2015 NFL Draft: Patriots Make a Trade and a Pick

NEPD Editor: James Christensen

After selecting Texas DT Malcom Brown and Jordan Richards (DB, Stanford) with their first two picks, the Patriots traded the 96th pick to the Cleveland Browns.

With the 97th pick, the Patriots then selected Geneo Grissom (DE, Oklahoma).

In exchange for the 96th pick and a 7th rounder, the Browns sent back a 4th, 5th and 6th-round selections.

Geneo Grissom is a man without a position drafted to a team without a schematic identity. He has played defensive end, linebacker and even tight end. The Patriots saw some draftable traits that they think they can develop into a productive pass-rusher. As a rookie, I can’t see him outside of a situational pass-rusher role.

Grissom has an athletic 6’3″, 260-pound frame that he propels to top-speed very quickly. He can dispose of blockers when called upon on the edge, but looks better letting it rip towards the quarterback. He is a huge work in progress moving backwards and struggles in coverage.

Moving forward, however, Grissom may have a different role to play in the Patriots defense. He has ideal measurables for a linebacker in the New England system. If he can make a conversion similar to Jamie Collins or Tedy Bruschi, he could be a steal at this position. Don’t expect that development to happen overnight.

Belichick seemed pleased with Grissom being on the board. “In 2013, they played a 3-4 defense – he’s played under two different coordinators. But when Mike Stoops came back with his 3-4 defense, they didn’t have enough depth there at defensive end. So, he played four-technique, actually four-i-technique in 2013 at 260 pounds. He was way undersized. But I mean, he competed well. They didn’t knock him off the line of scrimmage. He didn’t look like a linebacker, you wouldn’t think he was that light if you didn’t know it based one the way he played. He plays with good playing strength. He runs well. Then this year, it looked like they had more depth on the defensive line. They moved him to outside linebacker.”

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39 Responses to “2015 NFL Draft: Patriots Make a Trade and a Pick”

  1. Matt says:

    Cardinal’s picked up Johnson from Northern Iowa.Man that stinks. Does any one know of a player that’s left that has similar talent wise?

  2. KNOWLEDGE says:

    Suprisingly there are still some guys with late 1st and 2nd round grades still available. Hopefully Bill can grab a few that can help immediately.

    If they can get 3 out of the following players I will be happy, Justin Hardy WR, TJ Clemmings OL, Doran Grant CB, Tre Jackson G, Arie Kouandjio OL, Shaquille Mason G, Michael Bennett DT, Grady Jarret DT, Jesse James TE, Nick O’Leary TE, Blake Bell TE, Tyrum Thompson OL, Daryl Williams OL, David Cobb RB, Mike Davis RB, Rashad Greene WR, Tre McBride WR, Jamison Crowder WR, Jake Jake Ryan, Kwon Alexander LB, Davis Tull LB, Mario Alford WR, Stephon Diggs WR

    Alot of talent right there. But I will be shocked if we get even get 1 of them.

  3. KNOWLEDGE says:

    I am so upset and confused. They have a 3 year window left with Tom Brady and you draft 2 guys that won’t see the field in 2015. With Miami and the Jets getting Big Cat Williams Lorenzo Mauldin, and Devin Smith, Miami adds the 2nd best WR in the draft in Devante Parker. And with day 2 loaded with impact players, we pick up a couple guy that can play special teams. Grissom has potential, but he wasn’t the best guy on the board and doesn’t fill a need. If they wanted to they could have grabbed AJ Cann and Jalen Strong, or Tevin Coleman and Ziggy at DE, or Tyler Lockett .
    and Duke Johnson. Both these picks would have been there in rounds 4-6. The 3rd round was filled with impact players and the most talented 3rd round in recent memory. How do you draft a guy with no position and only 2.5 sacks as a pass rusher? The best LB in the draft was right there at 97, Paul Dawson a 1st round talent on anyone’s board. Off field issues dropped him to the late 3rd and that is “VALUE”, not 4th String Safeties and guys with no position.

