After taking two small school prospects on the second day of the 2017 NFL Draft, the New England Patriots went after some big fish on the final day. The Patriots addressed the same exact positions as before by adding Arkansas EDGE Deatrich Wise Jr. and UCLA OT Conor McDermott.
Like yesterday, I’ll pass along Pro Football Focus’ scouting reports for each player. It’s worth noting that PFF actually ranks both Wise and McDermott higher than their third round counterparts in EDGE Derek Rivers and OT Antonio Garcia.
Arkansas EDGE Deatrich Wise Jr.
“Eight total pressures was the most of anyone in the Shrine game.”; “Tall and long-limbed with and understands how to use that in his favor.”; “Is in control of almost every interaction. Fantastic hand placement.”; “Can rush the passer effectively from 0-tech all the way to outside the tackle.”
“Only wins with hands and never with speed/quickness.”; “Crushed by double teams and even one-on-one blocks can take him multiple yards off the ball.”; “Gets caught looking through his block to make plays on run plays and can get caught out of his gap.”; “Finished the season on a low note with only two hurries in his last four games.”
“Wise played fewer than 500 snaps each of the past two seasons, but few defensive linemen played at a higher level when on the field.”
Wise was hampered by hand and shoulder injuries during his final season, which is one cause for his decline in production. While Wise’s sack counts went down, his hits and hurries remained constant and he actually improved against the run. He could be a factor when healthy.
UCLA OT Conor McDermott
“Light on his feet, good at positioning his body to block defenders.”; “Was asked to perform a variety of different and difficult blocks.”; “Strong arms to press and steer defensive lineman.”; “Overall solid in pass blocking, as he wins more than loses.”
“Doesn’t squat hips naturally in pass protection, susceptible to powerful bull rush.”; “Bad posture on some pass protection (head down, weight forward).”; “Run-blocking grades regressed over the last three years.”
“McDermott passes the eye ball test with his athletic body and length. He has flashed great skill and ability on film but also struggled with consistency. McDermott has a high ceiling for improvement through refinement of his technique at the next level, though his play-by-play grading does not jump off the page.”
Patriots offensive line coach Dante Scarnecchia must be thrilled with this pick because McDermott presents one of the best, raw prospects in the draft. McDermott was a potential first round pick, but he failed to develop in his final season due to poor strength and technique. Give him a year in the Patriots program and he could be ready to star in the NFL.