- Mike Reiss, ESPN Staff Writer
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In the third installment of his mock draft, Don Banks of SI.com introduces us to a prospect who hasn't been previously linked much with the Patriots -- Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden.
That's who Banks slots to the Patriots with the 29th overall pick.
"There's need for either a cornerback or a receiver for the Patriots, and Hayden's name heated up last week after he ran a 4.40 40 at the Cougars Pro Day," Banks writes. "Hayden still has some medical hurdles to clear after a freakish injury involving internal bleeding last November, but his stock is definitely on the upswing. He has NFL size, a knack for finding the football, and physical, aggressive cover skills that translate well to the pro game."
In becoming more familiar with the prospects in this year's draft over the last month, one theme has been the perceived drop-off after top cornerback Dee Milliner (Alabama). Banks has Milliner going sixth to the Browns, then cornerback Xavier Rhodes (Florida State) to the Dolphins at No. 12.
Hayden is his third cornerback off the board in Banks' mock. Specific to the position, some analysts believe the value comes in the second-round range.
To read Banks' mock draft, CLICK HERE.