    I am literally on fire with rage! I can honestly say, I would trust 75% of the posters on this site to draft for the Pats, rather than Bill. I at least know that we would have filled positions of need and not special teams specialists.

  4. Ryan says:

    Belicheck must not be bullish on Davis Tull if he opted for Grissom instead. Since Grissom seems to be a defensive wildcard in terms of production I would’ve rather grabbed him at the end of the fourth, but taking a player a round early is nothing to lose your mind over. Still, Belicheck ignored needs at G and CB again, and Grissom does not fit the goal of trying to draft players able to compete before Brady retires. With three picks in then fourth, guards and cornerbacks could still be had. My remaining mock draft:

    4. T.J. Clemmings
    4. Anthony Chickillo
    4. Josh Shaw
    5. Kenny Bell
    6. Tre Jackson
    6. Malcolm Brown
    7. Justin Coleman

    I can dream, can’t I?

  5. AM442 says:

    How many hours of film did all the people criticizing the picks make? Maybe like 10 at most? The Patriots spend the entire year scouring the country for prospect. I have a feeling they have a better understanding of the prospects available and their fit on the team then the few die-hards who read 50 mock drafts, see the same 15 names linked to the patriots and blindly assume that these individuals are game changers.

    Tavon Wilson was picked 48th in 2012. The safeties who were picked after him in order: Brandon Taylor (3rd round, out of the league already), Brandon Hardin (3rd round, out of the league), Christian Thompson (4th round, out of the league), Jerron McMillan (4th round, out of the league), Matt Johnson (4th round, out of the league). Tavon Wilson just won a superbowl as a core special team player and back-up safety. At the time, Wilson was projected to go FAR after all these safeties that are already one-and-done.

    I could do the same thing for Duron Harmon, but I don’t think I need to. Whenever you’re crying about Harmon, just remember who sealed the AFC Championship game against the Ravens.

    The Patriots are not perfect when it comes to the draft but they are DAMN good. So stop your crying and pretending that your half-hearted following of mock drafts makes you a superior scout and/or GM then Bill Belichick.

    • Ryan says:

      Duron Harmon may still turn out to be a productive player as we’ve seen only seen one season of him. He was back-and-forth but could still wind up starting for us. The jury is still out on this kid, and at pick 91 he wasn’t as big a reach as Tavon Wilson was.

      Wilson is a different story. He is an unmitigated failure so far. A second-rounder should contribute immediately and he has yet to make a significant defensive contribution. Being a backup safety and special teams player for a Super Bowl champion doesn’t change that. So far, Wilson is a huge failure on Belicheck’s part who sets a precedent for further failure.

      Thus, Wilson’s career trajectory is reason enough to give fans pause when they see that we took Richards, a slow and unheralded safety who could likely have been had 2-3 rounds later, in the second round.

      • MM-II says:

        “A second-rounder should contribute immediately.”

        Actually, Wilson DID as a rookie: 36 tackles, 4 picks, 6 PDs in only 4 starts. That’s more than all the 16 safeties taken after him in the 2012 draft put together contributed as rookies. But, yeah, he was pretty raw in coverage overall.

        The fact that he hasn’t seen the field much since then doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s remained raw in coverage. All it means is that he’s been behind Gregory, Harmon and Chung. We really don’t have any idea how FAR behind those guys he’s been because none of them ever got hurt for any length of time. IOW, no opportunity.

        The thing for me about that pick is this:
        1) BB felt strongly that they needed safety depth, and they did. McCourty was still in the process of making a permanent move to FS, Chung was on his way out, Gregory had just arrived and they had no one else.
        2) BB felt strongly that Wilson was the best safety left on the board. And, it turns out that he was.
        3) BB felt strongly that other teams picking shortly after his #48 were also very interested in Wilson. They were. Private workouts and/or interviews with Wilson were conducted by several other teams during the week leading up to the draft, including San Diego (picking at #49), Atlanta and Dallas.

