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Tuesday, 07 May 2013 17:03

Patriots Draft Grades

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We are now almost two weeks removed from the 2013 NFL Draft, and of course it is time for me to give the Patriots their initial draft grade. I purposely waited a week to write this review, as the emotions and immediate aftershocks are now over. This draft had some normal Bill Belichick behavior (trading out of the first round, and selecting a player in the 3rd round who was rated a 7th round prospect). But all in all, here are my grades for the Patriots draft. 2nd round, 52nd overall (from Vikings), Jamie Collins: DE/OLB, Southern Miss. The Patriots picked up this selection in a trade with the Vikings which involved the Patriots first round pick. Collins, who was recruited to Southern Miss as a safety, seems to bring some much needed pass rushing help to the Patriots. He finished his career Southern Miss with 196 tackles and 21 sacks. Last season, he was named first-team All-Conference USA. Collins will help the defense in the immediate future, and was a great pickup by the Patriots. My grade: B  2nd round, 59th overall, Aaron Dobson: WR, Marshall With their second selection in the second round of the draft, the Patriots addressed a huge position of need at wide receiver  Dobson is most known for his spectacular catch he made against ECU back in 2011. At 6-3, Dobson is a big receiver who has an amazing leaping ability, and can go up and get the ball at its highest point. In his career, he recorded 165 receptions, for 2,398 yards, and 24 touchdowns. In his senior year this past season, he did not record one drop on 92 targets (57 receptions).  My Grade: B+  3rd round, 83rd overall, Logan Ryan: CB, Rutgers The Patriots seemed to love the prospects out of Rutgers this year, as Ryan was the first of three players the Patriots would draft out of the school. Ryan was chosen as a first-team All-American by Pro Football Weekly in 2012, recording 94 tackles, four interceptions, and 17 passes defensed during the season. Ryan does have some ties to New England, as he played behind former Rutgers, and current Patriots, safety Devin McCourty. I see Ryan contributing to this team right away, and could even see him sliding in as the Patriots fourth corner right out of the gates. My Grade: B  3rd round, 91st overall (from Vikings), Duron Harmon: S, Rutgers With their second selection of the third round, the Patriots go back to the Rutgers pool of players and select Harmon. Most draft analysts called this pick a "reach", and ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. had Harmon as the 42nd rated safety in this years draft. Bill Belichick has shown that he could care less for ESPN rankings (see Tavon Wilson last year.) Harmon is well known on special teams, so he will contribute on that unit relatively early on. My Grade: D  4th round, 102nd overall (from Vikings), Josh Boyce: WR, TCU The Patriots got this pick in the trade with the Vikings, and select their second wide receiver in Boyce. In his career at TCU, Boyce compiled 161 receptions, for 2,535 receiving yards (second most in school history), and 22 touchdowns. Boyce's biggest attribute is his intelligence, scoring a 23 on his Wonderlic test, which was second among all wide receivers  Boyce is also very quick, and has the versatility to play out of the backfield. My Grade: C+  7th round, 226th overall, Michael Buchanon: DE, Illinois Buchanon was a second team All-Big Ten selection last season and racked up 161 tackles and 14 sacks in his career. He is said to be a better pass-coverage linebacker, but only projects to be a special team player if he makes the roster. In the seventh round, the Patriots hope Buchanon can hold his own and develop into a 3-4 linebacker in a few years. My Grade: C-  7th round, 235th overall, Steve Beauharnais: ILB, Rutgers The Patriots get another Rutgers player in Beauharnais, and he figures to be a strong candidate to make the roster. Beauharnais compiled 274 tackles, 12.5 sacks, and three forced fumbles in four career seasons at Rutgers. Last season, he had 82 tackles and a sack. In my opinion, the Patriots got a steal here in Beauharnais. My Grade: B As I look back at this draft, none of the seven players that were selected seem to have that pro bowl potential. Obviously we still have a ways to go with this draft class, but the Patriots left a lot of talent on the board to make these selections, and that is why my overall grade is so low. The Patriots still have serious issues in the secondary, with pass rushing, and in their receiving corps, and none of these players will bring much help early on. But we all know that Bill Belichick sees more in players that we don't, so I am forced to end my column with this simple phrase: In Bill I trust. Overall Grade: C+
Patrick Shankhour

Patrick Shankhour is currently majoring in communications at Southern New Hampshire University. He co-host's "The Shankhour & Maggiore Show" here on CLNS Radio every Sunday. He is an expert on the Patriots, and will be providing you all with news and updates as he recieves them. Follow him on twitter at @CLNS_Patrick