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Bucs Nation Community Mock Draft - #17 New England Patriots

Opinions on who the Jaguars will select were all over the board, but in the end DE Ryan Kerrigan came out on top. The Jaguars have long been linked with this try-hard player, as he seems to fit what the Jaguars are looking for in players, like Tyson Alualu did last year. Kerrigan should immediately upgrade the Jaguars' pass rush and this will help them hold up against the Texans and Colts. At the same time, though, they still have a pretty terrible secondary and need to upgrade that, quickly.

Today we move to the New England Patriots and their draft needs, which exist mostly on the defensive side of the ball. They need to add quality defensive linemen and some pass rusher at outside linebacker, where they haven't had impact players for a long time. Today's pick came to them from the Raiders, who received Richard Seymour in trade. The Patriots sure could've used Richard Seymour, though, and will look to find a replacement for him in this draft. The Pats could also go after a running back so they can get back to the running game or an interior lineman because Logan Mankins is a free agent. But if history's proven anything, it's that the Patriots love to trade draft picks, so who knows who will be making the #17 pick on draft day.

Anyway, who do you think they'll draft, Bucs Nation?

The draft so far:

1. Carolina Panthers - QB Cam Newton
2. Denver Broncos - DT Marcell Dareus
3. Buffalo Bills - DE Von Miller
4. Cincinnati Bengals - WR A.J. Green
5. Arizona Cardinals - QB Blaine Gabbert
6. Cleveland Browns - CB Patrick Peterson
7. San Francisco 49ers - CB Prince Amukamara
8. Tennessee Titans - DT Nick Fairley
9. Dallas Cowboys - OT Tyron Smith
10. Washington Redskins - WR Julio Jones
11. Houston Texans - DE Robert Quinn
12. Minnesota Vikings - QB Ryan Mallett
13. Detroit Lions - DE Da'Quan Bowers
14. St. Louis Rams - DT Corey Liuget
15. Miami Dolphins - RB Mark Ingram
16. Jacksonville Jaguars - DE Ryan Kerrigan

QB Jake Locker, Washington: A supremely talented quarterback with some really bad accuracy issues. Jake Locker was hyped badly coming into this year with the expectation that he'd get much better, but that improvement never occurred. Instead, he remained inaccurate and inconsistent. But Locker really reminds me of Josh Freeman - both were inaccurate coming out of college, they weren't big winners, they had trouble reading defenses, but they also had supreme talent at the quarterback position, a great work ethic and good leadership skills.

QB Christian Ponder, Florida State: Christian Ponder is an interesting prospect. He's had a decent career at Florida State, but his senior season was marred by injury leading to some concerns about his arm strengths that are, in my view, unjustified. Ponder is an accurate, smart quarterback who has a lot of attributes of an NFL passer. Honestly, I think this is the most consistent quarterback in the draft whose biggest question mark is whether his injuries have sapped some physical skills.

DE Aldon Smith, Missouri: A defensive end with tons of potential. Smith has a lanky frame and huge arms, and looks like the kind of pass rusher the New York Giants love to hoard. He can bend around the edge, but looks best when making inside moves. He can control linemen and shed to make plays with his long arms, although he isn't the strongest lineman. He has plenty of room in his frame to grow and add weight, and should be even more impressive in a couple of years. Unfortunately he's also very raw and will likely take a while to get used to the NFL. Great potential, but don't expect early returns.

CB Jimmy Smith, Colorado: Jimmy Smith could actually challenge Patrick Peterson as the most talented cornerback in the draft. He's a terrific player who would excel in press-man coverage, and isn't all that different from Darrelle Revis. There are very few negatives about Jimmy Smith on the field. The only problem is that he has some significant questions about his off-field behavior and will drop in the draft because of that. Whoever takes a risk on him will end up with a great cornerback, but will have to worry about keeping him on the field. The Patriots don't really need a cornerback, though.

DE Cameron Jordan, California: A powerful, polished and very versatile defensive end. He has experience playing in a 3-4 defense and could be a great pawn for the Patriots defense, who could use a 3-4 end. He's strong against the run and an effective pass rusher as a 5-technique, though he isn't the most explosive pass rusher in the draft. But he dominated the Senior Bowl, had a very productive college career, always hustles and is a high-character kid.

DE J.J. Watt, Wisconsin: A prototypical 5-technique who should flourish in a 3-4 defense. He plays hard, has impressive speed around the edge for his size and has a very high floor. He's a better pass rusher than you'd think at first sight, and is already well-developed. He's powerful enough to hold up in the run game and shed blockers. He should do very well in any scheme, but 3-4 teams will covet him most. Like Jordan, he'd fit the Patriots needs perfectly.

OT Anthony Castonzo, Boston College: Another good, polished lineman from Boston College. Castonzo is a very solid offensive tackle whose physical upside maybe isn't that great, but who can be a very good tackle for years on end. He does need to add some strength physically, but he has the ability to be a good left tackle for years to come. Doesn't have the upside of Tyron Smith, but could still anchor an offensive line. The Patriots seem fine at OT, though.

C/OG Mike Pouncey, Florida: The top interior lineman in the draft, very similar to his brother except he's not that good at snapping the ball. He will likely be a premium lineman for years to come and should provide immediate returns for the team that drafts him. The Patriots have a good offensive line, but star guard Logan Mankins is a free agent and may be gone.

WR Jon Baldwin, Pittsburgh: Jonathan Baldwin is huge. At 6'5" 230lbs he could be the new Mike Williams (USC/Lions/Seahawks version), except hopefully without all the problems. He isn't real explosive and doesn't seem to generate a lot of separation from defensive backs, but because of his size he doesn't really need to do that to catch passes. Because of that he doesn't really fit the Pats' needs, who have two excellent tight ends and need speed on offense, not a player like Baldwin.