        The above is how the draft actually works in real life.

        • Ryan says:

          Damn, I completely failed to notice Wilson’s rookie production. Not that that says anything about him; just interesting to see that I missed out on a statistically good rookie season by Wilson. Still, he’s barely seen the field in the past two years, and our second safety spot has been lackluster in that period. That doesn’t reflect well on his level of play.

          As for how the draft works in real life, my take is that Belicheck got enamored with Wilson and justified the pick by other teams’ purported interest in him. Perhaps other teams would have grabbed him before the Patriots other picks, perhaps not; we’ll never know. The fact remains that he hasn’t produced equivalent to his status as the 48th overall pick in that draft. That is a “real-life” draft failure by the Patriots. Just because he’s still in the league and the others aren’t doesn’t make him an overall success, just a relative one.

          The fans disliked the pick immediately, and though many people practiced caution in passing judgment he hasn’t lived up to the hype that came with his draft status.

        • MM-II says:

          RYAN –

          Well, that’s the thing. “Draft status” and the fan expectations surrounding that are driven by media hype and are NOT real life as far as BB is concerned. What the media analysts lead fans to believe about a prospect’s idealized draft round value and what BB perceives he needs to do in order to build and balance the best overall roster are two completely different worlds. It’s never as simple as BB selecting the guy who Mayock and Kiper tell us is the BPA in a certain round and/or at a certain position.

          “We’ll do what we do on every pick — take a look at the options and do what we think is best,” Belichick said. “WE CAN’T MANUFACTURE PLAYERS. WHATEVER IS UP THERE IS UP THERE. We’ll see how that extrapolates into our roster, our opportunities.

          I’ll tell you at this point there’s a little bit of draft strategy involved, too. Maybe you think you need to take — maybe you have one guy rated higher than the other, but you might want to take the lower-rated guy first because of draft strategy. Somebody else you think might want them or whatever. Sometimes, there’s a little bit of that. EACH SITUATION IS DIFFERENT. EACH PICK IS DIFFERENT. EACH PLAYER IS DIFFERENT. How they fit onto the team, how we would see it, we would just evaluate each situation on its own.”

          I think that the Wilson pick in 2012 was simply one of the more visible examples of this approach to the draft and the most expedient available solution, in BB’s view, to a significant roster hole at the time. Though BB perhaps believed that Wilson had some potential to develop beyond where he actually has, BB may well have also recognized at the time that Wilson might only be a short-term solution. The implicit point here is that, under the circumstances, BB didn’t need to be particularly “enamoured” with Wilson at all to take him at #48. A “relative success” was all he needed at that moment and that’s what he got. I’m sure that BB doesn’t give a crap that others consider the pick a “draft failure”.

          And BB continued to address his safety situation, to try as best he could to strengthen the various safety roles while juggling other roster needs. In 2013, in spite of Wilson’s rookie contributions, BB drafted Harmon. In 2014, he brought Chung back. And safety play alongside McCourty has gotten incrementally stronger each season in spite of the fact that BB has had to deal with three consecutive relatively weak safety classes. And, though Wilson has been a fairly invisible reserve since his rookie season, for all we know, he might still be as good as, or better than, James Sanders, the starter in 2010.

          And, now, BB’s drafted Richards. Personally, I had Randall (#30) and Collins (#33) rated as the best prospects by a fairly large margin over the rest. CBS had Richards rated 7th overall, but I didn’t see any significant difference between him and the #3 through #10 rated guys. And, again, BB probably took Richards when he felt he needed to based on the information he had about what other teams might be interested, information that’s likely to be far more complete and accurate than anything we or the media could come by. By the same token, BB did NOT take Tre Jackson at #64, where most fans and analysts thought he should/would, and yet BB still got him. And being taken at #111 instead of at #64 doesn’t make Jackson any less good than he would have been if he’d been taken at #64.

