FOXBOROUGH, Mass. — The New England PatriotsThe ‘rookie class' has been widely criticised by draft analysts. Some scouts from across the NFL have also shared their opinion with ESPN. Cole StrangeAnd the second-rounder Tyquan ThorntonThey were there much earlier than the teams expected.
“I just don't think they got value with their first two picks this year,” ESPN senior draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. wrote.
Fellow ESPN draft analyst Todd McShayThese thoughts were echoed by Jeremy, who called the Strange pick “eyebrow raising” and noted that he was his number 77-rated prospect overall.
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Jordan Reid, another ESPN draft analyst rated Strange a third-round pick.
Everyone respected Bill Belichick as a long-time coach and admitted that he might have the last laugh. However, early draft work by the Patriots — and how it wasn't in line with draft analysts and other teams — was a subject of much debate within some NFL circles.
What does this really mean?
It's not much right now. There are plenty of examples where Patriots were widely praised following a draft only to find out that the class did not produce the expected results.here's one random example from 2019An A for what is now more like a draft.
Between the moment a player gets selected and the three-year period that most NFL players believe is the most fair window for analyzing a draft, there is so much to consider.
It is crucial to understand how the players are being coached and brought into the system. It is also important to think about how the players will handle that coaching and adapt to football as a full-time job. Injuries can sometimes be a factor.
Instead of jumping to conclusions about the Patriots draft class right away, it might be smarter to ask: What does the Patriots draft approach tell us about Bill Belichick's view of his team?
Here's a reporter's view:
1. Offense: Speed is not a factorYou select the receiver (Thornton), and run back (Pierre Strong Jr.It couldn't have been more obvious that ) was the one who ran the fastest 40-yard dash times in the NFL combine for their respective position groups. There were more home run threats for the offense.
2. Guard changeStrange's selection was hampered by the fact that the Patriots created the need for Strange by trading veteran guards. Shaq MasonMarch. It's one view. But, it's not the only way. Belichick did not consider Mason's performance worthy of his salary. He saw the draft and thought it was the best way to upgrade at a fraction as much cost. It didn't need to be in the first rounds, but it was.
3. Eyes on AFC East The physical makeup and sticky-coverage/sudden playing style of third- and fourth-round cornerbacks Marcus Jones(5-foot-8, 173 pounds) Jack JonesAs dynamic, (5-foot-10 and 171) seem to be a direct reaction to the Patriots divisional situation. Tyreek Hill joins Jaylen WaddleIn Miami, few Patriots could keep pace with the Bills' pass-catchers Stefon Diggs, Isaiah McKenzie & Co., late last season — especially on deep crossing routes.
4. Young LBs are still being invested:Is it possible that the Patriots have given up on their linebacker position? Belichick isn't ready to give up on his 2020 third-round pick Anfernee JenningsAccording to Matt Groh, director of player personnel, the 2021 fifth-round selection will be made Cameron McGroneAfter sitting out his rookie season, he was able to be considered an “additional pick,” having been unable to play due to a torn ACL in the left knee he sustained at Michigan. A 2021 third-round selection is also available Ronnie Perkins2020 second-rounder Josh UcheParticipate in the conversation.
5. White is the wild cardVeteran running back James WhiteLast week, he said that he was still not fully cleared from hip surgery he had last season. The team drafts Strong Jr. and two running backs. Kevin Harris(Despite already possessing Damien Harris, Rhamondre StevensonIt reinforces the team's protection when it comes White's status.
6. Harris' future is in your hands:Harris enters his final year under his contract in 2022. Although an extension cannot be ruled out, Harris's ability to fill up the depth charts with two draft picks could indicate how Belichick views future contract talks. The Patriots had not drafted two running backs since 2011, when they selected Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley.
These are some of the highlights from Bailey Zappe's outstanding college career.
7. Stidham:Choose Western Kentucky quarterback Bailey ZappeThe fourth round (No. 137 shines a spotlight Jarrett Stidham‘s development. The 2019 fourth-round draft pick hasn't seemed to rise and now faces a real fight to make the team. Mac Jones.
8. Groh belief:Groh is the first-year director for player personnel and a former national Scout. Belichick appears to have placed a lot faith in Groh considering that he was a bit more cautious than he had been with power programs. Strange played at Tennessee-Chattanooga, fourth-rounder Strong at South Dakota State and sixth-round pick Sam RobertsNorthwest Missouri State
9. Inner circleAs shown in Patriots.comThe Patriots are the NFL's smallest draft room. Belichick, Groh and Jonathan Kraft are the owners, as well as Robert and Jonathan Kraft, Robert and Jonathan Kraft, and Steve Cargile, pro scouting directors Steve Cargile and senior football advisor Matt Patricia. Camren Williams, Camren Williams, Berj Najarian, and Richard Miller, were among the few people from the Patriots that were spotted during Day 1. This is the group of leadership that Belichick has appointed in a year of transition. Former director of player personnel Dave Ziegler has now become Raiders general managers.
10. Return game:One way to get the mojo back after a disappointing year for special teams is to pick Marcus Jones, arguably the best punt returner in draft history, in the third round. Groh stated that Thornton, a second-round burner, will be considered by the Patriots. He might also contribute to kickoff returns. The draft is not just about putting picks on the roster. This was a reminder of how much the Patriots still place importance on the fourth down.