- Field Yates, ESPN Insider
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Cornerback is considered a top need for the Patriots this offseason, and a panel of experts at NFL.com agree that is the direction the team will look in the first round of the upcoming draft. Where their opinions differ is on which prospect the Patriots will target.
Gil Brandt, Bucky Brooks, Charles Davis and Daniel Jeremiah have each released recent mock drafts, with both Jeremiah and Brooks tabbing Johnthan Banks, a cornerback out of Mississippi State, to the Patriots at pick 29.
Banks has very good length for the position at 6-foot-2, but questions about his speed were confirmed at the combine when he ran a 4.61 40. He reportedly improved him time at his recent pro day, running between a 4.51-4.55.
Davis, meanwhile, has the Patriots taking Desmond Trufant out of Washington. His stock has improved with a solid Senior Bowl and combine. He's the younger brother of current NFL cornerbacks Marcus and Isaiah Trufant.
Brandt believes the Patriots will target N.C. State cornerback David Amerson, whose stock was sky-high following the 2011 season during which he intercepted 13 passes. His play dipped in 2012, although he still managed five picks and ran an impressive 4.44 at the combine.
The entirety of each of their mock drafts, plus analysis on the picks, can be read HERE.