NFL Draft 2011: New England Patriots Dream Draft, First Four Picks with Video

Randolph CharlotinAnalyst IIApril 23, 2011

If Quinn went from Carolina Blue to Patriots Red, Silver, and Blue, Pats fans would be estatic
If Quinn went from Carolina Blue to Patriots Red, Silver, and Blue, Pats fans would be estaticStreeter Lecka/Getty Images

The Patriots have four selections in the first 60 picks in this year’s NFL Draft. If the Pats could draft any four players in the draft with those picks, these guys are on the very top of my list. In no particular order:


OLB/DE Robert Quinn, North Carolina

Quinn would pair with 2010 second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham to be the bookends for the Patriots pass rush for the next five years.

Quinn’s recovery from a brain tumor doesn’t concern me. Neither does his 2010 suspension for receiving improper benefits and lying to investigators.

I believe going through those challenges matured him. Quinn will be focused when he gets to the pros.

One tidbit of information on Quinn–he’s a former wrestler who won the state championship in high school. He really knows how to use leverage. Quinn will be a stud for a decade, maybe longer.



DE Cameron Jordan, California

Last season, DEs Ty Warren, Ron Brace and Mike Wright all finished the season on injured reserve. The diminished depth wore down the healthy linemen as the rotation and sub packages weren’t fully available.

Jordan isn’t a prototypical DE in head coach Bill Belichick’s 3-4 because Jordan doesn’t carry 300 pounds on his frame.

But he has elite quickness to be disruptive in the backfield. Maybe in time Jordan will put on the weight, but he can easily be part of the pass rush unit, sharing time with Wright and Myron Pryor.



OG Danny Watkins, Baylor

The need for a guard outweighs the need for an offensive tackle in my books. And Watkins is the best available.

Why does he appeal to me? Watkins grew up in Canada playing hockey. He wasn’t a skilled offensive force nor a defenseman with high skating ability.

Watkins was a goon. He’d go on the ice to rough people up.

Changing sports didn’t change the person. Watkins still plays with that nasty edge, always trying to get the last hit in, still able to get under opponents’ skin.

Watkins sounds much like Logan Mankins, who is a free agent and was tendered a non-exclusive franchise tag.

I don’t believe Mankins will play another game for the Patriots. If he leaves, Watkins sounds like he’s exactly the right man to step into Mankins’ shoes.



RB Mikel Leshoure, Illinois

I planned to watch the Pinstripe Bowl between Kansas State and Syracuse to get a good look at K-State’s Daniel Thomas. Then I found out what Leshoure did to Baylor the day before at the Texas Bowl: 29 carries, 184 yards, and three touchdowns.

That caught my attention. Leshoure fits the mold of a Patriot running back (6’0” 230) and has a downhill running style.

If he’s anything like Pittsburgh’s Rashard Mendenhall, another former Illini, then Leshoure will be a great running back.



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