With three picks down, the Patriots have gotten:
--With the 15th pick, their franchise quarterback.
--With a move up to the 36th pick, a defensive tackle who was not only the 13th best prospect at any position on NFL.com, he was the defensive MVP of the national championship game (five tackles, two for loss, and a sack), but gets the much coveted Tedy Bruschi/Josh Uche Seal of Approval:
Plus comes with all the analytics:
--And with the 96th pick, an edge rusher who was ranked No. 44 at any position by Daniel Jeremiah, was Mel Kiper's top DL on the board at the time they selected him and got huge kudos as a prototypical Patriot from the entire panel on ESPN:
So far, not a terrible haul. The player they wanted most at what was, by an order of magnitude, the biggest area of need, and two tremendous value picks with much bigger upside than the spot where they were drafted. Which is about all you can reasonable ask for after three rounds.
Which is to say, let's ask for more. A lot more. As we enter Rounds 4-7, the Pats are currently at:
- Round 4: 120th pick
- Round 5: 177th
- Round 6: 188th, 197th
- Round 7: 242nd
Given that just last year they got one of the best young offensive linemen in the league in Michael Onwenu with the 182 pick, Julian Edelman with the 232nd in 2009 and Baby Moses floating in a basket down the Nile in the 6th round 21 years ago, there is gold to be had somewhere in the dirt. You just have to be willing to sift through mountains of Danny Etlings, Conor McDermotts and Devin Luciens to find the nuggets.
And with that, here's a short list of available prospects The Belichick Whisperer [tm] would love to see holding up a jersey on the turf at Gillette tomorrow:
WR AMON-RA ST. BROWN, USC. At 5-foot-11 1/2, 197 lbs, Equianimeous St. Brown's brother would fill the glaring need for a slot receiver to fill the giant Edelman-shaped hole in the offense (and my heart). He was a blue chip recruit and USA Today 1st Team All-America out of that cradle of football greatness, Mater Dei High School. He's more a polished route runner than a top end burner, which suits the Pats just fine. He was also a Trojans team captain, which always looks good on your job application in Foxboro.
LB Jabril Cox, LSU. A 6-3, 232 off the ball linebacker, Cox had to redshirt at North Dakota State after suffering an ACL tear in high school, but earned his chance to transfer to the SEC. In 2020, he started 10 games, had three interceptions, returned one for a score, had 58 tackles, 6.5 for loss, and broke up five passes. An all around talent who might be the best player on the board.
CB ZECH MCPHEARSON, Texas Tech. At 5-11, 191 lbs, he doesn't quite fit the profile of the big corners the Pats have trended toward, but he plays bigger and is tough and physical enough to play press man. He transferred from Penn St and started for two full seasons. Plus he comes from a family of athletes, and Belichick loves a good legacy pledge
S Richard LeCounte III, Georgia. I loved them taking him when I wrote this about him in my Safeties draft preview:
LeCounte is a guy who probably benefited from there being no Lucas Oil Olympics, because his game film makes him look like he's two inches taller, 20 pounds bigger and .10 faster than he measures. So do his immeasurables. A five-star recruit, he made an impact as a freshman, then established himself a team leader shortly thereafter. He came back to Georgia for a senior year, and posted 26 tackles, three picks and four passes broken up in just five games before a motorcycle accident messed up his shoulder and ended his season. He made all the calls in the Bulldog's secondary, and is a cerebral, high-IQ, high-effort guy with instincts to read quarterbacks and react to passes as the ball is being released.
He's still on the board. Don't make a liar out of me, GM Bill. Though in truth, this has already been a successful draft. Let's just keep it going. With any or all of these guys.