What a start to draft weekend.
After trading from pick 14 to pick 17 and picking up a fourth-round pick, the Patriots selected Oregon’s Christian Gonzalez, a 6’1″, 197-pound cornerback known for his length, aggressive play, and ability to provide blanket coverage on boundary wide receivers.
They addressed one of their top needs at cornerback with a top-10 talent. An A+ day one. Now? They should look to add pass catchers for Mac Jones as well as additional depth along the offensive line to keep him upright.
With 11 picks remaining, New England’s director of player personnel told us on Thursday night that “…we have the 15th selection [on Friday]… Having those fourth-round picks does give us a little bit of currency.”
They’re open to trading. Here’s a look at how Friday could fall for them:
Round 2, Pick 36: Darnell Washington, TE – Georgia
TRADE DETAILS: Patriots get pick 36, Rams get pick 46 and pick 107.
Georgia tight end Darnell Washington is the best Patriots fit in this entire class (outside of maybe Gonzalez, who they took on day one). They watch him fall and pounce at pick 36 with Los Angeles.
The 6’7″, 265 pounds specimen is by far the best run blocker in the class. He’ll moonlight as an additional offensive lineman to help pave the way for Rhamondre Stevenson and co. in the backfield.
Washington’s speed was in question at his massive size, but his 4.64-second 40 yard dash at the Combine put those questions to bed. His unique skillset and “vacuum hands” (h/t Mike Reiss) will allow him to flourish as a pass catcher in Bill O’Brien’s system.
Round 2, Pick 63: Marvin Mims, WR – Oklahoma
TRADE DETAILS: Patriots get pick 63 and 95, Chiefs get pick 76, 192, and a 2024 3rd-round pick.
More weapons! The Patriots trade up to pick 63 while also adding an additional day-two pick.
They add Oklahoma’s Marvin Mims with the last pick in the second round.
The 5’11” 183-pound wide receiver is an excellent route runner and also has positional versatility with the ability to play both inside and outside, so we won’t be boxed into the slot. His straight-line quickness (4.38s 40-yard dash) helps him make up for his size. He doesn’t play small. He has great hands and is an aggressive “go up and get it” playmaker.
Round 3, Pick 95: Blake Freeland, T – BYU
Offense, offense, offense. After adding Christian Gonzalez on day one, New England adds three offensive players on day two – capping it off with BYU tackle Blake Freeland.
The 6’8″ Cougar is an athletic freak. He ran a 4.97 40-yard dash at 303 pounds and set a new NFL Combine record for offensive linemen with a 37″ vertical.
He’s a raw talent, but it seems that New England feels comfortable with a starting lineup of Trent Brown – Cole Strange – David Andrews – Mike Owenu – Riley Reiff. Freeland will have the opportunity to back up for a year as they perfect his technique and add some weight to his frame.
Let’s have a Friday.
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