They really can do anything and probably will. That’s the luxury you get when you own two picks in the first round.
This week in mock drafts sees us reporting on Peter King’s annual mock draft. King only focuses his time and attention on doing one mock draft per year which means we can’t dig deep into his picks to see if he changed his mine from week to week. However, he does make two picks: who the team will pick and who they should pick.
So, who does King think the Patriots will be drafting in 2011? Well, with the 17th overall pick, he has the Patriots picking offensive lineman out of Florida Mike Pouncey. Which isn’t a bad pick. If his brother Maurkice is a predictor of what his play will be like, Mike Pouncey will be a presence in the interior line of the Patriots for at least a decade. However, King thinks the Patriots should pick defensive end J.J. Watt from Wisconsin at 17 as he’d make it possible for Vince Wilfork to move back to his natural position of defensive tackle. Either pick makes sense for the Patriots.
At 28, King has the Patriots trading their pick to the Tennessee Titans who use it to pick quarterback out of Florida State Christian Ponder. It’s no surprise that the Titans need a new QB1 after the Vince Young era crapped out after an up and down career and that the Patriots like to trade during the draft to stock up on future picks. While King things the Titans will pick Ponder, he thinks they should pick Nevada QB Colin Kaepernick. He doesn’t make a prediction in case the Patriots keep the pick.
Since the NFL Draft is on Thursday and this series is posted on Mondays that means it’s time for me to put my money where my mouth is and make my own mock draft picks.
With their first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft I think the Patriots will take Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt with the 17th overall pick. When you see a certain name more than 80% of the time in mock drafts, and believe me, I’ve read a lot of mock drafts this mock draft season, some things just make too much sense to over think them. The Patriots need to replenish their defensive line and line backing corps and Watt can fill a need in either one of those holes.
However, with their second pick in the first round, I think the Patriots won’t be calling any name. Instead, I’m going to follow in Don Banks’ and Peter King’s footsteps and predict a trade. I think the New England Patriots will trade the 28th overall pick in the draft. But not to the Minnesota Vikings like Banks thinks. I’m going to piggyback off of King’s prediction and I think that the Tennessee Titans will sneak in and find a way to trade back into the bottom of the draft to pick up their hopeful QB1 of the future. The Titans, with a new coaching staff and coming off a bad year in which their franchise quarterback turned into a pumpkin, need to get one of the lower tiered first round quarterbacks more than any other team. Look for them to target either Andy Dalton or Christian Ponder with the 28th pick.
Of course the Patriots will probably surprise us with one or both of their picks and do something unexpected. And that’s the beauty of the NFL Draft. Anything can happen. Usually something unexpected and we, as fans, get to talk about it for days. Which is nice as we get to forget about the lockout for a few days and focus on what matters… the future of the NFL!
Enjoy the draft on Thursday and I’ll see you here Monday to go over the draft results!