The NFL Draft starts TOMORROW NIGHT, but our writer mock draft is still rolling on. Check out our entire 1st round so far by clicking right here. Next up is my pick for the Hoodie-led New England Patriots. Now, I don't necessarily know that the Patriots don't trade this one, but I hate mock drafts where people make up hypothetical trades. So everybody stays put.
With the 28th pick in the Windy City Gridiron Staff Mock Draft, the New England Patriots select...
Justin Houston, OLB, Georgia
An undersized (6'3", 270lbs) defensive end, Houston's value greatly increased when Georgia switched to a 3-4 system. With the shift, it allowed Houston to use his speed and relatively small frame to get to the offensive backfield with a quickness. In 2010, he recorded 18.5 tackles for loss and 10 sacks.
As a converted end rusher, Houston can still have some problems dropping back into coverage, and may need to develop a few more moves to get past NFL-caliber offensive linemen. When picked up by the Patriots, look for him to have an immediate impact as a pass-rush specialist, and if they can stick with him for a few years, a force on the outside for several years to come.
Bonus for Bears fans: With this undersized defensive end off the board, Jerry Angelo will be slightly less tempted.