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2010 NFL Draft - New England Patriots
Rutgers CB Devin McCourty
Rutgers CB Devin McCourty
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Apr 24, 2010


New England Patriots - AFC East, 2010 Draft Selections & Prospects

New England Patriots

2010 NFL Draft Analysis
1st Round (1-16) | 31st Round (17-32) | 2nd Round | 3rd Round
4th Round | 5th Round | 6th Round | 7th Round | Top Free Agents

- CFN 2010 Draft Central
- 10 Biggest Reaches

2010 NFL Draft Team Analysis - AFC
EAST Buffalo | Miami
New England | NY Jets

WEST Denver | Kansas City
 Oakland | San Diego

NORTH Balt. | Cincinnati  Cleveland | Pittsburgh

SOUTH Houston | Indy
Jacksonville | Tenn.

2010 NFL Draft Team Analysis - NFC
EAST Dallas | NY Giants
Philadelphia | Wash.

WEST Arizona | San Fran.
Seattle | St. Louis

NORTH Chicago | Detroit
Green Bay | Minnesota

SOUTH Atlanta | Carolina
New Orleans | Tampa Bay

First Round (from a trade with Dallas)
Devin McCourty, CB Rutgers 5-11, 193
Overall Pick No. 27 CFN Overall Ranking: 47

New England gets several benefits of the doubt when it comes to picking late in the first round, and while some are going to wonder about why it passed over on Dez Bryant twice by trading with Denver and later Dallas, McCourty is a speedy corner who fits the Patriot mold.

Very athletic and very quick, he didn’t fly at the Combine, but he came up with a 4.48 and later ran a 4.42. He has the combination of skills and he looks the part, but despite his strength he’ll get pushed around a bit. He seems like he should be doing far, far more considering his talent; he wasn’t a difference maker. He’ll likely be a better pro than a collegian and will start for a long, long time and be rock solid. There’s almost no bust potential.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Second Round  (from Oakland from Tampa Bay from Chicago)
Rob Gronkowski, TE Arizona 6-6, 264 (Jr.)
Overall Pick 42 CFN Overall Ranking: 39

The Patriots went after another weapon now that Ben Watson is a Cleveland Brown. Gronkowski is a first round talent who probably got hurt shaking Roger Goodell’s hand … he’s a porcelain doll. Considering Sergio Kindle is still on the board, the Patriots might have made a huge reach for a player who doesn’t fill a glaring need.

Very big and very talented with the total package of talents, he can run better than his 4.75 40 would show, has phenomenal hands, and is tough enough to grow into a better blocker. If he can stay healthy he has the potential to be the top tight end in this draft and one of the most productive in a decade, but he can’t be counted on to last more than ten minutes. He missed time with mono, missed most of last year with a herniated disk, and he has never been able to show he can play for a full season. The experience isn’t there, but the upside is limitless.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Second Round 
Jermaine Cunningham, DE Florida 6-3, 266 (OLB)
Overall Pick 53 CFN Overall Ranking: 126

An interesting pick for the Patriots, Cunningham is consistent and decent, but he needs to be pushed to get to another level … and Bill Belichick should be able to do it. He’s not a top-end pass rusher and doesn’t really fit a role for New England. This isn’t necessarily a reach, but he’s a fourth round talent taken at least 50 picks early. Like Belichick cares if he thinks he has his guy.

His stock has dropped off the map after being considered a possible first rounder not all that long ago. The size is there, the athleticism and talent are undeniable, and he has produced at the highest of collegiate levels, but he’s a tweener who isn’t quite an outside linebacker and is a bit thin to be a regular end in a 3-4. He’s a hard worker and a battler, but he benefitted greatly from having a lot of great players around him.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Second Round (from Minnesota from Houston)
Brandon Spikes, ILB Florida 6-3, 249
Overall Pick 62 CFN Overall Ranking: 37

A New England pick, Spikes might not have the measurable or the tools, but he’s a baller who can show up and shine because of his playmaking ability. There’s a hard ceiling on what he can do, but the same could be said for any number of good Patriot linebackers over the years. Combined with the pure athleticism of Jerod Mayo, Spikes could flourish if he doesn’t have to do everything.

A better football player than a raw prospect, he’s not sideline-to-sideline fast at an NFL level and he’s not nearly polished enough for all the experience, but he’s a great leader, always finds his way to the ball, and he’s always going full-tilt. While he might not be an elite athlete, he always stood out on a defense full of great athletes. He’s only an inside/middle linebacker because of his lack of top-end speed, and he has to hit the weights to be able to hold up and be physical enough, but he’ll be a good value any time after the first round.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Third Round (from Dallas)
Taylor Price, WR Ohio 6-0, 204
Overall Pick 90 CFN Overall Ranking: 125

It’ll be interesting to see if the Patriots got the right guy at the end of a run with Eric Decker (Denver), Andre Roberts (Arizona), and Armanti Edwards (Carolina) going with the previous three picks. Price is the fastest of the four. He’s what Joey Galloway was supposed to be on the other side of Randy Moss.

