Patriots Draft Review: How Did New England Fare in the 2013 NFL Draft?

Aaron Dobson Patriots

The success of the Patriots 2013 NFL Draft might hinge on the development of Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce. (USA Today)

NEPD Staff Writer: Oliver Thomas

The 2013 NFL draft came to an end Saturday, but the careers of 254 draft picks have just begun. We won’t know who will end up a bust or who will end up in Canton, but we do know who the New England Patriots selected over the course of three days this April.

And with that, it’s time to reflect upon the draft day decisions of head coach Bill Belichick, director of player personnel Nick Caserio and the rest of the Patriots staff.

Accumulating Options Early

Day 1 was about as eventful as a first round could be for the Patriots, even though no players were selected. The decision to trade out of Round 1 looked like a relatively easy one for New England, as the Minnesota Vikings were offering Nos. 51, 83, 102 and 229 for No. 29 overall. That’s more compensation for a late-first than the Oakland Raiders got for No. 3 overall. Check mate.

Starting the draft with only five picks, it was no surprise to see the Patriots trading back. The Minnesota swap gave New England some much-need flexibility. And odds are the prospects New England had circled at 29 were no longer on the board. Either that or the team’s brass thought they could nab them in the second round.

The difference in value between a late Round 1 prospect and a mid-Round 2 prospect was minimal in this draft. Belichick was likely aware of this, and he set the tone by gathering picks in the heart of the Day 2 order.

While being patient has its benefits, the Patriots did miss out on early second-rounders like Tennessee wide receiver Justin Hunter, Florida State defensive end Cornellius Carradine and USC wide receiver Robert Woods. All of whom had the skill-set to be excellent fits with the Patriots. But that is the risk New England took by trading down.

Round 2, Pick 52 Overall: Jamie Collins, DE/OLB, Southern Mississippi

With the team’s first selection, the Patriots added an athletic edge-rusher in Jamie Collins. Although he played for a college bottom feeder that went 0-12 and was coached by three different coordinators, Collins has the abilities you can’t teach. The NFL Scouting Combine was the venue for those abilities to be showcased. In Indianapolis, Collins was one of the top positional performers in the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump, the broad jump, the 60-yard shuttle and New England’s personal favorite: the three-cone drill.

A converted quarterback, safety and inside linebacker, Collins may be a bit of a ‘tweener in the NFL. He’s not New England’s prototypical “Elephant,” as he’s 6’3” and 250 pounds. He may be more of a third-down pass-rusher and a special teams stalwart initially, but his production with the Golden Eagles can’t be shrugged off. Collins posted 92 tackles, 10 sacks and five pass deflections as a senior in 2012. He does not miss tackles and is light on his feet, which should bode well for him in sub packages.

Ultimately, Collins is valuable insurance with both Rob Ninkovich and Brandon Spikes, who are both heading into the final year of their deals. While many would have elected to go with Boise State cornerback Jamar Taylor with this pick, New England was thinking years ahead in a different direction.

Round 2, Pick 59 Overall: Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall

Who would have thought the Patriots’ first two picks would be out of Conference USA? At the end of Round 2, the Patriots addressed the wide receiver position with Marshall deep threat Aaron Dobson. And yes, that’s the same school that produced Randy Moss and Troy Brown.

Although many considered him a third-round talent, the Patriots thought otherwise. Dobson is 6’3”, 210 pounds with good-but-small hands and a reportedly 4.37 40-time. Dobson doesn’t play as fast as that number suggests; he’s more of a strider. But the Patriots felt confident enough in the Thundering Herd target to grab him at 59.

A big body with a knack for the spectacular catch, Dobson has the tools. But there were some better route-runners still available — like California’s Keenan Allen and Oregon State’s Markus Wheaton — and that’s been where young Patriots receivers have struggled.

Acclimating to New England’s offense quickly has been a challenge for most, so Dobson has his work cut out for him. If the team captain can pick it up, he could be a very potent ‘X’ receiver who could not only spread the field, but be a factor in intermediate routes.

Round 3, Pick 83 Overall: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

The Patriots continued the Rutgers pipeline by drafting zone cornerback Logan Ryan. This pick came as a bit of a surprise, but it’s possible that New England was sensing a run on cornerbacks and had to join the party. The third round saw Connecticut’s Dwayne Gratz and Blidi Wreh-Wilson, San Diego State’s Leon McFadden and LSU’s Tyrann Mathieu all come off the board.

Ryan was a teammate of Belichick’s son Stephen at Rutgers, and he joins former Scarlet Knight Devin McCourty in New England’s secondary. Ryan has good but not great size at 5’11”, 191 pounds, an excellent three-cone time at 6.69 seconds, and he brings a physical nature to the cornerback position.

