The New England Patriots had a whole lot more draft picks a week ago. Then Bill Belichick gave away many of his highest selections while acquiring wide receiver Brandin Cooks, defensive end Kony Ealy and tight end Dwayne Allen through trades, and this is what he’s left with.
The Patriots could potentially recoup a first- and second-round pick through additional trades, but let’s assume for now they don’t.
Here’s one way the Patriots could pick in the 2017 NFL Draft based on their selections and needs:
Round 3, 72nd Overall Pick: CB Sidney Jones, Washington
Jones, who previously was a first-round prospect, tore his Achilles at Washington’s Pro Day this weekend, ending his rookie season before it began. By selecting Jones, the Patriots get a first-round talent in the third round. Also, say Malcolm Butler sticks around in 2017 on his first-round tender. He won’t be back in 2018, and the Patriots will need another starting-caliber cornerback. They get that in Jones.
Round 3, 96th Overall Pick: RB Kareem Hunt, Toledo
The Patriots need a big back, and Hunt is a fit because of his size and ball security. Hopefully he ran the 3-cone at his pro day Monday. That will decide whether he’s also a fit from a testing perspective.
Round 4, 131st Overall Pick: DE/LB Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
In Biegel, the Patriots get a player similar to Dont’a Hightower or Jamie Collins who has college experience as a pass rusher and in coverage. He generated pressure on 15.7 percent of his pass-rush snaps. At 6-foot-3, 246 pounds, he has prototypical size for a Patriots linebacker. It doesn’t hurt that he’s a good athlete, too.
Round 5, 163rd Overall Pick: DE Deatrich Wise Jr., Arkansas
The Patriots grab a bigger pass rusher in the fifth round in Wise, who at 6-foot-5, 274 pounds has similar size and athleticism to Chandler Jones and Kony Ealy. He was a strong run defender and missed just one tackle as a senior.
Round 5, 183rd Overall Pick: CB Shaquill Griffin, UCF
The Patriots grab a cornerback with elite athleticism who, unlike Jones, could potentially play right away.
Round 6, 200th Overall Pick: TE Darrell Daniels, Washington
Daniels’ impressive combine performance went overlooked because every tight end performed well in Indianapolis this year. Daniels is a solid pass-catcher who’s worth a late-round flier.
Round 7, 239th Overall Pick: S Chuck Clark, Virginia Tech
Knowing the Patriots’ unpredictability with drafting safeties, there’s an equal chance Clark could be selected in the third round as the seventh. He fits their mold as a defensive back who played cornerback and safety in college. He also was a two-year captain with the Hokies. He certainly fits their athletic profile.
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