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Monday, 04 May 2015 15:59

Patriots NFL Draft Wrap Up

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The Patriots had some great picks in the draft, as well as some head-scratchers. Let's take a look at their day three prospects as well as the draft as a whole.

The 2015 NFL Draft was a rollercoaster ride for the New England Patriots. As Patriots fans, there is one thing that we know for certain going into the NFL Draft; nothing is certain with Bill Belichick is calling the shots.

To kick off a wild weekend, it was being reported that the Patriots had traded out of the first round, despite talent being on the board at positions of need. Thankfully, those reports were erroneous and the Patriots took the best player on the board in Malcom Brown. Patriots fans rejoiced. Brown was the steal of the first round, without a doubt.

Day two was the next bump on the roller coaster. With Patriots fans on top of the world with their most recent pick, Belichick brought them right back down to earth by drafting another safety that few people had heard of. Sound familiar? Tavon Wilson. Duron Harmon. Now Jordan Richards. This came as a shock, especially when guard AJ Cann, who the Patriots were rumored to like, was on the board. Then, with their third rounder, they nabbed Geneo Grissom. Who? Exactly. I knew who Richards was when they drafted him, although I also knew it to be a reach. Grissom I did not know. Few did. He seems to be a fit in the scheme, but was a reach.

So just like that, Belichick had brought us from zero to 60 and then right back down to zero. However, we still had one more day left in the draft…

The Patriots kicked off day three with the second pick in the fourth round. With that selection, they took pass rusher Trey Flowers out of Arkansas. Flowers was a projected third rounder, which made Patriots fans feel a little better, but they were not quite back yet. He recorded 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2014. He is definitely a player that can work his way into the rotation on the defensive line.

Finally, with a pick they received from the Cleveland Browns, the Patriots selected the guard that everybody was expecting them to snag the previous day. Once again, they seemed to redeem themselves with the value of this pick. Tre’ Jackson, guard out of FSU, was one of the best available and projected to be a second or third rounder. Jackson, who played next to Bryan Stork in college, will probably step in as a day one starter for New England.

To the surprise of nobody, Belichick doubled dipped at the guard position by selecting Shaq Mason out of Georgia Tech. While he may have a small build for the guard position, he is extremely smart. He made the calls at the line at Georgia Tech, as reported by Adam Kurkjian of the Boston Herald.

The last five picks the Patriots made were Joe Cardona, long snapper out of Navy, Matthew Wells, linebacker, Mississippi St., AJ Derby, tight end, Arkansas, Darryl Roberts, cornerback, Marshall, and Xzavier Dickson, linebacker, Alabama.

Dickson was very good value in the seventh round, as he was projected to go around the fourth or fifth. Darryl Roberts was decent value as well, projected to go a few rounds earlier. Matthew Wells and AJ Derby are nothing to write home about, skill-wise or value-wise; they went right around where projected, late in the draft. The one pick I wanted to highlight was Joe Cardona.

Normally, Patriots Nation would be up in arms about a long snapper in the fifth round. However, it was such a Belichick pick, you have to just chuckle and shake your head a little. He is a SPECIAL TEAMS player out of NAVY. Those are two of Bill’s favorite things.

The undrafted free agents that were signed after the draft concluded were center David Andrews, Georgia, CB Jimmy Jean, Alabama-Birmingham, safety Brandon Knight, Auburn, and Devin Gardner, WR/QB, Michigan. Gardner is the most intriguing because he was a quarterback at Michigan, but was signed as a receiver. He has good size, but we will see if he can make the transition. Jean also has good size, but is considered a project, as many undrafted free agents are. King has incredible versatility, as he has played safety, linebacker and defensive end. You better believe he will see time as a special teamer and, who knows, maybe even cornerback. He is a typical Belichick guy, assuming he makes the roster.

Overall, this was not a bad draft. Yes, they reached in the second and third rounds, but made up for it was an exceptional pick in the first round and some very good value picks on the third day. This was a solid B grade draft for the Patriots.

 

 

 

Sam Pericolo

Sam is a Patriots writer for CLNS Radio. He is a graduate of Assumption College where he studied History, Marketing, and Political Science and was a Co-Producer on a weekly sports talk television show.

Sam has a baseball knowledge and that compares to that of Tim Kurkjian, football expertise equal to Adam Schefter, along with being very proficient in sports in general. He is an avid sports fan and columnist who brings ideas to the table that sparks the fun-filled sports debate that everybody enjoys and you'll love arguing with him (even though you'll never win one of those arguments). 

Follow Sam on Twitter @SamPericolo

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