Ryan isn’t a technician; he has some flaws in his footwork and backpedal, but the Patriots saw an opportunity to nab a corner while the getting was good. He’s a smart player and a sure tackler. He is not, however, a cornerback in the Aqib Talib press-man mold.

Round 3, Pick 91 Overall: Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers

And with New England’s final pick of Day 2, the team took a Tavon Wilson-esque under-the-radar safety in Duron Harmon — another Rutgers guy. Harmon was the first non-combine invitee drafted, and he was fully prepared to go undrafted.

No television network had any cut-ups prepared for the Harmon selection. That’s because no one saw it coming. It just goes to show that Belichick values the draft completely differently than other coaches and general managers. He writes his favorites down on a piece of paper. Then he drafts them.

Harmon is a high-character teammate who was overshadowed by the likes of Ryan, linebackers Khaseem Greene and Steve Beauharnais. The 6’0”, 192-pound strong safety has solid 4.5 speed and a high football IQ. He’s another name in the mix at the clogged safety spots. There’s aforementioned 2012 second-rounder Tavon Wilson, 2012 sixth-rounder Nate Ebner, veteran acquisition Adrian Wilson, as well as Steve Gregory and Devin McCourty.

Harmon could take a back seat in year one, or challenge both Wilson’s and Steve Gregory for work in the “money” role. It’s really too soon to make much of judgment on a guy few even evaluated. Nonetheless, the Patriots probably could have drafted Harmon in Round 7 and nobody would have blinked. Instead, West Virginia wideout Stedman Bailey and Utah State cornerback Will Davis were drafted immediately after Harmon.

Round 4, Pick 102 Overall: Josh Boyce, WR, Texas Christian

The Patriots double-dipped at wide receiver and drafted TCU’s Josh Boyce early on Day 3. A 6’0”, 205-pound pass-catcher with a 4.38 40-time and a 6.68 three-cone time at the combine, Boyce is an explosive runner will add firepower and physicality to the Pats’ receiving corps.

Boyce is more than just a pair of wheels, however, he’s a very intelligent player who graduated early and decided to turn pro. The Horned Frog can be used in the screen game, the play-action game and the deep-ball game. Boyce has the shiftiness you want in a receiver and has the vision to get yards after the catch.

Boyce and Dobson were on the same visit to Foxboro, so for once we can see a player-team meeting come to fruition in the draft. Looking down the road, it’s feasible to think Dobson could play split end and Boyce could be in the flanker. He has the athleticism and fundamentals to play on both the inside and outside.

While some other touted receivers — including Louisiana Tech’s Quinton Patton, Tennessee Tech’s Da’Rick Rogers and Kansas State’s Chris Harper — could have been taken 102 overall, you can’t go wrong with Boyce, either.

Trading Jeff Demps to Tampa

In the midst of Round 6, the Patriots came to an agreement with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and traded Jeff Demps and a seventh-round pick for running back Legarrette Blount. The move suggests that ex-Rutgers and current Bucs coach Greg Schiano is alright with Demps splitting his time between football and track.

What’s surprising here is that Demps was traded along with pick 229, since Tampa could have very well released the 26-year-old Blount if no suitors arose. Blount is a former 1,000-yard rusher, but he saw his role diminish with the emergence of Doug Martin.

There’s no guarantee that Blount makes the final roster for New England, as the running back depth chart is a crowded one. Still, Blount is a three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust kind of back with good size and physicality. He’ll be in camp, whereas Demps would likely not be.

Round 7, Pick 226 Overall: Michael Buchanan, DE/OLB, Illinois

The Patriots went to the bargain bin and drafted Illinois pass-rusher Michael Buchanan, an end who fits the prototypical Belichick parameters in terms of size and athleticism.

At 6’5″, 255 pounds, with long arms, a 4.78 40-time and a 6.91-second three-cone time, Buchanan has all the prerequisites. He’s got a good first step and knows how to set the edge. Although he’s a little lean, he is great value late in Round 7, especially considering he was projected as a fourth-rounder in most draft circles.

New England’s pass rush is revitalized. But it’s also important to remember that last year’s undrafted pick-up Justin Francis, last year’s third-rounder Jake Bequette and 2010 second-round pick Jermaine Cunningham are still in the fold.

Buchanan joining forces with Ninkovich and Jones may move second-round pick Jamie Collins to outside linebacker. Both are “bandit”-types, but Buchanan has the size advantage. It’s a thought that can’t be ruled out at this point.

