New England's overall big board is stocked with the premier talents of the 2013 draft class.
These sought-after prospects also fulfill a positional need for the New England Patriots. And based on the team's moves in free agency, wide receiver, cornerback, defensive tackle, defensive end and the interior of the offensive line are top priorities.
Yet in order to acquire some of the following high-ranked prospects, coach Bill Belichick would likely have to trade up. That's obviously easier said than done with draft picks at a premium.
1. Xavier Rhodes, CB, Florida State—6'2", 210 pounds: Alabama's Dee Milliner may be the best cornerback in this draft, but Florida State's Xavier Rhodes isn't far behind. With a great mix of length, speed and cover skills, Rhodes shouldn't fall out of the top half of Round 1. He can play press-man coverage and hang with No. 1 receivers.
2. Tavon Austin, WR, West Virginia—5'9", 174 pounds: The odds of New England nabbing a lightning bolt like Tavon Austin are absolutely minimal. Austin shouldn't make it out of the teens. But if he falls for some unforeseeable reason, he'd be tough for the Patriots to refuse.
Austin can make an impact in several phases of the game and is simply electrifying. However, he is not—and never will be—an "X" receiver.
3. Cornellius Carradine, DE, Florida State—6'4", 276 pounds: "Tank" Carradine would easily be a top-10 pick if it wasn't for a torn ACL suffered in November. The junior college transfer may be a little raw, but he makes up for it with his brute strength, aggressiveness and burst.
While he could fall to Round 2, don't be surprised if Carradine gets his name called before New England is on the clock.
4. Datone Jones, DE, UCLA—6'4", 283 pounds: Regardless of whether New England is in a 3-4 or a 4-3 formation, UCLA's Datone Jones could be on the field. He's a forceful defensive lineman with good size and violent arms.
He ran a 4.8-second 40-yard dash and a 4.32-second two-yard shuttle at the combine in Indianapolis, so he's got some wheels considering he's within shouting distance of 300 pounds. He could very well be taken in the 18 to 30 range.
5. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Clemson—6'1", 214 pounds: The man known as "Nuke" cannot be taken lightly. Hopkins has the crisp route-running, quick feet, good hands and physical presence that the Patriots are looking for at receiver.
Although he's not a prototypical deep threat, Hopkins has the makings of a No. 1 or No. 1 NFL wideout. He's a shifty possession receiver who may just be around for the Patriots at pick 29 of the first round.
6. Sylvester Williams, DT, North Carolina—6'3", 313 pounds: Sylvester Williams plays like he was a four-year starter, but in reality, he was a junior college transfer who played just one season of high school football.
He's 24 years old with limited experience, but his pass-rushing moves are essentially where they need to be for him to make an impact as a rookie. He's a big man, yet has the agility to get in the backfield in a hurry. There may be less risky picks at the end of the first round, although Williams could bring a lot of reward.
7. Desmond Trufant, CB, Washington—6'0", 190 pounds: The younger brother of NFL cornerbacks Marcus and Isaiah, Desmond Trufant is the next in a prestigious bloodline. Trufant is a speedy defensive back with the size, man coverage and attitude to jive with the Patriots secondary. The Washington product shouldn't get out of the first round.
8. Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise State—5'11", 192 pounds: Jamar Taylor is one of the most underrated cornerbacks in this draft. Hailing from the "Smurf turf" of Boise State, level of competition concerns are the biggest thorn in Taylor's side.
A scheme-savvy corner, Taylor is a standout in man coverage and in zone. He has the speed, the toughness and the ball skills to be a future Patriot. Taylor should end up a late first-, early second-round pick.
9. Robert Woods, WR, Southern California—6'1", 201 pounds: Likely in the second tier of receiving prospects, Robert Woods is a smooth runner with pure hands. He can run the entire route tree and won't back down from a defender. Not flashy, but effective, Woods looks like a Patriot. The USC Trojan is probably a late first- or early second-rounder.
10. Keenan Allen, WR, California—6'2", 206 pounds: What makes Keenan Allen so impressive is that he is still dangerous without having breakaway speed. He can beat coverage with his moves more so than pure quickness and has the length to go up and win jump balls.
While he does have a couple concerns, there's no denying he's a first-round talent. The Patriots don't usually go after speed-deficient wide receivers, but Allen's set of skills may be an exception to the rule.