New England Patriots go big at tight end and offensive tackle
In the third round, we go a bit outside the box and go for broke on another position of need. We select a huge tight end with awesome potential if not production thus far. It’s 6’7″ and 264-pound Georgia tight end Darnell Washington.
He’s an athletic force and at worst, will be a blocking nightmare for linebackers. At best he’d use his athletic talent to be a contributor on offense in an offense that loves its tight ends. It’s come to light that Washington may have a knee issue causing him to slide. No problem here. We take him.
After day two, we have Gonzalez, Steen, and Washington.
On Day three, the New England Patriots used three fourth-round picks. They took a center/guard, Jake Andrews at pick No. 107. The alternative goes in another direction and doubles down on offensive tackles, selecting Dawand Jones of Ohio State, a huge offensive right tackle.
With both starting tackles out of contract after the season, the Patriots have now secured the future for next season and beyond, as well as proving quality depth for when (not if) a tackle or two gets injured in 2023.
With their next pick No. 112, the Patriots took a kicker, Chad Ryland. They need a kicker, but not in the fourth round. Instead, the alternative goes for another offensive need and takes prolific pass-catcher, slot receiver Charlie Jones from Purdue.
Here’s what nfl.com had to say about Jones, who caught 110 passes for 1310 yards and 12 touchdowns:
"Exceptionally productive in his season at Purdue after transferring from Iowa, Jones will have trouble shedding tight, press-man coverage due to his lack of suddenness and blow-by speed. He possesses above average ball skills and has a feel for positioning and focus that creates a solid win rate on his contested catches. He can play zone-beater all day long and has the route savvy to keep improving his short-area separation. Jones is unlikely to work the deepest portions of the field but might find work in a possession-based passing game as a Day 3 draft pick."
If you liked Julian Edelman, you may like a similar player, Jones. He’ll step right into the slot receiver position seamlessly maybe from day one.
With pick No. 117, the Patriots selected Sidy Sow, a big guard from Eastern Michigan. It’s still a bit early for an interior lineman, so the Patriots go in a different direction and draft Darian Thompson-Robinson, a dual-threat quarterback from UCLA.
The NFL is trending heavily towards quarterbacks who can make up for deficiencies in protection and Thompson-Robinson, a good passer and top runner would. Again, a trade-down here might have been advisable but we’re not going in that direction, so it is what it is.