NEPatriotsDraft.com Mock Draft

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NEPatriotsDraft.com Mock Draft

CSNNE.com is partnering with the great folks at NEPatriotsDraft.com to bring fans the most in-depth local coverage of the 2012 NFL Draft online. During the Draft, we will be pulling in Tweets from NEPatriotsDraft.com staff writers, CSNNE.com Insider Tom E. Curran, CSNNE.com reporter Mary Paoletti, and comments and questions from fans that use the hashtag PatriotsTalk. We will also bring you exclusive video highlights of players New England drafts soon after the selection is made.

By James Christensen
Special contributor from NEPatriotsDraft.com

If you had to make a living predicting what the Patriots were going to do on draft day, you'd probably go broke relatively quickly. However, I'm just the sort of sucker for punishment to jump right on that.

I'll give you my predictions, and those of my two crack writers, for what the Patriots are going to do this Thursday night in the 2012 NFL Draft's first round. First up, my two picks to be wearing Patriots uniforms come September.
Chandler Jones (DE, Syracuse)

I haven't been a big fan of Jones during the pre-draft process, but I understand why teams see him as a probable first round selection. He is a lump of clay, and I mean that in a good way. He has the frame to bulk up into a 3-4 defensive end or elephant linebacker, or stay trim as a 3-4 linebacker or 4-3 defensive end. He certainly has the talent to make some noise in the NFL, it remains to be seen whether he can develop it or not.

Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)

Curry is a football player. He has been very productive over his years at Marshall and has the motor and leadership qualities that will endear him to Patriots coaches and teammates. He doesn't have "freak" athleticism, but he finds ways to create pressure off the edge. Curry is more suited as a 4-3 end, but could develop into a 3-4 backer as well.

Click here for my full 2012 NFL Mock Draft.

If you want some more opinions, here are what my two great writers think the Patriots will do.

NEPD Writer Mike Loyko

Shea McClellin (OLB, Boise State)

If McClellin is on the board it makes sense for them to snatch up the versatile OLB. McClellin has drawn comparisons to former Patriot Mike Vrabel. He is a smart, intense and athletic OLB. Coaches raved about how quickly he was able to adapt to a new position at the Senior Bowl and came away impressed with how well he did in pass coverage.

Vinny Curry (DE, Marshall)

Curry is a team leader and was the heart and soul of the Marshall defense. He has been very productive the last two seasons totaling 23 sacks and 40 tackles for a loss.

Feel free to read Mike's entire 2012 Patriots Mock Draftwhile you're at it.

NEPD Writer Doug Kyed

Nick Perry (DEOLB, USC)

The Patriots brought Perry in for a visit to Foxboro and whether you think thats 100 smokescreen or not, they thought enough of him to want to take a closer look. Perry fits the mold of the typical Patriots edge rusher, whether thats Tully Banta-Cain, Jermaine Cunningham or going as far back as Willie McGinest.
Trumaine Johnson (CBS, Montana)

Johnson lacks top end speed and his man coverage suffers from it, but he does show great instincts, hes good in an off zone and he has great ball skills, all of which should lend himself well as a centerfield option next to Patrick Chung playing inside the box.

You can check outDoug's full Patriots Mock Draftas well.

Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

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Rookie Dak Prescott solid again, Cowboys beat Bears, 31-17

ARLINGTON, Texas - Maybe the Cowboys will be OK without quarterback Tony Romo this time. The future of the Dallas running game with Ezekiel Elliott looks pretty good, too.

Dak Prescott led scoring drives on all four Dallas possessions in the first half before throwing his first career touchdown pass in fellow rookie Elliott's first 100-yard game, and the Cowboys beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday night to snap an eight-game home losing streak.

With his second straight win, Prescott doubled the number of victories the Cowboys (2-1) had in 14 games without the injured Romo over three seasons before the fourth-round pick showed up.

Prescott's first TD pass was a 17-yarder to Dez Bryant for a 31-10 lead in the fourth quarter, and he's up to 99 throws without an interception to start his career. Philadelphia's Carson Wentz has 102, and those are the two highest career-opening totals for a rookie in NFL history.

"Dak's handled every opportunity he's had right from the start really, really well," coach Jason Garrett said. "No different tonight."

Brian Hoyer had trouble moving the Chicago offense early with Jay Cutler sidelined by a sprained right thumb as the Bears fell behind 24-3 at halftime and dropped to 0-3 for the second time in two seasons under coach John Fox.

Making his 27th career start for his fourth different team, Hoyer was 30 of 49 for 317 yards - a good portion of that with the game out of each late in the fourth quarter - and threw for two scores to Zach Miller.

"We haven't played a complete game," Fox said. "This week was the reverse of what we've had. We played very poorly in the first half."

Elliott finished with 140 yards on 30 carries, including a 14-yard run when he hurdled safety Chris Prosinski. The Cowboys kept giving him the ball while trying to work the clock with a two-touchdown lead in the fourth quarter a week after he was benched because of two fumbles in a win over Washington.

"Made a lot of good runs tonight, a lot tough runs, a lot of NFL runs," Garrett said. "He's physically tough. He's mentally tough."

It didn't even bother Prescott that Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed just the second game of his six-year career after his back tightened up during the week.

Prescott was 19 of 24 for 248 yards in Dallas' first home win since last year's opener, which was a week before the first of two broken left collarbones that kept Romo out of 12 games last season.

Romo is expected to miss about another month after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.

Prescott had one of three rushing touchdowns for the Cowboys, who have seven this season after getting eight all of last year, when they finished 4-12.

Because the Bears fell behind again, they couldn't do much with the running game. They had just 15 carries for 73 yards and lost leading rusher Jeremy Langford to an ankle injury in the second half.

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

Jets lose, Patriots guaranteed 1st place in AFC East when Brady returns

When Tom Brady returns to the Patriots following his four-game suspension, his team will be in sole possession of first place in the AFC East.

That became the reality as soon as the Jets fell to the Chiefs in Kansas City on Sunday, 24-3. The Jets committed eight turnovers in the loss to fall to 1-2. 

The Bills and Dolphins each won their first games of the season on Sunday, taking down the Cardinals and Browns, respectively. 

With the Patriots record at 3-0 following their win over the Texans on Thursday night, and with all three of their AFC East rivals sitting on just one win thus far, even if Bill Belichick's club was to fall to Rex Ryan and the Bills in Week 4, it would still be alone atop the division.

MORE PATRIOTS

Surely the Patriots would like to have a zero in the loss column when Brady returns. Regardless, to be in first place when Brady's Deflategate punishment is finished -- and having achieved that mark with two different starting quarterbacks -- has to be a point of pride for the organization . . . and a source of agita for those who doled out the punishment.