New England has two picks in each of the first three rounds of the 2011 draft. Stephen offered his thoughts on the first round of the draft last week, projecting the Patriots will land a defensive lineman and an offensive lineman to add some power in the trenches. This week, we'll be looking at how the second round might shake out. As always, feel free to offer your thoughts (or wish me a happy 31st birthday and make fun of my waning youth) in the comments.
33. New England Patriots – Brooks Reed, OLB, Arizona
I’m going out on a limb on this pick, but Reed is one of the better OLB prospects that you may have never heard of. With good game smarts and a relentless motor, he fits the mold of a New England player to a T. Originally projected as a late 2nd round pick, don’t be surprised to see him flying up draft boards after the Combine. The Pats would probably rather trade down a half-dozen picks and take the same player.
34. Buffalo Bills – Christian Ballard, DE/DT, Iowa
The Bills tried to transition to a 3-4 defense last year with a roster full of undersized defensive linemen, and the results were disastrous. Ballard would provide a physical presence on the line next to Pro Bowl DT Kyle Williams.
35. Cincinnati Bengals – Mikel LeShoure, RB, Illinois
LeShoure has the potential to be an every-down back that would take some of the heat off of Carson Palmer and make up for the possible loss of Cedric Benson. Could end up being a steal in the 2nd round.
36. Denver Broncos – Quinton Carter, FS, Oklahoma
My friend Chuck the Broncos Fan said that if Denver doesn’t use all of the team’s picks on defense, he’s going to take a hostage. From what I saw of that defense, I’m inclined to agree.
37. Cleveland Browns – Leonard Hankerson, WR, Miami
The Browns need a playmaker to help 2nd year QB Colt McCoy, and Hankerson showed a knack for making big plays during the Senior Bowl. He may have leap-frogged Pitt’s WR Baldwin at this point.