Remember April 10, 2011? Seems like years ago, doesn't it? Way back then, Riott, in his role as fake head of personnel for the New England Patriots, chose Anthony Castonzo with the 18th pick of the 2011 BRB Mock Draft. Now, with all the knowledge a week of life can provide, Riott's back, ready to make the Patriots' second first-round selection.
At 28, the Patriots are in an interesting position. All of the first and even second tier rush linebackers are taken. There isn’t any dynamic offensive piece that has fallen and is incredibly desirable. All of the top tier corners are gone. I don’t really feel there is any value selecting any of the guards on the board to help solidify that position, so it comes down to drafting defensive line talent.
Looking at my available options, it really comes down to Muhammad Wilkerson, Cameron Hayward, and Phil Taylor. Muhammad Wilkerson was absolutely dominant at Temple this year, punishing the small school offensive line. His size and athleticism are excellent, but the real question is if he can produce the same at a much higher level than the MAC. Cameron Hayward was, at one point, the consensus #1 3-4 DE until people began to criticize his lack of consistency and injury history, including his recent Tommy John surgery. Phil Taylor has worked himself up the draft boards, especially after showing the ability to control his weight.
With all that said, I firmly believe that there are only so many giant humans on the planet, so you might as well draft them when you can. With the 28th pick in the draft, the New England Patriots select Phil Taylor (DT--Baylor).
This pick is with the intention to use Phil Taylor the same way that the Green Bay Packers used B.J. Raji when he was drafted. Currently, the Patriots have no real need at NT because Vince Wilfork still has a few years left in him. Still, Phil Taylor could not only be an eventual replacement at the (in my opinion) much-harder-to-replace 3-4 NT position, but could also get lots of valuable time at 3-4 DE and could replace Gerard Warren in the relatively near future. He has incredible size, great athleticism for a guy who weighs 340, and anchors incredibly well against double teams. As a down lineman in the 3-4, I feel he has much more value and upside than all of the other options available, and will be a fixture on the line for the Patriots.
My first pick was met with great, "Mehhh" and "What?". What do you think of this one, BRB?
Well? Kindly answer Riott's query in the Comments below.