Monday, May 12, 2014
If not Jimmy Garoppolo, then whom?
By Mike Reiss
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- One of the hot-button topics since the New England Patriots drafted quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo in the second round (62nd overall) on Friday night is if the team will regret passing on a player who might be able to help them more immediately.
With this in mind, here is our list of players from No. 62 to the team's next pick at 93 to monitor in the years to come because they could have potentially filled immediate needs or upgraded positions:
Jarvis Landry, WR, LSU -- Miami Dolphins (second round, 63rd) -- He was spotlighted in our "beyond the first round" series as a good option for the team because he's a sure-handed, intelligent, savvy route-runner. The Patriots have a stocked depth chart at receiver and probably didn't see the value in adding another player at the position. This ties to the team's investment in 2013 draft picks/free agents at receiver -- Aaron Dobson, Josh Boyce and Kenbrell Thompkins.
C.J. Fiedorowicz, TE, Iowa -- Houston Texans (third round, 65th) -- Picked as one of 10 "Perfect Patriots" leading into the draft, he has good size and upside and played in a program that is well respected by Bill Belichick. The Patriots could use some help at tight end, although they obviously didn't think this was a very good overall class of prospects at the position. No other tight ends were picked between 62 and 93.
Dez Southward, S, Wisconsin -- Atlanta Falcons (third round, 68th) -- One of the bigger safeties in the draft at 6-foot-0 1/4 and 211 pounds, Southward had a private workout with the Patriots leading into the draft. The Patriots have some unanswered questions at safety and added undersized Georgia Tech defensive back Jemea Thomas in the sixth round (206th).
Marcus Martin, C, Southern Cal -- San Francisco 49ers (third round, 70th) -- Martin was one of the higher-rated centers in the draft and the Patriots later picked center Bryan Stork in the fourth round (105th). Just a hunch, but we think the Patriots had Stork rated higher than Martin anyway. Another center, Travis Swanson, went 76th overall to the Lions, and he could be included here as well.
Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State -- Minnesota Vikings (third round, 72nd) -- A team can never have enough pass-rushers. The Patriots added developmental prospect Zach Moore in the sixth round, and he could emerge in the future, but Crichton looks like a more polished ready-now prospect. North Carolina's Kareem Martin (84th, Cardinals) also falls into this pass-rush category.
Terrence Brooks, S, Florida State -- Baltimore Ravens (third round, 79th) -- A free safety-type with good instincts, he could have competed for a starting job at a position where the Patriots have some questions.
Louis Nix, DT, Notre Dame -- Houston Texans (third round, 83rd) -- A bigger defensive tackle who at the least should contribute as a run-stuffer, he could later emerge as a factor in passing situations as well.
Chris Watt, G, Notre Dame -- San Diego Chargers (third round, 89th) -- Offensive line was an area of focus for the team, which puts LSU guard Trai Turner (Dolphins, 92nd) in this category as well.