  6. jim r says:

    101- Tre Jackson G
    111- Tre McBride WR
    131- Tray Walker CB
    147- Kyle Emmanual LB
    178 – Andrew Donnal OT
    202 – Kristjan Sokoli DT
    253 – The other Malcom Brown RB

    Have fun boys……Mubtaahij in the derby and Money Money Money in a split decision

  7. J H TARBORO says:

    I really don’t know what to expect day 3, to everyone on NEPD that did the research on players this season, great job! The Pats need to pay attention to this site for ideas or your draft board just sucks.

    • Russell says:

      I think BB drafts 3 OLineman , Out of the next group of picks. I just hope BB gets Davis Tull before he’s gone!

  8. J H TARBORO says:

    Everyone loved the Malcolm Brown pick, but Jordan Richards and Geneo Grisson, what the hell was that!!! Are they kidding me, i just watched every team playing us next season get better. Did the AFC have a meeting that we weren’t invited to, or we didn’t get the memo!

    • MM-II says:


      The Jets, Miami and Buffalo each maybe selected a more glamorous/popular prospect or two than the Pats have – BUT – since none of these kids, including the Pats’ picks has even taken a practice rep with an NFL team yet, much less played a regular season down of NFL-level football, it seems somewhat premature to declare that those other teams “got better” while implying that the Pats did nothing to improve.

      That’s something that none of us mere mortal human beings can possibly KNOW at this stage.

      You may be different, though.

  9. Russell says:

    Well BB is really looking at late round prospects that’s for sure, so who s left? Here’s my day three Patriots draft picks;

    #101-Mark Glowinski OL
    #111-Davis Tull OLB
    #131- Kenny Bell WR/ Justin Hardy WR
    #147-Laurence Gibson OL
    #178-Josh Shaw CB
    #202- Kyle Emmanuel DE/OLB
    #253- Brey Cook OL

    Interesting to note of the top 350 prospects , the Rams,reached the most, Jamon Brown #264 taken at #72, followed by the Patriots, Geneo Grssom #212 taken at #97, and Jordan Richards # 195 taken at #64.

    • MM-II says:

      About Richards –

      CBS had him as their 7th-ranked SS and the Pats took him as the 3rd SS off the board behind Collins (who the Giants traded up 7 spots to get at #33) and Tartt (who was taken at #46 by the Niners, though CBs had him pegged at #83).

      So, the Pats took the guy they apparently thought was the best of the rest before someone else could. And, it’s not as if they’re all that deep at SS.

      • acm says:

        Not sure being the 7th rated SS or better than the rest, in this safety class, means much. As you yourself said a week or so ago, and I agreed with it, it’s not very likely one would be able to improve on what’s already on the roster by going for safety this year … and let’s face it, what’s already on the roster ain’t all that much to begin with (curious to see what Chung does without Revis and Browner on the field).
        Anyways, I guess what I am eluding to is that reaches like Richards seem, in a way, justifiable because previous reaches at the position – T. Wilson and even Harmon – haven’t exactly penned out as BB had hoped.

        • MM-II says:

          Well, since we really don’t know what BB’s “hopes” were for Harmon or Wilson (though I’ve outlined one alternative possibility WRT Wilson above), what we’re really talking about here is our OWN hopes/expectations for prospects taken in a certain range of the draft as they’ve been formed (almost set in stone, really) mostly by the media analysts through the way they consistently frame things. For all we know, Harmon and Wilson have both performed exactly as BB expected and gave him exactly what the team needed and that he needed to take them when he did or they’d have gone elsewhere before his next pick.

