Scouts Inc.’s Kevin Weidl shares his thoughts on prospects for each day of the NFL Draft that “fill needs and/or fit what each team likes to do schematically.” The New England Patriots don’t currently have a first round pick, but both QB Jimmy Garoppolo and CB Malcolm Butler are potential trade chips, so gaining a first round pick is not out of the question.
Here are the three players.
Day 1: Stanford RB Christian McCaffrey
“Running back is not necessarily a pressing need, but it would be a perfect marriage between the draft's most versatile player and the NFL's most creative mind in the NFL in coach Bill Belichick.”
McCaffrey is everything that the Patriots want in a running back in the sense that he can run inside and outside, he can catch, he can block, he can be the workhorse, he can play special teams, and he has a three cone time of 6.57s that makes Bill Belichick’s heart grow three times in size.
There are also rumors that he could be going inside the top 10 of the draft, so he’s really far out of the equation.
Day 2: Ohio EDGE Tarell Basham
“Basham needs some development, but he has the length, suddenness and bend to develop into a quality edge rusher opposite of the emerging Trey Flowers.”
Basham is 6’4, 270 pounds with a 4.72s 40 yard dash and a solid 9’9 broad jump and 7.27s three cone drill. He checks off all the Patriots physical attributes and he stood out at the Senior Bowl.
Pro Football Focus notes that Basham was the second-most productive pass rusher against left tackles in college football, so there is some question of how he and Trey Flowers would share time on the defensive right side, but that’s not a bad problem to have.
Day 3: Tennessee State OT Jessamen Dunker
“Dunker needs to get stronger in his lower body, and he comes with some character concerns. However, he is a twitchy athlete who has the feet and flexibility to develop into a starter down the road.”
The 6’4, 318 pound Dunker transferred from Florida after he was arrested for “grand theft” of a motor scooter his freshman year. He started all four seasons at Tennessee State at left tackle, left guard, and at right guard.