Rhodes paved for Patriots?

We interrupt our free agency coverage to take a quick look towards the draft, as ESPN's NFL draft expert Mel Kiper, Jr. has unveiled his third mock draft.

Kiper's latest projection for the Patriots at pick No. 29 is talented Florida State cornerback Xavier Rhodes, who some believe is the second best corner behind Alabama's Dee Milliner.

Kiper specifically notes Rhodes' physical style of play and ability to mirror receivers in press coverage. That's something the Patriots were able to get out of pending unrestricted free agent Aqib Talib, who Kiper believes will play elsewhere next season.

Rhodes had an outstanding combine, checking in at 6-foot-1, 210 pounds with 33 3/4 inch arms and a 4.43 40 time. Those elite physical traits could vault him up the order on draft night.

Other areas that the Patriots could address according to Kiper include wide receiver, offensive line and safety. However, cornerback is the position that stands atop the team's needs.

To see the entirety of his first round projection, CLICK HERE (Insider content).