Best could give running game a boost

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post produces his first mock draft, and he slots California running back Jahvid Best to the Patriots with the No. 22 pick.

"I know the Patriots have needs along their defensive front seven," writes Bunting, "but adding a talent like Best, who can run out of the gun and take pressure off the New England pass game, might be too good to pass up."

ANALYSIS: Best is the type of playmaker who could provide a boost to the Patriots' offense. The big question I think the Patriots would have is whether Best -- who at 5-foot-10, 195 is on the small side for a back -- is a three-down player or if he'd project more to a specialist-type third- and fourth-down type of role. If it's the latter, my feeling is that they wouldn't have a first-round grade on him. On the flip side, it's notable that Kevin Faulk played more snaps than any Patriots running back in 2009, at 38 percent. That is a reflection of how the Patriots' third-down back is really their lead back because of the spread offense they operate out of the majority of the time.