2013 NFL Draft: Day Two Thoughts on the Patriots

Aaron Dobson

Aaron Dobson has some ridiculous hands.

NEPD Editor: Mike Loyko

The Patriots entered day two of the draft with four selections and ended up using all of them. The first three picks were used on highly touted, well known prospects that should be able to help the Patriots immediately. Just when it looked like it was going to be a relatively “clean” and uneventful draft, Bill Belichick throws the curve ball at you.

Here are my thoughts on the Patriots draft up to this point.

– I absolutely love the Jamie Collins pick for the Patriots. I will never fault a team for taking an athletic freak that can rush the passer. Collins is a player that hasn’t been connected to the Patriots what-so-ever. Maybe it’s because he’s a bit more raw, maybe it’s because he was on an 0-12 Southern Miss team or maybe it’s because he is a bit underweight for the typical Patriots DE/LB prospect.

– Collins gives the Patriots a hybrid edge rusher that they have lacked the last few seasons. When trying to compare him to a former Patriot player, I think he could play a similar role to what Roosevelt Colvin did while he was in New England. One thing is clear, Collins is an explosive athlete. At the combine he posted the best broad jump/vertical jump combination of all the defensive linemen and one of the best regardless of position.

– It will be interesting to see how Collins is used early on. It’s likely he starts in sub-packages, rushing off the edge and making the Patriots front a bit more multiple. Collins is better playing on his feet, so look for him to be used off the line of scrimmage quite a bit. Collins was asked to drop into coverage at times showing some ability to play on all three downs.

– Bill Belichick personally worked out Jamie Collins in Hattiesburg, MS last month and it’s clear he liked what he saw. I have said all off-season that the Patriots have wanted to upgrade their pass rush and it’s no coincidence that their first pick was used on an athletic edge player. Collins adds some much needed speed and athleticism to the edge of the defense.

– The Patriots biggest need coming into the draft was well documented and everyone knew it was imperative for them to find a X receiver that can play right away. It appears they have done just that by drafting Marshall WR Aaron Dobson with their second selection in the second round. Dobson fits the bill as a big, fast, vertical receiver that can stretch the field and make plays on the ball. Out of all the receivers in this draft, Dobson may have the best ball skills. He makes some absolutely incredible,  jaw-dropping catches. I was very impressed with his hands and his ability to beat coverage as the week went on at the Senior Bowl. Dobson showed off his vertical speed at his Pro Day running a 40 time between 4.37-4.40. Mike Mayock said on the NFL Network, that he “wowed” scouts in attendance. Yesterday, Aaron Wilson reported that the Patriots worked out Dobson late last week. We’re starting to see a trend develop where the Patriots work a player out late in the process and then take him.

– Dobson will get a chance to make an impact right away in the Patriots offense. He’s immediately vaulted to the top of the WR depth chart, because the Patriots don’t have another WR like him on the roster. The Patriots passed on a lot of other receivers to pick Dobson, so this pick will be judged his success on the field. They have to be right. One thing is clear this pick fits exactly what the Patriots needed and his ability to pick up the offense will likely dictate his early impact.

– With the Patriots filling their need for a X receiver, I still think we will see them select another receiver at some point on day three. It makes sense for them to pick a receiver that can play both outside the numbers as well as inside. Names to keep an eye on are Ryan Swope, Josh Boyce and Kenny Stills.

– As round three went on I was getting increasingly nervous about the Patriots ability to get a CB with their first pick. The board was quickly evaporating with the top tier CB coming off one after another. It looks as though the Patriots got lucky when Rutgers CB Logan Ryan fell into their laps at pick 82. If they were to miss out on Ryan there was a significant drop off in the talent level at corner. The only other CB left would have been Jordan Poyer and I’m not sure he would have been a target for them.

