Earlier in free agency, the New England Patriots were tied to former Vikings’ DT Kevin Williams. After months on the open market, the 33 year old lineman told the Patriots to ‘look me up’, which the Patriots did earlier this week. If the Patriots decide that they will sign Williams to a contract, it will make drafting Dominique Easley in the 1st of this year’s draft basically pointless. Easley was drafted to be a line pusher, and to be depth behind Vince Wilfork and Tommy Kelly, both of whom are getting up there in years and are coming off significant injuries.
Drafting Easley in the 1st is a problem because he’s another recovering injured player being added to a position full of recovering injured players. A first round rookie should not be coming off of 2 ACL surgeries in under 3 years. I understand that the Seahawks had their eye on Easley and when the Patriots took him at 29 they didn’t know what to do. While that is pretty cute and all, it was a bad decision on its own. If the Patriots decide to sign Williams to a contract, it could spell the end for someone like Armond Armstead or Jake Bequette (mainly because we should assume Bequette will be cut anyway). It would also mean that Easley will be pushed further down the depth chart since he’s rehabbing his 2nd ACL surgery right now. I’ve heard the term “damaged goods” being thrown a lot by Patriots fans, and while I love what Easley can do while he’s on the field, the team doesn’t need a defensive version of Gronk.
Williams was a staple on Minnesota’s D-line, has played all 16 games 8 times in his career, and has never played less than 14 games since entering the league. If signed, he’ll be ready to go, and we all know the best kind of ability is availability.
If Williams is signed and makes the team, it will make Easley a waste of a first round pick for 1 huge reason: What’s going on at tight end. When I was watching the draft and saw that the Patriots pick was in and they didn’t trade it, I was thinking “yes, they’ll get a Tight End right now and be done with it”, but nope. Instead I watched on day 2 as all the tight ends went off the board, and rather than picking someone to help Brady, we get his replacement. This was the year that the Patriots should have traded back; they could have traded with the Vikings or another team and got an early 2nd and another round pick. That 2nd round pick could have be used to get someone like Troy Niklas or ASJ (the Patriots had little interest in Amaro even though I wanted him more than any other TE), and they still could have picked up Garoppolo.
I don’t know what’s going to happen with the roster, where they’ll go with TE or if they’ll bolster the DL with Williams.
In Bill we trust…I guess.