Well the 2013 NFL Draft has concluded, and once again the Patriots made some good picks, and then some very questionable ones. I think the good weighs out the bad for them this year and overall I really like this years draft class. Here are my round by round grades for the Pats.
1st Round- B+
The Patriots only had one pick in this round, which was number 29 and they traded it away to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for four draft picks. I loved this move because there was not that much value at number 29, while most of the talent was in the middle of the draft, where the Pats received all of the extra picks.
2nd Round- A-
The Patriots had two picks in the second round and they used them on pass rusher Jamie Collins, and receiver Aaron Dobson. I am a big fan of Dobson and receiver is obviously a huge need for the Patriots. Dobson is a very good prospect and I think he can be that outside presence that has been missing from the Pats offense. Collins is a guy that I have really come to like since learning he had been selected by the Patriots. He is an explosive guy, that has a ton of potential and he adds more talent to the Patriots defense, and when it comes to pass rushers I don’t think you can ever have too many.
3rd Round- B-
The Pats once again had two selections in the third round of the draft and they used them on two Rutgers guys. They picked cornerback Logan Ryan and safety Duron Harmon. I loved the Ryan pick, and like most people I was puzzled by the selection of Harmon. Ryan is a very physical corner, and he has great man coverage skills for such a young guy. I think he is a guy that still needs to be developed, but in a couple of years I think he can be a very solid corner in this league. For now, I think he fits in perfectly as a nickel or dime back with the Pats. As for the Harmon pick, it is questionable for two reasons, the first is that safety is not a need for the Pats. They have Adrian Wilson, Devin McCourty, Steve Gregory and Tavon Wilson there and I don’t see where Harmon fits. The second reason is because Harmon was not rated highly on anybody’s board. Now I know the Pats must have seen something in him, or else they wouldn’t have picked him, but it is surprising to see Harmon not high on any of the ‘experts’ boards.
4th Round- A
With only one pick in the fourth round of the draft, the Patriots had to spend it well. I think we can safely say they did that. The Pats selected receiver Josh Boyce from TCU. Boyce is is 5’11, he weighs 206 pounds and he ran a 4.38 40 yard dash. He has all the skills needed to be a solid outside receiver in the NFL and that is where the Patriots need the most help. Like second round pick Aaron Dobson, Boyce is a very smart guy. I believe that is what you need to be successful in the Patriots offense, and they both have this trait. Between Boyce and Dobson, I think the Patriots may have their receivers of the future. Both of them are very exciting prospects and have all the skills needed to be successful in the years to come.
The Patriots had two picks in the final round of the NFL draft and they used them on edge rusher Michael Buchanan and inside linebacker Steve Beauharnais. I have a hard time passing much judgement on seventh round picks, because in general, none of them get much playing time. However as ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss pointed out, the Pats have had a lot of success in the seventh round. Julian Edelman, Alfonzo Dennard and David Givens all game from the seventh round and they are (or were) very good players. I think that Buchanan adds more depth to the edge for the Patriots, and I think it is possible that he will get some playing time. Beauharnais is in some tough company as he will have to fight with Jerod Mayo, Dont’a Hightower, and Brandon Spikes for playing time and barring any big injuries, he isn’t going to see the field much.
The Pats came into the draft with two big needs, cornerback and receiver. I think they filled both of these positions pretty good with the selections of Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce, and Logan Ryan. All of these guys have a lot of talent and I think they will make an impact for the Pats in 2013. New England also added some other guys on the defensive side of the ball that may help them in the future, and whenever the Pats can help their defense out, that is always a good thing.