Meet the Patriots 2022 NFL Draft class: Bill Belichick goes fast, beefy and Strange | #macos | #macsecurity


The New England Patriotss’ 2022 NFL Draft class was, in a word, strange.

It started with the team’s out-of-nowhere selection of Chattanooga guard Cole Strange in Round 1, continued with the team drafting super-fast players and continued with them adding not one, but two running backs (despite them not having a major need there).

As per usual, the Patriots’ plans for the NFL Draft weren’t anything close to what the draft guides had planned. Bill Belichick has always marched to the beat of his own drum when it comes to picking players, and this year was no different. Let’s break it all down to three parts:

Fast: The Patriots opened up by taking one of the most athletic guards in the draft in Strange. They also drafted Baylor WR, Tyquan Thornton and South Dakota State RB Pierre Strong Jr., who both were tops at the combine in the 40-yard dash. There was also Houston CB Marcus Jones, a dynamic kick returner.

Beefy: The Patriots went a bit heavier at the end of the draft. After taking a quick back in Strong, they drafted a power runner in the former of South Carolina’s Kevin Harris. After that, it was a high-upside defensive lineman in NW Missouri State’s Sam Roberts. Finally, the Patriots finished things off with a pair of big, mauling linemen in the form of LSU guard Chasen Hines and Michigan tackle Andrew Steuber.

Strange: Overall, this draft was pretty weird. The choice of Cole Strange in the first round has been met with a lot of criticism, as many draft guides had him as a third-round prospect (though reports indicate that some other teams also like him). Then the Patriots proceeded to take two running backs and a quarterback, both positions they’re pretty well-stocked at. This draft also saw Belichick go away from some of his familiar trends by taking players who dominated the 40-yard dash (Thornton and Strong).

Here’s how it all played out by round::

  • Round 1, Pick 29: Cole Strange, OL, Chattanooga
  • Round 2, Pick 50: Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor
  • Round 3, Pick 85: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
  • Round 4, Pick 121: Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State
  • Round 4, Pick 127: Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State
  • Round 4, Pick 137: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Michigan
  • Round 6, Pick 183: Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina
  • Round 6, Pick 200: Sam Roberts, DL, NW Missouri State
  • Round 6, Pick 210: Chasen Hines, OL, LSU
  • Round 7, Pick 245: Andrew Steuber, OL, Michigan

Here’s a breakdown of each of the Patriots’ picks over the weekend, along with more of our coverage:

Round 1, Pick 29: Cole Strange, OL, Chattanooga

What to know: Strange is a tough, athletic guard who excelled at FCS Chatanooga. Many draft previews had him as a third-round pick (something you’ll hear a lot). Clearly, the Patriots felt differently. Strange comes in as one of the most athletic linemen in the draft and has gotten high praise for his toughness on the field. This pick has been compared to 2005, when the Patriots draft a then-unknown guard by the name of Logan Mankins, who turned into a stud. That’s a tough legacy to live up to, but the history is there.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: In a perfect world, Strange would slot in as a starting guard, filling in where Shaq Mason left off last season at right guard. Strange comes in as a high-upside prospect. So while there may be a learning curve, there’s a good chance he can live up to his billing and become an early starter.

Round 2, Pick 50 – Tyquan Thornton, WR, Baylor

What to know: Thornton is fast, really fast. The Baylor product ran a blazing time of 4.28 seconds in the 40 at the NFL Scouting Combine, tops among receivers. With that said, he has some developing to do as an overall receiver. Additionally, there are concerns about his frame. At 6-foot-2, 181 pounds, he’s on the lean side. However, his speed is for real.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Thornton should help provide a much-needed spark to the Patriots passing attack as a deep threat and player who can do some damage after the catch. He’ll have a learning curve in the Patriots offense, but should generate some optimism as a long-term target for Mac Jones.

Round 3, Pick 85: Marcus Jones, CB, Houston

What to know: Jones is small, but versatile. The 5-foot-8, 174-pounder is on the light side as a defensive back, but comes with an exciting skillset. The converted wide receiver has some tremendous ball skills as a cornerback. He’s also an accomplished returner, scoring nine touchdowns on punt and kick returns during his career (tying an NCAA record). He also played some receiver as a senior.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Jones should immediately be a top option as a kick and punt returner, filling in where Gunner Olszewski left off before he left. He also has a chance to grow as a slot cornerback who can handle opposing teams’ quick receivers.

