The New England Patriots have always been known for wheeling and dealing throughout NFL Drafts. Not only do they successfully do so, picking up many more selections than they give up, but they usually find value in many players late in the draft.
This draft seems to be no different as they could potentially have the steal of the first round in Dominique Easley, defensive tackle out of Florida, at 29 overall. Not only does Easley provide that rare, elite interior pass rush from the defensive tackle position, but he is a freak of an athlete.
However, the reason why Dominique Easley wasn't drafted higher was because of medical issues. He was plagued by injuries throughout his college career which eventually made his stock drop. However, if Easley would have stayed healthy in college, he would have been fighting Aaron Donald for the top defensive tackle prospect in this class as they are both very similar defensive tackles as well.
In the late second round, the Patriots decided to take Jimmy Garoppolo, quarterback out of Eastern Illinois, at 62 overall. While many teams were upset over this pick for taking their guy, I don't understand why they did.
I understand that everyone wants to find that high upside successor to their star quarterback just like the Patriots do with Tom Brady. However, the value in the second round isn't there for a project who won't see the field for a long time, if ever. Seriously, they have him for four years before he moves on like Ryan Mallett will next year, how long do they expect Tom Brady to play for? It's ultimately a waste of a second round pick in a great draft class.
After doing more wheeling and dealing, the Patriots wound up with three fourth rounders, using all of them on offense. Two of the three were used on the offensive line to further solidify an already great offensive line by drafting center Bryan Stork out of Florida State and tackle Cameron Fleming out of Standord.
While both are good players with high upside, the one I love the most is Cameron Fleming out of Stanford. While he's a very smart football player, he has a mean side in the run game that really dominated defensive ends this year. However, that's not the best part. The best part is he really was a wall at tackle for Stanford this year, rarely allowing guys to get by him in pass blocking.
James White, running back out of Wisconsin, was added as well in the fourth round. While he split time throughout his college career, White has a high upside and is now given a great opportunity in the Russian roulette the New England Patriots call a running game.
In the sixth and seventh rounds, the New England Patriots took a couple fliers on guys such as guard Jon Halapio, defensive end Zach Moore, safety Jamea Thomas, and wide receiver Jeremy Gallon.
The intriguing pick out of these four was wide receiver Jeremy Gallon out of Michigan who is smaller than Julian Edelman. While Gallon will be solely a slot receiver, they already have Amendola and Edelman filling these roles so could this pick mean Amendola will move on after this year?
Overall draft grade: B