Open Rants by kkunert327

2020 Draft Grade: New England Patriots
Published at 5/1/2020
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With the draft in the books time to go back and do a wrap up of how teams made out. I might be a bit of a harsh critic to the top 3 round picks, but that is where you need to hit in the draft to be successful. Sure most of the league is 4th rounders and later, but any that turn into Pro Bowlers or All-Pro players is mostly out of luck. So without further adieu, let's go with the Patriots and their first draft without Tom Brady at the helm. 

2 (5) - Kyle Dugger S Lenoir-Rhyne - B+

2 (28) - Josh Uche OLB Michigan - C+

3 (23) - Anfernee Jennings OLB Alabama - B-

3 (27) - Devin Asiasi TE UCLA - C

3 (37) - Dalton Keane TE Virginia Tech - D- 

All I an say about this draft is that it is a very Belichick-ian type of draft here. He traded down then proceed to take players I expected him to take, but much higher and went off the board loading up on the tight end position with questionable picks there. I do really like the Dugger pick and I had him mocked there for awhile. Trading down for him would have been more preferable, but after he went there was a bit of a run on safeties. I preferred talents like Antoine Winfield Jr, Grant Delpit, Terrell Burgess, and Justin Blackmon over him since they played in higher competition. The unknown though is a great appeal and Dugger certainly provides that. Uche again is a linebacker I had going there, but late in the 3rd or 4th round. He is a pass rushing specialist type that should fit their defense well. However, I feel like Belichick falls in love with a few schools like Michigan, Alabama, and other blue bloods that end up not performing as expected. Uche is raw and was improperly used at Michigan so maybe Belichick can unlock his potential, but the value was not too great here. I did like the Jennings pick more than Uche, since it felt like the value where they got Jennings was much better. He is a similar talent to Uche, but is much more refined having played a lot of meaningful snaps for the Tide. His health is an issue and if not for that he would have been taken much higher. I feel like a genius since I also had Asiasi being taken by the Patriots for awhile despite me not loving the talent. He reminds me a lot of Jordan Reed and Evan Engram, but a lot less explosive than both. Asiasi will probably be a very good talent if they still had Brady, but I am not sure Jarrett Stidham will be able to do the same as Brady did with his tight ends. Dalton Keane is more of a moving project tight end and very well could have been had later or a better prospect like Cody Parkinson or Adam Trautman would been a better use of this pick. I understand why they wanted to double up on tight ends after foolishly not reading the writing on the wall when Gronk retired, but these were two underwhelming attempts to fix it. The top of this draft is what Belichick normally pulls off and to be honest he continues to baffle me as a pretty bad drafter. 

5 (14) - Justin Rohrwasser K Marshall - F

6 (3) - Michael Onwenu OG Michigan - C

6 (16) - Justin Herron OT Wake Forest - C

6 (25) - Cassh Marsh LB Wyoming - F

7 (16) - Dustin Woodard C Memphis - C

Let me preface this by saying I would not be shocked if any of these late round blockers pan out. Belichick has not been the best drafter, but he has done pretty good find quality linemen in the later rounds. I just have no idea how to evaluate any of them since they were nowhere near my draft boards. Each are known to be versatile, strong run blockers, and of course like all late round blockers they provide a lot of upside. I know they needed to fix the o-line with their veterans David Andrews. Joe Thuney, and Shaq Mason all aging. There has also been rumors that Thuney could be moved. However, having more than one rookie blocker on the line does not bode well for Stidham who feels like he is being sort of thrown into the fire. To me this has all the feelings of being a semi rebuilding or disguised tank job in my opinion. They moved back in the draft and just gathered more picks throughout to use next year. They lost guys like Brady,Van Noy, and Collins Sr who all should be able to give them compensatory picks as well. So do not be shocked if they move up for a quarterback like Trevor Lawrence, Justin Fields, Trey Lance, or Jamie Newman in next year's draft class. This draft is a close D+ even an F grade, but I did like the Dugger, and Jennings picks. I also think Josh Uche will work out alright, but could have had a better value taking him later. So I will give this draft C and I am not going to trash them not taking a quarterback. I could also see one or two of these blockers being solid players in the future. 

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