bigger look at tons of NFL mock drafts, head over the the mock draft database at DC Pro Sports Report.
We have documented the uncertainty regarding who might be the third, fourth, fifth, etc. cornerbacks after Florida’s Joe Haden and Boise State’s Kyle Wilson. Rutgers’ Devin McCourty has been the popular choice for the third corner back for some time now, but don’t be surprised if Alabama’s Kareem Jackson rains on his parade.
The 5-foot-10, 196-pound Jackson is expected to be able to contribute right away in the NFL, as he started at Alabama for three years. Scott Wright of Draft Countdown writes that Jackson “isn’t flashy but [is] a solid all-around player with the ability to win a starting job in the NFL.” The Jets, who pick 29th in the first round, are among the teams he has visited. Given his experience and timed speed (4.41 40-yard dash), Jackson could very well be taken in the first round and quite possibly ahead of McCourty.
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