The New England Patriots signed veteran defensive tackle Tommy Kelly to a two-year deal, and that combined with the Patriots decision to sign Armond Armstead from the CFL earlier this offseason means that defensive tackle probably isn’t going to be a priority for the Pats in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft. I would expect the Patriots to draft a cornerback or wide receiver, but my good friend Josh Sanchez over at the FanSided.com main page disagrees with me. Every week, I take a look at the 2013 NFL Mock Draft on the main page and break down their pick, and this week Sanchez had the New England Patriots selecting Purdue Boilermakers DT Kawann Short with the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Sanchez isn’t the only person who has the Patriots getting Short in his mock draft, as several draft analysts are also tabbing Short as the Pats pick in the first round. Short would give the Patriots another pass rushing presence on the interior of the defensive line, and he has a high motor and would slot in as a DT in the rotation.
This mock draft was created before the New England Patriots signed Tommy Kelly, but there are still people who think the Pats will draft a DT. If they do, I highly doubt it will be in the first round. Short is a solid prospect who could still help the Pats even with Kelly in the fold, but I just think the Pats are done at DT with new additions in Armstead and Kelly. In my opinion, at least one of them will pan out and do their job for the Pats in generating pressure.
At this point in time, the Patriots are better off getting a wide receiver or cornerback. Of the players who fell beyond the Pats to the final three teams in the 2013 NFL Draft, Clemson Tigers wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins makes the most sense for the Pats. In fact, I would love to add Hopkins, as he has the talent to be a No. 1 wide receiver and could be a big help to the Pats. Even if the Pittsburgh Steelers don’t match the offer sheet for Emmanuel Sanders, I still think the Patriots will want to draft a wideout. The Pats also seem poised to go the “best available” route, and Hopkins looks like the best available prospect to me. Sanchez, by the way, had him going to the Baltimore Ravens with the final pick in the first round.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.