NFL Mock Draft 2012: Shea McClellin, Brandon Boykin Projected To Patriots

The 2012 NFL Draft is just hours away. Who will the New England Patriots select?

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots Select Chandler Jones And Brandon Thompson

ESPN's Todd McShay has released his latest version of his 2012 NFL Mock Draft and projects the New England Patriots will select Chandler Jones, the defensive end from Syracuse, and Brandon Thompson, the defensive tackle from Clemson with the 27th and 32nd picks, respectively.

The Patriots have two first-round picks, and while coach Bill Belichick's track record indicates he'll trade one of them, we have to project both to the Patriots until we know otherwise. Jones is an under-the-radar pass-rusher with the frame (6-5, 247) Bill Belichick likes in his DE/OLB hybrids, and he's a gifted athlete who bends the edge naturally. He's the brother of Ravens DL Arthur Jones and MMA sensation Jon Jones.

Filling a need at wide receiver would be a reach here, so Thompson becomes attractive. His motor runs hot and cold and he played much better in 2010, but Thompson can be overpowering against the run and flashes the ability to collapse the pocket as a pass-rusher. Other interior DLs who could be on the radar: Jerel Worthy (Michigan State), Fletcher Cox (Mississippi State), Devon Still (Penn State) and Dontari Poe (Memphis).

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page or our blog Pats Pulpit. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out the SB Nation blog Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: SI.com's Don Banks Predicts Patriots Will Select Michael Brockers, Dont'a Hightower

SI.com's Inside The NFL columnist Don Bank released his latest 2012 NFL Mock Draft Saturday, and he predicts that the New England Patriots will select LSU defensive tackle Michael Brockers with the No. 27-overall pick and then Alabama linebacker Dont'a Hightower with the 32nd pick. The Patriots, who will face the New York Giants in the 2012 Super Bowl, Feb. 5, have two picks in the first round of the 2012 NFL Draft.

Here's what Banks says about Brockers:

"The Patriots need more talent in their defensive front seven, and they love interchangeable players who can play anywhere on the defensive line," says Banks. "Brockers is capable of penetrating the backfield and creating some havoc against both the pass and the run."

Banks' breakdown of Hightower:

"Again, the Patriots need more playmakers in their defensive front seven, and we know Bill Belichick tends to trust players who have been coached by either Nick Saban or Urban Meyer," says Banks.

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page or our blog Pats Pulpit. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out the SB Nation blog Mocking The Draft.

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2012 NFL Mock Draft: Patriots Select Stephon Gilmore Of South Carolina No. 32

The New England Patriots march to their fourth Super Bowl title is still ongoing, however, that didn't stop the fellas at SB Nation to take the liberty to project who the Pats are going to take in the 2012 NFL Draft, as on Tuesday Ryan Van Bibber released his new NFL Mock Draft.

And with the the 32nd pick -- yeap, that's right Foxborough, MA is about to become title town once again! -- in the 2012 NFL Draft the New England Patriots select: Stephon Gilmore, CB, South Carolina Gamecocks.

"The Patriots' defense is not where they would like it be," says Van Bibber, "with needs in both the front and the back of the unit. The can't pass up Gilmore with this pick, which will probably be traded as well. If not, Gilmore could help a defense that allowed an average of 300 yards per game in 2011. Gilmore will be attractive here because he's a smart player who understands how the game works and his place in it.

For more New England Patriots coverage, visit our team page or our blog Pats Pulpit. For more on the 2012 NFL Draft, check out the SB Nation blog Mocking The Draft.

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