Patriots: 8 Potential first-round picks who don’t play quarterback
Patrick Surtain, CB, Alabama
With the likely departure of Stephon Gilmore, it’s time to start thinking about who could potentially replace him. Alabama’s Patrick Surtain is going to be one of the primary options. For starters, Surtain is the size of a wide receiver at 6-2 and 202 pounds. This length makes him difficult to beat in jump balls, and his size gives him strength to play up in the run or in press coverage.
If there’s a knock on Surtain, it’s his speed. He can get burnt on deep balls if there isn’t proper safety help over the top. You can’t leave him on an island like you can Gilmore. However, Bill Belichick is a master of the defensive side of the ball and can scheme around that.
Caleb Farley, CB, Virginia Tech
Caleb Farley is one of the more interesting prospects expected to go in the first round. He opted out of the 2020 season before it was popular, and has been preparing for the draft for a while now. Before the season, he was also considered the best available cornerback. In 2019, he was All-ACC as a redshirt sophomore.
As a prospect, he was a 3-star athlete, and intended to play wide receiver before converting to cornerback. His four interceptions and 12 pass breakups as a sophomore were dominant. Like any player who opted out this season, or missed an extended period of time due to COVID-19, there will be questions about Farley’s development. Farley is a freak athlete who can use his size and speed to cover anyone on the field, but it’s also clear that he needs to bring his pads in run support more often.