NEPD Staff Writer: Dan Hope
The New England Patriots have to endure a long wait on Day 3 of the 2013 NFL Draft. After selecting TCU wide receiver Josh Boyce at No. 102 overall, the fifth pick of the day, the Patriots are not on the clock again until Round 7, when the Patriots will have three picks in a 10-pick span.
With their first five picks, the Patriots have drafted two wide receivers, two defensive backs and a versatile outside linebacker/defensive end. In Round 7, the Patriots should focus on finding value in hidden gems rather than focusing on specific needs, but could look to add depth on the offensive line, defensive front seven, or even more talent at wide receiver or the secondary.
Here are six players who could still be on the board in Round 7 that would make sense for the Patriots:
Update: The Patriots traded one of their seventh-round picks, No. 229 overall, to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers along with running back Jeff Demps in exchange for running back LeGarrette Blount. The Patriots still hold the No. 226 and No. 235 overall selections.
Miguel Maysonet, RB, Stony Brook
The New England Patriots do not necessarily need another running back, but they did look at a number of running backs in private workouts leading up to the draft, including Stony Brook’s Miguel Maysonet. A small-school sleeper who was very productive at the FCS level, Maysonet could be a steal if still on the board in Round 7.
The 5’9”, 212-pound Maysonet does not have great size or speed, but he is a decisive runner who hits holes hard and has great lateral agility. He can extend plays by making defenders miss with his moves and bouncing off of contact in the open field.
He would be a good fit to replace Danny Woodhead as a situational, third-down back, and like Woodhead, he could be a hidden gem from the small-school ranks.
Marquess Wilson, WR, Washington State
From a talent standpoint, Marquess Wilson should not have even made it to the draft’s third day. He is a physically gifted wideout with the explosive athleticism, route-running and pass-catching ability to be a major downfield playmaker and starting-caliber receiver on the outside of an NFL offense.
Unfortunately for Wilson, his senior season was an absolute disaster at Washington State, which ended with him leaving the team prematurely in early November. With serious concerns about his character and work ethic, it is uncertain whether he will be drafted at all.
If the Patriots want to take a flier on another wideout in Round 7, however, Wilson would be a great choice. If an NFL team turn him around, they could end up with a much-needed big-play threat on the outside and a real steal. The Patriots had a private workout with Wilson leading up to the draft.
Patrick Lewis, C, Texas A&M
Having lost Donald Thomas as a free agent earlier this offseason, the Patriots have very little depth on the interior offensive line. The Patriots should be in the market for a player who can back up Ryan Wendell at center and step in at guard if necessary, and Texas A&M’s Patrick Lewis would be a solid seventh-round choice.
Lewis is short for an NFL offensive lineman (6’1”), but he has good feet, is physical and is a good snapper. The Patriots had a private workout with Lewis earlier this offseason, and could target him for much-needed interior line depth with one of their late picks.
Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State
Even after signing veteran free-agent Tommy Kelly and CFL product Armond Armstead, the Patriots could still be in the market for a quick 3-technique defensive tackle who can offer more as an interior penetrator and pass-rusher. Florida State’s Everett Dawkins would be a solid option if he is still available in Round 7.
Dawkins lacks ideal size and strength and was not one of the more disruptive players on a loaded Florida State defense, but he has good quickness and inside pass-rushing moves. He would be a solid choice for depth and developmental upside in Round 7.
Earl Okine, DE, Florida
The Patriots could be in the market for depth at defensive end with one of their late-round picks, and an intriguing selection would be Florida’s Earl Okine.
Okine was not very productive at Florida and lacks speed, but he has promising size and length, and flashed ability as an outside-inside rusher as the Defensive MVP of the Texas vs. the Nation Game.
The Patriots attended a private workout with Okine earlier this offseason, and could have their eyes on him as defensive line depth, a player with the potential to play both defensive end and kick inside as a pass-rusher.
Alonzo Tweedy, LB/S, Virginia Tech
The Patriots often draft players in the late rounds for their special teams ability and upside, and that would be the case if they were to draft Virginia Tech’s Alonzo Tweedy in the seventh round.
Tweedy is very undersized for a linebacker and lacks the coverage skills to play safety on a consistent basis, but he is a very good special teams player who has good athleticism, attacks the ball and may also have some potential as a “star” hybrid linebacker/safety when defending running plays.
The Patriots had a private workout with Tweedy, who seems like a vintage Patriots late-round pick or undrafted signing, earlier this offseason.