BOSTON (CBS) — The Patriots added nine new players to their roster in this weekend’s NFL Draft, filling up some holes on their depth chart.
While we could see defensive lineman Dominque Easley (New England’s first round pick, 29th overall) and center Bryan Stork (fourth-round, 105th overall) make some kind of impact in 2014, New England’s selections were mostly made for the future. But for a team in win-now mode, drafting player’s that won’t help the team this year left The Boston Herald’s Karen Guregian a little underwhelmed.
“From the perspective of them being all-in and going for it based on their moves in free agency, and then to hit the first and second rounds in particular and be so aimed at the future, that’s what was disappointing,” she explained to 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Bob Socci on Sunday’s NFL Draft Review Show. “I thought there were pieces there and needs they needed to take care of, and they didn’t go after anyone that can really help them out immediately.”
With Rob Gronkowski currently recovering from ACL surgery, and given his recent medical history, Guregian was a surprised they didn’t draft a tight end.
“Obviously you’re expecting Rob Gronkowski to come back from ACL surgery. He’s had a problem staying healthy, and there’s a huge difference with him in the lineup and him out of the lineup,” she said. “I thought the Patriots would try to draft someone like him, because there were a couple tight ends that were in his image, or perhaps even go more towards the ‘move’ tight end in the Hernandez-mold, because there were a few of them in the draft as well. They did neither – they went 0-for-tight ends.”
Guregian wasn’t surprised that New England drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round, because other teams have been burned in the past for not drafting and developing young backups who could one day take over. She was shocked about their selection of Easley in the first round though, based on what she heard from him at the NFL combine.
“I walked away thinking there was no chance and no shot the Patriots would take him. Let me preface it by saying typically when I go to the combine, I sit in on as many players as I can,” she said. “When they brought the defensive linemen out I jumped in on as many as prospects I thought the Patriots would be interested in. Five or so minutes into Easley, when he started talking about the fact he doesn’t like football and prefers cartoons – it struck me knowing the type of players Bill Belichick likes to draft, whether it’s a Jerod Mayo or Devin McCourty, who are film room junkies. I walked away saying there is no way they draft this guy.”