Way back in February, we wrote about the various draft modes Coach Bill Belichick could choose. Of those, we’ve decided to stay put with the five picks available to New England this year for our very own, very serious mock draft.
Not much room to move around the board? Fine. Clean slate in 2014.
For now, we’ll pick our best bets for Rounds One, Two and Three, and two picks in Round Seven.
ROUND ONE: Desmond Trufant, Washington CB (6-0, 190)
Though the Patriots have had a rough go with most of their defensive back picks, Trufant looks like as sure a thing as this draft has. An All-Pac-12 first-teamer with nine passes defensed and one interception in 2012, Trufant boosted his stock with a strong week of practice before the Senior Bowl.
Some notable combine numbers for Trufant include a 4.38-second 40, a 10-foot-5 broad jump, and a 3.85-second 20-yard shuttle.
High School Fun Fact: Competing for Wilson High in Tacoma, Trufant placed second in his state track meet in the triple jump with a mark of 46 feet, 5.75 inches.
ROUND TWO: Markus Wheaton, Oregon State WR (5-11, 189)
Listen, we have been touting the depth of this draft at wide receiver as much as anyone, from our piece on four potential seventh-round wideouts to our Combine Snubs series (Part I here). That said, it looks like it’s time to bring in a solid, athletic pass-catcher with some versatility.
Wheaton landed on teams’ radars with an impressive showing at the Senior Bowl. He is the all-time leading receiver at Oregon State with 224 catches for the Beavers with at least one catch in 35 consecutive games. In 2012, he nabbed 91 passes for 1,244 yards (13.7 ypr) and 11 touchdowns. Wheaton also rushed for 142 yards on 20 carries and two TDs.
Wheaton showcased some impressive numbers at the combine. A 4.40-second 40, 10-foot broad jump, 37-inch vertical, 4.02-second 20-yard shuttle and 6.80-second 3-cone drill to go along with a hefty 20 bench presses of 225 pounds.
High School Fun Fact: As a senior at Chandler High in Arizona, Wheaton caught 37 passes for 736 yards (almost 20 yards per reception).
ROUND THREE: John Simon, Ohio State DE (6-1, 257)
Pass defense takes two elements: coverage and pressure. Because the Pats had too little of both at crucial times last year, Simon should get the call to help with the latter. The Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year had 14.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks in 2012 and should get a first-rate recommendation from Ohio State coach and Belichick buddy Urban Meyer.
Simon couldn’t participate in the combine due to a shoulder injury, but at his pro day last month he ran a 4.62-second 40, had a 10-foot-1 broad jump and a 7.10-second 3-cone drill.
High School Fun Fact: As a senior at Cardinal Mooney in Youngstown, Simon had 148 tackles, 11 sacks and three forced fumbles.
ROUND SEVEN (a): Luke Marquardt, Azusa Pacific OT (6-8, 315)
While some have voiced concern over the lack of depth at guard, we have faith in Nick McDonald (a previous starter at center) and Marcus Cannon, who could potentially transition from tackle to guard this year.
Marquardt would add depth to the tackle position. He comes to the Pats in the seventh round due to his overall lack of experience (he played only freshman ball in high school) and because of a hairline fracture in his foot that required surgery this month. New England should get a strong scouting report from his position coach at Azusa Pacific, one Jackie Slater, former All-Pro NFL tackle and father to current Patriot Matthew Slater.
Though his injury prevented him from running at the combine, Marquardt did put up 31 reps on the bench press, especially impressive when considering how far he has to make the bar travel.
High School Fun Fact: Marquardt played only one year of varsity basketball at Skyline High in Sammamish, Washington, where – according to maxpreps.com - he scored 12 points for the season.
ROUND SEVEN (b): Adam Replogle, Indiana DL (6-2, 299)
There’s something kind of Mike Wright-like about Replogle, who made the All-Big-Ten second team after tallying 71 tackles (including 13 for loss and five sacks) and two forced fumbles.
A combine snub, Replogle ran his 40 in 5.08 seconds and benched 225 pounds 38 times, which would have tied him for first place at the combine. He started the final 47 games in his career, a Hoosier record.
High School Fun Fact: Replogle earned letters in football and basketball for three years at Centerville High in Ohio.
Don’t you just love this draft? Well, why not say so in the comment section below?