The 2018 NFL offseason will finally reach its apex Thursday night with the start of the 2018 NFL Draft. Yes, after months of mock drafts and speculation, the draft has finally arrived.
The New England Patriots are set to pick 23rd and 31st on Thursday, 43rd, 63rd and 95th overall on Friday and 198th, 210th and 219th overall on Saturday. So, all three days should be exciting for Patriots fans after two straight quieter drafts from a New England perspective in which the team didn’t have first-round picks.
Based on measurables, metrics and good ol’ fashioned intangibles, NESN.com has pinpointed a best fit at each position for the Patriots. Here they are:
Quarterback: Kyle Lauletta, Richmond, Round 2-3
OK, so based on measurables, including height, weight, arm length, hand size and testing numbers, the answer actually was Wyoming’s Josh Allen. But draft position and completion percentage probably preclude the Patriots from actually drafting Jacob Hollister’s former quarterback.
Lauletta, on the other hand, is well within reach for the Patriots as a second- or third-round prospect and the seventh best QB in the draft. He’s been compared to former Patriots backup Jimmy Garoppolo.
Other fits based on measurables: UCLA QB Josh Rosen, Wyoming QB Josh Allen
Running back: Jaylen Samuels, North Carolina State, Round 3-4
NC State used Samuels as a short-yardage back/slot receiver in 2017 with the Wolfpack. Imagine what Bill Belichick could do with such a chess piece.
Other fits based on measurables: Oregon RB Royce Freeman, Texas RB Chris Warren, Notre Dame RB Josh Adams
Wide receiver: Dylan Cantrell, Texas Tech, Round 5-6
Cantrell is a ridiculous athlete at 6-foot-3, 226 pounds. He checks every box when it comes to measurables for a potential Patriots receiver.
Other fits based on measurables: Maryland WR D.J. Moore, Washington WR Dante Pettis, Colorado WR Michael Gallup
Tight end: Ian Thomas, Indiana, Round 2-3
This draft is heavy on one-dimensional tight ends. Thomas at least as the size to serve as a blocker at 6-foot-4, 259 pounds.
Other fits based on measurables: Penn State TE Mike Gesicki, South Dakota State TE Dallas Goedert
Offensive tackle: Kolton Miller, UCLA, Round 1
We know he’ll probably be overdrafted due to his athleticism, but man what an athlete he is. At 6-foot-9, 309 pounds, he ran a 7.34-second 3-cone drill with a 10-foot, 1-inch broad jump.
Other fits based on measurables: Texas OT Connor Williams, Pitt OT Brian O’Neill
Guard/center: James Daniels, Iowa, Round 1-2
This is probably too high for an interior offensive lineman, but the Patriots love Iowa blockers, and his brother, LeShun Jr., spent training camp in New England last summer.
Other fits based on measurables: UCLA OL Scott Quessenberry, Appalachian State OL Colby Gossett, Nevada OL Austin Corbett
Defensive tackle: P.J. Hall, Sam Houston State, Round 4-5
We just want the Patriots to draft a 308-pound man with a 38-inch vertical leap, 4.73-second 40-yard dash and 14 blocked kicks and 42 sacks to his college resume.
Other fits based on measurables: Florida DT Taven Bryan, Stanford DT Harrison Phillips, Delaware DT Bilal Nichols
Edge defender: Tyquan Lewis, Ohio State, Round 3-4
Outside of his 7.2-second 3-cone drill, which was .01 seconds off of the Patriots’ typical standard, he checks all the boxes at 6-foot-3, 269 pounds with 33 3/4-inch arms.
Other fits based on measurables: USC DE Rasheem Green, Florida State OLB Josh Sweat, Louisville DE Trevon Young
Linebacker: Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State, Round 1
Vander Esch is a fit across the board. Will he be there at No. 23 overall, however?
Other fits based on measurables: Georgia LB Lorenzo Carter, Texas LB Malik Jefferson, Wisconsin LB Leon Jacobs
Cornerback: Jaire Alexander, Louisville, Round 1
Alexander is undersized, but he’s the best athlete among this cornerback crop. With a sub 4.4-second 40-yard dash, 6.71-second 3-cone and sub-4-second short shuttle.
Other fits based on measurables: Alabama CB Tony Brown, San Jose State CB Andre Chachere, Pitt CB Avonte Maddox
Other fits based on measurables: Arizona S Dane Cruikshank, Southern Miss S Tarvarius Moore, Penn State S Troy Apke, Northwestern S Godwin Igwebuike