We knew the time was inevitable, but this season will be the first season in quite some time in which Tom Brady will not be the quarterback for the New England Patriots. Fortunately, the Patriots signed QB Cam Newton to a one-year contract. Now, New England must find some players that will be able to step up to the challenge to keep the Patriots on top of the AFC East.
Round 2, Pick 5: Kyle Dugger – S – Lenoir-Rhyne (6’1″, 217 lbs). Dugger is tall safety that is capable of playing at either safety spot. He is also able to contribute on kick returns as well. Dugger is the type of athlete that will fit in well with the Patriots defense.
Round 2, Pick 28: Josh Uche – LB – Michigan (6’1″, 245 lbs). Uche is effective at rushing the passer with 8.5 sacks last season. He will have a chance to compete for an OLB spot.
Round 3, Pick 23: Anfernee Jennings – DE – Alabama (6’2″, 256 lbs). Jennings is the type of edge rusher that the Patriots look for in their hybrid sets. He wreaked havoc on defenses last season with 12 tackles for loss and 8 sacks.
Round 3, Pick 27: Devin Asiasi – TE – UCLA (6’3″, 257 lbs). Asiasi has the potential to help out as a receiving TE.
Round 3, Pick 37: Dalton Keene – TE – Virginia Tech (6’4″, 253 lbs). Keene is an all-purpose TE who will also compete for a starting TE spot.
Round 5, Pick 14: Justin Rohrwasser – K – Marshall (6’3″, 230 lbs). Why did the Patriots draft a kicker when they already have one of the best kickers in the NFL in Stephen Gostkowski, but he will be coming back from a leg injury. Oh, here’s why they picked Rohrwasser – click here.
Round 6, Pick 3: Mike Onwenu – G – Michigan (6’3″, 344 lbs). Onwenu will be a back-up at either offensive guard position.
Round 6, Pick 16: Justin Herron – G – Wake Forest (6’4″, 308 lbs). Herron played tackle in college, but is projected to play at guard in the NFL. Herron will also vie for a back-up spot along the offensive line.
Round 6, Pick 25: Cassh Maluia – LB – Wyoming (6’0″, 248 lbs). Maluia will look to make the team as either a back-up linebacker or at special teams.
Round 7, Pick 16: Dustin Woodard – C – Memphis (6’2″, 285 lbs). Even more offensive line depth has been added.
Grade: The Patriots needed some more edge players on defense due to free agency. Offensive line depth was necessary because New England did not have the long offensive possessions that they were used to having in previous seasons. Rohrwasser drops the overall grade to a D+.