The analytics website, dipping their feet into the college game this spring, seemed particularly fond of the Patriots selection of Marshall CB Darryl Roberts in the seventh round:
Given that our whole team thought there was a chance New England pick him up in the second round, this is some get for the Patriots who are never shy about giving young corners an opportunity regardless of where they are drafted. Had the seventh-highest coverage grade across the FBS of draft-eligible players, allowing just 50% of passes into his coverage to be completed. Bigger, stronger receivers may cause him a problem or two, but his tape shows a natural at the position.
Going back to that mock draft you can find that yes, PFF did mock Roberts to the Patriots in their final projection:
The Patriots are expected to address cornerback at some point in the draft and Roberts is an athletic option who performed well last season. He allowed only 29.4% completions on intermediate routes (11-20 yards) and he had the third-best coverage grade among non-Power 5 cornerbacks.
Roberts’ numbers in coverage support the crazy athletic numbers he put up at his Pro Day. Factoring in his length, and the limited tape we have seen, and you can’t help but think Roberts has the potential to be quite the steal.
Khaled also saw the Patriots first pick of the day, Trey Flowers, as a great value pick-up:
I was stunned when Flowers made it to Day 3. Just what were people watching with him? A powerful edge defender, he’s not going to destroy you with speed but look at the problems he gave La’el Collins? He has the ability to be an every-down defender, kicking inside in nickel and causing havoc there. From a production point of view had the highest grade of all draft eligible-edge defenders in 2014.
Flowers, by the way, was projected to go #35 in PFF’s 2nd round mock.
Finally, PFF Tweeted an interesting nugget about the player who was perhaps’ the Patriots’ biggest unknown on day three,
#Patriots' LB Matthew Wells allowed 48.4% of passes into his coverage to be completed vs Power 5 teams, lowest among all draft eligible LBs— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) May 4, 2015
Initially, we saw the pick-up of Wells as a move for special teams depth. Perhaps we were wrong – Wells does have athleticism and starting experience and could potentially grow into a role as a sub-package linebacker.
When factoring in he value pick-ups of Tre’ Jackson and Shaq Mason along the offensive line, the potential of a player like AJ Derby, and the immediate contributions expected from Joe Cardona, the Patriots had themselves quite a nice day three. Or so it seems at the present.