– Logan Ryan is another Rutgers boundary CB. He’s an aggressive and physical player that has no trouble coming up to the line to play the run. His instincts on film appear very good and he has no trouble locating and tracking the ball. Ryan should be able to make an impact this season in sub-packages, essentially acting as the Patriots #4 CB. With Talib, Dennard, Arrington and Ryan, it appears the Patriots are set at the corner position.

– I am really high on the first three selections. Each one fills an area of need with a player that has high upside and the potential to make an impact early. Everything for me will comedown to Aaron Dobson’s ability to adapt to the Patriots passing system. They need him to be an impact player this season and everything after that is just gravy. Jamie Collins is probably my favorite selection, just because it’s a player no one linked to the Patriots and offers and exciting skill set that isn’t on the roster.

– Just when it looked like everything was going smoothly, the Patriots throw a huge curveball selecting another Rutgers DB, this time Duron Harmon. Who?? Duron Harmon. It’s okay if you have never heard on him, most people haven’t. In fact both Networks were totally unprepared for him to be selected at any point in the draft. Harmon is a Safety that can play either Free or Strong, he was a two time All-Big East selection and known as a smart leader.

– Let’s just get this staight, I am not knocking Duron Harmon. He could turn out to be a very good NFL player and I really hope he does. But, you can not tell me that the Patriots scouts had this player this high on their draft boards. It’s a similar situation to last year where it smells as though Bill Belichick pushed override and picked the player he wanted. Harmon was regarded as a late round-UDFA player and the Patriots use a 3rd round pick on him. It’s obviously clear they have a different strategy than anyone else in the NFL. This is two years in a row, at seemingly the same position that the Patriots have gone way off the board to take a safety. I would be very interested in knowing their evaluation process of the position and how Harmon stacks up against the other safeties in the draft.

– I really think the Patriots had a solid day and had the opportunity to make it an even better day, by trading down from pick #91 or selecting another player. Only time will tell how Duron Harmon works out. That said, I can’t sell this one to the readers or myself. I just don’t get the pick and I probably never will.

– As we look ahead to tomorrow, it’s important to take context of the Patriots roster and where openings remain. Now that the Patriots have filled holes at WR, CB, OLB their needs chart changes. There are only a few spots on the roster where a rookie will be able to come in and make the roster next season. Those position in my opinion are WR (another one is needed), OG, DT and RB. These are the three positions where depth is still needed and roster spots remain available. Whenever the Patriots pick tomorrow, I expect it to be a player at one of those positions.

– Heading into tomorrow the Patriots own the 5th overall pick of day three, 102nd overall and then don’t pick again until pick 226. I’d look for them to move down slightly from 102 and pick up at least a 6th rounder in the process. There are still very good players available and I have no clue if the Patriots will pick them.

– Finally, just because the draft ends tomorrow afternoon, doesn’t mean it’s over. UDFA is going to be fast and furious this year, especially compared to last year. The Patriots roster stands at approximately 73 players, meaning they will have about 10-13 roster spots open for UDFA talent. Make sure you stay tuned to NEPD and follow me on twitter as we will be breaking ALL of the UDFA news. Over the last 3-4 years we have earned the reputation as the undisputed home of all the UDFA news and we definitely plan on continuing that this year.

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34 Responses to “2013 NFL Draft: Day Two Thoughts on the Patriots”

  1. Victor Kiam's ghost says:

    How could they grab Ryan or Harmon with Sandcastle still on the board???

  2. Russell Easterbrooks says:

    4th round sets-up for OG/C Barrett Jones or DT Jared Smith .

  3. Noah M says:

    I’m hoping for 1 of the following with the 4th round pick. Jesse Williams, Barrett Jones, Marcus Lattimore, William Gholston, Da’Rick Rogers, Quanterus Smith, Kwame Geathers or Montori Hughes.

