New England Patriots Draft Preview; 2016 Schedule Released
With the NFL Draft set to begin on April 28th, let’s take a look at this year’s New England Patriots Draft Preview and schedule.
New England Patriots Draft Preview
Top Needs: Offensive Tackle, Cornerback, Wide Receiver, Running Back
Draft Picks: Round 2 (60), (61), Round 3 (91), (96), Round 6 (196), (204), (208), (214), (221), Round 7 (243), (250)
The New England Patriots were a win away from yet another Super Bowl appearance last season. They come into this draft with no first round picks due to Deflategate, as well as no fourth and fifth round picks. However, they do hold two second and third round picks to go with five sixth round picks. Bill Belichick and company are known for finding diamonds in the rough of drafts as they did with Tom Brady, who was selected 199th overall. Brady will also be serving a four game suspension to start the season.
The Patriots could desperately use some help at the corner position, so look for their first pick in the draft to be in that direction. A couple guys to look for are Sean Davis from Maryland and Xavien Howard from Baylor. Both guys are big, but Davis is bigger. At 6’1”, he is long enough to battle with tight ends and taller receivers. He can possibly be moved to safety because he struggled in man coverage. Whatever the case may be, Belichick will surely use him right.
One of the next couple of picks could very easily be a pass rusher to fill the void left by Chandler Jones when he was traded. Another position that can get some attention is receiver. A deep threat guy isn’t necessarily needed, as Brady will not be dropping bombs as much this late in his career. However, it would be nice to have a true outside receiver instead of always lining up slot guys outside in Danny Amendola and Julian Edelman. Two names to keep an eye on are Kenny Lawler from California and Leonte Carroo from Rutgers. Lawler is the taller of the two at 6’2” and maybe the better receiver in general. He has strong hands and attacks the ball well. He was Jared Goff’s favorite target at California and can possibly be the same for Tom Brady soon.
We all remember the AFC Championship loss to the Denver Broncos, due large in part to Von Miller living in the Patriots backfield and getting his hands on Brady numerous times. Look for the offensive line to be addressed at some point in this draft. It will most likely come in the plethora of sixth round picks the Patriots possess. A couple guys that can be options are Fahn Cooper from Ole Miss and Cole Toner from Harvard.
The Patriots can close out their draft by adding another cornerback as well as possibly a running back. The Patriots’ offense uses a handful of backs instead of one premier back so they can look at some later round prospects at the position.
New England Patriots’ Schedule
Week 1: Sept. 11, at Arizona Cardinals, 8:30
Week 2: Sept. 18, Miami Dolphins, 1
Week 3: Sept. 22, Houston Texans (Thu), 8:25
Week 4: Oct. 2, Buffalo Bills, 1
Week 5: Oct. 9, at Cleveland Browns, 1
Week 6: Oct. 16, Cincinnati Bengals, 1
Week 7: Oct. 23, at Pittsburgh Steelers, 4:25
Week 8: Oct. 30, at Buffalo Bills, 1
Week 9: BYE
Week 10: Nov. 13, Seattle Seahawks*, 8:30
Week 11: Nov. 20, at San Francisco 49ers, 4:25
Week 12: Nov. 27, at New York Jets*, 8:30
Week 13: Dec. 4, Los Angeles Rams, 1
Week 14: Dec. 12, Baltimore Ravens (Mon), 8:30
Week 15: Dec. 18, at Denver Broncos, 4:25
Week 16: Dec. 24, New York Jets (Sat), 1
Week 17: Jan. 1, at Miami Dolphins, 1
(New England Patriots Draft Preview)