Evaluating the New England Patriots 2014 Draft
Dominique Easley, DT, Florida: 6’2″, 288lbs, 26 bench reps, no drills due to torn ACL.
Easley is the ultimate boom or bust pick, typically not really Belichick’s style. He could give us an interior pass rush, something we have not had for a very long time. At the beginning of the 2013 season, prior to injury, he was being mentioned in the same breath as Jadeveon Clowney as the best DT in the SEC. On the flip side, he could play 20 snaps the whole year or play his whole career with nagging injuries and never realize his potential.
Jimmy Garrapolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: 6’2″, 226lbs, 4.94 40 (Patriots QB speedster), 56 mph throw speed at combine
I wasn’t a fan of this, mostly because there were starters at positions of need available, mainly TE, via a trade up. I think all three, Amaro, Niklas and ASJ, had very good value in the second round. On the other hand, as a player and NFL prospect, I like Garrapolo, I like his size, touch on the football and supposed football intelligence. In my opinion, Mallett’s weakness, particularly in the Patriots offense, is he has very little feel on his throws. To put it in baseball terms, he has a ++ fastball but no ability to spot his change-up. It’s a 2016-2017-and-beyond pick, not a 2014 season pick, which may be the most frustrating part.
Bryan Stork, C, Florida State: 6’3″, 315lbs
I loved this pick, Wendell and Connolly are nothing more than backups, and always have been. On the offense, like Manning has always had receivers, Brady has always had a studly OL. I think this pick is huge and I expect he’ll be a starter in 2014 at some point. While he may come with many lingering injuries, he played through them the entire 2013 ‘Noles Championship campaign, earning himself the Rimington Trophy, as the nations top center. He has the smarts, toughness and size to make an immediate impact.