My Mock Draft

This past week I was invited to participate in a mock draft for Draft Season in their annual All-Blogger mock draft.  Draft Season had asked a representative from all 32 NFL team's home base to participate. Draft Season simply requested every blogger draft as though they were drafting for the team they represent. I was asked to take the last pick of the draft for the New England Patriots and channel my "inner Bill Belichick".

As much as my instinct told me to trade down, I stuck at #32 and made a befuddling pick just as I figured Belichick would do with the last pick of the first round. The mock draft made for an interesting piece as each blogger currently writes about the team they were choosing for and Draft Season had us write up a small piece about the pick. It made for a real interesting experience and gives some legitimacy for the real draft taking place at the end of April.

Here is the link to the mock draft; Here is the link to part two of the mock draft where my choice for the New England Patriots is at #32.

Check out the whole draft as it is real interesting.

My pick and analysis is below, but in analyzing the Patriots drafts under Belichick I was surprised at how often the team ends up drafting for need with their first pick. So many pundits laud the Patriots for picking the best player, but more often than not they fall into the same trap as other teams--especially with their first pick:

32. New England Patriots (

Selection: A.J. Cann G, South Carolina

patriotsAnalysis: Even if the New England Patriots lose both All Pro free safety Devin McCourty and All Pro cornerback Darrelle Revis in free agency this draft pick is not going to address the secondary. At safety, former third-round draft pick Duron Harmon would be given a chance to step in for McCourty after two years of seasoning. At cornerback, as the Patriots moved decisively in free agency to replace Aqib Talib with Revis expect the same move to get the next tier cornerback at a more team-friendly price in free agency.
In the draft the Patriots–when they do not trade down out of the first round of the draft–more often than not pick based on need. Bill Belichick has a history of having his top draft pick stepping in and contributing immediately to fill a hole.This pick should be no different: Right now, their interior offensive line is in desperate need of an upgrade.
Fourth-round draft pick Bryan Stork was solid as a rookie in 2014 but the two guard positions had almost every back-up guard, center or tackle start at least one game in 2014 in a quest to find a winning combination. Left guard Dan Connolly is 32 years old and a free agent. Even if he returns, the team needs a guard capable of stepping in and starting immediately. A decade ago the Patriots used the #32 overall pick on guard Logan Mankins and got a solid decade of service from him before trading him prior to the 2014 season. Look for history to repeat itself in 2015.
A.J. Cann is the top guard in the draft and unlike in 2005 when the Patriots were panned for drafting an offensive guard in the first round the position has grown in importance and that has reflected in the draft boards. Cann is tall (six-foot-three) and has decent size with room to add weight (313 pounds). He is quick off the line and gets low and under his defender. He needs work in technique for pass protection but was a hard worker in South Carolina. The Patriots should be comfortable putting Cann to work on opening day at left guard and have him play a key role in keeping future Hall-of-Fame quarterback Tom Brady upright for the rest of his time in New England.
Blogger: Hal Bent
Twitter: @halbent01
The mock draft was a lot of fun and I really appreciate the opportunity. A big "thank you" goes out to Matt Falk at Draft Season for putting this together. Thanks, Matt!