NEPD Editor: Matthew Jones
The New England Patriots made four picks on the second day of the 2013 NFL Draft, but still hold four picks as the draft’s third day approaches. Here’s a look at some of the top offensive prospects remaining.
WR Quinton Patton, Louisiana Tech
Patton drew first-round consideration at some point in the process and continues to make sense here; he’d be an ideal flanker in New England’s offense, with Danny Amendola manning the slot and Aaron Dobson as the split end.
WR Kenny Stills, Oklahoma*
Stills has everything you’d hope for in a starting wide receiver; the fact that he’s still available could be due to concerns about his ability to fit into an NFL locker room. He’s the type of receiver who will take a huge hit and hang onto the ball.
WR Da’Rick Rogers, Tennessee Tech*
If the Patriots were interested in another big-bodied receiver, someone like Rogers makes a ton of sense; New England could field a fearsome five-wide formation with Rogers, Dobson, Gronkowski, Hernandez, and either Ridley or Amendola.
WR Ryan Swope, Texas A&M
Ryan Swope tested better than most people expected him to, and he has all the polish that you look for in a wide receiver prospect; he’d be a great option at this point. He wouldn’t have been much of a reach in the second round, either.
OL Barrett Jones, Alabama
Jones can play all over, so if New England is looking for someone to solidify their offensive line, this may very well be their man. Jones would fit best as a replacement for Dan Connolly, but could do whatever the Patriots want him to.
RB Andre Ellington, Clemson
New England could do a lot of creative things with Ellington; I loved when Clemson would throw a screen pass and then tap it towards a hard-charging Ellington. He would have been worth it in the third round despite the running back depth.
RB Johnathan Franklin, UCLA
Franklin can do a little bit of everything: pass protect, make smart reads, catch the ball; it comes as a surprise that he’s still available at this point. He needs to add additional bulk, but at this point in the draft he’d represent an excellent value.
RB Mike Gillislee, Florida
Gillislee would be an attractive addition to New England’s stable of running backs; he’s the type of slippery, responsible back the Patriots seem to admire. He could help alleviate the dropoff caused by Danny Woodhead’s departure.
RB Marcus Lattimore, South Carolina*
It’s entirely possible that Brandon Bolden has made it into Bill Belichick’s doghouse, so one possibility would be to trade him for a mid-round pick; if they do, an intriguing risk such as Lattimore could make sense. He’d rotate in for Stevan Ridley.
QB Tyler Bray, Tennessee*
If New England wants to duplicate the Ryan Mallett experiment, they could try drafting Tyler Bray, who has the tools to develop into a solid starter. Mallett could be traded for a future second-round pick, possibly to a team like Cleveland or Jacksonville.
Check out the top remaining defensive prospects as well!