NEPD Editor: James Christensen
After selecting Texas DT Malcom Brown in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Bill Belichick followed it up by making his annual head-scratcher of a pick with Stanford safety Jordan Richards.
Richards is an interesting prospect that fits Belichick’s mold as a warrior in the defensive backfield and on special teams. His leadership skills have been praised by scouts and media alike. His skill-set, however, isn’t that of a typical Top-100 defensive back.
His long speed is certainly a concern, but his instincts, ball skills and agility are able to blunt the issue somewhat. At just 5’11” and 215 pounds, Richards shows up remarkably well in run support.
@NEPatriotsDraft Richards sees the field and diagnoses quickly. Just really limited athlete to react to what he sees
— Jeff Risdon (@JeffRisdon) May 2, 2015
Richards will see some stiff competition at safety with Pat Chung, Tavon Wilson and Duron Harmon already competing for snaps alongside Devin McCourty. It is also possible that he could see some time at cornerback.
Special teams will be a spot where Richards contributes immediately. His ability to track the ball, make open-field tackles and do the right thing in each situation will get him on the field.
Richards was pegged as a Day 3 pick by myself and pretty much the entire draft community. Belichick, however, doesn’t really care.
I will say this for the Patriots picking Stanford S Jordan Richards in Round 2: It wasn't as big of a reach as Duron Harmon or Tavon Wilson.
— Scott Wright (@DraftCountdown) May 2, 2015
The Patriots have two picks remaining at the end of the third round, where needs along the offensive line and at the skill positions may see some attention.