NEPD Editor: James Christensen
The New England Patriots faithful got a little rowdy Friday night, as Bill Belichick eschewed drafting for immediate needs and chose to instead focus on making sure that this team is competing for Super Bowls after Tom Brady has retired.
Read on to see who the Patriots could take with some of their seven selections on Day 3 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
Arthur Lynch (TE, Georgia)
Rob Branchflower (TE, UMass)
Colt Lyerla (TE, Oregon)
While Lynch and Branchflower don’t have the cachet of Niklas, Fiedorowicz and Seferian-Jenkins, they are solid backup tight ends that could be used in “13” personnel. Lyerla, however, is a top-50 talent that is likely off the Patriots’ board due to drug usage and comments surrounding the Sandy Hook school shooting. If he ever can get his act together, Lyerla has all the talent and athleticism in the world.
Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Bruce Ellington (WR, South Carolina)
The 6’5″ Coleman intrigues me as a threat in the red zone and as a jump-ball target. He suffered through some poor quarterback play last year, but has a boatload of talent. Ellington is a fun slot/z receiver to watch. Their is a log-jam at that position in New England—with Julian Edelman, Danny Amendola, Josh Boyce and Brandon LaFell vying for reps—but the value in the fourth round might be too hard to pass up.
Andre Williams (RB, Boston College)
Storm Johsnon (RB, Central Florida)
Marion Grice (RB, Arizona State)
Isaiah Crowell (RB, Alabama State)
Devanta Freeman (RB, Florida State)
If I had to pick one, I’d take the Shane Vereen-clone Marion Grice. He is a smooth runner that catches the ball well out of the backfield. The other four are all talented backs that could go in the fourth or seventh rounds. The running back position is so depressed, it is tough to predict where these three will land.
Anthony Steen (OL, Alabama)
Dakota Dozier (OL, Furman)
Steen and Dozier wouldn’t be likely starters on day one, but would compete with Josh Kline, Marcus Cannon, Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly for a position in the lineup within a year or two. Steen especially is an experienced blocker that knows what it is like to work.
DaQuan Jones (DL, Penn State)
Brett Urban (DL, Virginia)
The addition of Dominique Easley blunted the need for help on the defensive line, but adding big people to man the trenches is never a done deal. Jones and Urban both are stout run-blockers that can push the pocket. Depending on Armond Armstead’s health—or lack thereof—Jones and Urban could look very attractive with the 105th pick.
Jordan Tripp (LB, Montana)
Jackson Jeffcoat (DE/OLB, Texas)
After missing out on Christian Kirksey, Tripp would be a nice consolation prize. He would likely be a nickel linebacker, perhaps spelling Dont’a Hightower and/or Jerod Mayo in passing situations. Jeffcoat, however, is a pass-rusher that does his best work on the edge. It isn’t always pretty, but he consistently is able to put pressure on the quarterback. Each likely won’t make it far into Day 3.
Pierre Desir (CB, Lindenwood)
Aaron Colvin (CB, Oklahoma)
Desir has the size and length to intrigue NFL teams, but his athleticism is off the charts as well. If a team thinks that he can improve his technique, he won’t last long on Day 3. Colvin, however, is a polished corner that likely cost himself a top-50 selection by tearing his ACL during the pre-draft process. Drafting Colvin in the sixth round and red-shirting him for a season would be a smart decision.
Vinnie Sunseri (SS, Alabama)
Brock Vereen (FS, Minnesota)
Both Sunseri and Vereen are highly intelligent players that would excel on special teams. On defense though, they couldn’t be more different. Sunseri is comfortable in the box and seems to prefer playing downhill. Vereen, on the other hand, looks very comfortable covering a deep half and using his range to fly around the field. Like his brother Shane, Brock looks very smooth on the field.