    And then with their 7th I’d love if any of those players fell or Ace Sanders, Denard Robinson, Roy Roundtree, Ray Ray Armstrong, Landry Jones, David Quessenberry or Kenny Tate

  4. dustin says:

    How would everybody feel if they made a surprise pick at 109 drafting marcus lattimore

  5. PatsDJ says:

    Well, I was wrong about all the trades. I thought BB would have traded at least one of the 4 picks on day 2. Pick # 91 should absolutly have been traded. No way Duron Harmon would not have been there in round 4 ! If BB loved him that much he could have taken him at # 102. Now the Pats need to trade this pick for a later picks. or wait til the 7th round to pick again. Value, Value, Value…. we did not get value for #91. The first 3 picks I really like. I think they can help this year. Maybe Dobson can even be the outside WR, and stretch the field. Collins will be in on passing downs. Even logan has a chance to play as a DB. The secondary is always getting banged up. All 3 will be in on special team units. I hope they trade pick #102 or it will be a long wait until the 7th round. Still waiting on a Ryan Mallet Trade !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Russell Easterbrooks says:

      Mallett trade may show today , for a 4-5th rounder, and a pick next year, 3d ? Cleveland still interested.

  6. Rob says:

    I loved this draft, right up until the point Belechik went off the reservation. In what world would we not be better off right now without Steadman Bailey, drafted one spot later?

  7. td says:

    Amazing how BB is a bum, does’nt know what he’s doing because:

    1 draft pundits did not have some of these draftees as high,
    2 self appointed “talent” evaluators did not like what they saw on utube,
    3 these guys don’t have big stats or play in the SEC, Big-10, yada yada.

    I’ve heard a lot of crying and moaning before because he didn’t take Ricky Sapp, Sergio Kindle, etc, etc in prior drafts. What does he do? He waits and waits and gets: Gronk, Hernandez, Mayo, Wilfork, Solder, etc.

    • mjp says:

      How’s that Tavon Wilson pick working out? Now he goes off the board and takes Harmon in the 3rd round.

      If what you’re saying is true then why bother with another SS??? Didn’t he already outsmart everyone with Tavon Wilson.

      That’s right, it’s not smart, not smart at all. And to do it twice is Bill just being a complete fool.

      • joe says:

        He waits waits this guy said td is not to bright he mention 3 payers that were drafted in top 20 so much for waiting and everybody from big schools and half sec. So td u should be banned from commenting on here

    • joe says:

      Guess what those players u mentioned all big schools and they were on everbodys radar really Aaron fell because of weed he was voted best the in college gronk great but broke his back and those other name big name. Were complaining about the wilons Chung’s wilhite Tate and so on Bob does great in first round but not so great later but he has gotten a litter better.the worst was Cunningham over Carlos dunlup who is a star for Cincinnati and he went the next pick. That’s why were complaining what happened to best player available he drafted for need this whole draft which I think u should mix the two

  8. dave w says:

    from the pats perspective there is a need to upgrade at safety–if Harmon is their highest rated safety at this point in the draft then why not? Harmon could very well have been picked between 102 and 226 by another team. This doesn’t bode well for Gregory.

  9. Liam says:

    Great review article, well reasoned and logical.

    I don’t get the Harmon pick either, but every should just calm down about it. go back and look at last year’s third round. or the one before that. or any third round. There are actually very few relevant players selected in any given year, so this pick, even if it is essentially wasted, doesn’t matter a lot in the grand scheme of things. Let’s keep things in perspective yeah?

    • pito says:

      that would be sound reasoning if we were the reigning kings of the hill. however the pats don`t have any recent superbowl rings on their fingers, so we cannot afford to waste a pick while the other guys – our competition – are retooling and adding weapons.

      a 3rd is valuable man, we`re not talking about bottom-of-the-barrell 7th rounders here, there were quality players out there for the taking at that spot..and of course bill decides to throw a curveball and massively overdraft a guy who, even if he`s as good as bill thinks he is, was on nobody`s radar. we could`ve had him in the late 7th or as a UFA for sure.

    • pito says:

      i mean really, was safety such a big hole on the pats` roster? we need another wr, a better og (i`m not sold on our current right guard) and also depth along the trenches. wasteful pick man, wasteful.

