Kiper: WR for Pats in first round?

January, 16, 2013
1/16/13
3:30
PM ET
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- We interrupt our AFC Championship Game coverage to take a quick look ahead, as the 2013 NFL Draft is fast approaching.

In fact, the combine is just a month away, and college All-Star games will take place over the next few weekends.

ESPN's NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper, Jr. has released his inaugural first-round mock draft, and has a wide receiver in mind for the Patriots at pick No. 31 (note: the Patriots selection will be determined by how they fare in the playoffs): DeAndre Hopkins from Clemson.

For Kiper's analysis on Hopkins, click here for the full article (note: Insider content)

The six-foot-one, 200-pound Hopkins is an early entrant into the draft, and finished his junior season in 2012 with 82 catches for 1,405 yards and 18 touchdowns. He left Clemson as the school's all-time leader in both receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

The Patriots will enter the offseason with potential question marks at wide receiver, as Wes Welker, Deion Branch, and Julian Edelman are all slated to become free agents.

To see Kiper's entire first round mock, click here (note: Insider content).
Field Yates has previous experience interning with the New England Patriots on both their coaching and scouting staffs. A graduate of Wesleyan University (CT), he is a regular contributor to ESPN Boston's Patriots coverage and ESPN Insider.

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