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Thursday, April 7, 2011
Mock thoughts: QB factor in play

By Mike Reiss

The National Football Post produces its first mock draft, with the site's writers teaming up for a first-round projection, and there is a trade for the Patriots at No. 28.

After selecting California defensive end Cameron Jordan at No. 17 in this projection, the Patriots ship their other first-round pick to Minnesota, which selects quarterback Jake Locker.

This quarterback-based dynamic of the draft has been highlighted previously, by the likes of analysts Nolan Nawrocki of Pro Football Weekly and Pat Kirwan of NFL.com. The idea is that with many teams seeking quarterbacks, the Patriots could be in a prime position at No. 28 and No. 33 to benefit.

ANALYSIS: If the Patriots make this type of deal with Minnesota, one would think they would insist on the Vikings' 2012 first-round pick. Given the Vikings' questions at quarterback, and the possibility the pick could wind up in the top half of the 2012 first round, it looks like it would be good business from a Patriots perspective -- especially with the team having another pick at 33. This would be a similar scenario to 2007 when the Patriots traded No. 28 to the 49ers for a 2008 first-round pick (which turned out to be seventh overall) and a 2007 fourth-round pick (traded for WR Randy Moss). From this perspective, I still think we'll see three quarterbacks go in the top 15. But the quarterback factor could still then be in play, pushing some second-round quarterbacks into the No. 28 area.