On the clock with the third pick of the day and the 29th selection overall, I will be drafting on behalf of the New England Patriots.
The 2013 edition of the New England Patriots was as usual a winning team, posting a 12-4 record and a playoff win on their way to the AFC Championship game which they lost to the Denver Broncos. Tom Brady and company operated another top-10 offense that featured one of the better and more balanced running games behind Stevan Ridley and LeGarrette Blount, while the loss of Wes Welker in free agency was offset somewhat by the continued emergence of Julian Edelman and the arrival of Danny Amendola.
The defense hemorrhaged yardage in 2013 though, finishing 26th in the league in that category despite allowing the 10th-fewest points in the NFL. The run defense was especially bad, giving up more rushing yards than only two other teams in the league. Injuries helped to derail that unit though, with intended starters Vince Wilfork, Jerod Mayo, Brandon Spikes, Adrian Wilson, and Tommy Kelly all ending up on injured reserve.
Wilfork was signed to a new three-year contract to stay in New England, but it is highly unlikely that he plays out that full term. While the Patriots will have a handful of those injured players back (Spikes is now a Buffalo Bill and Wilson has been released), their defense desperately could use a shot of youth, especially in key positions in the running game.
With the 29th overall selection, the New England Patriots pick...
Player: Louis Nix III
Position: Nose Tackle
School: Notre Dame
Year: Junior (RS)
In Nix, many people see a young Vince Wilfork - an anchor at nose tackle who can hold the point in the run game and provide some pass rush help as well. Nix's arrival would help the Patriots phase Wilfork out, while helping to keep both players' snap counts down and in turn make them both more effective.
For some teams, Nix would likely be a two-down player, which makes a first-round value questionable. Still, for a team which appears ready to move on soon from their long-time nose tackle of the past, picking Nix here makes a lot of sense.
Round One Summary
|1||Houston Texans||Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida|
|2||St. Louis Rams (via WAS)||Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina|
|3||Jacksonville Jaguars||Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo|
|4||Cleveland Browns||Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M|
|5||Oakland Raiders||Sammy Watkins||WR||Clemson|
|6||Atlanta Falcons||Greg Robinson||OT||Auburn|
|7||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M|
|8||Minnesota Vikings||Teddy Bridgewater||QB||Louisville|
|9||Buffalo Bills||Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M|
|10||Detroit Lions||Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State|
|11||Tennessee Titans||Aaron Donald||DT||Pittsburgh|
|12||New York Giants||Eric Ebron||TE||North Carolina|
|13||St. Louis Rams||Ha Ha Clinton-Dix||S||Alabama|
|14||Chicago Bears||Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State|
|15||Pittsburgh Steelers||Anthony Barr||OLB||UCLA|
|16||Dallas Cowboys||Timmy Jernigan||DT||Florida State|
|17||Baltimore Ravens||Taylor Lewan||OT||Michigan|
|18||New York Jets||Odell Beckham, Jr.||WR||LSU|
|19||Miami Dolphins||Zack Martin||OT||Notre Dame|
|20||Arizona Cardinals||Dee Ford||DE/OLB||Auburn|
|21||Green Bay Packers||C.J. Mosley||ILB||Alabama|
|22||Philadelphia Eagles||Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State|
|23||Kansas City Chiefs||Marqise Lee||WR||USC|
|24||Cincinnati Bengals||Bradley Roby||CB||Ohio State|
|25||San Diego Chargers||Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech|
|26||Cleveland Browns (via IND)||Kelvin Benjamin||WR||Florida State|
|27||New Orleans Saints||Ryan Shazier||LB||Ohio State|
|28||Carolina Panthers||Cyrus Kouandjio||OT||Alabama|
|29||New England Patriots||Louis Nix III||DT||Notre Dame|
That's all for today - check back tomorrow for the final three picks in round 1 of our mock draft.