The New England Patriots won the Super Bowl in February, and they'll probably contend for a Super Bowl title again in 2015 despite their now-prototypical exodus of big-name players this offseason. Darrelle Revis was the real headliner, returning to the New York Jets, but the loss of nose tackle Vince Wilfork to Houston in free agency was a significant defection, as well.
Greg Knopping of Pats Pulpit had an opportunity to address both holes created by those losses with the No. 32 overall pick in our 2015 NFL mock draft, and he went with the lineman over the corner.
32. Patriots: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
Greg did not end up offering an explanation for his pick before this post published, but it's not so difficult to surmise what went into it: the loss of Wilfork, coupled with Davis' strengths as a player and his upside, make this player-team fit a pretty snug one. Here's what Dan had to say on the selection:
Dan Kadar, SBNation.com: Replacing Vince Wilfork’s 800 snaps a season won’t be easy. Adding a player like Davis would go a long way toward making it a little easier. Davis had a bit of a down senior season, but that was largely because he was often getting double teamed. That led to some questions about his effort and desire. But at the Senior Bowl, he looked dominant like in 2013. If a team gets that version of Davis, they have a defensive lineman who can play over the nose or even kick out to end on an odd front. There is some guard depth later in the draft if New England goes this direction early.
Dan's Top 5 players remaining
- 17. Dorial Green-Beckham, WR, Oklahoma
- 19. Eric Kendricks, LB, UCLA
- 28. Jaelen Strong, WR, Arizona State
- 29. Maxx Williams, TE, Minnesota
- 30. Paul Dawson, LB, TCU
- 1-32: Carl Davis, DT, Iowa
- 2-64: (coming April 21)
That does it for the first round of our mock draft! We're not wasting any time getting into Round 2, though; the Tennessee Titans and Music City Miracles are back on the clock, and their pick is coming your way at 3:00 p.m. ET.
SB Nation presents: Breaking down our latest mock draft