Kiper, McShay target backs for Pats

April, 6, 2011
4/06/11
12:20
PM ET
ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper and ESPN Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay have released their latest mock drafts today, and they go three rounds deep. Here is the breakdown for the Patriots:

Mel Kiper's selections (Insider content)
17. DE Cameron Jordan (California)
28. OLB Justin Houston (Georgia)
33. G Danny Watkins (Baylor)
60. RB Daniel Thomas (Kansas State)
74. WR Jonathan Baldwin (Pittsburgh)
92. DB Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson)

Todd McShay's selections (Insider content)
17. DE J.J. Watt (Wisconsin)
28. RB Mark Ingram (Alabama)
33. OL Clint Boling (Georgia)
60. OL James Carpenter (Alabama)*
74. OLB/DE Jabaal Sheard (Pittsburgh)
92. DB Marcus Gilchrist (Clemson)

* Due to a loading error, the mock draft initially posted RB Daniel Thomas (Kansas State) as the choice

ANALYSIS: The Patriots haven't drafted a running back since 2007, but the position is on both Kiper's and McShay's radar for the team. McShay gives the Patriots two backs, which is not out of the question given the makeup of the roster. At this point, the Patriots have two "locks" at the position in BenJarvus Green-Ellis and Danny Woodhead. Thomas Clayton will challenge for a roster spot and Kevin Faulk and Sammy Morris could potentially return. The Patriots will likely keep four backs on the final roster, so it makes sense to project the position to the team -- possibly twice.

Mike Reiss

ESPN New England Patriots reporter
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