With two first round picks the Patriots were in an interesting spot to whether they move up to get a quarterback or just stay put and load up with picks. While they stayed put they had a typical Patriots draft. Here is our New England Patriots 2018 NFL Draft Review looking at how the Patriots did.
New England Patriots 2018 NFL Draft Review
1st Round, Pick #23: Isaiah Wynn OT Georgia
Isaiah Wynn is our 9th rated player in this class and someone that I could see becoming an All Pro Guard in the NFL, so the value in my eyes is great. Something to note as the Patriots took Wynn is they announced him as a tackle rather than the guard that most thought he’d be transitioning to in the NFL. The Patriots have a big need at left tackle where Nate Solder left in free agency and Antonio Garcia didn’t play last year because of blood clot issues. Wynn is tremendous quick setting and the Patriots run a quick strike attack, so him at left tackle is a tremendous fit.
1st Round, Pick #31: Sony Michel RB Georgia
You have to wonder if taking a running back this early is more of an indication that they are planning for life after Brady? Sure Michel will help the Patriots right away giving them a dynamic running back, but without Brady they will have to rely on the running game more often and would have an elite running back to carry the load. I mean Michel could be their best back since Curtis Martin.
2nd Round, Pick #24: Duke Dawson CB Florida
Looking to replace Malcolm Butler on their defense it looks as if the Patriots are designating Dawson to be their cornerback that matches up with the smaller quicker receiver to compliment Stephon Gilmore who takes on the bigger receivers. Dawson is a twitchy athlete who can change direction and accelerate to cover receivers. It should be interesting to see if the Patriots play Dawson in the slot where he had his best season back in 2016.
5th Round, Pick #6: Ja’Whaun Bently LB Purdue
New England’s defense calls for all different types of linebackers depending on the game situation and who they are playing. Bently is your typical downhill run stuffer who plays early in downs. Bently will need to beat out Elandon Roberts who has filled this role the past two years.
6th Round, Pick #4: Christian Sam LB Arizona State
Unlike Bently, Sam is viewed as a weakside linebacker who can play out in space. He is not overly explosive but flows well to the ball and can play some in coverage. Sam should fill in well in special teams on the coverage unit and will have a shot to earn a backup role.
6th Round, Pick #36: Braxton Berrios WR Miami
— Brian Johannes (@Draft_Brian) October 14, 2017
It wouldn’t be a Patriots draft if they didn’t take a prototypical slot receiver. Berrios broke out this year with the success of the Hurricanes season controlling the middle of the field with his quickness out of breaks and made some big time catches. The Patriots have had a lot of success with players like Berrios and with Danny Amendola gone he could fill that backup role to Julian Edleman.
7th Round, Pick #1: Danny Etling QB LSU
Etling is a questionable pick as the biggest knock on the LSU offense the past couple of years is their quarterback play. Etling lacks the arm strength to push the ball down the field However Etling has played in a pro style offense so that could lead to him to picking up the offense quick. That being said a player like Kurt Benkert would have given the Patriots a much better option.
7th Round, Pick #25: Keion Crossen CB Western Carolina
Testing well at the Wake Forest Pro Day allowed Crossen to get on the radar of the NFL teams and was worthy of late round flyer pick. Crossen isn’t big but shows both long speed and change of direction quickness. If he can earn a special teams role and develop some technique he has plenty of upside.
7th Round, Pick #32: Ryan Izzo TE Florida State
The Patriots are always looking for tight ends and that continued this year taking Izzo with their final pick. At 6’5 256lbs he has the frame and the demeanor in the run game to be a good blocker. While he has solid hands he lacks the quickness to separate or the ability to win consistently at the catch point. If Izzo becomes a solid blocking tight end this is considered a win at this point in the draft.
Draft Grade: B
Best Pick: Isaiah Wynn
Biggest Reach: Danny Etling