The first round of the NFL draft is in the books. For the Patriots, I think it was a good outcome, as they were able to snag one of the top talents in the draft, in defensive tackle Dominique Easley.
Now it is time to focus on the second round, which is set to begin tonight at 6:30ET, and the third round, which will follow the conclusion of round two.
Bill Belichick and company addressed one of their biggest needs in round one. Here is how I see their remaining needs ranked from one, to five:
1. Tight End
2. Defensive End
3. Wide Receiver
4. Safety/Inside Linebacker
5. Running Back
So based on these needs, here is what I think the Pats should do tonight.
First off, they need to find some weapons for Tom Brady. They have given him a defense. Great. But we can’t have a repeat of 2013, where by the end of the season, nobody could get open, and Brady became increasingly frustrated as the games went on. Re-signing Julian Edelman, and bringing in Brandon LaFell is a good start, but they have to build off of this, and draft at least one more playmaker for Brady (of course getting Rob Gronkowski back is really the best thing the Pats can do from the standpoint of improving their offense).
My favorite guy left on the board is tight end Jace Amaro. I wanted New England to go after him with their 29th overall pick, but obviously they went in a different direction. Amaro is a big guy who knows how to take advantage of mismatches, and pairing him with Gronk would bring a lot of production back to the Patriots aerial attack.
The other guy I wouldn’t mind seeing Belichick take a look at, is Troy Niklas, who is also a tight end. Niklas may actually be a better overall prospect than Amaro, he is just a bit raw at this point. However he has the tools needed to become a quality starter in the NFL, and I am sure Brady would love having another big target to go with big number 87.
As for defense, Demarcus Lawrence, out of Boise State is an edge guy that I think could help the Pats, and Kony Ealy from Missouri as well. New England won’t be looking for a starting defensive end in the draft, as Rob Ninkovich and Chandler Jones are firmly entrenched as the lead guys, but the Pats need some quality depth to go behind them. The lack of pass rushing depth really hurt them in last year’s AFC title game, so it is reasonable to think the Belichick will go in that direction today.
What do you think the Pats should do later tonight? Sound off in the comments sections with your picks!