Now that the 2013 NFL draft is a little more than a week old, everyone has had time to digest their respective team's draft class and get excited to see what the rookies can do. Let’s take a look at the Patriots draft class and see how it improves the team.
Round 1 pick 29
The Patriots originally had the 29th pick in the first round but in typical Bill Belichick fashion the Patriots traded with the Minnesota Vikings. The Patriots received the 20th pick in the second round, the 21st pick in the third round, and a seventh round pick as well.
Round 2 pick 20 Jamie Collins, OLB, Southern Mississippi
Collins played two years as a linebacker and finished his career on the defensive line. Collins had 92 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 sacks, and four forced fumbles and was rewarded with first team All-Conference USA honors. It may seem like a questionable pick with Jerod Mayo, Takeo Spikes, and Dont'a Hightower already in the fold, but Collins can act as an edge rusher or a down lineman in either a 4-3 or a 3-4 scheme. He can also drop back into coverage if need be.
Round 2 pick 27 Aaron Dobson, WR, Marshall
His best year was in 2011 when he caught 49 passes for 668 yards and 12 TDs. While his production remained the same he did only have three touchdown catches his senior year. At 6'3" and 210 pounds he provides a big target for Tom Brady to throw to in the red zone. The Patriots hope that he will be able to stretch the field vertically as well since he possesses great speed.
Round 3 pick 21 Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
In his senior season he had 94 tackles and five interceptions. At 5'11" and 191 pounds he is a good sized corner who is not afraid of contact. He will fly around the field and make tackles which will help the Patriots in run support. Look for him to compete with Kyle Arrington for the nickelback position. Otherwise he should see time in the dime package.
Round 3 pick 29 Duron Harmon, S, Rutgers
Harmon's best season came in 2011 when he had 49 tackles and was second in the Big East with five interceptions. He was a first team All Big East selection his junior and senior year. At 6'1" 200 pounds he has the build of a hard hitting safety and may see time in three safety sets.
Round 4 pick 5 Josh Boyce, WR, TCU
Boyce had a productive career for TCU. With a blazing 4.38 40 yard dash time and yards per catch averages of 19.0, 16.4, and 13.5 in his three seasons at TCU, Boyce offers a vertical big play threat that the Patriots lack. Unfortunately for Boyce, he is heading into OTAs and Training Camp as the fifth or sixth receiver on the roster.
Round 7 pick 20 Michael Buchanan, DE, Illinois
After a breakout junior campaign at Illinois where he registered 64 tackles 13.5 TFL and 7.5 sacks, Buchanan regressed in his senior season thanks to a broken jaw in the offseason. Some draft experts believed he could have been a first round pick. If he can show flashes of his junior season, he can be a steal and provide some more pass rush for the Patriots. More realistically he may be relegated to special teams duties and stashed away for the future.
Round 7 pick 29 Steve Beauharnais, ILB, Rutgers
Beauharnais is ranked ninth all time in the Big East conference in career tackles with 254. Last season he had 82 tackles and six tackles for a loss on his way to being named a Butkus Award Semifinalist. So while he has a nose for finding the ball and making the tackle, he will be buried in the depth chart behind Mayo and Collins for the weakside linebacker position. Look for him to contribute on special teams as well.
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