New England Patriots: Early needs for the 2018 NFL Draft
By Nick Ziegler
With the NFL season heading into the second half, Pro Football Focus recently took a look at needs for the New England Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft.
As we head into the second half of the NFL season for the New England Patriots, we can start to gauge where their interests may lie in the 2018 NFL Draft. After being relatively quiet on draft day last year, the Patriots will be in a position to have more picks in 2018, as they look to restock their roster with some talent.
Even though there is still a lot of football to be played in the 2017 season, looking ahead is what makes the Patriots one of the best franchises in the NFL. With the college football season quickly winding down, the scouts for the Patriots are certainly doing their due diligence.
Recently, Pro Football Focus addressed what they thought the needs of the Patriots would be. Here’s what they had to say.
"Quarterback: With the trade of Jimmy Garoppolo to the San Francisco 49ers, the Patriots will at least be scouting the quarterback class for a potential signal-caller of the future.Front-7: The New England front-7 lacks flashy names, though Trey Flowers has been extremely productive and fellow Arkansas product Deatrich Wise has had a solid start to his career. There’s still room for more production up front and any edge rusher/linebacker versatility is a bonus."
Seeing PFF mention a quarterback should come as no surprise. This season, the Patriots traded both Jacoby Brissett and Jimmy Garoppolo, leaving themselves without a quarterback for the future. The signing Brian Hoyer is good for the short-term, but he isn’t going to be a possible replacement for Brady down the line.
If the Patriots are going to take a quarterback, it wouldn’t be surprising if they do it rather early. Getting a quarterback that might need a few years of grooming would make sense for New England, as they still have Brady playing at a very high level.
In addition to quarterback, the front seven is also a need of the Patriots. Many were expecting New England to make a splash before the NFL trade deadline, but they ended up just moving Garoppolo. Losing Derek Rivers hurt New England, as he was a promising draft pick from this season. However, adding some talent at the linebacker position will likely be a priority of the Patriots.
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Even though we still have some time before the draft, quarterback, and help for the front-seven appear to be early needs for the Patriots in the 2018 NFL Draft.