New England Patriots: Two Potential Cornerback Steals Bill Belichick Should Draft
The New England Patriots don’t currently have a draft pick in the first two rounds. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t find talent.
This is one of the most loaded draft classes in recent memory. It’s plenty of talent everywhere this year especially at the cornerback position. We all know how much New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick loves drafting defensive backs, so its safe to assume Belichick will continue that trend this year.
Now that Logan Ryan will begin next season playing for the Tennessee Titans and the Malcolm Butler situation still hasn’t been resolved the Patriots are looking pretty thin at cornerback. Also due to a few off season transactions the team will enter the draft without a first or second round pick.
If this were any other year there would probably that would probably be a reason to panic but there are some steals to keep an eye on in the early middle rounds. Tennessee’s Cameron Sutton and Washington’s Sidney Jones are first round talents who will be taken in later rounds potentially due to injury.
Sutton was a special player for the Tennessee program. He was a day one starter and an immediate impact player for defense and special teams. Sutton is a natural corner with a very smooth skill-set. He is the type of player that always seems to be around the ball. He had a career seven interceptions and made a mark in his final game by breaking Tennessee all-time record for pass defections with 37.
Sutton should fit the Patriots perfectly because he has a body frame and play style that mirrors former Patriot Logan Ryan. Sutton’s 4.53 forty speed with measurables at 5’11 188lbs are identical to Ryan’s 5’11 191lbs and 4.51 forty. In addition to Ryan’s 31 career pass defections and seven interceptions.
Sutton also bring value to special teams with his prowess as a punt returner. He was one of the best return men in recent memory for the Tennessee with a career average of 14.9 yards per return. Belichick loves versatile players so it’s fair to say with Sutton’s skill-set to play inside, outside and as a return man, Belichick already has his eyes on this man.
Sidney Jones is the big joker of this draft class like former Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith was last year. He has all the capabilities to be a franchise defensive player at the next level and could’ve been a bonafide first round pick if he didn’t tear his Achilles during his pro day. Jones has it all speed, instincts, ball skills, and that aggressive attitude that coaches love in defensive players.
If you liked Marcus Peters coming out of the draft two years ago then you will love Jones. He has the same play style in addition to a willingness to support the run that Peters used to be scrutinized for. Standing at 6’0 185lbs he has ideal size that can translate to the next level. He would need to add more muscle to his frame but, since he will basically redshirt his rookie season to recover from the Achilles he will have all season for strength and conditioning.
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Belichick is known for being a draft mastermind and always looking towards the future. I do expect Malcolm Butler to return next season but I also expect it to be his last in a Patriot uniform. If Belichick can get his hands on one or both of these players then expect the 2018 Patriots secondary to be nightmare for the rest of the league.