One of the high risers on the draft boards over the offseason, he didn’t disappoint at the Combine with a terrific 4.43 to go along with fluid cutting ability in the drills. He might not be all that big, but he has the deep speed to be an intriguing prospect if he can sharpen up the subtle nuances of his game. While he worked out well, he didn’t always look the part in game action and he didn’t always make his mediocre quarterbacks look good. If someone is willing to be patient and will want to mold the clay, he could emerge as a terrific No. 2 target.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Fourth Round  (from San Francisco)
Aaron Hernandez, TE Florida 6-2, 245 (Jr.)
Overall Pick No. 113 CFN Overall Ranking: 72

Value, value, value. Bill Belichick and Urban Meyer are buddies, and Hernandez comes highly recommended. The Patriots already got a tight end in Rob Gronkowski, and they already took two Gators in Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes. Pats fans now have to hope that Meyer hasn’t gone nuts and his influence means something positive.

He’s built like a fullback, moves like an H-Back, and catches like a wide receiver. He’s not all that big and doesn’t have the prototype look, but he’s a phenomenal route runner and a great pass catcher with excellent athleticism and the ability to make the tough catches. While he might be thickly built, he’s not a blocker and has some character issues after having a few minor problems at Florida. You know what you’re getting; he’ll be a strong receiver who’ll need a better blocking tight end to be in the rotation.
CFN Projection: Second Round

Fifth Round   (from Houston)
Zoltan Mesko, P Michigan 6-4, 235
Overall Pick 150     CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

The best punter in the draft, if he was taken by almost anyone but New England, this would be considered a major reach and a way-too-early pick for a punter. However, he might be worth it. With a cannon for a leg, he’ll be a weapon who’ll bail out the offense on those rare occasions when Tom Brady doesn’t come through.

Mesko can do it all with a big leg to air it out and good accuracy. He was consistent and always productive, but he has to be a little quicker at getting the ball off. He’s used to kicking in bad weather and doesn’t need to play in a dome or in perfect surroundings.
CFN Projection:
Free Agent

Sixth Round 
Ted Larsen, C NC State 6-2, 304
Overall Pick 208 CFN Overall Ranking: 158

Is it possible for New England to NOT get good value? Larsen will struggle with the shotgun snap, but he could end up being used as a smart, tough guard and in the rotation in the middle. He’s a great pick for this late in the draft. The Pats offense has gotten starting production out of lesser OL talents over the years.

Originally a defensive tackle, he’s an intense blocker who’s great on the move. While he’s not going to run over anyone, he’s a nasty blocker who always goes full-tilt and is always looking for someone to his. A bit too inconsistent in offseason practices, he might get tried out at guard even though that’s not his position. He’s still a work in progress, but he’ll do what’s needed to make himself better. However, he might be ready to go right now if he’s in a zone-blocking scheme that can take advantage of his mobility.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Seventh Round  (from Washington from St. Louis)
Thomas Welch, OT Vanderbilt
6-6, 307
Overall Pick 208 CFN Overall Ranking: Free Agent

Very slow and with little to no athleticism, Welch might still be a late-round Bill Belichick steal who can be molded into a productive part of the blocking rotation.

A very nice college player, he’s a tough, feisty blocker who fights well and is a smart player who doesn’t make mistakes. He’s not all that big and needs to fill out his frame, and he has a shaky ankle and durability issues. There’s a chance he could stick on a roster for a little while because he has the potential to grow into a solid backup tackle, but he needs work and needs to be in the right offense.
CFN Projection: Free Agent

Seventh Round 
Brandon Deadrick, DT Alabama 6-4, 296 (DE)
Overall Pick 247 CFN Overall Ranking: 199

The question is where he’s going to play for the Pats. More of a big end than a tackle, he’s really tall and big, really long, and he’s strong on the inside. He’ll have to be a 3-4 end, but he could see time anywhere up front if and when he needs to move around, but there’s a limit on what he can do. He’s not going to flash into the backfield and isn’t going to get to the quarterback, and there are character issues after a variety of off-the-field issues.
CFN Projection: Fourth Round

Seventh Round  
Kade Weston, DT Georgia 6-5, 317
Overall Pick 248 CFN Overall Ranking: 201

Tall and with good size, he’s an interesting prospect with the right look and the strength to hold his own on the Patriot line. While he’s not a space-eater, he can grow into a terrific backup nose tackle and could be strong against the run for a limited time. He’s not an athlete and he didn’t do all that much with his Georgia career. It’ll take the right coach to unleash his potential, and the hope will be that he’s a diamond in the rough.
CFN Projection: Sixth Round

Seventh Round 
Zac Robinson, QB Oklahoma State 6-3, 214
Overall Pick 250 CFN Overall Ranking: 253

While there’s no upside whatsoever as a pure passer, he’s one of the better athletes among the quarterbacks with the ability to make things happen on the move. The Patriots have done more with less. He has a good enough arm to hit the deep ball and is accurate enough to potentially be solid in a West Coast offense. However, he played behind a tremendous line and didn’t have to deal with a steady pass rush. While his arm is fine, he doesn’t have enough to push it outside the hash marks. Because of his running ability he might make a roster with some thought of making him a backup safety and a third QB, but he’s not a starter.
CFN Projection: Free Agent