New England Patriots 2013 NFL Draft Recap
The 2013 NFL Draft began like no other in recent memory for the Patriots; this time they only had 4 selections going into round 1. They had only owned four picks due to a series of trades for various players. They began Thursday evening with the (1st) 29th, (2nd) 59th, and two 7th round selections (#s 226 and 235).
Most believed the Patriots would try to acquire more picks at some point, but they also knew Bill Belichick has done whatever he feels is best for the team and does not simply follow one particular pattern. Last year he proved this when he traded up in the first round and selected two first round choices.
Round 1 of the draft might have played out differently if either Tavon Austin (taken by the Rams after they traded up to the Bills spot) or Desmond Trufant (taken by the Falcons who traded up to the Rams spot) to acquire their targeted guys were still available, but that did not happen. When the Patriots chose at 29 they could have had their choice of either Manti Te'o or Cordarrelle Patterson, but they chose instead to take the farm from the Vikings who gave it up to get back into the first round for the third time to get the large wide out Patterson.
This added 3 additional picks to the Patriots stockpile which now stood at 8. They now possess two 2nd round selections (52 and 59), two 3rd round selection (83 and 91), one 4th round choice (102), and three 7th round selections (226, 229, 235).
Now Patriots fans get to sit and hope the Patriots score big as they did in both 2010, 2011, and 2012 outside of the first round. In 2010, arguably the greatest draft class in Patriots history, the Pats snagged Rob Gronkowski, Brandon Spikes, Aaron Hernandez, and Brandon Deaderick in rounds 2 through 7. In 2011 they selected what would become their starting running back and 1,000 + yard rusher in Stevan Ridley in the 3rd round. Finally, in 2012 they acquired the talented, but troubled young corner Alfonzo Dennard in the 7th round.
Did the Patriots do the right thing by trading out of the 1st round?
Jamie Collins Highlights
Aaron Dobson Highlights
The Patriots sat and watched the early part of round two as they saw Manti Te'o, Geno Smith, and Jonathan Banks all fall off of the board. Most interesting is Smith because he was taken by the rival Jets. This means one of two things, either he will become a Patriots rival and at some point take Mark "Happy Feet" Sanchez's job, or he will become another Jets draft bust and a point of insult for Patriots fans to hurl at Jets fans, much like Tim Tebow and Mark Sanchez were.
When the Patriots finally picked via the Vikings trade they sent out long time Patriot and fan favorite Kevin Faulk to announce that the Pats had drafted a potentially explosive player. They chose outside linebacker Jamie Collins out of Southern Miss. Collins is a potentially dangerous outside pass rusher, which means he could probably move to the defensive line and help to form one of the most dangerous defensive lines in the NFL with mainstay Vince Wilfork and now second year end Chandler Jones who had a fairly solid rookie campaign amassing multiple sacks.
Then Kevin Faulk returned just 9 picks later and announced the Patriots selected another player that could be potentially explosive and could fill a need. They chose WR Aaron Dobson out of Marshall. Dobson wowed everyone during the Senior Bowl, work outs, and the combine. Clearly they didn't think Patterson was worth the pick in the first round, otherwise they would have pulled the trigger. Now, they have a 6'2" 210 pound wide out who could either be another Chad Jackson, or he could end up turning some heads in a Patriots uniform, or he may end up somewhere in the middle. Only time will tell on Dobson.
Who will be a bigger impact rookie, Jamie Collins or Aaron Dobson
Logan Ryan Highlights
Duron Harmon vs. Arkansas
The Patriots again had two picks in the 3rd round thanks to the Vikings. With those two selections the Patriots went for positions of need. The first pick was used on yet another Rutgers cornerback. This time on Logan Ryan the 5'11" 191 pound defensive back.
They used their second of two third round picks not on talented running back bruiser Eddie Lacey, but rather on an out-of-the-mold somewhat early selection of Rutgers S Duron Harmon.It was out-of-the-mold because the Patriots already have both Pro Bowl caliber and young talented as well as productive veteran presence at the safety position. However, leave it to Belichick to act ahead of the game and develop talent that will come in handy at some point down the road.
This marks an entire round devoted to Rutgers players. This surprises no one as almost every coach except Greg Schiano knows Rutgers better than Belichick. Not only has he drafted Rutgers players in the past, but his son, Steve Belichick who is now on his staff, recently graduated from there.
Many people scouting other top quality Rutgers players, like Ryan, came away impressed and surprised by Harmon. It looks like the Patriots were one of those squads, as they selected both in round three.
Josh Boyce Highlights
Round four saw the Patriots picking early, as they held the fifth selection in that round. With that pick they went with another wide out to compete for a spot with TCU's Josh Boyce. Boyce stands at 5'11" and weighs a solid 206 pounds. Boyce will join Dobson in the Patriots receiver rookie class who will have to compete hard for a spot on the roster.
This was the Patriots final pick until round 7.
Michael Buchanan Highlights
Steve Beauharnais Highlights
The 7th round of the 2013 NFL draft brought more typical Patriots action. With three picks available they traded one of them away to Tampa Bay along with the rights to a player who has publicly stated he wants to focus on track and field and not the NFL for a former starting running back LeGarrette Blount.
Blount is most famous for knocking out an opposing player while he was at Oregon and then subsequently got suspended for the entire season. Because of that he went undrafted, but after being claimed off of waivers by Tampa Bay from Tennessee, he flourished and led the team in rushing for a few seasons along with topping 1,000 yards one time.
Interestingly, the 7th round selection they traded away ended back up in the hands of Minnesota who gave up the farm earlier in the draft to get back into round #1.
The Patriots elected to draft Michael Buchanan, the 6'5" 255 pound DE out of Illinois. During his senior season he led the Illini in sacks after starting all 12 games.
The Patriots used their final selection on Steve Beauharnais from Rutgers. This marked the third player taken from Rutgers during this draft. Beauharnais played inside linebacker in college and does not measure well at only 6"1" and 240 pounds.