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NFL draft: What to expect for Day 2

04.29.11 at 2:33 pm ET
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Day 1 of the NFL draft has come and gone, and day two looms just a few hours away. The Patriots, who grabbed Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder with the 17th pick and exchanged the 28th with the Saints for a second-rounder (56 overall) and a 2012 first-rounder, now have three second-round selections ‘€“ including the first pick on Friday.

After satisfying the need for an impact offensive lineman, there still stands the question about a pass rusher. With perspective players like Robert Quinn and Cameron Jordan long gone, who do the Pats go with today? Is the need great enough to grab a player like Clemson’€™s Da’€™Quan Bowers, whose stock has been in a free fall for the past several weeks? Sites around the web weigh in on what could shape up for New England on day two.

SBnation.com’€™s day two analysis begins with the Pats selecting North Carolina’€™s Greg Little, a speedy wideout that has impressed NFL scouts lately. However, the consensus is that New England will trade out of the 33rd pick in favor of moving down to later rounds, and helping the already thin situation out in next year’€™s draft. After swapping picks with the Saints, the Pats now have two first-round picks in 2012. You can be sure Bill Belichick will want to improve his leverage even more for next offseason. If that means moving out pick 33 while players like Akeem Ayers, Brooks Reed and Justin Houston are still available, then it comes down to a judgment call for Belichick.

With the 56th pick acquired from the Saints, SB Nation has the Patriots selecting defensive end Allen Bailey from Miami. Bailey fits into the athletic mold of the ‘€œdefensive end/outside linebacker’€ type. Apparently Belichick is confident that mid-second round talent will suffice in his overall defensive scheme, according to SB Nation.

If the Pats decide to go with a receiver at any point in the second round, there are certainly a slew of names to draw from. Aside from Little, Miami’€™s Leonard Hankerson, Boise State’€™s Titus Young and Austin Pettis, Troy’€™s Jerrel Jernigan, and Maryland’€™s Torrey Smith are all still waiting to hear their names called.

Pats Pulpit suggests that the Pats could consider taking Illinois running back Mikel Leshoure with a mid-round selection, since we know Mark Ingram was somewhat on their radar. Virginia Tech’€™s Ryan Williams could also prove to be a viable choice with the 60th pick should they choose to keep it.

A few other outside linebackers that Pats Pulpit suggests include Jabaal Sheard and Martez Wilson, both of who could make a splash instantly in the Patriots system. Sheard is a 6-foot-4, 260-pound linebacker from Pittsburgh, while Wilson is a 6-foot-4, 250-pound middleman from Illinois. But the only way Pats Pulpit writer Greg Knopping sees New England staying with the 33rd pick is if the team sees a prospect it particularly likes.

NFL.com senior analyst Pat Kirwan expects New England to trade out of pick No. 33 as well, but has the Pats grabbing Leshoure at No. 56 and Texas defensive lineman/linebacker Sam Acho with the 60th pick.

Acho played well in the senior bowl on the defensive line, recording a sack and disrupting other plays in the backfield. Listed at 6-foot-3, 260 pounds, Acho is an undersized man typically for Belichick’€™s liking, especially at the linebacker position. The Pats would have to really like what he brings to the organization as a prospect in order to go with the former Longhorn. But as we learned from last night, the unexpected has to at least be given a chance.

The Titans reached considerably with Jake Locker, and for Christian Ponder to go 12th to the Vikings either shows that they liked him a lot and feel he has great upside that can help the team, or that they panicked when three quarterbacks has disappeared off the board after the first 10 picks.

Expect more trading in the next few rounds tonight, especially from New England. We’€™ll see in a matter of hours if the wildness from Thursday carries over into the next two rounds.

Read More: 2011 NFL Draft, Da'Quan Bowers, Nate Solder, New England Patriots
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