The third and final day of the 2018 NFL draft is in the books and it was a particularly busy one for the New England Patriots. The team opted to make multiple trades and ultimately ended up drafting a total of six players between rounds four and seven. Let's take a look at how those selections affect players already on the roster, and take a look at the winners and losers of yesterday's action.
Loser: LB Elandon Roberts
While Roberts was listed in the winners-column after day two, he finds himself among the losers of day three following the Patriots' investment of a fifth-round selection in Purdue product Ja'Whaun Bentley. Better against the run than the pass, Bentley is projected to enter a direct competition with Roberts for one of the depth linebacker spots behind Dont'a Hightower and Kyle Van Noy: After all, both defenders play a similar style but it would be a surprise if there was room for more than one of them on the team.
Loser: LB Marquis Flowers
The Patriots' second linebacker selection of day three, meanwhile, is a better pass defender than run stopper: Arizona State's Christian Sam, who is therefore expected to put pressure on Marquis Flowers. Even though Flowers was New England's best coverage linebacker last season, he will need to have a solid next few months as to not see the sixth-round rookie take over his role and by extension make him expendable.
Winner: SS Jordan Richards
For the second straight day, Richards can be considered as a winner. New England did not invest a draft pick in an in-the-box strong safety like the former second-round selection yesterday, which in turn means that he will not have to compete against a drafted player over the summer. While this does not guarantee a roster spot for Richards it makes him the favorite to earn one as the Patriots' number fourth safety.
Losers: The backup tight ends
With their ninth and final pick, the Patriots picked Florida State's Ryan Izzo. The 6'5, 255 lbs tight end brings ideal size to the table and has plenty of experience as a receiver and even more as an in-line blocker. Due to this, he will have a solid shot at emerging as one of the projected two winners of the battle for the backup spots behind Rob Gronkowski: Dwayne Allen, Jacob Hollister, Will Tye and Troy Niklas as well as undrafted rookie Shane Wimann will have to bring their A-game to earn a role on the team.
Winners: DT Vincent Valentine & DT Adam Butler
After the Patriots traded for Cleveland Brown defensive tackle Danny Shelton earlier this offseason, they decided not to invest a draft pick in an interior defensive lineman. This is good news for Vincent Valentine and Adam Butler, who are fighting for one or maybe two spots behind the top trio of Shelton, Malcom Brown and Lawrence Guy and will now not have any additional drafted competition.
Loser: QB Brian Hoyer
Unexpectedly, New England waited until the seventh round to draft a quarterback. But draft one they ultimately did when they made Danny Etling the 219th overall pick. The LSU quarterback enters a depth chart that sees Tom Brady as the undisputed number one with Brian Hoyer behind him. Etling will compete with Hoyer for practice reps and ultimately a spot on the team's 53-man roster. Had the Patriots not picked Etling late, Hoyer's job security would have looked better – even though the odds that New England keeps him around are still not bad.