Sports Illustrated’s Peter King has an interesting take on mock drafts with his latest effort. King lists who a team will take, and then who the team should take. This mock will be in the upcoming Sports Illustrated NFL Draft Preview issue on news stands tomorrow, and it is also posted online starting HERE. King, like other mockers lately, is predicting a Patriot trade in the first round. Let’s take a look at his mock.
With the Pats’ 17th overall pick, King says that the Patriots will take C/G Mike Pouncey from Florida. However, he says that the Patriots should take Wisconsin DE J.J. Watt. Here is King’s analysis:
Watt’s a speedy, versatile defensive end who’d allow Vince Wilfork to move back inside where he belongs. Pouncey? He’s a Day One starting guard, with the ability to someday replace Dan Koppen (32 in September) at center if need be. Either of these picks would make the Patriots better immediately. I give them Pouncey because of the interior-line urgency and the Urban Meyer/Bill Belichick connection.
With the Patriots’ next pick, 28th overall, King has the Pats trading with Tennessee. He doesn’t give any details on what the Pats would pick up in the trade, but they do not make another pick in Round One. Going back to King’s previous “should pick” on the Pats’ 17th overall selection, J.J. Watt gets selected one pick before the Pats by the Falcons. I think in this scenario, if the Falcons do not pick Watt, the Patriots stay put and select him. I’m not quite sure why King has Watt sliding this far down, as he is considered a possible Top 10 selection, but these things do happen.
An unchallenged opinion across the league is that the Patriots are in a prime trading spot at #28 and there are several teams that do not want to wait until the 2nd round to select the second tier of quarterbacks. With the Patriots’ propensity to trade, especially at the back end of the first round, it doesn’t seem like anybody’s expecting the Pats to make a selection at 28th overall. Is this the year the Pats defy the experts and use both of their first-round picks? Do they trade up and pick higher? It likely all depends on who’s available and what spots as the draft progresses. The way the draft falls together as it happens will determine the Pats’ course of action, but anything’s a possibility this year.