The NFL Scouting Combine is over, and now the New England Patriots and the rest of the NFL begin the long wait until the first weekend in May for the draft.
The Patriots face a number of questions in free agency that will directly affect their draft process. Will Julian Edelman, Ryan Wendell and Aqib Talib return? How are the recoveries of Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Rob Gronkowski and Jerod Mayo progressing?
Only time will answer those questions and how they will impact the Patriots' needs, though it's assured the Pats will fill all their holes in free agency one way or another. The ideal situation is to be free of glaring needs, so they can attack draft board and find players who best fit the system and program.
Let's ignore all those unknown factors for now and take a crack at our first Patriots-only mock draft of the year, finding a collection of players who have the kind of toughness, versatility and love of football that the Pats look for.
Stats via NFL.com.