Bryan Morry and Shane Donaldson of Patriots Football Weekly cast their projections for the Patriots first pick.
Bryan Morry's Projection:
Cornelius Griffin, DT, Alabama
(6-3, 290 pounds)
The Patriots will pass on an offensive lineman with their first pick and since the top five running backs will be gone, they will look defense and go over the ball with a defensive tackle. The dropoff between running back Travis Prentice and the next group of running backs is too small to use the first pick on Prentice. At 290 pounds, Cornelius Griffin could play in a 3-4 or a 4-3 and Bill Belichick will use variations of both. He is a bigger, inexperienced version of Henry Thomas. Say it with me,
Shane Donaldson's Projection:
Erik Flowers, DE, Arizona State
(6-4, 270 pounds)
New England's first draft pick will be from Arizona State, but it won't be running back J.R. Redmond. No, the Patriots will go with defensive end Erik Flowers.
The team needs some depth on the defensive line, and Flowers has potential to fit into either a 3-4 or 4-3 defensive alignment. He had a breakthrough senior season that included 10 sacks and an interception. Flowers also turned some heads with three sacks in the East-West Shrine game.
New England would like to bolster its running back corps, but the draft is better stocked in the offensive backfield than on the defensive line. The Patriots have a better chance of getting decent players at both spots if they take a defensive lineman in the second round and a running back in the third.