NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas
The New England Patriots sit at pick 62 overall in the 2014 NFL draft, but second round-caliber tight ends do not sit with them.
After Day 1 saw North Carolina’s Eric Ebron join the Detroit Lions, Day 2 saw Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins land with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Texas Tech’s Jace Amaro land with the New York Jets, and Notre Dame’s Troy Niklas catch on with the Arizona Cardinals.
In turn, head coach Bill Belichick and the Patriots war room find themselves in a difficult position. With uncertainty regarding Rob Gronkowski’s timetable to return, and with the top four tight ends in this year’s class off the board, it appears unlikely No. 5 will be taken at the end of Round 2.
Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz fits New England’s parameters as a blocking inline “Y” with the ability to stand in the seam. Yet as far as value is concerned, the Patriots may be looking elsewhere at the end of Round 2. And with the run on running backs, that may not be the end-all, be-all.
The defensive or offensive lines could come to the forefront at 62, as could linebacker, defensive back or quarterback. Some names to look out for include Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III, USC center Marcus Martin, linebacker Christian Kirksey, Florida State safety Terrence Brooks or Lindenwood’s Pierre Desir, Alabama quarterback A.J. McCarron, Georgia’s Aaron Murray or Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo.
The Patriots could go a lot of directions at this juncture. Notable talents remain for the taking, but another direction the team could go is a trade back into the third.
Nonetheless, it remains to be seen how the board stands at 1 Patriot Place. One of New England’s top candidates could still be waiting. Could it be a signal-caller?
Regardless of what transpires, it appears as though tight end is an area that will need addressing later.