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MORSE: Affect of Patriots Free Agent Frenzy on Draft Needs and Morse’s Morsels

Mark Morse
Mark Morse on Twitter
1 month ago at 1:38 pm ET
Posted Under: Patriots News

MORSE: Affect of Patriots Free Agent Frenzy on Draft Needs and Morse’s MorselsTroy Taormina - USA TODAY Sports

Free agency has brought the Patriots 13 new players and 7 re-signings.  They have 80 players under contract and that is a very high number for this time of year.   They have filled most of the holes on the roster and upgraded their depth.  The Patriots had 30 Free Agents or potential vacancies from last season’s roster.

David Andrews, James White, and Lawrence Guy were all re-signed.  That’s three captains and leaders in the locker room.   This is significant when rebuilding this team.  Many of the Free-Agents that signed here said they wanted to play for Bill Belichick and the Patriots.  Trent Brown was traded back to the Pats and said that playing for the Patriots was the best experience he has had in Pro Football

How do these signings shape the roster and affect how the Patriots select players in the upcoming Draft?   I will attempt to list what I perceive as the Patriots’ needs.  We all know from looking back at the history of Bill Belichick drafts that he is unpredictable.  One thing we do know is that he will make trades whenever possible.  Up and down the draft board to get the players he wants.  They are not necessarily what other teams want, nor how the experts have them ranked.  The Patriots have a draft board of only about 75 players.

The Patriots have 10 draft picks currently.  They could get two more through trades of N’Keal Harry and Stephon Gilmore.  The Patriots will not use all 10 picks, so look for Bill to trade up by packaging some picks.

The primary need is a QB.  Cam Newton is not the answer.  He is nothing more than a backup or bridge QB until the rookie is ready to play.  The Patriots are picking at #15, the highest in the draft since they drafted Jerod Mayo.  There are 5 noteworthy QBs in this draft and some say the top QB’s may go 1-4 in the draft.  A trade-up between 4-7 would be in line.  That may require 1st and 2nd picks this year and next to get it done.

Belichick may wait until the later rounds and select one of the second-tier QB’s.  The bottom line is QB is the top priority in the draft.

Note:  I am assuming a trade for Jimmy Garappolo is not happening.

The next need is Cornerback, with the expected departure of Gilmore.  A trade for Gilmore should bring back the 2nd rounder.  He could be included in a deal for the franchise QB.  JC Jackson is a Restricted Free Agent.  They tendered him at a second-round level.  I believe they did this to entice teams to make him an offer.  They wouldn’t make an offer if he was tendered at a 1st round level.  The Patriots did this so that other teams are doing the negotiations for them.  They are setting his market value.  I expect Jackson to be signed to a long-term contract with his offer (if any) or his 2nd round tender to be the base of his contract.  The Jackson situation will be resolved before the draft.

The next priority should be a versatile Offensive Lineman.  They are already 7 deep on the line and have the possibility of being the best offensive line in the league.  Belichick, like a chess master, is always thinking one move ahead, one year ahead.  Trent Brown and Ted Karras are on one-year deals.  Isaiah Wynn is a pending Free Agent.  With the departure of Joe Thuney, the LG position is open.  We expect Michael Onwenu to fill that position.  Onwenu has never played on the left side.  Next year he could move back to tackle.  Since Karras is the backup OC I would like this draftee to be a combo LG/OC.  Two players match this requirement, Quinn Meinerz OG/OC Wisconsin-Whitewater (D III) and David Moore OG/OC Grambling.

I am not happy with our Wide Receiver group despite the signings of Agholor and Bourne.  I think Edelman is done.  Combine his age and the knee injury, and this might be the end of his spectacular career with the Patriots.  I would like to see a true X big wideout with speed, and/or a speedy, quick-twitch slot receiver.

We don’t need a running back, but we tend to draft one every year.  Michel will be a free agent in 2022, White is signed to a one-year contract, and Bolden is 31.  There are several pass-catching RB’s in the mid-rounds of the draft.  Running backs have been devalued by teams and you can get a good one in the 4th or 5th rounds.

We still need a true nose tackle.  Godchaux will start and has a reputation as a run stopper.  We re-signed Carl Davis and he played well in the three games he appeared in.  However, he has a history of concussions and can’t be trusted to play a full season.

Finally, we need a free-safety.  Devin McCourty will not be here forever.  Remember, a year earlier, rather than a year late.  There are several developmental-type free safeties that could be available late in the draft.

Meanwhile, can you believe the numbers that are being reported from the Pro Days?

CLEMSON:

Pro Day Numbers

WR Amari Rodgers 4.51 40

WR Cornell Powell 6’ ¼ 204, 4.51 40, 6.93 3 cone. 36.5 Vert

TEXAS:

Edge Joseph Ossai 6’ 3 5/8, 256, 4.65 40, 41.5 Vert

ARKANSAS STATE:

WR Jonathan Adams 6’3” 214, 4.59 40, 7.04 3 cone

OKLAHOMA:

OC Creed Humphrey 6’4” 312, 29 Bench, 5.09 40

RB Rhamadoe Stevenson 4.63 40, (poor time)

GEORGIA:

CB Eric Stoke 6’ 194, 4.34 40,

CB Tyson Campbell 6’ 1” 193, 4.37 40

Edge Azeez Ojulari 6’ 2” 249, 4.6

DJ Daniel 5’11” 183, 4.5 40

GRAMBLING:

LG/OC David Moore 6’ 1” 330, 31 Bench, 5.17 40

AUBURN:

WR Anthony Swartz 6’ 186, 4.26 40

LOUISIANA TECH:

DT Milton Williams 6’3” 284, 4.62 40, 6.87 3 cone

CENTRAL ARKANSAS:

CB Robert Rochell 5’ 11 ½” 193, 4.39 40, 6.83 3 cone

49’ers pull off the big trade  

They traded #12, 2022 1st, 2023 1st, 2022 3rd (compensatory) to Miami for pick number 3.  According to Chris Simms of Pro Football Talk, their target is an NFL-ready Quarterback, Mac Jones of Alabama.

Contrary to what most Pats fans think, Jimmy Garappolo will not be available for trade.  49’ers will play Garappolo and have the rookie on the bench learning.

Miami trades with Philadelphia to block Patriots?

Miami wasted no time in trading #12 to Philadelphia for #6, thus blocking the Patriots trade partner for the 5th QB available.  It was an expensive trade to move up 6 spots.  Miami gave up #12, #123 and 2022 1st round picks.   Philadelphia also included #156.

Perhaps the real reason for the trade is to select one of the top Wide Receivers available in the draft.


Posted Under: Patriots News
Tags: 2021 Patriots Draft Bill Belichick Brandon Bolden Carl Davos David Andrews Davon Godchaux Devin McCourty J.C. Jackson James White Julian Edelman Kendrick Bourne Lawrence Guy Michael Onwenu Nelson Agholor New England Patriots Sony Michel Stephon Gilmore Ted Karras Trent Brown


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