Sports Illustrated's Peter King offers up his 2012 mock draft, and he adds the wrinkle of trades. Not surprisingly, the Patriots are involved in one of them.
On the clock at No. 27 in King's scenario, the Patriots ship their choice to the Browns, who select quarterback Brandon Weeden.
"Cleveland sends a third-rounder to New England to move up 10 spots, from 37 to 27, and prevent the other Weeden fans -- Chiefs, Eagles, Bills, Niners -- from grabbing him," King writes. "I know he'll be 29 in October, but if you think a player can be a good starting quarterback in the league for eight years, and several teams do, he's worth a lot more than the 27th pick."
At No. 31, King slots Southern Cal defensive end Nick Perry to the Patriots.
"After losing Mark Anderson in free agency and without knowing whether soon-to-be 33-year-old Andre Carter will be back -- those two combined for 20 of the Pats' 40 sacks in 2011 -- New England needs an edge rusher. Perry's my best guess," King writes.
To read the mock, CLICK HERE.
ANALYSIS: The trades are always fun to consider, and the swap King proposes is a Patriots-type deal that we've seen in past years. In this case, the question would be "Is it worth moving from 27 to 37 just for a 2012 third-rounder?" The thought here is that the Patriots wouldn't like that deal, instead preferring to let the Browns keep the 37 in place of their 2013 first-rounder. If Cleveland bites on that (similar to the 49ers in 2007 for Joe Staley, giving up their 2008 first-rounder and 2007 fourth-rounder to New England) it's a slam dunk from this view. In that case, the Patriots would have No. 31, their two second-rounders, two third-rounders and a fourth-rounder in this year's draft, while adding the 2013 first-rounder to what they already have in '13 -- a 1, 2, 3, 4, and 7 (the 5 and 6 were traded).