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Best available players for the New England Patriots on Day 3 of the 2018 NFL draft

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Which players are on the Patriots roster?

NCAA Football: Penn State at Iowa Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots added just one player in the second round in cornerback Duke Dawson, bringing their total players drafted this year to three. Even with Dawson, offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn, and running back Sony Michel in the fold, the Patriots still have a few more needs to address.

The Patriots should add a back-up quarterback to provide developmental depth behind Tom Brady and Brian Hoyer. This quarterback wouldn’t necessarily be the chosen heir to Brady, but they would have a year to prove themselves and provide a practice arm.

They should also add a linebacker to compete with Marquis Flowers and Elandon Roberts and Harvey Langi for time behind Dont’a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy.

New England could also consider adding a wide receiver, tight end, pass rusher, and safety with the 2019 season in mind, all depending on the players available. Here are the top players at each position of potential need, based on Arif Hasan’s Consensus Big Board. I’ve culled some of the names to those I consider to be good fits with the Patriots and could possibly make the team.

Quarterback

Value Pick

98. Richmond QB Kyle Lauletta

If Lauletta is still on the board when the Patriots make their selection at 105th overall, then he could make a lot of sense as a good value developmental pick. I could also see a team willing to trade ahead of the Patriots to grab him.

Fourth/Fifth Round

122. Western Kentucky QB Mike White

135. Washington State QB Luke Falk

White is the prototypical quarterback body, while Falk comes from a highly productive spread offense. The Patriots have expressed interest in both.

Sixth/Seventh/Preferred Free Agent

221. Memphis QB Riley Ferguson

286. Toledo QB Logan Woodside

288. Texas Tech QB Nic Shimonek

The Patriots treat the sixth and seventh round as opportunities to get first dibs on priority free agents, so group all these prospects together. Ferguson, Woodside, and Shimonek are all good options.

Wide Receiver

Value Pick

80. Notre Dame WR Equanimeous St. Brown

84. Penn State WR DaeSean Hamilton

94. Clemson WR Deon Cain

Hamilton is a slot receiver that has the Patriots interested. I’m not sure if the team would want to spend a high draft pick on a receiver this year.

Sixth/Seventh/Preferred Free Agent

205. Middle Tennessee State WR Richie James

224. Miami (FL) WR Braxton Berrios

Both James and Berrios are potential slot options.

Tight End

Value Pick

93. Indiana TE Ian Thomas

Thomas has prototypical size, but is incredible raw and will need time to develop.

Fourth/Fifth Round

111. N.C. State ATH Jaylen Samuels

Samuels has to be a member of the Patriots. He’d be incredible in the offense due to his versatility and upside.

Pass Rusher

Value Pick

58. Florida State EDGE Josh Sweat

65. Oklahoma EDGE Ogbonnia Okoronkwo

76. Wake Forest EDGE Duke Ejiofor

Sweat is an athletic freak that is still technically raw, while Ejiofor has the prototypical build that the Patriots look for in an edge rusher. Okoronkwo would be a versatile edge player that could play standing up at times.

Fourth/Fifth Round

114. Washington State EDGE Hercules Mata’afa

127. Kansas EDGE Dorance Armstrong Jr.

Mata’afa is one of the most effective pass rushers in the draft, while Armstrong reminds me a bit of Jabaal Sheard.

Linebacker

Value Pick

99. Iowa LB Josey Jewell

Jewell might have physical limitations, but he was highly productive and comes from a great program of linebackers capable of covering in the NFL. He could be the Patriots best coverage linebacker and wouldn’t be a liabilty against the run.

Fourth/Fifth Round

102. Central Florida LB Shaquem Griffin

113. Memphis LB Genard Avery

Both players could fit with the Patriots as sub-package players with special teams ability.

Sixth/Seventh/Preferred Free Agent

174. Indiana LB Tegray Scales

177. Arizona State LB Christian Sam

182. South Carolina LB Skai Moore

I’d argue that these three players are better fits for the Patriots than the two listed ahead of them. I’d be fine if the Patriots took any of them in the fifth round, too.

Safety

Value Pick

90. West Virginia S Kyzir White

97. Texas S DeShon Elliott

White could honestly be placed as a linebacker as he’s the modern safety/linebacker hybrid at 6’2, 220 pounds. He can play in the box against the run and cover tight ends and running backs. Elliott is smaller, but played a similar role as a linebacker at times.

Fourth/Fifth Round

106. Penn State S Marcus Allen

129. Pittsburgh S Jordan Whitehead

147. Virginia S Quin Blanding

Allen is another safety that can play in the box that would provide quality play on special teams as a rookie. Whitehead comes from the same Aliquippa pipeline that produced Ty Law and Darrelle Revis and has experience as a cornerback, safety, and inside the box. Blanding was super productive as a four-year starter.

Sixth/Seventh/Preferred Free Agent

204. Ohio State S Damon Webb

253. Oklahoma State S Tre Flowers

Why wouldn’t the Patriots be interested in a Buckeye or another Tre(y) Flowers?

The Patriots draft picks on day three

Fourth round: 105th

Fifth round: 143rd

Sixth round: 198th, 210th

Seventh round: 219th