The NFL Network/NFL.com crew, led by Mike Mayock, has some fun with a first-round mock draft. Mayock, Michael Irvin, Marshall Faulk, Rich Eisen, Steve Mariucci, Charles Davis, and Bucky Brooks sit around their "draft room" table and turn in cards for each team.
When the Patriots pick at 17, it is Irvin doing the selecting. When the club gets back on the clock at No. 28, Davis steps up.
Irvin likes Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt for the Patriots in this scenario, while Davis targets UCLA outside linebacker Akeem Ayers.
ANALYSIS: On Tuesday, defensive lineman Vince Wilfork said there was a couple of areas on defense that he would like to see the Patriots address. Wilfork didn't specify, but analysts seem to agree that some help on the line, and at outside linebacker, are good places to start. As for Watt, he's been billed as a natural "5" technique defensive end for 3-4 teams. He could fit, and the indications are that he will become a solid pro, although the feeling here is that the Patriots might see more future growth potential in Temple's Muhammad Wilkerson, who is built a bit sturdier. Ayers also has some good things going for him, and should be selected around that range, but I wonder if he's physical enough for the Patriots' liking. I think a more physical presence like Jabaal Sheard (Pittsburgh) would rate higher on the team's board at that position.