New England Patriots 2015 NFL Draft and Beyond

12 of 12

Jan 1, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Alabama Crimson Tide linebacker Xzavier Dickson (47) tackles Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones (12) in the first quarter of the 2015 Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

7th Round (253rd Overall, Compensatory) – Xzavier Dickson (DE/LB, Alabama)


Dickson did not start at Alabama and is another “tweener” at six-foot-three and 260 pounds. He is not an explosive pass rusher nor a stout run stopper. He needs to add muscle and strength to be an NFL player and have perfect technique to make it in the NFL.


2015 Role:

Dickson is a longshot simply to make the practice squad. If he earns a spot he could get his way on the roster as a special teams contributor.


2016 and Beyond:

Best case scenario would be Dickson is a diamond in the rough and leap up the depth chart but really his likely role is backup outside linebacker on a bad team playing a 3-4 defense. His chances of sticking in New England seem slim.


Similar pick in the past:

Of course, the Patriots found a productive outside linebacker in the seventh round in 2003 Tully Banta-Cain. Banta-Cain toiled on the practice squad and special teams for three seasons before breaking out with 5.5 sacks in 2006. He turned that into a big contract with San Francisco and then returned to New England in 2009 and had 15 sacks over the next two seasons.