NEPD Editor: James Christensen
After drafting Florida defensive lineman Dominique Easley with the 29th pick in the 2014 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots are resetting their draft board for the start of Day 2 Friday night.
Here are some likely targets that Bill Belichick will be watching.
Day Two Targets
Jace Amaro (TE, Texas Tech)
Troy Niklas (TE, Notre Dame)
C.J. Fiedorowicz (TE, Iowa)
Austin Seferian-Jenkins (TE, Washington)
If there is one position that I’m confident that the Patriots will address on Day 2, it is tight end. Jace Amaro and Austin Seferian-Jenkins are possible trade-up targets—my guess is that they won’t last too far into the 40′s—while Niklas (late 2nd) and Fiedorowicz (3rd or 4th) wouldn’t require movement. Of the four options, I’d take Niklas’ blocking and receiving upside without having to trade up.
AJ McCarron (QB, Alabama)
Derek Carr (QB, Fresno State)
Jimmy Garappolo (QB, Eastern Illinois)
If Belichick and the Houston Texans are able to swing a deal for Ryan Mallett—perhaps a third-round pick—New England is going to want to add a young quarterback to groom behind Tom Brady. Carr and Garappolo are long-shots to make it too far into the second round, but McCarron could be available late in the third. If Mallett doesn’t get moved, quarterback becomes a Day 3 priority.
Marqise Lee (WR, USC)
Cody Latimer (WR, Indiana)
Allen Robinson (WR, Penn State)
Jordan Matthews (WR, Vanderbilt)
Davante Adams (WR, Fresno State)
Brandon Coleman (WR, Rutgers)
Both Lee and Latimer are talented receivers that could come in and compete with Aaron Dobson to be “the guy” as a rookie. Unfortunately, both will likely be gone within the first 5-10 picks of Round 2. If New England covets a receiver, they might be able to land Adams, Robinson, Matthews or Coleman—a Rutgers player that I really like—in the late second or early third round. Overall, I think New England will find better value in the second round. The third round could be a likely spot to pick up some additional receiver depth.
Marcus Martin (C, USC)
Weston Richburg (C, Colorado State)
Xavier Su’a-Filo (OL, UCLA)
Adding competition at center and right guard—as well as hedging on Logan Mankins’ future with the team—would be good business. Ryan Wendell and Dan Connolly both had sub-par years in 2013. If any of the three—with the possible exception of Richburg—are available without trading up, Belichick may have a tough time passing.
Stephon Tuitt (DL, Notre Dame)
Louis Nix (NT, Notre Dame)
Scott Crichton (DE, Oregon State)
Demarcus Lawrence (DE, Boise State)
After adding one defensive lineman in Easley, I wouldn’t be shocked if they took another on Day 2. Nix is a possible successor to Wilfork, while Tuitt looks like a middle-class version of Richard Seymour. Crichton and Lawrence both have upside rushing the passer. All four options would likely require some movement up the draft board.
Christian Kirksey (LB, Iowa)
Kyle Van Noy (LB, BYU)
While Kirksey is a fringe third-rounder, Van Noy is a first-round talent in my book. He is a Swiss Army knife that moves well laterally, forwards rushing the passer and backwards in coverage. Kirksey is versatile as well—he will be a very good coverage guy on special teams in the NFL—but he barely tips the scales at 230 pounds and is better suited as a sub-package linebacker.
Pierre Desir (CB, Lindenwood)
Terrence Brooks (S, Florida State)
Lamarcus Joyner (S, Florida State)
The defensive backs were picked quickly in the first round of the draft, leaving a bare cupboard for much of Day 2. Pierre Desir is a great kid with size and explosiveness to burn. If Logan Ryan is due for a position change, Desir could be option in Round 2. Brooks and Joyner are what is left of a suddenly dried up safety class. I think you can wait until the third round to land of them.
Who would you like to see the Patriots pick on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft?