Analysts: Jalen Collins, Duke Johnson are draft fits for Patriots

Yes, the New England Patriots just won their fourth Super Bowl. But that doesn't mean the Patriots don't have some holes to fill in the draft.

Perhaps the biggest hole is at cornerback, where the Pats lost Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner, and NFL Media analyst Curtis Conway said Thursday on the NFL Network's "Path to the Draft" that LSU cornerback Jalen Collins makes sense for New England with the No. 32 overall pick.

Conway said he also likes Wake Forest cornerback Kevin Johnson but thinks Johnson will be gone at No. 32.

"Jalen Collins is a guy ... I think will be there," said Conway, who describes Collins (6-foot-1 1/2, 203 pounds) as "very physical."

Fellow analyst Daniel Jeremiah has Collins as his No. 29 overall player and calls him "a big-time playmaker."

Collins has excellent measurables, ran a 4.48 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine and has a high ceiling. But he remains a bit raw, as he started just 10 games in his LSU career.

The analysts also noted that the Patriots lost running back Shane Vereen, who was a weapon as a runner and a receiver, this offseason. Potential running back replacements mentioned for Vereen were Miami's Duke Johnson, Nebraska's Ameer Abdullah and Alabama's T.J. Yeldon.

Conway seemed especially high on Johnson, saying "he's a mismatch out of the backfield" as a receiver and noting that he can be split outside and also be counted upon to run hard between the tackles.

Jeremiah called Johnson "a great fit" for the Patriots, and mentioned Abdullah as another back who is a solid dual threat. "If you want a little more size, maybe T.J. Yeldon," Jeremiah said.

Some potential mid-round picks that the analysts thought would help fill holes for the Pats were defensive linemen Tyeler Davison of Fresno State and Darius Philon of Arkansas, wide receiver Tony Lippett of Michigan State and offensive lineman Mitch Morse of Missouri. Morse played tackle for the Tigers, but Jeremiah said he could move to guard and would fit inside with the Patriots.

Mike Huguenin can be reached at mike.huguenin@nfl.com. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.

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