Some early mock drafts
- SI's Don Banks:
He's currently got us taking S Darnell Bing (USC) at
#21. The 6'2", 220 junior has the following comments
listed for him:
What in the world are the Pats doing picking in the
20s? Isn't it a league rule they have to choose 32nd?
New England got by in the season's second half with
journeyman NFL cornerback Artrell Hawkins filling in
at safety, but with Rodney Harrison a question mark
following knee surgery, Bing or one of the tightly
bunched cornerbacks make sense.
CB Ashton Youboty from THE Ohio State University.
Comments: All good things must come to an end and
while the Patriots still have a very good team you can
see that age, free agency, injuries and the loss of
assistant coaches have begun to catch up with them.
Gone are the days where they can afford to simply take
the best player available because, like most teams,
the Pats have needs to address and holes to plug. The
most glaring weakness for the second straight year
would appear to be in the secondary, where they are in
desperate need of an infusion of talent at cornerback.
Ashton Youboty has a great blend of size, speed and
athleticism and you can't discount the success that
other Buckeye cornerbacks like Antoine Winfield, Shawn
Springs, Nate Clements and Chris Gamble have had in
the NFL. In other words there is a good chance that
this is a safe pick because other Ohio St. alums have
transitioned to the next level with great results.
Linebacker is also a need for New England with some of
their veterans like Willie McGinest and Tedy Bruschi
getting older and starting to show some wear. On
offense wide receiver is going to be a concern,
especially if David Givens leaves as a free agent, and
an upgrade over Brandon Gorin at right tackle sure
wouldn't hurt either.
Thomas Howard, LB UTEP
The Patriots have three starting linebackers over the
age of 30, and Howards great speed and athleticism is
a great fit for the Patriots defense.