New England Patriots April Scouting Report
The New England Patriots are NOT on the clock! They have traded away their #1 pick for WR Brandin Cooks. The rest of the AFC west and AFC can’t be happy about this! Also, remember the Patriots moved down a whopping 8 spots to pick up DE Kony Ealy from the Carolina Panthers. So the Patriots have 2
The Patriots are returning 46 players from their 53 man roster last year. RB LaGarrette Blount, WR Michael Floyd and TE Martellus Bennett leave and RB Mike Gillislee, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Brandin Cooks and TE Dwayne Allen emerge. I’d give a slight nod to the players emerging for the Patriots.
The Patriots have 2 picks in the top 100. Those two picks are the #72 and #96. What would I do with those picks? With the #72 pick, I’d be looking for an athletic TE to come in and solidify the #3 TE position as TE Rob Gronkowski will either be injured or go full on WWE next year (kidding). TE Matt Lengel, TE Michael Williams, and TE Rob Housler don’t give me confidence they could step up and play. I’ve seen TE Rob Housler play and he can be an exciting TE but just drops too many balls.
The Patriots also need to develop a tackle for 2018 and some depth. OLT Nate Solder is a FA after next year and OT Cameron Fleming, and OT LaAdrian Waddle will be free agents. OT Marcus Cannon is signed. So the Patriots could draft a T in the third round as well.
Mostly, I think the Patriots will fill their roster with best available or position needs and not have too much to worry about other than beating Pittsburgh or Kansas City or Denver in the championship game.
Draft Needs: DL (pass rusher), TE, OL (Tackle), LB.
Don’t be surprised if the Patriots keep trading down and garner more picks. They have a tendency to do that and why not? They seem to hit on anything they do! Plus they need to have camp bodies and find the gems to turn into stars.
This won’t be too stressful for the defending champs this year. Let the draft come to them and in a very deep draft class (except QB, RB) the Patriots are in a good position to continue to pile quality players into their system.
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