2011 SB Nation NFL Mock Draft: Round 1, Pick 28

COLUMBUS OH - SEPTEMBER 2: Quarterback Brian Anderson #12 of the Marshall Thundering Herd attempts a pass as Cameron Heyward #97 of the Ohio State Buckeyes closes in at Ohio Stadium on September 2 2010 in Columbus Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

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. 28 overall.

With the 28th overall pick in the 2011 SB Nation NFL Writers Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select Cameron Heyward, defensive end, Ohio State.

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: If you recall, at pick 17, I had the Patriots selecting Gabe Carimi, the offensive tackle out of Wisconsin. At the time, the logic was there were still a lot of prospects left on the board for the front seven of the Patriots' 3-4 defense, and that the Patriots would benefit from guaranteeing themselves a versatile lineman in Carimi. Sure enough, although Derek Sherrod and Nate Solder were still on the board at 28, the only other tackle I considered a candidate for the pick was Anthony Costanzo, and he was chosen by the Colts at pick 22.

Although my number one option for pick 28, Muhammad Wilkerson, was not available, there were a handful of other options for the team’s front seven, including Cameron Heyward, Brooks Reed, Jabaal Sheard and Allen Bailey. With all of the options available at outside linebacker, it made sense to go with Cameron Heyward at this spot, and select one of the remaining defensive ends (or best player available) at 33. Besides, if I had waited on pulling the trigger on Heyward, there’s a chance that a 3-4 team such as the Packers, Steelers or Jets could have pulled the trigger on him at the back end of round one.

There are plenty of reasons why I chose Heyward at this spot. Sure, his production was not terrific last season, but he’s a team captain, hard worker, and high character player. In addition, he looks the part of a 3-4 right defensive end in the mold of a Richard Seymour, standing at 6’5" and 294 lbs. He’s not an elite run defender that will dominate double teams in the form of a left end such as Ty Warren, but he can push the pocket and line up in a variety of positions along the line to take advantage of his quickness. He'd also be strong enough to hold up against double teams against the run, although he will need to work on his technique to some point. He’s certainly not the prototype for a five-technique right defensive end in New England's system, but with some work, there’s no question that he could become an impact player along the defensive line and could possibly give the team a boost similar to what Richard Seymour gave them for the better part of last decade.

Dan Kadar reacts: This is a great pick and one that is likely to happen if the Patriots don't take an end 17th. Don't forget that Heyward entered the 2010 season expected to be a top 10 pick. While that's out of the question, he's clearly a talent. I rate him higher than Knopping does as a five-technique, and think he can contribute immediately in that spot. [Cameron Heyward Scouting Report]

With that, the Chicago Bears - and our friends at Windy City Gridiron - are now on the clock.

Mocking the Draft's Top 5 Remaining Prospects

OVR Name Pos. College Report
14 Stephen Paea DT Oregon State scouting report
15 Mikel Leshoure RB Illinois scouting report
19 Akeem Ayers OLB UCLA scouting report
20 Jon Baldwin WR Pittsburgh scouting report
22 Adrian Clayborn DE Iowa scouting report

2011 SB Nation NFL Writers' Mock Draft - RESULTS

Rd. No. Team Player Pos. College Link
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
29 Chicago Bears
30 New York Jets
31 Pittsburgh Steelers
32 Green Bay Packers
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