Mock drafts are everywhere.
Names are being bandied about like popcorn kernels in the butter-lubed movie theatre machine.
Few events elicit more, and more varied, opinions than the modern media miracle of marketing that is the NFL Draft.
Every fan wants to know what his or her favorite team is going to do in the draft.
Every media member wants to pretend he or she knows what the team they cover is going to do.
Patriots Football Weekly is no different, other than we know we know and aren't doing any pretending. That's how we, as a group, predicted Bill Belichick to snag Chandler Jones two years ago. It's how we predicted a trade last year.
So, if you want to really know what's going to happen with the Patriots and this NFL Draft tonight read on. If you want to read guesses then click on down the web to another site. It's up to you.
Without further ado here are PFW's annual Patriots pre-draft predictions! Consider yourself informed.
Will the Patriots trade up, trade down or stick and pick at No. 29 in the first round?**
Fred Kirsch: Up to recently I thought moving up was in the cards due to the depth of the draft and the increase of willing partners. I've changed my mind. There's too much allure to moving down, adding picks and still getting quality players of need.
Paul Perillo: I know the easy answer is trade down but in this case I think it makes the most sense. This draft is deep but not exactly top heavy and the Patriots areas of need can be addressed more effectively in the second round with multiple picks.
Andy Hart: The obvious inclination is to predict a trade down given the depth of the draft and the talent at the Patriots positions of need. But that may hinge on a top quarterback being on the board at 29. In the end, my gut tells me Belichick may be stuck making a pick.
Erik Scalavino: I hope (I always hope) they'll trade up. Conventional wisdom says they'll trade down. Which means they'll likely stay right where they are and make a pick.
Who will be the Patriots top pick?
FK: Ryan Shazier, LB, Ohio State
PP: Considering I predicted the Patriots will trade down I will say their first pick will be in the second round and they will take offensive lineman Xavier Su'a-Filo out of UCLA.
AH: I'm going to stick with my pick from the last month or so -- Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame.
ES: More so than most years, it seems the Patriots could go in any number of directions here. I say they'll go with defense, specifically defensive end Kony Ealy of Missouri.
Which positions will the Patriots target, in order, with their first three draft selections?
FK: LB, DE, DT
PP: This is another difficult one to answer because there are so many options. Assuming they don't trade, I'll take a shot and go with DE, TE and RB.
AH: DT, SS, TE
ES: DE, DB, TE
What will be the most surprising pick/development of the weekend for the Patriots?
FK: No Rutgers players selected.
PP: I know most people feel the Tom Brady Successor Plan needs to be implemented this year but I think the most surprising development of the weekend will be the Patriots will not select a quarterback.
AH: New England will make a trade involving a veteran player.
ES: They won't choose ANY Rutgers players.
Which projected first-round pick will be the biggest bust in this year's draft class?**
FK: Jace Amaro, TE, Texas Tech
PP: Minnesota defensive lineman Ra'shede Hageman.
AH: Eric Ebron, TE, North Carolina. Ebron's a better freakish athlete than a football player who'll always be a potential-filled tease as an NFL talent.
ES: Johnny Manziel. The A&M QB just doesn't have what it takes, in my estimation, to be a long-term, viable NFL player at the quarterback position.
Which top-rated player will fall the farthest in the draft?
FK: Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
PP: It's impossible to determine how much of the pre-draft rhetoric is to be believed but it certainly looks like Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater will have time on his hands tonight.
AH: FSU WR Kelvin Benjamin. Nolan Nawrocki ranks him as the No. 14 overall prospect. I think he comes off the board well after that.
ES: Tough call here because there are a lot of candidates. I'll go with another QB, Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater.
Which prospect will end up having the most productive NFL career?
FK: Jadeveon Clowney, DE, South Carolina
PP: It's hard to bet against Jadeveon Clowney but I'm going to say Texas A&M wide receiver Mike Evans will be the best player to come out of the 2014 draft.
AH: Clowney is the obvious pick, but given his hype some may never be happy with what he does as a pro. I love the raw talent and edge impact play of UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr. He's played defense for just two years and the sky is the limit for his talents.
ES: Manziel's top target at A&M, WR Mike Evans, seems to have everything it takes to be a franchise wide receiver in the NFL.
In three years Jadeveon Clowney will … ?**
FK: Have to register himself in all states with an NFL team as a lethal weapon.
PP: Be a perennial Pro Bowler and one of the most consistent pass rushers in the game.
AH: Be a Pro Bowl defensive end that teams will spend a lot of time game planning for.
ES: …be a force in the NFL.
In three years Johnny Manziel will … ?
FK: Be a nice little player.
PP: Be a solid, productive starting quarterback knocking on the door of his first playoff appearance.
AH: An inconsistent talent who wows at times but hasn't put it all together to lead his team in the right direction.
ES: …be a farce in the NFL.
**What do you think of our answers? How would you answer these questions? Let us know with a comment below!