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…)