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Wednesday, April 6, 2011
J.J. Watt's a Patriot in AFC East mock draft

By Tim Graham

With the 17th pick in the 2011 AFC East reader mock draft, the New England Patriots select ... J.J. Watt, defensive end, Wisconsin.

For the second straight selection, readers concentrated on defensive ends. Watt was the pick in a landslide, generating more than twice as many votes as his nearest competition, California defensive end Cameron Jordan.

Purdue pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan, who would be a 3-4 outside linebacker, was a distant third.

Reader dtay620 wrote:
"In this scenario it would come down to J.J. Watt and Mike Pouncey for me. Ultimately, I think I'd lean towards taking J.J. Watt just because it's a position that is slightly tougher to come by than center.

"Watt is the best 5-technique in the draft and he can kick inside in nickel situations and provide a good pass rush. He could also occupy blockers to help the current group of linebackers make more plays."

There was plenty of trade talk, too. Receivers81 suggested:
"They have so many picks in a draft that is extremely defensive top heavy early on, and it might be worth it to reach up and grab a top #3 pick. Trade the Richard Seymour pick and a second rounder to the Bills to get either A.J. Green or Von Miller. A threatening wide receiver or a pass-rushing linebacker are what the Patriots need the most."

Of the 10 nominees, six were defensive players (all defensive ends or outside linebackers) and three were offensive linemen.

Prospects off the board so far ...
  1. Carolina Panthers: Auburn quarterback Cam Newton
  2. Denver Broncos: Alabama defensive tackle Marcell Dareus
  3. Buffalo Bills: Texas A&M outside linebacker Von Miller
  4. Cincinnati Bengals: Missouri quarterback Blaine Gabbert
  5. Arizona Cardinals: Louisiana State cornerback Patrick Peterson
  6. Cleveland Browns: Georgia receiver A.J. Green
  7. San Francisco 49ers: Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara
  8. Tennessee Titans: Auburn defensive tackle Nick Fairley
  9. Dallas Cowboys: USC tackle Tyron Smith
  10. Washington Redskins: Alabama receiver Julio Jones
  11. Houston Texans: North Carolina defensive end Robert Quinn
  12. Minnesota Vikings: Clemson defensive end Da'Quan Bowers
  13. Detroit Lions: Boston College tackle Anthony Castonzo
  14. St. Louis Rams: Illinois defensive tackle Corey Liuget
  15. Miami Dolphins: Alabama running back Mark Ingram
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars: Missouri defensive end Aldon Smith
  17. New England Patriots: Wisconsin defensive end J.J. Watt

The San Diego Chargers are on the clock with the 18th selection.

Submit your nomination in the comments section below this post. Or you can venture over to my Facebook page and drop your vote under the link. But the conversation has been much more compelling here.