Do the Patriots really need anyone else? Probably not, and if they do, they can probably just pick up some former practice squad heroes and turn them into to starters. Despite their dominance they will still have a first round pick and six others. Here is how I expect them to play out:
Round 1 Pick 32- Kelvin Harmon – WR NC State
I have Harmon tabbed as the next Josh Gordon, the Patriots offense looked so different with Gordon in their offense. Expect Harmon to come off the board in the first round after a monster career at NC State. 1186 yards and 7 TDs in his junior year is no joke. Belicheck loves his receivers early in the draft.
Round 2 Pick 64- Will Grier – QB West Virginia
I love Will Grier’s poise and arm strength in the pocket. One of the Heisman hopefuls coming into last season did not disappoint. Brady is on the downswing of his career (which is weird to say), but the Patriots have the luxury of being able to groom Grier to be Brady’s successor. 37:8 TD:INT ratio in his final season shows Pro Bowl potential. Patriots always find diamonds in the rough and Grier will be no exception.
Round 3 Pick 97- Justin Layne – CB Michigan State
To keep it short and sweet, the Patriots need secondary help in the worst way. 72 tackles and 15 passes defended are great numbers for a junior declaring for the draft. Expect Layne to be a day 1 starter.
Round 3 Pick 101- Josh Oliver – TE San Jose State
With Gronk itching for retirement every coming week, the Patriots need to replace the core of their receivers. The Patriots depend on the check downs to tight ends when nothing else is open. Oliver has great blocking and good enough hands to be a great backup for a year and then should be ready to start in his sophomore campaign. Oliver is a sleeper in the draft watch, so watch out for him. 709 yards and 4 TDs in his final year at San Jose State means great potential for the Patriots.
Round 4 Pick 134- Jalen Jelks – OLB Oregon
Jelks is a great DE and LB combo, with 7 PDs and 7 sacks in his junior year. Jelks was a great player in the offensively dominant PAC-12. Expect Jelks to be a day one starter that Belicheck grooms to be the next Dont’a Hightower. Jelks is a leader and one of the most explosive players off the line you’ll ever see.
Round 6 Pick 206- Joe Giles-Harris- ILB Duke
313 tackles in seasons at Duke should be enough for the Patriots to pull the trigger on Giles-Harris. 16 sacks in his redshirt sophomore year is absolutely elite. I love Giles-Harris, as I have him as the late round All-Pro in this draft. Giles-Harris is throughly underrated and he will be a day one starter.
Round 7 Pick 240- Chase Hansen- SS Utah
Chase Hansen is the best player available at this point in the draft. Easy pick at 240 for the Patriots. Great run support safety with 114 tackles and 22 TFL in his senior year is exceptional. Patriots take the best player available and figure out where he’ll fit in later.