Thanks to the NFL’s bogus investigation into the New England Patriots’ allegedly ball-deflating acts, the team has been stripped of its first round pick in 2016. But since the NFL has turned the Draft into a three-day event, there are plenty of reasons to pay close attention on days 2 and 3. All in all, the Patriots have 11 picks in the draft. Four of those picks are from No. 60 to No. 96, with the fifth pick coming in at No. 196 overall.
Picks are typically traded all over during the draft, and the Patriots usually join in on the fun. It’s unlikely they’ll want to sit and watch 100 picks go between theirs, so there’s a good chance the picks they have now won’t be the picks they have on draft day.
For the sake of the mock, let’s take a look at four possible selections for the Patriots on Day 2.
Round 2 (60 overall): Jason Spriggs, OT, Indiana – If anybody watched the AFC Championship Game, there’s really no need to explain this pick. The Patriots can use all the help they can get in front of Tom Brady, and now O-line coach Dante Scarnecchia gets a 6-foot-6, 300-pounder who was named to AP’s All-America Third Team.
Round 2 (61): Sheldon Day, DT, Notre Dame – The knock on Day is that his build at 6-foot-1, 293 pounds makes him a little bit of a defensive tackle and a little bit of a defensive end – but not a lot of either. But all that verbiage could simply mean "versatility" for Bill Belichick. Two things Day does have are quick hands and a high motor. The latter is what Chandler Jones lacked on a consistent basis.
Round 3 (91): Xavien Howard, CB, Baylor – High upside alert! And at this stage in the draft, that’s OK. Standing at 6-foot-0, 210 pounds Howard draws comparisons to Richard Sherman when he gets it right, according to Pro Football Focus. He had 32 passes defensed over the last two years, including nine interceptions. But he’s also a little "handsy," as well as prone to giving up the big play. Devin McCourty may be busy in that case.
Round 3 (96): Kenyan Drake, Alabama RB – This could be a bit of a reach for the Patriots here, but they’ve never cared much for draft boards anyways. It would be just like them to draft the backup to the Heisman Trophy winner this season. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Drake tested well at the combine, finishing third in the 40-yard dash and fifth in broad jump (10’3”). He can catch the football and was also was a big part of Alabama’s special teams unit.