The second round of the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft rolls along. We're having each SB Nation blogger make selections for their respective teams. MaPatsFan, lead blogger of SB Nation's New England Patriots blog, Pats Pulpit, checks in to make the No. 53 overall selection in this year's mock. Take it away!
With the No. 53 overall pick in the 2010 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft, the New England Patriots have selected Rodger Saffold, OT, Indiana
MaPatsFan says: The Patriots luck out with Saffold dropping this far in the draft. With the 47th selection, I had Damian Williams, Kareem Jackson and Saffold with top 45 player value on my draft board- as in I thought these players were worth our first pick in the 2nd round. With Williams as our previous pick and with Jackson just being taken off the board, Saffold was an easy pick. With Vollmer being taken in the second round of last year, and being a great success, it's time to start developing another tackle to take the spot opposite of Sea-Bass in the future.
Matt Light and Nick Kaczur are slowing down and with them only good for half a season, we need a player who can learn from our offensive line coach Dante Scarneccia and step into the role as, hopefully, a starter next year. Matt Light enters the last year of his contract and he's far from untouchable- I wouldn't be surprised if we didn't resign him. This is the year to grab an OT and groom him for a full season and, hopefully, he'll be ready to step into the vacant O-Line spot. Saffold has oodles of starting experience, which is something Belichick looks for. Vollmer can take either tackle position so even if Saffold doesn't make it as a LT, he still has the strength and potential to be the right tackle of the future.
I know there will be questions about not taking a tight end with Gronkowski still on the board. I'm just not high on him. He's coming off an injury and there are just too many question marks about his durability- we don't want another Shawn Crable experience. There are other quality TEs still on the board who should be available in the 4th round. Look for that to happen. In the meantime, I'll gladly take a future stud tackle who is a littler more certain, in my opinion, in fulfilling the position in a way the Patriots want. Saffold can do what he'll be asked to do- he can block. Gronkowski is more of an unknown. Pick: Saffold.
Mocking Dan reacts: A lot of people have been touting Saffold as an early second-round pick, but this is a more appropriate draft position. For New England's pick, I'll still contest that Gronkowski is a better choice, even with his injury history. In 2008, he was considered a first-round talent. A player who can contribute immediately instead of a player who will sit at least a year is the kind of player the Pats need.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 remaining prospects: 1 - Rob Gronkowski/TE/Arizona, 2 - Brandon Spikes/LB/Florida, 3 - Aaron Hernandez, TE, Florida, 4 - Arrelious Benn, WR, Illinois, 5 - Morgan Burnett, S, Georgia Tech
Sound off, SB Nation! What say you of New England's selection of Saffold? Please be sure to check out Pats Pulpit for all of your Patriots needs.