We're now exactly one month away from the 2011 NFL Draft, which, yes, is still taking place despite the lockout. Which means there are only four weeks left for coaches to scout potential picks, for GMs and agents to negotiate signing bonuses and for mock drafts to be issued.
The latest 2011 NFL mock draft from the guys over at SB Nation has Missouri's Blaine Gabbert back on top, going to the Carolina Panthers with the No. 1 overall pick, while Cam Newton has dropped to the No. 4 spot, owned by the Cincinnati Bengals.
For the New England Patriots, they're projected to to go offense with both of their first round picks (assuming they don't trade one, or both, of the selections away):
17. New England Patriots: Nate Solder, OT, Colorado. Having the advantage of six picks in the first three rounds, New England can get a little luxurious and draft talent over need if they feel the urge. Solder is a supremely talented athlete that wouldn't need to play right away for the Patriots - but probably could.
Then later in the first round, Bill Belichick and company own the 28th pick, which SB Nation projects them to use on Alabama's Mark Ingram:
Ingram is excellent value this late in the first round. Though the Patriots are a consistently excellent rushing team, they lack talent at the position. If BenJarvus Green-Ellis can produce in this offense, imagine how well Ingram would play.
View the complete 2011 NFL Mock Draft at SB Nation