Patriots Related Thoughts After The First Round

Here are a few Patriots related thoughts after the first round of the draft.

  • Three trades up for quarterbacks in the first round for the first time in the common draft era. Notable for the Patriots two AFC foes, the Texans and Chiefs, traded up to draft who they believe to be their next franchise quarterbacks in DeShaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes. The Pats play both the Chiefs (Week 1) and Texans (Week 3) setting up potential regular season matchups with the rookie quarterbacks. Watson is far more likely to start, as you’d expect Mahomes to sit behind Alex Smith at first. It remains to be seen how Watson and Mahomes will turn out as pros, but it’s hard to knock either team for prioritizing the most important position. The Chiefs have reached their ceiling with Alex Smith. While the Texans escaped the Brock Osweiler contract and then made the move for Watson. Have to credit both teams for not lying to themselves about the quarterbacks they have/had.
  • The top half of the first round worked out well for the Patriots. With 7 of the first 12 picks coming at positions that aren’t major needs (3 QBs, 3 WRs, 2 RBs). This led to some notable slides for some of the draft’s top defensive players (Malik Hooker, Jonathan Allen, Reuben Foster). That bodes well for the Patriots that have possible needs at edge rusher, safety, and linebacker. There were also only two offensive lineman selected in the first round, both tackles, and neither was Alabama’s Cam Robinson. Offensive line depth is also a possibility in round 3 for the Pats.
  • AFC east teams all go defense. The Jets (Jamal Adams) and Dolphins (Charles Harris) got two of the better value picks in the first round. Adams is a tone setting safety that doesn’t immediately make the Jets relevant but is a great player to have. Harris is one of the draft’s best pass rushers with a lightning quick first step. The Bills traded down to add a 2018 first round pick, a smart move, and took Jamal Adams’ teammate at LSU Tre’Davious White. I’m not as high on White as the other two, but White might have been the best corner in coverage in the draft.
  • Some ideal targets still available for the Patriots: DeMarcus Walker  (Florida State), Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State), Tim Williams (Alabama), Jake Butt (Michigan), Derek Rivers (Youngstown State).
  • Here’s Patriots Central Radio’s big board of players that Matt Lapan and I think are on the Patriots radar on Day 2 and 3:
    • DeMarcus Walker (Florida State)
    • Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State)
    • Josh Jones (NC State)
    • Jake Butt (Michigan)
    • Alex Anzalone (Florida)
    • Eddie Jackson (Alabama)
    • Jourdan Lewis (Michigan)
    • Isaac Asiata (Utah)
    • James Connor (Pittsburgh)
    • Fred Ross (Mississippi State)
    • Will Holden (Vanderbilt)