The Patriots have eight of those selections — one in the fourth, fifth and sixth rounds, and five in the seventh — so they’re in position to do some more damage. If you’re tuning in Saturday morning, here are the 10 best players remaining on the board and whether or not the Patriots might be interested in moving on them.
1. USC defensive end Everson Griffen
Contrary to one report, the Patriots publicly claimed they were not on the phone with Griffen prior to their third-round selection. Yet, that doesn’t mean the Pats aren’t interested in Griffen, who would have pretty good value in the fourth round. The Patriots have the 15th pick Saturday, so it would be unlikely Griffen would fall that far. But it’s already surprising the potential first-rounder has lasted this long.
2. Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell
He is another guy who was believed to have first-round potential, so it’s pretty likely he’ll be off the board early Saturday. The Patriots might not be in the market for a tackle, but Campbell could be too good to pass up at this point.
3. Clemson outside linebacker/defensive end Ricky Sapp
This is a bad sign for Sapp’s right knee, which has been in question since last season. He said he played hurt in 2009 but has since recovered. A first-round talent falling into the fourth round indicates otherwise.
4. South Carolina outside linebacker Eric Norwood
The pass rusher was projected to be a middle-round talent, so there don’t seem to be any sketchy concerns like Griffen, Campbell and Sapp. The Patriots have already added a pass rusher, and the acquisition of a middle linebacker could bump Gary Guyton to the outside, so it’s tough to tell if they’re willing to add another one.
5. Oregon running back LeGarrette Blount
Here’s a guy the Patriots should target in the mid-to-late rounds. Blount has second-round talent, but his stock fell after he sucker-punched a player during the 2009 season opener. Look past the incident, and one team will find itself a bargain.
6. Florida tight end Aaron Hernandez
Part of this draft’s deep pool of tight ends, Hernandez is another guy with mid-round value. The Patriots spent a second-rounder on Rob Gronkowski, but expect them to come away with one more tight end Saturday.
7. Georgia Tech running back Jonathan Dwyer
It’s pretty surprising Dwyer has fallen this far. With eight picks Saturday, the Patriots have a lot of options. Running back should be one.
8. BYU tight end Dennis Pitta
Basically, just re-read the Hernandez blurb.
9. USC running back Joe McKnight
The Trojan was a huge recruit coming out of high school but never emerged as a dominant force in USC’s crowded backfield. He’s got some question marks, but there could be some untapped potential there, too.
10. Clemson wide receiver Jacoby Ford
He might not be the highest-rated receiver on most draft boards, but the burner will make an impact somewhere. Give the ball to the track star in the open field, and he’ll return the favor with some spectacular highlights.