          The draft media never seems (to me) to really acknowledge that the entire draft is an AUCTION and that, as with any auction, beauty (value) is in the eye of the beholder. Outside of the fabulous and melodramatic controversies regarding the jockeying for potential “franchise QBs” or other “once in a decade” type prospects (Clowney) at very the top of the draft, or regarding the “tragic tales” of guys like Gregory or La’el Collins, the guys like Mayock and Kiper really don’t pay much attention to what the actual level/intensity of demand might be among teams for the services of the prospects who THEY have defined as “lesser” in a “one size fits all” sense without much regard for what an individual team (or shot-caller) might really value. They probably don’t know and really don’t have time for all the investigation that would be required in order to know. Besides, their job is to tell a story that’s simple enough to fit into a sound bite or, at most, an occasional 90-second puff/hype piece. Attempting to accurately relate the details of the demand possibilities would make things way too complicated for them.

          So, if a guy gets picked higher than the simplistic, pre-scripted media narrative has dictated he “should”, it’s a “reach”. The thing is, if BB had taken Tre Jackson at #64, when he “should” have, and Richards at #111, when he “should have”, will that make any difference whatsoever come training camp?

          In any case, even though it’s certainly not ideal yet, it seems to me that safety play alongside McCourty has gotten incrementally stronger over the past couple seasons, in spite of the fact that the past three safety draft classes have been relatively weak beyond the 1st round. Though neither Randall nor Collins (IMO) represented a particularly >significant< potential upgrade to the current safety roster, the selection of either might have continued that incremental strengthening and Richards may (or may not) accomplish that goal to nearly the same degree – something that BB apparently felt was desirable. If 2015-2016 safety play DOES improve even a little over last year as a result, that's enough for me to consider the pick a good one.

  10. Michael says:

    I get the feeling Clemmings will be on the board at 101. Interim solution at LG, but could be a long term piece at RT assuming they sign Nate Solder to a contract extension (probably why they added space by restructuring Mayo).

  11. Dan Sullivan says:

    Patriots Mock Draft for 3rd day of draft.
    4 Josue Matias G FSU
    4 Ben Koyack TE Notre Dame
    4 Tyrus Thompson OT Oklahoma
    5 Mike Davis RB South Carolina
    6 Justin Coleman CB Tenessee
    6 Andrew Donnal OT Iowa
    7 Austin Hill WR Arizona

    Very productive players that have been drafted will strengthen defense. Very good trade by Patriots.

  12. acm says:

    Well, needless to say, day 2 of the draft didn’t go down as I had envisioned 🙂 … only positive of the day is, at least BB didn’t draft Henry Anderson 😉

    Actually, I find the Grissom pick genuinely interesting – I think he is best suited to fit in as a speed-rusher, at least initially, a role I thought they had in mind for Jamie Collins a couple of years back. Eventually, as he develops, he’d probably get more put on his plate in terms of off-line work.

    Still don’t particularly care for the J. Richards pick. Hope he proves me wrong but hard to see him becoming anything more than another Tavon Wilson. And yeah, I read how smart he is …

    P.S. Only way I forgive BB for today would be if tomorrow he were to get me Clemmings, David Cobb, Kenny Bell, L. Gunter, Ekpre-Olomu, Davis Tull/Marcus Rush and especially Kristjan Sokoli. 🙂

    • acm says:

      What I mean by speed-rusher? Think Cliff Avril, Cris Clemons, etc

    • Russell says:

      All BB talked about with Richards is a speical teams guy, and his smarts? If he misses Davis Tull ……….
      Looks good to get Mark Gowinski OL, Bell WR/ Hardy WR, and Interestingly ZaDarius Smith is still on the board??

  13. Ryan says:

    Grissom is a project regardless of whether he remains at LB or switches to TE. Another pick, another project as pro-ready players are passed over. If Belicheck can net a guard and cornerback at 101 and 111 then the draft can still be saved, but I somehow see him once again getting creative. Still, the best thing about today was the trade with the Browns, which netted us a fifth, moved up our seventh and relocated our third to the middle of the fourth.

