One week from tonight the Patriots will be on the clock waiting to make their first pick of the 2016 NFL draft. At that point 59 players will have come off the board because New England is without a first-round pick and won't select until late in Round 2.
Still, there should be plenty of talented players available for Bill Belichick and his personnel department to pick from. In terms of positional needs, the Patriots could probably use a cornerback to compete at the very least for a spot in sub packages, a running back to handle every-down chores, an offensive tackle and perhaps a defensive lineman or two.
Obviously determining which direction the Patriots will go becomes even more difficult given the lateness of their first selection. It's hard enough trying to handicap a first-round pick so identifying the 60th overall selection is near impossible.
But we've never been afraid of tackling the impossible so this week our Samsonite Make Your Case question of the week is: Who will the Patriots draft with their first pick in the second round?
PFW's Andy Hart says...
The Patriots are in need of help at the cornerback position and they should have a chance to upgrade immediately. New England was able to get by with Logan Ryan as its No. 2 corner in 2015 but it's time to move him to the third spot and get a young, athletic rookie to take his place.
Alexander has all the tools to be a successful corner. He's confident, works hard, shows great instincts and physicality and he spends countless hours breaking down film in preparing for his next opponents. Those sound like great traits for a Patriots corner.
The only problem with my plan is Alexander may not be available at the end of Round 2 but if he's still on the board in the middle of the round the Patriots have plenty of picks available to put a package together and move up. Alexander has the look of a successful corner and he'd make a lot of sense at 60.
PFW's Paul Perillo says...
The Patriots have spent a lot of time searching for defensive tackles during the offseason and they've let a few go during the spring as well. While they've added a big body in Terrance Knighton to the equation, they really haven't done much in terms of the smaller, athletic types after releasing Dominique Easley and Chris Jones.
Day is a defensive tackle out of Notre Dame who fits that profile. He moves well and has the ability to play the run. While he isn't the most gifted pass rusher among the interior defensive linemen available, he does have the speed and power to improve in that area and potentially provide a presence.
Projecting how the board will unfold over the first 59 picks is an unenviable task but the Patriots could add a productive and talented player by adding Day to the mix.
Now it's your turn to cast a vote in this week's Samsonite Make Your Case poll question.