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Five good fits for Patriots in first round of NFL draft

04.24.13 at 11:10 am ET

Earlier on Wednesday, we took a look at five players the Patriots should hope fall to them in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday. Continuing our mini-series, here are five players who would appear to be good fits for the Pats based on where they are picking.

It should be noted that this draft isn’t particularly strong up top, so a lot of the guys that the Pats might want to fall to them might have been available at No. 29 in previous years. Once the the offensive linemen are off the board, there will be a lot of parity in prospects from the mid-first round to the early second.

These players are in no particular order.

Justin Hunter, WR, Tennessee

Hunter is a true outside guy (6-foot-4, 196 pounds) who has all the attributes needed to be a No. 1 receiver. If drafted by the Pats, he’€™d be the best receiver prospect of the Bill Belichick era.

Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State

If the Patriots want to come out of the first round with a big and physical corner like the ones in Seattle, Rhodes is the guy. There aren’€™t many 6-foot-1½, 210-pound corners who can run a 4.41 second 40-yard dash.

Matt Elam, S, Florida

He has NFL bloodlines, as he is the brother of former Jets, Browns, Cowboys and Chiefs safety Abram Elam. The instinctive safety is considered a playmaker in the defensive backfield, which should come as little surprise considering he models his game after Ed Reed.

Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State

He hasn’€™t been the most popular name in the pre-draft process, but when there’€™s a run on corners, expect the 5-foot-10½, 192-pound Taylor to come off the board. Taylor boasts very good speed and knocked the 3-cone drill (which the Patriots value highly) out of the park with a 6.82-second performance.

Kawann Short, DT, Purdue

The 6-foot-3, 299-pounder gets after the quarterback very well, but there are questions about both his work ethic and his ability to pick up concepts. Short is viewed as a risk/reward player, but we’€™re living in a world in which Ziggy Ansah might be a top-10 pick.

Read More: 2013 NFL draft, Five Players Series, Justin Hunter, Xavier Rhodes



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