Overall, this is a tremendous choice in Round 7. Buchanan is more than just a camp body. He could potentially be a future starter at left defensive end.

Round 7, Pick 235 Overall: Steve Beauharnais, LB, Rutgers

This is getting borderline ridiculous, but that’s okay. The sixth Rutgers player drafted is Steve Beauharnais — the third Scarlet Knight to be drafted to New England this year alone.

At 6’1”, 240 pounds, Beauharnais is a tough inside linebacker with good instincts. He may have been overshadowed by Khaseem Greene, but Beauharnais was a sound blitzer who’s very capable of making plays as a zone coverage backer. On top of that, he’s a rugged run-stopper who plays with heart.

A 4.84 40-time with a 6.99 three-cone time, Beauharnais may surprise some people as a sub linebacker and special teamer. All in all, this isn’t a bad way for the Patriots 2013 draft to go out. Foxboro is officially home to the New England Scarlet Knights.

Undrafted Free Agency

Even though the final seconds have ticked off the clock, the draft process is not over. There are plenty of undrafted free agents looking for homes. And thus far, the Patriots have agreed to terms with 15 of them. Although they’re not all big names, they will go a long way towards filling out the 90-man training camp roster.

Arguably the most notable undrafted signee is Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe, a 5’11”, 204-pounder with a staggering 6.53 second three-cone time. Although Moe doesn’t have excellent straight-line speed, he’s quick in space and could develop into a solid inside target if he can take advantage of the opportunity.

Two other names who stick out due to their college are cornerback Stephon Morris and offensive lineman Matt Stankiewitch, two Penn State products who were likely given the good word from ex-Patriots offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.

There also may be a sibling rivalry brewing in New England, as Michigan State offensive lineman Chris McDonald — brother of Nick McDonald — has joined the Patriots. If he’s got the grit and determination of his older sibling, he may have enough to stick around.

Rounding out the list, the Patriots also signed Akron running back Quentin Hines, Nevada tight end Zack Sudfeld, Kent State offensive lineman Josh Kline, Tennessee fullback Ben Bartholomew, Troy safety Kanorris Davis, Missouri offensive tackle Elvis Fisher, Clemson tight end Brandon Ford, Cincinnati wideout Kenbrell Thompkins, Louisiana Tech punter Ryan Allen, South Florida defensive tackle Corey Grissom and, of course, Rutgers cornerback Brandon Jones.

Tags: 2013 NFL Draft, Aaron Dobson, Jamie Collins, Undrafted Free Agents

56 Responses to “Patriots Draft Review: How Did New England Fare in the 2013 NFL Draft?”

  1. David L says:

    The free agent punter kicks with his left foot. I seem to recall over the years that this puts a different spin on the ball from most kickers and can cause a problem for a punt returner as in fumbles. Ray Guy award winner for two years in a row I say cut the current guy, save the money, and try for John Abraham at defensive end.

  2. Jeff M says:

    Honestly I was fuming after the Harmon pick because I thought there were waaaaaaay better players available at that time and that this guy could’ve been picked in the 7th just like Wilson last year.

    Still upset about it because we could’ve got better value for him (why pay more for a car even if you know it’s better than anyone else does? You can get that great car for less!) but when they took Buchanan and Steve in the 7th I felt better because Buchanan should’ve gone 3rd or 4th round so if you switched them and said Boyce at 91, Buchanan at 102 and Harmon in the 7th…I wouldn’t have blinked.

    In reality the Pats came away with
    Armstead
    Collins
    Dobson
    Ryan
    Boyce
    Buchanan
    Steve (I don’t feel like typing his last name)
    Harmon
    Stankwietz
    Moe
    Blount who is perfect for the FB type role Bill has been fixated with of late.

    That’s pretty solid work considering they entered with 3 picks in the top 100.
    I think this draft is devoid of top talent, but role players and solid starters who compliment a team that went to back to back AFC Champ games and a SB over the last two years…I’d say that’s good personnel work.

    Well done Bill.

  3. David L says:

    With free agent additions I did not expect a defensive tackle to be taken early. I still see Flacco having plenty of time to throw the ball in the championship game and I did hope they could get Tank Carradine at 29.

    When they traded out we had 5 picks in the first four rounds rather than 3. Injuries always play a part in a team’s season so I will say that was a good move. I like the idea of having two more picks. Unfortunately, I agree with most of the comments here that say the Pats could have done better with those 5 picks.

    Most teams are looking for guys to step in and play or at least contribute significantly if taken in the first 102 picks. I don’t see any of these guys necessarily winning a starting position. I don’t see any having a pro bowl future either.

    I am willing to wait a couple years to see how they turn out, but am not impressed so far.

