Two days down, one to go. As day two of the NFL Draft came and gone Friday night, the New England Patriots stuck to their plan of adding more athletes to their roster, adding wide receiver Tyquan Thornton and cornerback Marcus Jones.
The Patriots also were active in the trade market again, surrounding a fifth-round pick to move up four spots to acquire Thornton. New England then moved back out of the 94th overall selection, acquiring pick No. 137 and a 2023 third-rounder in the process from Carolina.
As eyes turn to day three — where things will be moving fast and furious — the Patriots have a trio of fourth- and sixth-round selections to go along with one seventh round pick. So, with the help of the Pats Pulpit Big Board, let’s take a look at the best remaining prospects for New England on Saturday.
*Not included on the Pats Pulpit Big Board
Second-round talents (1)
9 members of the second-round talent group were drafted on Day 1 + 2
Perrion Winfrey, Oklahoma
The Patriots have yet to add to their defensive line, something they likely will do at some point on Saturday. Winfrey remains one of the best overall prospects still on the board and would be an immediate fit as a 4-3 defensive end.
Third-round talents (2)
8 members of the first-round talent group were drafted on Day 1 + 2
Max Mitchell, Louisiana
While the Patriots took care of their offensive guard need, the question marks at offensive tackle have been well documented. Mitchell provides good value on day three and could be the perfect type of lineman for the Patriots to get their hands on. He is a strong athlete but needs to fill out his frame and add strength — perhaps something he could do sitting behind Trent Brown and Isaiah Wynn this season.
Brandon Smith, Penn State
After passing on any linebackers through the first three rounds, it’s becoming more and more clear the Patriots like their current group of linebackers more than we think, something Matt Groh hinted at Friday night. Still, New England will likely add a player at the position on Saturday. Smith is a strong Patriot fit who has the size and toughness they look for to blend with an athletic profile.
Fourth/Fifth-round talents (29)
4 members of the first-round talent group were drafted on Day 1 + 2
Hassan Haskins, Michigan; Dameon Pierce, Florida; *Isaiah Spiller, Mississippi State;
They're still plenty of talented running backs available — including the highly rated Isaiah Spiller — which bodes well for the Patriots. They likely can wait till the sixth- or seventh-round, or perhaps even undrafted free agency, to find a quality backup to James White. If they like the talent level available to them earlier, and maybe are looking for an eventually Damien Harris replacement as well; perhaps they dip into the market a little earlier than expected.
Bo Melton, Rutgers; Kyle Phillips, UCLA, *Calvin Austin III, Memphis; Khalil Shakir, Boise State; *Romeo Doubs, Nevada
The Patriots added speed at the receiver position in Tyquan Thornton Friday, but don't rule out a double-dip. If the team does choose that path, perhaps they target a slot option with Jakobi Meyers’ contract set to expire next offseason.
*Isaiah Likely, Coastal Carolina
Surely the Patriots wouldn't draft a tight end after inking Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry to huge contracts last offseason, right? You must be new here. Anything is on the table, especially as Devin Asiasi and Dalton Keene will enter the year firmly on the bubble. Likely checks all the boxes for New England as a strong route runner, plus-athlete, and is an extremely versatile weapon.
*Daniel Faalele, Minnesota; *Kellen Diesch, Arizona State; *Matt Waletzko, North Dakota, *Darian Kinnard, Kentucky; *Zach Tom, Wake Forest; *Chris Paul, Tulsa
More offensive line options for New England. Faalele, Diesch, and Waletzko are depth tackles to watch, while Kinnard, Tom, and Paul project as more versatile reserves.
Neil Farrell, LSU; *John Ridgeway, Arkansas; *Eyioma Uwazurike, Iowa State; *Kingsley Enagbare, South Carolina
Again, New England will add to their defensive line at some point on Saturday. With three fourth-round picks, perhaps they add one of the best defensive tackle (Farrell, Ridgeway) or edge players (Kingsley, Enagbare) remaining.
Damone Clark, LSU; *Darrian Beavers, Cincinnati; *JoJo Domann, Nebraska
This could very well be the sweet spot for the Patriots in the linebacker class. Beavers certainly fits the bill of a Patriot style linebacker, as he combines old-school size (6-foot-4, 255 pounds) with the capability to range from sideline-to-sideline. Clark on the other hand was fully in the conversation for day two before a spinal fusion surgery. He could follow the same route the team took with Cameron McGrone last year, providing great value this late.
Derion Kendrick, Georgia; *Zyon McCollum Sam Houston State; *Tariq Woolen, UTSA; *Coby Bryant, Cincinnati, *Jalyn Armour-Davis, Alabama; *Josh Jobe, Alabama
The Patriots added a sppedy cornerback in Marcus Jones in round three, but their roster still lacks a bigger bodied press-man cornerback. All six corners above fit the bill.
*Veron McKinley III, Oregon
McKinley escaped the small run of safety’s to end day two. The former Duck plays faster than he is and shows great instincts/aggressiveness in the passing game. He has some work to do, but he’s a playmaker when he’s on.
Sixth/Seventh-round talents (18)
1 member of the round six/seven talent group was drafted on Day 2
Jack Coan, Notre Dame; *D’Eriq King Miami
With Brian Hoyer in the de facto quarterback coach role, adding another QB late on day three would be no surprise. Coan and King are two opposite players, as the Patriots could decide to fill this role with a number of skillsets.
*Kyren Williams, Notre Dame; Max Borghi, Washington State; Connor Heyward, Michigan State; *Jerrion Ealy, Ole Miss
This could very much be when New England strikes at the running back market. Williams has the best pass protection skills out of any running back in the class and would be a great addition. Ealy and Borghi also bring value in the passing game, while Hayward could compete for a roster spot as versatile fullback and special teams player.
Slade Bolden, Alabama; Britain Corvey, Utah
Do we need any explanation here?
Obinna Eze, TCU
At 6-foot-7, 321 pounds, Eze has elite length at the tackle position. He needs development especially in pass protection, but his size and strength make him an intriguing prospect in the later rounds.
*Marquan McCall, Kentucky; *Otito Ogbonnia, UCLA; *Noah Elliss, Toldeo; *Myron Tagovailoa-Amosa, Notre Dame; *Jeffrey Gunter, Coastal Carolina
The Patriots roster still lacks a true big-body nose tackle. McCall, Ogbonnia, or Elliss would fill that need. Tagovailoa-Amosa and Gunter are some intriguing prospects along the EDGE.
D’Marco Jackson, Appalachian State
A physical, downhill run stopper that has been an effective blitzer as well. Sounds like a player the Patriots could be interested in, no?
Jack Jones, Arizona State; *Josh Williams, Fayetteville State
Jones is perhaps the name to watch in this group, as he has met with the Patriots multiple times in the pre-draft process. He’s a former five-star recruit who is excellent in man coverage and has excellent athleticism. Williams on the other hand is a Division two cornerback who dominated his competition— much like Kyle Dugger. His play and physical traits make him an prospect with tons of potential.
Matt Araiza, San Diego State
Punt God. Need I say more?