      • brian says:

        Depth at safety was important, seeing that Gregory is not a starting caliber player and he’s being paid as one. I fully expect him to be cut and they needed to add a rotational guy to the mix so they can do that. Harmon will be a special teams demon, which is the real reason he was selected in that spot. I agree that it’s over drafting, but I’ll never knock aggressively targeting players who Bill thinks will have a niche on this team.

  10. Holdinin says:

    If they take Patton or Darick Rogers this is a good draft.

  11. David L says:

    Good write-up.

    In taking Collins I think they are done drafting for the defensive line. I think he could be used as a blitz linebacker as well when we want to send 5 guys. They have 5 tackles after adding Armstead and Tommy Kelly. They also have youth at DE with Cunningham, Vega, etc. and now Collins. I think they passed on Jesse Williams DT from Alabama has good attributes but only 32″ arms that makes it harder to keep the blockers off of him. No reason to take him over what we already have unless he was considered a major upgrade.

    Dobson at wide receiver seems like a good choice to me for a late second rounder. I thought they might take another with Amendola seemingly injury prone and not sure of the other free agents added, but I think they are done at WR as well.

    Having added to DB’s I am guessing they are looking at the offensive line if Barrett Jones is available with the 4th pick. A couple other options would be a linebacker like Klein from Iowa State or OT with a guy like Fragel from Ohio State.

    It would be funny if they took a QB. Matt Barkley’s arm isn’t strong enough for the New England weather. How about strong-armed Tyler Bray and trade Mallet?

    • pito says:

      oh man, developmental qb would be such a smart investment in the 7th. somebody like renfree or tuel would fit the bill perfectly.

      also how about mark harrison as a wr/te tweener? and yes i know he`s also from rutgers, hehe

      i hope we either get patton or swope at wr, or a versatile ol like barrett jones or sd state`s quessenberry with the 102nd pick. patton would prolly fit best though, and besides fatties can be had in the 7th, considering we have the top o-line coach in the biz to train them.

      some late round fits, just off the top of my head: luke marquardt, cobi hamilton, ricky wagner, quanterrus smith, manase foketi.

  12. Glen says:

    Excuse me whilst I buy into the ‘Bill’s the smartest guy in the room’ narrative with the Harmon pick. This could be the horrible reach on a player to fix the problem with making a horrible reach last year.

    • pito says:

      amen brother. look at our track record when choosing potential over proven production. it`s bloody embarrassing that each year bill feels like throwing a curve ball. what`s he got to show for it over the years, huh?? ne is a graveyard of wasted picks over the years just cause hoodie has “hunches”

  13. Ryan B says:

    I love the draft. I have followed not only this site but others for years. I’m normally a kool-aid drinking fan. In Bill-We-Trust blah blah blah.

    Sorry, but I COULD easily see NONE of these picks being on the team in two years. Maybe this truly is a weak draft like 2009? I wish they just would have targeted a few players in 2nd and 3rd and took them.

    Instead we truly have 4 mediocre players. Collins maybe the exception if they kick Mayo back to ILB. Logan Ryan, is Arrington & Cole esq., depth only/nickel/slot. In other words we will have to draft ANOTHER CB early next year to replace Aquib. Dobson I can already see being another Taylor Price. Let me guess he wont get to the team until late summer because of graduation, and he wont know the play book. The safety is another junk pick, just like Wilson last year. Sorry, I don’t see it.

    Once again his best WORK will come at the end of the draft. Swope, Green, Lattimore, etc will be who eventually sticks and probably a few UDFAs.

    Players that will haunt us for years:
    Elam, Swearinger, Wheaton, Tank, Jamar Taylor, Blidi, Hunt, Amerson, Slay, Sio Moore, Goodwin, Bailey.

  14. pito says:

    q patton or barrett jones. pretty please,bill?!