    • Stephen S says:

      The phrase that BB has used comes to mind We are building a team not collecting talent. Now lets see how the team building goes this year

  4. jared says:

    This was a weak draft class coming of, especially in the first round, I don’t think we have to wait 3 years to say that.
    Word is Patriots were set to take UNC DT Sylvester Williams, the Broncos snagged him one pick ahead of us. So they traded out and picked up 3 more picks. I’m usually not a huge fan of dropping out of the first round, but if your board is wiped out and you have a team willing to give you the compensation you desire-you make the trade.
    I lump OLB Jamie Collins and WR Aaron Dobson into the same high risk/high reward category. Both have high upside but high bust potential.
    My problem with this draft by the Patriots is their 3rd rnd picks, both Logan Ryan and especially Duron Harmon. I’m no NFL scout but game film on Logan Ryan is ugly, he loses almost all downfield battles, half by way of pass-interference, so he should fit right in. My biggest issue is with Harmon, hard to believe there wasn’t an interior lineman available that will end up being a better player than Harmon. Even while I had already mentally prepared myself for the annual who the bleep is that guy pick…It still gets me every time. Most people had Harmon going undrafted, you gotta be really drinkIng the hoodies Kool-aid to have hopes or this pick.
    I had them taking Joyce in the 4th round, I like the pick, his numbers suffered due to weak QB play last season.
    This draft in my opinion hinges on Jamie Collins and the two WR’s, if Collins is a keeper along with EITHER Dobson/Joyce….draft will be a success.
    My early grade C+

    • pito says:

      well put, agree 100%

    • Chile says:

      I think BB is the best of the best. Every day I thank my lucky stars that we have BB as our coach and for picking the new players. Look. Bill is the coach. he is responsible for all the players out there on the field. He knows the details of what he needs better than anyone else could ever know. I am grateful that BB has full power to pick the new players.

      We in New England are so fortunate. Instead of criticism give BB a little love and you will be much happier.

      Before the draft I knew that I totally 100% trusted BB. Now I do have to scratch my noggin with the one head scratcher pick. But overall I am super 100% happy and give him an A++ as manager and for the draft.

      I also super like Robert Kraft for giving so much football control over the team. A smart business decision. Kraft is great but he is not really a detail football man. He is the business man. BB is the football man. I will cry when he stops running the team and instead joins the Football Hall of Fame. I will miss him as the Coach.

      GO BILL GO

      I am excited to run down to Foxborough and watch all the new players work out. that will be fun. I am ready to see the first game of the season. Super Bowl this year. GO PATRIOTS GO.

  5. VT Bill says:

    I love the Collins pick. Pats needed more agile , faster LB than Spikes. 2014 Hightowe will be in the middle and Collins will be on the outside.

    The only problem with this draft is harmon. Way too early. Like Tavon Wilson. Nobody this year is saying ” Bill showed ‘em. That Tavon Wilson is a real player” He just is just what he was rated at.
    And probably Harmon too.

    The problem with picking Harmon is that we could be sitting here with Brendan Williams, Barrett Jones, or David Bakhtiari, or better yet, Denard Robinson, a great roll the dice player.

    Belichek clearly likes his role players to be smarter and more like a complete unit than a bunch of individual athletes.

    With Armstead, Marcus Fortson, and Tommy Kelley, the Pats have some new pieces that may team up with Dederick and Love and Wilfork to give us a pretty formidable interior front.

    2013 patriots will be very tough in the AFC this year, and I look for them to be the favorites

  6. PatsDJ says:

    The only problem I have with this draft is taking Duron Harman at pick #91. Trade back for a late 4th and 5th. Then you can take Harman with the 4th and you still have a 5 and all your 7ths. The Pats needed speed and I think they got that with Collins, dobson, and Boyce. Thought BB would make many more trades. The only thing I got right in this draft was that pick #29 would be traded. Very hard draft to figure out. Guys you thought would go early, went late. Guys you thought would go later, went earlier. well, lets get the drafted and udfa on the field then we can decide how good or bad this draft really was.

  7. Ryan B says:

    We had “holes” at CB, WR, Cover LB, and DT.

    After this draft can we honestly say that we fixed ANY of these holes?

    To make myself feel better I’m going to look at the draft like this:
    1. Armond Armstead
    2. Jamie Collins
    2. Aaron Dobson
    3. Logan Ryan
    3. Josh Boyce
    4. Aquib Talib (acquired with 4th round pick)
    5. M. Buchanan
    6. Steve Beauharnais
    7. Duron Harmon
    7. Legarrette Blount
    7. Jason Vega

    When looking at it like this. I dont feel like the draft was as big of a bust as I initially thought. I can honestly say that I could see only a couple of these players on the team in the next few years. I think that is more a testament of the weakness of the draft more than anything else. I just wish we could have gotten fewer players and fixed a couple major holes so we could build other areas of the team.

