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WCG Mock Draft- New England (#24)

24. New England Patriots- Michael Griffin, S, Texas

Team Needs: OL, WR, OLB, S, 2nd TE, backup RB

Sound familiar? I hope so. Unfortunately for the Bears, and us as fans, one of the best teams in the league had the same needs going into the off-season. However, fortunately for the Bears, the New England Patriots addressed two of their needs in a big time way, signing Donte Stallworth and Adalius Thomas to free agent contracts. Throw in a trade for Wes Welker and other contracts given out to Kyle Brady and Sammy Morris (and the franchise tag on Asante Samuel - wait! Someone else has been franchised? I didn't know this!!!), and the Patriots have whittled their 1st Round needs down to two positions: LB and S.

The Patriots set themselves up nicely by trading away Deion Branch for a 1st round pick. As others have pointed out, drafting in the late 1st round or the 2nd round are almost always the best picks in the "bang for your buck" category. Nearly every mock draft has the Patriots selecting a defensive back with this spot, and then going with a linebacker or offensive lineman in the 28th hole. While the names and positions do vary considerably, there is one name that pops up a lot more often than the others. He will be the choice of the Patriots.

The choice here has to be Michael Griffin from the University of Texas. Along with Rodney Harrison's injury history and impending retirement, Griffin's versatility is what wins him this draft spot. He can play either safety position (many regard him as the best strong safety prospect while he may actually be better suited to play the free safety position), he is a great special teams contributor (he set school records for blocked kicks in a season (4) and in a career (8)) and he has a great work ethic. Griffin seems to be one of those guys who, while he may not wow you with his physical attributes (4.7 combine 40, 36-inch vertical), he'll eventually learn his duties and have himself in position to make the play much more often than not.

While others may have a little bit more potential, Griffin is the safest choice. The fact that there numerous linebackers and linemen still to choose from, while there have been three safeties already taken, make this choice a little easier. The Patriots will use Griffin on special teams until Rodney Harrison gets hurt; then he'll step into the starting role fairly seamlessly.

Others considered: Jon Beason - OLB; Justin Blalock - OT; Chris Houston - CB

Drafter- tyger1147

On the clock- New York Jets (DTK)      

2007 NFL Mock Draft - First Round
Pick Team Player Pos. College Drafter
1 Oakland Raiders JaMarcus Russell QB LSU bears fan louie
2 Detroit Lions Joe Thomas OT Wisconsin South Side Irish
3 Cleveland Browns Calvin Johnson WR Georgia Tech elagoalie11
4 Tampa Bay Buccaneers Gaines Adams DE Clemson NoisewaterMD
5 Arizona Cardinals Alan Branch DT Michigan Chad
6 Washington Redskins Jamaal Anderson DE Arkansas Skin Patrol
7 Minnesota Vikings Brady Quinn QB Notre Dame IrishGush
8 Atlanta Falcons LaRon Landry S LSU Coach Owens
9 Miami Dolphins Amobi Okoye DT Louisville McRipper
10 Houston Texans Adrian Peterson RB Oklahoma Scruffy Lefty
11 San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis LB Ole Miss RME JICO
12 Buffalo Bills Paul Posluszny LB Penn St. Brian G
13 St. Louis Rams Adam Carriker DE Nebraska tyger1147
14 Carolina Panthers Greg Olsen TE Miami RME JICO
15 Pittsburgh Steelers Leon Hall CB Michigan shawngoldman
16 Green Bay Packers Marshawn Lynch RB California chad
17 Jacksonville Jaguars Reggie Nelson S Florida River City Rage
18 Cincinnati Bengals Brandon Meriweather S Miami elagoalie11
19 Tennessee Titans Robert Meachem WR Tennessee quartz77277
20 New York Giants Darrelle Revis CB Pittsburgh Coach Owens7
21 Denver Broncos Ted Ginn Jr. WR Ohio State Devin47
22 Dallas Cowboys Jarvis Moss DE Florida IrishGush
24 New England Patriots Michael Griffin S Texas tyger1147