2014 NFL Mock Draft: All Seven Rounds for the New England Patriots
Who Will the Patriots Select in the 2014 NFL Draft?
The 2013 season may have been the best coaching job in Bill Belichick's entire career. With a completely depleted roster, the New England Patriots went 12-4 and won another AFC East Championship. Unfortunately, the Patriots ended their season with a loss in the AFC Championship game to the Denver Broncos.
Anything less than a Super Bowl victory is not acceptable for Belichick and the rest of the Patriots organization. That being said, if they are going to realistically compete with the best of the best in the NFL, the Patriots must add impact talent this offseason. They have a little bit of cap room to work with, but the 2014 NFL Draft will be where New England will do most of its work.
Injuries played a huge role for the Patriots in 2013 as they lost key starters like Rob Gronkowski, Vince Wilfork and Jerod Mayo for a majority of the season. That being said, injuries are not the only reason why they did not win the Super Bowl. This team could definitely use talents upgrades at certain positions.
It has only been one season, but New England seemed to do very well in the draft last year. Jamie Collins and Logan Ryan played key defensive roles in their rookie seasons while Aaron Dobson and Josh Boyce both showed big upside at the WR position.
With their tendency to trade up and down the board and make off-the-wall picks, the Patriots are usually a very exciting team to follow on draft day, and this season should be no different. This also makes them extremely difficult to predict. That being said, I believe that I found some prospects who could realistically be available at each pick, who fit the mold of a Belichick player and who could fill position needs that the Patriots have. Here is a seven-round 2014 mock draft for the Patriots.
Round 1 (29th Overall) -- Louis Nix III, DT, Notre Dame
Standing 6-foot-2 and weighing 345 pounds, Louis Nix III would literally be a massive addition to the Patriots' defensive line. Nix has elite size and surprising athleticism for a man that size. He would not only help New England's run defense that really struggled last season, but he is also legitimate inside pass rusher. If Nix is there for the Patriots with the 29th pick, he is a no-brainer.
Round 2 (62nd Overall) -- David Yankey, OG, Stanford
The Patriots could really use some help on the interior of the offensive line, and David Yankey has the versatility that Belichick loves in a player. He played all across the offensive line in college, and did so very well. Yankey is an experienced player that could step in and start immediately.
Round 3 (93rd Overall) -- Ego Ferguson, DT, LSU
If he falls to the late third round, Ergo Ferguson has the athletic ability to become a steal. He is a strong player that is good against the run and is a legitimate inside pass rusher. The Patriots love to mix up their defensive fronts, and Ferguson has versatility that would allow them to put him in multiple different positions across the defensive line.
Round 4 (126th Overall) -- C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa
Because of the injury to Gronkowski and the arrest of Aaron Hernandez, the Patriots were not able to use the tight end position like they normally would last season. C.J. Fiedorowicz is not an elite pass receiver, but he does have the size and athleticism to grow into one. On top of that, Fiedororwicz is an incredible blocker in both the run and pass game. He could step right in and help the Patriots use the TE like they want.
Round 6 (182nd Overall) -- Michael Sam, DE/OLB, Missouri
Because he will be the first openly gay player in the NFL, no matter where Michael Sam ends up, it will be a story. Regardless, Sam was a productive pass rusher in college, and that is certainly something the Patriots could use. He is another versatile player that could fit into the Patriots' defense especially on passing downs.
Round 6 (190th Overall) -- Andre Hal, CB, Vanderbilt
He does not have ideal size, but Andre Hal has the skills and athleticism to become a great NFL cornerback. The Patriots' secondary did get better last season, but they could certainly use some more depth at corner. Hal could become a steal this late in the draft.
Round 7 (221st Overall) -- Tre Boston, FS, North Carolina
The seventh round is a time to take high-upside players, and Tre Boston certainly fits that category. He is an athletic safety with legitimate playmaking ability. Boston is a very aggressive player, but that seems to get him in trouble at times. Most seventh-round picks do not make the roster anyway, so the team might as well go for some upside.