Representing the New England Patriots, super8 with the 27th pick in Arrowhead Pride's 2012 NFL mock draft...
When you think of the best drafting teams in the NFL, the Patriots are usually at the top of the list. A team that consistently has two first round picks knows how to do business, right?
The one thing that the Patriots have never done is take advantage of the multiple high picks. However, this is the year that this repetitive process will end. There is no avoiding it. The defense is in need of major reconstruction.
Perhaps one of the reasons why New England didn't have to spend picks is because they simply didn't need to do so. This was consistently a playoff caliber team, and one who is consistently picked to win the Super Bowl. A Pro Bowl quarterback, a pair of elite tight ends, a Mr. Wes Welker, and a very well built offensive line have been the centerpiece of this team.
However, that is about all that the Patriots have that could really be considered "elite". The receivers that this team had to offer, excluding Welker, were below average. The defense was a complete mess. Yet, the Patriots were still able to get to the Super Bowl. It sounds incredible.
But they didn't win it. Heck, if it wasn't for a missed field goal and Tebow Time, they may have never gotten there. In the Super Bowl, the Giants showed us the true weakness of New England, its terrible defense. Besides Vince Wilfork, the Patriots are silent of the defensive line. Quarterbacks can have fun in the pocket while playing New England, because they simply don't have legitimate pass rush. The secondary is terrible as well, ranking 31st in the NFL in pass yardage given up. The safety position might be the weakest link in that dreadful secondary, arguably being the worst safety pair in the NFL. It seems clear to me that the Patriots need to focus almost totally on defense. The offense may have gotten the Patriots to the Super Bowl, but defense wins championships. You can just ask Jason Pierre-Paul and the Giants all about that.
The New England Patriots select...
Janoris Jenkins CB Northern Alabama!
So, it looks like a few teams have passed on Jenkins due to character concerns, huh? Well, that won't be the case for me. The defense in New England is in such a mess that I will take this risk. The Patriots have proven they can take risks on character concerns such as Chad Ochocinco and Albert Haynesworth. You could even say the same about Aaron Hernandez, and look how that turned out.
Jenkins is a top 10 corner; there isn't any doubt about that after his excellent Senior Bowl. He is an excellent tackler and has "quick feet", which allows him to take on most wideouts at the next level. Jenkins has also proven his worth against tough competition, such as AJ Green and Alshon Jeffery. He can also be a return man if need be.
At Northern Alabama, he has been turning his life around, and has stayed out of trouble for the most part (besides that punch he threw in one game). Being a former Gator, that should appeal to Bill Belichick, who is known for drafting lots and lots of Florida players in the recent past. He is a friend of former Gators coach Urban Meyer.
A top 10 corner is a huge building block for a defense, and a building block is exactly what New England needs. This pick may not be very popular, considering natural dislike toward troublemakers. However, remember that I have two first round picks to spend. Unlike most of the teams this year, I can afford to take risks up here. Because of that, I could be getting a huge steal. If not, I still have another pick to lean on. Even if Jenkins is suspended for a half a season, it's half a season of elite-ness that I wouldn't have gotten if I were any other team. The good news is, it appears that most of the Patriots fan base is on board for this pick, seeing the talent that Jenkins possesses.
Still, you can't avoid the fact that this pick is a risk...a big risk...but as I said....I'm feeling lucky with two first rounders.
Previously (with approval results)...
9. Carolina Panthers - South Carolina LB/DE Melvin Ingram (Forgot to do a poll)
27. New England Patriots - North Alabama CB Janoris Jenkins