2014 NFL Draft: Patriots Thoughts on the First Two Days

Did the Patriots just go from one “model” QB to another?

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The first two days of the NFL Draft are in the books and I have to say I’m a little surprised the Patriots only made two selections thus far. The Patriots clearly got two players they felt very strongly about and decided to move out of the 3rd round for an extra pick. To this point in the draft there hasn’t been a Tavon Wilson type reach and for that we can all be thankful.

Here are a few thoughts I have on the Patriots draft to this point.




1) The Patriots absolutely positively got their man in the first round. I heard back in March that Easley was “at the top of their board” and that never changed. Bill Belichick especially loved his versatility and explosion from multiple alignments. The lack of versatility on the defensive line really hindered and hamstrung this defense last season, adding an impact guy was vital. People can criticize it for his injury history, but truth is he tore his ACL in late September, was given medical clearance by multiple teams, and was not getting out of the first round past Seattle. In fact, the Patriots take Easley even if they are picking #20, they like him that much.

2) It’s tough not to be a little disappointed in day two of the draft. I would have liked to see the Patriots add another player at a position of need and a player they could get production out of in 2014. Truth be told, the Patriots had Garoppolo ranked very high and it’s clearly another example of zeroing in on a player. I had the opportunity to interview every single Senior Bowl QB one on one and I was by far the most impressed with Garoppolo. He’s smart, well-spoken, and shows a high football IQ.

On the field he has an ultra-quick release with good ball velocity. He can move out the pocket and throw on the run, always shows tremendous command of his offense. This is a kid that went to the Shrine Game and won the MVP Award, then got upgraded to the Senior Bowl and performed better than any other QB there. It’s a little disappointing they picked a QB here because we won’t see him play for awhile, but I have no problem whatsoever with the selection of Garoppolo. If they were going to pick a QB, I’m glad it’s him.

3) This team is loaded for bear on day three of the draft. Entering tomorrow the Patriots will have three 4th Round picks, three 6th Round picks (including the 3rd overall) and a 7th Round pick. If you’ve followed me long enough you’ve heard me talk about the great depth and value within this draft. Looking at my board, I believe this will be the most talent laden 3rd day of the draft in history, so it’s no surprise the Patriots added picks to take advantage of it. Doing the trade with Jacksonville allowed the Patriots to close a big gap in between their last 4th Round pick and their 6th Round pick. As we stand right now the Patriots have no 5th round pick, but select last in the 4th, 3rd in the 6th with plenty of ammo to make a move.

There was not one player selected from the time the Patriots traded out of the 93rd pick to the end of the third round that I believe the Patriots had interest in, so the trade back hasn’t effected them yet.

4) This team still has plenty of needs to fill. Looking at the roster it’s imperative that they add at least one linebacker to the mix, it’s important for them to add at least one more RB to the mix, and it’s important to add another defensive lineman. Lucky for the Patriots the board broke pretty well for them and there is good depth at all three of those positions. As has been brought up before, when you look at the Patriots roster there are very few starting positions up for grabs. They have depth areas that need to be filled in with so many picks on day three they are likely to improve the back end of the roster.

5) The addition of Garoppolo leaves Ryan Mallett in a tenuous situation. It is highly unlikely he gets moved at this point, but there is always a possibility at the end of training camp for a move to take place. During Belichick’s press conference, it was clear this selection was made with some thought given to Tom Brady’s age. Belichick said “It’s better to be early than late”, meaning they took Garoppolo with at least a little hope he can be the guy to take over for Tom Brady in 2018-2019. As far as losing Mallet goes, even if they don’t trade him, they should get a compensation pick for his departure, all is not lost yet.

6) At the top of the 3rd Round I’d keep an eye on Rutgers WR Brandon Coleman he’s a player the Patriots have some interest in and there is a good chance he’s on the board at #105. If they opt for a receiver other than Coleman, South Carolina’s Bruce Ellington is a guy the Patriots had a lot of pre-draft contact with. At Linebacker, Jordan Tripp, Kevin Pierre-Louis, Carl Bradford, and Christian Jones are all players I can see fitting in with the Patriots. No matter what happens they will be picking at #140, as they can’t trade the compensation pick. Listening to Bill Belichick a few minutes ago, it certainly sounds like the Patriots plan on being active and “positioning themselves if a player begins to slide”. Buckle up.

Tags: 2014 NFL Draft, Jimmy Garoppolo

12 Responses to “2014 NFL Draft: Patriots Thoughts on the First Two Days”

  1. JDrive says:

    Very disappointing to see this site become nothing more than a couple of homers that defend everything the team does. Wow.

    • Daniel R. Martin says:

      Amen to that. Don’t worry. Those trolls only escape the shadows of their respective bridges around draft days. Next week they’ll be gone.

      I tell everyone who’ll listen that BB is the greatest coach and TB12 is the greatest QB of all time, but even I haven’t drank enough kool-aid to spout off about how great it is to continuously draft players 3 to 4 rounds ahead of their grades.

