The Patriots first selection won’t come until the third round of the draft at No. 72.
The New England Patriots have had an incredibly busy offseason. With the draft just days away, the Patriots have another opportunity to add pieces to an already loaded team.
The reason the Patriots do not possess a first or second round pick in this year’s upcoming draft is because all of their trades have involved dealing away their 2017 draft picks. They received the No. 72 pick after making a trade with the Panthers in which the Panthers sent Kony Ealy and a third-round pick to New England in exchange for the Patriots’ second-round pick in the 2017 draft.
Here’s a look at all six of their picks for the upcoming draft.
Third round — No. 72 (from Panthers)
Third round — No. 96
Fourth round — No. 131
Fifth round — No. 163 (from Broncos)
Sixth round — No. 200 (from Colts)
Seventh round — No. 239 (from Lions)
So what type of players can the Patriots expect to draft in the third round? Can Bill Belichick find any impact players? Have any starters been drafted at No. 72 or in the early part of the third round? Here’s a list of players since 2000 that have been drafted at No. 72:
Patriots fans should be very familiar with Terrance Knighton considering he spent the 2016 training camp as a member of the Patriots. Knighton was drafted back in 2009 by the Jacksonville Jaguars at No. 72. Knighton played seven seasons in the NFL. He spent four years in Jacksonville, two with the Denver Broncos and a lone season in Washington. Knighton started 96 of 108 career games and accumulated 230 total tackles with 14 sacks, two interceptions, and three forced fumbles.
Olivier Vernon is a super talented player that used to torch Tom Brady. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft, at pick No. 72. After spending four very productive seasons in Miami, in which he had 11.5 sacks in 2013, 6.5 sacks in 2014, and 7.5 sacks in 2015, the star defensive end cashed in with the New York Giants. Vernon signed a monster deal worth $85 million over five years with $52.5 million guaranteed.
Brian Winters is an excellent guard. Offensive lineman don’t typically get fans excited on draft day, however, there is nothing wrong with finding good offensive lineman to protect your quarterback. The New York Jets drafted Winters in the third round of the 2013 NFL Draft at No. 72. Winters has been one of the Jets most reliable offensive lineman, in fact so reliable that the Jets signed Winters to a four-year contract extension. The deal is worth $29 million with $15 million guaranteed.
Honorable mentions: The Falcons drafted Tevin Coleman at No. 73 in 2015. The Patriots drafted Steven Ridley at No. 73 in 2011. The Chiefs selected Jamaal Charles at No. 73 in 2008. The Giants snagged Justin Tuck at No. 74 in 2005, and the Panthers took Steve Smith at No.74 in 2001.
Granted none of these honorable mention picks were at No. 72, but it gives you an idea of the type of talent that is obtainable in the third round.