2014 NFL Draft: Predicting the Impact Of Every New England Patriots Pick

2014 NFL Draft: Predicting Impact Of All Nine New England Patriots Picks

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of New England Patriots Facebook Page

The 2014 NFL Draft is over and now it’s time to start predicting the future impact of the New England Patriots draft picks. Will they be busts, starters, back-ups or roster-cut casualties? Will fans look back fondly on the 2014 draft or will it be seen as a missed opportunity? Here are the predictions for every New England Patriots’ 2014 Draft pick and the impact they will have on the team.

9. DT Dominique Easley

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of Dominique Easley Patriots Fanpage

9. DT Dominique Easley

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of Dominique Easley Patriots Fanpage

The Patriots needed to add depth to a defensive line that is a walking ICU as Vince Wilfork, Tommy Kelly, Armond Armstead and newly acquired Will Smith are all coming off injuries. To accomplish this, the Patriots thought drafting the injury-plagued Easley was the answer. They can all rehab together I guess. The “if he stays healthy” logic is farcical and Easley will be the ultimate bust, spending more time on IR than on the field.

8. QB Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots Draft
Bradley Leeb – USA TODAY Sports

8. QB Jimmy Garoppolo

New England Patriots Draft
Bradley Leeb – USA TODAY Sports

It’s no secret that Tom Brady is getting older, but that’s no reason to hit the panic button and draft an FCS QB who gets frazzled like a damsel in distress when he faces legitimate defenses. Bill Belichick has wasted numerous picks on QBs and this is by far the worst. Barring an injury to Brady, which in an NFL that overprotects QBs seems unlikely, Garoppolo will be a second-round bust who will never start a game.

7. C Bryan Stork

New England Patriots Draft
Getty Images

7. C Bryan Stork

New England Patriots Draft
Getty Images

Tom Brady was under constant pressure last season and had the highest sack percentage since his rookie year, so adding depth was obviously a consideration. Sebastian Vollmer and Marcus Cannon both suffered injuries last season, so drafting a serviceable back-up will hopefully aid in a more protected Brady. Stork will have a solid career as a rotational offensive lineman and injury fill-in starter.

6. RB James White

New England Patriots Draft
Jeff Hanisch – USA TODAY Sports

6. RB James White

New England Patriots Draft
Jeff Hanisch – USA TODAY Sports

The Patriots are already deep at RB. The only problem is no one currently on the roster is a breakout back. They have situational running backs in Shane Vereen, Brandon Bolden and the fumble-prone Stevan Ridley. And White doesn’t solve this problem; he will be just another piece in the convoluted RB puzzle and will never be more than a sparingly used back-up. And I do mean sparingly.

5. OT Cameron Fleming

New England Patriots Draft
Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

5. OT Cameron Fleming

New England Patriots Draft
Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

While the Patriots seem set on the offensive line with Cannon, Vollmer, Logan Mankins and Nate Solder, Fleming is going to have difficulty getting playing time. Additionally, because Fleming seems capable of only playing the tackle position and lacks the versatility to play guard, it limits his opportunities. He’ll be a perennial back-up and injury insurance policy.

4. OG Jon Halapio

New England Patriots Draft
Marvin Gentry – USA TODAY Sports

4. OG Jon Halapio

New England Patriots Draft
Marvin Gentry – USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for Halapio, because the Patriots are already deep at the offensive line positions and have expended earlier picks on offensive line players, he’s going to have a tough time even making the team. Halapio will serve mainly as competition in training camp and barring a series of unfortunate events, he will most likely be cut before the regular season. He will be one of the many value picks that never amounted to much.

3. DE Zach Moore

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @blakebaratz via Twitter

3. DE Zach Moore

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @blakebaratz via Twitter

On a team that already has five defensive ends, including Chandler Jones, Rob Ninkovich and recently signed Will Smith, the possibility of Moore making the team is downright slim to nonexistent. I expect Moore to be relegated to the practice squad because Belichick will see the obvious potential and attempt to develop him into a functional back-up, but that’s all he will ever be.

2. CB Jemea Thomas

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @GTAthletics via Twitter

2. CB Jemea Thomas

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @GTAthletics via Twitter

This is probably the Patriots best pick in the 2014 Draft. In the modern, pass-whacky NFL, you can never have enough defensive backs. With the legal troubles of Alfonzo Dennard, the failed development of Tavon Wilson and Logan Ryan looking at position change, Thomas will make the final roster and at the very least, will be a solid, everyday player on special teams. He could find additional playing time given the inconsistency of Kyle Arrington.

1. WR Jeremy Gallon

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @PATRIOTSdotCOM via Twitter

1. WR Jeremy Gallon

New England Patriots Draft
Photo Courtesy of @PATRIOTSdotCOM via Twitter

The Patriots had the opportunity to draft Marqise Lee early in the draft, but opted not to get Brady a serious WR threat until the seventh round, which is of course a joke because serious WR threats don’t come from the seventh round. The Patriots already have ten receivers on the roster so Gallon doesn’t stand a chance. He will be released and never play a down in a Patriots uniform.


Around the Web