Nate Solder is an impending free agent. It'll be interesting to see what the Patriots do with him. He's obviously very talented, but he's had severe injury problems over the past several seasons, so New England may decide that it can't count on him.
Pick change; previously Arden Key, DE/OLB
Rd. 2, Pk. 11
Nick Nelson, CB, Wisconsin
Malcolm Butler is certainly gone after being inexplicably benched for the entire Super Bowl. The Patriots will need a solid cornerback to replace him.
Pick change; previously Kolton Miller, OT
Rd. 2, Pk. 31
Terrell Edmunds, S, Virginia Tech
The Patriots desperately need help at linebacker, as the injury-prone Dont'a Hightower is their only viable starter at the position.
Pick change; previously Jaire Alexander, CB
Rd. 3, Pk. 31
Chase Litton, QB, Marshall
Jimmy Garoppolo and Jacoby Brissett are both gone, so the Patriots need a new young quarterback to eventually replace Tom Brady.
Rd. 5, Pk. 31
Nathan Shepherd, DT, Fort Hays State
The Patriots had the worst defense in the NFL through six weeks. They improved, but things still need to change, as we learned in the Super Bowl LII loss. It all starts up front, where they can't generate a consistent pass rush. An interior presence would go a long way in helping them.
The Patriots traded for Kony Ealy, but they could use a third edge rusher to go with Ealy and Trey Flowers. New England has also shown interest in Rivers, who could play a Jamie Collins-type role in the team's defense.
Rivers (6-4, 248) ran fast times at the combine and showed some athleticism. As a senior, he totaled 58 tackles with 19.5 tackles for a loss, 14 sacks, one forced fumble and one pass batted. Rivers showed his pass-rush skills with eight sacks as a junior and 13 as a sophomore.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Alex Anzalone, OLB/ILB, Florida
The Patriots could use more linebacker depth.
Anzalone was very impressive at times during the 2016 season, racking up 40 tackles with 3.5 tackles for a loss, 2.5 sacks and two passes broken up. He barely played in 2015 because of a shoulder injury that led to a medical redshirt. Anzalone was a backup and had injury issues during his first two years as well.
While sources say that Anzalone is not real twitchy, sudden or explosive, he takes on blocks and uses his hands well. Anzalone is fast in a straight line, but not that quick. He lacks quick twitch change of direction. Anzalone is decent in pass coverage, but lacks good awareness in zone. He is viewed as a third- or fourth-rounder who could develop into a starting inside linebacker; however, there are major durability concerns from repeated injuries in college, so teams could flunk him medically.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Jordan Morgan, G, Kutztown
The Patriots could use some interior offensive line depth and competition. New England has shown interest in Morgan as well.
Sources say that the small-school prospect is a potential third-day offensive lineman who could have risen with a strong performance at the Senior Bowl. He didn't really handle the better competition well and will need development as a backup before starting.
Morgan has good size and is strong at the point of attack. Some team contacts have said they think he could be a lesser version of Ali Marpet, who was a Division III player and ended up being a second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Sources said that Morgan was being graded in the fourth or fifth round of the 2017 NFL Draft before the Senior Bowl.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Brad Seaton, OT, Villanova
The Patriots grab some tackle depth and have shown interest in Seaton.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Fred Ross, WR, Mississippi State
The Patriots take some receiver depth and hosted Ross on a pre-draft visit.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Fish Smithson, S, Kansas
The Patriots grab a sleeper safety who could be a steal.
The Super Bowl was a shocking game. A lot of records broken, no defense and Foles was actually good. It was disappointing as Patriots fan. First we made zero pressure and Foles was able to get comfortable and because of that we couldn't stop anyone. The offense was good enough to score 33 points against a good defense but suffering 40+ is unacceptable.
With Hubbard,Flowers and Rivers the rotation of pass rushers will improve.Hubbard was one viewed as the premier DE of the class but he was inconsistent and underperformed, but he still can bounce back and is enough talented to be a first round pick.
QB-5 RB-2 WR-3 TE-1 OT-2 G-2 OFF-15
DE-4 DT-3 LB-3 S-2 CB-5 DEF-17
1st round Overall Position Talent(Comparing with other years):
Above Average: QB,G,DT,CB
Under Average: RB,WR.OT,LB
The Patriots could use more young talent for their front seven and more pass rush off the edge. <br> <br>
In 2017, Landry totaled 38 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss, five sacks and two passes broken up. The senior was manhandled by Notre Dame, struggling against a freshman right tackle and, on a few snaps, against left tackle Mike McGlinchey. Landry was moderately better, but still underwhelming, against Clemson. He missed the final five games of 2017 with an ankle injury. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-3, 250-pound Landry had an impressive junior season as an edge rusher for Boston College, recording 16.5 sacks, 22 tackles for a loss, seven forced fumbles, four passes batted and 51 tackles. He contributed as a sophomore with 60 stops and 4.5 sacks. Landry would fit best as a 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL.
The Patriots grab a backup quarterback for Tom Brady. They will probably turn around and trade this backup for a higher draft pick.
Rudolph is very much a love/hate prospect in scouting circles. Some team sources think he could justifiably go in the second round. Then again, I've also heard grades deep into Day 3 of the 2018 NFL Draft because of the amount of quarterback-needy teams, I could see a team reaching for him on Day 2 during the 2018 NFL Draft. <br> <br>
For the NFL, Rudolph (6-4, 229) has some serious limitations. He is not very athletic and isn't a running threat, while his arm strength is just average. Rudolph also needs to improve his accuracy and terrible anticipation. Routinely, Rudolph doesn't pull the trigger on a throw until his receiver has long since gotten wide open rather than anticipating the play to get the ball out faster. The length of time he holds the ball in the pocket is going to be a problem in the NFL. Rudolph is also inconsistent with his field vision as he can work off his first read, yet other times he stares down targets. His games against West Virginia and Texas provided other examples of him struggling to throw into tight windows. <br> <br>
In 2017, Rudolph completed 66 percent of his passes for 4,904 yards with 35 touchdowns and nine interceptions. He completed 63 percent of his passes for 4,091 yards with 28 touchdowns and four interceptions in 2016. Rudolph ran for six scores as well that season.
The Patriots could use more defensive line talent. Here's a versatile defender who can play end or tackle in a 4-3 and also is a perfect fit as a five-technique in a 3-4. <br> <br>
Bryan (6-4, 295) has been enjoying a breakout 2017 with 27 tackles with four tackles for a loss and three sacks. He had a dominant game against Texas A&M. In speaking with some scouting sources, Bryan has drawn comparisons to Broncos defensive lineman Derek Wolfe. Some announcers have compared 6-foot-4, 295-pounder Bryan to J.J. Watt, and in terms of style of play, Bryan is reminiscent of Watt. <br> <br>
Bryan has a tremendous get-off with serious explosion off the snap. He also has developed strength with active hands to shed blocks. Given his length, Bryan can play end or tackle, plus be an ideal candidate as a five-technique.
I have no idea why I am bothering mocking a pick here since the Patriots in win now mode with Brady in his twilight years will probably trade this pick for a known commodity to help right away. However, in this scenario they still have the pick and as such I will just give them a player that sort of makes sense. Even after signing Gilmore I suspect that the Pats will need another corner when Butler who feels disrespected probably walks after this year. Alexander is a versatile defender who can play outside with his length or move to slot due to his speed. He can also provide good return ability to for the Patriots who value a players ability to be used in many ways. There's a lot of upside here for Alexander to become another smart pick by the Patriots.
Last Weeks Selection: Harold Landry DE Boston College at Pick # 31