NFL Mock Draft 2013: Patriots projected to upgrade receiver position

USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation's latest mock draft has the patriots taking DeAndre Hopkins out of Clemson.

The NFL Draft season is chugging along, and things will be picking up when the Combine starts next week. The New England Patriots will be picking 29th overall after their disappointing playoff loss.

For more on the draft and other Patriots news, visit Pats Pulpit

SB Nation's Dan Kadar and Matthew Fairburn released a joint mock draft on Monday. In it, they project the Patriots to select Clemson wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins:

The New England Patriots need more players that can make plays outside the numbers. The tight ends are league's best, but Tom Brady could use a weapon at wide receiver. DeAndre Hopkins not only adds speed, but he brings precise route running and impressive focus to the table as well. Those two traits go over well in New England.

Wes Welker's future with the team is up in the air, and Brandon Lloyd didn't quite deliver on his price tag, so it's a real possibility that New England will go with a cheap rookie to plug in. There should be plenty of WR options at the end of the first round, including Tavon Austin, Cordarrelle Patterson and Justin Hunteer.

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