After months upon months upon months of planning, evaluating, analyzing, doubting, confirming, re-evaluating, and speculating, the draft is finally over and done with. With all of the picks selected and most likely to be signed in the coming weeks, we (as analysts), must go out and analyze every single pick and go through where teams may or may not have gone wrong in their individual selections and list some possible solutions or corrections.
In this article I will be analyzing the team with the 29th overall selection in the draft: the New England Patriots. In the past the Pats have been known for their expertise for drafting late round sleepers (exhibit A: Tom Brady). This year should be no exception. In 2013, the amazing thing about the Patriots was that despite allowing 239.0 passing yards and 134.1 rushing yards per game (ranked 18th and 30th in the league last season, respectively), the Pats were able to go 12-4 and make it to the AFC Championship game. One of the reason for the influx in rushing and passing yards allowed last season can most likely be correlated to the injuries suffered to DT Vince Wilfork and CB Aqib Talib. But, like the Patriots always do; they found a way to win. The 2013 Patriots really amazed me in 2013 because of the way their offense was able to operate, despite numerous set backs. For instance with numerous injuries to offensive threats such as TD monster Rob Gronkowski and RB Shane Vereen, Tom Brady and his rag tag gang of Kenbrell Thompkins and Aaron Dobson looked as menacing as the Chicago Cubs in the playoffs. Yet, Brady was able to throw for 4,343 yards and 25 touchdowns in 2013. As the season wore on and Brady was able to establish a solid connection with Julian Edelman, the Patritos were able to establish somewhat of a passing game. However, where they were unsuccessful for part of the season was in their running game with Stevan Ridley. Everyone and their grandmother knows about Ridley’s fumbling troubles. What everyone and their grandmother failed to realize was the impressive numbers put up by LaGarrette Blount (772 yards, 5.0 yards per carry and 7 touchdowns). And even though Blount signed a two-year deal with the Steelers, his heroic numbers will never be forgotten.
In this article, I will be going through every single one of the New England Patriots draft selections, where they went right and where they could have improved.