ESPN NFL analyst Todd McShay joined Dennis & Callahan to talk about the NFL draft, which begins Thursday night. McShay said he expects one of three pass-catchers to be available when the Patriots pick at No. 22, and it would be difficult to pass on Oklahoma tight end Jermaine Gresham, who McShay says is likely to be the only tight end to go in the top 50 picks.
"I don't think the Patriots are going into this draft with the mindset of, 'We have to take a tight end, we want to get younger at that position.' I just think that we have to look at how it falls," McShay said. "I think they need a pass rusher, but how do you pass on Dez Bryant and/or Jermaine Greshman and/or Demaryius Thomas, who by the way is not that far off Dez Bryant from a talent standpoint."
McShay said there is a possibility the Patriots make a move to get a lineman. "The other thing I keep hearing over and over again is the possibility of the Patriots taking Maurkice Pouncey, the center/guard from Florida, and possibly when it gets close, packaging the pick and moving up," he said. "I think the Patriots have a chance to move up maybe one, two, three spots to secure a player, and don't be shocked if it is Maurkice Pouncey."
McShay said the Patriots might do well to stick to their strengths and go with a player who projects to help them on the offensive or defensive line. Said McShay: "I'd much rather see them take [Texas linebacker/edge pass-rusher] Sergio Kindle if it just fell that way in terms of need. I'd much rather see them get a Maurkice Pouncey. I think it fits what they like to do in the draft, what they've been successful doing in the draft. If you really look at the players they've hit on, especially early on in the tenure of Bill Belichick, it's defensive linemen, offensive linemen. I think that's where they really excel in terms of drafting. If they go with Pouncey, I don't think there's a player in this year's draft with fewer weaknesses that you can really point out than Pouncey. I think that guy steps in as a rookie and is a starter, and a high-level starter, for many years."
As for Florida quarterback Tim Tebow, McShay said it won't be the Patriots, but another team is interested in taking him in the first round despite the risk. "I will go beserk on draft day if it happens, but I'm being told by people I trust that there is a better than 50-50 chance that Tebow comes off the board in the first 32 picks," McShay said.
Looking at players likely to make the biggest impact in the next few years, McShay said: "I think [defensive end] Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech is going to be a stud. I think the player who has the best chance to be the best player at his position within the next five years is [offensive lineman] Mike Iupati from Idaho."
To hear the interview, click on the Dennis & Callahan audio on demand page.
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