Apr 27, 2012; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots first round draft choices Chandler Jones (second left) and Dont'a Hightower (second right) hold up a jersey flanked by Patriots chairman Robert Kraft (left) and Patriots president Jonathan Kraft (right) during a news conference at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

With the No. 29 pick, the Patriots select …


With the NFL Scouting Combine a few days away and the NFL Draft not getting underway until May, it would seem most team are still undecided on who they will select in the first round.

Not the New England Patriots. Not according to most of the Mock Drafts from NFL.com and CBSsports.com anyway.

Apparently, the first-round selection for the Patriots is already down to a two horse race with both sides of the ball represented.

The overwhelming selection for the Patriots is tight end phenom Jace Amaro from Texas Tech. Three of the four most recent mocks at CBS Sports have the Pats going after the pass catcher. Mel Kiper, Jr. from ESPN and a number of NFL.com analysts are also pointing to Amaro as the choice of reason for the Patriots.

Matt Smith at NFL.com looks at it like this:

Tom Brady likes pass catchers at the tight end position. He threw 41 percent of his passes to his tight ends two years ago. The Patriots need reinforcements and Amaro is it.

Amaro put up some pretty big numbers last year for the Red Raiders, catching 106 passes for 1,352 yards and seven touchdowns.

The other option for the Patriots seems to be Stephon Tuitt, defensive tackle from Notre Dame. Three NFL.com analysts and another at CBS Sports are all expecting to hear his named called out for the Pats on draft night.

According to Rob Rang of The Sports Xchange and CBSSports.com:

The season-ending injury to nose guard Vince Wilfork made the middle of the Patriots’ defense a sieve, especially against the run. While Tuitt doesn’t possess the size to take over for Wilfork in the middle, his great size and athleticism makes a fit at virtually every spot along the defensive line. Considering how Bill Belichick values versatility, Tuitt makes sense here.

So that’s it Patriots fans. No reason to stay at home on Thursday, May 8th for the first round of the draft. Amaro or Tuitt will be joining the team for training camp.

Tags: Jace Amaro New England Patriots Notre Dame Stephon Tuitt Texas Tech Red Raiders