As the Patriots continue their onslaught of the regular season, the college football season enters its bowl season. That means we’re closer to getting into the meat of the draft season. Although the Pats don’t have their 1st round pick, there is still a lot of talent in the middle part of the draft. This draft looks a lot like the 2013 draft in the sense that there isn’t elite talents, but a lot of solid players. Here are ten players that Pats fan can look at for the pick in the 2nd round and beyond:
- RB James Conner – Pittsburgh. If he didn’t tear his MCL in the first game this season, Conner was a front runner for the Heisman. With that injury, teams are more apt to focus on the players that have a full year of game tape. At 6’2, 240 pounds, Conner is a load that can be the heir apparent to LaGarrette Blount. He isn’t fast, but he’s a plodder that can be had easily in the 2nd, but could be had in the 4th and later. Also, the Pats have had success with Pitt running backs in the past (Dion Lewis and Curtis Martin).
- G/T Denver Kirkland – Arkansas. Belichick likes amassing O Line depth and this year proves that you can never have too much depth at the position. Kirkland is massive (6’5, 340) that can play both guard and tackle and is nimble for a man his size. Versatility is a staple of all Patriots and Kirkland looks like he could be dominant at G at the next level.
- DE/OLB Jordan Jenkins – Georgia. Even with the drafting of Tre Flowers and Geno Grissom last year, Belichick is putting a premium on pass rushers. Jenkins isn’t an elite pass rusher coming out of Georgia (but neither was Hightower). But he was a captain, but Belichick loves collecting college captains and Jenkins is someone that, again, offers versatility. He can play OLB in a hybrid front but has the size (6’3, 255) to put his hand in the ground and rush the passer. Jenkins just looks like a Patriot.
- WR Leonte Carroo, Rutgers. You can’t have the draft process without the Pats looking at a Rutgers prospect. Although Carroo doesn’t have elite size (6’0, 205) and speed, he’s a precise route runner that can uses his athleticism and body control to be a threat both on the outside and in the slot. He would be great depth and be someone to keep an eye on as the process continues.
- CB William Jackson III, Houston. Jackson might be the best senior CB in the draft who has excellent size (6’1, 195) who is an aggressive DB who can use his elite speed as well to play with the best of them. Although it’s still early enough that Jackson will probably be drafted higher in the 2nd and maybe even the bottom part of the 1st if he has a great off season. But, he could fall due to other positions being coveted. He’s someone to keep an eye on.