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Marc’s Final Thoughts on the 2014 NFL Draft: Big Board, A+ Picks & Best UDFAs

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

 

The Patriots 6th round pick was Jemea Thomas from Georgia Tech and his versatility and hard hitting will be on display on defense and special teams (Photo: US Presswire)

By Marc Sluis, Staff Writer

It was a wild ride and before we transition to 2015 let’s take a look back at the 2014 NFL Draft. All rankings and opinions are mine not necessarily of NEPD.

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Patriots’ Rookie Running Backs Carry Some Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

The vision and balance of Patriots fourth-round pick James White headlines a rookie running back trio. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The New England Patriots’ offseason roster delves eight deep at the running back position. But even after Stevan Ridley, Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden, fullback James Develin and first-year player Jonas Gray, viable competition remains.

It comes in the form of rookies Stephen Houston, James White and Roy Finch.

Only one of whom was selected in May’s draft, yet each of whom carries the serviceability to warrant a 53-man roster selection.

The reality, though, is that not all of whom will. There are only 11 offensive players on the field at a time, and there’s only one football to go around. And given the sheer volume of candidates in New England’s wide-open rushing committee, taking part in both will be a tall order this summer.

Each will have to carve a role.

Based on the ways in which the trio was utilized in college, however, doing so won’t be far outside the realm of possibility. (more…)


Patriots Could Catch Big Contribution From 5’7” Jeremy Gallon

Tuesday, May 13th, 2014

Jeremy Gallon proved he could play bigger than his size in the Big Ten. The Patriots are hoping the wideout can do the same at the next level. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

Jeremy Gallon is the smallest wide receiver the New England Patriots have drafted in the Bill Belichick era. But even at 5’7” and 185 pounds, the seventh-round draft pick by way of Michigan has been known to make a contribution far greater than his stature.

That’s been evident since his days at Apopka High School in central Florida, where he played quarterback, running back and safety. (more…)


Finding the Value in Patriots Second-Round QB Jimmy Garoppolo

Sunday, May 11th, 2014

Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo will run from the Ohio Valley Conference to the AFC East, as the Patriots found value in small-school talent at pick 62. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

By the time other positions are addressed, it’s often too late to handle the most important one.

Head coach Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots acknowledged that on Friday night, selecting Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo with the 62nd overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft.

To some, it was a great reach.

Alternatives in Iowa tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz and outside linebacker Christian Kirksey were waiting, as was USC center Marcus Martin, Oregon State defensive end Scott Crichton, and Notre Dame nose tackle Louis Nix III. Each had their merit as a top-tier available player; each had the potential to become a Patriot. But the Patriots’ draft board was assembled differently.

To them, it was a great find. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: Tight Ends Escape Patriots’ Grasp in Round 2

Friday, May 9th, 2014

Iowa’s C.J. Fiedorowicz is the top tight end remaining on Day 2. And as result, the Patriots are in an interesting spot. (USA Today Sports Images)

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. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: Patriots’ First-Round Options Remain at Pick 29

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

Options are available at the end of Round 1. Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater may just be one of them. (USA Today Sports Images)

NEPD Editor: Oliver Thomas

The Jacksonville Jaguars jumped on Central Florida’s Blake Bortles with the third overall pick in the 2014 NFL draft, but only one other team has followed the quarterback trend through the midst of Round 1.

Organizations with reported interest in a signal-caller, including the Houston Texans, Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Tennessee Titans, Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals, have decided to wait and make priority upgrades elsewhere.

That may just play into the New England Patriots’s favor at pick 29. (more…)


2014 NFL Draft: Three Things I Think I Know Heading Into Tonight’s Draft…

Thursday, May 8th, 2014

The 2014 NFL Draft is nearly upon us.

NEPD Staff Writer: Ken Vetrano

I THINK…

The Patriots will select a wide out relatively high, and by relatively high I mean before round four. Belichick loves to maximize value, and after round one there will be plenty of value left over at receiver. Some 2nd-3rd round prospects that typically would have first round grades, will be sitting there for them to select at #62 and #93 overall. With the diverse array of receiving  talent left on the board, there’s many different directions they can go at pass catcher. Three names to remember are Jarvis Landry, Kevin Norwood and Marqise Lee.

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