Wednesday, April 17, 2013
Beyond the 1st round: Defensive back
By Mike Reiss
(Each day over the next week, ESPNBoston.com will focus on one position in the NFL draft and highlight a prospect in rounds 2-7 who might fit. With so much attention placed on the first round in mock drafts, “Beyond the first round” focuses on lesser-publicized options beyond the first 32 picks)
Second round: CB Blidi Wreh-Wilson (Connecticut)
With solid size (6-0, 195) and speed, and off-the-charts intangibles as a two-time captain, Wreh-Wilson projects as a man cover corner who would fit in New England. There is a lot of tape to watch as he started 39 games over his college career and was named UConn's MVP in 2012.
Third round: CB Logan Ryan (Rutgers)
The Patriots feel like they hit a good pick with first-rounder Devin McCourty (2010) out of Rutgers, so maybe they'd go back to the well with the 5-foot-11, 191-pound Ryan, who like McCourty plays the run well. He also would project to a core special teams role.
Fourth round: CB Jordan Poyer (Oregon State)
A team captain, the 6-foot-0, 191-pound Poyer made plays at cornerback and also showed up as a gunner on special teams. One concern for teams might be his limited reps on the bench press (8) at the combine. One of the top playmaking corners in the draft with seven interceptions in his final collegiate season.
Fifth round: CB Marc Anthony (California)
One of the stronger run-support cornerbacks in the draft, the 5-foot-11, 196-pound Anthony also has the skill set to play effective press coverage. Questions about his speed could make him more of a tweener, with a possible future at safety. Regardless, his football smarts could fit well in a complex Patriots scheme.
Sixth round: CB Brandon McGee (Miami)
A team captain, the 5-foot-11, 193-pound McGee has some quality traits worthy of working with (4.39 time in the 40) while also projecting as a factor on special teams as a gunner. Would be another man corner to add to the mix with an eye toward the future with Aqib Talib scheduled to enter free agency after the season.
Seventh round: S Robert Lester (Alabama)
A three-year starter under Nick Saban, the 6-foot-1, 220-pound Lester falls in the category of bigger safety despite ball skills that helped produce four interceptions last season. The Patriots brought in veteran Adrian Wilson to add size to their safety position, and also have second-year player Tavon Wilson, so Lester would have to make his mark on special teams first.
(Round projections aided by Pro Football Weekly draft preview and ESPN's Scouts Inc.)