BOSTON (CBS) — With two first-round picks in the 2018 NFL Draft, many believed the Patriots would address their needs on defense.
Heck, there was even an outside shot they could draft their quarterback of the future. But the thing about Bill Belichick is when everyone thinks he’s going to do one thing, he goes and does the complete opposite. And that’s pretty much how the first round played out.READ MORE: Mother Mourns Loss Of Lowell Murder Victim Dejah Jenkins-Minus: 'I'm Hurt, I'm Numb'
The Patriots drafted offensive lineman Isaiah Wynn (No. 23) and running back Sony Michel (No. 31), both out of Georgia, addressing at least one area of need on the offensive side of the ball. While taking a lineman potentially fills the void left by Nate Solder’s offseason departure, it’s interesting that the Patriots took a running back in the first round given Belichick’s tendency to find playmakers out of the backfield on the scrap heap.
ESPN Boston’s Mike Reiss joined Steve Burton on WBZ-TV’s Sports Final on Sunday night to discuss what the Patriots did in the 2018 NFL Draft, and he has some high expectations for Michel.
“He’s more than a running back,” said Reiss. “He can be a matchup problem for defenses. Split him out wide and he can be a factor in the passing game, and I know for a fact, if the Patriots didn’t take him [at 31] there were teams lined up that were going to.”READ MORE: Brad Marchand, Linus Ullmark Carry Bruins Past Canucks 3-2
Reiss thinks Michel, who had 39 touchdowns during his four years at Georgia, could make a big impact in the New England offense.
“I think he’s going to be in the conversation, as long as he’s healthy, for [offensive] rookie of the year,” he said. “They’re going to use him. He’s a dynamic player.”
As for Wynn, Reiss notes that at 6-foot-3 he’s a bit undersized to take over at left tackle. But he is a versatile player who saw time at both guard and tackle at Georgia, and coming from the SEC, matched up well against some of the toughest competition in the college ranks.MORE NEWS: Celtics Beat Short-Handed Raptors For 4th Win In 6 Games
Watch Reiss’ chat about the Patriots draft picks in the video above, and check out Sports Final and Sports Final OT every Sunday night at 11:35 p.m. on WBZ-TV!