Round 1: pick 23 – AJ Epenesa EDGE IOWA
The Tom Brady-less Patriots have a busy draft night ahead of them, but i would imagine the top 4 QBs will be off the board here. So lets look at their other losses this off-season.
The first one that pops up is Kyle-Van Noy. The heart and soul of the 2018 Superbowl champions.
The left side of the rush will include high motor speed rusher Chase Winovich, last years 3rd round pick out of Michigan. Epenesa is not a speed rusher, but he could remind Bill Belichick of one of his former players (Trey Flowers) who left New England for a monster deal in Detroit the spring prior. Epenesa is a blend of power, length, technique and heavy hands and has the versatility to rush from the inside as well which is the perfect pairing for Winovich. While he started the 2019 season slowly, Epenesa closed the season rather strongly with eight sacks and four forced fumbles over his final five games. This is the pick.
Round 3: pick 87 – Brycen Hopkins TE PURDUE
The first unreplacable hole on the Patriots roster is the one quarterback Tom Brady left behind. The other is the one left by future first ballot hall of famer Rob Gronkowski.
Hopkins is an athletic receiving tight end with the potential to be a high-volume U tight end at the next level. While he’s a work in progress as a blocker, his speed, body control and route-running abilities should see him be high in command in a class that doesn’t have a lot of top-end talent at his position. I expect him to fall off the board shortly after Cole Kmet, and Adam Trautman does.
Round 3: pick 98– Jake Fromm QB Georgia
Jake Fromm has saw his draft stock drop in a big way over this past calendar year, but that does not mean the right team won’t be calling his name on day 2. I can’t think of a better fit than the New England Patriots, & here’s why:
He’s hardly ever going to put the ball in jeopardy, which is nice but comes at the cost of a lot of chunk plays down the field. Does that concern Josh McDaniels and his offense? No. He’s sharp in the red zone and does do well to read and key zone defenders to ID and anticipate where to throw. Willing to eat sacks and won’t panic under duress. Fromm has New England written all over him.
Round 3: pick 100– Jordan Elliott DT Missouri
Nick Cassario & Bill Belichick have addressed the departed vacancies left by Tom Brady, Kyle Van Noy, Rob Gronkowski. Here’s where he goes after one left by Danny Shelton.
Elliott is a player who performed at his best during his final season. Has some impressive reps defending the run where he’s able to anchor at the point of attack and fight for his gap. Has some slippery moments shooting gaps and rushing the passer where he’s able to generate some penetration. A player that needs needs some discipline coaching? Ha. Look no further. Elliott looks to have a strong core because he isn’t overly thick in his lowers and he doesn’t play with good leverage yet is still often able to stay in his gap. Has experience two-gaping from a variety of alignments. While he often creates the scenarios on account of his poor play speed, Elliott does well to work his hands and compete to clear his pads.
Round 4: pick 125– Albert Okwuegbunam TE Missouri
Seven months ago, Okwuegbunam looked like a slam dunk first round pick and the first tight end off the board, that is no longer the case.
Okwuegbunam shows good overall athleticism and versatility for the position. In the run game he is good due to his willingness to come off the ball and strike. He demonstrates good technique as an inline blocker and keeps his hands inside. In the passing game he has aligned inline, at “H”, and even flexed out as an “F”. He shows good speed when running seams and other deep routes in the passing game. He demonstrates good toughness to catch the football when contact is imminent. He demonstrates good tracking ability when the ball is in the air. He also displays good, natural hands and rarely allows the ball into his frame. He projects to be a better blocker than pass catcher as of right now, but the Patriots 3rd round pick Brycen Hopkins is totally opposite which makes the duo all the more interesting. Belichick also done something similar in 2010 when he picked Rob Gronkowski & Aaron Hernandez in round 2 & round 5.
Round 5: pick 172– Trevis Gipson EDGE
These later picks we’ll make shorter and more to the point.
A developmental player whose athleticism jumps off the screen. He’ll need time to grow into the player scouts believe he one day can be. New England can wait on that after taking AJ Epenesa in the 1st round & Chase Winovich in last years draft.
Round 6: pick 195– Tyre Phillips OL Mississippi State
Belichick and crew do their best work in the later rounds with offensive lineman from lesser known schools. But they go with a SEC-west OT here.
Round 6: pick 204– Jake Hanson OL Oregon
Hanson is a smooth mover who utilizes foot quickness and step frequency to work and adjust his angles in space effectively. He’s fairly mobile and light on his feet effectively pivots and peels back against his momentum to contest gap shooters in his area. Light on his feet to climb to the second level and release. High IQ with good communication at the line of scrimmage. Something the Patriots look for.
Round 6: pick 212 – James Proche WR SMU
There were reports out of New England last month that Patriot scouts were gushing over SMU’s WR James Proche, here’s why:
Proche has wicked hands. Can stick a high velocity ball in its tracks and make one handed receptions outside of his frame. Effective catching at elevation, digging balls out of the dirty, flipping to back shoulder balls his track, adjust, and snag is a delightful process to watch. Nifty athlete with quick feet and a smooth gear shift. Does well to manipulate route stems with variable speeds and is able to win leverage at the top of his route with head fakes and fleet foot work.
Round 6: pick 213 – Lynn Bowden WR Kentucky
Pro football talk posted an article about Bowden a couple of weeks ago calling him the most fascinating prospect in the entire class, and i can’t help but agree.
Bowden has won deep wist post routes and has plenty of linear juice to stack vertically. Does show head fakes on route stems to hold defenders but took a lot of wins at WR vs. soft coverage and needs to add more crispness to release vs. press and firmness to breaks to reach his full potential.
Round 7: pick 230 – Michael Pinckney LB Miami
Pinckney was one of the more productive linebackers the past two seasons. His torn labrum injury looks to be behind him and with the winning culture in New England Michael can flourish there.
Round 7: pick 241 – Stanford Samuels III CB Florida State
Samuels is FSU career leader in interceptions and coming in at 6’2 185 pounds he has great size! With the Patriots trading away and losing some DBs this year in free agency, Stanford is nice option this late into the draft.
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