J.J. Watt is projected to the New England Patriots with the No. 17 overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft, according to Don Banks' latest mock draft on Sports Illustrated.
Banks writes that New England's "need for a 3-4 defensive end" will lead the to draft Watt with their first pick of the draft.
Owning picks 17, 28 and 33, there's no way the Patriots won't move out of at least one of those slots in their habit of ensuring the rich get richer. But given New England's need for a 3-4 defensive end, sticking at 17 and taking the versatile Watt figures to take priority over the search for starters at both offensive line and outside linebacker.
As for Boston College offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo, SI's mock draft has the Detroit Lions drafting him with the No. 13 overall picks. Castonzo is widely considered one of the nation's top offensive lineman.
The Lions would jump all over either Amukamara or Tyron Smith if they made it to No. 13, but it won't be difficult to turn in the card for Castonzo, the draft's No. 2-rated offensive tackle. Detroit doesn't need to hit grand slams on draft weekend, just solid doubles that keep the improvement coming.
With their second pick in the first round (No. 28 overall), Banks projects the Patriots to draft senior offensive tackle Danny Watkins out of Baylor. Here's what Banks had to say about Watkins.
Watkins is an offensive line prospect who has improved his standing with a solid pre-draft showing, and some believe he could handle the right offensive tackle position in the NFL. That would allow the Patriots to shift Sebastian Vollmer to the left tackle slot, clearing the way for the end of the Matt Light era in New England.