New England Patriots didn’t fill any holes in 1st round

ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Isaiah Wynn of Georgia after he was picked
ARLINGTON, TX - APRIL 26: A video board displays an image of Isaiah Wynn of Georgia after he was picked /

The New England Patriots very well could’ve drafted two solid players with their 2018 first round picks, but what needs did they actually fill?

On Thursday night the NFL scene was flipped upside down as Dallas hosted the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft. As the night progressed and players slipped, the big question was “what would the New England Patriots do?”

The Patriots previously acquired a first-round pick from the Rams in the Brandin Cooks trade, which meant that they had two first-round selections. The consensus going into the night was that there were only three ways the Patriots could go: tackle, heir to the Brady throne, or a player(s) to help the defense that allowed 41 points in Super Bowl 52.

However, Bill Belichick clearly had other plans. The picks might have been a direct result of Tennessee Titans General Manager Jon Robinson. This off-season Tennessee let go of their up and coming inside linebacker Avery Williamson. With a hole at the position, Robinson jumped ahead of the Pats in order to draft star inside linebacker Rashaan Evans. Since this happened, Belichick’s draft board could’ve been shaken up.

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A strange choice

At pick 24 the Patriots instead decided to go with utility guard Isaiah Wynn out of Georgia. Isaiah is a fantastic player, but a strange pick for New England. Wynn was a solid pick, but not the best pure lineman on the board.

The Patriots logic was that Wynn could step in and play tackle at the next level, and I’m just not so sure that will turn out well. Wynn was a solid player at UGA, but only recently started playing tackle. He did good in the SEC, but the SEC is not the NFL. The belief among many scouts was that Wynn would drop a bit in the draft and be used as a primary guard, as his lack of foot quickness doesn’t bode well for tackles.

Tackles still on the board included: Orlando Brown, Connor Williams and Austin Corbett who all have had major success in college at tackle, and can easily use it to translate it to the pro game. Wynn just wasn’t the best player on the board, and they could’ve gone tackle on day 2.

A mind-boggling move

However, Wynn was just the beginning. At pick 31, the Patriots selected Georgia Running Back Sony Michel. Although a very solid prospect, this was just mind-boggling.

Michel was a large part of the best backfield in college football last season and elevated his draft stock quite a bit. He rushed for over 1,200 yards despite having 33% fewer carries than his Bulldog teammate Nick Chubb.

Once a champion track star, Sony has big play ability written all over him. Sony is definitely capable of being a starting back.

The main issue with Sony is his massive injury concerns. It was discovered the day before the draft that Sony has a bone on bone injury. This means that when he walks, his bones grind against one another. People who have this condition have little to no cartilage between there femur and tibia. This causes Michel to have a higher likelihood of a severe knee injury.

Even though Michel is a fantastic player, one tackle can presumably end his entire career. Taking a player with such risk is not a good idea in the first round. If they really wanted a running back Derrius Guice and Chubb were still on the board.

A missed opportunity

With taking Sony Michel, Belichick was seemingly passed on a chance of having a great QB after Brady.  When it was all said in done the Quarterback the Patriots did chose couldn’t even sustain his starting Job at LSU. A perfect chance to land the future of the franchise was wasted.

The New England Patriots seemingly forgot all the needs they had coming into the first round. A great chance to cement the future of the franchise was greatly missed.

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These players could very well be solid NFL talent. But it was very clear that the Patriots didn’t address dire needs and that could very well cost them a chance to play for their 6th Lombardi trophy.