The New England Patriots entered Day Three of the 2011 NFL Draft with four picks and managed to not trade them but use them on players. With the exception of one, all of the picks bring about the questions, “Who” or “Why.” The Patriots drafted an offensive lineman, a tight end, a linebacker not many have heard of, and a defensive back that not many have heard of. Neither BC LB Mark Herzlich, a cancer survivior, nor Pitt’s DE/OLB Greg Romeus were among the picks. Day Three was sort of a repeat of Day Two: you asked yourself, “Why did they do that” and, “What about (insert name here).” Here is a wrap-up of the Patriots’ Day Three picks:
Round 5, 138 overall: OL Marcus Cannon, TCU. See my reaction HERE.
Round 5, 159 overall: TE Lee Smith, Marshall. Lee Simth is a big TE (6’6″, 266 lbs) who is more of a blocker than a pass catcher. He has good hands but doesn’t have great speed. He does have some experience as a long snapper, so if he can perfect that skill, he could save a roster spot. However, that would have to be after Alge Crumpler leaves New England, unless the Pats carry four tight ends. They already have last year’s draft picks Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez in addition to Crumpler, so Smith may have to earn a roster spot long snapping before he plays any tight end.
Round 6, 194 overall: DE/OLB Markell Carter, Central Arkansas. Not too much is known about Markell Carter, as many draft databases that I searched didn’t have a grade or even a picture of him. He is about 6’4″ and 252 lbs, so he fits the mold for the Pats as an OLB. ProFootballWeekly.com did have a short bio on Carter, and here’s what they had to say:
College defensive end from the same I-AA program which has produced pass-rushing draft picks Jacob Ford (Titans, 2007) and Larry Hart (Jaguars ’10) in recent years, Carter produced 30 1/2 tackles for loss and 12 sacks the past two seasons. Lacks elite edge speed but has developmental size and length as a stand-up, power-leverage rusher. Flashes the ability to tug and rip off blocks and has upside given he will be a 22-year-old rookie.
Round 7, 219 overall: CB Malcolm Williams, TCU. Williams is another head-scratcher. He was not a starter at TCU and had 12 tackles in 13 games last season, according to the Boston Herald. Yes, 12. He has speed (4.47 40), and would figure to play special teams. Belichick would have a VERY hard time trying to convince most that this guy wouldn’t be available as a rookie free agent (once a new labor agreement is done).