Over the course of May, both Joe Marino 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||EDGE||Derek Rivers||Youngstown State|
Best Value: DE Derek Rivers, Youngstown State
Rivers was a media darling throughout the entire process, a player that checks a lot of boxes in terms of production, athleticism and traits. Yet the Patriots were able to haul in Rivers when they finally made their first selection in the third round.
Rivers was an early second round value player throughout my personal assessments, to the Patriots did extremely well to re-tool their pass rushing stable with Rivers. A player with good polish, notable pop through the hands and a necessary level of twitch to turn the corner, Rivers has given many, myself included, reason to believe he can contribute immediately.
Worst Value: OT Conor McDermott, UCLA
The value of this pick comes down to the fact that I don’t think McDermott can play with notable quality at the NFL level. McDermott is raw and struggles to get his body into power positions.
His length is mitigated by poor footwork and his functional strength and power in the lower half only offers him marginal recovery ability. The Patriots targeted the trenches in this class but I don’t see this pick having any feasible returns.
Could Surprise: OT Antonio Garcia, Troy
The Troy tackle was my third rated pass protector this season. He, much like Derek Rivers, was a steal in the third round. Garcia’s big question mark is functional strength, but there’s so much to like about his game outside of power.
Garcia is the type of tackle I’ve gravitated for in the past, but there’s a needed understanding that he’s going to require a developmental curve. Garcia is more of a long term selection but one that could prove to be the best pick in the class within three years from now.