As we close in on the 2011 Draft, we thought it would be a good idea to touch base with Bloguin's top football scouting blog, Optimum Scouting, and pick their brains regarding potential Patriots prospects. Below is our Q&A session with the site's lead writer, Eric Galko.
1. What is the primary need New England needs to address in this draft?
3. How much trading do you think the Pats will do, even with the lockout limiting what you can trade?You know, I'm not sure the Patriots will move as much as people think. They still may trade down a few slots and pick up some extra 4th and 5th rounders in the first two rounds, but I think only two major trades for them could happen. They could package two of their first three picks to a team like Dallas, who wants to trade down, and grab Julio Jones. Or, they could trade pick 28 and/or 17 after they trade down a bit and let teams reach for quarterbacks in round one, still letting a great prospect or two falling to them in the 2nd round.
4. There has been a lot of emphasis on the DE, OLB, and OL positions for New England? But, what skill players should New England be looking at and who should they ultimately take?Rumors are that no running backs will be taken in the drafts first round, but I'm still not totally buying it. If Mark Ingram is there at pick #28 or there at all in the late 20s, I think the Patriots grab him. He makes too much sense, as he can be a workhorse that can do everything as a running back and keep Woodhead and Green-Ellis as situational guys, which is their best fit. Also, outside of potentially trading for Julio Jones, I think they could target a talented receiver the 3rd-4th round area. Guys like Greg Little of North Carolina and Edmund Gates of Abilene Christian could be targets as far as high potential guys that may be worth the risk.
5. For Pats fans, who are some late round surprises that we should know about should New England take them on Day 3?It's tough to put a finger on guys that could be on their mind in the Day 3 area, because they'll likely fill most of their needs in the first two days because of how many picks they have and probably will end up with. However, I think David Mims of Virginia Union (reminds of Sebastian Vollmer), Austin Pettis of Boise State (reliable pass catcher, versatile) Terrell McClain of Sourth Florida (potential 5-technique), Jonas Mouton of Michigan (as an outside pass rusher), and Cortez Allen of Citadel (a raw cornerback who they can develop and has starting potential.
6. Who will they take at 17? 28? Why?