Over the course of May, both Kyle Crabbs and I will be assessing each team’s specific Draft class. The objective here is to identify value: where it was best and where it was worst. NDT Premium members will soon be able to access the comprehensive breakdowns of draft classes as well, which looks at the pick by pick breakdown of value across our respective 2017 NFL Draft boards. Today I look at the New England Patriots.
The full list of their 2017 NFL Draft class is below:
|83||26||EDGE||Derek Rivers||Youngstown State|
Best Value: EDGE Derek Rivers, Youngstown State
Rivers is a nuanced football player that is assignment-driven and plays with excellent technique. His approach to defending the run is textbook, and he plays with good awareness to counter blocks and get to the ball. He has a variety of pass rush moves that blend his power and athletic ability and generate consistent pressure on the quarterback.
He is an accomplished and productive football player with outstanding character. Performing well at the Senior Bowl went a long way in proving his ability to compete with high competition, but another leap will need to be made from FCS to the NFL. Rivers projects as an eventual starter.
Worst Value: OT Conor Mcdermott, UCLA
Conor McDermott has an NFL body and sound movement skills, but his game needs work to achieve success at the next level. Most of his issues are a result of marginal strength in his frame to compliment his above average movement skills. The lack of strength leads to body control issues and he simply fails to exchange power. He fails to initiate first contact with his punch and often finds himself in recovery mode.
McDermott has some potential as a developmental prospect, and he has the mobility to function at either tackle spot, but needs considerable work before he can see the field in an NFL game.
Could Surprise: OT Antonio Garcia, Troy
Antonio Garcia is a fluid offensive tackle with the footwork and pass blocking skills needed to start on the left side in the NFL. He is a patient blocker who plays with good timing and adequate power. His outstanding movement skills allow him to work into space and effectively zone block. His college scheme called for multiple techniques with his feet, which will help him at the next level.
There have been concerns about his ability to carry weight, so he may be light in the trunk at the next level. Garcia has a starter’s skill set at left offensive tackle.