- Mike Reiss, ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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A few leftover draft nuggets from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock’s conference call today:
When asked for some second-round possibilities that might fit the Patriots’ system, he focused on wide receivers. “There are an awful lot of good players. [Notre Dame’s] Golden Tate. [LSU’s] Brandon LaFell could be there. [Cincinnati’s] Mardy Gilyard. I happen to like Eric Decker from the University of Minnesota, coming off an injury, you might get him cheap if other people don’t like him coming off the injury. [USC’s] Damian Williams. [Tulane’s] Jeremy Williams. That’s a bunch of guys, second and third round, that could fit what New England likes.”
Touching on New England prospects in the draft, he went around the region with some quick-hit thoughts. [BC linebacker Mike] McLaughlin, I think he’s a draftable inside linebacker that will be one of the better special teams players in the league. [BC center] Matt Tennant, I think his best football is ahead of him. He was an undersized center who is finally getting some weight into that 6-foot-4 frame. I think he has a chance down the road to be a pretty good offensive lineman and play all three positions – center and both guards. [UMass offensive lineman] Vladimir Ducasse, some people have in the first round. I have him in the second round, and then there are some teams out there that feel he is too far away as a starter and have him in the third or fourth round. He’s an exciting player. UMass also has Jeromy Miles, a safety who was not invited to the combine. He is a tough guy who can run and I think he has a chance to make an NFL team also. At UConn, [defensive end/outside linebacker] Lindsey Witten had a good senior year. He is an intriguing guy to watch.”
More on UMass offensive lineman Vladimir Ducasse. “There are opinions all over the map on this kid. There are some people who think he can be a first-round draft pick. If he went in the first round, and I don’t think he should, but if he did it would probably be a San Diego or a team like that, which has an offensive line need. They don’t have a starting right tackle and he would fit better on the right side early on. But if you draft him with a first-round pick, you’re expecting him to start right away and I don’t think he is a starting tackle yet. I think he is a gifted kid, a huge kid with good feet, long arms. I think he should go in the second round and I think he should start at right tackle. Ultimately, because he is a pretty gifted kid, I think he could some day move to left tackle. But he has to show he can play the right side first. At the Senior Bowl, he really struggled with anybody with any kind of inside move. What I liked was when the game came on Saturday, he had a better game than he did practices, which showed that he kept his head about him, his head up. I think he’s a solid second-round pick and the type of teams that will like him are the ones who like the big, heavier offensive lines – Dallas, San Diego, Pittsburgh, those kind of teams.”
A few leftover draft nuggets from NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock’s conference call today:When asked for some second-round possibilities that might fit the Patriots’ system, he focused on wide receivers.