It was an interesting three days this past weekend for the New England Patriots and their fans. It started off with a strange selection (to say the least) and kept on going. Some of the selections were justifiable towards the need and talent level, but others were just downright confusing. The Patriots are a historically streaky team when it comes to performance at the end of April.What there is to like about this year’s class?
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Draft Recaps.
Best Pick: Marcus Jones (Round 3, Pick 85)
Jones is regarded by some as one of the most versatile players around. He does come in at a lowly 5’8″, but fans knew New England needed to address corner with the departure of J.C. Jackson, and they did with Jones. Another underrated aspect of this pick is the value Jones can give in the return game. After Gunner Olszewski left for the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, Jones can slot into this role early on.
Worst Pick: Bailey Zappe (Round 4, Pick 137)
This is absolutely not a knock on Zappa’s play. The Western Kentucky product had an historic 2021 collegiate season, and it was obvious that a team in need of a developmental guy would grab him on Day 3. The only issue is, why New England? The Patriots already have a quarterback in Mac Jones, who is entering his second year. Additionally, they have almost always favored a backup who understands the system rather than one who just got to the NFL, hence keeping Brian Hoyer around for so long. If this pick was made in the sixth round, then it would be a better look.
For more on Zappe, check out our scouting report on him.
Sleeper Pick: Cole Strange (Round 1, Pick 29)
As soon as the commissioner said Strange’s name, everyone freaked out. Nearly every fan and front office saw the video of Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay saying they wasted their time scouting Strange because they thought he might get to pick 104. What most don’t realize is right after McVay said that, Rams general manager Les Snead went on to describe how good of a player Strange is. Sure, there were tons of better options still on the table, but Strange has a high floor and can develop into a long-time starter with New England, especially after trading starting guard Shaq Mason this offseason.
It definitely was a more confusing draft for the Patriots. They did do well to grab Tyquan Thornton in the second, who packs a ton of potential (although other names were on the board). Beyond that, the other questionable moves came from taking two running backs. While Damien Harris is in a contract year, New England would’ve been just fine to select one in this year’s draft. Otherwise, only time will tell on how to judge this draft for the Patriots.
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