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Experts grade the Patriots’ day three draft picks, and other league reactions

Here’s what people are saying about New England’s picks.

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Auburn v Mississippi State Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The New England Patriots ended the 2019 NFL draft by making five total picks between rounds four and seven. Let’s collect some reactions from around the league and the media about the world champions’ haul.

Hjalte Froholdt reacts to getting drafted

Jake Bailey reacts to getting drafted

Ken Webster reacts to getting drafted

Draft grades’s Chad Reuter

Days 3 grade: A-

Froholdt is an athletic and tough-minded Dane who fits the Patriots’ Way. Bill Belichick hopes that he can work Stidham into another strong-armed pocket passer; choosing him was a solid value in the fourth round. Cowart and Webster add depth to the defense. Ryan Allen had the 19th-ranked net punting average in the league last year, so his days are numbered with Bailey in the fold.

USA Today’s Nate Davis

New England Patriots: A

[...] And succession plans, perhaps, at quarterback (Jarrett Stidham) yet almost certainly at punter, Jake Bailey evidently so alluring that Bill Belichick was able to overlook the fact he’s not left-footed.

Fansided’s Cody Williams

118. New England Patriots – Hjalte Froholdt, OG, Arkansas

Froholdt is an underrated interior offensive lineman in this class who played well against top competition. With the Patriots, he’s a great fit that will develop him. Grade: A-

133. New England Patriots – Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn

Could this actually be the successor to Tom Brady? Jarrett Stidham has plenty of tools, but needs development. But with Brady playing, he’ll have that opportunity. Grade: B+

159. New England Patriots – Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland

Cowart isn’t a game-changer by any means, but he has moments on film. Has the makings of a situational guy that Bill Belichick can deploy a bit for the Pats defense. Grade: B-

163. New England Patriots – Jake Bailey, P, Stanford

Bailey is the top-rated punter in the class and we know Belichick loves his special teams. This shouldn’t surprise us. Grade: B-

252. New England Patriots – Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss

Webster’s injuries hurt his once high stock, but the small corner has a lot of talent and can be a good player. Grade: B+

Bleacher Reports’ Steve Silverman

New England Patriots: A

Best Day 3 selection: Quarterback Jarrett Stidham of Auburn has the look and tools to be an outstanding passer. The Patriots appear to have gotten excellent value from this late fourth-round pick.

Pro Football Focus

Hjalte Froholdt, a Danish guard that thrived in pass protection, was a steal for New England at pick No. 118. Froholdt played both center and guard during his tenure with the Razorbacks. This past season, he was one of the nation’s best pass protectors, allowing five pressures all season long. He finished the pre-draft process ranked 55th on PFF’s final big board.


CBS Sports’ Chris Trapasso

Hjalte Froholdt, G, Arkansas This is such a classic Patriots pick. Underrated, experienced, high-caliber athlete in the trenches to add depth to the offensive line. Froholdt had an awesome game against Quinnen Williams and has outstanding feet. Length and lower-body strength are slight issues. Grade: A-

Jarrett Stidham, QB, Auburn Stidham has a live arm and good athletic gifts. However, he really struggles under pressure, often leaving the pocket instead of stepping up, and his accuracy to all levels of the field is subpar. But never count the Pats out when it comes to QBs. Grade: C

Byron Cowart, DE, Maryland Cowart was a highly sought after recruit who had a disappointing college career until his senior season at Maryland, when he flashed a bit because of his first step. He doesn’t have pass-rushing moves and can get washed out against the run. Not sure he’s worth a trade up.Grade: D+

Jake Bailey, P, Stanford Bailey can boot the ball a mile into the air but isn’t the best directionally. Trading up for a punter is not good, though the Pats have the capital to do it. Grade: D+

Ken Webster, CB, Ole Miss Webster battled injuries at Ole Miss yet recovered remarkably to put on a show at the combine. He has outside corner and safety versatility and has great size. A nice sleeper for the Patriots at the end of the draft. Grade: B-

Sports Illustrated’s Andy Benoit

[...] The rest of the draft was focused on finding depth at O-line and quarterback. And out of sheer principle, we should bump the Patriots up a half-letter grade for not looking for Tom Brady’s replacement. That six-time World Champion horse is worth riding to the very, very end.


Other reactions

SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea

Patriots select OG Hjalte Froholdt (118th overall)

Any time you can draft a giant Dane, you do it. Froholdt ranked 55th on PFF’s predraft rankings thanks to his solid track record at Arkansas, but it’s his combination of size (6’5, 309 pounds) and athleticism — his quick feet made him a top seven performer among offensive linemen in both agility drills at the Combine. He’s raw, but the Patriots have a track record of spinning Day 3 blockers into gold. This also probably means the team isn’t interested in paying Joe Thuney in free agency next year, too.

Patriots select QB Jarrett Stidham (133rd overall)

New England gets a quarterback it can trade away as soon as he shows flashes of competence, allowing Tom Brady to play until age 50. Stidham isn’t great, but he was better in college than Daniel Jones despite being selected 127 picks later.

Patriots select DE Byron Cowart (159th overall)

Cowart was a five-star recruit at Auburn, but he played in just 14 games with the Tigers in three seasons before finally beginning to realize his potential after transferring to Maryland. He put in work as a 3-4 defensive end in 2018, recording the only three sacks of his college career in the process. He’ll move to the interior of New England’s 4-3 setup, where his lack of speed (a 5.2s 40) won’t be an issue and his size/strength will allow him to bully centers and clog gaps up front. He’s still got a ways to go as a player, but his raw talent gives him a chance to stick with the Pats.

Patriots select P Jake Bailey (163rd overall)

New England could have had a kicker/punter nicknamed the Scottish Hammer and settled for this guy instead. You’re dead to me, Pats.

NFL Network’s Daniel Jeremiah

Pro Football Focus

New England Patriots – G Hjalte Froholdt, Arkansas

No. 29 overall grade among the draft class’ guards.

Tied for 7th in pass-blocking grade among draft-eligible guards.

Tied for second-best pass-blocking efficiency among guards.

New England Patriots – QB Jarrett Stidham, Auburn

The Patriots grab QB Jarrett Stidham out of Auburn in the 4th round. Stidham’s grades have actually gone down each year in his collegiate career culminating in a 62.3 in 2018. The Pats have the luxury of sitting Stidham for a few years to see if he can develop at the next level while learning from Tom Brady.

No. 5 passer rating on deep passes among class QBs.

No. 19 passer rating on play-action passes.

45th overall grade in the class.

New England Patriots – Edge Byron Cowart, Maryland

T-101st overall grade among edge

T-89th pass-rush grade among edge

T-66th win rate among ED (11.9)

New England Patriots – P Jake Bailey, Stanford

Punting grade 92.4

New England Patriots – CB Ken Webster, Mississippi

PFF grade 76.7

Position rank 53

Beat Writer Reactions

Patriots reactions