With the NFL Draft rapidly approaching, expect trades to be made, but don't expect the usually draft day trade-happy Patriots to be in the middle of that action. Look for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to actually use their picks to build depth on both their defensive and offensive lines.
Patriots picks by round:
1. Louis Nix-NT. Notre Dame.
Nix is considered one of the best defensive tackles in his draft class and a major need for the Patriots to play opposite Chandler Jones.
2. Weston Ritchburg-C. Colorado State. or Dominique Easley-DT. Florida.
Although the Patriots re-signed center Ryan Wendell to a two year contract extension at center, Richburg is still considered one of the best center prospects for the 2014 NFL Draft and a must for the Patriots to help sure up their sometimes suspect interior blocking.
3.C.J. Fiedorowicz-TE. Iowa. or Trai Turner-RG. LSU
Fiedorowicz has good size at 6-foot-5 and 265 pounds with good hands. Tight end is a need with Gronk's health always a question. He needs to improve his blocking skills and he also has trouble eluding tacklers after the catch. He's a good pick in the third round for the Patriots.
|Michael Sam, Missouri (USA TODAY).|
4. Michael Sam-DE. Missouri (compensatory)
Sam fits the inside linebacker mold of Tedy Bruschi or London Fletcher. He's athletic, has good speed, he can cover, and has a non-stop motor that could make him a successful middle linebacker in this league for years to come. If teams are looking for Sam to become an outside pass rusher or and defensive lineman, they could be disappointed. He's been limited to playing a 4-3 scheme. At the NFL level, he's not strong enough or tall enough to play defensive end.
Andre Williams-RB. Boston College.(compensatory)
Williams shows good speed and enough quickness to pick his way through the crowd. Could be a good replacement for the departed Lagarette Blount. He needs to improve in pass protection and is an unproven pass-catcher.
5. None. Traded with eagles for Isacc Sopoaga deal.
6.Brock Vereen- SS. Minnesota
Vereen is a good athlete with good range. The Patriots need depth at safety and this may be a good fit for Shane's little brother. His durability may be a question and he is not a forceful tackler. Tight ends in the NFL may give him difficulty.
Jeff Janis-WR. Saginaw Valley (Eagles trade)
In the later rounds, the Patriots may take a flier on Janis, who at 6-foot-3, 215 pounds, could provide a red zone threat, but the scouting report on him is he has bad hands.
Lyerla, at 6-foot-4, 242 pounds, can create in the open field with very good run skills, has a good catching radius and is a functional blocker.Off-the-field issues will cause this tight end prospect to drop in the draft and could be available late for the Patriots.
DRAFT DAY TRADES
-St Louis receives 2014 3rd round pick, 2014 4th round pick, 2015 2nd Round pick, #6 Atlanta receives #2
-Oakland receives 2014 2nd round pick, #9 Buffalo receives #5
-Tennessee receives 2014 2nd round pick, 2014 4th round pick, #22 Philadelphia receives #11
-Baltimore receives 2014 2nd round pick(#24), 2014 3rd round pick(#13), #30 San Francisco receives #17
-San Diego receives 2014 2nd round pick, 2015 2nd round pick Jacksonville receives #25
NFL DRAFT - 1st Round
|Jadeveon Clowney will be the first pick overall.|
1.Houston-Jadeveon Clowney||DE||South Carolina
2.Atlanta(St Louis)-Khalil Mack||OLB||Buffalo
4.Cleveland-Mike Evans||WR||Texas A&M
6.St Louis(Atlanta)-Johnny Manziel||QB||Texas A&M
7.Tampa Bay-Jake Matthews||OT||Texas A&M
8.Minnesota-Derek Carr||QB||Fresno State
10.Detroit-Darqueze Dennard||CB||Michigan State
12.NY Giants-Zack Martin||OG/OT||Notre Dame
13.St Louis-Taylor Lewan||OT||Michigan
15.Pittsburgh-Kyle Fuller||CB||Virginia Tech
17.San Francisco(Baltimore)-Brandin Cooks||WR||Oregon State
18.NY Jets-Eric Ebron||TE||North Carolina
20.Arizona-Ryan Shazier||OLB||Ohio State
21.Green Bay-CJ Mosley||ILB||Alabama
23.Kansas City-Xavier Su'a-Filo||OG||UCLA
25.Jacksonville(San Diego)-Blake Bortles||QB||Central Florida
27.New Orleans-Marqise Lee||WR||USC
29.New England-Louis Nix||NT||Notre Dame
30.Baltimore(San Francisco)-Calvin Prior||FS||Louisville
31.Denver-Justin Gilbert||CB||Oklahoma State
Bryan Souza is a contributor to Patriots Insider. He has extensive scouting knowledge of several college and pro teams throughout the country.