New England Patriots Seven Round Mock Draft 5.0

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November 3, 2012; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes linebacker Ryan Shazier (10) tackles Illinois Fighting Illini running back Donovonn Young (5) after a short gain at Ohio Stadium. Ohio State won the game 52-22. Mandatory Credit: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Round One, Pick #29: Ryan Shazier (LB, Ohio State)

I know that this might seem like a bit of a weird pick, considering the Patriots are loaded with three star linebackers in Donta Hightower, Jerod Mayo and rising star Jamie Collins, but my philosophy is that you take the best player available. At this point, with a number of players potentially dropping thanks to the run on the deeper positions at the start, Shazier could drop right into the Patriots lap, and provide an amazing angle to the Patriots defense. Shazier is speed. Pure edge rushing speed from the linebacking position, with a violent disposition. Shazier is going to make teams always be aware of where he is thanks to that great speed, and can burn by the bigger offensive tackles, but is also coupled with some impressive strength for a smaller bodied player. Shazier is an instant difference maker, and the Patriots would be lucky to have him drop to #29. Defensive tackle and tight end might be a bigger need in terms of depth, but this is a big time passing league. The Patriots have that whole secondary thing down, now they need to stock up that pass rush with game changing players. Shazier is that kind of guy.

Other Options: DT Louis Nix III, OLB/DE Demarcus Lawrence, OG Xavier Su’a-Filo