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2016 NFL mock draft: New England Patriots snag Leonte Carroo

Even though they got a wide receiver with their first pick in the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft, the Patriots go with another one at pick No. 61.

Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

We are down to our final day in the 10th annual SB Nation NFL writers mock draft. Before we close things out with the Carolina Panthers and Denver Broncos, the New England Patriots are back up with their second consecutive pick. With pick No. 60, the Patriots got Oklahoma wide receiver Sterling Shepard. Surely they couldn't go with another wide receiver, right? Rich Hill of Pats Pulpit is here to spit in the face of conventional wisdom.

61. Patriots: Leonte Carroo, WR, Rutgers

Hill: We can almost guarantee that Bill Belichick will trade out of one of these picks since the Patriots have zero picks between 96th and 196th overall, but there are still players on the board that can help the squad.

Taking Sterling Shepard at 60th will bolster the Patriots at wide receiver, leaving question marks at running back, offensive tackle, defensive tackle, and cornerback. The issue comes with what players remain on the board.

Kenneth Dixon is the best back left, but the Patriots would be looking to find a power back that can improve over LeGarrette Blount. Le’Raven Clark is the best offensive tackle left and he’s almost never aligned in a Pro Style protection. The defensive tackle and cornerback classes are deep enough to wait until the third round for a rotational option.

So, the most Belichick thing to do is to zig while everyone else zags and select Rutgers WR Leonte Carroo.

No other receiver in college football was asked to carry their team’s passing attack more than Carroo, as he recorded 43.6 percent of the receiving yards and 58.8 percent of the touchdowns in the games he played. He’ll bring that dominance to the Patriots and help as an outside receiver.

The projected Patriots receiver depth chart would include Julian Edelman and Keshawn Martin as the flankers, Chris Hogan and Carroo as the outside receivers, and Shepard as the slot receiver.

The Patriots will add to the trenches or at cornerback in the third round.

Analysis: This is certainly a daring selection. While it's true a trade would make the most sense, we don't allow them in the mock draft. My choice here probably would have been Illinois defensive tackle Jihad Ward because he fills a need and this is his draft range. Don't be surprised if the Patriots get Carroo in the actual draft, though. He has the Rutgers connection Belichick loves.

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: Leontee Carroo, WR, Rutgers

We'll be back with our second-to-last pick of the SB Nation NFL writers mock draft with the Carolina Panthers and Cat Scratch Reader.


Complete draft results:

First round

1. Tennessee Titans - Laremy Tunsil, OT, Ole Miss (Link)
2. Cleveland Browns - Jared Goff, QB, Cal (Link)
3. San Diego Chargers - Jalen Ramsey, DB, Florida State (Link)
4. Dallas Cowboys - Carson Wentz, QB, North Dakota State (Link)
5. Jacksonville Jaguars - Myles Jack, LB, UCLA (Link)
6. Baltimore Ravens - Joey Bosa, DE, Ohio State (Link)
7. San Francisco 49ers - DeForest Buckner, DE, Oregon (Link)
8. Philadelphia Eagles - Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State (Link)
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Noah Spence, DE, Eastern Kentucky (Link)
10. New York Giants - Ronnie Stanley, OT, Notre Dame (Link)
11. Chicago Bears - Vernon Hargreaves, CB, Florida (Link)
12. New Orleans Saints - A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama (Link)
13. Miami Dolphins - Eli Apple, CB, Ohio State (Link)
14. Oakland Raiders - Jack Conklin, OT, Michigan State (Link)
15. Los Angeles Rams - Mackensie Alexander, CB, Clemson (Link)
16. Detroit Lions - Taylor Decker, OT, Ohio State (Link)
17. Atlanta Falcons - Shaq Lawson, DE, Clemson (Link)
18. Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Kelly, C, Alabama (Link)
19. Buffalo Bills - Reggie 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 Vikings - Josh Doctson, WR, TCU (Link)
24. Cincinnati Bengals - Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss (Link)
25. Pittsburgh Steelers - William Jackson, CB, Houston (Link)
26. Seattle Seahawks - Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida (Link)
27. Green Bay Packers - Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama (Link)
28. Kansas City Chiefs - Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech (Link)
29. Arizona Cardinals - Robert Nkemdiche, DT, Ole Miss (Link)
30. Carolina Panthers - Kevin Dodd, DE, Clemson (Link)
31. Denver Broncos - Paxton 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 (Link)
59. Kansas City Chiefs - Artie Burns, CB, Miami (Link)
60. New England Patriots - Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma (Link)