2015 NFL Draft: Comparing New England Patriots’ Haul With 2014 Draft Class


The 2015 NFL Draft has been in the books for nearly 48 hours. Now that immediate reactions have subsided, let’s rethink the New England Patriots’ haul by placing it next to the 2014 draft class.

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1st Round

2014: DL Dominique Easley

2015: DT Malcom Brown

We didn’t get a full look at Easley in his rookie year, but he showed flashes of promise. He stands to figure prominently in the Patriots’ front seven this season, and he will likely be working alongside this year’s first-round pick, Brown. Easley and Brown will be the core components of the Patriots’ defensive line for years to come; both of these selections were excellent.

2nd Round

2014: QB Jimmy Garoppolo

2015: DB Jordan Richards

These selections are similar in that both were complete surprises. No one expected the Patriots to plan for the post-Brady era quite yet when they drafted Garoppolo in the second round last year, and no one saw Richards coming off the board so early this year. While they probably could have gotten Richards in a later round (just like Garoppolo probably would have lasted into the third round), it’s clear that the Pats really like Richards as a safety partner for Devin McCourty.

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3rd Round

2014: no selection

2015: DE Geneo Grissom

After not having a third-round pick in 2014, the Patriots actually had a pair at their disposal this year, but traded one to the Browns. With the 97th overall pick the Patriots nabbed Grissom to bolster an ascending front seven, and many think that Grissom was actually the best pick in the Pats’ 2015 haul.

4th Round

2014: C Bryan Stork, RB James White, OT Cameron Fleming

2015: DE Trey Flowers, OL Tre’ Jackson, OL Shaq Mason

It’s clear that the Patriots love the fourth round, as they have used a trio of picks there in each of the past two drafts. They also like taking offensive linemen in the fourth round—Stork earned the starting center role by midseason, and Fleming carved out a depth role in his rookie year. It’s pretty likely that for the second year in the row, the Patriots will have drafted two fourth-round offensive linemen that went on to make the roster.

5th Round

2014: no picks

2015: LS Joe Cardona

One of the more interesting members of the 2015 NFL Draft class, Cardona may not suit-up in Patriot blue for a few seasons because of a possible military commitment (remember, he went to Navy). If that is the case, the Patriots can stash him and he won’t count against the roster. This has to be considered one of the most Belichickian picks of all time.

Cardona has to be considered one of the most Belichickian picks of all time.

6th Round

2014: OG Jon Halapio, DE Zach Moore, DB Jemea Thomas

2015: LB Matthew Wells, TE A.J. Derby

Hopefully, the Patriots drafted better in the sixth round this year than they did in 2014; only Moore made the roster, and he made little to no impact as a rookie. Wells has a better shot at making the team because the Patriots need depth at inside linebacker, while tight end is pretty well spoken for already with Rob Gronkowski, Scott Chandler, and Tim Wright hogging roster spots.

7th Round

2014: WR Jeremy Gallon

2015: CB Darryl Roberts, OLB Xzavier Dickson

From the moment he was drafted, no one really thought Gallon had a realistic chance of surviving training camp. But this year, both of the Patriots’ selections in the seventh round have a fighting chance to make the roster. Roberts is the tallest member of a nine-man cornerback competition, and Dickson comes from the reputable pipeline of Alabama linebackers.