NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Patriots did a fantastic job of adding talented players to their roster on day two of the 2013 NFL Draft, hitting on my first three priorities for them: add talent at receiver, improve the pass rush and shore up coverage.
What are the Patriots priorities on day three of the 2013 NFL Draft?
Round Four kicks off at 12pm eastern. Check back after the draft to get all of your undrafted free agent information.
Priority One: Depth at Wide Receiver
The Patriots added Aaron Dobson to go with Danny Amendola, Julian Edelman and company, but is there another receiver out there waiting to get picked?
Quinton Patton (La Tech) and Da’Rick Rogers (Tenn Tech) my highest rated receiver left on the board, but Oklahoma WR Kenny Stills isn’t too far behind. All three would have to be picked with the 102nd overall selection.
At this point, you can’t rule Rutgers WR Mark Harrison, with the recent run on Rutgers players. He seems to duplicate some of what Aaron Dobson brings to the table, however.
If the Patriots wait until the 7th round, or trade down into the 5th and 6th rounds, “Dennard-esque” Marquess Wilson could be the pick. He is a top 50 talent, but has had run-ins with coaches and assorted other issues dropping him late into the draft.
Priority Two: Depth on the Offensive Line
As I stated yesterday, the Patriots starting five looks good along the offensive line, but you can’t have too much depth protecting Tom Brady.
Alabama OL Barrett Jones (4th Round) is the most likely pick in my opinion. San Jose State OL David Quessenberry (4th-5th Round) is also another player to watch.
In reality, I don’t think the Patriots will make a selection on the offensive line until the 7th round – Coach Dante Scarnecchia doesn’t need much in order to turn them into serviceable blockers for New England.
Priority Three: Coverage Linebacker
With Zaviar Gooden off the board, I don’t see the Patriots targeting a coverage linebacker until the 6th or 7th round. Iowa State linebacker Jake Knott, who is coming off a shoulder injury, is the best fit for New England. He is tough as nails, is a great tackler and has deceptively good speed and athleticism.
Former South Carolina safety Devonte Holloman could also be a fit earlier on in the draft – he is one of the smarter football players that Mike Loyko came across at the Senior Bowl and has experience playing as a coverage linebacker.
Priority Four: Future Plans
If the Patriots can wiggle their way into an extra 2014 NFL Draft pick, I think they’ll snatch it up. The 2014 NFL Draft Class looks pretty loaded and any added flexibility they can get would be beneficial.
List of the Patriots picks so far and what they have left: 2013 Patriots Draft Picks