|Five names to keep an eye on at No. 33||04.29.11 at 9:33 am ET|
With the Patriots holding three picks in the second round (Nos. 33, 56 and 60) and two more in the third (Nos. 60 and 74), the Patriots have plenty of options on Friday. They’ll kick things off with the first pick of the second round, though Bill Belichick showed everyone Thursday that you can never count out the possibility of a trade.
This is an interesting situation for the Patriots. Generally a top pick in the second round can be flipped for a future first. With the Pats already possessing two first-rounders in 2012, would they actually consider going for another?
Assuming the Pats don’t move, here’s a quick look at names to consider with the 33rd pick.
Da’Quan Bowers, DE, Clemson
Bowers was the first overall pick in many early mock drafts, including ours, but knee issues have hurt his stock. Even if he’s healthy, he would not be a fit on the Patriots line given that he measures in at under 6-foot-4 and 280 pounds. He was a bit of a one-year wonder, but his one year (this past season) featured 15.5 sacks. He is one of the most talented pass-rushers in this draft, but system-wise is not a fit unless that Pats feel he can play outside linebacker.
Brooks Reed, DE, Arizona
Reed is a bit more logical of a choice than Bowers when it comes to the Patriots. He may not have as much upside, but he is a better fit as an outside linebacker in their scheme. His height (6-foot-2 4/8) might scare the Patriots away. Reed, 24, had seven sacks in his senior year.
As for a history lesson, the Patriots did a pretty good job in taking an undersized Arizona defensive end back in 1996 with Tedy Bruschi.
Brandon Harris, CB, Miami
The Patriots have spent a pick in the first two rounds on a cornerback in each of the last three years. Two of them (Devin McCourty and Darius Butler) are still with the team, while they ended the Terrence Wheatley era early. At 5-foot-9 and 193 pounds, Harris has the prototypical size of a Pats corner. Harris came out after his junior year, but given that he was a three-year starter, there are not experience issues.
“Every year my confidence rose,” he said at the combine. “I’m at the point right now that my confidence is so high and I believe in myself a ton.”
Torrey Smith, WR, Maryland
Smith is a major risk/reward pick. He could be great downfield threat or he could be the next Darrius Heyward-Bey. While Smith’s speed has led to comparisons to his former Maryland teammate, he doesn’t want anyone getting him confused with the former Raiders first-rounder.
“I feel like it’s ignorant for people to compare two completely different people,” he said at the combine. “Just because we went to the same school doesn’t mean anything. If he didn’t go to Maryland or I didn’t go to Maryland, we wouldn’t be having this conversation. At the end of the day, we’re two completely different people. I went on a completely different path than he did.”
Smith had 1,055 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns as a junior.
Ryan Williams, RB, Virginia Tech
Williams is another one-year wonder, and though he may be one of the more overrated players in the entire draft, he could be an option if the Pats decide to go with a running back. A sophomore, Williams has less mileage than the other backs in this draft, though he followed his 1,655-yard freshman year with an unproductive 477-yard sophomore campaign that was slowed by injury and decreased carries.
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