It’s time for Bill Belichick and the Patriots to get to work.
The 2013 NFL Draft has come to an end and we now know the names of all 7 players selected by the New England Patriots in this years draft. Yesterday, New England drafted to fill their areas of need and brought in a pass rushing/coverage linebacker, a big wide receiver to stretch the field and two defensive backs to help tighten up the secondary.
Going into day 3, the only real area of need that remained was getting an interior offensive lineman and it was never addressed. But, with 3 picks on the final day (a fourth pick was traded) there was plenty of depth that could be added to the squad and in his press conference last night Bill Belichick made it clear that there was value still available.
So, who joins Jamie Collins, Aaron Dobson, Logan Ryan and Duron Harmon in this years draft class?
Round 4, Pick 102 – Josh Boyce, Wide Receiver, TCU
Keep an eye on Boyce, he may run right by you if you don’t.
Yesterday when the Patriots drafted Aaron Dobson, I figured the void at receiver was filled. We got ourselves a big, fast receiver who is as smart as they come. Today however, the Patriots decided to grab one of the fastest wide outs in the draft in Josh Boyce. He ran a 4.38 at the NFL combine and at 5’11, could fit in very well in the slot when he isn’t outside the numbers. Boyce is also a smart receiver and should not have many issues learning the complex Patriots play book.
If you are wondering why a player with Boyce’s good size, speed and numbers fell to round 4 it is because he has had some hands issues at TCU. He also had a tendency to disappear in games against better competition. The main reason Boyce fell is because of a foot injury that he had this past year, but that seems to be a non factor for the Patriots.
It’s been a while since New England drafted a receiver to develop in their system. This year they double dipped and grabbed two guys who could be great weapons down the road. New England also has a good history of double dipping at positions in the draft (Gronkowski/Hernandez  and Ridley/Vereen ).
Boyce shares the same agent as Tom Brady, played high school football with Robert Griffin III and had 3 different QBs at TCU including Andy Dalton…so there’s a few fun facts for you.
Follow Boyce on Twitter: @Josh_Boyce
Round 7, Pick 226 – Michael Buchanan, Linebacker, Illinois
The length and height is there for Buchanan, but is his motivation?
I mentioned the possibility of Buchanan being drafted earlier this month and he could be a nice addition to this defense. Belichick spent a lot of time on the Illinois campus and Buchanan was a guy who drew a lot of interest from New England. He never put up outstanding numbers during his senior season, but in 2011 while playing opposite of Whitney Mercilus he looked like a first round caliber player. If he did decide to enter the draft last year with Mercilus, he probably would have gone much higher.
At 6’5, Buchanan brings great size with him to New England and he has long arms and quick hands to help him get off blocks on the edge. Buchanan could play standing up at times, but would be better suited playing down and coming off the edge that way. Buchanan also has some coverage ability which again, is always a major boost for this defense.
Buchanan does have some off field issues. He was arrested for a DUI in college and he got in a fight that ended with him getting a broken jaw, but clearly New England’s draft crew felt that all could be overlooked. I do not expect a whole lot out of Buchanan this season, I feel like he will end up playing sporadically like Jake Bequette during his rookie season last year. This is just a solid pick to add depth to not only our linebackers, but our pass rush. Great value in round 7 and this is what he is capable of.
Round 7, Pick 229 – Traded to Tampa Bay with Jeff Demps for Legarrette Blount
Blount can move for a guy his size, but can he find his way onto the 53 man roster after camp?
Before I go on a rant, I just want to say that I don’t have a problem with the Patriots trading this pick away. In most cases, this pick is useless and as far as Jeff Demps goes, his mind just isn’t on football. That kind of thing is not going to fly in New England so I am not sad to see him go.
Now, what about Legarrette Blount? Well, I will be the first to admit that when he was coming out of college I thought he was going to be a very good NFL player. After his 1000 yard season I kept him in one of my fantasy leagues and I get made fun of because of it to this day. He is big and when he gets going he is hard to stop. During his time in Tampa Bay we saw some flashes of greatness from him, but he is really one dimensional. The reason this trade bothers me is because we did not need to add a running back. The Patriots already have four solid backs so there was no need to make it even more crowded.
Not only will he be battling Brandon Bolden for a spot near the bottom of the depth chart, Blount has issues holding onto the football. I know Ridley fumbles too, but Ridley is our workhorse back and he has proven that he can be relied on. Ridley can also pound it into the endzone when we are on the goal line. All 12 of Ridley’s touchdowns last season came in the redzone. So again, why do we need Legarrette Blount if we have guys on the team who already do what he does?
Bottom line is, we got a former 1,000 yard rusher for the equivalent of a jugs machine and he will compete for a job during camp. He is also on a 1 year deal, so if he turns out to be useless it’s not a big deal. When it’s all said and done, I wouldn’t be surprised if Blount didn’t make the 53 man roster but I am still a big fan of his and I am going to root for him. I would love to see him succeed here but not too much because I love Stevan Ridley and I don’t want anybody taking his job.
And yes, he’s on Twitter too @L_Blount27
Beauharnais is a physical linebacker who will help improve the run D in Foxboro.
Round 7, Pick 235 – Steve Beauharnais, Linebacker, Rutgers
Rutgers is taking over New England! Beauharnais was definitely overlooked by teams, mainly because of the production by his teammate Khaseem Greene but don’t be fooled because Beauharnais is a solid player. This kid shines as a run defender and always finds his way into the backfield. As I write this, Mel Kiper Jr. keeps talking about how great of a tackler he is. Beauharnais also left the combine with the best times among inside linebackers in the 20 yard shuttle and 3 cone drill.
Beauharnais isn’t a great coverage guy, but could step into the middle of that New England defense if there was an injury. He is very durable and was a starter since the end o his freshman year at Rutgers. Since his sophomore year, he never finished lower than third on the team in tackles. Beauharnais has a nose for the football and if you give him a chance, he is going to find it.
This pick puts 3 Rutgers players into New England Patriots uniforms for 2013, that’s half of the Rutgers players picked in this draft. There is no secret that Belichick is good friends with former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano (another reason we traded with them for Blount) and he praises the defense that they played this past season. Beauharnais will join Logan Ryan, Duron Harmon, Devin Mccourty and Justin Francis as former Rutgers stars turned Patriots.
Follow this monster on Twitter: @Warrior4god42
Now that we know all of the Patriots draft picks, what grade do they deserve and would you consider them to be a winner or a loser?
I would call the Patriots winners and I’d give them a B. I loved the trade they made out of round one. Four picks for the price of one is a no brainer. They also filled almost all of their needs which is great, but they took players who weren’t the best available when they were drafted. The guys they drafted are definitely good players and they are going to help us, but there were better guys available. The Duron Harmon pick also came as a surprise and a bit of a reach, so I think that hurts the grade a bit. I think Jamie Collins was a steal at the end of round 2 and will have an immediate impact this season. Finally, we got a former 1,000 rusher for a bag of chips. That’s a win even if he doesn’t end up staying all season. Really could have used an interior offensive lineman too.
Overall, I loved this draft. I may have been confused once, but I was never upset with the picks made by New England. I am sure that I will not be the only one following these rookies through training camp and into the season.
Next up for the Patriots? Rookie camp and OTA workouts.
The season will be here before you know it!