September 1, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Clemson Tigers offensive tackle Shaq Anthony (76) and offensive linesman Brandon Thomas (63) celebrate beating the Auburn Tigers while wearing the "Old Leather Helmet" at the Georgia Dome. Clemson won 26-19. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

2014 NFL Mock Draft: Matt Miller Has A Surprise Pick For New England

Nov 2, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; Clemson Tigers running back Roderick McDowell (25) celebrates with Tigers offensive tackle Brandon Thomas (63) after scoring a touchdown against the Virginia Cavaliers in the second quarter at Scott Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

A few days ago Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller released a mock draft, and he goes in a direction that surprised me. Miller has the Pats taking offensive guard Brandon Thomas in the first round. Here are his thoughts:

No one can accurately predict what Bill Belichick will do on draft day, but if the New England Patriots do keep this pick, the big board would be set up for the team to add an interior pass protector for Tom Brady.

Brandon Thomas played left tackle at Clemson but projects best as a guard at the next level—and a very good guard at that. Thomas would instantly be an upgrade for the team at right guard and could give them a plan for the end of Logan Mankins’ career. That, and his ability to help in the running game and in protecting the aging Brady, makes him well worth the No. 29 pick.

I haven’t watched much of Thomas, and while I trust Miller’s analysis of him, I don’t think the Patriots should go with an offensive guard in the first round. Yes, improving the interior of the offensive line is important for New England, but there are other pressing needs that must be addressed early on in this year’s draft.

I think they should go with a tight end, or maybe a pass rushing defensive end. Both are areas of need for the Pats, and there are plenty of solid prospects available this year (Jace Amaro, Kony Ealy, Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Dee Ford).

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Tags: Brandon Thomas Mock Draft New England Patriots NFL Draft

  • Willy

    I agree, not sure why the other writer feels this is their most pressing need & to be honest Bill tends to think of the O-line last, LOL. He also feels as though they can “coach up” a lessor known Guard & make that work. It’s been years since they drafted an impact Guard and that was Mankins. The fact they havent done much to the O-line this year (but bring back the mediocre to poor Wendell), is a pretty telling story. I’m Ivory soap certain they wont be taking a Guard in the 1st round, I think that writer is grasping at imaginary straws.

    • Cyrus Geller

      Yup, we are in agreement here. As a side note, Thomas tore recently tore his ACL, which will cost him on draft day. Probably slip down to a 4th or 5th round pick.

  • Pats_Gnome

    Belichick has shown during his tenure with the Patriot’s that OL take a year or two to grow into their position. If there was a possible future HOF OL, then I would draft him. Other than that, I believe the Patriots are better off signing OL from other teams. Let the other teams spend the money and years teaching the player how to play the OL.