Over the past four weeks, the Bloguin NFL bloggers have been participating in a mock draft. Bloggers from each team have made their selection.
Picking for the Pats at #17 and #28, I made the following selections.
The Patriots' top priority this off-season should be to improve the pass rush. While the outside linebacker position is a greater need for the Pats than defensive end, J.J. Watt provides the type of three-down value that Bill Belichick looks for in a first round pick. Watt is arguably the best 5-technique DE in the draft and should be able to start next to Vince Wilfork in the 3-4. Getting back to the pass rush, Watt is no slouch in that department, recording 21 tackles for loss and seven sacks this past season.
With veteran left tackle Matt Light entering both the twilight of his career and free-agency, the Patriots look to the future and select his replacement with their second 1st round pick. Nate Solder is big, athletic, and nasty, which fits the bill of exactly what was lacking from New England's O-line during their playoff loss to the Jets. His work ethic and attitude should mesh well with that of Logan Mankins, assuming the disgruntled guard returns to the team. Together, the two should set the tone for the front line and create a wall of toughness to protect Tom Brady.
You can take a look at the entire mock draft, by clicking the link here. Picks #29-32 will be made over the next four days.