    Grade: B

    • David L says:

      I like your positive approach, though Armstead and Vega are really free agent acquisitions.

  8. John M says:

    Harmon at pick #91. Really???? What’s the logic here? Why not take Boyce with the #91 pick? I’m sure Harmon would have made it to the #102 pick. At least you could say it was a 3 round reach instead of a 4 round reach! Is Rutgers another Alabama team? If a team drafts 3 players from Alabama, I can accept that. Does Florida Gulf Coast have a football team? Maybe they’ll draft 3 guys from there next year. The Pats made some good moves this year in the draft but why give away a 3rd round pick! It’s definitely not the end of the world but for a team that strives on making value picks all the time, they “screwed up” on that pick.

  9. Joe Blake says:

    This MaineMan is a hoot! The “in-house scouting department ” apparently has a large contingent of Rutgers alumni! Mr. Kraft: please hire a GM and have BB focus on coaching.

    • jay says:

      youre a moron who shouldnt be judging a front office when youre on the coach

    • cb says:

      agreed joe blake its high time to bring in a top staff and gm. if bb wants to coach in that good if not, other competent coaches can win here, esp with better drafts

      • MaineMan says:

        Wow. You and Joe really have no idea how all this actually works, do you. I’m guessing it’s because you simply parrot what you hear from others, instead of, you know, actually doing research and study.

        Oh, and looking at things in context and having a balanced perspective might help you as well.

        If you don’t care to make such an effort, I suggest you run for Congress, because you sound just like those guys.

        • Joe Blake says:

          Hire either Ossie Newsome (Baltimore) or Kevin Colbert (Pittsburg) as the Pats GM. They are not in Congress, but know how to draft in the later rounds.

        • td says:

          ahhhhh hahahahahah, 1 day after the draft and some people declare this draft disaster and BB should be relieved of his GM duties.

          ahhhhhh hahahahahahahah. If it weren’t for his ability as talent evaluator and GM we would not be looking at:

          10-6 to 13-3 every single year and in the talk of super bowls Brady or no Brady.

  10. bob says:

    I like alot that they focused on D and also got 2 recievers. I somehow feel the D is close to coming together well and that is what wins in the playoffs. The details of the players? Who knows. It will sort itself out in camp. Just wish they had a good youngster to play next to Vince in the middle. Bless that MAN…

  11. Ken W says:

    Obviously see are going to have to wait and see how these guys pan out but my initial reaction would be a B+ or A-.

    I am surprised that the Pats didn’t get an interior OL prospect. Besides that I think they hit on the major areas of concern WR, CB, S, and pass rush.

    Collins is a freak athlete and will be interesting to see how BB uses him.
    Michael Buchanan was a great value pick in the 7th, can get after the QB.
    Dobson & Boyce both have some size and speed to add to the outside.
    Harmon is a wildcard we will have to wait and see like Wilson last year.
    Beauharnais great all around LB and tackler can’t wait to see what he can do, I think he could be a 7th round steal.

  12. Charlie says:

    I chuckle reading critiques from arm chair GM’s. Sure, I get man crushes on some guys every year that BB by-passes. And then he makes these picks out of nowhere. Sebastian Vollmer was one of those. Everyone said – “Who’s he?… What a reach!” You look at BB’s body of work and it’s terrific. This year he’s brought in a group of athletes who are good players at areas of need. It will be fun to see what happens.

    • pito says:

      Nobody is arguing that bb doesn’t do a solid job. However, solid doesn’t get you superbowls – case in point, we haven’t had a ring in years. Now, I’m not saying that one lousy pick will positively always make the difference between a Superbowl berth or missing the playoffs, you gotta look at the bigger picture. However all these wasted picks tend to come back to haunt you. Our enemies are retooling as well, so there’s no room for bone-headed picks like ole nr 91. As long as we can do better, you bet I’ll be wishing and hoping for better picks. I’m loyal to success not to Bill :)

      • jay says:

        it wasnt a lousy pick, you just dont know where talent is, were still the top team in the afc

      • MaineMan says:

        Really? The guy hasn’t even stepped on the field for Rookie Camp yet, but he’s already a wasted pick?

        Pre-judge much?

