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2016 NFL mock draft: New England Patriots pick Sterling Shepard

Even though New England didn't get to pick until the 60th overall selection in the draft, they managed to get a steal with the Oklahoma star receiver.

After sitting and watching 59 picks in front of them, the New England Patriots are finally on the clock in the 10th annual SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. There have been some surprising picks this year, allowing the Patriots to sit back and pick up whoever is the best player available. That was the exact tactic of Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit.

60. Patriots: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma

Hill: The Patriots seemingly have a need at wide receiver every offseason, but this is the year to take advantage of a good class of prospects. Julian Edelman and Danny Amendola will be in their 30s after 2016, and the newly acquired Chris Hogan has yet to prove his worth. The team also has a backup for Edelman in Keshawn Martin, and former Texans and Titans receiver Nate Washington.

It was a tough decision with Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo and Notre Dame WR Will Fuller on the board, but Oklahoma WR Sterling Shepard makes the most sense for the Patriots. Hogan and Washington will compete with 2013 second-round pick Aaron Dobson for the outside wide receiver role, while Edelman and Martin will serve as the flankers.

Amendola is alone as the slot receiver, though, and he has a massive $5 million base salary and is not considered a roster lock. Shepard is not only the best slot receiver in the draft, he is arguably the best route runner of any prospect and could immediately slide into the Patriots offense as a productive receiver.

While Carroo and Fuller would have an uphill battle for a role in the offense, Shepard could have an immediate impact and become Tom Brady’s new best friend.

Analysis: Shepard may not fill a gigantic need in New England, but the value and scheme fit can't be ignored. Shepard is one of the best route runners in the draft and has good hands. Although the addition of a wideout like this does spell doom for Amendola, Shepard has the potential to be New England's top wideout in short order.

Dan's Top 5 players remaining

  • 43. Will Fuller, WR, Notre Dame
  • 46. Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
  • 51. Tyler Boyd, WR, Pittsburgh
  • 53. Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor
  • 57. Alex Collins, RB, Arkansas

Patriots picks

  • 2-60: Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma
  • 2-61: Coming Friday

Tomorrow we finish off this year's SB Nation NFL writers mock draft with the Patriots back up before the Denver Broncos close things out.

Complete draft results:

First round

1. Tennessee TitansLaremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link
2. Cleveland BrownsJared Goff, QB, Cal (Link
3. San Diego ChargersJalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville JaguarsMyles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore RavensJoey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ersDeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia EaglesEzekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay BuccaneersNoah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York GiantsRonnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans SaintsA'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland RaidersJack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles RamsMackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit LionsTaylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta FalconsShaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis ColtsRyan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo BillsReggie Ragland, MLB, Alabama (Link)
20. New York Jets - Darron Lee, LB, Ohio State (Link)
21. Washington - Andrew Billings, DT, Baylor (Link)
22. Houston Texans - Corey Coleman, WR, Baylor (Link)
23. Minnesota VikingsJosh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston (Link)
26. Seattle SeahawksJonathan Bullard, DL, Florida (Link)
27. Green Bay Packers - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Link)
28. Kansas City ChiefsVernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Link)
29. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Link)
30. Carolina PanthersKevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Link)
31. Denver BroncosPaxton Lynch, QB, Memphis (Link)

Second round

32. Cleveland Browns - Michael Thomas, WR, Ohio State (Link)
33. Tennessee Titans - Chris Jones, DT, Mississippi State (Link)
34. Dallas Cowboys - Sheldon Rankins, DT, Louisville (Link)
35. San Diego Chargers- Cody Whitehair, G, Kansas State (Link)
36. Baltimore Ravens - Kendall Fuller, CB, Virginia Tech (Link)
37. San Francisco 49ers - Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana (Link)
38. Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Floyd, OLB, Georgia (Link)
39. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Emmanuel Ogbah, DE, Oklahoma State (Link)
40. New York Giants - Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia (Link)
41. Chicago Bears - Derrick Henry, RB, Alabama (Link)
42. Miami Dolphins - Jaylon Smith, LB, Notre Dame (Link)
43. Los Angeles Rams - Vonn Bell, S, Ohio State (Link)
44. Oakland Raiders - Darian Thompson, S, Boise State (Link)
45. Los Angeles Rams - Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State (Link)
46. Detroit Lions - Jeremy Cash, S, Duke (Link)
47. New Orleans Saints - Joshua Garnett, G, Stanford (Link)
48. Indianapolis Colts - Austin Johnson, DT, Penn State (Link)
49. Buffalo Bills - Kamalei Correa, DE/OLB, Boise State (Link)
50. Atlanta Falcons - Keanu Neal, S, Florida (Link)
51. New York Jets - Shon Coleman, OT, Auburn (Link)
52. Houston Texans - Hunter Henry, TE, Arkansas (Link)
53. Washington - Nick Martin, C, Notre Dame (Link)
54. Minnesota Vikings - Su'a Cravens, LB/S, USC (Link)
55. Cincinnati Bengals - Kenny Clark, DT, UCLA (Link)
56. Seattle Seahawks - Germain Ifedi, OT, Texas A&M (Link)
57. Green Bay Packers - Joshua Perry, LB, Ohio State (Link)
58. Pittsburgh Steelers - Javon Hargrave, DT, South Carolina State
59. Kansas City Chiefs - Artie Burns, CB, Miami