  15. the truth says:

    PLZ bb try to get Quinton Patton

  16. Military Strategist says:

    Has any coach ever considered the 5 TE Set? Use to ground and pound your opponent into oblivion because their defensive backfield can’t hold up to the blocking/beating. If the defense goes heavy then drill them with a spread set and 5 wideout (all tight ends).

  17. Mensa8 says:

    Pats do it again, and again, and again. Just when you think the Pats are situated for a great draft they pick up a guy they could have gotten in the fifth to sixth round and waste a third round pick which equates to cutting a quality player from their roster. A lot like last years 420 point draft debacle which equated to cutting two quality players, when they, as Beta Testing shows, moved up unneccessarily to get players that the teams ahead of them wouldn’t possible pick due to those teams current needs and quality available at those positions.
    Had the Pats spent a few bucks on getting a draft consultant specialist last year, they could have had three additional starters to rotate in and out on defense, or two upgrades of current starters (which also saves money under the cap because rookie contracts are considerably less than veterans). And in a league where a single payer often makes the difference between winner and loser, losing out on three is criminal. Then they turn around and duplicate their errors showing they are set in their ways and have learned nothing in regards to maximizing the draft process. Even if the picks pans out (last years 2nd and this years 3rd) they could have been gotten for less, much less, with the savings used to upgrade the team elsewhere. Mr. Kraft has only a few years left to figure out how to assemble a draft team before Brady drops out of the elite class. Then the press will see just how genius the Pats management team is without their lucky pick #199 (Brady) and will learn the meaning of the old adage penny smart but pound foolish. And what is really sad is when a team under utilizes (nice way of saying mismanages) and doesn’t even recognize that they are doing it. Good move on getting Amendola though (too bad Asomugha slipped by at $1.2M).

    • brian says:

      “Just when you think the Pats are situated for a great draft”

      I think you have a problem with reasonable expectations. They entered the draft picking in the back of rounds 1-3, with no picks 4-6, and a couple 7’s. How did you expect them to have a great draft with that ammo, just to outsmart the other 31 professional teams? Equating a 3rd round pick to a quality proven NFL commodity is foolish and suggests you have a problem understanding the success rate in the draft. Your entire post reads as one big strawman argument, filled with other opinion based claims that aren’t really opinions, in fact many are factually incorrect…such as one player often making the difference between “winner and loser”.

  18. Tommy G. says:

    I have a feeling the Patriots may stay at 4, and then try to pair a couple of 7s to get into the 6th. But who knows what BB will do.

    I’m crossing my fingers that they get Quinton Patton tomorrow.

    • Eye in the sky says:

      Pairing two 7ths won’t usually get you a 6th unless you can get the owner of the 6th to drop out from using the Johnson Chart and use the more accurate Harvard College Algorithum (they seldom do) or (more likely) find someone who would give up quality for quantity because they had so few picks to begin with.

  19. acm says:

    I very much liked the draft up until that last pick at 91.

    Had the Pats to take or even draft up from their first pick in the 2nd for a player like Tank Carradine, Jaime Collins, Arthur Brown.

    Had Dobson as good value at 59 but didn’t expect they’d pick him as the late round receivers they worked out were all in the Dobson mold – big, strong physical players, which made me think they’d be looking early for someone more like Wheaton, Patton, Bailey.

    Ryan was a good Cb pick in latish 3rd, one of the best left, tbh. So, good value there, imo.

    That last pick had me tear up a bit with players like Patton, Jesse Williams, Barrett Jones (to name a few) still on the board. Would have loved a Patton-Dobson combo from this draft with one of Williams/Jones in the 4th.

    I understand that BB had a liking for Harmon and he may well turn out to be a steal one day but I am sure they could have generated a pick later and gotten him in say the 5th. Reaching like this for a player leads to a loss of picks in the end.

    Anyways, hope to see them get one of Patton/Williams/Jones in the 4th tomorrow, although I think they will probably trade down.

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