The 2012 NFL draft is just a few days away, and now it's time to start wrapping up our big boards and mock drafts and throw them all together into one final product.
Over the past few months, I have been releasing mock drafts left and right, and earlier this week I landed on a final product: a full seven-round mock draft.
Heading into the 2012 draft, the New England Patriots sit with a total of six picks, with four of them being in the top 64. With those picks, the Patriots should address their secondary, pass rush, offensive line and even the wide receiver position.
With that being said, let's take a look at my final mock draft for the New England Patriots. Keep in mind that it is almost impossible to predict Bill Belichick and New England's drafting strategies, and that I guarantee to you that we'll see the Patriots pull off several trades in this year's draft.
Round 1, Pick 27: Harrison Smith, Notre Dame, SS
Forget Mark Barron out of Alabama. I firmly believe that Harrison Smith is not only the better fit at safety for the Patriots but also the top safety in this year's class.
Smith possesses ideal size for a safety prospect and is one of the more intelligent players in the draft. There's no question that he has the potential to be a dominant force in New England's secondary as well as a future team captain, as he is a natural leader that exhibits a great work ethic.
Round 2, Pick 31: Devon Still, Penn State, DL
Devon Still is quite the intriguing prospect as he has the ideal body for a defensive lineman at the NFL level.
While at Penn State, Still displayed his physical presence along the defensive line. He has the ability to not only clog up running lanes but also penetrate through the line and collapse the passing pocket.
All in all, Still seems like a guy that the Patriots would love to have on board. Not only is he talented with a ton of upside, but he is also extremely versatile, considering he can play any position along the defensive line in both the 3-4 and the 4-3.
Round 2, Pick 48: Shea McClellin, Boise State, LB
For a second-round selection, this is the kind of prospect that the Patriots will be adding.
Shea McClellin is a very athletic pass-rusher at outside linebacker as well as defensive end.
The most appealing trait about him that Belichick and New England would love is his versatility. While at Boise State, McClellin played at not only outside linebacker but also defensive end and inside linebacker—you don't usually come across guys that are that athletic, talented and smart enough to play that vast amount of positions.
Round 2, Pick 62: David Wilson, Virginia Tech, RB
This may be a shock to some of you as the Patriots spent two early draft picks on Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen in last year's draft. But I do believe that the team has to replace BenJarvus Green-Ellis, who left via free agency and signed with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Wilson is an explosive runner and excels at running off tackle. He can get to the edge quickly as he possess elite acceleration—something that New England's ground game has been lacking over the years.
Round 3, Pick 93: Rishard Matthews, Nevada, WR
I am a huge fan of Rishard Matthews.
While at Nevada, Matthews proved to be a productive asset in their offense as he caught 91 passes for a whooping 1,364 yards and eight touchdowns as a senior.
Matthews has an ideal body for an NFL receiver, and he should develop into a quality No. 2 wideout if all goes right in his career.
Round 4, Pick 126: Tony Bergstrom, Utah, OT
The loss of Matt Light might not be felt so much since New England has his replacement in Nate Solder, but they still need to add some depth.
How would you grade this draft class for the Patriots?
Tony Bergstrom out of Utah is a solid offensive tackle prospect that has great size. as he stands in at 6'5" and weighs a solid 313 lbs.
All in all, Bergstrom might not make a huge impact, but he's a quality body to have on the bench behind tackles Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer.
Be sure to check out Tony Santorsa's blog: PatriotsPlus.