How often can a team make their first draft selection at 83rd overall and have the rest of the league collectively cry out in anguish? That’s what happened when the New England Patriots drafted EDGE Derek Rivers out of Youngstown State.
Two picks later, the Patriots traded up to select Troy OT Antonio Garcia, one of the most promising tackles in the entire draft.
For not having a first or second round pick, the Patriots can certainly walk away from the second day of the draft feeling like winners.
The Patriots haven’t been the only winners, as both the Baltimore Ravens and Buffalo Bills put together solid drafts.
The Ravens have added four defensive players in CB Marlon Humphrey, EDGE Tyus Bowser, DL Chris Wormley, and EDGE Tim Williams. All four players should have been considered top 40 prospects, if not for Williams’ off the field problems, and the Ravens now have seriously upgraded their defense.
The Bills have been quieter, but CB Tre’Davious White looks like a real #1 cornerback, while WR Zay Jones is a perfect complement to WR Sammy Watkins and OL Dion Dawkins looks like a promising guard to eventually replace Richie Incognito. This was just a really smart draft.
The Miami Dolphins also had a solid second day of the draft, adding LB Raekwon McMillan and CB Cordrea Tankersley, as they join EDGE Charles Harris to create a trio of should-have-been top 50 prospects. The New York Jets drafted S Marcus Maye to pair with first round S Jamal Adams, and added WR ArDarius Stewart in the third round.
My favorite pick of the second day was Vanderbilt LB Zach Cunningham to the Houston Texans at a bargain-price 57th overall. Cunningham is in a perfect defense to capitalize on his ability and he should pair with Bernardrick McKinney to form one of the best young linebacker duos in the league.
I’m also a fan of the Los Angeles Chargers double-dipping at guard to add Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney, the two best guard prospects in the entire draft. QB Philip Rivers has to be pretty happy about that, in addition to adding WR Mike Williams in the first round.
This draft was incredibly deep, where I feel like players drafted around 20th overall offered roughly similar value as those in the 80s and 90s. The Patriots added two players in the 80s and have three picks left for day three of the draft.
Check out the 7 best players still available that could interest the Patriots.
New England clearly felt it was in their best interest to trade their early picks for ready-to-play veterans. Patriots head coach Bill Belichick wants people to consider WR Brandin Cooks and EDGE Kony Ealy alongside EDGE Derek Rivers and OT Antonio Garcia when grading the Patriots draft thus far.
Belichick still has a few tricks left up his cutoff sleeves.