        • pito says:

          it`s not rocket science, man. production in college = higher draft pick. if this guy had been lighting up his college league, don`t you think he would`ve been on everyone`s radar? it`s just common sense dude. what harmon is is a huge gamble. i honestly hope he will prove me wrong and validate bb`s faith in him and take the league by storm, but realistically speaking, what are the odds of that happening? the draft is a numbers game anyway, but i`d rather take a chance on a decorated guy like barrett jones(to name one guy off the top of my head) over some unknown safety at that spot in the draft.

    • td says:

      Charlie, these arm chair GM’s will also watch youtube video and instantly become experts at identifying college players that will make NFL starters and/or stars.

      Some of these same people think that the stretch from 2001-2004 should be repeated every year, or BB is a bum.

      He could go all in like the Jets a few years back, but then he would be sitting in the studio next to Mike Tannenbaum.

    • Jinky says:

      I think saying the body of work is terrific is a reach in a draft perspective. Bill’s had some big hits, Gronk, Hernandez, Jones, but he’s had HUGE misses as well. Vollmer was a “who?” pick that ended up being a success but there were others that were not.

  13. Stephen S says:

    For those that didnt see it and a reminder for those that did here is the sure handed to TJ Moe
    http://assets.sbnation.com/assets/2227643/tjmoegrab.gif

    • pito says:

      dude cmon, anybody can get lucky once or twice. heck, i once nailed a half-court shot at hoops, does that make me likely to be drafted into the nba?

      on topic: tj moe seems like a marginally good receiver, yes, but let`s not muddy things up. if he had been THAT good, he wouldn`t have gone undrafted.

      • MaineMan says:

        Welker, Cruz, Miles Austin. Marques Colston was taken one pick before Mr. Irrelevant.

        Moe has the extreme agility to run very crisp routes with some good coaching. He’s also an excellent blocker (26 bench reps), which would benefit the ground game (a quality that not every team considers highly). He apparently did a lot of that at Missouri where they emphasized the run over the pass, so Moe didn’t see a lot of targets. He was pretty good when he saw them, though.

      • Stephen S says:

        Just showing the possibilities(potential). As far as being THAT good and gone undrafted some very good WR’s have gone undrafted ie Wes Welker Wayne Chrebet so here is hoping TJ can turn out to be another diamond in the ruff.
        Looking forward to the competition between all the WR’s to see who rises to the challenge. Good Luck to them all make it hard on BB to make a decision come roster time

  14. Joe Blake says:

    How did NE fare in the ’13 draft? We won’t really know for a few years, so the question has to be responded to by looking back at say the 2009-2011 drafts: 33 total picks with 9 contributors/hits (10 if you count a punter). Volmer and Edelman in ’09; McCourty, Gronk, Hernandes & Spikes in ’10; Solder, Vereen & Ridley in ’11. About a 30% success rate. 5 of the 9 were either first or second rounders. The jury is still out on the ’12 draft. I would guess these results would put the Pats slightly below. So I would give BB and crew a C-. Coaching and the great luck of having Brady as well as some good trades (Welker) have put them as perineal contenders. Being in the AFC North is also another lucky break. Now, with BB patronizing his son’s college: that is despicably narcissistic. When Brady goes, BB will slide out the back door. It was up to Kraft to oversee the draft and GM process through separation of duties. He saved some $ by being negligent in this regard, but hurt his investment in the long run. BB’s cashe from the three SB wins a decade ago (complements of a great coaching staff and drafting by others) should not continue to be used as a reason for this allowance. The crown needs to be taken off BB’s head as I don’t think he will ever win another trophy.

    • Dennis says:

      How can you argue with his success the past 12 years? After the three superbowls… 10-6, 12-4, 16-0, 11-5, 10-6, 14-2, 13-3, 12-4… Two conference championships

      09′ draft sucked, Ill give you that

      10′ had 5 starters, 6 if you add deaderick, 7 if you add larsen who they lost on waivers and starts for the bucs (7)

      11′ had solder, ridley, vereen, cannon with jury still out on dowling and mallett (4)

      Then you just ignore 12′ which has jones, hightower, dennard with the jury still out on the others, wilson and ebner dressed for every game (3)

      So I’m just going to ignore 09 and say from 10′-12′ he has hit on at least 14 of 28 or 50% which is well above-average and BB earns an A

      • Ken W says:

        Im with you on this. If you get 3 starters out of a draft then you are doing really well, and as you said Pats have been 50% since 2010.

        Plus if you look back at the drafts that built the championship team for the early 2000′s the 1995-96 classes are where they got solid guys like:

        Ty Law, Ted Johnson, Curtis Martin, Terry Glenn, Lawyer Milloy, Tedy Brushi

        So I really like the young foundation the Pats have built the last few years and I think there is a really good chance that they could win one or two superbowls in the next 4 years (or as long as Brady is around).

