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Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Three draft options: New England Patriots

By James Walker

This week the AFC East blog is taking a look at draft possibilities for each team in the division. Thursday we take a look at the New England Patriots, who hold the No. 29 overall pick.

Option No. 1: CB Xavier Rhodes, Florida State

Analysis: This would be a great value pick for New England. Rhodes is projected by many to be a top-20 pick, and could go as high as No. 12 to the Miami Dolphins. But the Patriots could jump on Rhodes if he falls into their lap at No. 29. Rhodes somewhat reminds me of Aqib Talib. Rhodes has good size and can move. He is also a little more physical than Talib, although Rhodes would have to prove he can translate that to the next level.

Option No. 2: WR Keenan Allen, California

Analysis: The Patriots are still looking for a receiver after cutting Brandon Lloyd. There should be a few good options at the bottom of the first round, and Allen is one of them. The former Cal receiver has the ball skills to be productive at the next level, and it wouldn’t hurt to have Tom Brady as his quarterback. Unfortunately, the Patriots and head coach Bill Belichick have had a rough time drafting receivers in recent years. After letting both Lloyd and Wes Welker go this offseason, it’s important to get it right this year.

Option No. 3: CB Desmond Trufant, Washington

Analysis: There could be a some cornerbacks available at the end of the first round, and Trufant is another prospect to watch for New England. Trufant is a different type of cornerback than Rhodes. Trufant is smaller and more built around speed instead of physicality. Trufant also could be an immediate contributor covering the slot, which is getting more and more valuable in the NFL.