Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

New England Patriots Draft News: Tavon Austin, Darius Slay

Danny Amendola and Tavon Austin are two players the New England Patriots could target as replacements for Wes Welker if things do not go as planned for the Pats in that regard this offseason, and the NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah said something interesting that makes things come full circle.

The St. Louis Rams, to Jeremiah, make sense as a landing spot in the draft for former West Virginia Mountaineers standout Tavon Austin. If that’s the case, then it would be as a replacement for Amendola, and Austin would also help replenish the lost playmaking ability due to Brandon Gibson‘s impending free agency. All this talk means that it seems even less likely for Austin to fall to the New England Patriots at pick number 29 after Austin’s terrific Combine.

SI’s Tony Pauline tweeted yesterday that the New England Patriots could be interested in Johnthan Banks with the 29th pick, and that makes sense since Banks has been mocked to the Patriots even more recently. His draft stock fell due to speed concerns that heightened after a subpar 4.6 forty time at the Combine. Banks bounced back at his pro day at Mississippi State with times at 4.51 and 4.52, and he would be a good pick if the Patriots want to build at CB.

But there are people who are saying that Banks’s less-heralded Bulldogs teammate at CB, Darius Slay, is the better prospect. Kevin Weidl is at the front of this talk trumping Slay as the better prospect, and here is what Weidl said about Slay, “Doesn’t have the production/experience of Banks but more upside and projects better at NFL level.”

I still think Banks is the better prospect, but Slay came into the Combine severely underrated and deserves to receive the added props from draft analysts. He might have more upside than Banks, but Banks is the safer pick and is a 25-35 range prospect. Slay, on the other hand, is about a 40-50 type guy in my opinion despite having a better Combine than Banks.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Brandon Gibson Danny Amendola Darius Slay Football Johnthan Banks New England Patriots St. Louis Rams Tavon Austin Wes Welker West Virginia Mountaineers

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