      • Jinky says:

        2010 had McCourty, Gronk, Hernandez, and Spikes. Since you mention Deaderick as the 6th, who are you counting as the 5th? I don’t see how you count Larsen being as the Pats waived him.

        He didn’t “ignore” 2012. Those players have only been here a year so he’s not evaluating them yet as things could change. Some could regress and some could improve.

        You seem to be counting any player who ever plays as a “hit” but playing doesn’t equate to being good.

      • cc says:

        OMG. You probably had “some” with your point(s) until you somehow mentioned Deaderick as a starter?????
        Are you smoking crack bro?

    • MaineMan says:

      This is Comedy Gold!

      AFC….. NORTH?

      “patronizing his son’s college”? You do realize that the guy who recruited all those Rutgers players and built that #4-ranked defense is now the HC of Tampa Bay, right? It’s probably more like BB is mining Schiano’s former school.

      Bottom line is that BB has consistently built rosters that put the Pats in position to challenge for the SB year-after-year for over a decade, and achievement that none of the SB winners since 2004 can claim.

      I’m so happy that Mr. Kraft is a “hands-off” guy when it comes to football operations rather than a meddling, micromanaging owner like Woody Johnson.

      • Richard says:

        Rutgers had a great defense last year and communiction in the Pats secondary has been lacking. Also there are now 2 Illini players there, who will be in coverage. It is about time that they invested in some speed at linebacker also. Mayo and Hightower can’t cover Homer Simpson on a tricycle. But if Hightower goes on edge or in the middle he would be considered to have good speed. The undrafted have about 5 guys who could make the team also. It was a good draft for what they had for picks.

  15. J H TARBORO says:

    (WR) D. Amendola D.Jones M.Jenkins J.Edleman K.Aiken J.Ebert A.Holmes M.Slater A.Dobson J.Boyce T.j Moe Kenbrell Thompkins Camp will be real interesting this season, Amendola good luck?

  16. pito says:

    how did we fare in this year`s draft, you ask? well, let me put it this way: watching the hoodie draft is like having a really hot piece for a girlfriend. you have some really crazy highs every once in a while, but mostly it`s just a freakin` tease.

    anyway, back to the real world guys: if only somebody would point out to bb that football is about production and not potential..the nfl battlefields are littered with washouts that were incredible athletes that couldn`t show it on the field. you know, where it COUNTS.

    overall grade: B- (mostly cause of the huge swing-and-miss at no 91)

    • J H TARBORO says:

      i agree with the b- grade, but in all the Pats did really well, great depth and role players and potential starters. GO Pats!

    • Dennis says:

      Which players weren’t productive?

      Collins had ridiculous sack and tfl numbers

      Dobson and Boyce each had three very productive years and Dobson had 0 drops last year supposedly

      Rutgers defense was ranked 4th in the country last year

      • pito says:

        @dennis: mostly i mean picking duron “who??” harmon when patton or bailey were available. they sorta made up for the mistake by selecting josh boyce who seems like a good egg. just seems like a waste of a pick, and a pretty high one at that.

        i mean look at the guys available at 91: patton, bailey, gooden, larry warford, wreh wilson, markus wheaton, barrett jones, devin taylor, quanterrus smith, d quessenberry, jordan poyer,reid fragel.

        literally any one of those would have been a better pick than a guy nobody (including mr draft himself, mayock) ever heard of. to add insult to injury, safety was barely a need, whereas o-line/cb/wr were truly needs at that point. the prosecution rests :)

        • Dennis says:

          Haha yea, you make a good point, I guess Ive just come to terms with BB telling the NFL F*** You I have a 3rd round grade on this kid that everyone else thinks is an UDFA… Still, if we’re talking production, he was 1st team big east two years in a row!

          Not saying I like the pick, but I do like this draft class.

        • MaineMan says:

          None of the media guys, including Mayock, has scouted or even “knows about” every one of the 2500-3000 eligible draft prospects in a given year. Nobody does, not even BB.

          However, the Patriots are one of only a handful of NFL teams that runs its own fully-staffed in-house scouting department. All the rest rely to a great degree on reports from one of the two “co-op” scouting organizations that put on the Combine ( for “combined scouting trade show”, essentially). BB’s in-house scouting doesn’t guarantee inherently “better” information, but it does provide information and perspective that is different from, above and beyond, what the co-op organizations offer.

          Thus, most teams are reading from one of the same two “pages”. The media guys have access to both reports, as does BB (probably). However, none of the teams and none of the media guys have access to the Pats’ in-house scouting reports. So, guys like Mayock CAN’T know what BB knows.

