With WR a top need for Patriots, fewer high-end options in '16 draft

When draft analysts Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN and Mike Mayock of NFL Network assess the New England Patriots' current needs, they see things similarly.

Kiper: "You need a true wide receiver that can come in and give you something they haven’t really had going back to Randy Moss [2007-2010]. Who could be there [late in the second round]? At that point, you could look at Leonte Carroo from Rutgers, a Tyler Boyd from Pitt. There’s a chance Michael Thomas from Ohio State could slide down there far. There are going to be some interesting guys; we’ll have to see where Braxton Miller from Ohio State ends up."

Mayock: "I think the wide receiver position has got to continue to be upgraded. Their best receiver is an inside receiver, and I think he'd really like to get a significant threat on the outside. So with all that being said, at wideout at the back end of the second round, would Will Fuller from Notre Dame be sitting there or Josh Doctson be there? They already have a great slot in [Julian] Edelman, so they're looking for an outside guy that can be a difference maker in the second or third round. Rashard Higgins maybe from Colorado State in third round."

Naturally, the Patriots will look at all positions in the draft. And if they make a move in free agency at receiver, it could affect their aggressiveness at the position in the draft.

As for the overall crop of receivers in the 2016 draft, Kiper noted from an overall perspective, "it's not a skill-position draft."

Added Mayock, "I'm not saying it's an awful class. I think it's solid. I just don't think it's as explosive as the last couple drafts ... We talk about this not being a great wideout class. I think the strength of it is that it's solid in the middle rounds."