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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.