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2013 NFL Mock Draft: New England Patriots take Justin Hunter

The New England Patriots can go in several directions with the 29th pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, and wide receiver seems to be the most popular direction for the Pats. It is arguably their biggest need, and the Pats could also use added ammunition in the secondary or on the defensive line in the form of a cornerback like Desmond Trufant or a defensive end like Tank Carradine. In the latest 2013 NFL Mock Draft on the FanSided.com main page, the New England Patriots selected Tennessee Volunteers wide receiver Justin Hunter.

Hunter was chosen by the Pats over Washington Huskies star cornerback Desmond Trufant, who has been frequently mocked to the Patriots by the kind folks over at FS.com. I’m glad the Pats passed up on Eric Reid in this mock, because safety isn’t a pressing need for the Pats after the signing of Adrian Wilson. Reid has amazing physical tools, but he has trouble reading plays and is a huge boom-or-bust prospect.

Trufant would make a lot of sense for the Patriots, because I like the depth at the wide receiver position. I feel like the Pats can scoop up a talented wide receiver if one falls in the second, or they can just take Quinton Patton or Markus Wheaton off of the board. To me, it seems easier for the Pats to find a solid receiver in the second and get an impact defensive player in the first (I still want more help on defense), as opposed to drafting a higher-level receiver and a decent defensive player in the second.

I’ll break down the Patriots second-round pick in the mock next week, and I have some interesting tidbits about David Amerson (yes, he was the pick) to divulge. I would rather take him in the third (he should still be available there), but Amerson is a better prospect than he is given credit for being. To be honest, I would take him over Tyrann Mathieu without much question. But then again, I am notoriously down on Mathieu in this space.

As for Hunter, he does indeed have the potential to be the No. 1 receiver the Patriots desire. He has absolutely amazing size and has a chance to be a Julio Jones kind of playmaker at the wide receiver position. He’s lost some explosion as a result of injuries, but he is still explosive. However, Hunter had major drop issues last season, and I think he’s too boom-or-bust for the Pats to take in the first round over a guy like Trufant. It’s too bad the Indianapolis Colts took Tank Carradine off the board.

You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.

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Tags: Desmond Trufant Football Justin Hunter New England Patriots NFL Draft Tennessee Volunteers

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