It's time again for our weekly Q&A session. Up this week is Mocking the Draft, a great blog that covers all-things NFL draft. We asked them for some insights regarding the Patriots as they prepare to do some critical re-stocking that could set the table for some more Brady/Belichick Super Bowl runs.
1. What is the Patriots' biggest needs entering the NFL Draft? Who is the ideal fit at those positions?
New England needs help at defensive end, offensive line, running back and pass rusher. Fits:
- OL: Any of the top tackles, Danny Watkins, who could work inside.
- RB: This can probably be filled with the team's third or fourth pick. Someone like Ryan Williams of Virginia Tech, Delone Carter of Syracuse or Daniel Thomas of Kansas State make sense.
- DE: If the Patriots don't swap a bunch of picks, they may covet either Cameron Jordan or J.J. Watt with the 17th pick. Adrian Clayborn or Cameron Heyward would make sense with the second first-round pick.
- 3-4 OLB: That second first rounder could also be used on someone like Brooks Reed of Arizona or Justin Houston of Georgia.
2. With the NFL lockout in full force and the lack of trading players for picks, how many draft day trades should we expect from Belichick?
It's impossible to say, really. As far as I know, teams can't make trades for future picks. So with that in mind, we may see less trades than usual from New England.
3. Could we see New England take an offensive skill player in the first two rounds? If so, who?
As mentioned previously maybe one of those running backs. It's hard to see them going after a wide receiver early.
4. We know the Patriots have a history of finding a late-round gem (i.e Tom Brady). Who are some late round gems that we could see New England take in this year's draft?
Slippery Rock offensive lineman Brandon Fusco is someone to keep an eye on. They've had him in for a private workout and interviewed him at the NFL Scouting Combine. They've shown a lot of interest in Oklahoma State running back Kendall Hunter, so he could be a late-round target.
5. If New England was to trade up in this draft, who would be they looking for around the top 10-15 picks?
Probably Jordan or Watt. They're perfect fits on that defense and that's a good spot for them to go.
6. The most intriguing prospect in this draft has to be Cam Newton. Should Carolina take him number one. If not, who should take him?
They should. No player in this year's draft comes close to Newton's upside or pure physical ability. He'll be a risky pick, but if he pans out, watch out.