With 98 receptions, 1,240 yards and seven touchdowns, Texas Tech tight end Jace Amaro is widely thought to be a first round draft pick this year.
In 2014 the New England Patriots have the 29th pick overall and in each of the first three rounds. In the past, the Patriots have had success in the first two rounds of the draft and with Bill Belichick at the helm of player personnel it seems unlikely that the situation will change. So lets take a look at the past 29th and 61st picks of the Patriots drafts.
1964 Draft, Pick 29: Jon Morris – Center, Holy Cross
Morris was the model of success in his 11 season in New England. He appears in 130 games over his career which spanned through both the AFL and NFL. Morris was the first Patriots player to ever be selected to the Pro Bowl and was named an All Star seven times, good for second in team history. Morris was enshrined into the Patriots Hall of Fame in 2011 alongside Drew Bledsoe.
1964 Draft, 61st Pick: Roger LaLonde – Defensive Tackle, Muskingum
LaLonde was drafted by the Patriots but never played a snap for them. LaLonde played two NFL seasons, playing in 14 games for the Detroit Lions in 1964 and 11 games for the New York Giants in 1965.
1997 Draft, Pick 29: Chris Canty – Defensive Back, Kansas State
Canty could not live up to the big shoes that Jon Morris left as being the only other 29th pick. Canty played two seasons with the Patriots, starting 10 games. Canty recorded all three of his career sacks with the Patriots as well as one of his four career interceptions.
1997 Draft, 61st Pick: Sedrick Shaw – Running Back Iowa
Shaw appeared in 14 games over two seasons with the Patriots, starting one. In those two season, Shaw rushed 48 times for 236 yards and also caught six passes for 30 yards.
So what will the Patriots do this year? Currently in my Mock Draft the Patriots are selecting Jace Amaro, a TE from Texas Tech at the 29th pick. Amaro has the size and strength to be a very good blocker, especially at the point of attack forcing his opponents back with low pad level and punch. A smooth runner that has an eye for finding space on vertical routes and carries the build to get underneath and intermediate routes contesting every reception. His best asset is his ability to turn key and catch the ball away from his body (Remind you of someone presently waring a jumpsuit?). Not a burner but an extremely well route runner, pass catcher, and run blocker and will fit the New England Patriots’s offensive scheme nicely.
With the 61st pick the Patriots could go after Weston Richburg, a center from Colorado State. In New England, versatility is the name of the game and Richburg provides that in spades. Richburg has experience at all positions on the line, though his base position is center, and is a solidly built at 6’4, 300. He is much stronger and more mobile than his frame suggests and plays with a definitive “mean streak”. He has a great first step that helps him in pulling and knocking against nose tackles. Extremely strong in pass protection situations grading well in his time at Colorado State leading an offensive line that only allowed 20 sacks and averaged 200 rushing yards a game.