Tim Graham, who covers the AFC East for ESPN.com, has been running a reader mock draft and the Patriots -- at pick 17 -- were on the clock Tuesday. Now the selection is in and the Patriots select Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt.
Graham details how the voting unfolded: "Watt was the pick in a landslide, generating more than twice as many votes as his nearest competition, California defensive end Cameron Jordan. Purdue pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan, who would be a 3-4 outside linebacker, was a distant third."
If this scenario unfolded on draft day, three primary thoughts come to mind:
1. Watt would project to right defensive end in the 3-4 alignment, the position that Richard Seymour primarily played for the team from 2001-2008. This No. 17 pick is a result of the Seymour trade to the Raiders, so it would come full circle in a sense.
2. The Patriots would feel confident in being able to sign Watt, in part because of a rookie salary cap/slotting system. Otherwise, they might have reservations because Watt is represented by Tom Condon, and the Patriots haven't negotiated with Condon since 2004 when he represented Benjamin Watson in a holdout situation.
3. Watt is viewed by two NFL evaluators as the best 3-4 defensive end in the draft. Their feeling is that it would be great value to see him available at this point.