  14. Oppitz says:

    He’s gonna get a guard with the Mankins pick we got from Tampa, Belichick love to do this things.

  15. Yohy says:

    Anyone else having trouble sleeping. Approaching midnight and I can’t believe I waited for this pick. Another guy in the jake Beckett, Zachary Moore, mike Buchanan mold ie another project. Meanwhile, productive players like Dawson and Jackson are passed over

    Want to have some fun? Got some time on your hands and a bottle of Tums? Go back and check past Pats drafts Find their pick and look to see who is chosen right after. 7 out of 10 times the player the pats passed on had a better career. Or the next player taken at the same position had the better career. Too tired to do it now.

    Good night fellow fans

    • AM says:

      We got Chandler Jones instead of Brandon Weeden. Does that at least make you feel a little bit better?

    • MM-II says:

      Not sure about the “7 out of 10 times” part, but I understand your point. Viewed with 20-20 hindsight, it’s frustrating as a fan to see that BB took Bequette at #90 in 2012 when you see that the Colts picked up T.Y. Hilton two picks later.

      OTOH, when you look at all the >DE’s< selected after Bequette, none of those guys has really done anything either. Actually, very few of the guys at ANY position who were drafted after Bequette – 166 of them – have gone on to accomplish a whole lot, and I'd guess (from a cursory glance) that over half of them aren't even in the NFL anymore.

      So, even though Bequette has never developed his game to the level of his (very good) measureables, he's stuck around on one of the top handful of teams in the league for three seasons, I'd guess because he makes valuable contributions on the scout team that the offense practices against, which is maybe a way of saying that he's helped make other Pats' players better.

      Another thing to look at with these players who were taken by other teams shortly after one of BB's head-scratchers – these guys who "went on to have better careers" – is how many of them ended up playing enough to actually have a visible career simply because they turned out to be one of the more talented guys on a bad team?

  16. MM-II says:

    The Pats now have four picks in the next 47. Still a few OG left, plus a metric bu**load of decent WRs and RBs.

  17. MM-II says:

    So, I’m guessing that the Pats take TE Jesse James, Penn State, at #101 now.

  18. Greg says:

    WTF Belichick is smoking? I hated today’s pick

    • Kevan says:

      Yea today sucked

    • CC says:

      Hated, as in past tense Greg?
      Good,…..good,… good.
      Breathe in the flowers Greg-Blow out the candles……

      *Although clearly I wouldn’t have let the NYC Vagiants snag what they snagged ahead of us. I’da traded up and taken what they were intetested in the same way&reason he previously took both Easley(whom Seattle was known by everyone too take…. & a supposedly needed? QB as well!
      1 huge chance pick that could still tank and a CLEARLY WASTED QB pick.
      Cleveland Browns also took a cpl Patriot prefferances IMO as well……..
      Just catch up to PittyzBurg on Division Titles and AFC Titles, if not that #5 before TB12 is retired & Eff the NYC VaginalPussBalls as much as possable & I won’t complain.

  19. MM-II says:

    Same size as Hooman and more athletic. Maybe they move Grissom back to TE?

    • AM says:

      If so, probably the end of Hooman on the roster.

      • MM-II says:

        Obviously, that was mostly a joke.

        OTOH, BB did say that Grissom did workout at TE and that he performed as impressively as any TE they worked out this year. That probably speaks more to Grissom’s general athleticism that it signifies an intention to have him play there. In this context, it’s maybe worth noting that the Pats’ current LS, Tyler Ott, did double-duty at Harvard as their starting TE throughout his college career.

        I don’t think this means that BB sees either of them as an emergency reserve TE, but maybe speaks more to BB’s apparent preference for guys who are “football players” first, guys who have the perspective of having played more than one position/role and who can bring that broader overview not only on the field, but in the locker room. So, I don’t think that either of these two would see actual practice reps at TE, though they could fill that role on the scout team occasionally.

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