In a draft that the New England Patriots entered with only five draft picks, Bill Belichick traded away the team’s first round pick and picked up four picks along the way—so the team ended with seven draft picks spread across the board.
Little to no surprise, New England traded out of the first round, but have two picks in the second and third round, as well as one in the fourth and two in the seventh.
With that being said, let’s take a look at our way too early draft grades for the Patriots.
2nd Round (#52 Overall): Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Miss
This is the ultimate boom-or-bust pick. Jamie Collins has all the talent and upside to be a productive pass-rusher at the NFL level, but he’s rather undersized as he stands in at 6’3″ and 250 pounds.
Collins runs a 4.6 forty and has an impressive vertical at 41″ and racked up 10 sacks this past season at Southern Miss. However, Collins played for a very bad team while at Southern Miss, as the team posted a putrid win-less 2012 campaign.
I like to compare Collins to the likes of Bruce Irvin of the Seattle Seahawks—so expect to see Collins play a lot on third-downs this upcoming season.
2nd Round (#59 Overall): Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
Aaron Dobson’s claim to fame was his remarkable one-handed catch this past season but there’s obviously much more to his game.
Dobson recorded 57 receptions for 679 yards this past season for Thundering Herd and proved that he has the potential to be an effective X receiver at the NFL level.
My biggest concern is whether or not Dobson has the brain to learn New England’s rather complex passing attack—however, he certainly does have the talent to succeed with Tom Brady.
3rd Round (#83 Overall): Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
The first of three Rutgers Scarlet Knights that Bill Belichick selected: Logan Ryan.
With the way that the third round was going, I really like the selection of Ryan—as cornerbacks was flying like crazy and he was one of the last impressive prospects at the cornerback position on the board.
Ryan will start 2013 as a backup behind Aqib Talib and Alfonzo Dennard and should see the field during his rookie campaign. As well as playing cornerback, Ryan was a serviceable special teams player while at Rutgers and should find a role on New England’s special teams this upcoming season.
3rd Round (#91 Overall): Duron Harmon, SS, Rutgers
I have nothing against Duron Harmon, but he has no business being drafted in the third round of the NFL Draft.
Yes, I do believe Harmon is a serviceable player but I find it extremely foolish that Belichick wasted a third round pick on this guy.
Harmon was one of Rutgers’ many defensive leaders a year ago and projects as a hard-hitting safety at the NFL-level, but more than anything, I look at him as a special teamer.
4th Round (#102 Overall): Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
The selection of Josh Boyce is my favorite pick of them all for the Patriots.
Boyce stand sin at 6’0″ and weighs a solid 205 pounds and should bring some physicality to New England’s wide receiver corps—as he’s great in jump balls as well as being a guy that can break tackles against “pencil-neck” cornerbacks.
Boyce recorded 66 receptions for 891 yards and seven touchdowns this past season for the Horned Frogs while averaging an impressive 13.5 yards per-reception.
As long as Boyce can learn New England’s offensive playbook, he should fit in just fine with Tom Brady and New England’s other receivers.
7th Round (#226 Overall): Michael Buchanan, DE/OLB, Illinois
Michael Buchanan played for the same coach that coached DeMarcus Ware and that’s certainly a positive.
Buchanan played the “Bandit” position while at Illinois as he wasn’t just your typical speed pass-rusher, but he was also responsible for setting the edge.
Buchanan recorded 4.5 sacks and 7.5 tackles for a loss in 2012 while recording 7.5 sacks and 13.5 tackles in 2011—so the production is there.
For a seventh round pick, this pick has a ton of value to it.
7th Round (#235 Overall): Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers
The third and final Rutgers prospect that New England selected: Steve Beauharnais.
Ultimately, Beauharnais is nothing more than a reliable and durable linebacker. He doesn’t bring anything special to the table, much like other seventh round picks, but he’s average at just about every phase of the game for a linebacker.
It’s a 50/50 shot if Beauharnais will make New England’s final roster, but I’d bet that he’ll make New England’s practice squad.