Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft 2011: Final Kiper Mock Sends Mark Ingram to Patriots
Mel Kiper NFL Mock Draft 2011 Finally Delivers A Running Back
Kiper's Pick: Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama
The Patriots are unfailingly unpredictable, even more so this season because they can cover a wide variety of needs throughout the first four rounds, where they know they'll get value. But there's no question they could use a talent such as Ingram, particularly this late in Round 1. Ingram is a gamer, a guy who can help the running game now. He's a Bill Belichick type of player, but his pad level, balance and ability to explode from contact are traits any coach would love.
Should Ingram be on the board the Pats will have a hard time passing on him. BenJarvus Green-Ellis is a restricted free agent and it's tough to consider him a "feature back" yet. And Danny Woodhead certainly isn't either. So to provide more balance to the offense they could go for the best back in the draft.
But it seems strange to go for that position when there are two major needs on the offensive line. The bad blood between the Pats and Logan Mankins suggests he's on his way out. And Matt Light is a free agent that they can't be expected to re-sign since he's about to turn 33.
Having said that, the Pats can virtually do anything they want here. They pick again five spots later. It's a good bet that they are confident they can get guards Danny Watkins or Orlando Franklin at 33 or wait until the third round to take Rodney Hudson who seems like a real "Belichick guy."
Who knows, they could also take Brooks Reed at 33 then land Watkins or Franklin with their second pick in the second round.
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