NFL Draft Day 2, Where Do The Patriots Go From Here?

NFL Draft Day 2, Where Do The Patriots Go From Here?

Steve Balestrieri
May 09, 2014 at 02:59pm ET

Prosecutors decry abatement rule
Patriots announce first training camp dates open to public
Patriots' Malcolm Mitchell has deal with Scholastic Books
Patriots land another talent in ex-Jets linebacker David Harris
Patriots agree to two-year deal with LB David Harris


Patriots first round draft pick Dominique Easley. (USA TODAY Images)

For the New England Patriots, things unfolded pretty well on Thursday evening for the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft. The Patriots stayed at #29 and selected Florida defensive tackle Dominique Easley with their first selection.

Easley was high on the Patriots radar and injury concerns aside, he was the guy that Bill Belichick wanted. With perhaps their biggest need addressed for now, the question remains what will the team do on Day 2?

With that in mind, Rounds 2-3 take place on Friday night and the Patriots have, right now, a selection in each with Pick #62 in Round 2 and Pick #93 in Round 3. The biggest needs of the team now rest at Tight End, Offensive Line depth, Safety, Defensive End, Linebacker, Running Back, and Wide Receiver.

Running back and wide receivers are positions I think they address on Day 3, but there are still plenty of quality players available at all of these positions. One other position, quarterback, isn’t considered a big position of need because some reports have the Patriots trading back-up QB Ryan Mallett to Houston. Some of those reports have been refuted by others, stating that according to the Patriots, “Mallett is not available.”

Some of the more notable players still on the board include:

Tight End:

Jace Amaro - Texas Tech

Austin Seferian-Jenkins - Washington

Troy Niklas -  Notre Dame

C.J. Fiedorowicz – Iowa

Many of the draft pundits had the Patriots taking Amaro with the #29 pick, and now both he and Jenkins fall to the second round. With the Patriots not picking until #62, chances are both could be gone unless the team were to move up. Niklas and Fiedorowicz have been linked to the team as well and either may be in the Patriots sights on Friday night.

Bill Belichick has many directions he can go on Day 2 of the NFL Draft.

(USA TODAY Images)

Offensive Guard:

Xavier Su'a-Filo - UCLA

David Yankey  - Stanford

Cyril Richardson  - Baylor

Gabe Jackson – Mississippi State

Su’a-Filo has been linked to the Patriots as well as a possible first round selection. Like the top two tight ends, he and Yankey may be gone before the Patriots selection in the 2nd round. Richardson and Jackson are both big, physically imposing linemen and would give a needed shot of youth for the Patriots if they were to be chosen.

Center:

Travis Swanson - Arkansas

Weston Richburg - Colorado State

Bryan Stork - Florida State

Tyler Larsen - Utah State

Swanson started 50 consecutive games and has the core strength and balance to be imposing in pass protection. Richburg started 49 games, is durable, has never missed a game, is very intelligent and a good athlete.

Defensive End:

Kony Ealy - Missouri

Scott Crichton - Oregon State

Demarcus Lawrence - Boise State

Trent Murphy - Stanford

Jackson Jeffcoat  - Texas

I thought that the Patriots would jump on Ealy and take him when he was available at the end of the first round. He should go really quickly in the 2nd round. Crichton has the size and strength to be an every down player. Lawrence is the guy to watch for New England. He is versatile, he’s played all along the defensive line, and could be used standing up by the Patriots as an Outside Linebacker.

Safeties:

Ed Reynolds – Stanford

Craig Loston – LSU

Ahmad Dixon – Baylor

Dion Bailey – USC

Reynolds comes from a Patriots bloodline. His father, Ed, was a LB for the Patriots from 1983-91 and he’s coming off ACL surgery, so there’s that…. Loston is a versatile downhill player who is as good in coverage as he is in the box. Dixon is a big hitter who played the “Bear” role as the Safety/LB hybrid, similar to the Patriots “Money” position.

Linebacker:

Yawin Smallwood – UConn

Kyle Van Noy – BYU

Christian Kirksey – Iowa

Trevor Reilly – Utah

Jordan Tripp – Montana

Smallwood is an excellent coverage linebacker and regularly covered running backs and receivers for the Huskies. He has the frame to play inside or outside. Van Noy is another good coverage linebacker who can do a little bit of everything.

Running Back:

Tre Mason - Auburn

Bishop Sankey - Washington

Carlos Hyde - Ohio State

Jeremy Hill – LSU

Andre Williams - Boston College

The Patriots are in the market for a running back since all of their current players become free agents in 2015 and LaGarrette Blount bolted for Pittsburgh via free agency. Hyde is a powerful runner with very good size who could excel in Blount’s short yardage game. Williams was a workhorse at Boston College and Sankey is more of an all-purpose back.

Wide Receiver:

Marqise Lee - Southern California

Allen Robinson - Penn State

Jarvis Landry - LSU

Martavais Bryant – Clemson

Lee dropped, perhaps surprisingly, from the first round after knee injuries slowed him in his final year. However, he possesses explosive straight line speed. He's very elusive after the catch, and is also a good blocker.  Robinson is a big, athletic target who finished with 97 catches for over 1400 yards in 2013.

Stay tuned to PatsFans.com as we’ll be keeping readers up-to-date on all the free agency and draft news as it unfolds.

Follow me on Twitter @SteveB7SFG or email me at [email protected]

Listen to our Patriots 4th and 2 podcast on blog talk radio as the writers Russ Goldman, Derek Havens and I from PatsFans.com discuss the latest Patriots news Wednesdays at 12 noon.

THE LATEST FROM PATSFANS.COM:

LOGIN | REGISTER