The final day of the 2014 NFL draft is in the books, and I think it is a mixed bag of feelings for Patriots fans. Coming into the day, the Pats needed to add some depth to the receiver position, defensive line, and a tight end. Bill Belichick and company accomplished most of those things, with one glaring exception.
In round four the Pats first picked interior offensive lineman Bryan Stork. Stork is a talented player, as he won the Rimington Award in 2013. This award is given to the best center in college football. I don’t know if Stork will immediately start for New England, but he certainly will come in and compete with Dan Connolly, and Ryan Wendell for a starting job.
With their second pick of the round, the Pats selected running back James White out of Wisconsin. I personally love this pick. White is a versatile back, who can turn on the speed, but at the same time, he can take a beating and hang onto the football. He had an extremely productive career with the Badgers, and will find a nice role as the third back behind Shane Vereen, and Stevan Ridley in Foxboro.
And with the 40th pick in the fourth round, New England decided to double-dip at offensive line, as they took offensive tackle Cameron Fleming out of Florida State. I don’t really like this pick, especially after Fleming made it clear that he wasn’t used to playing inside, where he would actually be needed in New England.
In the sixth round, the Pats took three players. Offensive guard Jon Halapio, defensive end Zach Moore, and safety Jemea Thomas. It was obvious that the Pats wanted to stock up on good offensive lineman in this draft, in an effort to make sure Tom Brady is always protected in 2014. Zach Moore provides some good depth out on the edge, and I like the physical nature of Thomas’ play. He should be a fun guy to watch.
And finally, the Patriots last selection of the 2014 draft was wide receiver Jeremy Gallon. Gallon was insanely productive while he was at Michigan, but because of his size, he doesn’t project well to the NFL. However he may end up surprising everybody, and may end up making the Pats roster come September. Only time will tell on that pick.
All in all, I think this was a fine last day of the draft for New England. They shored up the inside of their offensive line, got a terrific running back, and took a player who is a low risk, high potential type of selection in Gallon. Now we move onto the undrafted free agency phase, which can be even better than the actual draft.