Our annual 2011 NFL Mock Draft, with picks made by each of SB Nation's NFL team bloggers, is in full swing. The latest pick in to the podium: the New England Patriots, at No. 33 overall.
With the 33rd overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select Brooks Reed, defensive end, Arizona.
Greg Knopping of PatsPulpit.com explains the choice, and our own Dan Kadar reacts to it, after the jump. Make sure you're grading this pick for the Patriots, and checking out Pats Pulpit for all of your Patriots needs.
Greg Knopping explains: At the 33rd pick, I was once again presented with numerous options for the New England Patriots. At 17, the Patriots filled a need when I went with Gabe Carimi, the offensive lineman out of Wisconsin. With the 28th pick, the Patriots got the best 3-4 right end left on the board (and arguably one of the best players available) in Cameron Heyward. Following that pick, the other three positions that most needed to be addressed by the Patriots were outside linebacker, running back, and wide receiver.
Looking at those positions, there were some intriguing options left on the board. At outside linebacker, Jabaal Sheard, Brooks Reed and Allen Bailey were all still available. At running back, options such as Mikel Leshoure, Jordan Todman and Ryan Williams were all still there. At receiver, the likes of Torrey Smith and Leonard Hankerson still remained. Even a guy such as Danny Watkins was considered at the interior line. The problem when deciding was that none of these players were projected to be around when the Patriots picked next at No. 60. This made it a very tough choice.
Ultimately, I landed on Reed as my choice. He’s not the perfect 3-4 outside linebacker conversion project, but it is extremely hard to find one in this era (hence why Bill Belichick has never spent a first round pick on one). Reed has an explosive first step, and ran one of the fastest 10-yard splits at the Combine at 1.54 seconds. In fact, his 10-yard split was even faster than Georgia’s A.J. Green. While it’s hard to measure a prospect largely on what he did at the Combine, Reed showed good side-to-side quickness and better fluidity than expected in the linebacker drills. Add in the fact that Reed ran a 4.65, and has the build of a typical Patriots 3-4 outside linebacker at 6’3" and 263 lbs., and you’ve got a multitude of reasons why Reed could be an excellent pick for the Patriots. Reed combines all of those measurables with some terrific pass rushing moves, including a nice spin for his double move. He is better at setting the edge than you would expect, and always plays with a non-stop motor. He’s a hard worker and good locker room guy.
The only potential problems I see with Reed is that he isn’t the best at turning back up the field on his pass rush (can be taken out of plays) and his production was not exactly what you would like it to be at for such a high pick. In addition, fast-risers such as Reed often scare me. There’s no question that there is some risk in drafting a player such as Reed this high.
Overall, however, I see him as a player who can come in and contribute immediately in sub-packages as a pass rushing defensive end. A little ways down the line, he could be a big-time outside linebacker opposite Jermaine Cunningham, either on the left or the right side.
Dan Kadar reacts: I mentioned earlier that Reed was a over-hyped project pick for the Packers. That's true. For a team like the Patriots, who have another second-round pick, he could be a luxury. If anyone can develop his talent, it's Belichick. Reed's Combine times show there is something to work with there. He just never showed it consistently at Arizona.
Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects
|15||Mikel Leshoure||RB||Illinois||scouting report|
|20||Jon Baldwin||WR||Pittsburgh||scouting report|
|22||Adrian Clayborn||DE||Iowa||scouting report|
|24||Brandon Harris||CB||Miami (FL)||scouting report|
|27||Kyle Rudolph||TE||Notre Dame||scouting report|
2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS
|1||1||Carolina Panthers||Blaine Gabbert||QB||Missouri||story|
|2||Denver Broncos||Von Miller||OLB||Texas A&M||story|
|3||Buffalo Bills||Patrick Peterson||CB||LSU||story|
|4||Cincinnati Bengals||A.J. Green||WR||Georgia||story|
|5||Arizona Cardinals||Cam Newton||QB||Auburn||story|
|6||Cleveland Browns||Marcell Dareus||DT||Alabama||story|
|7||San Francisco 49ers||Prince Amukamara||CB||Nebraska||story|
|8||Tennessee Titans||Nick Fairley||DT||Auburn||story|
|9||Dallas Cowboys||Tyron Smith||OT||USC||story|
|10||Washington Redskins||Robert Quinn||DE||North Carolina||story|
|11||Houston Texans||Julio Jones||WR||Alabama||story|
|12||Minnesota Vikings||J.J. Watt||DE||Wisconsin||story|
|13||Detroit Lions||Da'Quan Bowers||DE||Clemson||story|
|14||St. Louis Rams||Corey Liuget||DT||Illinois||story|
|15||Miami Dolphins||Mark Ingram||RB||Alabama||story|
|16||Jacksonville Jaguars||Christian Ponder||QB||Florida State||story|
|17||New England Patriots||Gabe Carimi||OT||Wisconsin||story|
|18||San Diego Chargers||Cameron Jordan||DE||California||story|
|19||New York Giants||Mike Pouncey||G/C||Florida||story|
|20||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Ryan Kerrigan||DE||Purdue||story|
|21||Kansas City Chiefs||Phil Taylor||DT||Baylor||story|
|22||Indianapolis Colts||Anthony Castonzo||OT||Boston College||story|
|23||Philadelphia Eagles||Jimmy Smith||CB||Colorado||story|
|24||New Orleans Saints||Muhammad Wilkerson||DT||Temple||story|
|25||Seattle Seahawks||Ryan Mallett||QB||Arkansas||story|
|26||Baltimore Ravens||Aldon Smith||DE||Missouri||story|
|27||Atlanta Falcons||Justin Houston||DE||Georgia||story|
|28||New England Patriots||Cameron Heyward||DE||Ohio State||story|
|29||Chicago Bears||Stephen Paea||DT||Oregon State||story|
|30||New York Jets||Akeem Ayers||OLB||UCLA||story|
|31||Pittsburgh Steelers||Nate Solder||OT||Colorado||story|
|32||Green Bay Packers||Derek Sherrod||OT||Mississippi State||story|
|2||33||New England Patriots||Brooks Reed||DE||Arizona|
|45||San Francisco 49ers|
|47||St. Louis Rams|
|50||San Diego Chargers|
|51||Tampa Bay Buccaneers|
|52||New York Giants|
|55||Kansas City Chiefs|
|56||New Orleans Saints|
|60||New England Patriots|
|61||San Diego Chargers|
|64||Green Bay Packers|