32. K’Neal Harry, WR, Arizona State
The 6’2” wide receiver gives the Patriots something they have been lacking: a threat outside the numbers. Harry doesn’t have the best speed, but he consistently wins contested catches, and is electric with the ball in his hands. This is the type of splash that Patriots fans always hope for, but rarely get at the draft — we got it this year! It looks like we’re going to have a ton of fun watching him this season.
Two links for your viewing pleasure:
45. JoeJuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
Williams is a big, physical corner, who the Patriots will probably be using to match up against bigger receivers or even tight ends. There are some people saying he has a chance to be the next Richard Sherman, and while that’s great, even if he isn’t, he should be a valuable matchup piece for the Patriots defense. The Vanderbilt product doesn’t have the best speed, but excels at press coverage, and, as a former receiver, has great ball skills.
77. Chase Winovich, DE, Michigan
Winovich is the player that I’m most excited about from this weekend. He’s a prototypical Patriot, as his motor just doesn’t quit, and he looks like a ton of fun to be around. Here’s the video of him getting the call that he’s being taken by the Pats. Physically, he matches up well with Shea McClellin, who the Patriots liked but could never stay healthy. He’s 6’3’ 256, and he ran a 4.59 at the combine. Should have a good chance at reps right away.
Two links for you:
87. Damien Harris, RB, Alabama
At first, one might think that Harris, their first pick in the 3rd round, might not fill a position of need. But remember, the Patriots turned into a run heavy team at the end of the season, so a solid back to give Sony Michel a blow might not be a bad thing. Harris is a powerful runner who does not have elite, straight line speed, which makes him very similar to Sony. He was never the “workhorse” at Alabama, but still topped 1000 yards twice, and 900 yards last season. He also had 20 rushing TDs in the last 2 seasons. Not much of a receiver, but should be a solid backup for Sony.
101. Yodny Cajuste, OT, West Virginia
Cajuste, at 6’5” 312, has a good chance at being the swing tackle for the Patriots this season. He is a solid pass blocker, who uses his length very well. His run blocking leaves something to desired, but if there’s one position you should be confident about being able to coach up, it’s O-Line.
Here’s an interesting scouting video with commentary, if you’re into that kind of thing.
118. Hjalte Froholdt, G/C, Arkansas
Once again, the Patriots drafted where they have really good players. Their line was their strength, and particularly the interior. However, Thuney is a free agent after this season, and they don’t have a ton of depth. Froholdt didn’t allow a sack the last two seasons, and went one-on-one against third overall pick Quinnen Williams and gave him everything he could handle. At 6’5” he’s a little tall for an interior lineman, but that hasn’t slowed him down yet. Also, he’s from Denmark. Here’s an interesting interview he did that talks a bit about that, and his football career.
133. Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn
The Patriots finally drafted a quarterback, waiting until the end of the fourth round to do so. Stidham is a player who the Patriots were linked to before the draft process. He’s a guy who will stand in and take a hit, and has the potential to be accurate on his short and intermediate, and occasionally on his deep throws as well. This past year, however, the team was bad enough that it was tough to actually judge his play. He let pressure effect him a little too much, and his accuracy and decision making suffered because of it. This is a situation where the Patriots think he had the best potential out of the guys left, and, with Brady still needed a successor, decided to take a chance on him.
159. Byron Cowart, DT, Maryland
The Patriots decided to go after some more depth on the defensive line. Cowart was a disappointing prospect in college: he was recruited to Auburn as the third overall prospect in his class, and the #1 defensive tackle prospect, but failed to ever do anything in Auburn. After transferring to Maryland, however, he was able to put together a decent season for the Terrapins in 2018. In the fifth round, you’re trying to find someone who can exceed their draft status, and who better to do that than a highly touted prospect who didn’t have great production in college.
163. Jake Bailey, P, Stanford
The Patriots traded up to draft a punter. Not only a punter, but a right footed punter, who are more rare in New England than losing seasons. Seriously, only 34 punts have been kicked by right footed punters since 2000. The Patriots clearly felt as though, with Ryan Allen signing a one-year deal before this season, some competition in camp would be a good thing.
252. Ken Webster, CB, Mississippi
The Patriots, once again, go after a position that they don’t need. Cornerback is a spot where there are a ton of good players already on the roster. With that being said, this was a move to get an athlete, with a 4.43 40 time, a 133” broad jump, and a 43” vertical. They did something similar with Keion Crossen last season. With the third to last pick in the draft, it makes sense to go after an elite athlete, even if it’s a position you may not need.
Pat is a host of The Patriot Nation Podcast
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