by Chris Warner, Patriots Daily Staff
No one can accurately predict the first round of the NFL draft. Predicting the last four rounds is like being a weatherman for Neptune: you have to guess based on meager information.
Instead of a prediction, let’s call this a wish list. If all goes according to plan on April 28 and 29, Saturday will become a mere formality. The Pats will have used their first six picks to add playmakers to their defense, muscle to their offensive line and maybe some talent to their specialist corps.
If successful early, New England could trade away their final three picks (one each in rounds four, five and six) for future compensation. If not, they could bring in a few contributors in later rounds. Below are 10 such players the Patriots could consider to fill out their rookie class…
Outside linebacker Mark Herzlich, Boston College. Okay, he’s slow in the 40 (5.9 seconds). He’s not huge (6-4, 244). But come on. The dude beat cancer. You think he can’t take on a couple of flesh-and-blood NFL linemen?
Defensive end David Carter, UCLA. His prototypical size (6-5, 300) separates Carter from a relatively short field of prospects. And by “short,” I mean 6-3 or under. It’s all relative.
Offensive tackle Chris Hairston, Clemson. At 6-6, 326 pounds, Hairston fills out the tackle spot nicely. His 40 time was underwhelming (5.38), but his quick feet will get him drafted early on day three.
Offensive guard Justin Boren, Ohio State. First team Big Ten and a second-team All-American, the 6-3, 310-pound guard can also play center.
Wide receiver Cecil Shorts III, Mount Union. A small school guy with big numbers, what Shorts might lack in straight-ahead speed he makes up for in quickness, clocking in at 6.50 seconds in the 3-cone drill (top five at the combine). Oh, versatility? Add punt- and kick-returner to his duties, as well as over 100 yards running the ball this past season.
Running back Alex Green, Hawaii. Three things to know about Green: his size (6-0, 225), his speed (4.45 40), and his production (8.2 yards per carry in 2010). Aloha.
Middle linebacker Mike Mohamed, California. The speedy (4.65 40) Pac-10 All-Academic first-teamer (I know, but still, it’s something) led the conference in tackles this past season (112 total). With his athleticism, he could contribute on special teams right away.
Fullback Ryan Taylor, North Carolina. New England has tried myriad lead blockers in their backfield, including tight ends, guards and linebackers. Time to consider a horse (6-3, 250) with experience. Taylor had zero carries and 36 catches in 2010, the perfect stat combo for a potential H-back.
Quarterback Josh Portis, California-PA. A QB with great athleticism (4.59 40, 40-inch vertical), Portis passed for 2,650 yards for the D-II powerhouse. Should be available late and could be had for a trade down to the seventh round. (Note: the Pats have some experience with Cal-PA alums, as they brought in Vulcan cornerback Terrence Johnson for rookie camp last year.)
Tight end Schuylar Oordt, Northern Iowa. He’s a 6-6, 261-pounder who runs a 4.63 40. The Pats aren’t looking for a tight end, but who’s going to mess with a guy named Oordt? He should be an assassin in one of the Girl With a Dragon Tattoo movies.
Any day three players on your radar, please let us know with a comment below.
Email Chris Warner at [email protected]