  • Who is Marcus Jones? Patriots draft pick is small, but college football’s most versatile player in 2021
  • Offense, defense, Patriots 3rd-rounder Marcus Jones has always been ready to do it all

Round 4, Pick 121: Jack Jones, CB, Arizona State

What to know: Jones is another undersized cornerback (5-foot-11, 171 pounds) with great ball skills and high upside as a coverage player. He compares to J.C. Jackson as a smaller corner who’s looking to turn his career around after off-field issues in college. Jones was a five-star recruit at USC, was dismissed from the team and wound up making a comeback at Arizona State.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Jones is another cornerback who will likely be tasked with handling smaller, quicker receivers, often in the slot. He’ll be in the mix with Jonathan Jones as a slot cornerback. He’ll have to show he can play above his size if he wants to play on the outside.

  • Who is Jack Jones? Former 5-star CB went from USC to JuCo to revitalized NFL prospect at ASU
  • Jack Jones ‘moving forward’ after off-field issues, college arrest

Round 4, Pick 127: Pierre Strong, RB, South Dakota State

What to know: Strong was a hugely productive running back for the Jackrabbits who had a great combine. His time of 4.37 seconds in the 40 was tops for running backs there. Strong was a four-year starter and two-time captain at SDSU, coming to New England with a ton of experience.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Strong is a dynamic runner, but might not contribute a ton early on. However, he’s a candidate to be a long-term replacement for third-down back James White.

  • Who is Pierre Strong? Patriots took ridiculously productive FCS RB in 4th round
  • Patriots RB Pierre Strong ready to do whatever Bill Belichick asks: ‘That’s just my style’

Round 4, Pick 137: Bailey Zappe, QB, Western Michigan

What to know: Zappe broke the NCAA single-season records for most passing yards (5,967) and passing touchdowns (62) in his lone season at Western Michigan. Zappe excelled in the Hilltoppers’ wide-open, quick-strike offense, but will have to show he can adjust to an NFL offense. At 6-foot-0, he’s on the short side for an NFL quarterback and isn’t considered to have a great arm.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Zappe isn’t expected to threaten Mac Jones with his starting job. However, he does figure to compete with Jarrett Stidham as the team’s long-term backup (especially with Brian Hoyer nearing the end of his career).

  • Who is Bailey Zappe? Patriots draft pick broke QB records for yards (5,967) and TDs (62) at WKU
  • Bailey Zappe eager to work with ‘phenomenal’ Mac Jones

Round 6, Pick 183: Kevin Harris, RB, South Carolina

What to know: Harris is a stout, powerful runner at 5-foot-9, 221 pounds who’s in stark contrast to Strong. Harris had a breakout season in 2020, but was limited in 2021 due to a back injury. Harris also comes with some great ball security, fumbling just once on 358 carries in college.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Like Strong, Harris might not play much early on with Damien Harris and Rhamondre Stevenson at the top of the depth chart. But with (Damien) Harris in the last year of his rookie deal, Kevin Harris could emerge as a long-term replacement.

  • Who is South Carolina RB Kevin Harris?
  • Patriots RB Kevin Harris says call of his life came from Bill Belichick while trying to reach his agent

Round 6, Pick 200: Sam Roberts, DL, NW Missouri State

What to know: Roberts was a Division II star and winner of the 2021 Cliff Harris Award as the top small-school defensive player. At 6-foot-4, 293-pounds, Roberts has intriguing length for a defensive lineman along with some power. Roberts will have to prove he can hang with NFL talent, but comes in as a high-upside talent as a disruptive interior defensive lineman.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Roberts will be a developmental prospect who will need some fine-tuning to find a spot on the Patriots roster. He could work his way into the defensive line rotation if he impresses as a rookie, or he could spend some time developing on the practice squad.

  • Sam Roberts: ‘Fairytale ending’ being picked by Patriots, who he grew up loving
  • Who is DL Sam Roberts? Division II star was best small-school defender in 2021

Round 6, Pick 210: Chasen Hines, OL, LSU

What to know: Hines is a stout, powerful blocker who drew rave reviews as a pulling guard and bulldozer in the run game. At 6-foot-2, 327 pounds, he has a similar bulky build to Patriots lineman Mike Onwenu. Hines played mostly guard at LSU, but has experience at center as well.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Hines will be in the mix at guard, likely as a depth option early on, but could develop into a bigger role.

  • Chasen Hines wanted to be like David Ortiz – until his size made him pick football

Round 7, Pick 245: Andrew Steuber, OL, Michigan

What to know: A Connecticut native who grew up a Patriots fan, Steuber is a towering presence at 6-foot-5, 325 pounds. Stueber was a Second-Team All-American at tackle for Michigan, but could bump inside to guard at the next level.

Where he’ll fit in 2022 and beyond: Steuber is a big, savvy lineman who will be in the mix as a developmental blocker. The Patriots will likely try him out at both guard and tackle and see where he sticks.





Original Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

41 − = thirty nine