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PFW's pre-draft predictions

Will the Patriots trade up, down or stay put in the first round?

Tom Casale – The Patriots will trade down into the second round. I'm not sure exactly what they'll do but I'm guessing they only select one player in the first round.

Andy Hart –The Patriots will not stay put. There are too many differing opinions on value in this draft for that to happen. They may actually do both – trade up and down. But they will not make both the 24th and 28th selections. Lets go with they stay at 24 and trade down from 28.

Fred Kirsch – Judging from what the experts are writing, no one would be surprised if the Patriots kept No. 24 and traded out of the 28th pick into the second round. My bet, however, is they stay put and use both first-round picks. I think there will be enough talent at positions Bill Belichick and Scott Pioli are eyeing in those slots to warrant taking them when the Patriots name is called at 24 and 28.

Paul Perillo – History would suggest a trade down to acquire a second-round pick and/or a first rounder next year. But I'll roll the dice and say they feel the value is there at both 24 and 28.

Which top-rated player will fall the farthest in the draft?

TC – Dwayne Jarrett, WR, USC. I like Jarrett's overall game but questions about his speed could push him out of the first round altogether.

AH – Alan Branch, DT, Michigan. I don't know what he's done in visits and interviews, but people seem to be down on a guy who's probably the most talented and proven defensive lineman in the draft. Now I'm hearing he could still be around in the last third of the first round. That's hard for me to believe.

FK – I'm predicting that Brady Quinn gets picked before JaMarcus Russell. That doesn't mean it's a slide for Russell but I think most believe Russell may go No. 1 to the Raiders. In terms of sliding out of the top 10 to lower in the first round, maybe Adam Carriker, the defensive end out Nebraska, but he's borderline top 10 anyway. I'll be interested to see where Amobi Okoye goes, the young defensive tackle out of Louisville. He's probably a mid-first-round pick but since he's someone who will take at least a season to develop and he's not a quarterback, some teams might not want to spend a first-round choice on him.

PP – Alan Branch, DT, Michigan. First there were reports about possible stress fractures in his legs. Then criticism of his work ethic and doughy build started to circulate. I think he'll still be around in the 20s, and someone will get great value with him.

What will be the most surprising pick of the weekend for the Patriots?

TC – Isaiah Stanback, QB/WR, Washington in Round 4. Stanback is that slash-type of player Belichick seems to like and I think he could do a number of different things for the Patriots offense.

AH – Daniel Sepulveda, P, Baylor. Most people assumed the team was set at punter with Josh Miller when he got a spring bonus check. Not so fast. If this big-legged Bear slips to the latter rounds I think New England could make the selection to add another youngster to the kicking game.

FK – Xin Lin Chung, a little known safety out of Shang Hai I discovered during my trip to China. OK, seriously, if I'm surprised by it how would I know it now?

PP – The Patriots will take a wide receiver in the third round because the value will be too good to pass up. Perhaps Auburn's Courtney Taylor.

List the positions, in order, that New England will target with its 10 picks?

TC – Are you kidding me? I'm not going to waste my time answering this question.

AH – S, LB, RB, WR, CB, P, DT, T, LB, S

FK – S, LB, LB, CB, OL, WR, LB, DB, CB, OL

PP – LB, S, WR, OL, DB, RB, OL, QB, DB, DB

Other than Calvin Johnson, which player drafted will have the most productive NFL career?

TC – LaRon Landry, S, LSU. He'll be one of the most dominant safeties in the NFL over the next decade. Landry is the total package and hopefully he'll play in the NFC so we won't have to see Roy Williams in the Pro Bowl anymore.

AH – Patrick Willis, LB, Ole Miss. I love Willis and could only hope he somehow ends up in a Patriots uniform. With a soft spot in my heart for middle linebackers, I see Willis putting up more than 1,000 tackles in the next decade.

FK – Joe Thomas, T, Wisconsin.

PP – LaRon Landry, S, LSU. The next jack-of-all-trades safety in the Rodney Harrison mold.

Which first-round pick will be the biggest bust?

TC – JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU. I hope he has Ryan Leaf's phone number because the two of them will have a lot to talk about in five years. Russell is the most overrated potential first pick I've ever seen.

AH – Adam Carriker, DE, Nebraska. Carriker is a nice little player, but will end up being a borderline starter/backup in the NFL. That's not exactly what you look for from a first-round pick.

FK – Whatever player is chosen by the Raiders.

PP – JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU. His stats against quality defenses were thoroughly unimpressive. There's more to playing the position than just raw skills.

Assuming the Patriots stay put, whom will they take at 24, 28 and 91?

TC – 24: Michael Griffin, S, Texas. 28: David Harris, LB, Michigan. 91: Daymeion Hughes, CB, Cal. I changed my mind from my mock draft 48 hours ago. That would give the Patriots three good young players at positions they need to upgrade. If the Patriots draft turns out that way, fans of New England should rejoice and party in the streets till the break of dawn.

AH – 24: Michael Griffin, S, Texas. 28: David Harris, LB, Michigan. 91: Lorenzo Booker, RB, Florida State. And I'll love all three picks.

FK – 24 Michael Griffin, S, Texas. 28: David Harris, LB, Michigan. 91: Justin Durant, LB, Hampton.

PP – 24: David Harris, LB, Michigan. 28: Brandon Meriweather, S, Miami. 91: Courtney Taylor, WR, Auburn.

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