          What this means is that BB may find a guy (like Harmon) who may grade-out as equivalent to, say, a JJ Wilcox or Sharmarko Thomas, but whose particular skills and experience appear to be more appropriate for the specific coverage schemes he intends to run during the season – none of which a guy like Mayock has any way of knowing.

          Also, BB may know that one or more of the other teams that does at least some “extra homework” may also be sniffing around a particular prospect (which was definitely the case with Tavon Wilson in 2012). So, BB will take the guy when he needs to, if he believes that one of these other teams intends to take him with their next pick.

          So, there’s nothing really mysterious about this. And there’s nothing stubborn, egotistical or deliberately contrarian involved in making these unexpected, “off script” selections. It’s mostly just the logical result of the extra diligence that BB and his staff put forth. Yes, they’re still “wrong” a lot of the time, but no moreso, percentage-wise, than any other team, and their batting average over more than a decade of drafts has been better than most, especially considering how few times BB has had an opportunity to pick above the bottom 8-10 in any round (a testament to BB’s consistent winning percentage).

        • Ryan B says:

          Pito:

          Warford, Wilson and Wheaton were all gone likely two of the pats major targets.

          Typical prosecutor factless.

      • Jinky says:

        Collins played in an awful division. I’m not just going to automatically dismiss small school players but he was not playing against other guys of good quality.

        As for Dobson, the 0 drops is actually not correct, he had a couple. He played in Conference USA and had a whopping 3 TDs last year. He’s not the big redzone threat people are making him out to be.

        Where are people getting that Rutgers was the #4 defense? I’m not saying you’re wrong I just want to know where the stat comes from. And Rutgers defense was not good against the pass. They were great against the run but poor against the pass.

  17. munchkin says:

    Yes, I too want to throw kudos to Mike and everyone else here for providing the information they do. Well done.

  18. cc says:

    Just 1 top tier “D” playmaker would have been nice.
    A Mallet & J.Cunningham trade would have been nice.
    But, lots of Hopefuls, ST-ers, Backups and Projects though.

    *Next stop on the train? The trade deadline!

  19. Phil says:

    Will be interesting to see how these linebackers are utilized. I like the way they went about this draft adding athleticism along the front 7.

    • mjp says:

      I don’t think Francis (despite his 3 sack game), Cunningham or Bequette showed much in terms of edge-rushing. Bequette really didn’t get a chance but that says something because Francis did get his chance and outside of the debacle in Miami he wasn’t dynamic on the edge (long arms, good motor but linear and stiff, not a great athlete). Cunningham’s best role is as that DT/DE hybrid, a pass-rushing 3-technique on passing downs.
      I’d like to see Hightower play MLB on passing downs and let Nink, Collins and Buchanan battle it out at OLB and DE; Nink gets the nod at OLB and Collins at DE with Buchanan rotating in on both sides of the front. Bequette the wildcard, I think they’d like him to become Nink 2.0 the way Nink has become Vrable 2.0 (that’s what we’d call him if we’d won the SB the past two visits).

      • MaineMan says:

        It’s been reported that Bequette was slow on his run reads/fits, needed some time to improve his technique and his rush-move array and was nursing a shoulder part of the time. But Bequette’s drill numbers were better than those of DE/DT Datone Jones (very similar size) and Bequette had better production in college playing a similar DE/DT role. If Bequette improves sufficiently over this off-season, I’m thinking *he* would supplant Cunningham whose best “fit” is OLB in a 3-4 (probably somewhere else, like Green Bay).

        Collins has better range than Nink, but not nearly as much agility, and might actually be better in the middle in sub-packages where his explosion through a gap could have greater impact than coming off the edge where agility counts more. Collins also reportedly needs work in the edge-setting department.

        Buchanan perhaps challenges Francis for a reserve edge-rusher role.

  20. Joey says:

    Except for the WR’s is see mostly subpackage players and quality backups in this draft class. Not many day 1 starters.

    I want to thank James and the entire team of nepatriotsdraft.com for all their hard work during the season and the draft process. Not just for Patriots fans but for all NFL fans this is a must read website.

    Keep up the good work guys!

    • mjp says:

      I thought Aaron Dobson was a relatively precise route-runner, I’m not sure there’s a ton of separation in that department between Dobson, Allen and Wheaton. Of the three, Dobson has the most upside and in terms of their floors I think all three are safe prospects.

    • mjp says:

      Didn’t Beauharnias run a 4.7 at his pro day? He certainly looks faster than 4.84. There’s a 30minute scouting video from his agents I presume that breaks down his game quite well. Surprised at how solid he looks, was expecting a BB dreamboat (ST only type player).






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