So, I told myself last week that if The Rapture didn’t come and the world didn’t come to an end that I would continue to write ‘This Week In Mock Drafts’ for Musket Fire. Well, Saturday, May 21, 2011 came and went and, as far as I know, the world didn’t actually come to an end. Rapture fail.
So, enough of my ramblings, let’s get onto ‘This Week In Mock Drafts’ for the week of May 23.
Last week we took a look at FOXSports.com’s Peter Schrager’s 2012 NFL mock draft where he had the Patriots picking North Carolina DE/OLB Donte Paige-Moss and Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu with their two first round picks at 28 and 30 overall, respectively.
This week we’ll be focusing on ESPN.com’s Todd McShay, who’s considered one of top two mock draft gurus over at ESPN but ask around the internet and you’ll get differing opinions on that.
Anywho, that’s besides the point, let’s see who, as of this month, Todd thinks the Patriots will be taking with their first round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft and who they’ll be taking with their other first round pick acquired from the New Orleans Saints in a 2011 NFL Draft day trade. Todd’s draft order was put together based on reverse order power rankings from Scouts Inc.
At 28 overall, with the pick they got from the Saints, McShay has the Patriots selecting DE Andre Branch out of Clemson and with their own pick, at 31, McShay’s mock has them taking Nebraska DT Jared Crick.
The Patriots are a team always looking to build within the trenches, on both offense and defense, so McShay predicting the Patriots taking two d-linemen isn’t much of a leap and could potentially happen.
Crick is, what McShay considers, a 5-technique player and Branch is a 4-3 end who can potentially play outside linebacker in the 3-4. Branch weighs in at 255 pounds and stands 6-4, which makes for a pretty intimidating linebacker. Both Crick and Branch would be welcome pass rushers to a Patriots defensive front that’s always on the lookout for capable pass rushers.
Time well tell which way the Patriots go in the 2012 NFL Draft. We still have a season to play as well as this year’s free agency to start. So who knows what the make-up of the Patriots roster will be during the start of this season and by the end of next year, which means it will be a while before we can look back on this and other very early mock drafts.