With the 17th pick in the 2011 Dawgs By Nature Community Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select...
J.J. Watt, DE, Wisconsin
This selection and write-up was made by Onyx Lightning:
The Patriots, as in most drafts this side of the millennium, have the upper hand in this draft. Most years, simply having Bill Belichick in the war room is enough to give New England an edge. This year, not only do they have his well reputed draft acumen, but after some expert positioning and well executed trades, the organization sits with six picks in the first three rounds in one of the deepest drafts talent-wise in recent memory, three of which are in the top 33 (the third of which starts the 2nd round, now a very desirable pick with the new three day draft format). Suffice it to say that the Pats are loaded and that makes them this year's biggest wild card. If they want to package three picks to move up and take Green, Peterson or Bowers, they can. Of course, since this mock is being based strictly on the picks that exist, that's the position I'm picking from.
The Patriots don't seem to need a whole lot on the surface. They were of course 14-2 this year, they dominated almost everyone they faced (aside from the Browns, and the Jets in the playoffs), and they are still a fairly young team. But remember, even though New England is considered by many to be the top team of the past decade (myself included), they haven't won a Super Bowl since 2004, and haven't won a playoff game since their SB loss to the Giants four years ago. Obviously they have Brady, but they need some more playmakers of both sides of the ball. While RB and WR seem to be needs, beyond Green, Jones and Ingram, there isn't anyone worthy of a first round pick. If they are all gone the focus shifts to the other major areas of concern: The Offensive and Defensive Line. And they have the picks to address both early on, even if they do stay put.
J.J. Watt is, in my opinion, one the most versatile defensive linemen in this draft. Not only is his versatility a plus, he has a motor that doesn't quit and he is a playmaker. After a stellar workout at the combine, his draft status is only rising which tells me if the Patriots stay put and Watt is available at 17, they take him, no questions asked. Putting him on the line next to Ty Warren could be a very difficult tandem for opposing teams to handle for the foreseeable future, especially if they can also nab one of the many solid second tier Defensive Tackles later on.
The Patriots system is perfect for Watt to excel in and he fills a legitimate need for them as he can play the run and rush the passer effectively. I could see him causing nightmares for O-Coordinators. Sure, he isn't perfect, he still needs to learn the many shade assignments in the Patriots Defensive packages, and he'll probably need to gain some weight and strength if he plays on the inside, but he has a great head for the game and his work ethic is unquestioned.
If the Patriots land a guy like Watt along with several other impact players, the question won't be "How far will New England go", it will be "Who's coming in second?"
With how many picks the Patriots have early on and how good of a team they already are, they can do no wrong in this draft. Even if everyone they draft turn out to be busts, they'll still find a player on the waiver wire to come in, start, and be a key contributor. If there is a position I'd like to see New England improve, if would be the defensive line. They need to be able to stop the New York Jets next season in the regular season and if the two meet in the postseason again, and I think that starts with having a better defensive front to help take away the Jets' ground game.
The San Diego Chargers are on the clock next (email for Adrock2099 is not working; hopefully he contacts me).
|5||Arizona||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||Browns town|
|7||San Francisco||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||rufio|
|8||Tennessee||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||iwearmocs|
|10||Washington||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||Rounds94|
|14||St. Louis||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||Don'tByBrownsQBJerseys|
|15||Miami||Mike Pouncey||OG||Univ. of Florida||jaws|
|17||New England||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||Onyx Lightning|
|24||New Orleans||Buckeye Brad|
|28||New England||Onyx Lightning|
|30||N.Y. Jets||Roger Dorn|