The folks over at the FanSided.com front page run a weekly 2013 NFL Mock Draft, and I go over the player they have the New England Patriots selecting each Tuesday. You can view the full mock via this link.
This week, the main site has the New England Patriots selecting Oregon State Beavers cornerback Jordan Poyer, and the writer’s reasoning is that Poyer is the best corner available and the Patriots love to load up on corners. I, being the evil contrarian, disagree with this selection and would hate to see the Patriots select Poyer there.
First off, Poyer is a solid cornerback and can hang with physical receivers better than maybe any CB in this draft. I’m not sure if he is worth investing a first round selection in, but that’s not why I am disagreeing with the pick here. It has nothing to do with me not liking Poyer, but rather that the logic here is flawed.
Sure the Patriots like loading up on cornerbacks, but don’t all the other 31 teams in the NFL like drafting CBs as well? Here’s the thing, though, the Patriots, like most of those teams, like loading up on underrated corners in the later rounds of the draft unless if they have a need there. The Patriots don’t actually have a need at cornerback after the Aqib Talib trade.
Look, the Pats are fine at corner. Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard are solid on the outside, while Kyle Arrington mans the nickel well. Marquice Cole and Ras-I Dowling bring quality depth to the position as well, and I’m not willing to give up on Dowling yet. He deserves a third year, because he has been effective when healthy. The problem is that he’s almost never been healthy.
I can definitely see the Patriots picking a guy they like after the first two rounds, and I hope that’s what happens. There is plenty of value to be had at the cornerback position later in the draft, but the Pats have bigger needs that they should address in the first round of the draft. More depth at corner is always nice, but depth is what you look for in the later rounds. That’s when you want to truly “load up” on more bodies at a position.
The FanSided 2013 NFL Mock Draft update for this week has Jesse Williams as the last pick in the first round (Denver Broncos), and I would rather have him than Poyer. The Patriots need a defensive tackle more than a cornerback, and I think Williams is also the better player.
As for Poyer, it’s good to see that he is finally gaining steam after being one of the most underrated prospects headed into the draft. Ask any Pac-12 fan, and they will tell you that Poyer is a solid player due to his ball skills, scheme versatility, and toughness (he almost never misses a play due to injury). He’s one of the top three corners in this draft, but the one problem is that his run defense leaves a lot to be desired. That puts him in the Darius Butler range, and Bill Belichick asks his corners to do plenty of work on run D. That’s a minor reason why I view Poyer as a better fit for another team.
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