Kiper talks Pats & draft possibilities

ESPN NFL draft analyst Mel Kiper is holding a conference call with reporters today and he was asked the following two-part question by Karen Guregian of the Boston Herald:

Will the talent in the second round be good enough for the Patriots to help them fulfill their needs? What was the thinking in giving the Patriots Brandon Graham in your latest mock draft instead of your previous pick of Ricky Sapp?

“If they do get a Brandon Graham, or somebody like that [in the first round], I do think wide receiver, certainly, in the second round area. [LSU receiver] Brandon LaFell is a guy you can pick up at that point in the draft. A guy that you can maybe get in the third or fourth round is a Jordan Shipley out of Texas. A very valuable kid is going to be Dexter McCluster as a running back, receiver, return man out of Ole Miss who is a very good player. I think those are some guys there who can help you.

“In terms of Sapp, I like [him]. The more you talk to people around the league, the more you’re hearing second round. That’s why I took him out of there. The big concern is going to be durability. He’s had some injury issues during his career at Clemson, if he can stay healthy, I think he can be an ideal 3-4 outside linebacker. If it wasn’t for the durability concern, he would have been in there [in the first round].”