- James Walker, ESPN Staff Writer
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The AFC East blog continues its series on grading the 2010 draft class.
Next we take a look at the New England Patriots.
2010 picks: DB Devin McCourty (first round), TE Rob Gronkowski (second), LB Jermaine Cunningham (second), LB Brandon Spikes (second), WR Taylor Price (third), TE Aaron Hernandez (fourth), P Zoltan Mesko (fifth), G Ted Larsen (sixth), OT Thomas Welch (seventh), DE Brandon Deaderick (seventh), DT Kade Weston (seventh), QB Zac Robinson (seventh)
Analysis: This was a very good draft class for the Patriots. Many of these players are important contributors three years later and a big reason why New England remains on top of the AFC East and in Super Bowl contention. The Patriots have five starters from this class: McCourty, Gronkowski, Spikes, Hernandez and Mesko. Gronkowski is an elite tight end and Hernandez also is a top-10 player in the same position. New England also had a nice find in the seventh round with Deaderick, who is improving as a part-time pass rusher off the bench.
Walker's grade: A-