NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The Patriots have shocked the world again. A year after Tavon Wilson was the surprise pick, the Patriots added Rutgers safety Duron Harmon with the 91st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft.
Harmon has good size for a safety – 6’1″ and 200 pounds. He plays for a Rutgers team that Patriots coach Bill Belichick seems infatuated with – much like the Florida teams a few years ago. The Rutgers team did have a pretty stout defense this year, so they do have some ability. In Bill Belichick’s press conference, he praised the communication that took place in the defensive backfield, perhaps he wanted to bring some of that chemistry with Ryan and Harmon.
Belichick commented on the Harmon pick in his press conference tonight. “Thought it was a good value when we took him. I don’t know how the other teams have their board stacked or anything else. You have to take the players that you feel can help your team.”
Harmon totaled one interception and seven pass breakups in 2012, notching five picks and one breakup in 2011. 2012 marked the second time that he was named First Team All-Big East, also earning the honor in 2011. Harmon was also a two-time Academic All-Conference selection.
To me, this smells like a Bill Belichick override pick. I doubt that Patriots scouts had Harmon this high on their draft boards, but it is possible. The Patriots passed on prospects like Tony Jefferson, Baccari Rambo, Duke Williams, Earl Wollf and Zeke Motta – just to name a few safeties.
One question is where Harmon will play for the Patriots. Devin McCourty, Adrian Wilson, Steve Gregory and Tavon Wilson would seem to have the lion’s share of playing time locked up – even with an injury or two. Nate Ebner is also waiting in the wings. Unless the Patriots plan on releasing one of those players, this looks like a pure depth and special teams pick.
Harmon joins teammate Logan Ryan – picked with the 83rd pick – and former teammate Devin McCourty on the Patriots.
The Patriots are next on the clock with pick 102.
Here is a cutup of Harmon’s game against Arkansas: