The Patriots need a new running back to pair with Dion Lewis, and Kenneth Dixon is the prototype prospect Bill Belichick often covets.
Rd. 2, Pk. 30
Le'Raven Clark, OT, Texas Tech
Bill Belichick loves versatile offensive linemen. Le'Raven Clark can play four positions up front. He'll compete at guard this year and then eventually start at one of the tackle spots.
Rd. 3, Pk. 28
Braxton Miller, WR, Ohio State
I'm sure Tom Brady is tired of throwing to pedestrian receivers. New England will have to give him a threat at wideout outside of Julian Edelman. Chris Hogan was added, but he's not the type of receiver who can threaten defenses downfield.
Rd. 3, Pk. 33
Jordan Jenkins, OLB/3-4OLB, Georgia
The Patriots dealt away Chandler Jones, so they should use a draft pick to bolster their pass rush.
Rd. 6, Pk. 20
Brandon Shell, OT, South Carolina
Here's another tackle for good measure - just to make sure no crazed Patriot fan stabs me. In all seriousness, New England's tackle depth is an issue that needs to be addressed.
Rd. 6, Pk. 28
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Rd. 6, Pk. 32
Jalin Marshall, WR, Ohio State
This is the second receiver for the Patriots in this draft, but it's the prototype that Bill Belichick covets.
Rd. 6, Pk. 38
Ufomba Kamalu, DE, Miami
Another defensive tackle, and one who fits the Bill Belichick prototype perfectly.
Rd. 6, Pk. 45
Cory Littleton, OLB, Washington
The Patriots haven't selected a linebacker yet, and that needs to happen after the depth issues the team endured last year.
Rd. 7, Pk. 22
Keenan Reynolds, RB, Navy
I think Bill Belichick is contractually obligated to take someone from the Naval Academy.
Rd. 7, Pk. 29
David Morgan, TE, Texas-San Antonio
The Patriots signed Martellus Bennett this offseason, but they could use a young tight end on the roster.
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.
This pick should change by Thursday. As much of a Belichek type of player Dixon is, he wouldn't compliment Dion Lewis very well. I think they may double down with Jihad Ward.
And yes, McCalister and Ward are phenomenal athletes who will end up as top 65 picks.
Braxton Miller just feels like he'd fit in with New England. He proved his abilities this year and should find his way in the lineup sooner rather than later. Miller (6'2", 215, SR) is shifty and made some spectacular plays this year. Line him up in the slot as well as outside and trust him to make something happen.
Patriots need a legitimate all purpose RB to bring into the fold. They always seem to find their role players to play the Faulk role that they love to put in place, but their offenses run most efficiently with an every down back.
The first of back to back picks thanks to the Chandler Jones trade the Patriots grab a potential Jones replacement in Calhoun. He was a potential first rounder at one point so the potential is there. If anyone can get him to live up to it, it's the Pats.
Patriots will need to add youth to their DL, & with Jones gone & Ninkovich aging, they could really go anyways. Kaufusi is a guy I think has 1st round talent, but his limited scheme fit drops him right in the Patriots lap.
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Rd. 2, Pk. 29
Cyrus Jones, CB
We've reported that Bill Belichick has given up on drafts he dislikes, #yoloing his picks and taking seventh-rounders way earlier than they should be chosen. This isn't a crazy reach like Jordan Richards, but the Patriots took Jones about a round earlier than he should've gone. New England has two corners with expiring contracts after this season, so Jones makes sense from that perspective, but there were better players available at the position.