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Grading New England Patriots’ 2014 Draft Picks After Preseason

Grading The New England Patriots' 2014 Draft Picks After The Preseason

Jimmy Garoppolo Patriots
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During the NFL preseason, many players are put on display for all to see. For rookies, preseason play is even more critical. It is the first time they get to experience the speed of the game at the professional level. As far as the Patriots go, some of their rookies have played well, while others have faltered. Read on to find out how each of them grade out following the preseason.

1st Round- Dominique Easley, 29th Overall Pick

Dominique Easley
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1st Round- Dominique Easley, 29th Overall Pick

Dominique Easley
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Unfortunately for Patriots fans, DT Dominique Easley did not play in the preseason. He is working his way back from a knee injury suffered last season at Florida. However, it looks as though he will be ready to play in Week 1. He has talent, but he needs to play (and play well) to improve his grade. Right now, it is mediocre for that very reason.

Grade: C+.

2nd Round- Jimmy Garoppolo, 62nd Overall Pick

Jimmy Garoppolo
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2nd Round- Jimmy Garoppolo, 62nd Overall Pick

Jimmy Garoppolo
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Perhaps the surprise of the draft, the Patriots took QB Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round despite having Tom Brady and Ryan Mallett at the position. Garoppolo had a pretty good preseason for a rookie, although he did make his fair share of mistakes, particularly in the final preseason game. Despite a shaky training camp, he has shown some flashes that indicate he could be a productive NFL QB.

Grade: B.

4th Round-Bryan Stork, 105th Overall Pick

Bryan Stork
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4th Round- Bryan Stork, 105th Overall Pick

Bryan Stork
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Despite not playing most of the preseason, Bryan Stork finally got on the field in the final preseason game. He started at center in the game. While the offensive line looked shaky in the game overall, Stork actually played pretty well. The Patriots O-line is a question mark at the moment, but Stork has a chance to be a big part of the solution.

Grade: B-.

4th Round- James White, 130th Overall Pick

James White
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4th Round- James White, 130th Overall Pick

James White
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RB James White was drafted with high hopes this year for the Patriots. It was thought that he could shoulder most of the load in the backfield with Stevan Ridley's fumbling issues and Shane Vereen's durability issues. That may still be the case, but White didn't help himself in the preseason. He rushed for just 80 yards on 29 carries. His roster spot is safe, but he needs to produce to earn a significant role in the offense.

Grade: C+.

4th Round- Cameron Fleming, 140th Overall Pick

Cameron Fleming
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4th Round- Cameron Fleming, 140th Overall Pick

Cameron Fleming
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OT Cameron Fleming was a solid pick for the Patriots. Despite the Pats having cemented starters in the tackle spots, Nate Solder and Sebastian Vollmer have dealt with some issues in their careers. Fleming played sparingly in the preseason, but it is difficult to judge him with such little work. He should be Sebastian Vollmer's backup for this season. Knowing that Vollmer's durability is spotty, he could start at some point in 2014.

Grade: B.

6th Round- Jon Halapio, 179th Overall Pick

Jon Halapio
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6th Round- Jon Halapio, 179th Overall Pick

Jon Halapio
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Guard Jon Halapio is a candidate for playing time at some point following the trade of Logan Mankins. Halapio has dealt with an injury for most of the preseason, so it's difficult to judge him so far. However, he showed some versatility in college, flashing in both pass and run blocking situations. If Josh Kline struggles, Halapio could enter the starting conversation at LG. For now, though, his role is unknown.

Grade: B.

6th Round- Zach Moore, 198th Overall Pick

Zach Moore
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

6th Round- Zach Moore, 198th Overall Pick

Zach Moore
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DE Zach Moore had an inconsistent preseason, but he flashed some ability both in pass rush and run defense. Particularly in the final preseason game he looked sharp, registering eight tackles and a sack. He should stick with the Patriots as a fourth pass rusher and special teams player.

Grade: B-.

6th Round- Jemea Thomas, 206th Overall Pick

Jemea Thomas
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

6th Round- Jemea Thomas, 206th Overall Pick

Jemea Thomas
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

DB Jemea Thomas was a head-scratcher pick from Day 1 for the Patriots. A slot CB by trade, he was drafted to a team that was already set at the position. To make matters worse, he struggled so much in training camp and in the early part of the preseason, that he didn't survive the first roster cuts.

Grade: F.

7th Round- Jeremy Gallon, 244th Overall Pick

Jeremy Gallon
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7th Round- Jeremy Gallon, 244th Overall Pick

Jeremy Gallon
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WR Jeremy Gallon may struggle with finding a role on the Patriots. He had a productive career at Michigan as a slot receiver, but that's the problem. The Patriots are stacked at that position and he isn't going to contribute on offense, at least not initially. His chances of making the team will be solely based on special teams. He isn't a lock to make the 53-man roster, especially since he hasn't played a lot in preseason games.

Grade: C-.

Will Gellman is a New England Patriots writer for RantSports.com.  Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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