  2. Russell says:

    OG David Yankey looks like good value, still on the board, as well as S Ed Reynolds, WR jared Abbrederis, and CB Jaylen Watkins.

  3. Jack says:

    Good summary, Mike. I was one of the naysayers when it came to Easley, but after he was drafted, I took a more in depth-view and realized he was by far the highest ceiling player available to the Pats at that point. If he really can stay healthy, he represents something of incredible value – pressure up the middle. Imagine if Armstrong pans out at well. Rotating between Kelley, Easley, Armstrong and Wilfork up the middle could be a nightmare to opposing teams. We could have a SB-winning Giants type pass rush.

    The Garappolo pick was a emotionally a letdown when there there were players on the board who were projected to be first rounders. But, backup QB is a position the Pats were frankly vulnerable at going forward. First of all, Mallet has never shown much. No wonder the Pats can’t get anything for him. Secondly, TB could get injured. Why give up on the season if he’s only out for a few games? He’s been incredibly healthy, but even if he plays at a high level until the end of his contract, the Pats need a guy who can carry them for a few games.

    Then, we have to acknowledge there is the possibility that TBs game just starts going south due to age. It doesn’t look that way now, but he is 36. Counting on him to play all 4 years at a high level seems a little bit risky. From a “win-now” standpoint, they might have taken a hit, but from an organizational standpoint, it was a smart pick.

    Also, people have to realize that for the Pats to win it all, Gronk is going to have to be healthy for the playoffs. The Pats are going to have to get lucky and not get blasted with injuries like they usually do. If they can stay relatively healthy, they will have a monster defense. And if Gronk stays healthy, and Dobson and the OL, and of course Brady, they will have a pretty good offense.

    • Jack Trudel says:

      Yes, I loved the Garoppolo get. It helped mitigate the Easley pick. The kid’s smart and he’s a surgeon. I like his quick release. I put him way ahead of the other QBs taken before him for his QB skills. As for today, there are a ton of good players still available. I won’t jinx them by listing my picks. There are a few athletically gifted prima donnas with character issues queueing up like Bryant. Will be interested to see whether Bill takes a chance on them or goes for the more conservative picks.

      • Jack says:

        From what I’ve seen of Garoppolo, he’s got some qualities I really value in a QB. The main three things are the quick release, the ability to make the short and intermediate passes and the ability to see the field. That touch on the short passes is critical to the type of offense the Pats have and is one reason why Mallet was never able to show much with the Pats. He is far more of the downfield passer type of passer. On the downside, he has a little bit of the Bledsoe-like tendency to see ghosts and give up on a perfectly good pocket. Hopefully, he’ll overcome that.

  4. Russell says:

    Patriots got thier QB, just not my guy McCarron, Hre is my day 3 picks;
    4th- TE Arthur Lynch
    4th- RB Tyler Lynch
    4th- WR Jeff Janis
    6th- LB Avery Williamson
    6th- LB Jordan Zumwalt
    6th- Brock Vereen
    7th- CB Aaron Colvin
    I still like LB Telvin Smith, LB Jordan Tripp, S Tre Boston, DT Justin Ellis, OC Russell Bodine and OT Danny Kistler

  5. Russell says:

    Well Patriots got thier QB , tho I wanted McCarron. here’s my picks for day 3
    4th- TE Arthur Lynch
    4th- RB Tyler Gaffney
    4th- WR Jeff Janis
    6th- LB Avery Williamson
    6th- LB Jordan Zumwalt
    6th- S Brock Vereen
    7th CB Aaron Colvin

  6. acm says:

    Good points there, Mike.

    I liked the Garappolo pick and the only disappointment there had to with Mallett not being traded. There is still time though to do this even before training camp – the Texans’ next pick isn’t until late 4th, in the comp. pick range, and by then viable alternatives at QB (AJM, Savage, Mettenberger) may well be gone. Have a hard time seeing the Texans feel good about having to start the season with their current crop of QBs. Maybe their continuous picking of position players has something to do with a Mallett trade being in the works but needing time to finalize as they’d likely want to sign him to some sort of an extension. Time will tell, I guess.

    Anyways, have to say quite a few good players are left on the board – tbh, I wasn’t in love with most of the players that went in the 3rd round (except possibly Terrence Brooks). A lot of “reaching” went on there, I think.

    If the Pats can come out of day 3 with something like – DT D. jones, LB Jordy, Tripp and TE Arthur Lynch in the 4th; DE Aaron Lynch, RB/FB/moveTE Trey millard and RB LaDarius Perkins in the 6th and LB/SS/ST Marquis Flowers in the 7th – I’d quite frankly be wetting my pants in more ways than one.

    too late imo to improve the OL for the 2014 season thru the draft as immediate contributers and starting-level prospects are largely off the board by now. Best way to do that would be thru a proven vet like Davin Joseph imo.

    Wouldn’t say no to getting vet RB Michael Bush either.






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